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16


RAIN:

The SOUL of Refreshing and
The Refreshing of the SOUL
 

1. THE DROUGHT THAT CRIES

Oh this will be one of those devotionals which I loathe! someone may say. It will be about my spirit, my candle of the Lord by which He examines my inward parts, as His word puts it. But yes! It is about your spirit, your living soul in the image of God whereby refreshing and disillusion, sadness and weariness of your being inward being, monotony or lifeless deficiency of tone in your life can be before us. But it would be apt to look to the Lord, as if you were a person - oh you are! Good then it will be most apt to look to the Lord SINCE YOU ARE A PERSON. Why shouldn't persons be personal? Why should robots be robotic. Let each be in its place. We certainly have enough robots! I speak metaphorically in that their increase in production may not be bad; it is the producers who depersonalise in great numbers, and man in the image of the robotic is idiotic. He is made by and for God.

But, you may say, this will be about barbs! No, a little work on "barbs, arrows and balms" does not ALWAYS have to be on all three. This one is about BALMS. Let me illustrate. Often when this or that happens to my surface exterior of the body, my skin, my little enclosure unit which is so delightfully an ORGAN as a whole, and over whole areas seems to have a sort of sympathy, part with part, so that to affect one point of skin you may have to entertain the needs of a whole area: then I use aloe. It is a most remarkable substance and no wonder they used it with dead bodies. It is a balm par excellence for the body; and the Lord is the balm of balms for the soul, the refresher of refreshers for the soul. After all, HE made it, and trouble in one point may well need integral action for your whole person! The world's ill's could be containerised in a moment if people looked after their souls in the Lord, for they are astonishing things; they reflect that OUR human lives (oh that they were HUMANE LIVES!) are made in the image, able to entertain fellowship with the Almighty.

With the ALMIGHTY! Yes, that is the position. It is wonderful, and as with many wonderful things, it can be ravished and ravaged in ways that relate to its construction. So millions of "mental patients", often ravished and ravaged souls, are pill-popped into some kind of mental anaesthesia, analysed (if there should happen to be time) into some kind of pagan, secular motivational situation, blind leading the blind, till the poor remnants are like a remnant sale about which the populace has been a tad vigorous in the division. I have even seen one (sweet) lady of around 70 years, dragged screaming from her (locked) motor vehicle, to be retained against the wishes of her (very patient and gentle husband, devoted to her welfare) and to her obvious detriment in a pill-pop place. I say "seen"!

Actually that was metaphorical. I HEARD of the screaming from her not unnaturally aggrieved husband; but saw the lady much latter, when trying very vigorously to secure her escape from this dormitory of horror, where inadequate staff (confessedly) tried to execute an inadequate program with overstated symptoms, since apparently they did not have time to find out, as we did, what in this area of behaviour, the actual deficiencies in her Alzheimer's condition were. At last we found a very senior psychiatrist who faced the facts and began to seek for her total release. (She had been allowed some days off, and time off was increasing, and how she loathed the very thought of returning to the hospital, which, in her Alzheimer condition, she sometimes referred to as "the toilet").

Unfortunately, she died, after many months of our seeking an earlier physical release through supposedly enlightened review committees, before this, her final and involuntary release. Such are the tender mercies of men. In this interim, we sought to bring her to the Lord, and it may be that she, appreciating it greatly, did come.
 
 

2. THE WONDER THAT REFRESHES

THAT is the refreshing that counts. There is a place for many temporary remedies at different times and in different conditions, but THIS is the remedy before all remedies; for the Lord REFRESHES His inheritance when it is weary, He confirms and establishes it; He restores it vigour and enlightens its vision. So we read in Psalm 68:9:

THOU O GOD, DIDST SEND A PLENTIFUL RAIN, BY WHICH THOU DIDST CONFIRM THINE INHERITANCE, WHEN IT WAS WEARY.

It is raining now, and it is just that sort of gentle rain from heaven of which William Shakespeare was so aware when he spoke of mercy! Psalm 65 deals with this beautiful restful, refreshing balm:

You visit the earth, and water it; You greatly enrich it with the river of God, which is full of water; You prepare them grain, when you have so provided for it. You water the ridges of it abundantly; you settle the furrows of it, you make it soft with showers; You bless its springing. You crown the year with goodness... (vv. 9-11).

As so often, there is a movement

  • from the visible to the invisible,
  • from the outward nurture of things apparent
  • to the inward cherishing of things
  • which cry and sigh, though there is no tape on which they are recorded;
  • which yearn, though there is no measurement,
  • things invisible in the domain of peace and beauty, goodness and understanding, though there be no meter;
  • the things which above all weaponry determine, at the purely human aspect, the course of history,
  • since these are the motivational springs, the qualities and the resurgences which move the hands which make the weapons, and the hearts which rebut them!


Here is the turf of destiny, such as moved so many European scientists of fame and distinction, to rush off to
America in order to prevent Hitler from enslaving the world. Their (invisible) dedication and (unseen) ideologies subdued for the time, in the great hand of God, the thrust to the enslavement of the world; though it is true, the world is to come very close to this extremity and misrule, in the ensuing efflorescence of the antichrist, when he arises, more international than Hitler, Napoleon or Stalin. The antichrist to come: that symbol of the visible and burning bushfire exported from hell, he is for this time restrained, but his stage entry is long since prepared

Of course, beyond all this that is invisible in man, is the architect of history, Himself; but within His hand, these motivations and activations have their significant place.

Man is not moved by machinery, but by heart and enterprise, vision and desire, products of life within him, whatever its quality... As to God, "He works all things after the counsel of His own will", Ephesians 1:11; and that, it can be exceedingly deep. For God, there is no number, no limit to His understanding (Psalm 147:5). We build computers which, through our CREATED minds are made able to do billions of actions per second. GOD made the minds that made the computers. There is simply no number for the limitless infinitude of the depth of God. And thank God, that depth is also applicable in the case of HIS MERCY!

Such mercy is refreshing, delightful, and it extends to the gift in Love of His own Love, the Son of God, Jesus Christ, in agony excruciating of soul and body, to bear, even to the point of apparent displacement from His divine eternity, the crushing follies of flesh, though He had none of His own. Sacrifice was never so worthy, sublimity more divine.

Mercy can be like rain because He has already borne, ourselves apart, the pain. It is like a doctor who having done the research, can now make its results available. With God there is no need for research in this, that He knows all; but the results of what HE DID AT CALVARY,

  • these are freely available, and
  • are wholly transforming to the heart,
  • first in its conversion to light,
  • then in its conforming to the glory of His light (Titus 3:5, II Corinthians 3:18).


 

3. THE REJUVENATION OF THE REFRESHED

Enough, the refreshing of our spirits, our souls, our extraordinary, God-made lives when they are weary is a wonder performable in the end, only by God. Others may

  • reduce irritation,
  • attenuate frustration,
  • minimise pain,
  • but they do not endue with wisdom that sees,
  • knowledge that delivers and

companionship which blesses into the highest internal reaches of the heart of man.

That? it is the nature of man, and the desire to denature him so that he may be restored in some pathetically superficial package of works, that is one of the gravely comic preoccupations of our dying Age!

But we are still to look at the NON-METAPHORICAL directness of things. Look at Psalm 72, in which the Messiah, that outward expression of the Father to the children of men, the Lord Jesus Christ is prefigured by prophecy, which as in all things, in this also is also true. Of Him it says this:

HE SHALL COME DOWN LIKE RAIN UPON THE MOWN GRASS, LIKE SHOWERS THAT WATER THE EARTH (Psalm 72:6).

That! it is to the point. Just as we have been seeing in the Psalms in the 60's, the metaphorical balm, so here it is actualised into palpable reality at the level of man himself. Rain on mown grass is especially delightful. The interface, being sharp after the cutting, is precise, and dewdrops tend to cluster at edges so that when the LIGHT COMES, there is a bedazzlement with point of gold, green, blue and yellow, rainbow symphonies in a drop! We sight it after rain, gleaming here one colour, there another till the very earth is paved with glory.

What does it mean? This, that when we are chastened (or even chastised if necessary as we grow in Christ), we are like mown grass. Hebrews 12:1-15 tells us much about chastening. It is never delightful in itself, but like mown grass after its becoming ragged, too long, too sprawling, it can have delightful results, apparent to all. It is amazing how readily we may see the NEED others have for chastening (we may of course often be wrong, but the principle is there!), see how beneficial the divine and paternal correction is for them; but when it comes to ourselves, I suppose it is partly because we would not need it so much if we realised in advance what was wrong, that it can come as rather a surprise.

For my part, at times I wonder how gentle it is, and at times, rarely, how strong! But that is the nature of discipline. It does not by any means always come because one KNEW better; often it is because one OUGHT to have known better, but being too indelicate in relation to the Lord, not sufficiently sensitive at some point for some reason, one did NOT realise! THIS helps the sensitivity situation and one can thus grow in grace! (II Peter 3:18) ... and in knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.

OTHERS ought to do so, obviously ... ; but ah! one needs also oneself to grow in love and grace and humility and understanding and prudence and courage and discretion and goodness and forbearance and vigilance. In fact, read II Peter 1 on growth. It is vitalising just to see there the steps in series, like someone in kindergarten looking on to University in due course. We must all grow; and in fact, the bodily growth is merely a pointer; for it is the growth in spirit, heart and mind which is surpassing; for God? He IS a Spirit (John 4:14,24).

Now one of the things that helps grass to grow is a gentle rain from heaven; and one of the things that helps us who are in the image of God (the 5 billion of us, or so, but within that, those who are PLANTED IN CHRIST - see Romans 6, Isaiah 61) to grow is the gentle application of His presence, the movement through His Spirit, which anoints so softly, leads so gently and refreshes to the uttermost reaches of the heart. It stimulates growth, appoints healing to wounds and glints with rainbow lights, as we are strengthened with new vision and gifted with new understanding, just as Paul describes in Ephesians 1:17-18:

  • That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory may give to you
  • the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him,
  • the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know
  • what is the hope of His calling, and
  • what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and
  • what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe,
     
  • according to the working of His mighty power, which He wrought in Christ
  • when He raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places,
     
  • far above all principality and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in that which is to come, and has put all things under His feet,
     
  • and gave Him to the head over all things in the Church, which is His body the fulness of Him who fills all in all.
     

But let us return to Psalm 72 and the Messiah coming like rain upon the mown grass.

"He shall deliver the needy when he cries; the poor also, and he who has no helper. He shall spare the poor and needy, and save the souls of the needy. He shall redeem their soul from deceit and violence and precious shall their blood be in His sight."

It is true that this Psalm is focussed on the COMING REIGN of Jesus Christ over the earth which, whether it has been free enterprise, communism or nazism does not show much talent for ruling itself. It is true that the latter two are devastating untrue and childishly, or infantilely corrupted, unable to stand before the logic of events as well as the logic of disciplined criticism of thought.

It is true free enterprise allows us to make our own mistakes, comparatively, which is far better, for man who would rule like god is worse than sod, he does not have this ability. Yet freedom, marvellous though it is, when misused can likewise lead to hell. Its rule, by itself, though incomparably superior to tyranny, can yield a tyranny of its own. Man in the end, cannot rule man.

The only exception is Jesus Christ, who though He was in the form of God, as Philippians 2 tells us and His works declare, for obedience and that final refreshing, the redemption of people, became man; and went willingly to the Cross where the price is paid for each who comes to Him. Otherwise, as He said, they die in their sins (John 8:24).

However, the redemption that presents peace within, channels grace and is the code of conquest in deliverance from death, from the devil, from vagueness and from the rule of that assassin of life, sin: this has come already, and with it and as channel for it, the resurrection of Christ's body, so that His power, as Paul indicated as written just above, is available to His body, the Church. THAT redemption, it was the final payment; but the dealings 'on account', these have long been operative for the saints of God from millenia ago. The redemption of the BODY? THAT is to come. This Paul declares in Romans 8:23, the securing of that which is already attested and guaranteed (Ephesians 1:13-14, John 6:51-54).

You often have in the Bible this movement, like range upon range in the distance, from the sufferings and redemptive activity of Christ, to the later glory, and He Himself signalised the transition and movement to the disciples very clearly indeed, as written in Luke 24:26-27.

Indeed, after His resurrection, He expressed something very like indignation that they, disciples who studied the Bible, had not realised these two great phases, the redeeming in suffering and rule in glory, in His regal progress in the way no other man has ever trodden; for no other man has the distinction of having been with the Father in glory before the world was, and being His word made flesh. It is when God becomes man that man may become godly.

It is for this reason of what was done by Christ - which earlier was predicted and still to come, but is now past : that David could call on the Lord and be answered with balm, grace and power, so that though he suffered, yet he prevailed in completing what for him then was the will of God.

As it was for him, so it is for us who believe: the Lord is near to those who seek Him, humble and contrite in spirit, by the path which He has appointed. The price is paid, the power He provides for His purposes, the fulfilment of His will. It is a path of peace, however many be murdered; for the invisible things of God are clearly seen, deeply felt, and acutely evidenced.

Thus we read:

"To this man will I look, even to him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembles at my word" - Isaiah 66:2; and -

"The Lord is near to those who are of a broken heart, and saves such as are of a contrite spirit" - Psalm 34:18.

And before it, this:

"The righteous cry, and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles."

"God," said Jesus, " is a Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth".

And again (from John 14:9-11),

"Have I been such a long time with you, and yet you have not known me, Philip?
He who has seen me has seen the Father; and how do you say, then,
show us the Father? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you, I do not speak of Myself;
but the Father who dwells in Me, He does the works.
Believe Me that I am in the Father , and the Father in me;
or else believe me for the very works' sake."

One of those great works is refreshing His inheritance when it is weary; and the refreshing is so wonderful, it is almost like a patient who finds hospital such a joy, that it was almost worth being sick ( I do not think hospitals have much chance to be like that now, and for my part, they seem next door to the morgue, but that is personal merely!).

"Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him;
do not fret yourself because of him who prospers in his way,
because of the man who brings wicked devices to pass ...
For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be...
But the meek shall inherit the earth,
and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace"
- from Psalm 37:7-10.

What then? This: "Delight yourself also in the Lord, and he shall give you the desires of your heat. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass."

And waiting? Remember this:

"Have you not known?

Have you not heard,

that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, faints not, neither is weary?

There is no searching of His understanding.

He gives power to the faint; and to those who have no might He increases strength.

Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall,

but they who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength;

they shall mount up with wings like eagles;

they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint"

- Isaiah 40:28-31.

And what preceded this:

"Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, I Israel, My way is hidden from the Lord,
and the judgment due to me is passed away from my God?"

It is THEN, when the saints who are the believers in the Lord with the faith that has legs, that is not dead: it is then that the Lord so strengthens those who WAIT on HIM! Hidden their way may seem, but they are not hidden from God who changes the texture of their hearts, restores their strength, refreshes their beings, as if tensioning their spirits to their orderly strength in repose, their functional beauty in action. He is there to be enquired of, acting as He sees fit, the most perfect of physicians, the specialist who is also the Creator of the souls of mankind.

And then consider this:

"One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in His temple.
For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion;
in the secret of His tabernacle shall He hid me;
He shall set me up upon a rock"
Psalm 27:4-5.

That Rock is

  • immovable,
  • imponderable,
  • mighty, it is
  • stable,
  • restful, living rock, it
  • penetrates to the heart of things and
  • gives rest to the heart.


Strength lies within it and it communicates as it communes. THAT is the ROCK on which the church stands (see The Shadow of a Mighty Rock, pp. 1061-1072 and Index), on which the Christian stands, in company with which he/she walks, as at the Emmaus road (Luke 24).

To this rock, there is neither beginning nor end, and of His kingdom there shall be no end; and WHAT A KINGDOM! What A KING! See Psalm 45, 110 for His beauty, the beauty of holiness:

"Your people shall be willing in the day of Your power;
in the beauties of holiness from the womb the morning,
You have the dew of Your youth... He shall drink of the brook in the way;
therefore shall He lift up the head."

Look at John 21 for the way He lifted up the fallen head of ... Peter! He lives now as always, "Jesus Christ the same, today, yesterday, forever" (Hebrews 13:8).

Speaking of beauty, let us pursue our earlier parallel, itself drawn from the Psalm, on the rain on the mown grass. Remember this: that when you look at the grass from slightly different aspects, moving, you see now golden yellow, now soft green, then blue in a twinkling, as the angle of the light in the drop-prism changes. SO too when you seek the Lord early, arising and seeking Him (cf. Proverbs 8), when day by day you find new mercies as you arise, you find new insights, new flushes the dawning of the morning which in time, will outdistance this time of ours, and be the bloom of the perfect day in that place where, pilgrimage past, the LORD HIMSELF will be both the light and the temple.
 
 



17
THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL


 

This Section 17 has been now replaced (2009) with a revised Chapter found at this link

TRINITY 10

which should now be used instead.

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

 

  • From the FALL to the FALLEN,
  • from sin's advent in the human heart to the first decline which accompanied it,
  • and has developed ever since, often like rotten pears left alone after their first damage;
  • from the time when man on this earth first asserted his spoiled, inglorious will to be and live outside the will of God:

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,

and 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:

  • "But God will redeem my soul from the power of hell,
  • For HE SHALL RECEIVE ME" - Psalm 49:15 (emphasis added).
     

Around this pearl of tranquillty, 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),
 

  • "He was wounded for our transgressions and by His stripes are we healed."


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 or possible for any sinner; and as we have just seen, it is not even helpful. It is an impossible task, to atone for sin, unless you are

  • 1) God and thus
  • 2) sinless

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

  • Instead, then, of a futile if sacrificial offering of Isaac, we find in the inspired account of the life of Abraham,
  • it is the LORD who provides His own sacrifice, and this ? what was it ?
  • IT IS A RAM, caught in the thicket, by his horns,
  • just as the Lamb of God, the Messiah,  would be "supplied" to be caught,
  • caught by His truth, the truth abutting from Him like horns of a ram, truth saliant and valiant, which for none would He demean (Isaiah 53:9, Mark 14:61-62).

 

  • All as divinely planned and even forecast in writing,
  • in Isaiah and other prophets, many centuries beforehand, comes to pass.
  • Seized in a thicket of ecclesiastical thieves, the Messiah is shown no mercy.
  • Adding curse to curse by their misuse of the very means of mercy,
  • prostituting the temple dedicated to the service of God,


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) to secure

  • "the Church", as Stephen expressed it for even earliest times in the wilderness (Acts 7:38),
  • and the nation for its survival (John 11:48-52, Matthew 27:18).
  • The trade-in was both inglorious and unwise, for it did nothing to prevent a surge of devastation, destruction and ruin. Worse, it had been asked for and gained, as it by request.


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 on 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, on the one hand, and
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).

 

Many of Israel 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 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

  • in its now thoroughly international calamities,
  • escalating like particles whirled in a cyclotron,
  • in race, nations, fears, environment, resources,
  • "fierce" if not insane violations of morals, mankind, children and bodies


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

  • till the pit crawls with the corruption of anything
  • from political power to family integrity,
  • abuse of the name of God to forced authoritarian State instruction
  • which fears no height and, in this land, fails all challenge to debate.


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).

  • "If," however, as Christ declared,
  • "you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" - John 8:31-32.


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,

  • "He who has seen Me has seen the Father".

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 -

  • "The Prince of peace. Of the increase of government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon His kingdom, to order and to establish it with justice and with righteousness from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this."


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

  • a) deity
  • b) sent from Deity
  • c) sent into human format,

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

  • "GOD WILL REDEEM MY SOUL" (Psalm 49:15,8),

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:

  • The deity,
  • long announced as the Redeemer,
  • and indeed to come as the son of David
  • (Psalms 72, 45, 2 - where, in the last,  one is to put one's TRUST in Him, when God alone is the permissible repository for faith, outside idols).
  • Here and thus is He here exposed in the Person *1 of the SON of God
  • in whom all are to rejoice who look for the wonder of the Lord (Isaiah 9, Psalm 2, Psalm 110).


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,

  • "Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten Thee! ... Kiss the Son lest He be angry, and you perish in the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in him" (Psalm 2, from vv. 7-12).

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.

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):

  • by excruciating suffering of body, mind and soul,
  • indeed by the provision of life, in a life for life ransom price (Romans 5:8-10)
  • from the infinitude of God,
  • who sent His Redeemer , the brightness of His glory (Hebrews 1:1-3) and express image of His Person,
  • from the wonders of eternity.

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), not 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,

but to the Messiah, Son of David, Son of God in human format

(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.).

  • "Israel shall be saved with an everlasting salvation ..."

and He who so acts is

  • "a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside Me. Look to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is none else" .

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

  • "Come near to Me, hear this: I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, there am I: and now the Lord God, and his Spirit has sent Me".

The path is clear:

  • "by His knowledge shall My righteous servant justify many, for He shall bear their iniquities";

and so too the end result:

  • "and the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and to those who turn from transgression in Jacob, says the Lord"

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

Does He not declare with the utmost zest and vitality,

  • "I, even I, am the LORD, and beside Me there is no Saviour ...


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 thefirst, 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 to the 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). 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.

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).

  • The divine intimacies of yore to the prophets and to Moses, now are made manifest through a face;
  • the divine mercy through a visible mouth,
  • the divine love and anguish at the follies of the straying, in the heartland of the Cross,
  • the divine power in the resurrection,
  • and the divine precision in His words who so came, so left and is so to return, at the hour appointed for His impact: Jesus Christ the righteous (John 12:48-50, Acts 3:14-15, 7:52).

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,

  • "Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him; that glory may dwell in our land.


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

It is everlasting righteousness (Isaiah 51:6).

For 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,

  • "God forbid that I should glory except in the Cross of the Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world" -
  • Galatians 6:14 (cf. John 12:32-33).

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,

  • "Your people shall be willing in the day of Your power; in the beauties of holiness, from the womb of the morning, You have the dew of Your youth. The Lord has sworn, and will not relent: 'You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchisedek.' "


 

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,

  • this marvellous work (Isaiah 29:13-14)
  • in which the sacrificers sacrifice the One for whom the sacrifices are made ... along with their sacrifices,
  • that He, the sacrifice should redeem them in the very midst of their outrage,
  • cleaning and cherishing, praying as Isaiah 53 tells us, for the transgressors,
  • making intercession for them
  • as they lapse into the assassination of their Lord.

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.

  • The crux at the Cross, high in drama, is yet low as hell in vileness,
  • as the brilliant Messianic star, come to earth, absorbs the cloud (Revelation 22:16, Philippians 2:1-10).

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 intransigeant 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
 

  • both with the prophets
  • and ... with history.


(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:

  • "I will search for My sheep and seek them out"

(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 -

  • "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me!"

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).

  • "Dogs have surrounded Me,"

we read, and the reason for this -

  • "You have brought Me to the dust of death" - (cf. Isaiah 53:10)

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:

  • "You have answered Me!"

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:

  • " I will declare Your name to My brethren. In the midst of the assembly I will praise You. You who fear the LORD, praise Him!" (v.22).


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.

  • "He has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; Nor has He hidden His face from Him: But when He cried to Him, He heard" - Psalm 22:24.


 

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

  • "all the ends of the world" (v.27). Indeed,
  • "all the families of the nations shall worship before You. For the kingdom is the LORD's, and He rules over the nations" - v.28.
  • Death is now His peculiar domain as deliverer, His secured charge, for He has overcome it, and brought life and immortality to light (Titus 1:2-3, cf. Isaiah 26:19) so that
  • "all those who go down to the dust shall bow before Him;
    even he who cannot keep himself alive".
     

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

  • "a people who will be born"
     

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.
 

  • And what a judge is this! He is the One who knows
  • not only as Author,
  • but as bearer vicariously of sin for many,
  • the meaning and practical impact of sin,
  • while showing by sinlessness the quality and calibre of sinlessness.


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
 

  • essential to all, provided for all, rejected by many, received by many,
  • and in the jurisdiction of  Christ Jesus the LORD,
  • ALL things being gathered together in one, as shown in Ephesians 1:10,
  • all will be met by Him, whether as


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,
 

  • then the preference for darkness is its own final condemnation (John 3:17-19,


as inconsolable in consequence, as imperious in cause.

Small wonder the word of the Lord says this:

  • "How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard!" (Hebrews 2:3).


 

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.