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NEWS 47

Has it come to that ? A little space of time is left before the God who made space returns as the Man from Beyond Space, making our space probes with radio-telescopes for intelligent messages the more ludicrous. It is the acme of anachronism. It has all happened 2000 years ago. HE has come. HE will return. Secular society is millenia behind the times. It is looking for the wrong person from the wrong site for the wrong reason.

Time Magazine, p. 15, Feb. 15, 1999

Certainly it is interesting, more Moslem hands on more potential gateways to atomic weaponry, in the very heart and midst of an ancient Empire which updated itself with vast Western aid, and currently lives not a little on the same.

Thus we read that Chechnya has opted through a combination of the preference of the armed forces and the meditations thereon (or perhaps on other things as well) of the President, for a Moslem constitution. Indeed, we find the President revoked the parliament's "legislative functions", no mean section of the total!  and ORDERED it to CO-OPERATE with Muslim leaders in writing such a constitution to REPLACE secular law!

Outstanding! As we have seen in The Shadow of a Mighty Rock ('SMR' cf. pp. 510ff., 516ff.), the Caucasus region, and areas beyond to the North, are precisely the sovereignly selected site for the consummate assault on Israel which has for so many millenia been predicted.

Its results are to make devastation an art form. We indeed read of it not merely in Ezekiel 38-39, but in Isaiah 66:14-16, but in 49:25-26, 42:14-17, and Deuteronomy 32. We have outlined the total scope of the  read-out from before Christ's coming to the contemporary situation in SMR pp. 755ff., esp. to 836, but with a mini-map for the preliminary outlook. Before however we address these facts, let us consider the actual Moslem situation a little more in this arena... for that is what some such location, in this very region, is destined to become.

Time notes the likelihood of Moslem rule spreading to the fascinatingly named Dagestan, and Ingushetiya; but there is no mean Moslem enclave in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia,  the Kazhak area and of course, Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran; and Libya in its present government seems to have  shown a trend for interest in things unattractive to peace in Israel, for example. Such nations are indicated as shown in the SMR reference (516ff.) noted above. The huge thrust of it all reminds one of the Pan-Islam Conference of 1991 around the time of the earlier Gulf War. The call (SMR p. 518) then went out for Iran's parliament to discuss ways of assisting the Palestinian Interfadeh; and the fascinating phrase was this: "Islamicize all opposition to Israel". Clearly the means, the aggregations, the weapons the - shall we say - tilt of thought, all congregate like so many bees, or wasps or predators circling, in the divinely demarcated arena noted (cf. Matthew 24:28).

What makes it still more delightful to the enquiring mind seeing the hand of God in human affairs at this level, is this: the RETURN of the Jews to their land is an important PRELIMINARY to this assault, and this is a noted CRITERION for the general time of the attack, as seen BOTH in Isaiah and in Ezekiel. Thus the latter, in 38:11-12, the prophet SPEAKS OF ISRAEL AS BROUGHT BACK FROM THE NATIONS and to be established without further ado. This then is a focussed feature.

As we have seen in SMR Appendix A, for example, this time in Ezekiel is one which has various characterising features. Thus it comes after an international return of the Jews (Ezekiel 37) in a sort of divine disgrace, whereby God harangues them for their unfaithfulness, while in faithfulness to His own promises bringing them back, for all that (cf. 36:19-32). Brought back, they are in this vignette, this tableau, to be brought into a new covenant which as noted is yet to come (cf. 36:25ff., cf. 11:19ff., and Jeremiah 31:31), but which is centred in Christ, the Messiah (Ezekiel 37:24ff.), as also detailed in Isaiah (11, 40,42,49,52-53,55,65:13-15 etc., and Ezekiel 34).

The result of the battle to come, when this new nation is assaulted at this stage, is this for those Jews concerned:

       "The nations also will know that I, the LORD, sanctify Israel, when My sanctuary is in their midst forevermore" - 37:28.

       This is picked up further in Ezekiel 39:27-28, after the divine storm against the forces looming  and then lunging to plunder and pulverise Israel (as detailed in Ezekiel 38-39). Then, says the Lord, He will be " ' hallowed in them in the sight of many nations. Then they shall know that I am the LORD their God, who sent them into captivity among the nations, but also brought them back to their land ... And I will not hide My face from them any more: for I shall have poured out My Spirit on the house of Israel,' says the Lord GOD."


Here we see the step 2) as above, the outpouring of the Spirit of God upon Israel, as in Zechariah 12:10, where it is set forth prominently and at length. The whole scene has changed. Now Israel is, as shown in the commencement of Zechariah 12, a nation with a decisive change toward the Lord, and the ground of national discipline is removed as the chastisement complete. Now it is the predator nations who assault it who receive the lesson.

The teaching method by this stage is drastic, as are the results (cf. Ezekiel 39:5ff., Isaiah 66:15-16), where military symbols reek with ruin.

Ezekiel 37, in which the predicted and contemporary situation is set up, as we have traced elsewhere in detail, has TWO main phases.

1) The assembling of the dry and internationally scattered 'bones' of the Jewish people to their homeland as promises to Abraham; and

2) the filling of this assemblage, bone on bone, with flesh and life, indeed with the breath of life by specific and secondary prophetic command (37:11-14,21-24). THAT event is traced in breath-taking detail in turn, in Zechariah 12:10: They shall look upon Me whom they have pierced", comes the divine pronouncement as we have seen earlier.

We must remember that Zechariah is full of the Messiah: thus in Ch. 3:9 we find Him evacuating the iniquity of the land IN ONE DAY, or of those who are its accepted occupants in His New Covenant as before noted; in 9:9 see His procession on an ass's colt, in 11:13 see Him, as God, betrayed in fleshly format and SOLD for 30 pieces of silver, in 14 see Him return personally and again in physical format to the land, assuming world rule, before the evacuation of the present universe (as in Matthew 24:35, Isaiah 24 and 51:6).

The FIRST part of the Ezekiel return to UNREVOKED continuation in the blessing of the Lord has happened in the life-times of many of our readers, and of some of us (Ezekiel 37:26-28). It was 1948 with the temple finally secured in 1967, as was of course necessary if, as Zechariah 12 shows so clearly, the Jews in this final POST-MESSIAH time (i.e. one from which they can look BACK as in 12:10 and MOURN for having PIERCED HIM), should gain this city. Otherwise how could they have been attacked in it! Indeed, Christ in Luke 21:24 speaks clearly of its lease out, in the punishment of God, to the Gentiles UNTIL the time appointed for this is over!

To revert to the Ezekiel-provided situation: The INTERVENTION in this scenario of a VAST multi-national attack from the Northern confederacy is so significant as to occupy more than one chapter; and the response is climacteric. That is the RESPONDING intervention, that of God Almighty. It will SPEAK to the nations in easily identifiable language (Ezekiel 39:28-29).They, the UN in general and ONLY LATELY the U.S. have shown a certain difficulty in hearing ... which in this way could be remedied. God has chosen a people for a place for a purpose; and what better title for the ownership of land than having ... CREATED IT! (cf. News 46).

You see this same setting and result in Isaiah. Thus in Isaiah 66, it is spectacular. The Jewish prophet, having detailed the salvation in the Messiah (Chs. 52-53), while noting that GOD HIMSELF ALONE is the Saviour (43:10-11), so identifies the Messiah as God on earth. (This is something which historically  the Pope has claimed to be, but Christ the claim has reason cf. SMR Ch.10 pp. 1045-1088). Most understandably, therefore, the Lord proceeds*1 in Isaiah 66:3 to repudiate the (NOW) unnecessary and ludicrous animal sacrifices, acts of a former epoch, before this, the Messiah came. After all, there is no more need to be a shouting newsboy if you have become an atomic scientist! This rejection of the earlier mode comes with the ONCE shed blood (Hebrews 9) of Christ covering all who are His from all time to all time (cf. Isaiah 52-53, where He bears the iniquity of those who BELIEVE in Him - 53:1, 55:1ff., News 46, references therein and Barbs, Arrows and Balms 17).

What need is there any more for introductory rites which prepared the way! So Isaiah repudiates these animal sacrifices in blunt terms indeed, for the era to which His New Covenant predicted program relates - that is now.

Having spoken, as a Jewish prophet, of the Jewish shortcoming, in 66:4, of the blessedness of those to be cast out for their faith in the Messiah by those who will not yield the bud for the bloom, the preliminary for the finale, the prophet (who cannot be called racist, for he is one of his own race, the good of which he passionately and sacrificially seeks) speaks of a sudden event.

In history where is its equal in kind ? (66:7-9). A whole nation will ARISE like a sudden rain shower; it will just BE in a way which seems to mock the idea of gestation!

"Who has heard such a thing ? Who has seen such things!" (66:8), the prophet marvels as the Lord sets out for his envisioning eye, the things which are to be.

"Shall a nation be born at once!" - he expostulates. Yes, it shall be; or rather now, looking back, we can say that  it was so born, with a constructive magnificence which resembles, at the other end of the scale, the destructive force of a cyclone.

It was in May 1948, and against all likelihood, that a small aboriginal population (I like that, since the Jews were there for so long, and seemed - though back - to be made to look foreign, while this was theirs by divine order, Genesis 12:1-3, 17:1ff. etc.)  'took over'. This was despite the evacuation of the British (which had for long been sympathetic, following the Balfour Declaration of 1917, but had become most markedly less so as they hindered returning Jews escaping the ghoulishness of Europe, even, after the World War II,  turning back some of the naval hulks they used to seek refuge back in Palestine).

The Arab Legion however was prepared - though not for what in fact was to happen, for who can fight against God, when He states and foretells His ways! Yes, the Legion was official; was formed and formatted; but the Jews were among the rest, a presence merely. Yet the Lord delivered them as He promises in this precise setting (Zechariah 12) and so they acted as mighty-mouse in the midst of midgets, who in fact were like a Goliath in resources and in population, and of course, perhaps most of all, in the sheer MONUMENTAL MAGNITUDE of their territories compared with the slight paring for the Jews, gained in 1948, despite all of that. That war was won in such a style that the Lord's predictive powers were exhibited with something of the drama of the Exodus.

Now it is IN THIS SETTING that we are now reading in the news,  of the next development which is close to the current direction of the news both in kind and in place. It has been before; and it is continually growing closer*2 in approximation to the divinely stipulated scenario.

What is that ? We said we should return, but again before we do so, note that the Moslem powers in the region, massive and not afraid of war (consider that between Iran and Iraq and the extremities it went to, right down to children in arms), are increasingly by the fraternity of their religion linking many serious things. These ? MANY peoples, DISTURBED peoples, religion of MIGHT and ATOMIC arms, or the likelihood of the same, flowing from what is  the recent past for numbers of Soviet units, now more or less distanced, developed or disjoined FROM RUSSIA, but not necessarily FROM EACH OTHER! Moreover, the likelihood of money interesting underpaid scientists not accustomed to such penury as is repeatedly reported, is not to be discounted.

Back to Isaiah then: We come in context next to read in 66:11-12, as we do in Isaiah 49:22-23 of the many blessings coming to the Jews (as also in the predictions of Isaiah 35 about deserts and roses - roses, a Jewish specialty now in their massive world-wide flower distribution program); and then, in Isaiah 66:14, there is a sense of relish and expectation. All this has a wonderful feeling, but there is contest abroad. Not so simply do the Jews enjoy their inheritance, now after so long and so much, they are permitted by the Lord, to return. Human agencies now will bare their teeth.

They are not to be left alone, these Jews, no not even after Hitler, and not after the Europe of many centuries and its sometimes hideous oppressions, of which Hitler was a summit but not a start! It is true that they have asked for it from the hand of the Lord by rejecting their Messiah, but no less so that the Lord does not appreciate people pushing in and bullying those whom He decides and resolves to discipline (cf. Ezekiel 38:11-19, Obadiah 13-17). This is doubtless the more so when the discipline He has devised is complete in substance! It is not necessary for others to 'play God' when God does it without playing...

What then does Isaiah narrate, and what follows ? The Lord will come with fire (Isaiah 66:15) - just as in Ezekiel 38-39 in the wholly parallel procedure, and for that matter in Isaiah 49:26, where in turn the land had so grown that it would become rather difficult to hold all the inhabitants of the returning Jewry (49:19).

There will be an intervention not dissimilar to that wrought with Moses and Pharaoh (see Micah 7: 15-17  - this is the prophet who foretold the deity of Christ in 5:3 and the birth place as Bethlehem). It will be prodigious. It is planned. It will speak...

Indeed, it will closely be followed by an international terminus with broader dimensions and which is preceded by the removal of the people of God (Daniel 2:34-45, Revelation 19, II Thessalonians 1, I Thessalonians 1, Philippians 3:20-21, Matthew 24:30ff.).

So what ? SO this. It is time to seek the Lord whether Jew or Gentile, whether of this 'faith' or that, for it is only the meta-faith*3, that is the faith where the evidence requires acceptance and logic is remorseless in its insistence, the Gospel of the wholly unmatched Jesus Christ which will be saving: this and this only is saving faith, that which resides in the promised remedy of the assured Redeemer, who, incidentally, came long ago (SMR pp. 886 ff.) on time as always, and will return. It is time to SEEK THE LORD while He may be found (Isaiah 55:6-7).

 

NOTES

*1 THE ISAIANIC EXCURSION: BOARD HERE

NEWS, news! You want news! Here it is, this ultra-space detailing of history from the God who made space, whose intelligence is seen in every nucleated cell of your body, specifying in elaborate and brilliantly miniaturised code the whole detail for the construction of the same, generation by generation, including the reproduction switch.

While people search space for the odd globule of understandable communication, the space beneath their own skins teems with the same, while the place on which they walk, this world, has already seen the history to come, for the Jews, traced in stupendous detail. This attests not only intelligence but power, and not only power but judgment, and not this merely, but mercy and faithfulness. Further, this message from the Book of the Lord, the Bible, flashes like lightning to the Gentiles, traces in outline their spiritual developments and the divine answers, to this day, which is near the last - no one on earth knows how near, but definitively near.

Meanwhile, the Gentiles look into space, like some star-gazing adolescent out of tune with things, wistfully wondering about what has been declared, looking for what has already come and is near to terminating the time in which to look! Behind the times! This is not anachronism only, it needs a new word: this is a sort of spiritual Alzheimer's disease, a total disorientation, a looking for what is not to be found while what is to be found has already looked upon us and made declaration decisive, energetic and abundantly verified.

Let us survey the scene in Isaiah a little, both to see something of this fact, so often brought to light in this site, and to comprehend better the impact of the present phase of it, in this News item in particular.

It is fascinating and instructive, both, to study the PROGRESSION in Isaiah. As we have outlined a little of it here, in the nearer sections to our immediate historical and evangelical interest, let us merely sketch in some of the major thrusts. This will give us a double advantage: we shall see more intimately, through still only in overview, some of the movements in our areas of immediate concern, and we shall begin at least to sense the immense depth, vast enterprise of communication which the Lord undertook through this prophet, rightly called 'the evangelical prophet.

Let us then look back to Isaiah 53 and on to 66, to get the sense of movement and flow.

1. Thus after the amazing depiction of the LAMB of God who should be offered as a sacrifice to remove the sins of those who believe (Isaiah 53:1,4-6), who are THEREFORE and THEREBY healed (53:5), we run into a mountain of immense solidity. The PERMANENCE, SOLIDITY and INTERNATIONAL NATURE  of this offer of God:
"Enlarge the place of your tent ... Do not spare;
Lengthen your cords ...
For you shall expand to the right and to the left,
And your descendants will inherit the nations ..." (54:2-3).

As to the Lord, "He is called the God of the whole earth" (54:5). Nor, as we shall see, is this some sort of domination by Israel: quite the contrary (wait for Isaiah 65:13ff.).

2. The tenderness of His divine comfort now reflects what was more immediately national in concept (but not limited to that) in Isaiah 40:1-10 (54:11ff.).  This divine provision, at such sacrifice to Himself (Isaiah 40:10), is shown to be immovable. You may tend to think of freedom as being as light as air; but its provision can entail so immense a sacrifice that mountains symbolise it. Indeed, in Isaiah 54, we learn that for those so covered in the Messiah, the mountains may be removed BUT "My kindness shall not depart from you, nor shall My covenant of peace by removed, says the LORD who has mercy on you" - Isaiah 54:10.

In Isaiah 55, the splendour of divine FREEDOM in providing this eternal blessedness (cf. Isaiah 51:11), so that the Lord expostulates, Why buy artificial 'food' for money when it does not profit, or quench thirsts with nominal return, when you do not accept the salvation of God which is free, and is provided and presented with no price, no money, being liberal and gratuitous! (55:1-3).

At once, as normal in Isaiah, we come to the FOCUS on the SAVIOUR (we remember constantly that God has categorically affirmed that there is in existence no SAVIOUR but HIMSELF (Isaiah 43:10-11), the King, the Leader, Commander, who shall Himself be the Covenant (55:3, cf. 42:6), in that it is not in the blood of lambs or the work of hands, but in the blood of this lamb that atonement is made, alone sufficient, exclusively and exhaustively so: it is altogether FREE (55:1ff., cf. Ephesians 2:8-10).

3. The personal side comes next: SEEK THE LORD WHILE HE MAY BE FOUND (55:6). There is a time when He is near and a time when He may not be found! Seize the time when He is near, grasping it like a rope dangling from a cliff, while you are suspending over the abyss of sin without redemption.

4. Passing over Isaiah 56-58, which is less germane to our immediate purpose, but noting some of the thrust and movement for perspective's sake, we find this: it is not RACE but GRACE (56) which matters, knowing God and receiving what He says; but whatever the importance of a man in his religion, it is less than useless when mere form intrudes, the work of greedy, slumberous dogs: trees planted by the Lord (to change from the animal to the botanical kingdom for imagery), Isaiah 61:3, SHOW it because they ARE it, and they ARE it because the LORD has planted them. In 57 we see reviewed the fiascos of false faiths, revisionist works of the flesh masquerading as "religion", contrasted with what it essential:

"For thus says the High and Lofty One
Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy:
I dwell in the high and holy place,
With him who has a contrite and humble spirit,
To revive the heart of the contrite ones..." (57:15)... He proceeds to itemise the wicked's restless condition, like waters of a troubled sea, contrasting this with the way of the redeemed, "Peace to him who is near and to him who is far off" . As for the wicked, NO PEACE! is his placard, which he waves heedless.

5. In 58, religious nominality and formalism is exposed, contrasting with sincerity leading to benevolence and beneficence in those who belong to the Lord, and there comes the immense emphasis on the day of REST, enjoined in severest terms from Exodus 20, stressed as a sign of the covenant in Ezekiel 20:12. No punctilious legalism is this (cf. Mark 2:23-28), but a delight in the Lord results the earnest spiritual reality of such prolonged communion and constant closeness as this day typifies and advances.

Now the Lord proceeds to the most energetic and lethal exposure of sins in society and soul that one could wish, and this is measured against Matthew 23 as perhaps the most vehement denunciation you could ever wish to see, yet one of perfect control and admirable incisiveness: Isaiah 59:1-15.

6. THEN we find the beginning of reversion to the divine intervention in 59:15-20, where the Lord signifies the part of His divine program which leads to direct arrival in Zion (as in Zechariah 14, where His feet touch the Mount of Olives), and in the teeth of the gale of the antichrist's propaganda, His will arouse power and wave a banner of truth, in the face of that malign power which He shall thus overthrow. This is quoted by Paul in Romans 11 as the time of the Gentiles ends and the Lord rescues all His people.

We shall revert to this theme.

7. In Isaiah 60 we see a transfiguration of Israel. The city is held up, but suddenly its very walls become SALVATION (60:18), and the gates PRAISE! Contempt will be replaced by resplendent beauty, "the sun shall no longer be your light by day... but the Lord will be to you an everlasting light, and your God your glory...". Indeed, the sun... will never go down again, this spiritual wonder. ALL will be righteous.

If we peep now at Isaiah 65:13-15, we see at once that this is not a mere city. The NEW covenant which is being made in the Messiah (Isaiah 42:6), free and full of everlasting favour and joy, is SPECIFICALLY denied to Judaism, that is to that form of continuing Jewish worship which is abstracted from the Messiah (died and prophesied to do so around 30 A.D. - SMR pp. 886ff.). It is given - the name of blessing is given - differently. It is given to those who BELIEVE in the Messiah (Jewish, prophesied and the proper culmination, Biblically, for any Jew as indeed for anyone else among mankind who lives on earth). The blessed and representative people of God are now CALLED BY ANOTHER NAME. Those who remain without this shield and salvation are specifically DIVORCED and confined to the utmost degradation!

GOD HAS ORDAINED a two-stage exposure of His purpose in the sacrificial temple system and its culmination in Christ, and woe to those who reject the latter, whether with or without temple, but to those who insist on the mere temple when Christ has come, then these are transformed from the head ot the tail. That is the message of Isaiah 65:13-15.

So we are able to understand the glory in Isaiah 60, the transfiguration of Zion, for it is the whole church, Jew and Gentile, of every clime and chime, so long as it is in Christ, obedient to this COMMANDER and led by this LEADER, as we saw in Isaiah 54. HENCE they are all righteous (60:21) for the simple reason that they are all His; this being the spiritual reality not the formal appearance (cf. Luke 13:30 - Many who are first will be last).

8. Now we move to Isaiah 61, quoted by Christ and directly applied to Himself as in Luke 4:16ff.. The JUBILEE YEAR of spiritual liberation has arrived (not the normal 50 year arrangements to cancel indebtedness, but the spiritual provision of eternity, provided by One on foot among men): the broken-hearted are to be healed, captives no longer detained in their sins (61:1-3), men planted like trees of righteousness by the divine hand: beauty for ashes and joy for grief is the glory to be provided.

However Christ stopped short of quoting "the day of vengeance" which should follow, no doubt because the Son of man did not come to condemn the world, but that it through Him might be saved (John 3:17). NOW is that time, and the other ? well, as we have been seeing, that waits in the shadows, till the people of shadows are fully ripened. THIS, He says in John, is the condemnation, that light has come into the world and men have preferred darkness. What secures hell is not mere sin, since God has this abiding desire that all might be saved (I Timothy 2); it is rather the intransigent failure to accept liberation (John 15:21ff.).

9. At the end of Isaiah 61, we see the exultation and delight in the Lord of the disciple who is His indeed, covered in a righteousness he has done nothing to produce, but which enshrouds him with a fulness like that tendered to a bride or bridegroom before marriage: the garments of salvation are provided.

10. In Isaiah 62 we see that despite such current and then contemporary horrors are were drastically rebuked in Isaiah 59, there is to come a time when in Zion there will be a New Covenant glory (62:5-6,11), and this is in accord with Zechariah 12, Romans 11. Even though the Jew did not capture the glory, but if it were possible, crucified it, as so many of the Gentiles have done, mixing power and self-righteousness (cf. Romans 10) with what the Lord said to their downfall (and the Gentile world is now in precisely the parallel situation in this respect, to the world of the Jews in the time of the crucifixion, seminary after seminary defiling the delights of the Gospel, and many churches are ensnared, like the Jewish high priests of old, legislating in the Lord's name, amiss - cf. II Thessalonians 2, Matthew 24, II Peter 2): yet the time is to come. Thus in Romans 11 Paul makes it categorically clear that Jewish blindness is ONLY FOR A SEASON, and that this amazing thing is to have a cessation! The Lord indeed will come to Zion (Romans 11:26) as Isaiah predicted (and we saw) in Isaiah 59:20ff.. THAT word was BOUND in a definitive way: it would not depart, no the prophecy would not depart, yes and as part of the word of God it would not at all depart but be divinely sustained (cf. Isaiah 40:8).

WHEN the Lord so should come, as Paul notes in Romans 11, then there is the occasion for the exultant rejoicing of the apostle: he delights in the ONENESS of them all, Jew and Gentile contingents in Christ, the one rejecting and rejected, the other accepting, but to take heed lest it likewise fall, then the other coming back (Romans 11:33-36). The UNITY in the DIVERSITY, the COMMONNESS despite the historical differences between the two strands, Jew and Gentile, the depth of the wisdom of God who integrates and makes ONE, all of this, over time, by ONE REDEEMER, it transports the apostle with rapture. Here comes the bride! There is the Lord! So it is all one in a magnificent symphony of brilliant strategy, like marvellous earthworks, disturbing much, yet finally yielding in all its wonder, ONE GARDEN with ONE GARDENER, for the whole converted phase of the human race, throughout all its history. It is all FROM God and TO God, says Paul, and THROUGH HIM. THAT is how He works (Romans 11:36).

If, then,  the fall of Israel was a blessing (in that the Gospel hose was turned directly and altogether upon them) to the Gentiles, how much more the RESTORATION in the believing phase for Israel (Romans 11:15)! It will be like "life from the dead"! So does the vast conversion to occur in Israel (Zechariah 12:10) precede the Lord's return (Zechariah 14) to govern the nations. So do the Gentiles "rejoice with His people" (Deuteronomy 32:43), woven like a tartan, each contributing to one wholesome and holy whole.

THUS the Jewish people would have their restoration first as a nation, physically AND then in individuals, in a significant and substantial measure, spiritually (Zechariah 12:12-14, Isaiah 55:1-3), adding its number to those of the redeemed (cf. Revelation 7), all in ONE covenant, in a NEW covenant, law written on the HEART (Ezekiel 11:19, Jeremiah 31:31ff.), bought with blood, redeemed by life, the life of God incarnated in Christ, sent from above (Isaiah 1:18, 53:6, Micah 5:1-3, John 8:23-44, I John 4:9, 17:1-3, 8:58, Titus 2:13-14, 3:4-7). It is however in this same FREE salvation in CHRIST that this is to occur, and this battalion will hold its illustrious place: for the grace gives lustre to all.

11. In Isaiah 63 we move to the direct - one could almost say 'military' - judgments of the Lord on sinning flesh, as these end-time events come to their culmination (cf. Revelation 19, Zechariah 14). The tender mercies and pity of the Lord to Israel over time are reviewed, and the rest which was provided (cf. 63:14). An impassioned plea to the Lord comes from some of the saints of that time (cf. Isaiah 8:16-18,20), as seen in 63:15-19.

12. Yet the ways of the nation are not rectified, and though the Lord is the One who "acts for the one who waits upon Him" (64:4), and brings joy to the one who rejoices with His heavenly joy and has in mind the ways of God, yet the analysis stays, the diagnosis does not waver. "We are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags" (the last thing to be clad with in His presence - the mistranslation by some of Revelation 19:8, contrary to that book and any other in the Bible, being exposed in The Kingdom of Heaven, Ch.9, pp. 158-161). Thus speaks the prophet consistently and constantly.

13.  But the Lord in Isaiah 65 declares,

"I am sought by those who did not ask for Me;
I was found by those who did not seek Me.
I said, "Here I am, here I am,"
To a nation that was not called by My name.
I have stretched out My hands all day long to a rebellious people,
Who walk in a way that is not good,
According to their own thoughts,
A people who provoke Me to anger continually to My face..." (vv.1-3),

and this accords sadly with Isaiah 30:8-11).

Gentiles do well to note, that God is no respecter of persons and that these sins of ancient Israel are precisely those infecting many a nation, many a church, many a heart in the Gentile world of today; as its whole culture moves with just that imperious dismissal and arrogance, deft but deadly interweaving of things divine and things human, in such a way as to nullify the former (cf. Mark 7:7), which has produced such tragedy to the Jews, and will do so to the Gentiles likewise.

Gentiles ? Yes, Jew or Gentile, the servants of the Lord, as we saw, are shown in 65:13ff. to be blessed in Christ without respect to race;  while cursed are those knowingly in defiance of Him.

The malady is objective; so is the cure; so is the consequence of ignoring it.

14. Isaiah 65 goes on with the depiction of that heavenly rule in Christ in the earth which saw fit, through Jew and Roman instrumentality, to crucify Him. Now manifest in power, as earlier marvellous in service, we find Him mighty in presence, reigning, so that "the earth will be filled with the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea" - Habakkuk 2:14.

15. It is then that the true majesty of the Lord is shown (66:1-2), the inadequacy in the end of animal and typical sacrificial systems is shown, the deliverance of the oppressed, who were valiant for the truth in the midst of all such muddied muddles: these are all seen, and we have earlier alluded to this (Isaiah 66:3-6). Next looming is the amazingly sudden restoration of the Jews, in this post-Temple time, following the death and resurrection of the Messiah (Isaiah 26:19, 53:12, Psalm 16,2,72) is noted.

16. Then as the nations arise to do their (evil) pleasure in this changed situation (cf. Zechariah 12:10), toward the land where the people are turned now to Him, so  comes the thrust of fearsome power which overturns once and for all such presumption (Isaiah 66:15-16, Habakkuk 3:10ff., Micah 7:15ff., Isaiah 42 and 49 as shown, Matthew 24:29-51, Acts 1:7ff.), the many references moving to, through and from

       the massive conversion among the Jews,

       their deliverance as a nation,

       the initial impact of Christ's return for His own, viewed as a bride, HIS bride, taken to heaven (Revelation 19:9, I Thessalonians 4), this divine action being neither partial nor negligent, neither a bride in instalments nor lassitudinous,  but conceived holistically, the entire realm of completed Christendom now as one, Jew and Gentile, gloriously and blessedly one, delivered from above (Romans 11:26-36), as the Lord gathers the category of the elect, before judgment ( Matthew 24:31,45-51, 25:11ff.), as He told the Jewish apostles of the Christian church from the first, in the very teeth of malign developments of evil power on earth (Matthew 24:3,15-31, II Thessalonians 2:7-10), escaping after shining like gold in the furnace,

       the calamities of unrelieved 'flesh'  left behind, the phase of coming "in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, even on those do not obey the Gospel" (II Thessalonians 1:8, 2:8-10), when justice and judgment begins to be unleashed more severely (1:6),

       and the final judgments (Matthew 25, Revelation 20).


Thus those who play God find that the fifth Act of the play, as  often enough  in Shakespeare, has enough of slaughter in it; for  the offscouring of the universe is not after all, the apostles, though in their forbearance they looked like it, but what insists on denying the wonder of reality, and so qualifies. (Cf. Isaiah 66:24, I Corinthians 4:9-13).

Dedicated garbage is a strange concept; but it seems less when one finds, so often, the dismissive delirium of those who will not heed the love of God, the gravity of their offences and the wonder of His FREE provisions, in Christ (cf. Matthew 5:29, Mark 9:2-47).
 
 
 

*2
It is true we do not know the hour of Christ's coming, but it is no less true that when "these things come to pass", Christians are to "look up and lift up your hearts" because "your redemption draws  near" (Luke 21:28, Romans 8:23, Hebrews 9:12ff.).
 
 

*3
By "meta-faith" is simply meant the FAITH which has as its object the One who is shown to be objectively true. As exhibited constantly in this Site, that is Jesus Christ, necessarily, with no logical options. For further on the meta-religion denotation, as an aid to clear thought in the midst of the philosophy of religion which makes it a sub-set of human endeavour, and a social activity per se, as if God were not there and alone amongst us all were mute: see A Spiritual Potpourri, Ch.15, Endnote1.