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EASTER MESSAGE APRIL 2000
THE JEW AND YOU
ISRAEL TO ISRAEL
THE CALL AND THE CAUSEWAY IN-BETWEEN
How do I know that you who read, are NOT a Jew ? How can one go from Israel to Israel ?
Be you racially a Jew or not, there is a distinction between 'Israel' the land, and 'Israel' of God, the people of God.
Both Isaiah 65:13-15 and Galatians 6:16 (scarcely to mention Romans 2:28-29) tell you that.
You CAN be racially a Jew, but not spiritually one, as you should be, if racially one (Romans 2 is specific here).
You CAN be in Israel the land, but not OF it, as Biblically defined at the SPIRITUAL level. You can, essentially, be a denatured Jew as Paul declares. For that matter, ALL men are denatured from the image of God, as Paul likewise makes clear in Romans 5, and Ephesians Chs. 2,4; but this is a specific arena.
Can a denatured Jew become a spiritual Jew ? Of course. Follow the prescription in Romans 3 which follows the charge and the challenge, the warning and the witness of Paul to all in Romans 2. So if the "you" who read, should be in that category which Paul signifies as NOT Jew "inwardly", but you are one outwardly, racially, then yes, though a Jew racially, you are distinct from the full, indeed VITAL Jewish heritage. In this case, YOU are not the one you need to be. Thus one can indeed say, The JEW AND YOU - to ALL: it is for one, for all.
If, however, you are racially a Jew, spiritually a Christian, then the call is one of acclamation. The Jew in this case IS you, but there is here therefore a history of your conversion to Jesus Christ the Messiah, in-between, so that this is an historical differentiation in YOU, which gives you the full heritage.
BUT WHAT has all this to do with Easter ?
1) It is a call to unconverted Jews to come, to come NOW at long last to the Lord of glory, Jesus Christ the Messiah. If you want an exposition of transitional matters, see Barbs, Arrows and Balms Ch. 13, or a wider scope, see Ch. 29, SMR pp. 822ff (the latter esp. on the Temple). If you simply want your Messiah, He has waited long, come. If you want to know more about coming, then read That Magnificent Rock Chs. 2 and 3, and Barbs, Arrows Balms Appendix II. If you want to know more of the prophecies concerning Him and His people, including the NATION, Israel, see SMR Ch.9 (and also Ch.8).
2) It is a call to converted Jewish people to relish and it is an acclamation of their coming, a revision but not a reversion, of the grand journey you made, in the grace of Christ Jesus.
3) But now what of the Gentile, the one who is NOT a Jew ? The causeway we mention: is this needed in such a case as that ? Not, this time, from a cultural, political substitute for the personal, spiritual reality of Israel. That is not your need. Rather you may need the causeway from a psychological, cultural, perhaps political and even quasi-theological 'nation', or island of thought, your personal encampment in this world, where you 'belong'. You need it from there to THIS SAME JESUS CHRIST, where you should belong. The likelihood is profound. The calls of false prophets and false christs is profound, multiplied and multiplying, prophesied and fulfilling prophecy as if mad for glory in so doing! The world is awash with such things. There is a strong probability that someone reading this, may be a Gentile in this very field (cf. Repent or Perish Ch.5, Barbs, Arrows and Balms Appendix I, and Ch. 30, SMR pp. 857-876, 683ff., 699ff.); or in simpler unbelief through the threadbare pretences and wearisome illusion of autonomy (cf. Repent or Perish Chs. 7, 4, SMR pp. 100ff., 81ff., 92ff.).
WHERE YOU COME FROM MAY DIFFER IN SOME THINGS, THEREFORE FROM THE JEWISH CASE: though not in essentials. The place you are to GO TO, however is precisely the same; and the way is the same, though it has a number of different inlets, like super-highway entrances. It is the one highway when you are on it. The one causeway. It goes to the same place with the same stones to run on.
It is available from one divergence,
from another, to one convergence for Jew or Gentile, Jesus Christ the righteous
One: He is the way and the truth. He GIVES life (Romans 6:23).
Rejected by Israel POLITICALLY, and increasingly by the Jewish world alike, or 'reconstructed' by radicals (see refs. above), distanced in obedience by neo-evangelicals, who are so sure of psychological procedures that they tend to forget the spiritual reality: Christ is still the "desire of the nations". In what way, since they increasingly reject Him ? Though like many, they reject the only way to what they would have, looking longingly for the RESULTS (of Christ), they do so without the REALITY. They resemble in much the lazy layabouts who long for the Jaguar, but do not work for it.
In this case assuredly there IS A CRUCIAL DIFFERENCE: CHRIST WORKED FOR THE SALVATION which is available, and purchased it even to the point of eternal redemption (Hebrews 9:12ff.), but at that, the world is NOT interested in it, free or otherwise. It prefers its glorious, so beautiful, astoundingly wise, marvellously advanced little self! How dare you call the world a little self, do I hear one think ?
Ah but the Lord has well taken care of that in the astronomical magnitudes, the work of His fingers (Psalm 8). It is engineered like a LITTLE motor car (small in a sheep station), but it is beautifully done, like our own bodies, like our own minds, like our own spirits, ex-sin, as in their first utterance from the word of God ... Therefore, NOT receiving it as a gift is the height of bitterness, the crest of autonomy, the depth of pride. It can only rot (John 12:24-25). That is the nature of that style of thing, when you are moved from the little magnitudes (in quality by comparison) to the vast wonders of being in the image of God and remorselessly foul it up. It is not a little thing, and the pangs of Christ, which we remember for one thing, at Easter, were not a little suffering of the soul. It was by far greater than the destruction of the universe (Matthew 23:37) which is of course coming, and will be. It is well then, when you are on the sheep station of the universe, to ensure you are well placed in the homestead which he came to purchase, and went to prepared for you (Matthew 20:28, John 14:1ff.).
The call is now, and it is to COME!
Read Sinners Only, if you want a word upon
BUT WHAT OF ACTUAL ISRAEL,
IS THIS BEING DEMEANED IN ALL THIS ONE-NESS ?
Not at all. It is not as if God had NOT made the UNCONDITIONAL covenant with Abraham in Genesis 17. It is to this that the Lord refers so unerringly in Ezekiel 36-37: NOT FOR YOUR SAKES DO I THIS! He declares, exclaims, asseverates. It is for His HOLY NAME'S sake. God is a BEING OF HIS WORD. It is beautiful to experience. FAITHFULNESS is His NAME! No this is not forgotten. As shown in great detail in SMR 9, they are back according to plan and promise in their land, as accorded them; and in great peril, because the nation has not yet come back to Christ in substantial measure, as it is predicted in vast changes, many of them will do (Romans 11, Zechariah 12:10 and see The Biblical WorkmanCh.1, esp. End-Note 3, Ch. 3, End-note *1, SMR Appendix A, Acme, Alpha and Omega - Jesus Christ Ch. 10). The JEWISH NATION has had done to it precisely what God said (SMR Ch. 9) and the process continues to absolute perfection as the needed parties begin to gather for the coming end (cf. SMR pp. 502ff.).
Until His Spirit however, as Zechariah prophesied
Thus the very existence of Israel the nation is continually threatened, and it goes this way and that, in courage or weakness, being right in much, wrong in more, and above all, spiritually. The land however .. that is God's and His to distribute. When we hear so much talk of various aboriginal races (and the cruelty performed with 'holy' church help by Spain in the name of Rome, in the Americas sits on top of the list, but there was cruelty by many in other places), despite the wickedness of many against them, as in many businesses among themselves indeed, taking and grasping, something else needs to be remembered. The LAND BELONGS TO GOD, ALL OF IT. The reason is very simple: HE MADE IT.
As under God, it should be treated, and where He has indicated His will, it is utterly futile to re-dispose things as if He had not. In the case of Israel, it is clear. It is His, He has specified it for the nation Israel which He promised most solemnly not to extinguish (Jeremiah 31,33), and just as solemnly severely to discipline for the predicted sins it would commit (Leviticus 26, Deuteronomy 27)... Both have happened according to plan. The rest proceeds.
The individual Jew now must come by faith, as must every other 'aborigine' of a given area, to the Lord Jesus Christ or be in possession of stolen property, his own soul. It is the same with one, with all. There is no distinction. There is no remedy for nation or individual, for race or city, without this. It is not accepted because it is not found acceptable; but as with the fact that we have to be born, so we have to be born again. Not in the mythical cultural conception of some big new beginning, but of REVERTING to and RETURNING to the Lord and to His word, to His completed works on the cross, which He has finished (Hebrews 8-10), and in REPENTANCE proceeding as children of God to OBEY HIM. This is a transformation of no mere feeling, but of citizenship, psyche, life, ownership, control, allegiance, it is a transmission into the kingdom of heaven (cf. Colossians 12-13, II Cor. 5:17ff.).
Meanwhile, whoever you are, whatever
your nation, if you are Christ's, rejoice! He
who has begun a good work in you, will complete it, as He completes likewise
His larger plans (cf. I Thessalonians
5:24, Philippians 1:6). His word is direction history like a traffic policeman.
Now from whatever source, you are invited to share this, a little review
of what appears in many places on this site - esp. Appendix
THE UNFOLDING STORY OF THE NATION - ISRAEL
In Jeremiah, Isaiah and Ezekiel, to name but three, one sees the restoration of Jews to Israel, and direct or indirect, the mass movement to Christ shortly to come, to complete the predicted menu. The third course is undoubtedly sweet!
SMR Appendix A covers Ezekiel in detail, together with Acme, Alpha and Omega - Jesus Christ, Ch. 10. Jeremiah is given attention in this regard in The Biblical Workman Ch. 1. Isaiah is given much study in SMR Ch.9.
Here then we shall simply scour out a few items on Jeremiah and Isaiah, pointing the way, as a brief refreshing.
Notice then in Jeremiah 31 how the encompassment of a man is to be the prodigy of a woman's performance. Obviously, precisely like the Isaiah 7 prophecy of the mode of birth of the Messiah (cf. SMR pp. 770ff.), there is here a combination. Something is utterly usual and utterly amazing. It is usual in that women do bear children. It is not in this that something beyond all natural phenomena is in view. It is the announced CHARACTER of the One to so come, the Messiah. HE is to be the prince of peace over all the world (Isaiah Chs. 11, 7, 9), alike called the everlasting Father and this. Breaking in upon the needs of nation, and rejected EVEN PROPHETICALLY EVEN THEN, back in the days of slithery Ahaz, who would not want to 'trouble' the Lord by asking for deliverance, here was THE ANSWER*1.
Is it not strange that we willingly conceive that no other answer exists in countless mathematical sums, and yet when it comes to the author of our minds, many find it hard to realise, to believe, to receive, far more, to act on the fact that there is ONLY ONE ANSWER. When GOD SPEAKS, it is well to answer. The world in one sense, history itself, is the testimony to this fact by seemingly endless experiments on some other plane, line or 'inspiration' which starts by rejecting God and ends in the endless miasmas of 'society', this panic-stricken world, like some unruly adolescent, constantly asserting its rights and increasing its wrongs.(Cf. The 20th century in SMR pp. 671ff, 839ff.).
In addition to this, we read of the lament of Rachel for her children, that testimony to the coming infanticide on the huge canvas of the appalling pre-Hitler of the Middle East, Herod the King. These things are found in the futurist prophecies of Jeremiah 31:22 and 31:35. Futurist ? Well the time lapse was great from then to the fulfilment date several centuries later. THAT was one of the impacts on the lack of faith of Ahaz, who as you see in Isaiah 7, being offered literally ANYTHING to the point, did not take, and so GOT this distant provision of Christ. Folly was met by irony!
But if you look in Jeremiah 30:20ff., you see that there was to be a new day for Israel, for whom the case would be this:
"Their governor shall come from
Then I shall cause Him to draw near,
And He shall approach Me,
For who is this who pledged His heart to approach Me?" says the LORD.
You shall be My people
And I will be our God.
Behold the whirlwind of the LORD
Goes forth with fury,
A continuing whirlwind...
In the latter days you will consider it."
It is to be observed that this return of the latter days has certain characteristics. It is CONNECTED WITH THE FEATURE THAT THE MESSIAH WILL BE THERE AND WILL BE RECEIVED AND WILL MAKE THEM SAFE. That of course is the distant scene, which they had to wait for, since the earlier scenes did not please them!
Thus there is the Messianic reign, so very frequently referred to, and there is the statement (italicised) that this is in the protracted future, the latter days, when the Age draws near to curtains.
You see it equally in Micah 5-7, where in Ch.5 the Messiah's birth-place and vicarious suffering is intimated, and in Ch. 7 the events leading to the national deliverance of Israel, in kind and tempestuousness, resembling the days of the deliverance from the very hand of Pharaoh of Egypt! (Micah 7:8ff.,15ff.). There, in that chapter also, the Jews are seen returning to their nation and the Majestic Rule of Christ is seen for this termination, in Micah 4, as in Isaiah 2.
You see the same celestial thrust of power in this deliverance in Isaiah 66:6,14-15, where the intervention of the Lord is judgmental, in direct contrast to His first coming in grace for salvation (cf. John 3:17). This is the end. There is an end. The Age is ending with such appalling intervention, after beginning to pride itself as if no one would ever bother to intervene on its (vain-) glorious self (cf. II Peter 3:3-7, with 3:9-13). There in Micah likewise is this marvellous Abrahamic covenant fulfilment, a covenant with GRACE as its keynote, and with their land as an exhibition of His faithfulness (Romans 4 makes this prodigiously clear).
It is then that the NEW COVENANT, the EVERLASTING COVENANT comes (as it did of course come in Christ - cf. Isaiah 54) - and thus is found in Jeremiah 31:31. Who would reign was already clarified in Jeremiah 23:5-6:
"I will raise to David a Branch
A King shall reign and prosper
And execute judgment and righteousness in the earth.
In His days Judah will be saved,
And Israel will dwell safely.
This is the name by which He shall be called:
THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS."
BECAUSE, just like Ahab in his own earlier day, the nation proceeded to reject the Messiah, on arrival as in prophecy earlier, there would be a protracted delay until the resurrected Christ (Isaiah 26:19, Psalm 16) would return (Micah 7 and see Acme, Alpha and Omega - Jesus Christ Ch. 10, A Spiritual Potpourri Ch. 18). WHEN He WOULD come, then there would positively be NO MORE IDOLATRY in the nation (cf. Ezekiel 37:23, and "David My servant shall be king over them, and they shall all have one shepherd: they shall also walk in My judgments and observe My statues to do them ... Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them, and it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: I will establish them and multiply them..."
This might have been: and the Lord might have established at His will, a different order of events. However, the LORD knew it all, and said what was to be, so that it happened as He promised He would tell in advance (in Amos 3:7). Thus it was that this 'easy' and early coming to Him on the part of the Jewish nation was not the case. It was not to be. Indeed, the Jewish people very nearly was not; but the promise that this would not be, was, and so they still are, and he end draws near to the whole scenario for Jew and Gentile alike (as in Romans 11).
Thus in Jeremiah 33 when the whole aura and air is profoundly future in style ("great and mighty things, which you do not know" to the much tutored prophet), we find that the Lord will "perform that good thing which I have promised to the house of Israel and to the house of Judah" - and that ?
"In those days and at that time
I will cause to grow up to David
A Branch of righteousness:
He shall execute judgment and righteousness in the earth.
In those days, Judah will be saved,
And Jerusalem will dwell safely.
And this is the name by which she will be called:
THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS" - from Jer.33:15-16. (Cf. Micah 4.)
You will note that the city is to be called by HIS OWN NAME, as revealed in Jeremiah 23. They are His and He is theirs!
Thus the crux and criterion of this blessed period is in the double barrelled action: the MESSIAH comes and is recognised, specifically and successfully making an everlasting covenant with His people, who had just been purged and punished in the days of Jeremiah the prophet. It is to occur in "this place which is desolate, without man and without beast, and in all its cities..." (Jer. 33:12).
This is the character, the shape and the perspective in the scene and setting. This is its strength and surety, guarantee and grace. "In those days and at that time" (Jeremiah 33:15), He will "cause to sprout unto David a sprout of righteousness" (Keil), and His is the rule. Thus the root out of a dry ground of Isaiah 53, is now sprouting vigorously and growing in luxuriance, to fulfil the whole regal mission - this is the setting for the outpouring, deliverance and turning to the Lord. The parable of Ezekiel 17 is wrought to the uttermost, and the 'twig' there mentioned, is now indeed become the predicted great tree in which all may reside.
This is to what they are coming, although not at the very outset (as in Ezekiel 36:24-25, and 37:9-14, where first a physical and ONLY THEN a spiritual power is sent to make the people, the dry bones, assemble and NEXT, by special command, LIVE!).
In Jeremiah 33, then, their specialised sins are itemised and this specialised and eventual response is specified. It was to be.
It is soon to be. The structure is now in place: the Jews are back and the city is not now so trodden underfoot (Luke 21:24), except in this, that the Temple is not back in place. But as to that! what would you! The sacrificial temple has finished in any case its mission in the coming of the Lamb of God, just as Jeremiah foreshadowed with such depth (Jeremiah 3:16).
Deliverance to the uttermost, then,
from the captivity which is that good thing, here in view,
and it is specifically the penultimate situation, where the Jews, disbursed
from their very own land because they had reflected their King, are brought
back. It is a return. It is a return from discipline. It is however ALSO
a return such that the good thing predicted is NOW IN OPERATION.
Step one is past. Step two of Ezekiel 37 is to come. This is a return that
is unvoidable (Jeremiah 31:40), because it is in its culmination, to the
From Jeremiah to ISAIAH
So in Isaiah we see this same intense, intimate and protracted parallel, rejected and rejecting people being brought back; even though still blind SPIRITUALLY, yet they are brought GEOGRAPHICALLY to the land, wherein in a little, so as to characterise the period, the Messiah is to come, and being accepted, rule, making both Israel and the other nations KNOW who has done what and WHY! No more that horrible comparative religion approach, so that misled and confused people think that because Israel has suffered, then there is really no God there for Israel, and probably for anyone else, no God that is, that you could know or who could speak, for if THEY did not make it and it did not work, then....
So goes the thinking in abysmal ignorance of the fact that the plan was a little complex (as in Romans 11) and involved, as in some vast and impending novel of life, some series of novels, various blessednesses, various wonders, various horrors, varied disciplines and moral escapades and corrections, an answer, a rationale and a solution, an end. Here it is so. There is the short term discipline to Babylon, the short-term solution and return, the coming of the Messiah prophesied, rejected even THEN, then actual, and rejected with no less deviousness by many rulers and establishment figures, in the historical incarnation of deity (as in Psalm 2, cf. Psalm 45).
Then there is the more protracted period of discipline (as per Daniel 9, allowing Christ's death date to be predicted as in SMR. pp. 886ff.), and with His rejection (Isaiah 49:7), there is a multitude of horrors, just as Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 30- 32 had foreshadowed with such concerned energy, diligence and correctness. Within this vale of darkness and mental turmoil, came the enormous purge of the Jews (according to Jeremiah 30:5-10). This is the time of "Jacob's trouble", where "the day is great, such that there is none like it", nor would there want to be! It is unique in horror, in devastation. Turning from this, we find that
"they shall serve the LORD their
And David their king,
Whom I will raise up for them.
Therefore do not fear, O My servant Jacob... Jacob shall return, have rest and be quite,
And no one shall make him afraid."
Why ? It is in VIEW of this King that they should not fear, as He saves them "from afar" , and "your seed" is brought back from the "land of your captivity" (Jeremiah 30:10).
Thus there is the return to the Lord after such enormous purgings as stand unique in all history for the Jew. That is now. The King is yet to be brought to the land ("Thy land, O Immanuel" Isaiah 8:8), duly having been raised up, though first as a "root out of a dry ground" (Isaiah 53); and He will come in His time, which is near, following this unique and identified day of "Jacob's trouble", to which the King is the prescribed antidote, such that they shall have rest.
THIS is the "latter days" prescription of Jeremiah 30:21, when their King shall be in the most intimate relationship with the God of heaven, from whom He came, and being rejected, from whom He is sent again, for His people Jew or Gentile. Such is according to the one gospel and its varied applications to the honour of the Lord, whose word will stand, and which He honours above all His name as He declares.
But what of the gap! The gap is now - the time from command ONE in Ezekiel 37, to command TWO, from the physical re-assemblage, staggering military victories and so forth, and the spiritual awakening to the MESSIAH, Jesus Christ the Lord.
THE DRAMA IS HEIGHTENED
AS THE PERILS INCREASE AND THE SECOND STEP AWAITS...
THE DRAMA IS HEIGHTENED in Isaiah 42 where we see the Messiah (as in Isaiah 11,22,34,40,42,49,50,52-55 and so on), discovered to our waiting eyes, Himself the COVENANT (Isaiah 42:6 cf. "this is My blood of the New Covenant" of Matthew 26:28), and now in what a condition we see the nation!
"Hear you deaf!
And look, you blind, that you may see.
Who is blind but My servant, 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 42:18-20).
What is it which they are to hear ?
THAT THIS IS THE MESSIAH!, whose
"to open blind eyes,
To bring out prisoners from the prison,
Those who sit in darkness from the prison house" (Isaiah 42:7).
WHY are they blind ? Because they do not, will not hear.
But what is He going to do in the end, with them, then ?
"I will bring the blind by a way
they did not know;
I will lead them in paths they have not known.
I will make darkness light before them,
And crooked places straight.
These things I will do for them,
And not forsake them" - Isaiah 49:16.
Who ? these blind people who are
the Lord's. Are Christian the blind people ? No, they are those whom the
Lord has enlightened, bringing them into the kingdom of His dear Son (Colossians
Who then are these who are both HIS SERVANTS and BLIND ? Why those of the nation of the prophet. Who are they ? Why those who rejected the Christ (Isaiah 49:7, Zechariah 9,11), who says to those who ask Him concerning His wounds, " Zechariah 13:6, "Those with which I was wounded in the house of My friends!" THESE are the wounds "between your hands", which as Keil points out, relate to those which proceed from the hands and up the arms. This would relate well to the dragged body which starting with hand piercings, has lacerations relating and extending (cf. Psalm 22:16, where the piercing of hands and feet is itemised).
What then further is He to do with them, thus blind ?
"Can a woman forget her nursing
And not have compassion on the son of her womb ?
Surely she may forget,
Yet I will not forget you.
"See, I have inscribed you on the
palms of My hands:
Your walls are continually before Me.
Yours sons shall make haste...
Lift up your eyes, look around and see:
All these gather together and come to you.
As I live," says the LORD,
"You shall surely clothe yourselves with them as with an ornament...
For your waste and desolate places,
And the land of your destruction,
Will even now be too small for the inhabitants,
And those who swallowed you up will be far away.
The children you will have,
After you have lost the others,
Will say again in your ears,
'The place is too small for me:
Give me a place where I may dwell.'
"Then you will say in you heart,
'Who has begotten these for me,
Since I have lost my children and am desolate,
A captive and wandering to and from
And who has brought these up ?
There I was, left alone;
But these, where were they ?' "
We have studied these things in SMR Ch.9, but it seemed good briefly to see again the drama and the directness, the love and the determination, the plan and the procedure of the Lord, as He brings back the Jews, now crammed as predicted into their land, to the impending deliverance not only from nations (Zechariah 12,14 shows the intense turmoil of the times before they are HIS), but from themselves, their unbelief. It is then that He pours out His Spirit on them (as in Zechariah 12:10), and indeed is seen as MESSIAH to a people of a new name (Isaiah 62,65), so that as CHRISTIANS they have the ONLY SECURITY, remembering once more as in David himself in days of old, that it is trust in the LORD and not in some ceremonial procedure, or philosophy, which brings peace and truth and strength and praise. God may specialise in dealings with a people, but the gospel is ever the same, indeed everlasting (cf. Rev. 14:6 and Barbs, Arrows and Balms 17).
He has come for them as for any who are His; and they come to Him.
That is for them. The same WANDERING however is for many another, not specifically stylised after the Jewish pattern, but essentially the same. The graphic presentation of the Jews, both in the history of their people and in the valley of dry bones of Ezekiel 37, an allegory of the history: it is for many an indication of a spiritual wandering, a spiritual degradation, and a spiritual need which, wandering from the same Lord, is theirs. It is the same King to whom all must come.
He died to rise; rose to return;
is on course for the course record: the rule on earth in the very presence
of His foes (Psalm 2) after bringing first to His immediate presence in
heaven, the elect of all ages (cf. Revelation 19). That is the Easter Message.
If you are Jewish and not His, come; if you Jewish and His, rejoice, the
time for your people is near; if you are Gentile and not His, come. If
you are Gentile and His, be ready to rejoice not only for the fellowship
of the saints, under the blood of the New Covenant, but for that impending
time when the nations shall REJOICE with His people, when
they shall know that it was for sin that the Jews went out, and for sin-bearing
mercy that they come in again (Jeremiah 36:11-15, 37:14,28; Romans 15:10,
also concerning Israel, the Lord, His culminating program, Jeremiah and
Ezekiel, with reference to Isaiah: SMR Appendix
A , with SMR Chs. 8 -9, Barbs,
Arrows and Balms 13, Repent
or Perish Ch.3, and Acme,
Alpha and Omega, Ch.10, and The
Biblical Workman Ch.1.
THE TOPICS FOR THE ADDRESSEE:
A PROPHETIC EXCURSION
CONCERNING THE JEWISH EXCURSIONS
AND THE ULTIMATE CULMINATION IN CHRIST
In this context in Jeremiah 30-33, we have some fascinating combinations of elements, like clouds and light, colour and sheen, radiance and subtle breeze. The combination, the conspectus, however, with other scripture in view, is overpowering, like the suggestive beauty of multiple perfumes, tinting the air of Spring. Let us examine it with attention, to find the composition it has for us.
Thus in Jeremiah 30:18, we have the first:
1) the RETURN of Jews.
Many returns happened, but there was ONE ONLY which would enshrine the
heart and source of all.
2) THIS is that of Jeremiah 30:21 where their
When this occurs, the KING (Ezekiel 37:22,24), even Davidic, is THERE!
3) NOTE that this King (Jeremiah 23:5-6) is to be king OVER THE EARTH (as with the Messiah in Psalm 72), and in His rule to be imposed as in Psalm 2, with rigour and vigour over the nations. This is the ‘BRANCH’ (code, and notice its relationship both to Ezekiel 17’s ‘twig’, as in The Frantic Millenium and the Peace of Faith Ch.11, and to the ‘root out of a dry ground’, Isaiah 53:1-3) of Zechariah 6:12-13.
Then in crucifixion, being ‘pierced’ and stricken even on the face, with contempt and profound lese-majeste, now in power He exhibits righteousness as One who knows the power to crush of delinquency towards it, since for many, this is precisely what He bore (Isaiah 53:6).Thus He is the One who, contrary to the Mosaic covenant, would combine BOTH the princely and the priestly domains (Zech. 6:13), a synthesis of functions which was all but lethal when entered by foolishly puffed up Uzziah, for all his other good qualities (II Chronicles 26:18, Numbers 3:10).
4) Moving to the next chapter, we find a new marvel, in collusion with the rest, in this profusion of new things. It is found in the NEW COVENANT (Jer. 31:31) where of course, things are different, as shown in this dual role for the King, in Zechariah, and observable concerning sacrifices, in Isaiah 66:3, and for that matter, concerning the ARK of the covenant, in Jer. 3:16.
In fact (Isaiah 42:6, 49:6), the Messiah is to BE, or constitute the covenant, the more so in this, that His sacrifice of Himself (Isaiah 53:1-6) would meet the conditions of sin, in an everlasting way. Hence it is an everlasting covenant. Moreover, since the Messiah is God (Isaiah 48:16, Psalm 45, Zech. 12:10), therefore the eternity of the covenant rests equally on the eternity of the Sacrifice, God Himself in human form.
In THIS NEW COVENANT, the Lord Himself thus will "provide you an atonement for all you have done, says the Lord GOD" - Ezekiel 16:60,63. Then is fulfilled Hosea 13:14, when God Himself indicates that it is HE who will redeem them, in such a fashion that this is the personal involvement:
"I will ransom them from the power
of the grave:
I will redeem them from death.
O Death , I will be your plagues!
O Grave, I will be your destruction. Pity will be hidden from My eyes."
(As to the last statement, it is well to remember what it COST the Father not only to SEND the Son but to have this result at the hand of His enemies, to whom His mission was relentless pursued, for THEIR good - Thus Isaiah has this: "Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him. HE has put Him to grief."
5) Thus in cohesive, consecutive components in the prophecy of Jeremiah, we find the conspectus: RETURN, GOVERNOR from themselves of special and overall authority, language used of Him as of priests, though He be king (cf. Numbers 16:5, 17:1ff, and the drastic implications associated with the rebellion and presumption in the episode there related!); these and the NEW COVENANT for this PRESIDING KING of all the earth, over His people.
"Then I will cause Him to draw near,
And He shall approach Me,
For who is this who pledged His heart to approach Me?" says the LORD" - Jeremiah 30:21.
6) With these components, assembled elements in Jeremiah, we find likewise the reference to the enormous, massive sorrows of the Jews concerning the slaughtered infants (Jeremiah 31:18).
7) Together with this, there is the 30:22 reference to the "new thing in the earth - a woman shall encompass a man." We have dealt with these things in The Biblical Workman Ch. 1, but it is fitting to pause in this context now.
9) Then in Jeremiah 31:31, a little further on, we move into the next setting in this Spring delight. It is the NEW COVENANT, as announced in 4) above. However the present point is this, that the NEW THING leads in the setting just observed, of a challenge to the very heart of the nation, to the NEW COVENANT in the very sweep of the immediate context.
10) It is now that we note a significant feature of that passage surrounding Jeremiah 30:20, when the RETURN in view in this case is to occur, or if you will, the quintessential return which is the acme and consummation of all the restoration. It is then the situation into which they come is CHARACTERISED. It is one in which the Governor from their midst is to come, and of Him, it is asked as noted in 5) above, "WHO is this who pledged His heart to approach Me?", in this astonished or emphatic fashion, indicative of astonishing identity: just as the priest-prince combination is evoked in this language, and explicitly in Zechariah 6.
Words are not wasted, codes are repetitive throughout the prophets, and these are the intimations which satisfy this word usage, rather than mere verbosity. It is practised code, to be searched out, explained here and there, evacuating the context of every word in the use of precise meaning, when so applied; but not otherwise. We are evidently in the Messianic rule realm, as expressly seen in Jeremiah 23:5-6.
11) Hence it is that we find that "the fierce anger of the Lord will not return until He has done it". Now we think of Deuteronomy 32, and of Leviticus 26 where the whole gamut of history was encapsulated for the Jew.
The end, in the latter days, as in Deuteronomy 32:43
is for a return in the midst of roiling nations (cf. Deuteronomy 32:39-43,
cited by Paul in Romans 15:10, cf. 11:26-27, taken from Isaiah 59:20, itself
followed by the guarantee of the ineradicable perpetuity of the words of
the prophet, in 59:21).
It is still to come at the time of Jeremiah. Thus it is explicitly written, "In the latter days, you shall consider it" (Jeremiah 30:24 - The RV has "in the latter days, you shall understand it").
That is just the language used in Psalm 22, where the
Messiah’s sacrificial and substitutionary atonement for His people, is
foretold (Psalm 22:30-31, and Psalm 102:18). In the latter case, likewise,
it is clear as in Hosea 13, that the LORD Himself is going to come personally
(as indeed in Ezekiel 34, where He makes unemployed the vicious priests
by coming and doing it HIMSELF, so becoming the "good shepherd" of John
10). This, says Psalm 102:18,
In these realms, then, is the prophecy of Jeremiah moving, both to the beginning phase of Isaiah 61:2 (the gracious and forgiving part actually quoted by Christ as in Luke 4), and to the next, scene of judgment, when as in Isaiah 66 and Micah 7, Habakkuk 3, the Lord brings judgment in power on the crumpled and catasrophic chaos of settled disbelief (cf. Isaiah 53:1, 49:7, Psalm 2).
11) In the "latter days", we find in Micah 4:1ff., "the LORD shall reign over them, in mount Zion henceforth even for ever". Thus too in Micah 5:1-3, we find that this Judge of Israel is He whose goings are from everlasting, and it is He whom, as in Isaiah 50, 52-53, "they shall strike … with a rod upon the cheek", just as His reign, when He comes for this purpose, is everlasting. Even when the earth is gone, His salvation is not! (Isaiah 51:6).
There is no question of more renegade history in the Israel, then, to which He so comes! (as in Ezekiel 37:23,25, Jeremiah 32:40), those concerned in the massive turning to Christ (as in Romans 11), being His forever, are eternally redeemed (as in Isaiah 51:11). Thus in Isaiah 51:6, we see the exuberant power with which the earth is dismissed, grown old, like some stage once significant and much used, but now junked; and this aligns superbly with the endless dynamism of the Lord, His profound plans and His glorious consummations. IT may go, yes the whole universe is dismissible, and dispensable, utilised and used up according to plan; but the righteousness and the salvation of God, THESE REMAIN, says Isaiah 51:6.
11) The Lord often surpasses His word (cf. Ephesians 3:20), but He does not violate it, even to the jot and tittle it being fulfilled (Matthew 5:17ff.). This felicity of fidelity He constantly attests (as in Isaiah 41,43,48, and there with great drama! and piercing, evocative rebuke to the mere abstractionists, the people who make some sort of effort in their predictions. As to HIM, they are exact and continually DONE, and this, in the uttermost of contrast to the pretensions of mere flesh!
And as to THAT Israel, it is assuredly the one which went into captivity for their sins, and which did so for 70 years (as in Jeremiah 25), whose mothers lamented for their slain babes in the massed massacre (as in Jeremiah 31), and which, being the Lord’s before they were exiled, would return in the period named (as in Jeremiah 30), and in the consummation, to the Lord (as in Ezekiel 37, Jeremiah 31:31, 23:5ff.) whom they would in repentance find and accept (Zechariah 12:10).
As to Him, HE is predicted in Micah 5, to be born
in Bethlehem. Precisely the same uninterrupted eternity in His presence
is noted both in Isaiah 9:6-7, for the Prince of peace, who is also the
"everlasting Father" by name, and in Ezekiel 37:28 (with 37:23),
of Him, of the house of David (Ez. 37:22,24) whose dominion is to be territorially
UNIVERSAL (as in Psalm 2). Then, we find they will never again turn to
idols, while He dwells with them for ever. It is His eternity going forward
which they experience in their restoration in spirit, following their return
to their unequivocally promised land (Genesis 17), and the One in whom
they experience it, the one born in Bethlehem, it is He whose eternity
has always been there, going backwards (5:3 of Micah), when even time was
yet nascent for the universe, itself unmade.
If you would like the second instalment, more especially for the Christian churches, in this message, click here.