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THE PROBING BLUE HEELER
It appears that the Blue Heeler is one of the most intelligent of dogs; and from observations of one recently, surely one of the most energetic. Work seems to be all but a necessity it, and finding ways out of difficulties, overcoming hurdles seems inbuilt. One can imagine this lively animal, with the pitter-patter of inquisitive canine feet, sniffing out the fate of ancient civilisations, comparing these quickly in an imaginative or even restless sort of way, smell for smell, with more recent trends and stumbling on some further leads, putting these away in the olfactory encyclopedia, and then going on the read with its supper, of the whole world , with a canine sigh, and to think broadly of the scope of things.
Let us accompany it and see where it leads us.
Perhaps we can utilise some
earlier thoughts, in our quest, since the dog may be too quick for us, but you
can at least imagine its tongue and breath as the feet pitter into many places.
p. 713ff., we follow the words of Christ to many things, but we shall interpolate a little here and there:
"Do not think I have come," He said, "to destroy the law or the prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfil." He came not to abrogate, but to activate. Indeed, no slightest part of it would fail, He indicated, till all was fulfilled. In fact, Christ repeated the negation of "to destroy" in this very declaration. For an exposition of this, see Appendix D, Volume 3 (pp. 1165-1186).
Meanwhile, we will summarise some points in which history has already expounded this claim of Christ, just as it continues to do so.
As the work of dissolution proceeds according to prediction on the whole Gentile era (that in which the Jews, having stumbled, are temporarily "cast aside" - Romans 11:11-17), it is fruitful to consider former predicted ends of former civilisations, though in these earlier cases it was this or that empire (or nation), not the entire Gentile world that was in view... The scope is increasing before the finale; the cadenza is boosted!
as an empire was devastatingly condemned to utter destruction, without recovery of her place and power. This is seen in passages such as those of Isaiah 13 and Jeremiah chapters 50-51 (esp. 51:34-63). It was to go, to fall, as Jeremiah showed, as a stone falls into a river. It fell, it was a desert. Hussein began some reconstruction in a tourist sense; he fell, is blasted, his income in ... arrears, his capital in bonds of poverty, deprivation, his wealth in tatters. The word of God ... applied, and his nuclear resource site to be in Babylon , is disenabled. Prophecy deployed 'Desert Storm'! Babylon
Indeed, his own capital,
was subjected to the ignominy of selective bombing. This has befallen the new Nebuchadnezzar; but nothing has 'befallen' the word of God. It is simply carried out: verifying the divine claims of Isaiah 55:10-11, Joel 2:11, Isaiah 45:1-7, 44:25-26 - of the One who spoke His word through His servants. the prophets (Jeremiah , 25:4-7, 13; 15), as God calls them. Baghdad
was condemned to desolation (Nahum 1:8-9, 14). It became a desolation.3 Says Nineveh , of Davis , in his Dictionary of the Bible: "So complete was the desolation that in classic times the departed Nineveh became like a myth. Yet all the while part of the city lay buried under mounds of apparent rubbish." Nineveh
was condemned by the prophet Ezekiel in chapters 26:3-5,7,12,14,16 - her walls to be broken down while she was to become "like the top of a rock". Alexander the Great completed the task begun by Nebuchadnezzar4, using city ruins and scrapings of soil to build a causeway to the island to which the people had earlier retreated, fulfilling the word of God to the letter (Ezekiel 26:8-9,12). It also serves to remind the world not to misjudge the mercy and longsuffering of God, as if it were laxity or indulgence. What mercy defers, sin may cry to judgment to complete. Tyre
As Peter Stoner points out (p. 75, Science Speaks), it is, just as Ezekiel predicted, indeed today a popular place for fishermen, and here they spread, as specified for the devastated site, their nets (Ezekiel 26:14). Despite massive freshwater springs, still flowing to the sea (the rate relatively recently measured at around 10,000,000 gallons daily), and its scope for a modern city development: for 2500 years, it has never been rebuilt. This is again, just as prophetically indicated (Ezekiel 26:19-20). Its glory was to depart, its destruction desolatory, its restoration precluded: no more would the city of glory be found, it being dead with those formerly ruined.
Thus it has happened. Now these ... these cities, they were seats of Empire! It is as if
had been so pronounced against in 1850, or London in 1800, or Paris in 1940, Berlin in 1960. Dust, it would say; and then it would be it. What if it had been said of all ... each in that time, and to each this end then came. Moscow
So it was; it is in testimony, and so it goes on being. It comes to the present, like the threatening of rising seas - predicted in fact to be roaring, as befits the increased energy science signifies to be coming into the heated system, and the increased waters into the swollen consequences of large ice meltings at the polar regions. Even now, they shrink, they lose their weight into water, and the process proceeds. But let us revert to antiquity, not however without realising that history is all of one piece, that the ancient is part of God's world and warning systems, and the present is but a continuance.
At the nearer level to the Jews, the prophecies of Obadiah and Isaiah (
34) are fulfilled in a way which is also awesome in its atmosphere and detail. The city of Ch. , featuring recesses in rocky cliff faces, and redoubtable Petra territory, reveals a startling coincidence between the Biblical scenario of its abandonment and its actual, contemporary scenario - for its desolation was predicted to endure. Edom
Is it abandoned ? Yes, to the very wild beast population prophesied as in 34:8ff., in the absence of human occupants! To read the prediction, just this, gives an almost eerie thrill of desolation. How like the thing itself, when visited now! But how different the profitable trading post in times of yore; and how inexorably the end came as forecast, from the mind of the Creator who understands human minds, wills and ways, and decides His own response and is able, at the leisure of centuries in advance, to declare what will be. Indeed He makes it clear as a source of confidence, that this is so as we read in Isaiah 46:8-10:
- "Remember the former things of old.
For I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like Me,
Declaring the end from the beginning,
And from ancient times things that are not yet done,
Saying, 'My counsel shall stand,
And I will do all My pleasure..."
The treachery of Arabs against Edom and the Jewish inhabiting of the South (Negev), following Edom's treachery against Israel would be followed by Edom's eviction by Arabs, leading at last to a grand inhabiting of the South - Negev - by Israel (Obadiah 7-14, 17-21). And this ? Predicted, it is now famous for military feat and civically in irrigation (esp. since 1967). There was to be a disestablishment of Edom and an occupation by Israel, in view of the divine judgment on Edom, for its earlier infamy against Israel. These movements are fulfilled before our eyes as is the Isaianic detail (34:11 ff.).
Here the divine emphasis is both inexorability and detail. Apart from the feelings evoked, there is the fact provoked, and duly come to pass. This twin application of truth is in perfect parallel with the words, already noted, of Jesus Christ, in Matthew 5:17-19. Despite its chequered career, its fallen land, its depleted stock, its savage persecutions by pope, Islamic warrior and Siegfried would-be superman - whether of Wagner's aspirant usage or Nietzsche's moribund imagination, Israel is back; and Edom is gone. The word of God is PRECISE and PARTICULAR, for it is the word of a PERSONAL BEING.
Indeed, the reflection given at the place of this prophecy in Isaiah 34:16-17 is itself both a declamation and a challenge, as it surveys the scene of prediction in its prophetic detail, asking us to search and see. Yes let us follow our Blue Heeler and go sniffing about the ruins, watching the topographical facts, the biological results, the differentiation between much disciplined Israel and forsaken Edom, with nothing by that name among the nations and the Negev now Israel's possession:
Search from the book of the Lord, and read: Not one of these shall fail. Not one shall lack her mate. For my mouth has commanded it, and His spirit has gathered them.
This shows, as does Jesus Christ in Matthew 5:17-19, 24:35 that when God chooses to speak to man, He means every word of it. What is predicted, in pairs or alone, will severally come to pass.
Perhaps it is moral devastation sweeping the earth, which makes so many people seem to find this hard to grasp. Perhaps some are surprised a little, that even some men make their word a matter of honour. When the Almighty speaks, it happens. He is not divided into warring factions, as we saw in Chapter l! nor is His power limited. As the prophet Joel says, strong is the Lord who "executes His word" (2:11). This He is, and this He does.
EMPIRES and KINGDOMS - THE EMPIRICAL AND THE ACTUAL
We have followed our Blue Heeler about at breathless pace, but now let us realise something more, knowing it will take all his diligence to follow the trail.
Thus the prediction of Daniel concerning Babylon, to be followed by Media-Persia, in Daniel 7-8, simply came to pass, under the normal Mosaic stringencies concerning false prophets and the penalty of prediction unfulfilled, Deuteronomy 18:19ff.. Death was the penalty for presumption in the field of divine diction, and non-fulfilment was a criterion of such presumption. Another was SPEAKING IN THE NAME or for the sake or pursuit of other gods, mere vanities, and trifles, non-existences as Deuteronomy 32 indicates so decisively and incisively, from the perspective of the God who is there, who acts for those who wait for Him , as in Isaiah 64 (here taken from verses 4-5):
"For since the beginning of the world
Men have not heard nor perceived by the ear,
Nor has the eye seen any God besides You,
Who acts for the one who waits for Him.
You meet him who rejoices and does righteousness,
Who remembers You in Your ways..."
This is the simple translation of the Hebrew without adding any words. What is it like ? It is like going into a huge factory building with all sorts of things going on, many developments, innumerable procedures, with various switches and computers to initiate and to check on proceedings and procedures. If one waits for the program to be shown on the screen and then works the equipment as directed, then one can see the way things go, and find the expected result.
With God, however, it is HE who makes the program, and it is to HIM that one applies, except that HIS programs are there to be viewed, and they come to pass; and when one works with them, so one finds personally the expected result. Yet this factory produces not mere goods for profit and sale, but history for profitable reflection and direction for peaceable pursuits, including the things which make for peace, the Gospel whether for Jerusalem or Gentile.
God is never embarrassed. He
does what He says, and in the matter of Israel, says what He does; and never
was such an exposure by the spiritual leaders of a nation as in the Bible is
found, in the name of the Creator, without fear or favour on the part of the
prophets, exposing their errors, weaknesses, disloyalties and the squandering
of spiritual resources with a diagnosis so unadorned and so realistic, so
unsparing and unsavoury in much, that its authenticity sparkles just as its
provision gleam. Before judgment, mercy is so often found waiting, and
sometimes not in vain. How often did He warn and woo them in the wilderness,
and with what patience did He cherish them:
Hovers over its young,]
Spreading out its wings, taking them up,
carrying them on its wings,
So the LORD alone led him,
And there was no foreign god with him…
But Jeshuran grew fat and kicked."
Thus though some diagnostic accounts of their sins might sound merciless, so it is with medical ones. Truth is the greatest mercy in diagnosis, and the surest path to cure. In fact, the accounts of their backslidings are so constantly related
So did the prophets expose their nation. Some people may find it hard to credit; but it is so.
Israel need not find it hard to credit, for all that has been forecast comes to pass, not a comma missing. What HAS come to pass comes to notice constantly, as in the discovery archeologically of the Hittite kingdom, once thought an invention (for interesting reasons, logically void), as equally of the Ebla civilisation in Syria, setting to rest the restless thought that Moses COULD not have been sophisticated enough for the laws of his presentation from the mind of God. In fact, there were found for around 2300 B.C. most sophisticated laws, yes and customs and procedures of the day of Abraham and before, in full concord with Biblical specifications, to the most minute detail.
We have considered such things before (cf. SMR pp. 68ff., 1185ff.); but it is well to glory in the Lord and to emplace them here in terms of the both backward and forward nature of His truth, covering all time. Not merely is this so, but it is an answer in terms of fact, to the feature of the challenge God Himself has made, both as to the past and to the future. This claim in Isaiah 41:21-24:
" ’Present you case,’ says he LORD.
‘Bring forth your strong reasons,’ says the King of Jacob.
‘Let them bring forth and show us what will happen;
Let them show the former things, what they were,
That we may consider them,
And know the latter end of them:
Or declare to us things to come.’
" ‘Show the things that are to come hereafter,
That we may know that you are gods.
Yes, do good or do evil,
That we may be dismayed and see it together.
Indeed, you are nothing,
And our work is nothing.
He who chooses you is an abomination.’ "
Not merely did Nineveh fall as predicted, and Tyre even in the amazing WAY and detail predicted, Petra and Babylon, and not only did the empire of the Medes and Persians, for all its glory and might, fall to the Grecian one of Alexander the Great (Daniel 8:20-22), with its division as forecast into a fourfold kingdom, but this led as predicted into a most galling event for Israel. It was the Syrian division of the divided Empire, into which came the insanely intrepid idolater, Antiochus Epiphanes, whose works were duly and precisely fulfilled in his historic blasphemies in the Jewish Temple and their appointed times; but his simple end as predicted, also came to pass, all as in Daniel 8. The 2300 days of time in which the abominations concerning "the daily sacrifices and the transgression of desolation, the giving of both the sanctuary and the host to be trampled underfoot" were to occur, were duly fulfilled.
As Keil points out in his volume on Daniel, the period can be seen to proceed from just before the erection of the abomination of idolatry in the Temple - the pagan, foreign horror of intruding such a vanity, into the very holy place of God, symbolising the coming and sacrifice of Christ as it did, to the deliverance of Jerusalem from this treading and meddling, this blasphemy and assault ! Thus it goes on till the victory over Nicanor, "by which the power of the Syrians over Judea was first broken", leading to the annual celebration of this event, and of the consecration of the Temple.
This extends the time for the prophetic requirement (ending in the action of relief, translated by Keil as "thus is the sanctuary placed in the right state") to the time when the insolent marauding, threatening and destructions of the Syrians ceased, including their shutting up of Israelites in various attacks, their besieging of the sanctuary and their demolition of its strongholds. He points out that what is in view in the assigned 2300 day time period is NOT ONLY the cleansing of the temple, but the cessation of the treading of the saints under foot! Thus it was to be, and thus it was.
Typical of the forthright indifference to ease, and the insistence on its own autographical sovereignty and insight, the scripture simply lists these things, and we have to find them out; but it appears from the actual text, that when we follow it, we come to notable enough events.
We have already seen the heady indifference to what is written when some have ignored the 2300 days of Antiochus, as if it were not given, and allowed some sort of confusion or fusion of 3 and one half times or years, which is far from 2300, to be allied to it. But as has been shown (Ancient Words : Modern Deeds Ch. 10), it comes to be, after all, that it is rather ridiculous to try to make events in the THIRD empire of Daniel 7 to be the FOURTH empire of the same chapter, when everything is so precisely detailed. It is, alas for man astray, NOT the word of God which flinches, but those assaults on its veracity which dare to try, find its veracity intense, and their own wanderings merely documented!
What is it like ? It is like some student deciding that the handbook for laboratory use does not really understand the difference between copper sulphate and ferric oxide, despite the enormous factual difference in content and colour, and vaguely pushing one set of instructions into the other, and declaring there is not too much to the manual, which shows so little!
There is scarcely limit to what errors mankind can slip into when the god of this world blinds his eyes (cf. II Cor. 4:4), when the word of God becomes an object of stumbling (I Peter 2:9) and the way of truth is not followed.
The Bible had it all for all of these, and none of them took it, and now have become the scene, site or scenario of massive disasters. Like children in a mood, many continue they lust and gain as continually, the counter-thrust of truth, and may yet more!
But what is it like, this bypassing of the text of the word of God in the interests of some vague thought of the moment, drastic, without thought ? It resembles that early case where a man was horrified when two pieces of radioactive material were in danger of reaching the critical mass which could foreshadow an atomic explosion, and reaching into the matter with bare hands, he paid the price. Alas, it is necessary to be careful with things of great power! Moreover, in that atomic case, the man acted for good and suffered; but in these, the self-affirmation in the very face of God, is in itself an evil and a baseless thing, not even able to find logical validity, and just as bereft of empirical help! (Cf. SMR Chs. 1-3,10, TMR Ch. 5, Repent or Perish Ch. 7.)
Let us then return to the facts of the word of God.
It is the THIRD EMPIRE which is noted in Daniel 8, that of the Grecians (8:8,21ff., 7:6) and their later division; it is the fourth which is later (see Ancient Words : Modern Deeds Ch. 10). What follows two beyond that of Babylon is Media-Persia, the third. No efforts to equate a past type of the antichrist, found in that empire, with the one to come in the final empire, can live on such confusion! The one is a type; the other is an antitype. Mixing empires is neither empirically sound nor logically valid.
In fact, the phenomenon is frequent in scripture and in much teaching, where the essence of some feature is prefigured in earlier work, and the more consummatory or difficult part duly flows on from it, so that all being prepared, are satisfied when the final issue comes on the thread of thought begun. Thus the type in Antiochus has much to teach us of the wile and ways to come; but it is merely the early precursor. This is simply an example of an important fact.
The sheer grandeur of the delusions and confusions found in centuries of assaults on the Bible is an eloquent testimony to two things: the blinding power of unbelief, which can diminish even keen minds to confusion; and the unshatterable reality of the fact that the Bible is the word of God, equipped for millenia, to rebut the unwary and instruct the wise.
It goes on doing it, and
they go on doing it, and nothing changes except this, while the statistics of
attacks and rebuttals mount, and the sheer vagary of such vain efforts at
assault is put to the practical test and duly exposed : that judgment is
coming nearer. That too in accord with the prophetic precision we have
studied in Answers to Questions Ch. 5 and
The evil one has a hard
time; but one cannot pity him, and incredible as it may seem, many follow his
almost desperate devisings, obvious enough in the calm light of fact. Even the
desperation of his unworkable efforts is merely an attestation to his
predicament as defined in the Bible, in Revelation 12:9-12. He is one "having great
wrath, because he knows that he has a short time."
As he is depicted, so he does.
But what was further
predicted, namely Jerusalem’s restoration in 70 years (as in Jeremiah 25)
having duly occurred, as things always do when God sets His name to them in His
word, the Bible: this was by no means the end. In further sin and rebellion on
the part of the people, there was more trouble to come. Ironically, the
worst trouble came when the best provisions were made.
Yet is it not so with sin, that it baulks at opportunity and does not relish reality. Hence the greater the wonder, the worse is the liability in the result!
Alas, Jerusalem was not about to be sustained in faithfulness. The Messiah Himself came. He arrived on time and did as prescribed, having been predicted for just this very thing, in very numerous locations. It was so in Micah, Numbers, in Isaiah, Jeremiah, in Ezekiel, in Zechariah in great detail, in Zephaniah, in Malachi and in Daniel: for example, in his birth place, Bethlehem (Micah 5), in his work place of Galilee (Isaiah 9), in His death place, in His death date in Daniel 9 (cf. SMR pp. 886ff.), in His resurrection (cf. Joyful Jottings 22, 25, and Psalm 16, 22), in His Gospel (Isaiah 50-55, cf. SMR pp. 763ff., Barbs, Arrows and Balms 17, TMR Ch. 3) and in His rejection by His own people, in the Gentile acceptance of the Gospel in the case of very many (Isaiah 49:7, 53:1-5, 60:1-3, 66:20, Jeremiah 16:19ff.), and so on.
It was so as predictively provided
precisely articulated and
historically presented in the outcome; it was so no less in His miracles as specified in Isaiah 29,35 and in His
grace as in exhibited with the accompanying ass's colt, in Zechariah 9 and in
man's disgrace in having an agent to sell Him for 30 pieces of silver (Zechariah
The Messiah duly came, and duly left this earth -
being resurrected and in
turn in that divine coverage of coming events
which is on the one hand so comprehensively to the point,
and on the other, so insistently performed for the purpose:
and with that heartening flourish that deity can provide,
even before He went and indeed before He came,
was predicted to
return after crucifixion and resurrection, when the appointed time
came, and that to rule (as in Zechariah 14, Malachi 3 and 4, Psalm 2, Isaiah 59, Acts
Matthew 24, I Thessalonians 1, 4, II Thessalonians 2).
For General MacArthur to say that he would return to the Philippines was one thing; but to state before the war, that he would lose and then return, that would be quite another! But lose ? It was clear in Isaiah 50-55 that the apparent loss was to be, as it became, a deliberate action of deity, forecast a millenium beforehand, that would brilliantly deploy the diabolical for the celestial, using the betrayal (of Judas) to institute a sacrifice which was in the heart of the plan of salvation of Almighty God! (cf. Joyful Jottings 25). Christ crucified is the exhibition of Christ the King: that is the sort of King He is: strategically all-knowing, cordially all-sufficient, breathing peace in death and vitality in resurrection (cf. Psalm 16, 22, SMR Ch. 6).
All this transpired with the normal integrity, authenticity and sovereignty of the only God who is there, to man in His care, careless or otherwise. But Jerusalem ? Alas, alas, as in Luke 19:42ff., Matthew 23:37ff, 24:1ff., there was wrath to come. The delivered city, the vindicated city was a city warned. It did not heed. Its 70 year exile in the 6th century B.C. as Jeremiah predicted, and its destruction in the meantime, this did not suffice.
They proceeded to kill the Messiah as Daniel indicated they would do in Daniel 9, and to pierce Him as David predicted in Psalm 22 (Joyful Jottings 25), despite the fact that these events and their consequences were clearly written. The enemies of God were as incompetent in bypassing His STATED plans as He was magnificent in fulfilling them. In passing, one must declare the obvious: HOW could a nation be expected to DO what had been predicted for hundreds of years by many prophets in many ways with many details, with fearful results likewise predicted ?
HOW could this be done ? Would it not be a sure fire failure for such a method ? WHO would be so blind as to enter a trap of its own book, which showed the way of it, the cause of it, the detail of it and the consequence. Surely, some might urge, God would not be so slow of wit as to seek to show His power and pardoning graces - His integrity and love - in such a scenario. It simply would not work. HUNDREDS of years of warning in their own much revered book, and then the folly of DOING the thing focussed so centrally! Impossible. Surely they would not do it, and the word of God would not come to pass...
But then, they did, and it did, in that
Indeed, the character of the case is provided as well! for as Isaiah 42
"Hear you deaf,
And look, you blind, that you may see.
Who is blind but My servant,
Or deaf as My messenger whom I send ?
Who is blind as he who is perfect,
And blind as the LORD's servant,
Seeing many things but you do not observe,
Opening the ears, but he does not hear" - Isaiah 42:18ff.
It is, however, not the Jew only but the Gentile who is in large numbers and enormous percentage, similarly blind. Faced now, similarly with an enormous paraphernalia of prediction about his ways, his results, his world and the approach to the RETURN of Jesus Christ the King, a mass of Gentiles remain BLIND as bats in the day, to their OWN PARTICIPATION, just as the official power of Israel was blind in the day of the Lord, to that accorded to it. MANY believed in Him in that day, in Israel and formed the core of the Christian Church, but the POWERS THAT WERE, the powers that be of the day, were incensed and hostile, murderous and extravagant in illegality against all justice and truth. Blind they were to be, and blind they were.
Does not the Gentile reader realise that this is in one sense EVEN WORSE, unbelief now than it was then; for if the Jew of the day of Jesus, in high and mighty power and frame of mind, refused Christ, despite the situation being clear as day in the prophets, and despite the preliminary discipline of the 70 year exile in Babylon, so that they had then to rebuild the temple and the wall, what must be said of the Gentile ? He, SEEING BOTH of these things, the Babylonian exile of the Jews AND the 1900 or so year exile following the murder of their Messiah (as predicted), together with the mounting crescendo of encompassing events now arriving on the unsettled scene (as in SMR Ch. 8), and seeing in like manner the TRAP for himself in his own advanced date in history, yet still IGNORES the scenario of the RETURN of Christ (cf. SMR Chs. 8-9, Answers to Questions Ch. 5)!
If the Jew was blind
then, what now of the Gentile who in his profusion of confusion,
builds ever new dreams in the sky, and rarely gets down to earth,
to the earth which God made,
and rarely finds the Rock on which all else must be placed,
if it is to stand (cf. Matthew 7:15ff., Psalm 62:1-3, II Samuel 22:32-33)!
There is no difference. ALL have sinned. Counter any thought of the sinning Jew with the sinning Gentile in Romans 1:17ff., which indeed covers all. Counter any thought of blindness in the one with blindness in the other: they do not cancel, merely augment each other! Consider moreover the derelict state of the Gentile as in Ephesians 2:12:
"at that time, you were without Christ,
being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and
strangers from the covenants of promise,
having no hope and without God in the world."
Do not let the happy result for some, who came near in Christ, a minority in the midst of the Ephesians, cause blindness to the sheer tragedy impending in the estate of those Gentiles, and indeed in that of all, who do not and will not find Christ. Being intemperate and dismissive (John 3:19,36), Israel declined Christ as a nation; and now many nations do just the same, and flaunt their follies like dirty washing in the midst of the City Centre. Triumph still is left for one, for all, for those of whatever race who have received Christ in reality, it is true, as for the Ephesian Christians,
"but now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off
have been brought near by the blood of Christ."
If however it was a small percentage of Jews who found Christ in His day, and in this the only way, is it not an exceedingly small Gentile percentage who have found Him in this day ? Disregard the merely statistical hopefulness of ceremonial and nominal relationship to Christ (as in Isaiah 1, 29 and cf. The Kingdom of Heaven, Appendix). It is the faith in the objective and Biblical Christ, the living and changeless one which matters (as in Galatians 1). It is this which transforms the heart, directs the will and enlightens the eyes. It is He who plants and the trees so planted are foci of faith, features of living conformity to Christ (Matthew 15:13, I John 3:9), not paper models of trees.
The Jews have suffered horrendously; but the Gentile is not to imagine that the Jew has a monopoly on this thing - indeed, either on the blindness or on the suffering. Israel has been an examplar of suffering; but does not suffer for the world. Its time comes. There is but one offered to the world, and that One DID suffer; but in vain is it for those who modify Him in their hearts, rebel from Him in their wills and would confine Him to the barriers and embargoes of some human system, religious or otherwise.
In fact, it is the whole
world which is to tremble at the advents to come for its prodigious of revolt
from the Creator-Redeemer, and this for the same sort of reason as with Israel.
Isaiah 24 puts it for one and for all, for its word is to the WORLD:
14 "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.
16 "From the ends of the earth we have heard songs:
'Glory to the righteous!'
But I said, 'I am ruined, ruined!
Woe to me!
The treacherous dealers have dealt treacherously,
Indeed, the treacherous dealers have dealt very treacherously.'
"Fear and the pit and the snare
Are upon you, O inhabitant of the earth.
And it shall be
That he who flees from the noise of the fear
Shall fall into the pit,
And he who comes up from the midst of the pit
Shall be caught in the snare;
For the windows from on high are open,
And the foundations of the earth are shaken.
"The earth is violently broken,
The earth is split open,
The earth is shaken exceedingly.
The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard,
And shall totter like a hut;
Its transgression shall be heavy upon it,
And it will fall, and not rise again."
Here you see in verse 16, the betrayal of Christ, as in Psalm 69 and 41, Zechariah 11, 12:10 and Isaiah 49:7 (as in Joyful Jottings 25), and following it, in due course, the envelopment of the earth with a suffocating confusion, a grand diminution of order for those who arrogantly assumed its wonder without cause, so that the trembling of the earth and the loss of its stability, so irrationally accepted without grace or gratitude, could speak to those whose ears were so dull that reality was like a mist and dreams like reality.
No mist however is the onset to come, and no dream is the reality to awaken the slow of heart! In Revelation Chs. 6,9,16 for example, you see further details of ensuing events, as in Matthew 24. They come. The Gentile introduction, the John the Baptist for our Age, is multiple and physical not a little, moral in much, and spiritual in dimensions, as shown in SMR Ch. 8, in its prediction. It comes to us as the incarnate Messiah to them.
His return comes to us, as His salvation to them. Without His salvation, it is one for all: judgment. What else is left when the personal God makes provisions which are despised, and sin which is despicable continues in its trance-like way! (cf. Acts 13:40-41,46-47 where Paul spoke to the Jews, as the word still challenges now the Gentile!).
just as then they sought to ALTER the Christ physically and mentally (Luke 11:48-53, Matthew 27, John 18:34ff.), ably if vainly assisted by the Gentile Romans, in the person of Pilate,
so now they try to re-write the scripture,
either leaving out what does not seem to ... matter,
as in some publications of the Bible, or trying to re-EXPRESS it as in some translations so loose that they are merely rather ignorant paraphrases,
or in theology, where the facts and logic notwithstanding,
they indoctrinate BY the word of God against the word of God!
They make new things out of old and with a superb arrogance, still use the name of what they systematically plagiarise for their own productions, the Bible a mere base! The word of God with such innovations ?
It has NOTHING to do with them, just as Christ said of the work of the words of tradition in the case of many of Israel in His own day (Mark 7:6-9).
Sovereignly and securely, what has been provided is what is to be the criterion (John 12:48-50, Matthew 5:17-21), and it will far less slow its applications for the rebellious, than do the tides of the earth their coming.
Who can excel in this ? Who is superior to such antics ? Whose is a greater doom ? The Jew is NOT ALONE! Decidedly, he is not alone. Yet some of both Jew and Gentile are come to Christ, and many more of the Jewish people will do so as often indicated in this site (cf. Zechariah 12, where it is given in detail, how the people whose nation killed the Messiah will repent of it with massive results). Indeed, in Isaiah 24:14-16 quoted in full above, in that prophetic book which so features the crucifixion prophetically, in chs. 52-53, you see the wonderful response of many to the uttermost parts of the earth, to the salvation in the Messiah (cf. Isaiah 49:6), just as follows at once in verse 16, the exclamation, as in Zechariah 9:9, 11:12-13, 13:6), at the treachery with which the King was crucified!
But JERUSALEM ? Yes as
Daniel was shown (end of Daniel 9), and as Christ indicated in detail in
Matthew 24 and Luke 19, it was fated, indeed prophetically stated to be
subjected to great desolations - indeed, to be torn down stone from stone. This
once great city, with the work of Titus and the later suppression of revolt,
which left Jerusalem ploughed and salted, was for centuries out of bounds
to the Jew! Its history is predicted, and the prediction itself is predicted as
in Amos 3:7-8, where God indicates to His people concerning His dealings,
"Surely the Lord GOD does nothing,
Unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.
A lion has roared,
Who will not fear ?
The Lord GOD has spoken
Who can but prophesy ?"
So the city of Jerusalem fell, with the EXTREMITY predicted for a LONG TIME, under Gentile dominion. Indeed, for so long was this Gentile-focussing period of captivity of this Jewish capital city, and of nation rising against nation with multiplied predicted evil developments - the exact time this time of judgment purposely being withheld (Acts 1:4-8, cf. SMR pp. 760ff., 961ff., Biblical Blessings Ch. 6), that the RESTORATION of the Jewish people to Jerusalem seemed to come to a world all but forgetful of its significance.
Yet it had to happen, by the word of Christ Himself, and it HAS happened, the fall as the restoration (Matthew 24, Luke 21:24). It fell not for ever but UNTIL the times of the Gentile peoples were fulfilled, He declared as to be read in Luke 21. The time of its fall was long but limited; and of its restoration in due course, it is now.
And WHY was the day of the return of the Lord withheld ? MUCH had to happen first, and it IS happening with al the topicality of a laboratory experiment confirming a lecture, given the hour before: but this was given two thousand years before by Christ (Matthew 24, Luke 21).
The reason for the delay ? It was statedly, not least so that the surprise element of His return to the world He had made as the eternal word of God, now incarnate, would be sustained (Matthew 24:45ff.)!
Much formalism and pretence is predicted (as clear from Christ's words in Matthew 25:1-10 where the sleeping bridesmaids are obviously SUPPOSED to be eagerly awaiting the coming of the King - as in Hebrews 9:28); and this predicted hypocritical religious vacuity, to be so prominent as the Age should draw near to its close, is emphasised in II Timothy 3:5ff..
It is therefore not entirely surprising that the world was so astonished at the restoration of Israel, and is so amazed at its continuance, despite all the connivance of many, including the United Nations which withdrew its separating force when Nasser wanted to invade Israel and continues to hammer the expectation that Jerusalem will be internationalised, so setting itself in direct conflict with the Lord! It is a good beginning, in the technical sense, to the coming confrontation of Revelation 19:16-19, when the 'beast' or international power dominating political and seeking to dominate religious life, will make war on Christ! (cf. Biblical Blessings Ch. 2).
Nevertheless, Jerusalem is still in the hands of Israel. Indeed, this return to rule their own Jerusalem was an event of the most amazing and incisively predicted proportions; for after prodigious and sustained mockery of the people whose once it was (predicted, Deuteronomy 32:21, Ezekiel 22:5, 36:4) and calamity to them and to the city (predicted, Leviticus 26, Deuteronomy 32:23, Matthew 24:2, Daniel 9:26-27), it was itself to be, and IS itself now, an index to the EARLY return of Christ (Luke 21:24 in its end-time context). THIS IS NOW.
In what way was the city to be an index ? In the control restored to Israel over it, so that the other peoples could, as predicted, assail and assault it, seek to overcome and overturn the Jewish control and grab it back, in that way (cf. SMR Ch. 9, Zechariah 12, 14, Luke 21:24). This they have done as if themselves the willing slaves of prophecy, with great gusto, and if one might be forgiven the pun, have been served a response with great busto! In other words, the city is predicted to become a BURDENSOME STONE to those who adversely concern themselves with it, and from beaten Jordan, Syria, Egypt, Iraq and the rest, to the muscle of USSR supplied to Nasser in tanks, and the efforts of the US to negotiate even more of the place away (despite its earlier vast aid in 1973*2), there is indeed a keenly felt burden! So is that scripture likewise fulfilled.
Moreover, the ignoring of this high profile geographical and racial fact, indeed these various facts, highlighted further by the intense desolation wrought by Hitler on this, the Jewish people JUST before this sublime restoration to their land and to their city (its grotesque intensity foretold in Jeremiah 30:5-7, in parallel with Leviticus 26, Deuteronomy 32 and implied in Isaiah 49:20-21, and indeed it was a mere coping stone to the long-built arch of anti-Jewish atrocities, L'Arc d'horreur): it is a most grave affair. To ignore such a wonder after such arch-fiends of persecution had for so long reviled, ruined, tormented and rapes the riches of Jews, such a triumphant restoration, what is it but an affront to history! a deletion of the clear teaching of the word of God and as in all accidents, the showing of the significance of the blind spot!
Alas for the world to fail to see a highway as wide as the Dead Sea, and as lively as Greenhouse Effect! In fact, all of this, with the restoration of the city of Jerusalem to the Jews, in particular, is an event so epochal that not only is there no excuse for ignoring it; there is immense reason to regard it! By all means fail to notice the Grand Canyon, if you must, as you pass by, but at least try to pay attention at Everest when you come to it! Let not cultural blindness or theological programmatics pursue your sight to its extinction. This was to be, is and fulfils the word of God (cf. SMR Appendix A).
This! it is as clear as was the Messiah for the Jews in their own day. No differential cause for ridicule exists; for the blindness, inertness to spiritual jewels or both is endemic to Jew and Gentile alike. It is not a mere racial matter. Rather is it a matter of the HUMAN RACE, increasingly educated to become so dissociated from divine detail, so inhumane, or so riotous in various combinations, and a case of the spiritually lost persons, themselves so universalised in their robes of unrighteousness, grimly clung to lest they should be converted and cleansed and pardoned, that they have no rest to reason, little time for revelation and small heart for response.
It is the same age-long malady and tragedy: as of old, so now in our day. What then is it ? It is nothing less than the ignoring in practice, by many, of that SAME NAME, Jesus Christ, so lightly regarded in ancient time by the Jewish authorities, and so dismissively in our time by the Gentile ones, or the LIGHT of His word or both. Many seem in haste to sin as much as possible in as short a time as possible with as much contempt for the word of God as possible, and as much pressure as possible to re-form Christ by irrational endeavours, as radically as possible to re-formulate the Christ and to re-make the churches in the image of others*3, idols, so that the parallel is now complete as Paul so clearly shows in Romans 11. Just as the Jews ASKED for their disciplines, with great vigour, even ardour, so the Gentiles do certainly no less.
While not all proceed to the whole passion of it, many are caught in this or that module of disbelief or blindness, and quite often make something close to a fetish of their obscuration of vision, as if it were a superior feature of their theology (if any).
The Jews LOST their testimonial place because of unbelief, like a cut off branch; the Gentiles GAINED their testimonial place, like a wild branch grafted into an established tree (already equipped with the genetic scriptures, to pursue the imagery); but the warning is EXPRESS. It is this.
What they lost for unbelief, the Gentiles gained; but the Jew can REGAIN the Lord in His righteousness through faith, just as the Gentile peoples can LOSE through unbelief what their races had gained. It is one Lord, one Gospel, wrought in mercy, told in truth, shown in symbol, then signatured in blood, at Calvary (cf. Barbs ... 17, TMR Ch. 3). .
Racially, this is the position: ALL have
had opportunity. And as a vast movement in Israel, many Jews WILL come
back, as explicit in Romans 11:15-16,25. The apostle glories in the wonder of
the complex drama, in detail remarkable, in outline so prominent and
unmistakable! We have seen nearly all of it; only a little more remains!
JERUSALEM since its establishment and rescue in the days of Hezekiah*4, in bold drama, has then featured not less than four times:
ONCE for the 70 years of exile from the ravaged centre;
ONCE for the 2300 days of oppression;
ONCE for the extended period of being trodden under foot by the Gentiles; and
FOURTHLY for the RESTORATION, as shown in SMR Appendix A, still unbelieving as a NATION, so that they should be.
is the FIFTH matter, that they are being attacked and vainly 'treated' by the Gentiles,
heavily committed to their obliteration, with menace aplenty, following their
To Islam, one does not say we are 'indebted' but rather one is moved to look in appreciation, as it is there that the EXPLICIT and stated desire to obliterate Jerusalem has come repeatedly since 1991's Teheran pan-Islam conference with its deadly intention quite clear. It however is only one. Others seek to surround Israel diplomatically with this and that pressure. It is not a pleasant experience for them (and that TOO is predicted as in Zechariah 12).
But it is in this context that we must place our recently extended studies on Revelation 13 and 17, and the case of Rome. This is ALREADY fulfilled in the PLATFORM ERECTED, in character, history and geography. That is, as shown in SMR pp. 946ff., Biblical Blessings Ch. 2, Beauty of Holiness Ch. 4 and Ch. 1 above, esp.*1,
is exactly in the place assigned to the unfaithful substitute for Christianity, Rome
'the harlot' as the Bible calls her, riding the beast in its terminal dramas,
and shed before the end as it 'goes it alone'. She ? she is tossed off as brutal power
has seen enough of her evil ways, and needs her no longer (Revelation 17:16ff.).
Tossed off ? she is to be burned in their inflamed desires, and ruined.
It moves thus in Revelation 18ff.. There it is exposed, in the matter of its great and famous investment by Romanism, or Roman Catholicism as some self-contradictorily call it (for how is that universal which is local, or in what way is the Catholic Church to be contained in some mastery by some pontiff, in view of Matthew 23:8-10!).
In its history, imbued, in
its imperial days of power, it was a base and background for the religion which
followed with high priest or pope, sacrifice and female 'deity' or 'redemptrix'
and 'queen of heaven' as Mary is fictitiously created to be called, the
self-vaunting catholicity of
This is next. It comes
(Revelation 18). It is ready; it awaits its time, like Jerusalem (Zech. 12;10).
Happier far is the lot of the latter, as this time it is for its revival to the faith in its own Messiah, so sadly rejected with such enormous consequences. Meanwhile the distress of Jerusalem and the exaltation of Rome continue, each in marked contrast for what the future holds.
Is it not to be seen, however ? THERE IS A LONG SERIES. It is not just Rome. Its time comes. It is Jerusalem. Its time came repeatedly, and in another and more blessed sense, will come. It is Babylon. Its exposure and ruin came. It is Petra - its time came. It is Nineveh, its desolations continued. It is
, its precise reduction to a fishing place (rather like having fishermen in Tyre Bond St. London, prediction-wise - Ezekiel 26-28, and in particular 26:14ff. cf. SMR pp. 713ff.), this too came and to all their part in the drama has come, as assigned.
, we read in Isaiah 34:8: Petra
"For it is the day of the LORD's vengeance,
The year of recompense for the cause of Zion" - troubled by Edom, in detailed ways.
With Nineveh, we find in Nahum:
" 'Behold I am against you,' says the LORD of hosts.
'I will burn your chariots in smoke, and the sword shall devour your young lions.
I will cut off your prey from the earth,
And make you a spectacle.
It shall come to pass, that all who look upon you
Will flee from you, and say,
'Nineveh is laid waste!
Who will bemoan her ?'
Where shall I seek comforters for you ?' "
2:13; and this in 3:6ff.,
- "I will cast abominable filth on you,
- Make you vile."
"He who struck the people in wrath with a continual stroke,
He who ruled the nations in anger,
Is persecuted and no one hinders...
Hell from beneath is excited about you,
To meet you at your coming...
Your pomp is brought down to hell...
The maggot is spread under you,
And worms cover you."
Valedictory ? Only in irony, for it is rather imprecatory!
There too, as in the succeeding verses, we see the inane celestial self-exaltation of Babylon, brought where Rome too will have hers brought:
"How you are fallen from heaven,
O Lucifer, son of the morning!
How you are cut down to the ground,
You who awakened the nations!"
"Because you have set your heart as the heart of a god,
Behold therefore I will bring strangers against you,
The most terrible of the nations,
And they shall draw their swords against the beauty of your wisdom,
And defile your splendour.
They shall throw you down into the pit,
And you shall die the death of the slain
In the midst of the seas" - Ezekiel 28:6-8.
Indeed, the arrogation of divine attributes, so dear to the proclamations of popes as we have seen in our recent reviews (cf. SMR pp. 950ff., 913ff.), was one of the evils of Tyre, in her own way (Ezekiel 28:9-10):
"Will you say still say before him who slays you,
'I am a god,' ?
But you shall be a man, and not a god,
In the hand of him who slays you.
You shall die the death of the uncircumcised
By the hand of aliens,
For I have spoken,
says the Lord GOD."
Such is work in the grand scale, and irony, that for his work on Tyre, God paid Nebuchadnezzar with Egypt (Ezekiel 29:18-19), which said Ezekiel, would remain a lower kingdom thereafter, not more the huge international power of its distorted flower (Ezekiel 29:15). All this, as it was to be, so it came to be; for such is the way of the word of the Lord, from the first to the last, for He IS the First and the Last.
Will then all these empires
so repine, so exposed, their doom so detailed to give due regard to the
derangements of their excesses, their pomp such an index to their debasement,
their evil aspirations to their defilement in judgment, and will then despite all
this, the case of Rome be ignored ? On the contrary, the Romanist triple
idolatry (cf. A Question of Gifts
VII, SMR 1032ff.),
prophetically does not fail to be met with a judgment suitable to the LAST
coping stone in the archway of Empires: and so for its part, comes the end to
that which even SPECIALISED in idolatry and killed for the lack of it!
Its time then comes, that of ROME as abundantly predicted, and
it joins the list, the list of devastated power-houses, haunted self-exalting
follies of pride, in the dust of desolation. Ditching here, the beast is the
direct attraction now for the powers that be, and these have their "one hour with
the beast" having determined to burn
· Revelation 18 details the destruction, the amazement of the merchants and the staggering loss of the valuables in the city, as it burns, destroyed "in one hour". It is all very sudden, very utter and very final. It has however, been VERY long in coming! (cf. II Peter 3:9, Rev. 18:10,19). Even those who mourn, the merchants, however, realise that what has happened is JUDGMENT (Rev. 18:10). In Rev. 18:20 the "holy apostles and peoples" are exhorted to "rejoice over her" and indeed heaven itself, for "God has avenged you on her!" In heaven, we had previously seen the saints asking HOW LONG! and now it is come (Rev. 6:10-12). SHE has had centuries to repent, and has not done so: hence is her end to come!
This ancient city of
"After these things," so sudden and devastating, we come to a vast
rejoicing in heaven (Rev. 19:1), declaring the justice of God's judgments, in
"He has avenged on her the blood of His servants shed by her." From this we proceed with praise to
the 'marriage' feast of the Lamb, the time of glorying of the saints, gathered
from all the earth (as in Matthew 24:29-31), and then these with Him
(Revelation 19:8,13ff., Zech. 14:5, I Thess. 3:13) come as He judges the fierce
fighting earth, determined on His rejection yet (Rev. 19:19). So does the
judgment impact on this earth (-21), as a prelude to the millenium
(Rev. 20 cf. SMR pp. 502ff.).
Indeed, this classical irony, in Revelation18:14, where souls and substances are covered without pause as if they were much the same sort of thing: this speaks volumes with a succinct grace, a total foil to the expansive disgrace which it so aptly summarises. Her indifference to suffering in so much is here exposed in a moment, souls and other saleable items being in one undifferentiated list!
What then is that irony ? merely the placement of the bodies and souls of men (bodies useful for breaking, souls for taking) along with other MERCHANDISE, things bought and soul, gear dealt in after the manner of business, that is all! It signifies a significant degree of likeness in the treatment of both: inhumane and inhuman (cf. II Peter 1:1-3), blatant, heartless, ferocious in spurious 'faith, dead in the midst of life, killing. And this, it is not without a heavy monetary involvement in both! (Cf. Chapter 1 above, pp. 22ff..) Souls and goods alike prove profitable! It is tersely ghoulish; but the suffering involved, it has not been so terse.
We have not finished, for the word of God has more places for our Blue Heeler to sniff out for us.
Not only is it a matter of
NATIONS, CITIES and the like, and we have seen the net extending to catch many,
and found a perspective that would make it less invidious seeming to some, when
they behold the amplitude of the Lord's ways with MANY peoples and cities over
MUCH time: it is a matter of individuals no less.
CITIES AND INDIVIDUALS
CITIES are instructive, because large, obvious and very visible; and nations are no less, because numerous and leaving a huge wake, easy to assimilate as object lessons. Such for example is the case of Egypt, from Ezekiel's time, that once so proud and majestic empire, assigned a LOWLY place among the nations - Ezekiel 29:15. Its continuity in that level of attainment becomes a manner of its punishment, for EVERY high and exalted thing that man thrusts into the face of the heavens, as if God were impersonal, has its personal mark except there be repentance, in response.
However individuals are JUST as important as cities. Each has a species of life, and that of the individual is express and of one kind. No city is without many of them; no nation without an assemblage, a multitude. No work of man but is done by or through them, and no life in a land but from them. Of such is David, Samuel, Noah; of such is Abraham the first of the Jews following His call.
Of such indeed is the Messiah, ONE MAN on earth; and of such is every reader today or any day.
If nothing is spared
communally and nothing of civilisation will have its proud boast, it is,
then, no less so with the individuals which comprise them. "ALL have sinned
and fall short of the glory of God," as Paul, summarising and exposing, notes in Romans
And the haughtiness of men shall be brought low:
The LORD alone will be exalted in that day,
But the idols He shall utterly abolish.
"They shall go into the holes of the rocks,
And into the caves of the earth,
From the terror of the LORD
And the glory of His majesty,
When He arises to shake the earth mightily ..."
Isaiah in 2:17ff..
Vainglorious pride brought Babel low (Genesis 11), and the devil likewise (Revelation 12, Ezekiel 28:12ff.).
In similar case, the naturalistic fallacies of man (A Spiritual Potpourri Chs. 1-9, Wake Up World! Your Creator is Coming ... Chs. 4-6, Stepping Out for Christ, Chs. 2-10), like the more explicit idols of yore, both of a kind, are but a pride in the race, the place, and an ignoring of the Majesty of the Maker. It is effectually a worship of the stage without respect either to the nature of the players or the carpenter of the contrivances available on stage. When man reaches this stage of living by his stage, and seeing his origin in it, obviously his part in the proceedings is that of an exceedingly deluded player, such as might become the tragi-comedies of Molière. Mirth struggles with poignancy as we regard him. Hope must have another role!
The same end comes to all this, and the 'knowledge' which tampers as now with increasing liberty for the interventions of mere power, with bionic utilitarianism, will only become the asphalt for the expressway to hell. It is then but a new pocket with all that went before, in some ways a more ambitious example of evil aspiration and unchartered computation, as men, thieves of the creations of God, without God, make themselves into gods that are no gods (cf. the end of the entire process in II Thessalonians 2:4ff.), and so resemble to the uttermost, the puny presumptions of ancient Tyre, in the sea of life.
This, it is like that, it comes merely to its appointed and just end, this that had used fire, goes by fire. It is so for Rome, for those who supplant her invidious role, and indeed in the end, for the whole earth (Isaiah 51:6, II Peter 3), when it with its works is "burnt up".
There is terror, for the cause of the end is terrible! The unreachable reached, and the unteachable taught, man proceeds with illusion ever fantasising, like those drunk, but not with wine (cf. Isaiah 29:9), making cocktails by appointment of wisdom, to reach what has no wisdom, being withered residues of their origin, preparing for their doom.
Tyre, first by Nebuchadnezzar and Alexander the Great in a series of operations at different times ended with but one ultimate result. For them it is past, but for mankind today, it is now to come, by the returning Christ Himself (cf. Biblical Blessings Chs. 1 and 2, with 6). This greater by infinity than Alexander the Great is far more to be feared, for with Him is truth. If it is not met by mercy, judgment according to truth is not at the whim and caprice, and invention and contention of pride, but includes the wilful absenting of oneself from the author of truth and indeed, of oneself. That done, without repentance, there is an end which does not end. It is a fateful thing, eternal shame, because so just (Daniel 12, Mark 9).
So it comes to one to all, but with this difference; that HE comes as Saviour for some, as Judge alone for those who decline to receive, what He did not decline to do, and procure: pardon through His death, His ransom, His sacrifice for sin (II Cor. 5:17-21, Matthew 20:28, Galatians 3:1-10).
No sniffer dog will be needed. The stricken earth will cry, and the stricken people harden themselves in great numbers (Rev. 9:20-21). The thing, the judgment of God, will stand like the moon in the sky, in the desolations of a reproved earth (cf. Ezekiel 39:1-15), as the stages of this time, the Lord's most direct actions, unfold themselves (the second major thrust, His coming in judgment, as in Revelation 19 and II Thessalonians 1, the first for His own as in I Thessalonians 4).
Nevertheless, the little bouncy movements of our Blue Heeler here and there, have been quite a lead for us today, as we see in the multitude of little things, the magnitude of the vast plan.
Fallen Empires are strewn in their doom, and have had the judgment rise up to meet them. Fallen people have their destinies appointed, as grace allows, mercy enables and faith receives. But now we are in a rather more hopeful category. Those whose power is still sufficient to read these words on earth, need not follow the ruin of pride, philosophic, psychological, political, religious, moral and other. It is still time to repent and be converted that your sins might be blotted out. It is the obverse of the very deliberate judgment of God, that His mercy does not yield one inch to it, for in Christ FULL payment has already been made, for all such as are concerned (Hebrews 9:12-28), and sufficient for all and any!
What delights in judgment is very welcome; if garbage as figuratively indicated in the name Gehenna, could self-collect, then it would be a self-designation, would it not ?
If now you so desire, your options are just one, and your destiny from it is just one. If you are moved to desire mercy, the fountain for it is just one, and the mode of approach (as in Hong Kong, where in the old air port, it seems, planes could go between high buildings to land safely!) is just one. It is the Just One, Jesus Christ (Acts 3:14). As Peter told Jerusalem hearers, after a healing miracle,
"But you denied the Holy One and the Just, and asked for a murder to be granted to you,
and killed the Prince of life, who God raised from the dead, of which we are witnesses...
"Yet now, brethren, I know you did it in ignorance, as did your rulers.
"But those things which God foretold by the mouth of all His prophets, that the Christ would suffer, He has thus fulfilled.
"Repent therefore and be converted that your sins may be blotted out so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord..."
This, it is for Jew and Gentile, red and black, rich and poor, proficient and inefficient, genius and incompetent alike. There is one God and one man, Jesus Christ, who came as sent from heaven in format of flesh, that we who have the same format, should share the same place as was His base (I Tim. 2:1ff.). As low as he stopped, so high we may go, as children of God. (I John 3:1ff., John 1:1-14, 8:58, Acts 17:31, Ephesians 2:5-6).
How can one have anything but joy when such an opportunity is available, for those on this earth are most blessed; but how grievous, and small wonder Jesus wept as in Luke 19:42ff., when wilful wretchedness and recklessness of spirit builds its mansions on clouds, and disdains the work of God. It is this that man can choose, freely. To respond in faith without hope but in Christ, this is the very work of God. He is not hard of hearing: you may CALL on His name (Acts 2:21), and put your faith in His works. Then YOU become one of them, a work of His salvation (Ephesians 2:1-12)!
*1 Jeremiah 2:13, 27-32, Isaiah 57:4-12. have much to tell us here. There is in general nothing to surpass primary documents when precise impact is needed, and with the Bible this is emphatically so. Its precision amidst its hundreds of thousands of words, in their interplay is in itself an eloquent testimony to its stable truth and the stark intelligence and spiritual light which from the Lord who gave it, is with its many other flames of beauty, its inherent virtue. Let us then read these passages.
Jeremiah 2:13 :
“For My people have committed two evils:
They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters,
And hewn themselves cisterns—broken cisterns that can hold no water.
"Saying to a tree, ‘You are my father,’
And to a stone, ‘You gave birth to me.’
"For they have turned their back to Me, and not their face.
But in the time of their trouble
They will say, ‘Arise and save us.’
But where are your gods that you have made for yourselves?
Let them arise,
If they can save you in the time of your trouble;
For according to the number of your cities
Are your gods, O Judah.
29 “Why will you plead with Me?
You all have transgressed against Me,” says the Lord.
30 “In vain I have chastened your children;
They received no correction.
Your sword has devoured your prophets
Like a destroying lion.
31 “O generation, see the word of the Lord!
Have I been a wilderness to Israel,
Or a land of darkness?
Why do My people say, ‘We are lords;
We will come no more to You’?
Can a virgin forget her ornaments,
Or a bride her attire?
Yet My people have forgotten Me days without number."
The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.
4 "Whom do you ridicule?
Against whom do you make a wide mouth
And stick out the tongue?
Are you not children of transgression,
Offspring of falsehood,
Inflaming yourselves with gods under every green tree,
Slaying the children in the valleys,
Under the clefts of the rocks?
6 "Among the smooth stones of the stream
Is your portion;
They, they, are your lot!
Even to them you have poured a drink offering,
You have offered a grain offering.
Should I receive comfort in these?
7 “On a lofty and high mountain
You have set your bed; Even there you went up
To offer sacrifice.
Also behind the doors and their posts
You have set up your remembrance;
For you have uncovered yourself to those other than Me,
And have gone up to them;
You have enlarged your bed
And made a covenant with them;
You have loved their bed,
Where you saw their nudity.
9 "You went to the king with ointment,
And increased your perfumes;
You sent your messengers far off,
And even descended to hell.
You are wearied in the length of your way;
Yet you did not say, ‘There is no hope.’
You have found the life of your hand;
Therefore you were not grieved.
11 “And of whom have you been afraid, or feared,
That you have lied
And not remembered Me,
Nor taken it to your heart?
Is it not because I have held My peace from of old
That you do not fear Me?
12 "I will declare your righteousness
And your works,
For they will not profit you.
When you cry out,
Let your collection of idols deliver you.
But the wind will carry them all away,
A breath will take them..."
(Some verse numbers are omitted for better ease of reading,
but those given follow the normal division.)
In the above, red has been used for particular emphasis, and the references to children, in Israel involving child slaughter for idolatrous reasons, burning bodies in disgraceful disregard both to obligations to the Creator and to one another, is paralleled today in many States, including that of S.A., where arrives their mental slaughter with baseless philosophies of evolution, misled and misleading, without regard to logic or even provision for its exercise in these domains, in the schools. This amazing fact is able to be documented in TMR Ch. 8.
Just as Great Britain did wonders for the Jews in 1917 in the Balfour Declaration (q.v.), but grew worse and worse, in 1948 handing things to the Arab Legion and not allowing many Jewish vessels to come into Israel to land after World War II’s holocaust for the Jewish people, and has considerably declined: one cannot help wondering what is in store for the US. This nation, despite the prodigies and performances under Nixon, in the 1973 war, has in the last two administrations seemed unable or unwilling to understand the Biblical position, the interests of equity for all, and the interplay of passions on the part of an aggressive and international Islam, self-declared in its hostilities to Israel and its appointed destiny for it. The brokerage of hate and destruction is a volatile and unrewarding act. It is the root which is wrong; spraying the leaves helps but little.
As the U.S. looks more and more for further yieldings from Israel of the already all but incredibly reduced ‘Palestine’ originally guaranteed to Israel, it becomes increasingly the subject of the Biblical burdens which adverse conceptions and actions towards the restored Jerusalem, will assuredly bring.
One hopes better things; but if the process continues, the
results may accrue (Genesis 12:3, 15:14, 28:4,13ff., Numbers 24:9, Genesis
27:29, Zechariah 12:2-3 cf. Beauty of Holiness
See Little Things Ch. 5,
Things Old and New Ch. 9,
Divine Agenda Ch. 7,
Ancient Words : Modern Deeds Ch.13,
Tender Times for Timely Truths Ch. 11,
Spiritual Refreshings for the Digital MilleniumCh. 13,
Wake Up World! Your Creator is Coming ... Chs. 4 and 5.
It is a major feature of the Biblical presentation that Jerusalem, in Judah, was to be menaced in the days of faithful King Hezekiah, in the very area of history when Israel, in the split sector of the idolatrous Northern Kingdom, was to be overcome and dispersed by the same foreign nation.
The mercy of God in His covenant grace is thus emphasised in the most straightforward and dramatic way conceivable. Further, the mercy shown to Hezekiah of Judah was not merely in terms of a faithful and dedicated life, such as he for the most part lived, but of his actual seeking of the Lord's hand and help, without fluster, bluster or flesh, but by prayer. The invading King's letter, that of Sennacherib of Assyria, was set forth in the Temple before God, and the case reviewed and the matter put by Hezekiah personally, to the end that the LORD might intervene.
This, God did, announcing His intention through the prophet Isaiah in language of the most delightful irony, just sovereignty and much deserved mockery (Isaiah 37:22ff.), in some ways reminiscent of Psalm 2's rebuke to those who tried to murder and REMOVE Christ. Assyria's flower of military might perished at that time, and its king returned at a loss this time, only to be murdered by his sons in his false god's temple. It is the very stuff of morality, the expression of godliness and the clear-cut case which can come when there is faith and faithfulness. A nation in that case was to be kept as it waited on God; and through its king's ministry and its prophet's cry, it was heard and it was delivered.
It was therefore only after such a new demonstration of the power that earlier had delivered Israel from the massive imperial might of an Egypt, rendered helpless by divine means as in Exodus 4-15, and sustained them in the desert thereafter, even following their failure in faith to enter their land, that the end came so many centuries later, for Jerusalem. The intervening defeat by divine means of the imperial power of Assyria, however, gave them another period of over one century to mend their ways; but alas, despite some revival, they did not do so. Thus came about the 70 year exile predicted by Jeremiah (Jer. 25), with such heaviness of heart (Jer. 9) to the sinning people, alas specialising in straying as Gentile nations do today. At the end of that period, duly pled by Daniel (Daniel 9), and honoured by the Lord, Jerusalem had to be rebuild.
This time they had some 6 centuries, before exposing their state of heart in the crucifixion of the predicted Messiah, at the predicted date, around A.D. 30 (cf. SMR pp. 886ff., 943ff.). Then came that most thorough demolition, literally stone from stone, that ploughing and that desolation presaged by Daniel in 9:27, depicted so solemnly by Christ to His disciples when they were impressed with the stones of the place which would not acknowledge their own Maker!
Jerusalem is a pulpit, and
its sermons are many. The word of God and the ways of history ensure that! They
agree like the juice of a lemon with its smell, and more also, like the aura of
sunset with the beauty of its Maker.