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SBS News, October 5, 2001
IN THE WOOD ARE A THING BAD ENOUGH
BUT IT IS WORSE WHEN THEY ARE LOST
No jackal would confess it! A babe in the wood ? Why brother, he might growl, if you knew a quarter of MY enterprises, sophisticated ... I won't say rake-offs, better say maulings, the way I approach things, if you had any idea how I get where I have got in the world, my prestige, how I use this as an implement ....
Wait, wait! I say. There is too much 'I'!
Never too much 'I', he replies, or she, for we must not bring disapproval from those sensitive to these things.
It is ALL I!
Remarkable, one replies. You really know a thing or two, eh ?
More than that. I have quite a collection of carcasses even now, placed judicially, you know, in case things don't all go so well. One has seasons ...
And so on ...
There comes to mind a case of a very wealthy New South Welshman, whom I knew who, when taking me out with his wife when I was young, made sure that in the near presence of his bank manager, the loudly asserted explanatory words were heard, "HE doesn't know that I have another account!"
Was it grim humour, for it certainly did not sound light-hearted; or to impress ? or as a rebuke for some recent event ? One does not know. It appeared a shock tactic.
What one does know however is that the jackals are in a rather triumphalist mood right now, in the Middle East.
It is not of course sure that it was not a Russian inefficiency, or some other source of bomb which downed the Russian airliner from Tel Aviv in the last day or so. It was interestingly exploded over the Black Sea, in the very area which in SMR pp. 510-516, in context 502ff., seems at least relevant to the invasion due for Israel in its time (Ezekiel 38ff.). It could, of course, biblically be anywhere to the north of Israel, but the Caspian would seem, with a number of allied areas, the sort of area; and for detail consult the above reference.
There are in this region many Moslems. They might have been responsible. Moslem elements in the Red Army conceivably could have managed an erring missile. It could have BEEN simply a genuinely erring missile; it could have been a bomb planted. We do not know. We are aware however that the report was to this effect: passengers mainly Israelis...
Bin Laden has intimated that mainly Americans and Israelis are those whom he would like to put to death, and this may be an expression, a consummation of some of his wishes. The Islamic SUBMIT so dear to the pith of that religion, might seem better implemented in this way. This is of course not to say that all Moslems want people to submit through such historically prominent Islam surges; it IS to repeat what has recently been repeated demonstrated on this site, that such sorts of warfare are indeed to be found, exhorted and focussed objects, in the Koran.
But WHO, you may now and not without some justification ask, WHO are the BABES IN THE WOOD, in this scenario.
It is question which patience may no longer delay. Is it Israel ?
ISRAEL! some Arabs might almost shriek! They babes in the wood. Their Mossad is amongst the most successful of intelligence enterprises, and not for so reason.
To be sure, they do not hesitate to try to defend their country from internal attack from foreign based agents in alliance with some of their own people (who used to be called quislings, when patriotism was still prominent in the world, not internationalism with standards ALL ITS OWN, and IT is no babe in the wood! cf. The Other News, Appendix 1).
Yes, yes it is true. Israel has intelligence in considerable quantities, and determination with resolution of a substantial and in its way, admirable mound. However, it is a mixture of religious and irreligious, sacred and secular, historic and contemporary which is not well balanced. It does not represent the simple development of a national character. It has discordant elements, long before one must consider the Arabs whose often highly profitable work in what for many has become their own nation, is frequently overshadowed by a sort of Word Trade Centre complex, a desire to destroy which impairs peace and prevents profitability, except of course for jihad mentality.
There are those in Israel who have come near to wanting peace at any price, as in the prelude to Hitler's domain in history. They wished to surrender the Sinai, captured in the 1973 war, even perhaps half of Jerusalem, taken in the 1967 war, and the Golan Heights, that wonder centre for bombarding northern Israeli farms, and so on. Perhaps the insatiable appetite of Arab in the hand of Moslem neighbours, might in that way be met, they hoped. Not at all, Much of this is given back, not all to be sure, and there is not the slightest appearance of satiety. Greed for more moves like a tiger among rabbits.
But a babe in the wood! Yes, the wood is Islamic and the babe is tiny, a fragment of a nation in a fragment of its territory, menaced and manacled by surrounding hostile nations, or nations inclined to be that way, from time to time, which gang up on it, like twenty cats on a tiny baby mouse. It is Israel, in such a scenario. And this, it has biblically, important implications as we shall shortly see.
You exaggerate! says the intemperate. But consider the dozens of enemy nations, impelled in no small part by jihad, the Islamic submit idea, and the desire perfectly explicit, the pan-Islamic idea to expel Israel. It is not and for long has not been remotely like limited to some one Saudi expatriate, living in Afghanistan, the better to promote world disorder in the interest of Islamic submission. Let us be clear: it is submission TO Islam, not BY it which is in mind. That is ever the way, when it becomes martially active. History is littered with its endeavours in Europe, as Washington and New York with its latest vulpine assaults.
But Islam, in its more fervent dress, is not by any means the only foe of Israel. It is democratic in large measure (though this is threatened by increasingly amassed murders from some, making the actual working difficult). It is by no means entirely secular, and unless this be Islamic, with oil, the world is not inclined to be too happy about that. It creates 'problems'. It is ingenious in agriculture, advanced in technology, brilliant in science. It has transformed its land from backward disorder and swamps, to a world enterprise of remarkable attainments in fruit and flower, forest and armed might, brilliant for a geographical midget. It has, incidentally, done all of this precisely as biblically prophesied for it, and concerning it! (cf. SMR Ch. 9). It has a history dressed clearly in the Bible. It has a mandate, clearly biblically expressed, for its land. It was removed from it for discipline and replaced for mercy; and both by the word of God.
So it is difficult, difficult for the internationalising power brokers in the UN, for example, who have shown this fact by suggesting Jerusalem be not Jewish (1947), and that Israel be not all in one piece! and sundry marvels of innocence or chicanery (since, if the former, it is very great innocence, amounting to a vast unawareness, but if the latter, it is better here not addressed!).
The reader may care to survey some of these realities in SMR Chs. 8 and 9, 502ff., and Appendix A, as in Galloping Events Chs. 1-3, 8, Divine Agenda Ch. 8 and Barbs, Arrows and Balms Chs. 13 and 20.
Thus there is a notable international foe in the United Nations, that arbiter of peace, that monolith of majesty, that place of placation. It is just that it placates some more than others, and the mighty are many, and constitute a mass of members!
is this all. There are friends who let you down, so that you at last realise
they were never friends, more objects of convenience, or rather found you
yourself so; or else had a heart attack in the spiritual sense. Is the
USA to become one of these, in the latter sense perhaps, towards
SHARON'S MOVING CHALLENGE
It is not likely that it will be categorical. Whether it does happen, more than it has done already, this is the question.
In the past regime, that of Clinton, there was so much talking and walking and parading and verbiage of this and of that, so much of agreement and disagreement, of force and forcefulness, of murder and of mayhem, that it was a veritable landing in a bog. It looked soft, but the plane was jolted about nearly sufficiently to destroy it: the plane of negotiations, diplomacy and real events on the ... ground.
Recently, as noted earlier in Lord of Life Ch. 3, there was occasion for deepest concern when the US Secretary of State seemed to be far too insensitive to the Israeli position, being bombarded internally by bodies from without, co-operating with some of its own alienated Arab citizens, or co-ordinates. One wondered how the US would react if such things were done there. Now we know! It was a matter of grief that the US could suffer such suffering, one attested at the time. It was a cause of concern that, these things now being prolonged, it might suffer for it.
It is now a matter of no less grief that it has done so. The promises of God to Israel are acute, both for its necessary discipline and for its methods of deliverance. All this we have seen in such sites as those listed above, as in allied writings noted in these.
Now however, rather than seeing things in a this-worldly consensus, as if Israel had no place on earth, not even a small part of its ancient heritage from which GOD evicted them as He predicted and TO which GOD returned them for His own purposes, as He also predicted, and as if a small few millions of people should be more elastic to the many milling millions of Islamic terrorists, patriots of Muhammad and the like, with their oil and spoils: there are even worse possibilities.
The US HAS been very friendly to Israel often in the past. It has let it down categorically for some years now, in terms of the need for a non-hypnotised realism towards freedom, not to mention religious actualities and historical facts. Indeed, Israel like a babe, can be extinguished both quickly and readily, except of course, for God. He is so often left out; it is a mistake, since He is there, and prominently as always, available, and especially in request for the performance of His word (cf. Daniel 9:1-20). Truly delightful is Daniel, in his grave, quiet but persistent, deeply felt and faithfully resolute attitude to the Lord. He was of course heard, at that time, as the people of God are heard at this one. We cannot escape sufferings, nor is this the aim; but we can pray, and the word of God is available for the purpose (II Peter 2:1ff.), and works as prescribed, and great are its works! It touches most vigorously on Israel: both for good and for evil. Indeed, they even had announcements made from TWO different mountains (Deuteronomy 27-28), one for the good, the other for the evil. As to the latter, it was not a 'fate' but a function of disobedience, rebellion and spiritual recklessness (such as is now almost treated as their own prerogative by most of the Gentile nations!).
Israel: It is a very small piece of land. If the Arab and Moslem hosts were to invade, it could be finished speedily. They tried that, in fact, one holy day in 1973 - a tasteful performance! The failure was just as prescribed in the advance coverage so conspicuous for precisely this time and place, in Zechariah 12, that post-crucifixion season to come, of repentance for the killing of their own Messiah.
Invasion and ruin for Israel ? It could, without the Lord, easily be done. The toil of generations could be brought back to the place which its largely Moslem hosts had placed it, before in the last century Israel wrought a virtual miracle in making the land, as predicted in Isaiah 35, "blossom like the rose" (cf. SMR pp. 790ff.). The relief to Allah would be incredible: not to himself, since as we have repeatedly shown, he is not there, but to the image bearers of what, alas, being a non-God (cf. Lord of Life Ch. 8 with Ch. 9), is worshipped as if it were one. This the actual God hates as we there note. It is idolatry.
It is interesting, incidentally, is it not, how the Buddhist tried to remove the polytheism of Hinduism, and virtually forgot to put God back at all, then many of them starting worshipping the atheist Buddha (cf. SMR pp. 1011ff.); and that Muhammad, using Jewish legends and varied Christian oddments, twisting and inventing with some, tried to excise Christ as the Son of God, and ended with himself as virtually in place of God, his word the thing treated worshipfully! Trying to meld it with the past, he merely distorted the documents to no effect, since they are not there as he uses them, as what he depicts is in the largest possible measure, a mere contradiction of the entire program of God in all the Bible from first to last (cf. SMR pp. 1080ff.).
God, however, is not now, and never has been available to be created; He is as His word has always in perfect coherence, stated; and He neither changes nor moves from it at all.
although still in rebellion against their very own Lord (cf. SMR Ch. 9),
is nevertheless the heir designate to this land, and the program is fully
explained in the Bible, even the reasons (cf. SMR Appendix A). The program
OUT and BACK, and the deliverance when back, that was shown from Deuteronomy
32 on, and while we are thinking about that chapter, let us note the thing
which relates to what the redoubtable Mr Sharon has been saying in his
arresting speech in the last few hours.
Noting that the exploits of Israel had come because of His mercy and presence (Deuteronomy 32:28-31), as indeed are those near to the end (as in Zechariah 12), God declares this:
this not laid up in store for Me,
Sealed up among My treasures ?
Vengeance is Mine, and recompense:
Their foot shall slip in due time;
For the day of their calamity is at hand,
And the things to come hasten upon them."
Now, in this context in Deuteronomy, there has been such an exposure of the divine intentions to discipline Israel for its foolishness, rebellion and lassitude spiritually, that one might at first wonder WHO is the recipient of this statement concerning vengeance ?
Is it Israel itself, or is it the enemies of that nation ?
However when one reflects on the divine solicitude so often exposed, in so many exhortations, offers, opportunities, last ditch entreaties to the people to avoid peril and pollution, these so often summarily rejected (cf. Jeremiah 31:15-23, 17:19ff., Isaiah 1), pondering on the disciplines in the midst of spiritual fecklessness judged by the Lord, preceding this, one must look to the other possibility.
Is it indeed here a case of the Lord becoming ready to DEAL WITH THOSE WHO, LIKE JACKALS, would pick at the 'corpse' or wounded body of Israel, itself judged with no small severity by the Lord, for its recalcitrant mind ?
It is so.
We know this, because immediately after this 'treasure laid up', something precious to the Lord who loves yet His people though they have so strayed (cf. Romans 11:25), this is the declaration:
"FOR THE LORD WILL JUDGE HIS PEOPLE!"
He HAS been exhibiting judgment; then there is the precious thing laid up in store; and then there is this statement. There appears a sudden change in terms of the divine lovingkindness and patient love. What is it to be ? it is this, for it TELLS US:
have compassion on His servants:
When He sees that they power is gone,
And there is no one remaining bond or free,
He will say, 'Where are their gods,
The rock in which they sought refuge ?' "
In this way, the LORD is exposing their follies in the moment of their weakness before enlisting His own services to their deliverance.
Thus He continues after further detail, to say this:
"Now see that I, even I, am He,This then terminates the complex drama. God called, kept, expanded and used His people, who in turn and at last, responded, grew and then dissipated themselves spiritually (cf. Isaiah 30), until the point, long marked out in Deuteronomy 32 as in Leviticus 26, eventually came. They left their land, isolated, despised and troubled by many. Then God - and here is our present point - WHEN HE SAW THEIR STRENGTH GONE, when in other words they were ready to be eaten by the nearest jackal, or jackal pack, with its false values and when they were ready to leave the image, false religion, THEN He would so act. The details are as in Zechariah 12-14, examined in detail in SMR 9, and in Ezekiel 36-39 as noted earlier in SMR Appendix A and elsewhere.
And there is no God besides Me.
I kill and I make alive:
I wound and I heal:
Nor is there any who can deliver from My hand.
For I raise My hand to heaven,
And say, 'As I live forever,
If I whet My glittering sword,
And My hand takes hold on judgment,
I will render vengeance to My enemies,
And repay those who hate Me.
I will make My arrows drunk with blood,
And My sword shall devour flesh,
With the blood of the slain and the captives,
From the heads of the leaders of the enemy.'
"Rejoice, O Gentiles, with His people,
For He will avenge the blood of His servants,
And render vengeance to His adversaries:
He will provide atonement for His land and His people."
The divine intervention for Israel is to be as epochal as the Exodus with Pharaoh, declares Micah 7.
The thoroughness of His taking care of those who would 'take care of' Israel, once and for all, is of the nature of a once-and-for-all rebuke. The slaughter is prodigious. The mind of the enemy is excited. It hastes to the spoil; but it does not prevail. God acts. It is in the very midst of these things that the sovereign God calls back to Himself many in Israel as in Zechariah 12:10ff., and thus the martial, the military, the international outrage to be worked on Israel, is divinely countered.
That is that; for there is nothing anyone can do when God acts! It was so in Egypt, and it will be so here; and indeed, it is Micah who makes the parallel perfectly explicit (Micah 7:15ff.). It is in the word of God through that prophet indeed, that we find this evocative word, so because of the underlying tenderness:
"Do not rejoice over me, my enemy;THAT judgment the prophet proceeds to depict, in terms of the utmost penetration and pathos, power and deliverance.
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 judgment for me..." (Micah 7:8ff.).
Thus when Sharon, the contemporary Prime Minister, makes as he has done in the last few hours, his notable speech, it is more than evocative. It is suggestive of the assigned time when the Lord SEES THAT THEIR STRENGTH IS GONE!
At all events, that time seems to be approaching quickly. Israel ? they have nuclear bombs, which can pollute the land near as well as far, with winds of peril. They have courage and the determination borne of centuries of iniquitous Gentile persecution, by many clever players, seeking profit from their desolations. That, it is the sort of thing God rebuked categorically in Obadiah 12ff., and in a way, in Jeremiah 50, where the Lord declares that His people have been like LOST SHEEP! Let us see the parallel.
“In those days and in that time,” says the Lord,So was it for Babylon, as for Edom. They traded on Israel in its stage of divine discipline. Very well. They paid by explicit divine declaration to that effect.
“The children of Israel shall come,
They and the children of Judah together;
With continual weeping they shall come,
And seek the Lord their God.
They shall ask the way to Zion,
With their faces toward it, saying,‘Come and let us join ourselves to the Lord“My people have been lost sheep.
In a perpetual covenant
That will not be forgotten.’
Their shepherds have led them astray;
They have turned them away on the mountains.
They have gone from mountain to hill;
They have forgotten their resting place.
"All who found them have devoured them;
And their adversaries said,‘We have not offended,
Because they have sinned against the Lord, the habitation of justice,
The Lord, the hope of their fathers.’
“Move from the midst of Babylon,
Go out of the land of the Chaldeans;
And be like the rams before the flocks.
For behold, I will raise and cause to come up against Babylon
An assembly of great nations from the north country,
And they shall array themselves against her;
From there she shall be captured.
"Their arrows shall be like those of an expert warrior;
None shall return in vain.
And Chaldea shall become plunder;
All who plunder her shall be satisfied,” says the Lord.
“Because you were glad, because you rejoiced,
You destroyers of My heritage,
Because you have grown fat like a heifer threshing grain,
And you bellow like bulls,
Your mother shall be deeply ashamed;
She who bore you shall be ashamed.
"Behold, the least of the nations shall be a wilderness,
A dry land and a desert.
Because of the wrath of the Lord
She shall not be inhabited,
But she shall be wholly desolate.
Everyone who goes by Babylon shall be horrified
And hiss at all her plagues."
So is it to be once again, as Micah and Moses both advise us, and as Paul (Romans 11:25ff. cf. The Biblical Workman Chs. 1 and 3). It is, then, coming. The marauders are coming, and the repulse. It is amazing how many like to PICK UP what is going cheap, whether in the way of peoples, nations or firms, and to do so in the name of profit, or pleasure or revenge or self-adulation or some other idol. It is not that profit is wrong: it is the seeking of it first, beyond service and function, that is idolatry. It is not that pleasure is wrong: it is that weak seeking of it instead of the realities of life as provided by God, instead of appreciating it when it comes with them, as part of the divine grace, that can become most readily, just one more idolatry.
Sharon, then, has hit a nerve.
Is the WORLD going to ignore Israel, or to be more realistic, make its needs, the clamour of ITS terrorists to be subdued or hard to hear, because other terrorists in more powerful nations, or richer ones, or more conveniently grouped ones, are to become a priority ? Is justice to languish because of self-interest ? What a test for the presence of any sort of Christianity in the US, for example, so often now referred to as a super-power, the only one. That of course is quite wrong: GOD is the only super-power.
The US like the rest is quite vulnerable. One cannot but love the people to whom one went when the Australian seminary was attacking the Bible, finding in Westminster Seminary, in Philadelphia, if not a repository of grace as it might have been, in all, yet in many, just that; for despite its tendency to theological possessiveness*1, and modishness, even to the point of forbidden 'camps', there was a considerable awe and love of the word of God. For that part, they are blessed.
The US has done much often for many. Certainly it has removed from grace to another place; assuredly its government has taken wings in the last few years, increasingly from biblical morals, a homosexual ambassador reputedly being presidentially appointed while the government was in recess, so that a rejection was not available, a veto not needed: for indeed, if had been used, it might have failed. To what has this once so great nation now fallen ? How many like it have fallen in the past ? Will it heed now ?
Equally, its sects and liberalisms, its neo-orthodox confusions and its profusions of neo-evangelical formalisms*2 have marred it, so that its religion is in danger of being diverted, averted or distorted; yet there are many who remain.
One has a thoughtful kindness to this country, but it cannot move against God and prosper. More than most, many of its citizens constitute a matrix of the faithful; but the proportion seems to be increasingly subdued as every sort of confusion enlists more, and more and more make compromises for less and less for worse and worse reasons, until what remains may be far smaller than was thought. For all that, one hopes that there may be some who in that nation will awake while there is time.
Rightly has Sharon drawn attention to the danger that the US will temper, if not forfeit, much of its aid to Israel, in ITS TURMOIL and TROUBLE because of its own. The way Sharon sees it has merit: it may be that the US will so seek to placate, please and enlist other nations in its own fight against terrorism which now threatens itself, that it will negate or reduce severely its aid to the terrorism which Israel has fought these long years, while rebuilding the nation, and making the land prosper as for long it had not prospered in the hands of the Arabs and others who had secured it for themselves, with little to show.
is worse to ponder. Will the US be doubly motivated amiss, and be doubly
In fact, however, the possibility lies here. The US, in self-seeking non-idealism, might not only seek to GAIN allies in a peaceable atmosphere relative to Israel, but it might also seek to MAKE friends with the background 'faith' so that there might be more security at home. For religious reasons, and for alliance causes, it might then seek a harmony of safety.
Already, as we saw in Lord of Life Chs. 4 and 8, there has been an OFFICIAL US prayer service in which Islam mixed - in flagrant violation of the Bible, not to mention common sense since one has NO son and the other EXPRESSED HIMSELF in His son - with professing Christians, and people of other approaches to deity. In this, the actual deity, precisely as was the case in ancient Israel, like mixed drinks, is made into a cocktail. Since however HE cannot be so used, then it is not He who is the mixture. That, it is soon quite fatal!
doing that to your employer:
'I say, sir,' the English might do it, say, just for example, in terms of some employe with some motor company of their own, speaking to his boss. 'You know, I admire you and your approach, and it reminds me in some ways of the president of the Ford motor company. I have decided to synthesise your messages and orders with his, because in this way there will be a real tonic to people who have grown, if you do not mind my saying so, sir, weary of just this or that boss.'
The actual boss might not feel so flattered because, quite simply, HIS decisions would not be implemented, and if he owned the company, that would be a sort of oratorical piracy.
So it is, and has been. II Corinthians 6:14 is precise: DO NOT BE YOKED UNEQUALLY WITH UNBELIEVERS. The religion which does so, if after rebuke it continues, is not Christian; for it dismisses the Lord, the truth of His word and by implication, the revealed nature of His being. What begins as rebellion (that companion of witchcraft I Samuel 15:23), ends as confusion. As to God, let it be clear, He categorically states this, that HE is not mocked. Flippancy and mere convenience alike are not related to His holiness (Hosea 8:7-14, Galatians 6:7-10).
then, already is in some part a path trodden in the USA. Whether this sacrilege
and lèse-majesté against
God will continue remains to be seen;
but if it does, what will come is not likely to be blessing. In the short
run, such is the nature of any test, it may seem to do so; in the long
run, short of repentance, reality sets in. Truth will out; it cannot be
shut in. Mercy operates on its own basis; and it is not for sale for convenience.
will trust in YOUR mercy," says the Psalmist
(13), when later the Psalm 96 advises, "the
gods of the nations are idols".
Israel 2001 ?
Let us however return to the words of Sharon. WILL the US for convenience seek to remove terrorism to its own advantage, without allying itself to the PRINCIPLE of the thing, and so acting consistently in Israel with the necessary vigour ? After all, it could try to be sincere, working on the THING itself, not merely the danger to itself!
Sharon had more to say. Is it not, he declared, like the case of Czechoslovakia
in 1938 ?
There certain concessions were made to dear Adolf, such a difficult man isn't he, but then we MUST have peace, so that its identity was being swallowed up as a sop, a mere make-time, a temporary relief from the war which inevitably followed in any case.
Is Israel now, asked Sharon, to be sacrificed in some such short-sighted and basically immoral way, as Czechoslovakia was then: in order to secure some stay of what is coming ?
IS IT ?
It may well be that the convenience of the nations, who do not relish having their towers treated as were those in the World Trade Centre, will be to unite in such a way that not merely do they work together to remove the declared hustlers of hostilities in these domains, like Taliban, so eloquent in hate, but they also make friends with the religions of fanaticism in order to divide the enemy, and not unite him as one monolith of menace.
now is the time when the West being preoccupied, the jihad hatred
is unleashed against Israel, or if this is to be soon as things develop,
then the fireworks season is on, as in Micah 7, as in Deuteronomy 32, as
in Romans 11 and as in Ezekiel 36ff... God is not forgetful. Man may forget
God, but God does not forget man.
JUDGMENT IS JUDICIAL
Judgment is to come; and if even now, it is showing itself in serious measure, what is to come!
It is best to be just, and merciful, kind and careful, allowing prudence NOT to seek first one's own kingdom and lust, but the KINGDOM OF HEAVEN in its beauty. Survival is for rats; self-interest is for idolaters. Truth is for God, and it will reign. It is time for many to think: are you for God or yourself, your nation or your ism ?
Are you indeed for Christ, the Son of God sent on mission commission in terms never duplicated nor indeed duplicable, the only clear attestation with verification and validity*3, ever made, along with the word of God which predicted Him, in the Gospel of grace ? Or are you not. That is the question. The answer is your destiny. Certainly God knows it. Assuredly He predestines; but the responsibility is entirely your own. HE is on record as to HIS willingness, and power (I Timothy 2): if you do not come, it is you who are the entire army that arrests you. Self-arrested, you become like the terrorist suicide bomber, directed destruction at your own Self Trade Centre.
Destruction is not pleasant, especially the eternal one; one must hope for many to seek the Lord, as in Isaiah 55, for truth is wonderful; and it is impossible to dispense with it. The truth is that sin needs remedy and that there is only one on offer. There is only one God, one offer, one Lord and one mercy. It is like a channel from a lake: it is quite useless to point out how much water it has. For you, the channel is the water course. There is no other. It is not for you to make lakes or channels. These are provided by the engineer, the architect; and the architect of the faith is the One to whom it should be directed.
have taken it ? Live it. Truth is wonderful, for it is He who is also grace
and mercy, as it has it in Psalm 85:
"Mercy and truth have met together;*1 See Questions and Answers 7.
Righteousness and peace have kissed.
Truth shall spring out of the earth,
And righteousness shall look down from heaven.
Yes, the LORD will give what is good:
And our land will yield its increase.
Righteousness will go before Him,
And shall make His footsteps our pathway."
So, just as it is written: in Christ did mercy come, did truth meet the need on the cross, so did He, as a root out of a dry ground (Isaiah 53:1ff.), spring out of the earth; and so did the Father look down, declaring again and again, "This is My beloved Son," instructing to HEAR HIM. Righteousness had indeed gone before Him (Isaiah 53:11 and see The Biblical Workman Appendix 4), since He never sinned, and He met its demands, the just for the unjust to bring us to God (I Peter 3:18). It is then, when brought to God, that one finds this, that "He shall make HIS footsteps our pathway", guiding as is needed on His way.
*2 The Biblical Workman Appendix 3 , Ch. 8, End-note 2; Joyful Jottings Ch. 1; News, Facts and Forecasts 10; Light of Dawn Ch. 2; Joyful Jottings Ch. 1.
Ch. 4 above, end-note *1 and