W W W W World Wide Web Witness Inc. Home Page Contents Page for Volume What is New
A MATTER OF RISE AND FALL, AND THAT'S NOT ALL
Isaiah 66, Reflections and Applications:
TWO AND THE SAME
We have moved since the days of Isaiah 66:1-2. Yet the word of God has not moved. It is still true of the Lord that "to this one will I look, even to the one who is poor and of a contrite spirit and trembles at my word." It is not merely some initial 'repentance' as some sort of spiritually social routine that is in point: it is a matter of the one who IS of a poor and a contrite spirit. That is the new nature of the person (II Cor. 5:17). He or she does not now, being ostensibly converted, having gone through a ritual or regimen, like training for a race, now sit back and enjoy life in fits of wilful splendour.
An example may help. Once the author had been called to be Principal of a High School, and had come on the most express and exclusive understanding that certain things, scriptural and ethical principles were sacred in trust, and could not at all be breached, and that if they were to be breached, there could not even be any slightest question of coming, and being assured that thus was the situation, had come and worked for some little time. It was then found that one of the rulers of the school had provided to the people ideas and conditions, principles expressly in violation of this condition. When the matter was raised, one learned that there was a 'dream' for the school. It went otherwise. What had been the agreed condition of coming could not now be honoured. Hence the agreement and stipulation of trust, the condition for coming, was violated by a dream.
Thus many come to the Lord, as it would appear, and yes, they are willing to repent so far and to do so much, and are in conformity with so much more and even may be willing to follow the Bible as the word of the living God (cf. Mark 4:16-17), but then something arises. They find that after all, the Lord was only Lord to the extent that He fulfilled some private dream which had not entered into their initial understanding; but indeed, it was some way of life or manner of being which was the direct opposite. Christ was to be, after all, a desirable additive, but not an all-inclusive ground for subtraction! (Luke 14:27ff., notwithstanding...). Often such false disciples stay in churches, and help engineer their downfall, joining with other betrayers of Christ's rule of entry and life, in repudiating the Lordship and the rule of His word, if not in words to that effect, then in words and deeds which effect it!
Yet that self-same word of God had been explicit and readable from the first. The Bible is no new invention, but the declaration of millenia from the Lord! Moreover, it was to the Lord Jesus Christ that they came, so that His word, being His own utterance of heart, was to be loved because He was loved, Lord and God Almighty as Saviour. You do not love part of Him, while excluding His mouth!
Why then do they become arrogant, or dissident ? It is because they are not of a poor and contrite spirit, have ceased to tremble at His word, and had from the first had some explicit or implicit resolution in their own favour, some codicil or clause, some provision or penchant. Thus so far from being 'crucified with Christ' (Galatians 2:20), they were merely planted with Him, and when the time to germinate was too long, came up from their own seed and were something else.
There is no fear to the believer in Christ, for each one such is regenerated (John 3, Titus 3:3-7), and all things becoming new, becomes alien to the rule of sin; and if sin should grasp in this or that matter, these are swift to repent, even if like King David, on occasion it calls for a Nathan to awaken them.
As to these, if they fall seven times, yet the Lord lifts them up and poor in spirit, they recognise their weakness and seeking His face, are washed, worked upon laboriously and restored (cf. Proverbs 24:16, Psalm 51); and so indeed, the way of life for such winds upward toward the glory, that they may depart from hell beneath (Proverbs 15:24). Contrite for their past, for their slippage, they yet are contained in Him who calls, and chastened, they proceed with the power of His pardon, guaranteed to eternity (I John 2:1-2, 1:7ff., John 4:14, 8:24, I John 5:11ff.), with the grace of His face (cf. Psalm 27:7-8,13-14, Hebrews 7:25, 6:19, John 10:9,27-28).
There are great expectations but greater grace yet; for who can exhaust the lively loveliness of the Lord or the faithful solicitude of His promises, from which being His, HE never reneges, nor ever recoils, which He neither retracts nor rescinds. To the pure all things are pure, but to the treacherous and conniving, God also has answer; but His word He honours and magnifies above all His name (Psalm 18:25-30, 138:2).
So crucial is this aspect of the divine honour which every Christian should seek to imitate in ethical cases especially, that it needs to be read. On this occasion, one refers to the words of the New Living Translation.
"To the faithful you show yourself faithful;
to those with integrity you show integrity.
To the pure you show yourself pure,
but to the wicked you show yourself hostile.
You rescue those who are humble,
but you humiliate the proud.
"Lord, you have brought light to my life;
my God, you light up my darkness.
In your strength I can crush an army;
with my God I can scale any wall.
"As for God, his way is perfect.
All the Lord’s promises prove true.
He is a shield for all who look to him for protection.
For who is God except the Lord?
Who but our God is a solid rock?
Indeed, the first line above could as well be translated, as it often is: "To the merciful You will show Yourself merciful." The word concerns a lovingkindness wrought in mercy and issuing in reliability. THIS is what the saints of God must seek to emulate by the power of the resident Lord and the grace of His countenance, the light of His word and the work of His enlightenment in the heart.
All this then is THE SAME. It does not change. It is built from the character of the Lord and issues from His splendour. He is the same, and His days do not change (Psalm 102, Hebrews 13:8).
However, the next verses, to wit Isaiah 66:3-4, speak of what DOES change. In this case, we move as we saw in Ch. 3 above, from the Old Testament Covenant, the introductory, the preliminary, the prelude indeed to the New Covenant in Christ's blood, to the redemption itself, blood the testimony of death, death the requisition of the law, sin the ground of relevance, and your sin and mine, the area of action for that sublime cover.
It is this which makes, for one element, the Lord the Barrister of Bliss; for what does a barrister charge, even to consider your case, and present it ? and far more does he charge to make it sure through days of testimony. What however does the Lord charge ?
He charges a massive amount which only God could pay; for the defilement of human life is as massive as the murderous massifs of horror which our generation has generated so wildly and with such artless proliferation, would suggest. HUMAN life in the image of God, and accordingly ABLE to contemplate in its original condition, the wonder of God freely, the ways of God in their acute magnificence, elaborately, for that very reason, when befouled, makes the loss of a material universe a small things by comparison.
THAT, it is a matter of a site; THIS is a matter of a soul, correlative, though a creation indeed, with the Lord Himself. It is not that it has anything remotely like the power, or the status or the eternity from beforehand: it is just that it being in His image, has access to the principles of purity and to the realities that lie beyond all appearance and to self-expression in the arena of acute spiritual significance.
It is like love. It is one thing to like someone; but if you love, and are deceived, there is something of yourself slit, and the wound may be severe. The slow loss of blood of Christ on the Cross is like the defacement which sin breeds; and the disfiguration of Christ's face is like the battering of spirit which man self-inflicts in sin. To Him, in the domain of sin, and with action in, for and on those who receive or would receive Him - for known to God are all His works from the foundation of the world - is this battering transferred.
However, though this massive amount, heaped higher than Everest, is the charge, it is the Lord who Himself pays it; and as God He is well able, and to restore credit to the account. Indeed, His cover is adequate in plenary degree, making the national debt of the USA, by which it is in danger of strangling itself, look small (II Cor. 5:17-21). Hence to the receiver of this redemption, it is entirely free and the Barrister, the Advocate as in I John 2, is without charge to us who are saved by Him. To those who repudiate or trifle with it, it is as relevant as the ocean to the desert, a cover precisely in depth equal to that of water on the arid desert sand (Romans 8:32, Isaiah 53:1-5). Those 'healed' are always co-extensive, as in Isaiah, as in all the animal sacrifice cases where faith was involved no less, with those who COME and RECEIVE.
Yet, for all the fact that the sacrifice of animals, that preliminary of the Old Covenant, the bud covenant before the bloom in the Barrister of Truth, the prelude to the power of performance in the Messiah (Hebrews 8-10), was changed, this occurred within a structure, foreknown, foretold and in a series of symbol moving to substance. The preliminary was simply developed to its foretold culmination.
It is the change of completion, following announcement, and of substance following symbol, and if you will, of cash payment after credit notes. It is now paid, and nothing more whatsoever needs for ever and ever to be paid, for the cover is complete, the redemption is eternal (Hebrews 9:23), and by ONE sacrifice He, having justified, sanctifies forever His people (Hebrews 10:10,14). Hence there is assurance, and to doubt this reality in effect, if not in intention, is not only to impugn His word, but to eviscerate the profundity of His payment and the purity of His promises alike.
As we follow Isaiah 66 on from verses 1-2, then, to verses 3-5, we have this model. Let us pursue it in more detail, when once we have read them, as presented below.
3 "He who kills a bull is as if he slays a man;
He who sacrifices a lamb, as if he breaks a dog’s neck;
He who offers a grain offering, as if he offers swine’s blood;
He who burns incense, as if he blesses an idol.
4 "Just as they have chosen their own ways,
And their soul delights in their abominations,
So will I choose their delusions,
And bring their fears on them;
Because, when I called, no one answered,
When I spoke they did not hear;
But they did evil before My eyes,
And chose that in which I do not delight."
THE KEY TO THE DELETE KEY - Isaiah 66:3-4
Consider the impact on those still following a sacrificial model of the faith, at the repetitive animal stage, when they are told that killing a bull is like killing a man, that burning incense is like blessing an idol! How will they interpret that!
Of course, this profound, prophetic book of Isaiah has specialised in the denunciation and exposure of sin, personal, social, religious, national, and in the manifestation of the coming sacrifice to cover sin on the part of the Messiah who, once for all, deletes it to those who receive this animated announcement, and receive the pardon of God for His sake (Isaiah 52-53 - the latter good to be learned by heart).
Hence we can discern, in the presence of such munificence from the Lord, and misuse of religion on the part of man, the divine detestation for the merely formal misuse of religious means and methods. Indeed, in Isaiah Ch. 1 this is made a special butt - God indicates that He has no time for their solemn assemblies!
Wash, be clean, learn to do good and disesteem evil! this is the message. Now however we find that there is a straight announcement concerning sacrificial procedures of the Old Testament type. It is because the NEW has by this stage been announced, even the new heaven and earth have been disclosed (Isaiah 65:17). Thus in Isaiah 66, we look accordingly in coming history, to the movement to the end of the present Messianic Age, and the thrust to the end of this world entirely. It is in this overall setting that the folly of insisting on keeping on with the multitude of sacrifices which Christ makes obsolete (Hebrews 8), is divinely declared. His word is against such blindness, and indeed such insult to His work with a deleting of its applicability, as Judaism has evinced. It is ultimately against this and the very spirit of it, that God expresses such horror and detestation.
Thus the key to the delete key, or if you prefer, the meaning of the message of rejection of the sacrificial system as it then was, is in terms of that far better one to come, when it all devolves on ONE, person, on God brought to act as man (Isaiah 48:16), not man seeking God; and to act forever in and through ONE sacrifice, ONCE made (Hebrews 2, 9-10): His own!
Let us ponder this more closely.
Isaiah 66 follows that grand approach, to survey of the End of the Gospel Age, found before in Isaiah 65. That earlier chapter involves the new heavens and the new earth (65:17), the day when the wolf lies down with the lamb, the day of release of the magnificence of God so that "the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of God as the waters cover the sea" (Habakkuk 2:14, Isaiah 11:9), when they shall not "hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain."
Hence when we read in Isaiah 66, which likewise moves as far as a vision of hell in the aftermath of the divine rejoinder to the ambush of humanity (66:24), we are scarcely to expect anything other than the rule of the New Covenant which is to lead on to such termini. It is that is exposed in Isaiah 9:1-7, and 52-55*1 in terms of the increasing and eternal rule of the incarnate child, God in human form, the Messiah, the foretold 'son of David'!
The Covenant of Jeremiah 31:31, the new and everlasting covenant, it is this which - being paid for as in Isaiah 49-55, and provided freely as in Isaiah 55 to the one who thirsts, being a matter centred in the blood of the Saviour (and only GOD is Saviour - Isaiah 43:10-11), applies to those who come to God by faith. It is this which here avails, prevails and is prominent. Naturally therefore, any failure to realise this in the prophetic clime, milieu, epoch in view in these terminal times of Isaiah 66, where the New Covenant is APPLIED, to receive this same Messiah as Saviour: this would be a horrid defilement of divine pity and provision alike.
It would be exactly as in Hebrews, which specialises in this very thing, a failure to realise the deity of Christ, the prophesied splendour of His coming, the magnificence of His kindness and the accomplished competence of His covenant. It would be a matter of fearful looking forward, of a treading under foot of the blood of the covenant precisely as in Hebrews 10. Again, it would be as in Isaiah 66:4, as in Matthew 13:14 and provided for in the parables about it, a matter of closing the eyes, of formula instead of faith, fiasco instead of feature, painting instead of person, form instead of reality.
It would be just as Isaiah 66: 4 declares it to be:
"So will I choose their delusions,
And bring their fears on them;
Because, when I called, no one answered,
When I spoke they did not hear;
But they did evil before My eyes,
And chose that in which I do not delight."
THIS is the case of the nation which ABHORRED their own Messiah as Isaiah predicted would be the case! (Isaiah 49:7); and here at the acme of arrogance, is alas, not the one who is poor, and of a contrite spirit, but rather are those who do not hear, and choose their own ideas as Lord. It is precisely as in Romans 10, where Paul indites the unbelieving pitch of many of his people, the Jews, declaring that going about to establish their own righteousness, they are (wilfully) ignorant of the righteousness of God!
They have own prescriptions; but as with a subscription concert, for which they think they have paid, the problem is that the performer is not present. They follow their own spirits, wills and thrills irresponsibly.
In the end, the Lord has looked away from those who have looked elsewhere as He promised to do in Leviticus 26, from the outset. Yet He has not entirely forgotten them as we shall see later in this very Chapter, just as we see it in the newspapers, and have done in particular, since May 1948 (concerning which in detail see SMR Ch. 9).
What was one of the results of this national recalcitrance ? it was persecution! Though we must never forget the dynamism of the shriven, secured, saved sinners who constituted the Christian Church from the first, who were Jewish nationals almost entirely, as were the apostles, as were almost all the chosen body of scripture writers for both the Old and the New Testaments was persecution: alas, we must not ignore the self-defining action of that nation itself either! The time will come when at that level, there will be repentance (Romans 11:25, Zech. 12:10); but it is not yet.
This then we must ponder. SO accustomed are we who have lived through the days from 1948 to the present, some 58 years, from this first sudden awakening of Israel after around 1900 years, to the present, and thus to the persecution OF the Jews by proud flesh, that the idea of Jews DOING the persecution, may seem at first, alien. Yet this was the case in their action against CHRIST in the first instance, and then against early Christians. Foreign. Indeed, may such a reversal sound to those who have lived through World War II, in the Hitler approximation to hell, in the very red days, despite whitewash, of the holocaust; and this very idea may constitute a strange upset of disposition.
Yet with Rome as backing and Jerusalem's religious rulers as a face, they were hard days for Christians. We now learn in the following verse, 66:5, that this persecution, and indeed not only this, but this as a type of such oppression, will have a reversal of a cardinal character at the judgment!
ROLE REVERSAL - Isaiah 66:5-6
How the early Jewish Christians suffered from the hatred, persecution or even murder handed out by the unbelieving Jewish sector of the population, who conceived the fruition of Moses' law in the prophet foretold (Deuteronomy 18), whose word, Moses declared, they must follow when He came, to be as nothing!
No greater testimony could have been made for faith, in power, work, word, love, grace, mercy, the beauty of holiness than that wrought by Jesus Christ, Lord of glory.
Yet when God at the date foretold (Highway of Holiness Ch. 4), and in the way prescribed in advance (Isaiah 29, 35, 49-55), acted with acuity and power, not only in the life, but in the death and resurrection of Christ, did the nation believe ?
Far from it! In fact, the powers that be were beside themselves with negativity, and many worshipped in some ways more the actual system and structure of things, than the God who gave it as a help. When He came, the symbols were replaced with what is substantial, and His personal action made those symbols past; but His power-providing body was consigned to the gallows.
Thus, when He came and personally acted, those symbols were replaced by the reality of regality, crowned by God's blood of the covenant (Acts 20:28), by the glory of God in the face of Christ Jesus (II Corinthians 4:4-6, 5: 17-21, Titus 2-3); but the transition was incisively rejected. It was rather like a Primary School child simply refusing to go to Secondary School.
So was it foretold that it would be; and so did it occur (in Isaiah 52, 55, 66:20 and 11:10, for example). The nation led by false leaders, rebelled and even persecuted those who received the Lord, as if passion would be substitute for peace, or truculence for truth.
Of such persecution as unbelief dynamised, and folly pursued: Stephen in one example; and Paul is another - you see two examples in Acts 7:51ff., and 20:1-4, and another in Acts 17:1-10. Even while the Christians were presenting Christ the Saviour to the nation, and beyond, including many who disbelieved the very evident testimony of their senses (cf. Matthew 13:14ff., John 11 - they even tried to kill Lazarus, whom Christ raised from the dead, so that he would die a second time and stop being so powerful and clear-cut a testimony to the authenticity of Jesus Christ, Lord over death, and not on this occasion only): what did they do ? They categorically rejected Him and assaulted some of His servants, killed James, sought to kill Paul, arrested Peter (Acts 9-12).
Theirs was envy (Matthew 27:18), instead of worship: they wanted power ... and to survive. In fact, they were merely ensuring the judgment to come. It came in A.D. 70, just one generation after the crucifixion, so that those to be slain by Rome in its invasion and devastation of temple and city, were themselves fully responsible, and not just their fathers of Christ's day on this earth.
Isaiah in 66:3-4 is telling us that the Christians (those Jews like Paul were a first instalment - cf. Isaiah 66:20, Romans 15:16) who were repudiated by the officialdom which loved the authority they paraded, but not the humility before the authority of the only God and the only Master (Matthew 23:8-10), would one day be vindicated. The persecutors, unless they repented, preferring to be masterful themselves, would have a very different end.
What then was this bright light of judgment at the end to include ? It was this. Those who paraded their demeaning hatred of the brethren of Christ, will be on parade. Not beneath their feet, will they place now their victims, but at their feet they themselves will bow in recognition of their vast evils and odious persecutions (cf. Revelation 3:9).
They ignored their testimony, and so brought first Israel and then the world to the point of ruin! Their latter day types are now persecuting Christians in Sudan, in China.
The end however comes, as the day of destiny breaks, and the light which cannot be extinguished (John 1), becomes inescapable at His return (Revelation 1:5, Matthew 24:30). Indeed, Malachi 4:1 shows the same, and 4:2 adds this by contrast for those who receive His pardon: "But to you who fear My name, the Sun of righteousness will arise, with healing in His wings."
A fire comforts, but not if you are in it.
Thus there is a role reversal - the lords among men will bow in the presence of God before the feet of their victims. Where mercy is despatched unheeded, only sin remains, and its impact is justice and judgment is awesome. What then do we find in Isaiah 66:5 ? It is this.
"Hear the word of the Lord,
You who tremble at His word:
Your brethren who hated you,
Who cast you out for My name’s sake, said,
‘Let the Lord be glorified,
That we may see your joy.’
But they shall be ashamed."
The testimony of truth was in love, and the testimony of hatred brings severance from grace and truth, except there be repentance.
What pre-devastation Jerusalem foolishly did to the Christians, the next parade of improper power, Romanism from its Rome, did to those of a later Age in the Inquisition (cf. Ancient Words, Modern Deeds Ch. 14). Later, there came modern despots, such as those of the grossly misnamed Communism (in fact the worst and most blatant system of hierarchical tyranny ever known, for all the powers are in one place, and that, it is not in the people but in the prejudice and absolutism of unelected and deluded men ), or the Islamic militants (cf. Divine Agenda Ch. 6).
As we look further in Isaiah 66, we find small consolation for the anarchy and autonomy of persecution of the messengers of Jesus Christ.
WHO PAYS ? IT IS THE LORD OR THE SINNER:
IT DEPENDS ON FAITH (Isaiah 66:6, John 8:24)
The Lord, we read, "fully repays His enemies" (Isaiah 66:6).
In Divine Agenda Ch. 6, we reveal the famous case of the 'Lost Boys', who eventually amounted to thousands, bereft in the raids of the North (Islamic) of Sudan on the South (which has a significant Christian testimony, though murder will have reduced this, on the vast scale of the violence attested!). The bereft boys moved from land to land, their parents murdered. Eventually, after they learned to live in a compound, they were taken in large measure by the USA! As we look at the inveterate and sustained persecution of these boys in the Africa lands in which and to which they fled, we asked certain questions, which in substance follow. The references given may be found at Ch. 6, as hyperlinked above, so that if any wishes, they may readily be traced.
Referring to Islam, much is declared in that Chapter, concerning the error of such human religions.
The throes come in the name of a religion innovated into existence in Arabia, long after both the Old Testament and Christ, with a caricature of faith here REQUIRED of many, as shown in this suppression move towards faith, by the vilest of excesses. The evil militancy acted as if God were some monster and man were some product, instead of God being love and man the monster in his parodies of it, this volcanic steam and burning ash rushed into deplorable existence. In our own time, in Sudan, the contemporary version has come alive in ministering death. The North attacked the South.
In so doing, ISLAM demanded the submission of Christians, amongst
others. The way over the centuries has included efforts to force their creed into their mouths
of victims, and demand that it be spewed
up again in words of acquiescence.
In the Sudan, it is
often simply kill, kidnap and lay waste the butt of their belligerence. Where
this occurs, it is indeed Islamic fascism, doctrinaire autocracy with force for
securing submission of mind, body or both.
a new excuse now claim acceptance, in the name of another world-clutching
Thus these new ravages were from a religion which RESTS on the authenticity of Old Testament prophets (cf. SMR pp. 1080ff. - cf. Surah 5:44) and yet excludes the basis of sacrifice for sin in the system of revealed truth, on which that rests! (Leviticus 1-4, Isaiah 50-55). Thus like other heresies, it hangs on to what disowns it, like a mistletoe on a gum.
These are however but examples, whether Communist, Islamic or Romanist. Whether from these or other sources, the vile violences come, the substitution of force for the means of faith, the abuse of both power and of the name of the God of love, mercy and kindness, even the desecration of the Gospel and the glory: there is one result. Alas, short of repentance, we see this in the last verse of Isaiah 66 as in Mark 9. Light rejected MEANS darkness; and grace overthrown alters not the Gospel, but the result of it for the rebels (John 3:19,36). For these we mourn (John 3:17), as in Christ we love those dissidents who daily ask for judgment, and seek freely to deliver them. Yet the aweful fact remains: truth denied is mercy despatched.
Meanwhile, we find in Isaiah 66:5 the intense and immense role reversal when judgment sits! Those among men
"who hated you, who cast you out for My name's sake, said, 'Let the Lord be glorified, that we may see your joy.' But they shall be ashamed."
Note the extraordinary vigour of the ironic exposure of the lust in the persecutors who, while mouthing violence and surging into action with it, gloat over the horrors to come for their victims. "Let us see your joy!" they chant, as if to terminate the delight of the Lord's people in Himself. But Christ has the answer for then and the judgment both together.
"YOUR JOY NO MAN TAKES FROM YOU!" (John 16:22). It is internal as from a Spring (John 4:14), and rough hands do not ruin its source! Indeed, in Revelation 3:9, we see the situation in the end, between persecutors and those who have persevered in faithfulness to the living God according to His prevenient word, and not turned aside to false worship of any kind. While the text refers primarily to the case of the Jews, it is typical of the variant-versus-reality situation.
"Indeed, I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie - indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you."
Whatever variation in the style of rebuff however, God is no respecter of persons and those who acted to humiliate in evil and fickle faiths, sects large or small, misusers of the name of God, persecutors of the faithful, will like all proud things be abased (Isaiah 2:17-22). What trembles at the word of God, the one who is poor and of a contrite heart before Him, receptive of redemption and building on His word, however, will be received with joy into everlasting abodes (Luke 16:9, John 14:1ff., Isaiah 51:11).
RISING AND FALLING
Not in mantras or muscles, in scimitars or thumb-screws, in screamings or personnel-bombs, with iron-laden bodies destroying the bodies of persons: not thus is the kingdom of heaven won. It is by faith, not force; it is in love, not licence; it moves by grace, not guile, and lasts for ever in Him who came to show the way. There is no other, but that to secure loss, with all the passion of one who takes out insurance negatively to cover any possibility of gain. The way of the wicked shall perish, but the work of the living God remains, spiritually confrontational, imputational, merciful and mighty.
Rising and falling is by Jesus Christ: you arise in Him as called, or like a stone, He pulverises the creeds of inveterate power and chronic odium and with judgment arrests their purveyors (Matthew 21:44). Meanwhile, whatever man does, the power of God is fulfilling history according to His word, year by turmoiled year. The Jew remains as Christ foretold, Jerusalem is back with them, as He also predicted (Luke 21:24), and has become an index to His near return; the same Gospel acts in its unalterable purity (Gal. 1) while predicted false christs and prophets like acid rain, arise, ready to fall in disgrace at the return of Christ. In these as in multitudes of ways, He begins already to send dark signals and enlightening flashes to the earth which failed to receive Him, but now awaits His coming (II Thessalonians 1). The door is still wide open for ANY who enters!
See Bible Translations Number 20.
See : http://www.religioustolerance.org/mary_cor.htm
In this outline of developments of doctrine in Romanism, there are two significant dates noted to our present point:
1935: Pope Pius XI gave the title co-redemptrix to Mary during a radio broadcast.
1985: Pope John Paul II recognized Mary as "co-redemptrix" during a speech in Guayaquil, Ecuador. He said, in part, "Having suffered for the Church, Mary deserved to become the Mother of all the disciples of her Son, the Mother of their unity...In fact Mary’s role as Co-redemptrix did not cease with the glorification of her Son."
It is pointed out that this doctrine has not been made a formal papal pronouncement; but this is scarcely to the point. If a pope in a public address makes such an announcement, then either he is a heretic or he is not. If he is, then he should be challenged, and repent. If he is not challenged, the body which deploys him is guilty of acquiescence, so failing in Romans 16:17 and becoming anti-apostolic.
Using or not using pretended infallibility does not alter the case in this; nor does its presence, allegedly but ludicrously contrary to scripture and Jesus Christ (Matthew 23:8-10), make the case anything but worse; for if it were available, how much should it be used to correct an error; but if it be not present for such a purpose, it is mere verbiage.
Hence the Romanistic body is just as liable for this Christotomy in this respect, that is acquisition of power defined uniquely for Christ, the sinless eternal Word of God, for Himself, and hence removal of this uniqueness from Him as in a depleting operation, as for the addition of "Queen of Heaven".
On the usage of this title in non-Christian religions, see : Queen of Heaven - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
That title was conferred by Pius
XII, and is to be mated with what was if possible more anti-scriptural,
"Queen of the Universe" in a papal pronouncement of Pius XII, 1950. Since
everyone doing the will of God is Christ's brother and sister and mother, there
would be a lot of
Queens, in this would be heaven of idolatrous misconception (Matthew 12:48-50), added to the Bible from the non-Master who speaks the words of non-authority as if he had them, so meeting the definition of false prophet.
On this, see Jeremiah 23:16-29, together with the scriptural denunciation of any such biblically unauthorised concept as this one, in Jeremiah 44:18-26), and indeed anything as if God's word, when His word is contradistinct (Proverbs 30:6). He does not like having His name used in vain; and even among men, who does! (cf. Exodus 20:7).
Indeed, to the present point in particular, In heaven there is no continuation of the habiliments of gender (Matthew 22:30), for they are like angels; nor is there any Lord but Christ, in this or that category, and that includes Lord-ess! (cf. Acts 4:11-12, Ephesians 4:5), nor is there any other name by which we MUST be saved!
Adding to scripture, aborting it, consorting with the forbidden, defiling the integrity of the word of God, the rule of God and the eternal redemption in Christ alone (cf. Hebrews 9:11-12) by adding some other name to the scriptural deposition, and indeed bringing any component of salvation to pope or Mary, this defies Isaiah 43:10-11, for besides GOD there is NO SAVIOUR, while inventing deities has never been on the divine agenda for approbation! (Jeremiah 2:28, Exodus 20:1-3).
Indeed, no other gods may be before His face! Other gods must be behind His back, but not beneath His notice, for god-production is as far from the righteous zeal of God as can be (Exodus 20:5-6). When imagination replaces fact it is always dangerous; when it adds to the word of God in the matter of gods, it is fatal! (Proverbs 30:6, Jeremiah 23:16-17, 16:20-21. 10:11, I Kings 17:15ff., Isaiah 45:21, 45:14-17).
EXCURSION on TRUTH, FORCE, GOODNESS,
and the DIVINE MERCY in the MESSIAH, JESUS CHRIST
In Bon Voyage! Ch. 2, the enormity of the failure of force to overthrow either Israel or the word of God concerning its time when it should return after its assault on the Messiah, at last to its land, is exhibited in an interesting way.
It is not just that a number of Islamic nations failed IN CONCERT to overthrow an Israel only days old, which began by a radio announcement in 1948. It is not merely that the post-holocaust residue of Jews were not to be denied despite the atrocities wrought on more than 6 million of them in Europe. It is not simply that all these long established and in many cases, oil rich nations simply were frustrated in doing a new Hitler job on the Jews; nor is it merely that Nasser of Egypt with extensive, expensive aid from the USSR failed too, even when the whole enormous region from Africa to Pakistan bristles with belligerence in whole or part, in many nations.
It is more than that. NOTHING works. The UN seeks to bring Israel to the squalor of a tiny series of bits with an international city of Jerusalem in 1947, and all those nations FAIL to do so. Amazing, it was the Arab cause, rich in Islam, which was not willing to receive this situation as a GIFT. All the wars since have been in this manner, of their own making. They could have had a vast increment from the more than half of Palestine already treacherously snatched in 1920, for Jordan. They refused.
Since they have tried force in social atrocities with a spirit of hatred and odium much like that in the pogroms in Russia, with a similar indifference, as it appears, to the havoc to humanity and the rich horror it brings on the very name of humankind in so acting, making it more humanunkind.
Yet they fail. In fact, this fact is one of the most strident in recent history: so enormous has been the lapse of an allegedly almighty Allah, whose credentials clash with the Old Testament in the whole realm of sacrifice, yet are based in part on a claim to these old prophets as earlier words from God - and in view of Isaiah 59:21 and the preceding verses of divine intent, this is the more ludicrous. In a moment, let us review the words of the Islamic former PM of Malaysia on this topic; but first consider the case more broadly. In this we cite from Bon Voyage! Ch. 2,slightly adapted for this purpose.
Force is justly seen as a vast gulf and even abyss for man, quitting meaning with might, gutting beauty with strength, ruining responsibility with metal; and to use it in religion is merely a contradiction in terms, since faith - and none can belief a religion without some variety of this - is a conviction, not a physical or martial constraint.
Force in the matrix of religion as a determinant, submission as an injunction backed by it, is futile and a contradiction in terms for those whose response MATTERS BECAUSE it is free. We are not automatons, and indeed many pour scorn on their own construction as mortals and expect us to believe them though they invalidate their sentences with their sentence on themselves. Wars of intimidation do not intimate truth but coarse power. To faith they are irrelevant; to truth a dust-bin, to man mere coarseness.
To what war of intimidation however does one refer ? One alludes for example to the effort to dissuade Israel from existing as a nation, as in the Teheran Conference of 1991, when the devices for the overthrow of Israel were quite clear, to that of the intifada, still reeking with misrule and corruption that racked the PLO, as to the preceding vast triumphs of Israel over numerous and multitudinous multi-national assassination efforts directed at the State of Israel.
And what might be termed its dirge ? Perhaps it may be seen in the lament of Dr Mahathir, at the failure of the masses of Islamic peoples to overthrow for so long the tiny nation of Israel: a just and a discerning observation. He conceived what might be a more effective way of DEALING with Israel SUCCESSFULLY - that small residue for a people that bears this name!
Let us face it, the long effort to delete Israel which the President of Iran recently voiced once more, is in the last analysis, GENOCIDE, albeit political, and is OLD, very old. The name of God, the truth of the Bible, the power of the Christians, the testimony of Christ, the purity of the Gospel is CONTINUALLY, constantly under assault; and it is in this larger war that the devil himself scheming unremittingly, fails as Christ foretold so clearly in Matthew 16. In this world, the prince of this world has a place (John 14:30). In the kingdom of heaven, he has none, and the word of God is paramount under Him whose it is.
What the word of God declares, many un-declare; but it continues AS declared, and history is its trumpet and its mouthpiece. The effort may seem raging as in a madness (Revelation 12 signifies the cause of this); but its futility of the testimony of truth along with reason, evidence on all sides, verifications without, but especially the apparent ease with which any small particle of its multitudes of predictions might be overthrown. Like contemporary Israel, it often seems too tempting to resist; but it is always, if amid blood, a failure. The success of God is not a variable; and His choice in love, and lovingkindness, in grace and pure unremitting goodness to present the Gospel of free grace to mankind (Titus 2-3), to present indeed His only begotten Son, the eternal Word of God incarnate, as a sacrifice for sin should not be confused with weakness.
It should however clearly be seen as the love beyond mere power, and the graciously illuminative power to which man is justly exposed, if by any means freely he might find grace, and in the mercy of God through sacrifice as indicated from the first, and maintained unaltered to the last, from Genesis to Revelation, find peace for his heart and adoption for his spirit, in the sublimities of God.
See on the background to these topics, SMR pp. 912ff., 1032ff..