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TRINITY

 Chapter 10

 

from Number 17 in

Barbs, Arrows and Balms

 

 

INTRODUCTION TO CHAPTER 10

Barbs ... Ch. 17 focusses faith, redemption, the GOSPEL, and what the deity of Christ, manifest in the Bible, MEANS from eternity for the eternity and singularity of redemption, with its everlasting efficacy and irreducible splendour. Here is the plight of man in the sight of God, and here the site of salvation in the only begotten Son of God, vacating heaven for a holy work, unique, singular, coming in its own due time (Galatians 4:4, Christ the Citadel ... Ch. 2), for all time. It may be neglected with worse results than accrue from withholding breath, stopping the heart or deluding the mind. As it is eternal, to meet the infernal, so its sundering from man is deadly, leaving a mess; for that is amiss to an awesome extent, a vacating despite the presence of such a salvation, provided by this,  the God of creation and redemption. It is as if to poke in the eye, your surgeon, and say, Away from me, you medical clot!

THIS operation is indispensable, conclusive, as important as creation; and its enablement by God, was far more costly. For man there is only solution, for in a vast potential is he blessed in the liberalities of the love of God; and this is the only solution.

Man should receive it and rejoice, not war and work and worry in hopes of something, when all is already available, if not for those nations which needlessly shame themselves by departing, then for those individuals and churches within His body. Here is the 'wedding' not to be avoided, so then come! (Revelation 22:17, Matthew 22:1-14, Revelation 19:8). As to that, make sure you have on the right clothes (Matthew 22:12), even the 'garments of salvation', which attest a glad and receptive heart, acknowledging the invitation and its grounds of sin, in the cover of Christ, through the blood of His atonement, to make clean and present a cleared record before God (Isaiah 61:10, Titus 3:3-7, John 1:7ff.).

The attestation of these things in this period and in that, mounting to its crescendo in the glory of Christ, God as man, of the Cross, where He did the work that finishes redemption (Galatians 6:14, Hebrews 9:12, 26ff.) belongs to this Chapter.

 

TRINITY CHAPTER TEN

 

THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL


 

We are going to look at Psalm 22 to see
not only the excruciating pain,
the meaning of the sorrow,
actively endured by the MESSIAH,
but the SCOPE OF SALVATION
and the meaning of its accomplishment to the world at large.

With this, we shall see that
NOT ONLY IS THE GOSPEL TO
ALL RACES, but it has been, since sin came to man,
FOR ALL TIME.

INDEED, DEVISED BEFORE THIS WORLD BEGAN,
IT IS
ONE EVERLASTING GOSPEL,
IS ALL THAT SIN HAS EVER HAD,
EVER WILL HAVE, EVER SHOULD HAVE,
EVER
NEEDS.

IT IS ALSO ALL IT IS GOING TO GET!
 

It is superabundantly sufficient, like Niagara among US waterfalls, like the heavens above for vastness, like the wisdom of God for wonder!

We shall be prepared in the prophets and the New Testament for the coming excursion, and so establish it all more thoroughly. Especially we shall look at Genesis, the Psalms and Isaiah.
We shall prepared in the prophets and the New Testament for the coming excursion, and so establish it all more thoroughly. Especially we shall look at Genesis, the Psalms and Isaiah.
We are moving into nothing less than
the eternal Gospel from before time to all time, irrevocable, impermeable, unalterable,
to
all peoples and sinners whether here or elsewhere in creation, even in heavenly places...

There is nothing more, nothing else: from God, to God for all who come, then marked, "Fragile, Handle with care" , a safe pass to God,
in Jesus Christ.
(Cf. Items 20,29 below, Biblical Blessings Ch.3, The Other News, 33 and SMR Ch.9, pp. 751ff.)
 
 

1.

AUTUMN WITHOUT THE FALL BECAUSE MAN HAD FALLEN INTO SPIRITUAL WINTER

 

there were not Autumn leaves of blended russet colours, such as bless and bedizen the lively slopes of America in September.

No! Winter came direct: bleak, barren and revealing, it came like a blast from the nostrils of the Almighty!

What was it like ? In a figure, it was as if the trunks of the trees were like sticks at once: beauty had departed, the glory was distanced and it was not leaves, but shame that red as guilt, hid the first prototype, Adam and Even, Man and Mother, from the beauty of innocence and the love of the truth. The first Fall then was without beauty. Yet it was herald to it, in the creative mercy of the LORD.
 
 

2.

WINTER WITHOUT EVERLASTING ICE BECAUSE OF THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL
 

A) REDEMPTION THE NEED

At once, then, not merely the curse, but the Gospel set foot on the earth. The seed of woman (Genesis 3:15) would conquer the seed of the serpent, the race of evil-doers: but clearly not just ANY seed of woman, for the curse degraded man far from the power of God.

To Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3, 22:16-18) by his seed or offspring, would this blessing come, to all mankind, by divine promise. It was linked (Genesis 22) at once to Abraham's willingness - if need be, to yield his own beloved son to secure the blessing - though in the love of God, who Himself gave, there was no such need for Abraham's sacrifice. Immediately is recorded God's refusal to let him do this thing.

Psalm 49:7-8 gives only one of the reasons why this would be expected - that man cannot redeem his own brother; for sin does not redeem sin:

"Why should I fear in the days of evil;

When the iniquity at my heels surrounds me?
 

Those who trust in their wealth

And boast in the multitude of their riches,

None of them can by any means redeem his brother,

Nor give to God a ransom for him -

For the redemption of their souls is costly;

And it shall cease forever -

That he should continue to live eternally

And not see the pit {experience corruption}."

Later the inspired prophet writing Psalm 49 -
 

having read the riot act on unbelief,

shown the trumpet for coming in faith to God while it is day,

expressed the fate worse than cancer which mere strong-headed rejection of the gracious redemption of God requests, in an all but an RSPV appeal for non-clemency, absent mercy and nil-pardon -


presents faith's repose for the godly:

Around this pearl of tranquillity, of divine acceptance, however, there rages the sea of rampaging for those who will not have it so:

"This is the way of those who are foolish...
Death shall feed on them:
the upright shall have dominion over them in the morning"
(from Psalm 49:13-14).

"GOD WILL REDEEM MY SOUL," He says, and that redemption, then coming, was indeed to be costly, as the Bible exhibits in ways all but innumerable. Costly ? Yes, but not for man; for it is the prerogative of God to pay for perfection, and cover the cost of applied pardon and effectual mercy.This is to be the second curse, which now has been in the Cross of Christ (Galatians 3:1-13), of whom Isaiah declared, to those who receive Him in faith (53:1, 53:5),
 


It is, then, time for us to return to Abraham and his offering, aborted in mercy, replaced in grace.

It is apparent as we study Genesis 12-22, and in particular the last chapter cited, that it is the love of God which is to provide the sufficient sacrifice so that the blessing of God through Abraham should come to all peoples. That is the teaching here. Abraham was willing, if necessary, to sacrifice the son whom he was so blessed in receiving, so late in his old age, a son so necessary for his line to continue and the promises of God concerning the One of his descendants to bring blessings to all nations. Such a thing was not necessary; and as we have just seen, it is not even helpful. It is an impossible task, to atone for sin, unless you are

with no accounts of your own to settle! God alone has the purity and the perfection, the power and the glory, the amplitude to cover any and all who come, satisfying justice and abounding in effectual mercy!
 
 

B) The THIRD CURSE

 

for the sake of the control of it,
 

       sacrificing it and Him, the Messiah Himself, to envy and fear (something that even Governor Pilate knew, and he, he was no saint! - Matthew 27:18, John 11:48): they KILL HIM!

       Indeed, most fittingly, THAT VERY TEMPLE of power, misused glory and ecclesiastical cunning and conniving, a 'house of prayer ... turned ... into a den of thieves' as Christ Himself called it, citing from the Old Testament, what became of IT ? Just this: It was within a generation, itself to be destroyed, like the One sold out, except its resurrection was a far more difficult affair! His was a matter of 3 days.

Then, and IN THIS WAY,  they added to their sacrifices, this: the sacrifice of God Himself, in the flesh, present and on earth (John 8:58, 5:19-23) - no mean addition, at a very mean price (Zechariah 13:6, 11:12-13): ENOUGH TO BUY A MODEST FIELD (Acts 1:18). NOTHING was left undone of all the prophecies, even when scrutinised by those energised by guilt, driven by convenience and motivated by envy. Nothing could be cited to arrest the surge of the Christian faith, so gloriously precise in enactment, even by those the most hostile, even by multitudinous murder of Christians in the lavish grip of monstrous Rome.

What then ? In grotesque and pernicious confusion, He whom they purported to serve, The Lord of glory was Himself discarded (Isaiah 49:7, 53:3) in order that men might secure what in their own minds was


A third cursedness, then - this sale of Christ
that was predicted and which thus came, with this notorious economic input, in fact from Judas (Zechariah 9:9, 11:11-13, 13:6) - made its descent on those who, by national choice, willingly and personally consolidate themselves into these actions (Matthew 27:25). It was performed historically by the Jewish nation, and by the Gentiles, it may likewise be performed inwardly, spiritually, by making "irrelevant" the demands of God, and so blaspheming against His grace, while distorting the covered up sins which require it, as if their unrighteousness were good, their folly, wisdom, their self-assertion, humility, their fantasy, realism.

But let us return for the moment to the Jewish nation. It is no light thing that just as some Gentiles may wish the holocaust could simply go away, perhaps some Jews wish the national adoption of this action against Jesus Christ could go away.

Neither go away.
Both happened,
both being attested and neither capable of denial
in the light of
the opportunities never historically summoned for the purpose
when they might
readily have been.

Thus, for Israel came the second 'promised land' not entered (cf. Numbers 14),
and second, like the first, arose to be dismissed, averted, avoided, bypassed:
but this one was God Himself in the Person of Jesus Christ,
actually 'abhorred' (Isaiah 49:7).
Small wonder Israel has for so long wandered
as foretold in Leviticus 26, Deuteronomy 32.
When you forsake God, what is left!

 

Thus firstly,  the holocaust cannot be avoided by the Gentiles, as they move nearer and nearer to doing its like again, on the one hand, nor can the Holy One of Israel,
cast in flesh, cast out on a Cross, taken to be spat out by many, abused by erratic religious bodies whether in the land of Jew or Gentile, be avoided for guilt.
It is no different for Jew or Gentile, for the major slaying, like idols (Ezekiel 14:2),
is in the heart. How many would there abase and despise the blood of Christ,
or toy with it in idols or glances, like some drama seen on the screen,
with no real response from the heart, dizzy with information overload.


Secondly, the positive evidence that grasps history like a dog by the neck, on the other (see APPENDIX C and Ch. 6, The Shadow of a Mighty Rock - SMR), that of the reality of the Deity of Jesus Christ, bent on mission, fulfilling the salvation for which He was sent, and applying it: this is as readily avoided as the fall of the Twin Towers in New York, or the testimony of endless seeming wars from 1914 on.

 

What are these ? increasingly they come as the expression of the degree of sanctity and sense, spirit and understanding, residing in the heart of Christ-dismissing man. If one dictator arises to be quelled, one pride-ruled misleader, then more and more, these wars come not from protection against foes, but foes amid foes, desires for land, self-importance, survival by slyness, dominance in the offing, a nice life at the expense of others, a sense of national pride or glory, of being one's own self as a mini-nation or maxi-power, owing nothing to any,  in a welter of unwise relationships, arising like storms, boiling like waves, festering like sores, grievous amid the grieving.

 

As to Israel, many of its people when with the land or without it, have become Christians; but the nation does not, nor does its religion, officially and formally. The matter is  national, and far from being any kind of a racial one. Indeed some of the foremost Christians, not least the apostles, were what ? Why Jews!

But many more peoples are involved, not least that Rome, that Gentilic power,  whose Governor, Pilate, was so profoundly implicated in the judicial farce which preceded the crucifixion of Christ.
Rome also was to pay: once so profound a power, and now to say no more, no super-power; yes and in the 20th. century, possessed of no national glory in the military stage of the world, in marked contrast to its former fame. It has been ravaged and oppressed by more than one power. Nor is Rome alone.

Many more Gentiles assuredly would wish dead the current, which is arising to tempestuous crescendo, and  facing the world


(cf. II Timothy 3:1-5),


The rulers of this world tremble at their future, just as Russia discounted it in advance, pouring freely into the Arctic incredibly large amounts of nuclear waste, which does not hasten to go away, but feels free to circulate with as much lack of restraint as the tongues of man, and their words, against the most High. As to Him, He is in no danger of losing either His position or His power, nor will His grace, though vastly exercised and for long,  forever be a ground for such folly. In the end, mercy forsaken, man must face the fruit of His own doings, whether nationally the Jews or internationally the Gentiles. The only way station on the route, is the Cross. It stays, but mankind's universe will not (II Peter 3, Isaiah 51:6).

As to the former nation, Israel, as for the latter, the many Gentile races, however, the option still remains, the door is not closed. The nation of the Jews have made their position relative to the Mercy of God in Jesus Christ quite clear. Yet this is not at all the same as the members of the Jewish race. For them as for others, though the past was shut, the way was - just as it is - open. The same precisely applies to the Gentiles. The scenarios are set, but the mercy is open to one as to the other. (Cf. Barbs, Arrows and Balms Item 13, and see News 60 for further items.)
For the ultimate rejection of the ultimate remedy, however, there is no remedy for any (cf. Hebrews 10:22,29, Jude, II Peter 2, John 3:19, Hebrews 2:1-3, Luke 13:1-3).
 
 

C) AMPLE PROVISION TO REDEEM

Hence, in full accord with the sensitivity of individualising divine principle (Ezekiel 18), the "children" were free to DISSOCIATE THEMSELVES by joining the company of Christ, as many did, and many more would do; by receiving each for his/her own part, this sacrifice provided for sins, the same as anybody else (Acts 2:38-39). You may inherit the sins of others only when you decline to separate, sever, discontinue in that line, so that through such failure, you are co-opted into the former things, and merely become a part of such a guilty matrix. It can happen; but it is not necessary, just as it is not wise! Where then is the way out ?

It is the Messiah. Only in receiving Him, the Lord Jesus Christ, as sacrificed, risen and Lord, would anyone verify a place in His payments of redemption, for otherwise, wholly responsible and warned (John 15:21-23), they would die in their sins (John 8:24).


Let us emphasise this. Thousands of Jews by divine grace did so ASSOCIATE THEMSELVES; and millions have not done so. So too have many Gentiles, from kings and nobles to the poorest outcast, each in his/her own tableau, tribe, race, nation, overcoming the hypocrisy of invention and the terrors of politics, culture, false religion or personal pride. Many others continue in the fallen state of their particular nation, climate of culture, inheriting its shame. It may be academic, national, tribal; and often the price of receiving the Redeemer, for these also, has been high, exacted of them by their contemporaries.

To all men it in fact went, this everlasting Gospel of the crucified and bodily risen Messiah -
to Jew, to Gentile, to Greek, just as from Abraham's seed (Genesis 22). In so doing, it proceeded, in exact accord with the promise. It was indeed to be from the woman's seed (Genesis 3), as noted above, that universal blessing was to reach to mankind. How else would this fallen race through one of its own ever find deliverance from their own sin, its just consequences and the powerful vested interests of that power-arrogating spirit, the devil! Increasingly revealed over the growing hundreds of years of wholly convergent revelation in the Bible, this "seed" was seen as the Son of God, incarnate, a child born to us who was the Almighty God (Isaiah 9:6, Micah 5:1-3, Isaiah 48:16, Zechariah 2:8-13, 3:9), the everlasting Father, and yet the Prince of Peace. As Christ was to say,

His names in Isaiah 9:6, who came from the root or stem of Jesse (Isaiah 11:1), are thus profound and pervasive, inclusive of Son and Father, Davidic Prince and Everlasting Father from whom He proceeds (John 8:42, Hebrews 1, Isaiah 28:16). As Christ put it, "I and my Father are one" - John 10:30; and then, in view of that,  the Jews sought to stone Him, because we read, He, being man, made Himself equal with God. In this they were ahead of Jehovah's witnesses, Christadelphians and the other typical Arian heresy proponents, who would remake not with nails, but with word, the Biblical depiction, whether through confusion or desire, arresting and distorting the Son of God.

Let us pursue the prediction

in Isaiah Chs. 7,9,11,22,32,42,49,53,54,55,

but more especially in 9:6-7.

Named "Prince of Peace", He has as His kingdom one that has peace for its growth. Now essential to the hearts of His own, then it is to be the very atmosphere of heaven (Isaiah 9:7). Thus the name merges into the fame, turning elegantly on "peace", and of THIS kingdom is -


But HOW is the HUMAN PRINCE OF PEACE, with an ever-increasing kingdom exposed to our eyes, to be also in the very same phrase, adjoining, THE EVERLASTING FATHER ? ONLY by a small consideration not to be missed. For THAT one to be THIS one, THIS ONE must be

just as Psalms 2,40, 45, 110 and Isaiah 48:16 and Zechariah 2:8ff, 3:9 show. ONLY GOD is the Saviour (Isaiah 43:10), so that THIS Saviour is God. It is so simple.

Yes thus it was and so it shall be, even in terms of the Messiah, incarnate once, effectual for ever. So inexorably the text of Isaiah moves on from wonder to wonder, word to deed in profound messianic focus.

Here also is His exaltation, as expressed in Philippians 2, following His voluntary humbling of Himself, in the form of God, for service when made into the form of mankind. This was for an obedience which did not even baulk at the Cross where sin had its unillustrious performance met with a life magnificent, which it could not suppress, a life to be found  in the sinless heart of Jesus Christ, as in the irrepressible body, raised by the divine power, from the dead (cf. Romans 1:1-4)..
 
 

D) ACTION TO REDEEM

1) The Height of This Redemption:
He did not Stay in Heaven

In Isaiah 52, we find the excruciating action involved in

for it is GOD Himself who is the REDEEMER of Israel (Isaiah 43:14, 44:6, 48:17-22, 49:24-26, 51:2-11, 52:3,, 52:9-53:12): it is one of His own personal purchases made both in preliminary power and final incarnation as man. GOD IS REDEEMER, GOD IS ONE *1, THE LORD OF HOSTS IS THE REDEEMER OF ISRAEL, THE DIVINE NAME, 'LORD' IS HIS, WHO IS REDEEMER (Isaiah 44:6).

 

Yet this is the work of the Messiah,

redemption;

of Him who will stand in the latter day upon the earth (Job 19), who as Son of David,
in that graciously endowed format, will redeem His people.

How the Redeemer does it, is shown in torturous detail in Isaiah 52-53, its freedom in 55:1-3.

How it could be done, in view of this restriction of redemption to deity is both clear and simple
(to behold, rather than to do!).

The Messiah had to be:


As the Son is rebelled against (Psalm 2:2-4), being the Messiah of the Lord, so does the Lord declare of Him raised (Psalm 16, Isaiah 26:19, 53:12, 2:7 with 22:12-22) physically from the dead, as if death were a womb and life its breach-birth,

Both appointed and anointed, yet also of intrinsic deity is He (Micah 5:1-3, Isaiah 48:16, Zechariah 12:10, Psalms 2,45,110), and His is the only redemption available (Acts 4:11-12, Daniel 7:25, Ephesians 1:10, Isaiah 9:6-7, Isaiah 43:10-11, 45:22-23, Philippians 2).

Therefore, without this, there is only a wrath both burning and intense, as for garbage which is not merely an eyesore, but infectious, and in this case, whether Jew or Gentile, viciously misdirected against the mere free acceptance of transformation and deliverance (Isaiah 63:1-7, 65:10-13, 66:3,15ff., 59:20-21). It is for this reason that the ultimate Zion, composed of Messiah-people, Jewish, Greek, Gentilic, from all sides and sources on the earth, will have ALL its people righteous - Isaiah 33:23-24, 60:21.

Messiah-people ? Now, transliterating, of course, since Messiah in Hebrew becomes Christos in Greek, they are, and since the early days of Paul in Antioch (Acts 11:26) , called Christians. It is the same thing. Not all who bear that name, however, are or have been what the name suggests! (cf. Matthew 7:21-23).
 

2) The Depth of this Redemption:

Deeper than the Universe, It lasts forever.

"All righteous", we read, are to be the inhabitants of this Zion: and such righteousness does this redemption confer!

Those in this "everlasting redemption" (Hebrews 9:12),

this "everlasting covenant" (Isaiah 60:18, 51:11, 54:8-55:7)

have "everlasting joy" upon their heads (Isaiah 51:11),

with "quietness and assurance forever" (Isaiah 32:17,1-4) -

EVEN THE THIRSTY WHO COME TO Him to drink
(Isaiah 55:1-3, John 4:14, 7:37-38, Isaiah 40:27ff.).

Such not only will have the unquenchable ministration of God to their spirits (John 4:14, Isaiah Chs. 55:1-9, 32), but  peace undisruptable, joy uncancellable (cf. also John 16:20-22, I Peter 1:1-5, Isaiah 49:23), with a certain exuberance of an inward spiritual vitality (John 4:14, cf. Zephaniah 3:17-18, Isaiah 51:8, 40:26ff.) - one that can bring waters of life to others, through the Gospel like a stream in the desert (John 7:37-38).

Structurally, this spiritual provision - properly and most naturally, being supernatural in kind - retains strength though the universe should depart (Isaiah 51:6). Associated with a humble and contrite heart (Isaiah 57:15, 66:2), it takes hold wherever the Lord appoints (Isaiah 44:1-6, Ezekiel 47:1-10), and is broadcast by the lovers of God, the children of the kingdom of heaven (Galatians 4:5-7), redeemed children of God, of the new Jerusalem (Galatians 4:26).

These? They are kept with the infinite solicitude and power of God (Romans 5:8-11, I Peter 1:3-23, Isaiah 54:6-55:1). Judgment is sated by sacrifice of the Saviour, for all such (Romans 8:28-39, Isaiah 53:6-12, 51:6, 61:10, 54:17, Galatians 3:10-13, Titus 2:11-13, 3:4-8). Their sins, immemorable, are unremembered (Hebrews 8:10-12, Micah 5:1-3 with 7:18-19). Their works are a mere result of His redemption and workmanship ( Matthew 7:17, Galatians 3:1-5, Romans 3:23, Titus 3:5, Isaiah 61:3,10-11, Ephesians 2:8-10), reputable and right, flowing from the strength of the Righteous One (Acts 3:14-15), presidential and residential in each redeemed heart (Colossians 1:27, Jeremiah 31:31-34).

While there are specific territorial features affecting the divine honour for Israel, the covenant, the New Covenant, is one for each and for all. Its spiritual realities are as variable as the number 1, and its donations from One, because of the life of One, and His death. Indeed, as we often have seen, the Messiah people are to have - and now do have - a NEW NAME (Isaiah 62:1-3, 65:13-16), whilst merely racial claims are to be abased, in all things spiritual to the point that "MY servants will sing for joy of heart" (65:14), but "YOU shall cry for sorrow of heart".

Peace is paid for (Isaiah 28:16, 48:18, 26:1-4, 54:11-13, 57:15-17, 11:10, Psalm 85:10-11):

He paid. He secured. He freely redeemed all who come (Isaiah 53:11, 55:1-3, 11:1-10, I Peter 1:18-21, Hebrews 9:24, 10:10-14, 2:8) to Him as He is, believing and founded on Him, receiving and resting on what He has done.
 
 

E) THE SUFFERING AND THE GLORY

 

1) The Deity of the Saviour:
The Eternity of the Salvation

Now therefore we are seeing jointly the two aspects, the suffering and the glory.

Let us pursue this.

Now we see that there is indeed no other Saviour but the LORD (Isaiah 43:10-13),
no other Rock (44:8) and
to no other One does the Father grant -

in Him and for His Divine Majesty,

as in His very self and incarnate person (Isaiah 48:16, Psalm 45, Micah 5:1-3, Psalm 2) -

to be this incalculable, essential and eternal salvation.

To none other is it granted but to the Messiah, Son of David,
Son of God in human format, whose ways are from everlasting

(Micah 5:1-3, Psalm 2, 45, 72, 110, Isaiah 49:1-8, 42:1-8, 11:1-10, 52:3-53:10, 55:1-4, 59:14-21, 60:19-61:7, 62:11-12, 63:8).

It is God who is BOTH Saviour and Redeemer (42:6-8,45:17,22-25, 59:20, 60:16, 61:1-4, 40:10-11, 62:11-12), who as such comes to Zion to do His irrevocable, impermeable and permanent work (Micah 5:1-3, Isaiah 59:21), both of salvation and of judgment (Isaiah 53:11-12, Psalm 72:14, Zechariah 3:9, 9:9:, 12:10ff., 14:1ff.).

and He who so acts is

Indeed, He says, who is beyond all time, as He is sent to redeem,

The path is clear:

and so too the end result:

(from Isaiah 45:17,22-23, 48:16, 53:11, 59:21).

Does He not declare with the utmost zest and vitality,


I am the LORD, your Holy One, the Creator of Israel, your King ...
Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel, and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts:
I am the first, and I am the last, and beside Me there is God..."

(Isaiah 43:11,15, 44:6).


As none other may presume to be the Saviour
, without invasion of the Godhead, in word and in folly of futile presumption:
so to none other is this title accorded but to the Messiah
,
God-the-sent as Isaiah 48:16 with Zechariah 2:8, 12:10, Micah 5:1-3, Isaiah 49:6-9, 42:6, 62:11 and other scriptures noted in the current context reveal. God is Saviour;
HE ONLY; and the Messiah, Saviour, Light, Restorer, Covenant is Himself of the Godhead.

How truly personal is He who comes (Isaiah 62:11-12):

"Indeed the LORD has proclaimed

To the end of the world:

'Say to the daughter of Zion,

Surely your salvation is coming;

Behold His reward is with Him,

And His work before Him' " -

and the people shall be called the Redeemed of the Lord.

Just so in Isaiah 40:10 do we learn, after being told of glad tidings to come (as in 52:7, followed by the Messiah's sacrifice of Himself):

"Behold, the Lord God shall come with a strong hand,

And His arm shall rule for Him.

Behold His reward is with Him,

And His work before Him

He will feed His flock like a shepherd;

He will gather the lambs with His arms,

And carry them in His bosom,

And gently lead those who are with young" - Isaiah 40:10-11.

Just as it is HE who is "your salvation" who comes in Isaiah 62:11, who gathers the lambs with His arms in 40:10, so in Isaiah 49:1-6, He is the focus of faith, who shall be "My salvation to the ends of the earth" - cf. Psalm 72:14-17, where the Redeemer likewise rules, even to those ends of the earth. And He ? It is the son of David, the Mighty God, Prince of Peace whose Kingdom, on the throne of David, continues unabated (Isaiah 9:6-7), the Son of man of the last kingdom of Daniel (as in 7:25-27).

It is eternal, for God does not end, and His humiliation for holy salvation does not alter His changeless character, omnipotent power or unalterable principles of truth and righteousness. "His ways are everlasting" - Habakkuk 3:6. "My kindness shall not depart from you," Isaiah 54:10ff. "His resting place is glorious" - Isaiah 11:10, and that, it is in the context that "the Gentiles shall seek for Him", as also shown in Jeremiah 16:19-21, Isaiah 66 and 42:6, 49:6.

Thus the salvation proclaimed so dramatically with covenant force in Isaiah 52:7 is He, the Messiah (Isaiah 53:4), Himself, who prime and personal focus in Isaiah 49, is indeed to be MADE the salvation of God to the ends of the earth (Isaiah 49:6); so that it is He, in Zechariah 9:6, who is lowly and "HAVING salvation". Surely He was possessed of salvation, since becomingly He became it, being personally the covenant as Isaiah predicted, and bearing iniquity while interceding for transgressors (Isaiah 42:6, 53:12).


It is He who is the focus, function, He the payer, redeemer, sacrifice and commander, leader (Isaiah 55:4 cf. Revelation 1:5), Shepherd, son of David.
It is He, God of eternity, born on earth to die and dying to live, incarnate, shattering death with a love, a power and a precision for which the mightiest victories of Moses and Joshua were just so many preliminaries (Isaiah 11:1-10, 9:6, 4:6 with 32:1-3, 26:19, 40:10-11, 45:6-7, Psalm 45:6-7, Isaiah 53:12; Psalm 22:24-29, 72:1,12-17, Deuteronomy 18:15-19).

As the salvation available for so long is thus secured, so then in its time will be the judgment (Isaiah 28:16-22, 59:16-19, 66:16-19,24, Psalm 110:5-7, 2:8-12, Isaiah 53:11, 24:16).

Both of the Psalms just noted show the presence of the Messiah, incomparable, object of utter trust. In the one (2), He is shown rejected by a raging world; in the other (110), a wonder before a willing multitude of believers. The theme then proceeds from the results of reckless rioting against the Messiah - in the presence of pity; of rejection even amidst the wonder of His mercy:
to judgment, precisely as does John 3:15-17 proceed to John 3:19,30-35-36; just as does Psalm 2:8-12!

It is however a judgment in which the Judge, rather than judge, first accepts judgment upon Himself, as man: though innocent, He is found paying in Person for the fallen ways He comes to redeem. Thus and by this means does He personally redeem those who so receive Him, arisen in power, perfected in pity.

Such is the intimacy and magnificence of the love of God. Psalm 85 puts it aptly when it declares,


Mercy and truth are met together: righteousness and peace have kissed each other."
 

It is everlasting righteousness (Isaiah 51:6).

It is accompanied by "everlasting joy" (Isaiah 51:11), for "the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion with singing, with everlasting joy upon their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness; sorrow and sighing shall flee away."

As in Psalm 85,  mercy can meet truth freely when in truth justice is satisfied; for then mercy is delighted - cf. Micah 7:18ff.. Similarly, righteousness is on perfect terms with peace, when peace has been made in righteousness, through the kindness of God who in perfection of truth, in the form of Christ, suffered in mercy that everlasting peace be obtained.

How exquisite is the provision to secure this! We have surveyed the grand and brilliant qualities of the eternal Lord, as shown in Isaiah and Zechariah especially, a focus of features which He has declared to be His, and His alone. Then, having gathered such essential prerogatives and glories of deity to their true source in Himself, the Lord God lavishly manifests them as resting in and, to His delight, on His Son, shrouded in the glory of deity, sent in the form and format of Messiah. SO we find likewise in I Timothy 3:16:

"Great is the mystery of godliness:
God was manifested in the flesh,
Justified in the Spirit,
Seen by angels,
Preached among the Gentiles,
Believed on in the world,
Received up into glory."

Further, the Messiah, deity incarnate, is focus of such amazing humility, obedience and unbending rectitude, expression of such compassion and direct availability, even to the point of exposing His wonder of love in the pit of shame, raised to a height on the Cross, the better to be spit at, galleried with laughter and scorn. (Cf. Isaiah 41:27-42:8, 51:18-20 with 52:7-53:12, 11:1-10, 40:10, 49:1-6, Psalm 45:1-7, 2:1-12, Hosea 13:14 with Zechariah 12:10, Micah 5:1-3ff., Zechariah 2:8, 3:9, 9:9.)

Small wonder Paul declares,

What IS there, after that ? what of justice, of splendour of manhood, what in expression of love and wonder; or as the Psalmist put it in Ps.110:3-4,


Just as that king came on the scene without visible heredity and blessed Abraham, so Christ the Messiah comes on the scene with His invisible because eternal basis, the Eternal Word of the living God (John 1:1, The Bright Light and the Uncomprehending Darkness Ch. 10 ), fulfilling, completing, culminating all prelude in Himself, God as man, Saviour alone, foretold from the first and keeping to the last those who are His (I Peter 1:5-8).

 

2) The Judgment: Suspended, or Impending

The Messiah, then, the Christ is victorious victim, and He is also the Judge who first was voluntarily judged Himself (Matthew 7:21-23, Daniel 7:13-14, 9:24-27, John 5:19-23, Acts 17:31, John 10:11-18), so that judgment might pass away, its blast and butt found in Him, who bears it for any who so receive Him. It is remitted for His sake, so that His redeemed might arise in Him (Isaiah 26:30 - "My people"): yes, "My dead body shall they arise" (Isaiah 26:19, Psalms 16, 22, Zechariah 12:10, 13:1). Only then does that judgment which justice does not fail to claim, come to be administered, unfiltered and unpardoned, to those for whom God shall, by their own will and avoidance, not act as Redeemer. Wrath unmingled is then available, for folly unmitigated has recklessly refused to repent on conditions of pardon ineffable and delightful, abundant and free.

For themselves, redeem they CANNOT, since sin cannot redeem from sin.

From Him, the gift they WILL NOT.

The LORD Himself, then, having resolved in kindness to man, to come and REDEEM by HIMSELF, we find the relevant action in Jerusalem as the transaction is performed,

He had ONLY to FAIL to "make intercession for the transgressors" when being executed to falsify everything. It is THIS which none have been able at any time to show, and hundreds of similar points, which exhibits that grand perfection of mind which accompanies the like perfection of spirit, in the Lord of glory.

He, deft as always, deep as ever, turns their madness into the deliverance of those who shall have "believed our report" (53:1) - the one made in that same chapter, 53.

Thus there is ultimate contrast:

"Behold my Servant shall deal prudently; He shall be exalted and extolled and be very high"

(Isaiah 52:13) - we read, as if for a parade of glory.

AT ONCE, however, contrasting in startling starkness, there follows the service which this God in human form, this glory manifested in truth, is to perform:

"Just as many were astonished at you -

His visage was marred more than any man,

And His form more than the sons of men -

So shall He sprinkle many nations.

Kings shall shut their mouths at Him;

For what had not been told them they shall se,

And what they had not heard they shall consider."

 

There you have the two phases in parallel, the height and the depth:

the marring beyond human recognition on the one side,

while on the other, He is sprinkling as the sacrificial victim with the very blood thus extorted by folly,

but divinely planned to cover the case, for:

"He was bruised for our iniquities,

The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,

And by His stripes we are healed."

Thus is the cry (cf. Isaiah 24:14-16) to come from all nations, even to the uttermost seas, to the light of the dawn, extending throughout earth:

"They shall lift up their voice, they shall sing;

For the majesty of the Lord

They shall cry aloud from the sea.

Therefore glorify the LORD in the dawning light,

The name of the LORD God of Israel in the coastlands of the sea.

From the ends of the earth we have heard songs:

'Glory to the righteous!' (Bold added.)

This alas is so utterly unlike the case of those who, though they be shown grace, will not receive it, for they "will not behold the majesty of the Lord" - Isaiah 26:10, of Him whose peace is so perfect (Isaiah 26:1-4), and in whom is everlasting strength, or "rock of ages" (26:4) for those whose trust is in Him. Yet it is most like the talk and walk of the children of God, who have found Him, as the prophet so beautifully depicted it, so far back in time, before it ever came to earth!

Indeed, in this very part of Isaiah, namely 24:14-16, where we learn prophetically of what we now see actually, the wonderful songs of praise, it proceeds to the well-known theme of the betrayal of the Messiah (cf. Isaiah 49:7, 52-53, Zechariah Chs.11,13), which for all its part in a predestinated plan (Acts 2:21-23), is nonetheless as poignant and aweful as if it happened by surprise. Morality is never changed by the passage of time, nor is betrayal adorned by it. Thus we read, straight after the "glorying", this:

"But I said, 'I am ruined, ruined! Woe is me!
The treacherous dealers have dealt treacherously,
Indeed the treacherous dealers have dealt very treacherously.' "

Those who are healed by His stripes (Isaiah 53:5-6), "we",
are those on whom His iniquity is laid ("the iniquity of us all"),
yes all of them are so blessed;
and every one of them thus may appear before God in Zion (Psalm 84:7),
even the Zion above.

For that  blessed city which is free (Galatians 4:26) and of it, all are citizens who come through that gate of the righteous - also the building block, that headstone rejected (Psalm 118:19-24, John 10:9,27-28).

This gate ("this gate through which the righteous may enter", alike the rejected headstone in Psalm 118) is that Messiah, Jesus Christ the righteous, the just One condemned and refused, but nevertheless exalted, extolled and very high (Philippians 3:30-31, Isaiah 52:13, Psalm 118:20-23, Acts 3:14-15). It is He alone, predicted in a texture prescribed as fit to cover the case (Amos 3:7), He who indomitably intransigent in truth (cf. Isaiah 11:1-10), while humble as sacrifice (Isaiah 53:4,7), links history to prophecy, fulfilling as required the word of God: It is  He and none else. (Cf. also The Shadow of a Mighty Rock, pp. 886ff., 943ff..)

Universal in application, this Gospel is profound in impact, effectual and performed, the work of God whose ways do not change and whose mind is not subject to vacillatory turmoil, but steadfast and sure, He utters His word and it comes to pass, though heaven and earth pass away (Matthew 24;35, Isaiah 43:13, 40:6-8, Malachi 3:6, Habakkuk 3:6).

The voice of the Messiah will not be stifled, nor will His words fall to the ground; for the word of the Lord, though grass and civilisations flower and fall, endures for ever as Peter declares in concert
 


(See SMR pp. 26-35,545ff., 580ff., 44-45, 88-89, 269, 313-315; consult Malachi 3:6, Psalm 102:25-28, I Peter 1:23-25, Isaiah 40:6-8, Jeremiah 33:19-26, Matthew 24:35.)

It is the LORD HIMSELF who comes (cf. Ezekiel 34:11-16, Psalms 102:16-22, 72, 45, Zechariah 12:10) PERSONALLY to do what the whole flock of false shepherds, like so many oddly domineering sheep themselves, failed to do. Read Ezekiel 34 and there you see it, concerning the Good Shepherd (cf. John 10), and the false ones who preceded so often, cardinally lacking.
With horrifying negligence and selfishness, they lamentably lost what they should have guarded: being lost, they were losing the lost and not finding them.

In the face of this, the LORD with zealous love and practical steps detailed ahead of time, for His arresting and brilliantly empathetic shepherd's work at His coming, declares:

(Ezekiel 34:11, Psalm 72:14-17, cf. Luke 9:56, 19:10) - yes, though on earth there was none to act for Him (Isaiah 41:28-42:1, 51:18-20, 52:13-53:12).

It is in HIM, the Messiah that one must trust (Psalm 2:7,11-12), despite the carnal horror of trusting in anything less than God (Jeremiah 17:5ff.). To Him is this honour and glory due (cf. Revelation 5:9,12,13, Isaiah 52:13-15). His rest shall indeed be glorious (Isaiah 11:10).

We have then explored our terrain but it is now time to revert to our special interest in Psalm 22. Accordingly, we shall now, as our target Psalm 22 does, look at the universal coverage of this EVERLASTING GOSPEL, declared in this around 1000 B.C. by King David, in a little diamond of beauty, sharp and dazzling, radiated by the Lord form whom it comes (cf. Acts 4:24, II Samuel 23:1-2). So far we have been seeing of this Gospel, its universal EFFICACY as declared from the first by God, and shown in hills and hillocks of revelation since the beginning (cf. Psalm 45, 72, Isaiah 11, 32, 49, 52-53 and see SMR Ch.9). Now we shall examine more minutely elements of its predicted accomplishment, duly performed.
 
 

3.

PSALM 22 ON ITS CATACLYSMIC WAY
TO THE SUMMER OF SALVATION

We hear at once the cry of the forsaken, the warmth of life, not only containerised in flesh, but princely in initiative, the life eternal which is from the Father, crying, crying -


The strong cries which alike are felt or heard in Hebrews 5:7, Luke 22:41-46, which were the prelude to the scene, now come into prophetic focus, and we hear in advance what the Gospels record, that sense of solitariness, which is the sentence on sin, one Christ was even then bearing for countless sinners whose lives would come to Him.

The miraculous power of the delivering God is rehearsed, but in the midst of the carnage which sin must bring, even though borne sacrificially, vicariously for others, there is almost a denaturising calamity. Nevertheless (Psalm 22:6-10), holy from the start, the Messiah proceeds as if immune to calamity, but not to the impact and anguish which is endemic to devastation. As here depicted in God's graphics, portrayed with high fidelity a millenium before it happened: He suffers in strength, though harassed by horror (Psalm 22:12-16).

Let us focus this.

Now in vv. 12-18, we see the incredibly vivid scene prophetically cast on the screen of our thought by words which are reporter's words, all foreseen by Him who reported, 1000 years ahead of time; such is God's control of time. We see the ruffian ecclesiastics, the murderous religious mafia, bullish in their self-preservation (found with comparison to Psalm 41, 69, 109), like a "raging and a roaring lion". It is useless to scorn to accept the realities of one's private life, as of history. Love seeks redemption for the lost, however, not scourging. As to that, this was HIS lot (Isaiah 53:5, cf. Psalm 22:12-21, 2:2-3).

In the midst of this exuberant folly from established powers, the powers that were and are effectual no more, the Messiah is for His part "poured out like water", and while His hand and His feet (v.16) are pierced, it is not hard to summon imagination to find how this would be conjoined with the anatomical fact that "all my bones are out of joint", nor with the fact that "my heart is like wax; it has melted within Me" (v.14).

we read, and the reason for this -

while infidel disfaith, ferocious and unkempt chomps on His soul.

Meanwhile, whilst they have their snarls and rending roars, like demented beasts (such as we see in detail in Matthew 27:37-44), cupidity reaches others who make a game ...
of securing His clothes for their personal property. So does idle contempt add to eloquent disdain.

His Father, His "Strength" (Psalm 22:19) is invoked to deliver Him, and the simple
declaration follows in verse 21:

Just as the Father ALWAYS heard Him, as He attested (John 11:42) at the raising of Lazarus,
so here, the sin being borne being a mission, there  comes the deliverance.

The deliverance ?

It is first of all that of reception into the Father's blessed presence as the ordeal is finished, and then the soon-to follow-resurrection of the body, even to the great manifestation of glory:

"I will declare Thy name to My brethren; in the midst of the assembly I will praise You.
My praise shall be of You in the great assembly... the poor will be satisfied"
(from Psalm 22:22,25-26).

Such was the culmination of His constant co-partnership with His eternal Father, just as they were in total accord with unmarred beauties of holiness in the day to day life of the Messiah (and for ever before that, Micah 5:1-3, John 17:1-3, John 8:58, Isaiah 48:16).

There was no limit to His obedience, no limit to His Father's answers to His prayers AS He fulfilled what He was sent into this world to do: it was something He did all the time. Hence He was bathed in a beauty of holiness (Psalm 110:3, cf. John 1:14) as startling in its freshness, as by contrast was the first sin of the first pair, mutinously unlovely to the point of atrocity, in its stale and stultifying folly.

But let us return from the initiation of human sin, to its atonement for all who receive this.

The FATHER having answered Him (v.21), at once we see results:


Here is the REVELATION of the answer. The dying life, anguished in an ecstasy of horror, heard, raised, is now able to rejoice in the very presence of the brethren. Not alone is power shown, but warmth, brotherhood being fostered. Death is unable to assert its authority, since sin is its domain, and sin is now covered, and innocence in its divine transparency honoured, His body raised (Psalm 16:9-10, Isaiah 26:19).

Here for all time, and beyond all time is the wonder of the salvation secured (cf. Ephesians 1:4, Revelation 14:6), in that the Son Himself become servant, injected into the situation a loveliness which was sinless and hence a power which was irresistible: breaching death, forcing the issue, overcoming as man all that was coming to man, acting as redeemer, for those to be redeemed (Psalm 110, Isaiah 53, Acts 2:22-32), who as sinners, could never have redeemed themselves.


 

4.

The INTERNATIONAL SUMMER OF SALVATION
FOR THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL
SPED WITH BEAUTIFUL FEET.

Now we find, in total accord with what we saw in part 1 above, that the gospel thus founded, is for

It is HE who shall raise up to visible life, what has passed on, in the last day (John 6:51-54).
Life eternal is His gift, by courtesy of His accomplishment transferable even to derivatives, even to those who receive Him, of that specialised creation in His own image, mankind. To these creations it is given, provided only they are HIS NEW CREATIONS, so comprising that peculiar or special nation which is HIS! (II Corinthians 5:17, I Peter 2:5-9, Isaiah 53:10; cf. SMR pp. 727, The Kingdom of Heaven... pp. 157-158).

All this is to have enduring results. Cut off, nevertheless He continues; for

"a seed shall serve him;
It shall be accounted to the Lord for the generation."

Without His own children, He will instead have a special people, a royal priesthood as His children, one constantly informing those to come of what He has done, down the ages, without loss or interruption! There was in the book of Genesis, account of various special people, like Noah and their generations. Whom shall the Lord then have, even Himself, when on earth ? NONE (as in Isaiah 53), nothing at all, physically.

It therefore becomes necessary, or expedient, or fulfulling, or a parallel to have what IS the generation He is to have. It is the seed (as in I John 3:9), who are spiritually begotten, and it is of course these who will serve Him: for that is the sort of generation, spiritual regeneration, which replaces THE normal generation. This is THE special generation, and hence the definite article in front of them, removing the mystery which comes from the incorrect translation of the NKJV, which fell short of the better word in the AV here.
 

THIS generation (cf. Romans 10:9), will indeed be free to speak, and will speak, since they are SPIRITUALLY His, and never a generation to come, never a people at any time, which will not hear through their sanctified lips.

"They shall come and shall declare his righteousness
Unto a people that shall be born, that he has done this."

Thus, although He had no children of His own, here is the genealogy in parallel to those in Genesis: and thus in keeping with the triumphant note of victory in 22:25=31, in the most acute contrast with the earlier horrors of His crucifixion, we find the pure dynamite, not destructive, but instructive, of a seething spiritual generation, His in perpetuity with His praise on their lips, and His gospel in their speech.

 

 He is well and even abundantly supplied. It is thus: for HIS FAMILY are the posterity which will serve Him, the people (Psalm 110) who will be volunteers, or "willing in the day of His power"!
Here, generation by generation, is the genealogical future for HIS FAMILY down the ages, as countless children arise to become His.

Indeed it is so far future, all this, as David writes around 1000 B.C.! that it is

who are to hear from "the generation", what He has done.

 

Thus the fact is this, that

 

in Psalm 22:30-31, the KJV has

"a seed shall serve him;
It shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation.
They shall come and shall declare his righteousness
Unto a people that shall be born, that he has done this."

while the NKJV has:

"A posterity shall serve Him.
It will be recounted of the Lord to the next generation.
They will come and declare His righteousness to a people who will be born,
That He has done this."

The latter simply does not fit the textual criteria, on which something further might be said.

The Hebrew verb concerned in the Piel form can mean count or recount (tell, narrate). It is intensive, and can be iterative, so allowing the deepened second meaning. In this case, the choice of translation is determined, one taken by the KJV and the other by the NKJV, by the context. As to the latter, there is no word 'next' in the text, so that this venture of the NKJV cannot stand by simple addition.

Could it stand without it ? This we must ask of the rendering : "It will be recounted of the Lord to the generation" ? WHICH is THE generation on this rendering! Why "of" when it is more normally to or for ? Accounted TO or FOR the Lord for the generation is what it states. It seems perfectly straightforward as written, with no additions : It will be accounted to the Lord for the generation.

In divine arithmetic, the accounting will be this: HERE is your generation, willing in this, the day of your power. Cut off, you lacked one, but now your children, the generation of those who serve you, will be millions! it will proceed with relish, rigour and vigour in the very spiritual terms for which you died, sacrificing your own generation, that you might acquire one that will live for ever. This will be in strong contrast with those who cannot keep their souls alive (22:29), the eternal version of a temporal family.

To change it ? simply add 'next', bring in a strange translation of the normative 'to or for' as 'of', make 'generation' a strange unknown, rather than 'generations' as in this mode of thought, though it is not there, and make this generation, not the next one or anything like that, just this mysterious quiddity 'the' generation, and let them spread the thought, though it is clearly in that case, a matter for successive generations.

Worst of all, you change a normal rendering of a preposition and add a word, leaving the generation most understandably, stranded. THE ? When however you take the words in their normal sense and without additives (always a good idea in a meaningful discourse, unless you want to be additional author or something rather like that), you simply have: It will be counted to the Lord, for the generation. This is precisely the thought, moreover in Isaiah 53, where He was cut off from the land of the living, and the question is therefore poignantly asked, WHO will declare His generation! How could they, since of natural offspring, He had NONE, a stress on the desolatory grossness of the treatment accorded Him. This in Isaiah, some 300 years after David's Psalm,  is near to a simple exegesis of Psalm 22, at the precise point at which we are looking.

The LORD Himself, whom after all, Psalm 22 focusses and describes, HE, as Isaiah 53 tells us, had NO offspring, because as Isaiah states expressly, He was cut off from the land of the living; and if any Psalm tells this with emphasis, it is Psalm 22! In Isaiah 53:10, we learn that when His soul is an offering for sin, it is then that He sees His seed (see  No. 8   in  the work, On Translations of the Bible). In other words, biologically He had no children, but spiritually He has many. This Peter picks up in I Peter 2, where we are who are believers in Christ are  a CHOSEN GENERATION, a royal priesthood, a special people.  WHO ?  Why there, those born of the Lord, begotten by His word (I Peter 2:23).

Let us revisit. Does the KJV rendering fit without addition also, the rest of the Psalm to follow ? This is further index for its test. When it is said that they will come and declare His righteousness to a people to come that He has done this, if we took the NKJV meaning, it would leave us still more stranded about THE generation. Who are they ? A people to be born ? In such a case, it is surely generations! However, taking it as counted to the Lord for the generation, it is the generation of those who serve Him, as appears very near to this, in Psalm 24:6. There we find the question, "Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD ?" answered in terms of those who, consecrated to the Lord, receive righteousness from Him (as in Isaiah 61:10, 44;5), even from "the God of his salvation" (Psalm 24:5).

What then is said of such in Psalm 24:6 ? : "This is Jacob, the generation of those who seek Him, who seek Your face." In spiritual terms we are dealing with a spiritual generation, indeed we have to, for in those terms there is no other. These ARE HIS generation, these are to come, these are to declare to a people not yet born, and so transmit (II Timothy 2:2).

Here is the concept PRECISELY as presented by PETER, namely that

it is a special people, a generation of spiritual kind,
whether or not locatable in an historical locus
.

The apostle also seems to be exegeting Psalm 22, not least, in this place. In Isaiah and Peter alike, the words resound to make those beautiful spiritual overtones which are so strong and frequent a part of that divine verbal symphony, divine in the sense that it is the word of the living God: the Bible.

To review: It is for this reason that "a posterity shall serve Him" (Psalm 22:30) - they do so because they are THE GENERATION which is HIS, generated by Him, in lieu of physical children, spiritually begotten, a remnant of grace. It is for the SAME reason that they will DECLARE His righteousness to a people to be born, in future times (not a generation, a people). So to act in the name of their Lord, Himself so deprived on earth as Psalm 22 forever depicts: It is their heritage, their joy and their privilege (Romans 10:9, Psalm 107:1).

It will not be His sin or His judgment which will dominate, since He had none, and was falsely accused; it will be HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS which will dominate the tongues, the fraud squad of truth disintegrating the past calumnies, just as the ensuing generations of Christians constitute the truth squad, the generation to come which are His special people, endlessly propagating to those to come, what has been in His finished work of atonement, and glorious power in resurrection. Thus is He the begetter of the generation that is a royal priesthood, who are not slack in their instruction of all who come in the future. Thus does a people to come who will serve Him (Ephesians 1:22-23, 4:15-16, 2:19-23; Psalm 110:3). This generation will be willing in the day of His power.

No wonder Isaiah 52 tells how that even the feet of the ambassadors who bear the knowledge of

THIS Gospel borne by THIS Messiah in THIS way...

are beautiful on the mountains.

Not scudding like clouds, they are rather struggling in the strength of love, the power of patience and the way of the Lord, to deliver with grace what in grace He established likewise, that it might be delivered. (Cf. II Corinthians 1:5, Colossians 1:24.)

 

THE GOSPEL - CONSIDER IT:

INTERNATIONAL is the thrust,

just as in Psalm 72, 117, Isaiah 49;

EVERLASTING is the character

of it, starting in the Garden of Eden and finishing in the kingdom of heaven, soon to be exhibited in the manifest presence of God in heaven itself (Ephesians 1:10, Colossians 1:19-23, Revelation 21-22).

ESSENTIAL for all mankind, is the call to it,

for "all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23), and the propitiation offered to God for these our sins, needs to be received by us on pain of eternal separation from Him who made us, lest no payment be received, no satisfaction of just claims effected through unbelief.

Why ? for it is "not for us only, but for the whole world" (I John 2:2). Just as it is offered on "behalf"  of the whole world, a generous act,so it must also become for each and every person, "in their place" (Matthew 20:28 cf. Matthew 26:28), something which occurs not for all, but statedly for "many" , thus becoming an effectual  acceptance, for if it does not, then what ? Then, as the Saviour Himself said, "You do not believe because you are not of My sheep" - (John 10:26). The universality of the offer is the scope of need; the particularity of the reception is the field of function, the food of the flock.

Therefore, while the life is offered to all, it is given in the place of His sheep, He giving His life for His sheep (John 10:11,14). Those for whom He is in fact delivered up to bear sin, are those to whom God freely GIVES ALL THINGS (Romans 8:32). Those for whom it is a mere spectacle are those who lacking faith, lack cover, but not sin!

In Him indeed are ALL THINGS to be gathered together (Ephesians 1:10), whether visible or invisible, whether they are shown accepted in Him through His sacrifice, now channeled to them; or reprobate by His standard of divine perfection, the Christ wilfully not accepted as a gift (II Cor. 5:10-11,19-21, Romans 9:31-10:21), and hence judged by Him.
 


Having provided freely the way home by grace to God, through faith in His suffering sacrifice, overcoming power and personal Shepherding, sealed by the Spirit of God in those who are His (Ephesians 1:7-13), His rejection is merely the rejection of the rejecting, whose need is blindly divorced, but whose sins remain.

ALL THINGS are to be reconciled to God by Christ's cross, for this is what has PLEASED THE FATHER (Colossians 1:19-21), and sinners seeking other doors or apertures (John 10:1), are merely lawbreakers all over again, and doubly so by dabbling in this house-breaking; whilst those who think they are without sin (John 1:7ff.) merely deceive themselves, having no similar powers with God!

The GOSPEL, the same gospel, the everlasting gospel, the unchangeable Gospel (Galatians 1, Acts 4:11-12) is
 


1) GOOD SHEPHERD (John 10:1-28, I John 5:12-13, Romans 8:28-39) within whose gracious bounds all things occur, or

2) REQUIRED MARK and Standard (Philippians 2:1-13, 3:8-14, II Cor. 5, I Peter 1:20-21, 2:20-21, Isaiah 11:10), or

3) JUDGE IN TRUTH (John 5:25-27, Matthew Chs. 7:21-23; 25, Revelation 19:11-16, 20:11-13), accurately assessing uncovered deficiencies

for it is HE who is that ONE.

Where, then,  in truth the only sacrifice for sins committed has been rejected, and since in truth there is no style of comparison with Christ, no light compared to this, the light of God,
 


as inconsolable in consequence, as imperious in cause.

Small wonder the word of the Lord says this:


 

NEVER

has sin had any other OUT option, guilt another peace,

or hope a different organ of deliverance.

Here is its crux, the way out from everlasting to everlasting, the payment whether for those in heaven or on earth (Colossians 1:19-23).
 
 

It stretches back

BEFORE THE FOUNDATION

of the world both in its design and its known accomplishment (Ephesians 1:4, Revelation 5:12, 13:8), and

to

ALL THE DENIZENS of all spheres, visible and invisible,

for its declaration and its wisdom (Ephesians 1:4, 3:10-12, II Timothy 1:9-10, Colossians 1:19-23).

His kingdom shall know

NO END

(Daniel 7:26-28,14, Isaiah 9:1-7, Hebrews 12:26-29, 9:15;28, 6:17-20, Hebrews 13:8, John 5:19-23, 12:47-50, 17:22-28, 16:14-15, Philippians 2:9-11, 3:21, Galatians 1:6-9,6:14, Acts 4:11-12, Revelation 22:18-19, 22:1-5, 5:9-14; see Part 13 supra, 55-66, esp. p.59).

Surely this is a time for exultation, for when He to whom it is due is exalted, then there is joy. Into that joy, may you come, reader, and as to that One who gives it, because of the wonder that He is, may you find Him (I Peter 1:8), of whom Peter says this, by the Holy Spirit:

"whom having not seen, you love; in whom, though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy nspakable and full of glory" .
 
 
 
 
 
 

NOTE

*1

See A Spiritual Potpourri, Ch.12, All This Rot about Not Believing the Gospel, esp. pp. 168ff.; cf. John 8:58, 5:19-23; Isaiah 48:16, Zechariah 2:8,3:9, Psalm 45, I John 1:1-4, 4:9-10, Micah 5:1-3, Item 27, pp. 201ff. in Barbs, Arrows and Balms, and The Shadow of a Mighty Rock pp. 532-560 esp. 546-550.