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its modes unarguable, but


There are in the minor prophets such major revelations concerning judgment, that one may arrange them like mechanic's tools on the wall, each different, each with a related purpose, graded, qualitatively variant, substantially a team.

Judgment comes in the end. The amazing fact in the meantime is this: that so many can so pulse themselves to sleep in the concepts of cruelty such as is normal in much of the world, greed, vice and inveterate rebellion against the Maker, caricature of His mercy and detestation of His most restrained but soon more potent judgments, and indeed His final judgment on all; and then, while impressively incompetent for the purpose, they themselves judge. (Cf. SMR p. 101, Barbs, Arrows and Balms 7.)

There is to be NO judgment, they clamour; yet they judge. There is to be nothing divine, but the human acts as if it were just that. The commonality of all men spiritually is taken for granted; the UN decrees them all brothers, spitting in the process in the face of Christ (John 8:44) who taught the exact opposite. While it is true that creation gives them one CREATOR Father, it is by no means true that there is the same spiritual father, for the sale of the soul is regressive, calamitous and transforming; indeed, it needs transforming even before the sale! (cf. The Biblical Workman Ch.7).

Much of the world lies deep in the pocket of the wicked one (John 5:19, 14:30), and although he himself is contained in the power of the Almighty (Isaiah 43:13), in the interim he is having his fling (Revelation 12), being angry at the inevitable judgment on himself. Not surprisingly, therefore, it is fashionable to judge and to imagine there is no judgment. It is like the 'present company excepted' social usage. NO judgment (except mine, or my favourite society's offering on the topic).

The UN, that Moses without the Almighty, that false-teethed creation of man which spits out the truth and imbibes the socially acceptable, and decrees from its relativities, absolutes arising and arriving from no discernible or even possible origin: the UN,  it judges!

With social convention, it judges, or even social invention: it judges shame for this or that, and alleges with enormous press pressure, this or that politician is right or wrong, this or that land, movement, approach: in terms of some ethical outlawry, which establishes itself without facts and in terms of fictions. While sometimes there is some justification for some of it, its whirls and eddies have a way of becoming autonomous, autocratic and fashionable. An example was seen inCh. 3

 above, and another the Child Rights concept, which divorces the parental responsibilities in the ways shown earlier (The Other News Appendix 1). it tends to make them social supernumeraries, baby-sitters in their own homes, for the real power, the force.

Further cases are found in the judgments on the school children in this State, where the evolutionary myth (literally and strictly so-called - That Magnificent Rock Ch.1, SMR pp. 252H-I) is enforced in ways as inhumane as unhuman in government controlled schools. This or that is judged and applied, and resistance is judged, and morals are judged, although for many there are none; they are judged just the same. It is the UN, it is the State, it is 'humanity' that does it. It is inveterate, and even those who judge that those who apply morals are wrong, yet they judge them in that very act, moral-free in theory, awash with them in practice. The only difference in many such cases is this: that the morals being stowaways, are not recognised, and so applied with a freedom at which many a lawyer might grasp, if he could but find it!


Admittedly, the answer is readily obtainable. It is the Creator who is to judge; it is indeed the Redeemer who is to judge, and who better for it since:

·       1) He became a man (Philippians 2).

·       2) As man, He was judged, most ironically, JUST as He was offering Himself as Saviour to bear judgment for those who wanted their moral debts cancelled, their spiritual wrongs against God and man annulled in His own Person, suffering for them, on their behalf (Isaiah 53, I Peter 2:22ff.). Indeed (I Corinthians 2:8), the malevolence of man was adroitly used by God as an executive agent for His benevolence (cf. Isaiah 53:3-4), and that according to plan (Psalm 2, 16 cf. Joyful Jottings Chs. 16, 21).

·       3) His mercy is profound and He is by all godly means, interested in releasing captives, not imprisoning miscreants (John 3:16-19, Luke 19:42, 19:10).

·       4) He in mercy took arms and legs, and in a vast healing program for body, mind and spirit, He showed it with divine humility, in the vulnerability and in the liabilities to assault in human format (Hebrews 2) - though holy and without sin (Hebrews 7:26-27, 9:14, I Peter 2:22-23, Romans 5:17-18). 

·       5) He co-created with the Father, as the living and eternal word of God (John 1:1-3, Colossians 1:15ff.).

·       6) He knows therefore what He is doing, what He has done and what needs doing (Hebrews 1:1-13).

·         7) NOBODY is about to be condemned by Christ who died, for a lack of love, mercy or program on His part (Colossians 1:19-23). In power and practice, alike, and by  the very word of God, He forbids it (cf. Ezekiel 33:11, I Tim. 2:1-6).


For convenience here, we shall adduce some points made earlier, to fill out the bill of fare (slightly modified, from Repent or Perish Ch.2):

    • "As to Christ, in comparison with Him, there is nothing even slightly to suggest the incandescent, infallible, confirmed and constantly historically verified life which He lived:

    • the purity,

the pronouncements,
the prophecies, from Jerusalem's fall, as also foretold by Daniel in Ch.9, to the restoration of the Jews (Luke 21:44), to the profusion of His slithering and serpentine substitutes who were to - and do abundantly now, misuse His name or His fame, and hence to our own times, in their specialised and specific forecast as a contour of events and characteristics (SMR Ch.8),

    • the profundity,

the panoply of power whether over sickness, demons or the weather,
the historical provision which led from long before, to His exposure to the world in hundreds of fulfilled prophecies ranging in topic from His date to His death, His healing to His joy, from His words to His Gospel, to its spread and to its extent throughout the world,
the program which He followed as laid down both in the Old Testament and in His own words,

    • the compassion,

the penalty-bearing and
the precision of His answers in all matters with which He was confronted, and
His performance, never aborted, never failing and never out of His depth whether with words, disease or events of any kind;

o       His penetration into the depths of hell, as bearing the alienation which sin brings, as also predicted,

o       His predication of His power to the presence and His place with His Father (John 8:29) ...."

Who, after all, more suitable to deliver judgment (John 5:19ff.) than the One who VICARIOUSLY bore it! This is the surgeon who gave His life for His patient, dealing with the man's later exploits.


The judgment is according to truth (Romans 2). That is pleasant. When we are persecuted or unjustly treated, it is a matter of suffering. But when we are justly treated, though we may still suffer, yet the poignancy is not there: and while irony may replace it, it is our own just desert. We have asked and received and the case is clear.

WHEN and if we are presented FIRST with an opportunity to have the necessary judgment removed and a change wrought instead, so that we might be both free and better favoured within, then it is occasion for relief, gratitude and joy. Hence WHEN and IF the judgment comes in dread fatality and lustreless doom to the deserving, they do not deserve because of cultural oppression or moral infamy of others. They deserve because they REFUSE and REJECT or remain AVERSE to the judgment being borne by Christ, who Himself declared: "For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved" (John 3:17), and again, "THIS is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil." (Emphasis added.) His openness of heart is conspicuous. His mercy is profound.

As noted in detail in The Kingdom of Heaven... Ch.4, this unwillingness is, in context, in the very face of the PRESENT challenge of the REVEALED CHRIST.  THIS final judgment, as mirrored to the eye, is echoed to the ear in John 15:21-23.

Hence the judgment concerns inveterate, self-ridden abstraction from God, rebellion against Him, irrational autonomy ahead of Him, or for whatever cause, idea, ideal or vision that man may envisage, declare and desire. But what vision, what moral, what desire can compare with the Maker of the heart and mind of man, the former of His intelligence and the creator of his very powers of vision, whose own heart has been shown so sacrificially laden for man, and who has borne for so many so much, that they might be saved! Those who do not want THIS MAN TO RULE OVER US, in view of His being GOD AS MAN, simply do not want God; and without Him, that IS the judgment.

What then ? This. It is then that the double pleasantness of judgment according to truth, not slander or confusion, and of a judgment covered in Christ by faith, grows doubly disastrous: for every imperfect feature in motive, conscious or unconscious, in action or permitted thought, is then highlighted and focussed JUSTLY; and forsaken mercy does not then cheer the inveterate in their endless guilt. The case then becomes like a novel that cannot be changed or completed. The light hollow is a dismal well, the beauty hollow is a living ugliness, the knowledge hollow is a dire devastation, for all is unnatural, excluding that very supernatural which made nature.

Now let us look according to our little expedition's announcement, at some of the minor prophets on the way things come about towards the judgment, in their burning trail all too indicative of the final end in judgment for those who judge themselves unworthy of eternal life, and make their own (Acts 13:46ff.).


In this case, the judgment follows the prophet's enquiry about the reason why the Lord suffers so much evil, oppression and disregard on the part of so many who work evil against the poor of the earth, the suffering so often seen, under injustice. There is a reason, and it involves testing, requires time, means that the Lord's own actions are multiple and many while the laboratory session proceeds, and there is a judgment, the prophet is told, a judgment of total and devastating certainty coming (cf. A Spiritual Potpourri Ch.16, Benevolent Brightness or Brothy Bane 87, Barbs, Arrows and Balms 17). .

Below we have the NKJV rendering of the judgment specified to the prophet in Ch.3:

  • 1A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet, on Shigionoth.

2 O LORD, I have heard your speech and was afraid;
O LORD, revive Your work in the midst of the years!
In the midst of the years make it known;
In wrath remember mercy.

3 God came from Teman,
The Holy One from Mount Paran. Selah
His glory covered the heavens,
And the earth was full of His praise.

4 His brightness was like the light;
He had rays flashing from His hand,
And there His power was hidden.

5 Before Him went pestilence,
And fever followed at His feet.

6 He stood and measured the earth;
He looked and startled the nations.
And the everlasting mountains were scattered,
The perpetual hills bowed.
His ways are everlasting.

7 I saw the tents of Cushan in affliction;
The curtains of the land of Midian trembled.

8 O LORD, were You displeased with the rivers,
Was Your anger against the rivers,
Was Your wrath against the sea,
That You rode on Your horses,
Your chariots of salvation?

9 Your bow was made quite ready;
Oaths were sworn over Your arrows. Selah
You divided the earth with rivers.

10 The mountains saw You and trembled;
The overflowing of the water passed by.
The deep uttered its voice,
And lifted its hands on high.

11 The sun and moon stood still in their habitation;
At the light of Your arrows they went,
At the shining of Your glittering spear.

12 You marched through the land in indignation;
You trampled the nations in anger.

13 You went forth for the salvation of Your people,
For salvation with Your Anointed.
You struck the head from the house of the wicked,
By laying bare from foundation to neck. Selah

14 You thrust through with his own arrows
The head of his villages.
They came out like a whirlwind to scatter me;
Their rejoicing was like feasting on the poor in secret.

15 You walked through the sea with Your horses,
Through the heap of great waters.

16 When I heard, my body trembled;
My lips quivered at the voice;
Rottenness entered my bones;
And I trembled in myself,
That I might rest in the day of trouble.
When he comes up to the people,
He will invade them with his troops."

Here the judgment is expressed in invasion, power, glory, might, honour, light. It is coming in the highlands where mercy has been offered to all, invoked by some. For the world it has not desired, but rejected in the terms of its offer; and that, it is nothing less than  the knowledge of God, the only Saviour, expressed in Christ, His exact image and brightness of His glory, only begotten Son and of equal honour to Himself (Heb. 1:3ff., John 5:19-23, 17:1-3, I John 4:15, 5:1). This then becomes judgment by default, judgment of every fault (cf. Matthew 25, where the goats are cited for every OMISSION, while the sheep for the good things committed).

The "rottenness" which entered the prophet's bones at the prospect is the reaction of flesh; the cry for mercy is the deliverance in the Messiah who was to come, now has come and soon, very soon, will return.

Habakkuk looks forward with due animation of spirit, to finding "rest in the day of trouble", a turmoil to come, so vast that even in safe premises to behold it is a source of horror and trepidation. It is a case resembling those who watch the atomic explosions, even if protected.

Alas, some who once thought they were safe, were found not to be so, since they did not have ADEQUATE protection in the nineteen forties, from this PHYSICAL thing. The case is not dissimilar spiritually. It is ONLY Christ (Acts 4:11-12), who is deputed as adequate, in terms of His gospel alone (Galatians 1:6-10, Ephesians 1:10, Colossians 1:19ff.), immutable, suitable, beautiful in loveliness, efficient in grace, powerful in keeping (I Peter 1:3-5, Colossians 3:1-3, Philippians 3:20-21, Romans 8:1-11, I John 5:11-13).

Alas, some who once thought they were safe, were found not to be so, since they did not have ADEQUATE protection in the nineteen forties, from this PHYSICAL thing. The case is not dissimilar spiritually. It is ONLY Christ (Acts 4:11-12), who is deputed as adequate, in terms of His gospel alone (Galatians 1:6-10, Ephesians 1:10, Colossians 1:19ff.), immutable, suitable, beautiful in loveliness, efficient in grace, powerful in keeping (I Peter 1:3-5, Colossians 3:1-3, Philippians 3:20-21, Romans 8:1-11, I John 5:11-13).

  • It is not enough to trust in man (Isaiah 2:22, Jeremiah 17:5ff., Psalm 20:5-9, Titus 3:5-7), for "of what account is he";
  • and even the nations are like dust in the balance (Isaiah 40:12-15); in multiple gods, for "the gods are the heathen are idols",
  • and to mix gods with God is like adultery committed in the lounge in front of a faithful wife (Psalm 96:4-5, Jeremiah 7:9-11);
  • nor in dim hopes (Zephaniah 1:12-13) may one trust,
  • nor in oneself (Romans 3:19), for "all the world" is "guilty before God",
  • and remedy is NOT by works which we have done (Micah 3:4-7);
  • nor is it by looking to nature as if another creation, without spirit, could help, for its own decline is assured (Isaiah 51:6, Psalm 102 cf. Benevolent Brightness or Brothy Bane 82, A Spiritual Potpourri Chs.1-3, Stepping out for Christ 10 incl. pp. 140ff., Wake Up World, You Creator is Coming… Chs. 4, 5,) ;
  • nor yet is it in churches, for none of these has died for you, though each faithful one will lead you to the One who did so (Jeremiah 7, I Cor. 3:10-11, Acts 4:11-12).
  • There is no safety except in the Lord (Jonah 2:9, Isaiah 63:1-5, 41:26-42:6, 43:10-11), and adding to Him is subtraction of truth (John 14:6, Proverbs 30:6) and the multiplication of transgression: for HE has spoken what He wishes, and for flesh to contribute is not mere plagiarism, but pollution. To Him then faith must look, in all simplicity (Matthew 18:1ff., I Corinthians 1).

It is in Habakkuk that we find the famous cry that the just shall live by faith. The principle was NOT by faithfulness, since the current state of social depravity was the concern, and its final rectification was something to "wait for". Rather it was by faith for that which, though not yet, "will surely come". (See Barbs, Arrows and Balms Ch.22). It has come in full measure in salvation which will outlast the earth (Isaiah 51:6), just as the judgment Habakkuk cites will come. Wait in faith (Matthew 24:45ff., 25:1-10ff.).


Here the prophet is encouraging, exhorting the people to REBUILD the destroyed and fallen temple, upon their return from the 70 year Babylonian exile. Is it right, he says to have your ceiled houses while the temple is unbuilt! "Be strong... all you people of the land... and work; for I am with you, says the LORD of hosts."

HE is still with them as from Egypt, and the days of Pharaoh, when His profound and epochal deliverance made history. As to history, the time is coming when not only Egypt but ALL THE EARTH is to be shaken. "Once more (it is a little while) I will shake heaven and earth, the sea and dry land; and I will shake all nations, and they shall come to the Desire of ALL Nations, and I will fill this temple with glory,' says the LORD of hosts." This is cited in Hebrews 12:26. The terrors of Sinai when the mountain trembled and fire and the voice of the Lord came, so that the people sought deliverance from such divine actions, and were granted it as Moses took the word of the Lord for them:  these are but a preliminary to the magnitude of coming events, as in the case of Egypt, an index to them (see The Other News Appendix 2, and Micah 7:5).

  • "See that you do not refuse Him who speaks," Hebrews declares. "For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven, whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, 'Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven' " (Hebrews  12:25-26).

Like Revelation 9, which shows that despite the (actually long delayed but finally coming) divine judgments, men did not repent, so here, God in Habakkuk 2:17ff., reproves them for not 'listening' to His former PHYSICALLY expressed comments, which of course were by no means lacking in many prophetic WORDS to explain the basis of it all! (cf. Hosea 12;10).

·       Now we come to a happy bifurcation. On the one hand, what was to come to those who had come OUT of Babylon (now represented by the false religious structures and strictures which are 'arising' and often taking over once sound churches, frequently adding themselves to the centrepiece, Rome - SMR pp. 946ff,. Biblical Blessings pp. 20ff.  Ch. 2, Repent or Perish pp. 102ff. Ch.5, Barbs, Arrows and Balms 30, Stepping Out for Christ Ch.1), and come out of that foreign city in order to work for the restoration of what had been destroyed, literally in the Jewish case ? What to these is accorded ? It is this: they are to be blessed FROM THAT VERY DAY (Haggai 2:18-19).

·       Why is this blessing to be ? It is because they have responded with fervour and clarity to the divine call, in faith. In the day of the Jews, it was a question of leaving the capturing city which had victimised them, to which forcibly they had been carried in exile, now that the opportunity to return to Israel and re-institute the organisation for the worship of the Lord, had come. In our day, it therefore is paralleled by leaving the capturing raids of fallen, false and unbiblical ways, faithless and unwilling denominations as so many have become, leaving ... however pleasant (like Babylon to many of the Jews) the place of 'captivity' may have become. (Trace with delight the vigour and industry of those returning Jews, the leadership, the cleansing, eventual constancy and the faith, the purging and the sincerity, in Ezra and Nehemiah.)

·       Leaving and returning from 'Babylon', to do what ? to return to the faith so slighted, and  to the hard work and sober toil of rebuilding the testimony of the Lord, in purity and in truth. Just as then, many were not willing, so now many will not take the step, and reside in comfort in the Babylonish suburbs  of the hour, immune to call and conscience alike, flitting from the word of God like swallows on migration (cf. Separation, Ch. 7 in The Kingdom of Heaven...).


On the other hand, we see now the pith of the judgment coming on the deliberately turned away, on the effrontery and the confusion of the self-assertive flesh (Haggai 2:21-22):

"I will shake heaven and earth,
I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms:
I will destroy the strength of the Gentile kingdoms.
I will overthrow the chariots,
And those who ride in them..."

  • In that day, the Messiah (Haggai 2:23) - as we saw in Zechariah 3-4 earlier, in type represented by Zerubbabel, and there the interpretation was present with the prophecy - will Himself be present in divine power (cf. Zechariah 14). In the beauty of holiness, HE will rule (Psalm 110, 72, 45, 2).


The physical terrors of a rending universe (cf. Zephaniah 3:6-8,15,19, Joel 3:14-16) are matched by the spiritual blessedness of those who are the Lord's. (Even my cat feels quite safe when I am hosing nearby, and indeed at times seems almost to enjoy insouciance, disregard of my 'dangerous' hose - she dislikes water on her coat. Why ? It is because she TRUSTS me and is assured that my intentions will not be adverse to her welfare.) Nevertheless the rebellious expressions of human arrogance and self-built power, with stolen goods of the Almighty in their own persons, all this adequately (cf. Revelation 11:18!) meets overthrow and destruction.

This bifurcation mentioned is of course heightened by Isaiah in 51:6ff.:

  • 1 "Listen to Me, you who follow after righteousness,

You who seek the LORD:
Look to the rock from which you were hewn,
And to the hole of the pit from which you were dug.
2 Look to Abraham your father,
And to Sarah who bore you;
For I called him alone,
And blessed him and increased him."

3 For the LORD will comfort Zion,
He will comfort all her waste places;
He will make her wilderness like Eden,
And her desert like the garden of the LORD;
Joy and gladness will be found in it,
Thanksgiving and the voice of melody.

4 "Listen to Me, My people;
And give ear to Me, O My nation:
For law will proceed from Me,
And I will make My justice rest
As a light of the peoples.
5 My righteousness is near,
My salvation has gone forth,
And My arms will judge the peoples;
The coastlands will wait upon Me,
And on My arm they will trust.
6 Lift up your eyes to the heavens,
And look on the earth beneath.
For the heavens will vanish away like smoke,
The earth will grow old like a garment,
And those who dwell in it will die in like manner;
But My salvation will be forever,
And My righteousness will not be abolished.

7 "Listen to Me, you who know righteousness,
You people in whose heart is My law:
Do not fear the reproach of men,
Nor be afraid of their insults.
8 For the moth will eat them up like a garment,
And the worm will eat them like wool;
But My righteousness will be forever,
And My salvation from generation to generation."

9 Awake, awake, put on strength,
O arm of the LORD!
Awake as in the ancient days,
In the generations of old.
Are You not the arm that cut Rahab apart,
And wounded the serpent?

10 Are You not the One who dried up the sea,
The waters of the great deep;
That made the depths of the sea a road
For the redeemed to cross over?
11 So the ransomed of the LORD shall return,
And come to Zion with singing,
With everlasting joy on their heads.
They shall obtain joy and gladness;
Sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

12 "I, even I, am He who comforts you.
Who are you that you should be afraid
Of a man who will die,
And of the son of a man who will be made like grass?

13 "And you forget the LORD your Maker,
Who stretched out the heavens
And laid the foundations of the earth;
You have feared continually every day
Because of the fury of the oppressor,
When he has prepared to destroy.
And where is the fury of the oppressor?

14 "The captive exile hastens, that he may be loosed,
That he should not die in the pit,
And that his bread should not fail.

15 "But I am the LORD your God,
Who divided the sea whose waves roared-
The LORD of hosts is His name.
16 And I have put My words in your mouth;
I have covered you with the shadow of My hand,
That I may plant the heavens,
Lay the foundations of the earth,
And say to Zion, 'You are My people.' "

Here you see the covenantal intensity of His protection, the assurance of His power, and the prediction of His purpose and program. Heaven and earth (as Jesus indicated in Matthew 24:35) WILL go, but the righteousness and the salvation of GOD will NOT go, so that to have the one is to be protected in the other. Why ? Because HE made Christ to be sin for us who believe, that we might become in HIM the righteousness of God, a gift (Romans 5:17), by grace (5:15), which brings with it, the gift of eternal life (6:23) by faith.

The JUST then shall live by faith, in the presence of their Saviour Christ, and they shall not be involved: though the very program strikes terror unless one is well prepared, and its mere sight is all but devastating, as Habakkuk found. THIS is the justice which is to come, and it will surely come (Habakkuk 2:3); but THAT is the mercy which Habakkuk focusses at the end of his prophecy (3:16,19).

As to Haggai, the stress is on the DESTRUCTION coming in heaven and earth, on the CONSTRUCTION to be carried out in the work of the Lord in the meantime, as on the care in the SYMBOLIC representation of salvation. This was then so expressed in the temple, but now it is found  in substance in the sin-bearing death, and the completion in Christ's death-breaching labours (Hebrews 8:1-10:14), a boon which now has come to us, with the advent of the Messiah.

Now that Christ has come, this emphasis conveys to the Christian, the care needed not to divorce oneself in anything from the word of God, or the Gospel, but rejoicing in Him, to grow (Galatians 3,5,6), glorying in the cross of Christ by which the world (to be destroyed) is crucified to us, and we (to be resurrected in Christ) are crucified to it (Galatians 6:14). Accordingly, Haggai has also set in symbol, the coming of that Messiah in his last verse in the prophecy.


Joel like Haggai is cited in the New Testament in connection with the end. You find it in Acts 2, where Peter is declaring the nature of the new era, the New Covenant or Testament time in which the Holy Spirit was poured out on them. This, Pentecost, was the time when miraculous UNDERSTANDING was granted to the polyglot peoples gathered in Jerusalem at that particular time, and what happened at that time ? They understood (the opposite of Pentecostalism, which is really Corinthianism as explained in detail in A Question of Gifts)! It is for such a result as this, that the apostle seeks with an absolute priority for words readily understood (I Corinthians 14:19), contradistinct, different to the uttermost from what is frequently glamorised in ways not merely illicit, but unprofitable and unedifying, to say no more.

“And it shall come to pass afterward
That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh;
Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
Your old men shall dream dreams,
Your young men shall see visions.
29 And also on My menservants and on My maidservants
I will pour out My Spirit in those days.

30 “And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth:
Blood and fire and pillars of smoke.
31 The sun shall be turned into darkness,
And the moon into blood,
Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.
32 And it shall come to pass
That whoever calls on the name of the Lord
Shall be saved.
For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance,
As the Lord has said,
Among the remnant whom the Lord calls."

Thus the glorious salvation made manifest, being long rejected, leads on to another astounding signal: for what does this prophecy

  • of light and darkness,
  • of mercy and judgment,
  • of looming destruction (cf. Joel 3:2,9-16 cf. Haggai 2:6, Zephaniah 3:8ff continuing in the same furious focus)
  • and zealous appeal (Joel 2:12-17),
  • this divine oracle through Joel, contain ?

Here we see the epochal COLUMN OF FIERY SMOKE (smoke related to fire is the normal Biblical usage for the term), a pillar as it is also translated (Darby Bible).

This is one of the features above all other current physical ones in the skies, which signifies our Age. Its 1945 advent has characterised for power and deliverance, for contamination and destruction, the times in which we live. This is in prophetic terms of WONDERS (Joel 2:30), and a wonder it is to all. The intensification in the realm of sun and moon has also been predicted long (Luke 21:25) by Christ, as a prelude to His regal return, disposing power to meet the contaminated case of this world of fleshly intrigue (cf. a prelude to such things, in SMR pp. 691ff., 709ff.). In the midst, however, we note the prophet has an intense focus on MERCY, on the need to be CALLING ON THE NAME OF THE LORD. This is a provision so simple in outline, so transforming in input but available like an ejector seat, till the end and He has come. We observe particularly the reference to Jerusalem*1A (Joel 3:16-17 cf. Zephaniah 3:10-18), which occurs in even more detail in Zechariah 14.


This prophet in Ch.14 declares an end to things of this Age. After his detailed coverage of what in fact have been the post-return wars of triumph of the Jews (as in Zechariah 12, which also specifies the coming national repentance of the Jews, concerning the Lord Jesus Christ in 12:10, a move of heart not done until AFTER the murder of course), the prophet announces that the LORD Himself will come and His feet will in fact touch Mt Zion. Again, we are in the arena of judgment, for the people of the Lord are already with Him (Matthew 24:31, Zechariah 14;5, I Thessalonians 4).

In the process, He will "fight against those nations,
As He fights in the day of battle,
And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives ...
It shall come to pass in that day
That there will be no light:
The lights will diminish,
It shall be one day,
Which is known to the Lord" - or as the New American version puts it:

"And it will come about in that day that there will be no light; the luminaries will dwindle; for it will be a unique day which is known to the LORD, neither day nor night..."

The LORD is to rule in this period, and "a great panic from the LORD will fall on them" - that is, those who have at this time gone to war against Jerusalem (14:12), along with other plagues looking like sores from radioactivity, a fitting contemporary parallel in terms of the Joel pillar or column, for our time.

Here therefore we are in the precincts of power, of devastation of a detailed kind, dealt in the midst of those who set themselves against the Lord and presume at the end to seize Jerusalem; while we observe the continuity of His power as the time passes, in spreading the glory of the Lord over the earth "as the waters cover the sea" (as in Habakkuk 2:14)!

The "sacrifices" of Zechariah 14 are a retro-symbolism in a book of extraordinarily rich and striking imagery, constantly moving from the ways of the prophet’s own day, in the old Covenant, to the fufilment in the new Covenant in the Messiah. He does this in wonderful ways. Here the scene is cast in Old Covenant terminology, even though Zechariah is one of the foremost in vivid portrayal of the New covenant. Literary licence of this graphic kind discreetly keeps  the solemnity of the purging of sin away from the presumptuous, while recalling excavation from its premises, represented all too acutely by the living entombment in the slave-pen of Egypt.

The reign of Egypt in oppression in those ancient times, virtually symbolises the domineering liberties of sin; and escape from Egypt’s baneful day, symbolised in terms of  deliverance in the desert journey, by the feast of tabernacles, led straight to the Mosaic covenant at Sinai: on the way! Appropriately in Zechariah14, we see that Egypt has to come to Jerusalem to seek the Lord in due penitence for its sins. Now it is in Jerusalem that He is to be sought by the nation, and there the grace grant of the Lord is presented in its central features. After all, that is WHERE HE DIED.

None will glory however in the flesh (Isaiah 19:24-25), and the Jews themselves come as do others, from afar off (cf. Isaiah 65:13-15)!

In terms of animal sacrifice of course (Isaiah Chs. 66:1-4, 53), that door is shut, that structure fulfilled for ever (Hebrews 12:12-15, 8:13). It is as Hebrews notes (13:15) a sacrifice of praise which is now relevant, for Christ has made once and for all the whole coverage for all sin for all people who are His or should ever become His (Hebrews 9:12-10:14, Colossians 1:19ff., Ephesians 3:10). The key to the code therefore is provided, and must be used (Galatians 1:6-9, 6:14 - for the wilful use of what is obsolete as in Hebrews 8:13, can mean the demeaning of what it cost to make it so! its bypassing, degradation or obscuration, whereas it is in this, the cross of Christ, that one must glory as Galatians insists, cf. Hebrews 9:24-28, 10:29!).

Put differently, the feast of tabernacles in Zechariah 14 is symbolical of what is to be expressed in the fulfilled terms. This is the thought provocative way of teaching that can so impact on the sleepy and alert the unwatchful. However it is clear that many are the activities to occur in the millenial reign, and great is the testimony to the Lord before the onset of that final revolt specified in Revelation 20, which leads to the departure of the earth itself, and to the dispensing with all but the habitation made expressly for the people of the Lord (Revelation 21-22). It is then that there remains that eternal city, that eternal bower for eternal life in the presence of Him whose it is, and who has conferred it on all His own, because they are His (John 14:19, I John 1:1-4).



With Micah, we find ourselves moving on after introduction to the birth of the Messiah in Bethlehem (Ch.5) and a following remonstrance against the spiritual torpidity of the people -
"O My people, what have I done to you ?
And how have I wearied you ? Testify against Me..." (Micah 6:3), into the time of the end.

We see a beautiful empathy as the Lord surveys the scene, articulating for the lost Jews, the extremity of their plight:

" Do not rejoice over me, my enemy;

When I fall, I will arise;
When I sit in darkness,
The LORD will be a light to me.
I will bear the indignation of the LORD,
Because I have sinned against Him,
Until He pleads my case
And executes justice for me.
He will bring me forth to the light;
I will see His righteousness.
The she who is my enemy will see,
And shame will cover her who said to me,
'Where is the LORD your God?' "

This sounds exceedingly like the scene of repentance described in detail in Zechariah 12:10ff., where the repentance is for the unspeakable error of removing their own Messiah by piercing Him. How long the Jewish people have suffered, and how much at the hands of so many nations and the piercing of so many methods! But now, when the time at last has come (cf. Romans 11:25 and The Biblical Workman Ch.3,  Endnote 1), and the Redeemer comes to Jerusalem, He whose life was poured out in it, there is a scene of judgment indeed! If a headmaster canes a boy, it is not the case that the other students are free to whack and plaster him as well! If they do, they do not lack ground for judgment themselves! So with the Jewish people. The time comes. From Micah 7:15-17, we read (emphasis added):

"As in the days when you came out of the land of Egypt,
I will show them wonders.
The nations shall see and be ashamed of all their might,
They shall put the hand over the mouth.
Their ears shall be deaf.
They shall lick the dust like a serpent;
They shall crawl from their holes like snakes of the earth.
They shall be afraid of the LORD our God,
And shall fear because of You."

Now you see explicit reference in the text to Egypt, a grand comparison to that great and ancient deliverance of vast power and precision, so that it forms a prototype to the deliverances to be wrought for Israel from the SURROUNDING nations who will be at her throat, her city, her destiny, as for example, was Nasser of Egypt, whose rebuff is history (cf. SMR pp. 782ff.). The time follows on in the prophecy from the birth of the Messiah, His being struck on the cheek (Ch.5) and the ordained events to follow. As to this intervention to come after the Messiah first came, by the comparison to the Exodus, we learn the ORDER of magnitude of the affair to come. You see it in some detail in Zechariah 12-14, as we have just seen, and in Habakkuk, as also in the general surrounds in Joel, with the profound celestial disorder and tumult predicted, in Haggai.


In Micah, we see an element common with Zephaniah, and related to the calling on the Lord found in Joel, the ejector seat option. It is mercy - or lovingkindness which is prepared to pay for the impartation of privilege, such as occurs in sacrifice. It is, says Jeremiah in Lamentations 3:33, of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed. In Micah 7:18-20, the message in the very teeth of the gale of devastating events associated with the divine protection of Israel and the coming judgment, is this:

"18 Who is a God like You,
Pardoning iniquity
And passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage?

He does not retain His anger forever,
Because He delights in mercy.

19 He will again have compassion on us,
And will subdue our iniquities.

You will cast all our sins
Into the depths of the sea.

20 You will give truth to Jacob
And mercy to Abraham,
Which You have sworn to our fathers
From days of old."

In Zephaniah likewise, in the very midst of judgments of a terminal velocity, as it were, global and punitive, the time for purging being largely past, we have the theme of mercy in profound and even in tender beauty. Thus in Zephaniah 3 (cf. Joel 3:12ff.), we read:

8 “Therefore wait for Me,” says the Lord,
“Until the day I rise up for plunder;
My determination is to gather the nations
To My assembly of kingdoms,
To pour on them My indignation,
All my fierce anger;
All the earth shall be devoured
With the fire of My jealousy.

9 “For then I will restore to the peoples a pure language,
That they all may call on the name of the Lord,
To serve Him with one accord.
10 From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia
My worshipers,
The daughter of My dispersed ones,
Shall bring My offering.
11 In that day you shall not be shamed for any of your deeds
In which you transgress against Me;
For then I will take away from your midst
Those who rejoice in your pride,
And you shall no longer be haughty
In My holy mountain.
12 I will leave in your midst
A meek and humble people,
And they shall trust in the name of the Lord.
13 The remnant of Israel shall do no unrighteousness
And speak no lies,
Nor shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth;
For they shall feed their flocks and lie down,
And no one shall make them afraid.”

Here again the Gentile world is arraigned, just as Israel had been in the earlier verses of Zephaniah 3:

"Woe to her who is rebellious and polluted,
To the oppressing city!
She has not obeyed His voice.
She has not received correction:
She has not trusted in he LORD,
She has not drawn hear to her God...
He prophets are insolent, treacherous people,
Her  priests ...
They have done violence to the law."

Yet suddenly the scene changes. Now we look at the Lord's constancy and compassion:

"The LORD is righteous in her midst,
He will do no unrighteousness.
Every morning He brings his justice to light:
He never fails,
But the unjust knows no shame..."



Hence we perceive that while there is to be a national deliverance, there is also in the end to be no quarter to the sophisticated deceivers who DO NOT repent, whose ways are still, like those of the Gentile nations in general, turned to rebellion and insolence, their floors the parquetry of pride, with no foundation (I Corinthians 3:10-11).

But as to those who DO repent, this time in the special squadron of the Jews, though they be but ONE of the innumerable multitude of saved peoples, called by ONE gospel to ONE Lord by ONE sacrifice delivered by ONE Saviour ONCE and once only: they are considered tenderly (Barbs, Arrows and Balms 13). HE is in their midst. Who are THEY ? The newly converted, in many cases, the people in the army of the Lord. They are special, select, saints as all Christians must be! (Romans 1:1, Ephesians 1:1-2, Romans 8);  for there is no room for fraud before the Father of lights, who must be worshipped (John 4) in spirit and in truth.

Let us now look at these things as represented in Zephaniah 3:11-17:

  • "You," He says, "shall no longer be haughty

In My holy mountain.
I will leave in your midst
A meek and humble people.
And they shall trust in the name of the LORD.
The remnant of Israel shall do no unrighteousness
And speak no lies.
Nor shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth:
For they shall feed their flocks and lie down,
And no one shall make them afraid."

Indeed, "the King of Israel is in your midst," and "He will rejoice over you with gladness,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing."

·       Some say this is the church, and they are quite right; but it is specifically the Jewish contingent of that unitary body*1 in their background (see Galatians 3:28,  Appendix A, SMR) who are by contextual definition in view.

·       Some say, it is the Jews; and they are quite right in this particular context (Zephaniah 3:6-7, 12-15), where the distinctions are made between Jew and Gentile and the case is applied like a sermon to the former; but it is a remnant, converted and contrite who are in view. It is the Jewish phalanx in the fighting force of the Church, and the fight is against sin and it is one of victory, with humility and not furore; for in the end it was as Micah and Zechariah make so clear, the LORD who delivered them both in military conflict, in restoration of their national domain and in the salvation of their souls. The military after all has been but a reflection of rejection!

His tenderness appears in small things as well as great:

  • "I will deal with all who afflict you;

I will save the lame,
And gather those who were driven out;
I will appoint them for praise and fame,
In every land where they were put to shame."


We have seen the mercy and militancy, the judgment and the appeals, the opportunities to the end and the end of opportunities in the recalcitrant insolence of so many for so long; we have seen Israel a scene of deliverance, of conversion, of tenderness. This would appear to reach into the millenium, or it may be in these cases in the early phases of the national deliverance, before the rapture. There seems to be a direct avenue to the coming of the Lord with all His saints as in Zechariah 14:5, indeed, where Christ's millenial rule  is explicit, as His reign begins (cf. Psalm 2, 45, 72, and the relevant chapters in Joyful Jottings).

However these are judgments on earth, and conversions on the earth, and results on the earth (cf. Zechariah 12:10, Joel 2:32, nd Isaiah 51:3-6, as quoted in full above). It is in Isaiah 66, at the very end, that we see the eternal contempt (cf. Daniel 12:1-3) accorded the chronically and relentless, the remorseless and unrepentant, for whom sin is their sovereign, and who therefore, experience the sovereignty of sin, that destructive force of deceit, and lampooning of the Lord.

Here, in a vision, Isaiah sees eternity of the lostness of the fractiously lost, whose lostness is not a lack of deftness, opportunity or education, but a heart that refuses to know the Lord ("by deceit they refuse to know Me,"  Jeremiah 9:6), and whose condition is a consequence of not desiring the light even when it is there, and despising the sovereign mercies of the Lord, not because He makes them do it, but contrary to His kindness, they are in the very face of His mercy, known not to be His (Romans 8:28ff.; SMR Appendix B, Predestination and Freewill, The Kingdom of Heaven Ch.4).

Judgments ? the thing which disturbed Habakkuk is not to be dismissed, has many preliminaries (cf. Amos 4, Revelation 9), and will be consummated like all else.

The judgments to come are as shown to Malachi, as with Isaiah (Isaiah 49:6, 65:13-15, Malachi 1:11), the being reciprocal of the mercy offered to Jew and to Gentile alike; and just as the mercy of the Lord was mighty and marvellous in His deliverance of the Jews from Pharaoh in Egypt, so are His judgments, though they may long be delayed (cf. II Chronicles 36:15ff.), are as categorical as is was shown to the Jews in their exile, in the double destruction of their exquisite and immensely valuable temple, symbolising so much. It is as sure as was shown for later times, to disquieted Habakkuk and to Micah, to Isaiah (Chs. 2,66) and to Joel (3).

The divine rectitude is neither indifferent to liberty which it created (cf. Flashing Falls of Freedom in A Spiritual Potpourri), nor to righteousnesses in life, and though we wait for it (Habakkuk 2:3), judgment will surely come as the prophet declares so boldly. This it will do,  just as the prodigious fountain of mercy through the blood of the Messiah (Zechariah 12:10, 13:1) has come.

The judgments (Revelation 6,16, Micah 3, Joel 3, Zechariah 12-14, Isaiah 24, Haggai 2) will come, as all earlier predicted judgments have come (cf. Isaiah 34:16, Matthew 5:17-19), and all predicted mercies come, cost not a subject for consideration (cf. Isaiah 50, Hosea 13:14).

Indeed, judgment comes like an express train, and it will not be derailed. Mercy is not another name for unrighteousness and the difference was shown on the cross, the deed of gift, the key of entrance, the passport to the "land which is very far off". In parallel with this, the Lord's patience, strikingly shown to Israel for hundreds of years before its destruction and the appalling devastation and exile in Babylon (Jeremiah 25), and again after its restoration before the death of the Messiah, is not to be misconstrued (II Peer 3:9). The liabilities of procrastination (Jeremiah 5:31, 7:9ff., 8:21ff, 13:27) are given no cover.

In all these things, it is the Messiah who is the chief agent and focus, the Lord (Zechariah 12:10, Isaiah 44:6, Revelation 2:8, I John 1:1-4) returning to the earth which slashed and pierced Him, scarred and sacrificed Him, that it might be sacrificed itself; for they killed their own mercy, and in ignoring His resurrection, they destroy for themselves the only way in which there is any provided: for He was "delivered up for our offences, and raised up for our justification" (Romans 4:25). It is HE who is seen

  • as blood sacrifice and Ruler in Zechariah (as in Isaiah 52-55) in the greatest of detail,
  • in Micah 5 as the God of eternity come to earth, and whose actions arise in the end, on this earth;
  • symbolically in Haggai, after the style of the figure wrought in Zechariah 3-4;
  • in presence tenderly in Zephaniah, when He has finished gathering and dealing with the nations;
  • dwelling in Jerusalem in Joel 3:17, by means announced elsewhere; in mercy on all sides,
  • in judgment where there is no other way.

The offer of mercy is prevalent, incisive, continued. It ends. Judgment begins.

Mercy does not fail, and it lacks no beauty, no lustre for those whose judgment the Lord has taken on Himself; for which purpose, vitally, He came. Mercy never fails, but there are many who reject its solution, provisions (Matthew 23:37, Luke 19:42, John 8 cf. SMR Appendix B, The Kingdom of Heaven ... Ch.4). He came: and what He proposed, He has performed. Against such a merciful purpose, to be foreign, is to be the ultimate foreigner, the one without passport to the kingdom of heaven, alien not in visa but spirit, divorced not by mere form, but in heart, inaccessible not for lack of mercy, but for presence of inveterate pride, presumption or that slithering sidestepping which implacably will not come (cf. Hosea 11:2: "As they called to them, so they went from them"). What does the minor prophet (i.e. in size of the prophecy, minor) Malachi say (4:1-2):


" 'For behold the day is coming,
Burning like an oven,
And all the proud, yes all who do wickedly will be stubble.
And the day which is coming shall burn them up,'
Says the LORD of hosts,
' That will leave them neither root nor branch.
But to you who fear My name,
The Sun of Righteousness shall arise
With healing in His wings...' "


Thus again do we find this wonder, this attractive and distinctive testimony:  in the very midst of calamity is grace, in the turmoil of evil here yet remains healing, until it is too late (Matthew 25:1-10) and the desire that flamed becomes the dust that settles.

What then do we find ?

  • It is good that the incalculable grace of the Lord it is which reaches any given soul;
  • but it is good also that the lostness of the lost, when this remains, is through no lack of the love, no deficit in the divine grace (I Tim. 2:1-6), or the celestial solicitude.
  • Rather the case is that the grace has been abundantly sufficient for any, for all

(I John 2:1-3, Romans 5:7);

·       while there are those who WILL not have grace, and WILL not have the Lord, even He being judge and capable Saviour, though they themselves be as ashes to His beauty (Isaiah 61:3, Psalm 110).

·       Nevertheless it is precisely that, beauty for ashes, which He offers, and none so poor that His offer does not suffice, if only it be taken by faith.  Love does not thrust, but it does exhort, make payment, show mercy, seek solicitously.

All these events and the determinations of destiny,  He has known; the divine program to the very end, He has known (cf. Benevolent Brightness or Brothy Bane 87, and re eschatology, SMR pp. 502ff.); His coming He has foreknown (cf. A Spiritual Potpourri Ch. 18), and those whom He appoints as His own, He has known (Ephesians 1:4). To  KNOW HIM however, this is the need for mankind (John 17:3), and the way is that alpha and omega, that acme and ground of salvation, Jesus the Christ who strides through the prophecies like sunlight in the woods, among the trees. He beautifies what He touches, bringing the Autumn tones of redemption, which colour the leaves of life, and make the trees burnished in the sunlight of His presence (cf. Malachi 4:2). It is just this area of the love of God,  of which Zephaniah speaks. It is in HIM that peace is found, the peace of truth, as Zechariah 6:13 puts it:

"Yes, He shall bear the glory;
And shall sit and rule on His throne;
So He shall be a priest on His throne,
And the counsel of peace shall be between them both."

The counsel of peace ? The king and the priest are one in Him who rules in royal beauty (Psalm 45,110,72) and is Himself the sacrifice of peace (cf. Ephesians 2:13-14). Similarly Jew and Gentile become one in Him, the one with the symbolism of the Law fulfilled, the other with its depiction of sin accounted for, by the same one Saviour. Peace with God and peace with man alike follow, in the Messiah, having come, coming and to judge. When HE is the judged one (Isaiah 53:6,10-11), then HIS standards are fully met, and there is no fear of judgment, for as to Him, He is perfect, and when HE is your redemption, it is payment abundantly sufficient (cf. Isaiah 55:6-7, I John 5:13, Romans 5:1-11).



*1A  The reference in Joel includes this:
"the LORD also will roar from Zion,
And utter His voice from Jerusalem;
The heavens and earth will shake,
But the LORD will be a shelter for His people,
And the strength of the children of Israel.

"So you shall know that I am the LORD your God,
Dwelling in Zion My holy mountain,
Then Jerusalem shall be holy ...
And it will come to pass in that day
That the mountains shall drip with new wine...
A fountain shall flow from the house of the LORD...
Egypt shall be a desolation...
But Judah shall abide forever,
And Jerusalem from generation to generation,
For I will acquit them of the guilt of bloodshed, whom I had not acquitted..."

In all this, sins specific to Israel are in view, and past dealings with the Lord. Obviously that Jerusalem which is above (Galatians 4:26 cf. Revelation 21-22) is that into which this vivid picture of entire blessedness yields its substance and its being, passing through the millenial vindication of the Lord (Isaiah 65:19-25, 11:1-11 cf. SMR pp. 505ff.); but not before the realities of the address to Israel in particular, that battalion in the company of the Lord to whom through Abraham unconditional homeland promise was made, is fulfilled (cf,. SMR pp. 755ff.).

The Lord is very particular, even to the jot and tittle (Matthew 5:17ff., cf. SMR Appendix D) and for His name does wonderful things (cf. SMR Appendix A which relates closely to what follows), saying "I had pity on My name"! in Ezekiel 36:21, and again

o       "Not for your sakes do I this!" in Ezekiel 36:22, and later,

o       "I will sanctify My great name, which has been profaned among the nations... and the nations shall know that I am the Lord God, when I am hallowed in you before their eyes. For I will take you from among the nations... Then I will sprinkle clean water on you... The nations also will know that I, the LORD, sanctify Israel, when My sanctuary is in their midst forevermore" - from Ezekiel 36:23ff., 37:28.

Indeed, when He does this, "they shall not defile themselves anymore with their idols... nor with any of their transgressions; but I ... will cleanse them" - Ezekiel 37:23. In fact, "David My servant shall be king over them, and they shall all have one shepherd."

This is the perennial to perpetuity situation on their return's completion, with its dramatic centrepiece of action as noted in Isaiah 59:20, to which Paul makes reference in that watershed chapter on Israel in the New Testament, Romans 11 (verses 26ff., on which and the overall context,  see The Biblical, Chs.1, End-note 3,  3 pp. 47ff., 8 pp. 139ff, and prior).


There is one body (Ephesians 4:4), "just as you were called in one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith...".

"This," said the Lord Jesus Christ, "is My body," not "these pieces are My bodies...". Later, in the same chapter we read, He affirmed that His words were spirit and life and that He, in His body, would soon go to heaven (John 6:62-63), where of course He would be unavailable for any physical misconception as to eating His body! being born of a woman in the likeness of sinful flesh, yet without sin, with all the features needed to be called one of the brethren (Hebrews 2). It was a true incarnation, not a game.

One body, one Lord, one faith... this is the position: just as the one piece of bread, broken into pieces for each apostle, expresses His one sacrifice, so Christ came equipped with one body which died one death in one place, with one suffering, on one occasion, with one shedding of blood without which no sacrifice has any efficacy (Revelation 1:18ff., Hebrews 9).

So emphatic is this in the book of Hebrews,  that it is the very criterion of the fact of His coming again (Hebrews 9:27ff.). It is for those who SO look for HIM as DESCRIBED faithfully in Hebrews, not for some pagan substitute, some other Jesus, some mirage of the mind, some manipulee available for sundry sacrifices at priestly hands or for existential bands, that He will appear to be admired in His saints, and glorified in all those who believe (cf. I Thessalonians 1:10).

Christ, then, came with one body, and the church as symbolically His body, expresses that fact (Ephesians 1:22-23, 4:4-5, Hebrews 2:10-18, Philippians 2:1-12, Psalm 40:1ff.). Neither Jew nor Gentile, this race nor that, this church denomination nor that is His body. It is composed of those who are in spirit and truth, believers in Him. HE guards it, and it is not available for sportive excursions in ceremonial innovations, cerebral compilations, anti-historical imaginations or unbiblical reconstructions. (Cf. SMR pp. 864ff., 857ff.). God is what He is, and is in no way dependent on any of the circumstances of man; and when God speaks, He means just what He says. He takes no pleasure in having, as if it were possible, His mouth forced open like that of a cat about to have worm medicine, in order to spit out of it whatever some mind of some man or woman, or church so-called, feels called to put into it.

Revelation 22's concluding word on this topic is not unlike those in Deuteronomy 4,12, in Psalm 119, in Isaiah 34, 59, 8, Matthew 5:17ff., John 12:48-50, Proverbs 30:6 (cf. SMR Appendix C, D).