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We have been looking at terms, times, terminology and various aspects  of  "Israel", often simplistically  summed without adequate  reference to the originals in the Bible, and carefully differentiating these. In order to show some of these aspects, and a basic source in the closing chapters of Isaiah, so that it may speak for itself and illustrate some of these points, we now consider incisive aspects of Isaiah 60-66.

These are just as varied as we find in the earlier Chapters, which abound in figurative language in the midst of hard core factuality, in a way in  some  respects like that which Churchill adopted not so very long  ago in some of his speech-making. While some of the earlier accounts in Isaiah are startling in their dynamic, impact and language, later  parts sharing  these things, begin as the wine of inspiration matures, and he is readied for new exploits at the hand of God, the ascents become very bold. You see that in  Plato,  as you  move to the Timaeus,  where what might be slightly hinted at, before, becomes fundamental. 

However, the difference is the source; for here in Isaiah, when the ground-work is done, the burnishing surges, lightning flashes become inspirational as well  as inspired, as we  soar to the millenium, to the new heavens and the new earth, or sink to view hell. So does the Lord loose his tongue, and open His own mouth, preparing His vessel, the prophet,  and adding lustre to his predictions and his depictions in friendly alliance with all that went before.

Let us then study this segment of Isaiah,  these things in view,  and with this prospect. Further on Isaiah may be found in the  volume With Heart and Soul, Mind and Strength, as in other places listed in this site.



Isaiah 60 brings us to the holy, select but transformed city  of Jerusalem, so holy that its very walls will be called "Salvation," its gates "Praise," the Lord the everlasting light and for those of it, "your God your glory," as in 60:18.

However, there is response required. "Arise, shine, for your light has  come!"  This is that light, with which we are already very familiar from the earlier Chapter 8, which glides from anguish in darkness to glory in light, as the ensuing Chapter arrives. Thus it thrusts into the famous Chapter 9 with its Messianic pronouncement concerning a son who is given, whose kingdom will increase, being without cease, and whose preceding names include that of Godhead, in a statuesque series of parallel proclamations, found in 9:6. The only way, indeed, the "Son" can BE the Father, as in this series, starting and ending in the  Son (His name at the first, and then His  kingdom at the end)  is in the sense of Christ, "He who has seen Me has seen  the Father," as noted in John 14. In other words, the one  so expressly reveals the other that the wonder is definitively  expressed in the one  FOR the other, as in Hebrews 1.

The one, the Messiah, is as it were binoculars by which one finds the actualities of the Father without distortion (in  accord with Matthew 11:27), as without omission or corruption of any kind. The representation, by the Son of the Father, is not limited by sin, or inability, since with God all things are possible, and this is the thing in view. As to the Father,  as in Isaiah 10, the same phrase, mighty God, found in Isaiah 9:6, is used of the Lord. Indeed, the  other members of the 9:6*1 grouping concerning the name of the child, who is the object of attention and discovery in Isaiah 9, such as wonderful and counsellor, the  prince of peace, are either singly or jointly evocative of deity.

Thus though  we pilgrims have many things to face, one of the things that is a possession is this, that the word of God continually makes itself clear by its abiding unity, one mind apparent in its relationships and divulgements.

Thus  in Isaiah 60, the singular light which shines so gallantly transforming the city, or to  do s o when the conditions are met, namely "arise, shine" is that of the Messiah. He is the only and the exclusive light which transforms utterly (Isaiah 41:26-42:6). As in Isaiah 8,  as prelude to the wonderful child of Isaiah 9, "darkness shall over the earth, and deep darkness the people." Then this  light awaits its recognition so that  in its shining Jerusalem my rejoice. Of course, since it rejected the  Light, the Lord, deity as  Messiah in the  first instance (Isaiah 49:7), as predicted, there has been delay in its enjoyment of the light, its exhibit as a moon reflecting from the sun, of the things belonging to the light, and its destiny in the goodness of the Lord.

The Day

When however this blessed occasion arrives (as in Luke 13:34-35), then as in Zechariah 12:10-13:1, the light will reveal sin which will bring mourning and lead to the fountain to  wash, even that to cleanse to be found in the life lost by Christ, on earth, as a sacrificial offering for sin for those who would be ransomed. By what ?

It was by an offering to all, and on behalf of all, to  cancel the fall, redeem the lost and  expose those who wish to die in their sins (John 8:24), the option for unbelief. You see this aspect in Isaiah 61,  when this self-same Messiah (cf.  Luke 4) preaches good tidings - 61:1. These lead to liberty for captives, as in John 8:34-36, to the  opening of prison, that of guilt and containing  corruption activating or even smothering conscience, and to the liberating of heart, mind, spirit. It is a kind of jubilee  time of the cancellation of spiritual debt to God (from the symbolism of Leviticus 25:8-17), bringing comfort to mourners (the topic of Matthew 5:4), and in a word or rather phrase, "beauty for ashes," 61:3.

The Messiah

That is the commencement when the Messiah gets down to practical action whether with Jew or Gentile (as in Isaiah 42:6,49:6, his expanded palette for divine artistry), and in that day, each single soul will be like a tree, an individual to be "planted" (Isaiah 61:3, as in  Romans 6:3), indeed the "planting of the Lord." Jesus the Christ applied this as in Matthew 15:13, when He noted that "every tree which My heavenly Father has not planted, will be  rooted up!"

WHEN however  that  fine day arrives  for Israel, that it  does arise  and shine, its light coming in a transforming,  reconfiguring glory, then great will be  the results. Isaiah 60  goes on  to show us  some of these, in highly impactive language of  vast scope and  artistry. Vast will be the transformation, so that we find by Isaiah 60:19-22, we have soared into the realm of the "Jerusalem above," as in Galatians 4:26, which is free. In other words, by this time, with salvation the name of the very walls of the city (61:18), we are  seeing a converted Jerusalem  as in Zechariah 12-13, one solemnised with real spirituality, not polluted with priests corrupt  or befouled, bewildered or opaque to divine truth and glory (as in Isaiah 1 and Matthew 23).

In this way it will at  last  receive the light, for so  long obfuscated by philosophy and distanced by unbelief. That failure and f all had culminating for the nation, not the individual, in the abhorrence of the Lord and the death of the body of His incarnation. It was this which was  divinely planned for good as in Psalm 22, Isaiah 49:7, and to  end  in His total triumph on this earth (Psalm 2,110), resurrected in the format of that self-same body, transformed in capacities as befits Him who lowered Himself, only to be raised, as in Philippians 2.

As in heart they so return,  then in wonder  will the Lord act  (as in Isaiah 66:14-16), and clear the grounds of  obstructive nations invading, crusading against Israel,  marauding and obfuscating the truth (as also in Micah 7, Deuteronomy 32, Ezekiel 38-39). When then the specialised "blindness"1A of  Israel,  as in Romans 11:25ff., is removed, then it will be like a regrafting of Israel back into its original tree, of underlying realities received by faith,  back to the foretelling of the prophets and to the declaration of the  Lord Himself, then to be shown in majesty on this earth, and in the millenial sequence to come, personally to rule (Psalm 72, Isaiah 11, Luke 22:30). In such matters, the use of symbolism does not remove the actualities underlying, and the language of elevation does not remove the  construction  of its referent.

Then Israel will become one more  Messianic people,  much as some of the very nations outside her, in their time, have been transformed, as early in the history of the USA, and in  some of the nineteenth century revivals, much being plunged into wonder and surging into righteousness in conduct. Yet this for the millenium, will be more pervasive in the end, as in Isaiah 65:17-21, Psalm 72 and Revelation 20, where the binding of the devil makes a markedly mighty difference!

This is the millenium of Revelation 20:4*1B, where those who had not received the mark of the beast are seen - a beast of many forms throughout the ages. Meanwhile, having become a part of the Christian Church at this phase (not of the officious substitutes for it which have killed and tortured Christians or Jews or both), Israel will find that though once a pariah for many (as a nation), because of what it did to the Christ, now it is drawing help,  resources, admiration  and finding  glory, where alone it is  to be  found: in the  Lord Himself, who blesses and to whom they at this point are restored, as  so tellingly foretold in Hosea as a theme of the entire book.

It is not some cult of Israel worship which comes as one sees  so very clearly in Isaiah 19,  where Israel will be third with two other neighbouring countries, that is, found in its place when there is a further set of transformations. Nor is it  some triumph for Israeli culture: indeed it was despite phases of national disbelief towards the word of God, the Lord Himself incarnate, that many of the great things happened,  as now with prophet or now with King, grand but passing revivals occurred. Names such as that of Elijah (I Kings 17), Hezekiah, Josiah occur as one  considers the impacts of the power of God through His agents,  workers and friends.

It was on the word of Isaiah confirmed in Christ, in the foretold One whose very date was given by Daniel*2, that the glory rested,  and on the path for those who followed Him  despite shame and being  cast out (Isaiah 66:5, 60:1, 35). Thus Isaiah 65:13-15 is mordant: the servants of God under a new name will rejoice, but those refusing the light, the Messiah,  the culmination promised, these will leave their name "as a curse for My chosen," 65:15. Indeed, let us ponder this passage.

The Interim

Indeed this is one of the saddest of  all biblical adversions to Israel, for here we learn that the servants of the Lord will have a NEW NAME (Israel will in due  course  have a new  name  too,  as in Isaiah 62:2). This takes us to Israel  in that unbelieving phase (as in Romans 11), in the section of its history when it is cut out of its own 'tree' while some of Gentiles are grafted in. It is in this time of  exile and mockery (as foretold in Leviticus 26), that it will have a very different transient testimony, like a giant wander in extended parallel to that of the 40 years in the wilderness, when refusing to enter the promised land. 

In this lamentable condition, at THAT phase and at  that time,  God  tells them that these will  "leave your name as a curse  to  My chosen  ones." Isaiah 65:15.  This is  so  elemental that it is best to read it.

"Therefore thus says the Lord God:
'Behold, My servants shall eat,
But you shall be hungry;
Behold, My servants shall drink,
But you shall be thirsty;
Behold, My servants shall rejoice,
But you shall be ashamed;
      Behold, My servants shall sing for joy of heart,
But you shall cry for sorrow of heart,
And wail for grief of spirit.
      You shall leave your name as a curse to My chosen;
For the Lord God will slay you,
And call His servants by another name;
      So that he who blesses himself in the earth
Shall bless himself in the God of truth ...' "

This pit of horror, however, is not for ever, not by any means.

Thus, Isaiah 65:19ff. proceeds to relate what is to come, when "the voice of weeping shall no longer be heard in her, nor the voice of crying." It is only on its transfiguration because of transformation and regeneration that Israel, when at last it is restored to its land and its Lord by faith, and takes its part in the body of Christ (Zechariah 12:10ff.), that this people will find a great change moving in many directions. Thus, whereas it was scorned, now it is lauded (Isaiah 61:9), whereas it was  forsaken, yet now the faithfulness of the Lord has restored it*2A  (as in Ezekiel 36:22), and that NOT because of any merit, but despite  demerit. Yet restored it is,  and  at that time, it will be seen as part of that great posterity which Psalm 22 figured, one to be figured or regarded as a generation to  come, one which will "declare His  righteousness  to a people who will be born, that He has done this."

WHO has done WHAT  ? As the Psalm  22 shows, it is the reviled and rejected Messiah who has  redeemed by Himself, He who so often has figured in the biblical prophecies. It is He who triumphs over death, as also in the great resurrection Psalm 16 and  in Isaiah 26:19, His body not decaying, neither corrupted nor dumped by God who sent Him, deity from deity, the Sender at work with the Sent (John 8:29,58).

Israel, then restored to spiritual  life, will then attest in major thrust, with all saints, the testimony of what the Lord has done, that man might live, yes and flourish in the blessings of the Lord, and such we  see in Isaiah 66.

The New Part of the Body of Christ

Thus in  Isaiah 61, the peculiarly Jewish segment of that giant posterity of Psalm 22:30-31 will be at work with those brought from  elsewhere to the same conclusion in Christ (cf. Isaiah 42:6, 49:6). Indeed what  occurred in the first century, when Jews were those used in the founding of the Christian Church,  despite the infidelity of the nation as such, will now be more  mixed and more multitudinous, even than in the day of Paul, and as such they will be acknowledged, as in Isaiah 61:9, praiseworthy and active participants to the glory of God in their restoration to the Messiah whom once they crucified. How far they travelled once from this nestling, for which they were built (Jeremiah 13:11), but how near they are now enabled to come!

You see the exultation in the Messiah in Isaiah 61:10, immediately after the prior verse on the godly impact of a largely redeemed Israel, renewed in the world.  Blessed indeed is that nation now received, but once vastly disobedient, formerly subjected to the thrall of the covenant broken and,  as in  Leviticus 26, dismissed and exiled;  but now are they adorned with the cover in Christ and the light which He sheds munificently. How they suffered, when  askew from salvation, and how the unbelieving segment of the Gentiles suffered also, as they brought on themselves the miseries of wallowing minds, unmindful of the God who made both their minds and the validity to which they have access (cf. It Bubbles ... Ch. 9, *1A)!

Israel's very name, then, was "left as a curse to My chosen." That then ended, and was utterly transformed (61:9). That was  then;  but now,  as in Ezekiel  36-37, Micah 5-7, returned, blessed inordinately and recalled  from the culling, this ancient people again lives. In order of timing, following their vast ordeal, this came in two steps. First was the restoration of the nation as such and to its historic base, and then that of the hearts of so very many within it, to the Lord (cf. It Bubbles ... Ch. 11). It all  depends, as all else in salvation, on the transformation and presence of the Messiah,  culminating personally in the millenium noted.

Thus in Isaiah 61:10,  we find  as in Ephesians 5 and the Song of Solomon*3, that this new phase and phalanx in the kingdom of heaven, as in Revelation 7, is part of the immense throng of the actual Christian Church (made up of  course, of believers, not mutant reconstruction exhibits - II Peter, Jude). Each one is to put on the robe omitted by the wedding guest of Matthew 22:11-14, one which covers  with the  glorious provision and protection that the  LORD HIMSELF  provides,  sine qua non!

In other words, in the Matthew 22 parable,  of those  who actually DID come to the feast for the "wedding" of the  King's son, there was found one who ignored the grace of the gift of God (Romans 6:23), and so did not bother to be robed; but it is with the righteousness of God Himself that one must be there robed (Romans 5:17).These as in Isaiah 61:10, are the "garments of salvation." Failure to be so garbed, as in Matthew 22, was fatal, foolish and provocative entirely. Indeed, it represents not clothing, a figure, but faith which receives what covers the soul, pardons the heart, inspires the life.

How is this so  ? It is because in this transfer of the divine righteousness to the believing sinner, whose sins are transfixed in Christ, and whose pardon comes from  His cover in sacrificial substitution as received by faith, becomes  crucial. It is the gift which like a mortgage cancellation, gladdens the heart  and removes its burden: here not of interest, but of shame and guilt. Ignore it and you are in  irreparable debt, not least for not having lived on this basis fromt the first. There is nothing else to do it (Matthew 20:28, Acts 4:11-12). That is why, in Isaiah  61:2, there is a piece not read by Jesus as in  Luke 4, when at Nazareth, announcing Himself the prophecy-fulfilling Messiah. The loosing of prisoners is mentioned and relayed by Christ from Isaiah, but  NOT the part which speaks of "the day of vengeance of our God."

The  reason why this was omitted is not hard  to find.  Thus in  John 3:16ff., it is found that Christ  did not come  to  condemn the world, but that the  world  might be saved, in His sacrificial tour. In  fact, God so loved the  world that He gave His only begotten Son,  that  whoever should believe in Him, would not perish but have eternal life. Of such were the parameters of His so coming in such humbled condition to work such a salvation.

Accordingly, judgment was not the criterion of His  coming, but rather its  avoidance. To  be sure, as in John 3:36, if  this provision were all but incredibly rejected, then judgment would follow; but this was a consequential operation, not the intent, not the motive, for one  as for all. In His coming. He KNEW who were His, of course*4, but  this is not affect the design and the stated desire of His heart, for one  as for  all. Colossians 1:19ff. echoes this just as endless  seeming resonances  concerning the divine  mind and pity show it,  as in Ezekiel  33:1, Jeremiah 48.

In Isaiah 61:2, then, this ensuing  aspect of the Gospel, namely its rejection, in preliminary survey, is placed in the overview. On the other hand, grand with celestial wonder will be  the enduring place of grace of Israel, back in their land, because God had promised it unconditionally (Genesis 17:7-8): all things then back to where they should be.

Accompanying is an everlasting light (Isaiah 60:19 cf. 62:4-6),  like the "everlasting joy"  of Isaiah 51:11, placed upon them as the  city moves to its spiritual consummation, in the kingdom of heaven, on towards its final continuance till heaven itself replaces the former things, and a new heaven and a new earth are made (II Peter 3, Isaiah 65:17ff.). What lustre is this which carries on  from the very earthly,  very historical, very guilty work of Israel, to its restoration,  transformation, invigoration with a new name. The scene then moves from glory to glory, till  we move from the kingdom of heaven in the midst, to the millenial wonder and then to heaven itself, in stages and phases of culmination.

Thus in Isaiah 66:23-24, we see the opposite, where what is done on behalf of  all, is not received. Accordingly, in grievous but apposite process, these are seen in this site in Isaiah, as if still on earth, but clearly in the biblical context, with the insight of reality, they are those finding hell their lair,  since LIGHT is not. There they are seen in their endless  departure.

So  do  all these biblical passages, inserted like the music from the sensitive fingers of artists playing in an orchestra, blend, reinforce, extend, clarify in composition and gain symphonic thrust together, each one sounding without intrusion, all resounding in ardent realism.




Reverting to the side of aspiration,  confirmation and hope, we find in  Isaiah 62:6, those memorable words,

" I have set watchmen on your walls,  O Jerusalem;
They shall never hold their peace day or night.

"You who make mention of the LORD, do not keep silent,
And give Him no  rest  till He establishes
And till He makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth."

In Isaiah 62:11, He proceeds to  re-assure Israel that the time is coming when their abundance and security will be great, and for this time,  just as watchmen on the walls  proclaim and wait for the restoration and fulfilment, so the Lord Himself commands,

"Say to the daughter of Zion,
Surely your  salvation is coming ...

And they shall  call them The Holy People,
The Redeemed of the  LORD;
And you shall be  called  Sought Out,
A City Not forsaken."

Whereas she had been a city, one of renown, of fame, of name, and had been forsaken in much for her aggravated sins, callow lack of spiritual clout and dissidence  from simple  righteousness, in a word,  for her unfaithfulness, so now, that height and that depth being both past, she has a new life and a new nomenclature. Not only is she to be FOUND, but becauses of her earlier time with the Lord, NOT forsaken!

How great is to be the transformation when those bent on assassinating the nation  (its fierce suddenness in their pogroms and later Islamic surges makes the term seem  apt for the case!), give place to what for many is a popular perception. Many now greet this vast culmination of joy and fulfilment in Israel, in giving to it such names as those! It is the LORD whom they rejected as a nation,  who will do this. It is the Lord who will give them a new status, a new station, even yes Jerusalem itself (Zechariah 12:6), even  that unique and famous rebel from the propitiation once found, now redeemed in the restoration forever. The Messiah will become their joy, and Him who redeemed when being killed, will bring new life to many in Israel.

Indeed,  far from the poetic, as in  Deuteronomy 32, in Isaiah 66, is found the sudden revelation of the direct anger of the Lord at the incessant hostility toward Israel by pompous pretenders who imagine their certainty lies in their strength (Isaiah 63:1-4). It is one thing for the Lord directly to discipline; but for other nations in their pride, enmity, inveterate hatred*4A or domineering pragmatism to seek profit to ally to hypocrisy in their own sins, this becomes intolerable.  Accordingly, the Lord undertakes  so to act, in delivering Israel at that  time that  "I have trodden  down the peoples in My anger," (Isaiah 63:6).

Here the Lord declares of His irresistible action to deliver abundantly sinning Israel, releasing the power of His wrath on the cruel and callous assaults of the nations on Israel,  itself at or near this time in the very grip of repentance. In this,  so great is the divine revulsion from the evil and sustained assaults,  that "My own wrath, it sustained Me!" It is no passing action, but a downfall to many, as He upholds the afflicted nation of Israel.

What an exhaust fan for national poisonous gases is here, for errant nations seeking to finish off Israel, brought low for its sins, but now returning to the  Lord! How the Lord expels those who afflict her! Thus their massive error of acting in their multitudes without God, in overreaching lust, to kill off Israel will find concerning the God of Israel, and of many among the Gentiles, that "the day of vengeance is in  My heart, and the year of My redeemed has come."

Indeed, the divine abhorrence to the distortions, disturbances and devouring assaults is to reach a sudden  climax when northern powers jointly attack Israel near to the end of the Age (cf. 38:9-17, with 39:23, where the long  foretold power to assail Israel is characterised in its heady notions of grandeur and empowered might, as if irresistible). Such is the message in Ezekiel 37-39, where a freshly returned Israel to be treated to triumphalistic assault by what might be thought overwhelming international force, which the Lord will Himself assault! Who, the Lord asks in a rhetorical question,  is this who comes from  Edom ? that is from the resentful  and ardently opposed quarter (cf. Obadiah).

WHO, is travelling in the greatness of His strength ? He asks, to stress graphically the dramatic reality of the action which HE will take! In fact, the issue is pursued with an intensity to arrest attention. Who then is so travelling ? It is none other than Himself. It is "I  who  speak in righteousness, mighty to save!" The dynamics of deity thus dismiss the follies of delusion.

Thus the Lord puts  His personal signature as the central figure in a divine action to rebuke Israel's enemies, in fury, in  wrath, in flesh, so that they as unremitting terrorists against Israel, the unpausing practitioners of opposition to the promise of God concerning the now so disciplined nation,  will be made  "drunk in  My wrath,"  as their strength of militant,  anti-Israel power is "brought down... to the earth."  People sometimes  do not like to see the anger of the Lord, when His painstaking forbearance passes to necessary action, and do not appreciate the book of Revelation when it refers to "the wrath of the Lamb," as in Revelation 6:16. Yet there is a time for anger, however long delayed, and this is that time depicted in Isaiah 63, as in Isaiah 66, Micah 7 and Deuteronomy 32.

God is not only Saviour but King; and while one has stressed to the uttermost the immense grandeur of the Lord's love set towards the whole human race as in Colossians 1:19ff., there is an act that comes, an  axe that falls, when the damages Christ took upon Himself, to bring in damage control for many, being rejected or deformed by hideous propaganda, come indeed upon those who  deserve them, haters of their own mercy. Had Christ not done so, sin would have been sundering the human race and utterly ruining it for good on this earth; and indeed so would it be, had He not determined personally at  the end of the  Age, to come back (Matthew 24:22).

With  many among the nations, however, these things are so lightly regarded that the gift of redemption is not even ... taken, by faith, for salvation. Results for this are  calamitous,  and are as seen in John  3:36, the negative parallel  following John 3:17-19, in its  universal scope of divine love. In due conformity to this principle, Isaiah 63:1-9 thus brings us from  any wandering vagaries of thought about poetic licence, for vast and decisive is the militant action of the Lord in His majesty. He is seen as One having salvation, but delivering His people from the antipathy of those on  whom His vengeance for gross iniquity and heartlessness has long waited; for He IS patient. Yet He is not fooled!

No one else  was there  to act, to help, so He did it Himself (Isaiah 63:5), this deliverance from overwhelming masses of antagonistic, reckless, ruthless, God denying power (whether because of atheism or false prophecy, for in this, it is all one: riot against the God who is there).

The atmosphere  then changes as Isaiah 63  proceeds to recall the earlier times  of divine nearness to Israel. There is seen such a beautiful and kindly review of the kindness of the Lord, even amid provocative rebellions (63:10-14), showing that pre-Matthew 11 depiction of that rest which is available in the Lord (offered in Matthew 11:27ff.). What a picture is 63:14!

The appeal is then made to the Lord for more ... for new acceptance,  despite the evils so stoutly shown in Isaiah 1 and 29, for example. Indeed, in Isaiah 64 the plea mounts with passion, just as you see a parallel in the lamentations of Jeremiah at Chapter 9 of that prophecy. That was made BEFORE the ruin became palpable, just in the anticipation. In the book of Lamentations, you find Jeremiah's overpowering sorry at the degradation and devastation which came because at that time, the people WOULD NOT HEAR! Indeed the attitude remained even after this desolating assault by Babylon in the 6th century B.C.,as so penetratingly shown in Jeremiah 44:15ff,). Rejecting the prophetic advice of Jeremiah, they declared that they would certainly do whatever came out of their own mouths! So much for the Lord over them!

Way past the initial grief of Jeremiah as the impending ruin was exposed,  in Jeremiah 17, even then, there is still a new divine offer! but it is rejected, just as King Zechariah of that day rejected an offer of mercy so prodigious that it staggers with wonder (Jeremiah 38:17),even to hear how  great it was. Such piteous probing from the Lord continues almost to the very end when desolation descended, as one sees in those beseeching words found in Jeremiah 13:15-22.

These are indications from earlier history of divine dealings. The principles  remain the same, but the practice in each case has its own  character. Thus the appeal  of the prophet Isaiah,  as in Isaiah 63:14-19, it culminates in a celestial imploring: "Oh that You would rend the heavens! that you would come down! that the mountains might shake at Your presence ... ", and deliver them, that it might be as in Psalm  18,  a veritable prodigy of divine mercy with power!  Yet this appeal  from  the heart of the prophet, and one to be assumed similar in the hearts of some others, does not suffice to bring continuity to a fallen and rebellious nation, fouling the hearts of children with their idols, deceits, and burning bodies as if this would induce mercy, when it is pure barbarism!

As we turn from this plea at the end of Isaiah 64,  we find the thrust of evils, religious, civic, moral, in Israel so great (Isaiah 1, 29, II Kings 21:6, Jeremiah 7:31, Zephaniah 3:3, Jeremiah 5:30-31), that like a giant boulder roaring down a mountain-side, it finds its own downfall (Isaiah 65:1-6).

Thus there is discipline before restoration, and Israel had so muddied and muddled the things of God that there was no current deliverance. Rather,  as in Isaiah 65:1-7, the kernel of truth, the appointments and prophecies of so long,  culminating in the Messiah,  will be released to the nations  who WILL  LISTEN!



The thrust is clear. Mere continuance can simply magnify corruption. If left alone without correction, then each generation is then spoiled and soiled with horror from misled peoples who misgovern them.After massive forbearance, the Lord resolves to give the path of peace before God to "those who did not ask for Me,"  even to "those who did not seek Me."  Indeed, God was robustly available: "I said, 'Here I am, here I am,' to a nation that was not called by My name."  Such is the entry level at Isaiah 65. They did not come; those who will are now focussed. Very easy will it be made for them, though the inward challenge is just the same (as in Matthew 1:27ff., Luke 14:27ff.).

"All  day long,"  the Lord has  stretched out  His hands to  a rebellious people, "who walk in a way which is not  good," a way merely in accord with their own thoughts.  This of course in increasingly the way both in Australia and the USA, where, to take a prominent case, sexual perversion biblically defined, is becoming more and more regarded as an ornament to  culture,  a commandment to be preserved and advanced as desired, one even  formally recognised in an imitation of parenthood. Jude had a totally contradictory approach, with no mean passion in the name of the Lord! (Jude 6-8), and in the  epistle of Paul to the Corinthians (I Cor. 5-6), exclusion from the kingdom of heaven is just as clear-cut for this as for fornication and adultery, or idolatry.

Thus does this, our contemporary time rhyme spiritually with that of the day of Isaiah. DIvine prohibitions and protestations were either mocked (as later in Habakkuk) or disregarded, formalised  to extinction or forgotten. What a summary appears in Isaiah 65:1-7! Then it meant that many  would be the confrontations before the Messiah came. But when He DID come, then they slew Him! After all, is this not the current direction of flow in such modern nations as those above ? Is this  not the contemporary  spirit of the Age ?

Is it not becoming in  extreme cases, IMPROPER to maintain a view biblical, in contrast to the secular voidance of the physiological reciprocities so readily observable, genetically productive and mutually geared, in the production of children and the continuance of the race! If death is not yet the penalty for thinking otherwise than the cultural commandments come to demand, and  using liberty to speak and act as the case requires biblically,  yet the evils for those not intimidated are increasingly virulent in appearance. The penalty of mere insistence might be  allayed by the necessity to reason, for a time, for some, but the re might come a mixture of penalties for those not politically correct, for  people steadfast in biblical faith, and intent on reason, who  make no pretence that this does not make us morally at war with the Lord.

How might such penalties  for biblical thinking occur ? You just have to be fined  for  reasonable free speech, biblical utterance, and then disgraced by cultural cliquishness of the new set of unfounded  moral makers. In  effect it becomes this from  their side:

it is WRONG for people to  criticise us, or our  views, or those in principle, who follow them,  but  it is RIGHT for us to criticise and attack you legally, if you criticise OUR views. 

In this way, they found a new  religion, in contravention of the Australian Constitution, section 116; and if people are sufficiently intimidated, such a presumption and breach of law might not even be challenged, while liberty weeps and truth is  exempted from statement.

These things, from the Bible, in this way help us to consider ourselves framed for religious reasons, however they may be dressed up! It is rather like the case of people insisting on STILL smoking 20 cigarettes per day, if they could only win over government and make it an illegal act,  to  criticise smoking. Thus it could become an illegal act to criticise the various sexual diversities, implying not only rejection of biblical truth, but assault upon it, a most religious phenomenon. So do the  variable, unfounded nations in their lust, whether for same sex conjunction, or adultery, or fornication, make their lairs uncomfortable, as it was for Lot in Sodom, the nature and reason for the destruction of which is found  so  very clearly in the book of Jude!

How valuable it is in perspective, to see such things in the perspective of things that have gone before, history; and how much even more valuable, to  see it in its spiritual setting in the unchanging morals and word of the Bible.

Thus, with this kind of rebelliousness focussed, on the part of Israel, we find in Isaiah 65, there is such readiness, such availability of the Lord for those who WILL hear, for the poor in spirit who do NOT disregard God as a pagan duty. Indeed, God proceeds to make it clear in Isaiah 66:2-3, that the Messiah having been shown in His work then to come (as in Isaiah 7, 9, 11, 22, 32, 49-56), the very sacrifice of animals, a mainstay of the traditional religion in Israel, becomes a thing abominable.  It was to awaken the people that it came; but now that its work is done, and Christ HIMSELF,  a human, indeed God as man,  has come  to be THE Lamb of God, and finished His own saving sacrifice,  then continuance on a merely traditional basis is woeful  It is like the case of those who WILL  not  learn.

Those sacrifices were to be ended in the New Covenant in Christ, because of fulfilment of the payment program, satisfying justice in symbol, till  an adequate sacrifice would be made, once when the due time came. There is a new and singular place in the same  Lord, whose covenant this time meant His own blood (Acts 20:28);  and it is found  with the uttermost simplicity, in the work of Christ crucified, yes rather risen (Romans 8:34).

So the disjunction occurs,  the Isaiah 65:13-15 overturning of current continuance of the nation in its degraded state at that time, soon followed by the rejection of the regimen of animal sacrifice as in 66:3. Yet even this was not followed. Indeed, the slighting of the whole procedure  is to be found, in Zechariah 11:11-16. Here the slight price of 30 pieces of silver for the betrayal of the Messiah is mocked by the Lord; for it evinces the disregard of necessity of His work,  in spiritual terms, which led to the profundity of the sufferings of the nation, Israel, though indeed some thousands of its people did commence the work of the Christian Church, even in Jerusalem! This place, therefore,  both for this reason, and its site as the place of crucifixion and bodily resurrection of Jesus the Christ, is a city of immense significance.

Yet there is hope, and this  we find in Isaiah 65:17ff. (as in Jeremiah 31:17 cf. 23:5ff.). Although many were to be those slain in Israel, having forsaking their Protector and King, indeed murdered Him in His fleshly site, yet through this same New Covenant and its provisions, there was, and is yet to come, a time when peace and joy will abound. Here in mind, is not heaven - since sinners remain as in 65:20, but the culmination of blessing on earth,  for those who forsake the forsaking of God, the rule by rebellion and come home to the One who provides rest, as Creator-Redeemer, on the terms offered. These include truth and justice, and a life in accord with truth in the Lord follows (Isaiah 65:16,23). Indeed the curse will be allayed, and before the new heavens and the new earth (Isaiah 65:17, Revelation 21), there is to be a vindication of the victory of the Lord, even on this earth (Isaiah 11, Psalm 72).

So we move to and through Isaiah 66, with just those rejections of any thought of a revivified theocratic Israel, or a scenario of differential  splendour for it. However, in that it is the place and site of the most magnificent act of love in history, and the greatest power deployed at the personal level, and the arena God set for a scenario both profound and pitiful, as in Hosea, so its time for restoration  comes. In  this, it is the LORD who is glorified, HIS pitiful mercy which is focussed, HIS rule  and HIS honour, confirming His prophetic word in the Old Testament, and in the New, ruling where, how and when He pleases,  testing  likewise, and summing  all things that are His in Christ, with that are ultimately alien, apart, Himself the dividing line and the determinant (cf. Matthew 21:44, 7:15ff.).

You CAN have a determinant which is not deterministic;  for the philosophy which uses freewill to abort  logic, as if necessity taught truth,  even  about necessity, is not the same as simple certainty. God KNOWS and in this knowledge, according  to His own principles of love and mercy, justice and truth,  He has foreknown what is to be,  inside His own sovereign character,  in  terms of His universal desire for all (Colossians 1:19ff.), and THEREFORE there is certainty! It is that glorious freedom in certainty and  certainty in freedom which no one  other than  God  COULD have created.

HE gives the scope to find outside your self and its inward limits, what is better and what is truth,  and it is the same Lord who ensures, and insures, before creation was, what are the results of this glorious liberty initially given to man. It is He  who before time even began, ensures that nothing is missing which comes to Him, or found which is actually lost.

Thus in Isaiah 66,  as we pass from  Old to New Covenant in the outdating of animal  sacrifice, and the rejection of  what  clings lightless to things past,  symbols instead of substance, preparation instead of confirmation, the prelude instead of the actual  PERSON of the Messiah, we find that there is the other side. If then some  are thus excluded by their own exclusiveness and determined mind to  follow irrational nostrums, and recidivist leanings,  yet others have a different reversal.

"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...' "

Isaiah  66:5ff..

There are practical outcomes. Thus much will the people of the Lord suffer for their faithfulness as they inhabit Vanity Fairs and the tumult of a God-forsaking world (cf. John 16:2, Revelation 12); but there is an end (Matthew 24:15-28); and as it approaches, there are interventions in promises never broken, one of these being towards Israel. This has been dramatically, and miraculously indeed fulfilled already in part, in the restoration of Israel, and the hatred of many nations, like fire surrounding it; as is the trouble this is causing those same nations, as foretold in Zechariah 12, for the time preparatory to Israel in large measure turning to Jesus Christ, as shown in that Chapter. Even the secular press made much of those dominant responses of Israel to the multi-national forces bent on its destruction.

In Isaiah 66, we find that the nations will see both the reduction to ruin of this evil assault on Jerusalem and the efforts to exterminate His light, and the point! (Ezekiel 39:23). There is to be a  vindication of those cast out by unbelieving brethren in Israel (Isaiah 66:5), and the rejoicing at deliverance is not to be found there alone! (66:10, Deuteronomy 32:43).  In the very face of those who had repudiated them, their brethren (66:5), their divine acceptance produces shame, even for those who had used the name of the Lord in their original assault on  them. So Israel the nation has rebutted the national deeds which set out as in Saul to become Paul, now bring shame.

It is in this setting in straight and simple sequence that we find a  national event, including the temple, and it is a matter of the Lord changing things categorically by repaying His enemies, and that fully! Another intimately associated event comes: the nation is born, historically unique, in one day, and that nation is Zion, and in this tableau, we find not only a new nation, bearing the old name, but a great satisfaction amid the Gentiles who had been so sorry for Israel (66:10). The militant side develops as the Lord moves on from this phase, to the judging of all flesh, so that not only will many be slain by the Lord in judgment, with indignation, but as in Zechariah, many will be destroyed in the immediate onset and result. It is indeed just as in Micah 7, when the prodigy of the physical deliverance and the power of God shown is paralleled by the Exodus (7:15), to give us further understanding.

Small wonder that now the nations  will awaken to their  delusion as if Israel had lost its way from some former good fortune, and the biblical fact of its long predicted  exile will be seen as having spiritual cause, and with the restoration of heart, physical result for the promises of God as in Genesis 17:7-8, which abide their time,  and act when it comes.

What then ? In the city as in the Temple, there will be a divine action. First the nation carefully defined in 66:1-4, will be restored, suddenly, indeed in one day! as in May 1948.

" 'As soon as Zion was in labour, she gave birth to her children ...
Shall I who cause delivery shut up the womb ?' says your God."

Those without the divine light of the Gospel,  seek to overcome those who at that  time are  gaining it, as in Zechariah 12-14, but they fail because of the power of God and His precision in prophecy, which outlines how it will be used. There is, in 66:19, predicted a sign which will be much used amongst those not killed in this conflict, that to fit this epochally and profound reality (cf. Galatians 6:14), namely that of the cross, and thus a new light shines for the keen recipients.  There is a realisation by many of the power and the majesty of the Lord of Lords and King of Kings, that it is He whose absence, not from a land merely, but from the hearts of billions, has led to all these continued evils. In His name and in terms of His Gospel, many will then seek to show those who failed to see, whether earlier or in the finale just described, the light of truth and the way of the Messiah, who returns for the millenium   as in Psalm 72 and Revelation 20 (cf. *6 below).

The power amid the nations is to come with judgment; the Gospel is to go with mercy. If we could readily choose between the two possible applications or sub-variants, for Isaiah 66:19ff., then it could help to know the time of the return of Christ, and for any to find this is contrary to the will of God (Matthew 24, Acts 1). It may therefore be intended that we do not, and  simply leave both options open as to timing. Either way, the essentials are the same: God delivers His people amidst scarifying assault, and using His power mercifully, not only at last delivering Israel the nation, but many in many nations through the Gospel to which Israel eventually comes.

In the one case, it is a simple sequence of action from  66:16. However, the return to the condemnation of the idols of ancient Israel as in 66:17, may make the way open for a broader scope in this dissemination of 66:19ff.. That too may be generic, and not limited to the immediate and physical and national outcome. In other words, 66:19  may be in point of the Gospel,  chiefly recapitulative, as pursuing a theme after the final action; or it may be ongoing, as the result of the action just stated.

In either case (Isaiah 66:20), the old divisions of  Levites and priests on tribal lines will be terminated, and from Gentiles as well  as Jews will there be  spiritual fruit; and amid them all, are very active spiritual functionaries; for there is an amending and a blending, first on the smaller scale, for for Jews within the Church at the outset, then on the vast and final scale as in Romans 11:25ff., Ezekiel 37. Here then is to be  seen, as in Psalm 22:30-31, that body of people whom the Lord will  make a generation to attest Him,  and here is the peculiar people, the nation of priests being formed as in I Peter 2:6-9, where the knowledge of glory is the credential, and the teaching is the truth. Now the Jew in the form of much of national Israel, nationals of Israel or both, and the Gentile can act as one, in one Church, with one Head, not that of some nation, but that of all nations, even their Creator-Redeemer.

It is, then, possible that there is a retrospect aspect here, in that those who had not seen the basis of things,  in all the stages of revelation which preceded, as in Isaiah 53 where the question was this, WHO HAS BELIEVED THE REPORT, those who had not seen the glory of the Lord indeed (66:19), are envisaged in the Gospel era, have sent to them, missionaries, official or other, to help show it, perhaps culminating in a further  missionary application.

What then ? It might be an entire Gospel era that is in view, moving from the early Jewish beginnings of the Christian Church, and proceeding to the final onset when the mass of the nation is converted and the nations wake up to what history has held (Ezekiel 39:23). Isaiah 66:19 is then a review of that aspect. Those who escape, would be or include those in view in Hebrews 6:19.

At all events, this evangelisation will happen, and the missioning is  to happen to the uttermost,  and perhaps most of it is already past! In that case, ALL the nations finally in this dramatic finale for the era, will indeed have seen the glory of the Lord, perhaps leaving just scraps and remnants. If this reference in Isaiah 66:19ff., however, be merely as pursuant on the events almost immediately preceding (66:16), rather than viewing them  as a culmination of the divine and just cited dramatic action, then the reference to the contents of the nations was not as to  citizens, exhaustive: that is, some of those within may have missed out.

On the other hand, it may be  envisaged that though the nations do see the glory of the Lord as in Isaiah 66:18 in the climacteric day, yet following the reference to the idols so long afflicting Israel (66:17), there is in view an active dissemination before that, leading on to it,  in majesty and decisive divine action, overcoming the thrust of evil, before the finale in dénouement, when He Himself comes. That is certainly a possible interpretation; but the results are the same.

So the Lord rescues Jerusalem by physically applied power from its assassins as in Ezekiel 38-39, and with this comes a realisation that is categorical amid the nations. The  glory is seen; the emissaries do go out with the word of truth, there is a "sign", that of the cross not merely symbolising but in the original and only valid case, exhibitive to the mind of the actual site where the redemption was finally earned (Isaiah 66:19) by the Lord Himself (as in Hosea 13:14, Ezekiel  34, Zechariah 12:10).

The longer and the shorter applications each have merit and one is inclined as normal in such cases, to opt for both.

Thus, just as in the face of Christ Jesus is seen the glory of God (II Corinthians 4), so  many will be  sent, as  they have long been, with the sign of the atonement a signal, to all nations, through these who have  found in Him the glory of God, only Saviour, only God. That would  fit with Isaiah 54-55, in which the application of  the  atonement, as seen in Isaiah 52-53, is shown in the everlasting mercy,  and in the Messianic focus, where the cry for salvation without money is given, under the form of water for the thirsty. Whichever way this is taken, then, it leads on to the thorough evangelisation of the earth prior to its removal, which follows the millenium,  and includes as we have seen earlier, the vision of hell (Isaiah 66:24), where the light being detested, it is not found.

Consider  the irony!  In  the power of flesh, with authoritarian sanctions,  some have relegated those of Israel, indeed those of Christ, whether in pogroms, UN sanctions and  condemnations, the Inquisition, the evil European distillate of  Adolf  Hitler, to oblivion,  to odium. Casting out such persons,  crushing their very name,  as if unclean, they have sometimes dared even to use the very name of the Lord as their ground (cf. John 16:2), and made of that name a ground for ironically asking concerning their joy: How  do you find THIS (element of torture or deprivation), or THAT! Thus, while they inflict pain, as if this world were judgment day, with gross depravity of spirit, they taunt their victims, as Christ was taunted; for as He declaimed, the  servant is NOT greater than his Master!

Judgment ? This at last acts decisively over the world,  as before, for it!

Now it is to come, the mere abuse of power as in such cases, yielding to its very due use by the Lord Himself in person. in judgment.

In the city, there is deliverance (66:6), the misused temple liberated (though its former use is overthrown as in Isaiah 66:3). The nation is  reconstituted, so that the unspeakably evil assaults on Jews now yield to overthrow and divine review,  as  forecast in Hosea, Jeremiah, Micah 7; and from  a nothing,  an  et cetera, a prone remnant, this people, suddenly, has its own nation again. 

It is no more in exile. "Who has seen such things ?", the Lord asks (Isaiah 66:8). Is "a nation  to be born at  once!"*5  Yes, in a word, yes and moreover, it is predicted. Thus it was indeed a great and epochal day in May 1948, when this astonishing event happened. It was in the midst of wars from various established nations, directed against the mere sprinkling of Jews in the Palestine of that day.

Thus "Zion  was in  labour. She gave birth to her children," 66:8.

In 1967, the whole of the city was liberated, this now achieved as the stages of resistance meet the rages and  ravages of the enemy. Not least in the enmity were the followers of a false prophet prominent in jihads or religious  desires to pulverise, work genocide, destroy Israel and in reality, to ignore, supplant the word of the living God, and  to fashion a new Jesus,  devoid of salvation,  resurrection, deity and redemption, quite a thorough job of revisionism without basis and without attestation but claim, some 600 years too late for contemporary biography!

They have tried and they have failed (cf. SMR pp. 1080ff., 822ff., 829ff.)

It has been dramatic, so that in 1980 the Israeli Knesset  made  of Jerusalem Israel's eternal  capital. "Rejoice with Jerusalem,  and be glad with her, all you who  love her," 66:10. We do rejoice to see the written word of God, the only authorised and verified body of writings in His name given to mankind, thus once more gloriously fulfilled. It is a beginning of great things for Israel, not to exult her, but to deliver and restore her, heart and soul, to where she belongs. Great will be the zeal and zest of the Lord as she comes to Him at very long last (as in Romans 11:25ff., Zechariah 12:10ff.), for

"As one whom his mother comforts,
so I will comfort you:
and you shall be comforted in Jerusalem,"
Isaiah 66:13.

This last phrasing in just as it is in Zechariah 12:6.

Here  we  find (12:8):

"In that day I  will make the governors of Judah
like a firepan in the woodpile,
and like a fiery torch in the sheaves;
they shall devour  all the surrounding peoples
on the right hand and on the left,
but Jerusalem shall be inhabited again
in here own place -

This repeated emphasis, in Isaiah 66, set to be very specific about the JERUSALEM site for the comfort, and in Zechariah, the combination of the statement that Jerusalem will again be inhabited by her people, with the fact that it will do so in its own place, and then again, that this, its own place,  is indeed Jerusalem, is startlingly didactic, like  a  Primary School teacher making basics plain to inattentive students, or emphatic to those who do attend.

The stress on the actual, historic city is incandescent, just as has been that on the sufferings of the Jewish people before this, and the reasons for it. It is as if to bury once and for all the ludicrous allegorisation in which some indulge in the very midst of the historical review and pursuit of outcomes from it, so  specifically. In Zechariah, we thus have  a triple statement and redoubled emphasis. It is rather like saying this: I MEAN THE JERUSALEM PRACTICALLY IN THE SCHEMA OF THE DISSERTATION! and NOT SOMETHING ELSE; GET IT!

Not some quiet corner for thought is in  view, but a military campaign as in  Isaiah 63 and Micah 7, is unfolding before our eyes. It is then, as in  Ezekiel 38, when this people is relatively newly returned from its exile (back now in ALL Jerusalem some 45 years), that "the hand of the LORD will be known to His servants, and His indignation to His enemies." In what way is this going to happen ?

Isaiah 66:15ff., tells us the answer to this question.  The LORD  will come with martial power like a whirlwind,  "to  render  His anger with fury," hardly an  ecclesiastical setting. In this divine and eventual militancy, blood as in Isaiah 63, will  flow (not fainting fits,  an  enormity of misinterpretation), and those  slain by the Lord in this indignant confrontation, will be many. As in Zechariah 12:9, He will  "seek  to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem." Meanwhile in Jerusalem (12:10), a spiritual transformation occurs, as they repent of killing the Christ, as an historic nation, and find the pardon provided (13:1).

The Lord knows their follies, their specific past and their need of salvation, and proceeds to remedy these things in this evangelisation of that particular nation. Further,  on the constructive side,  He will  "gather all nations and  they will see My glory." Those who have not seen His glory will  do so (Isaiah 66:18-21, as indicated in Isaiah 2 and 24), whether in this or that aspect of Gospel presentation, whether in repudiation for disbelief or acceptance. Satiated will be the divine thrust as the earth moves on to its millenial, indeed to its judgmental finales. Nothing is too hard for Him, and all things will come thus to fruition. From the mind and the heart of God, it comes as it was written (Isaiah 46:10, 44:24-45, 41:24, 48:5-11); for His counsel shall stand (Isaiah 43:10-13, 44:24ff.). This is not so for  ANY other, for there was no God before Him, nor shall there be after Him, and He only is the Saviour (Isaiah 43:10-11).

Through multiple areas and arenas of history, in accord with His complete knowledge of all things from the first, and His achievement of His entire design to the last, in the midst of the ONE principle of  salvation, ONE person who in Himself pays as Redeemer, installed as Messiah from heaven itself (Isaiah 48:15ff.), one member of the trinity as there shown: thus it is all finished as it began, at the word of God.


Thus we find by textual fidelity, not evacuating one thing because of another, but giving weight to all before joining finally the components, that there IS indeed a millenium*6. There is however NO glorification of Israel, though it is marvellously delivered and to be set triumphantly through grace in its land indeed. All those who have long attacked it with false prophecies and the like will be abundantly rewarded for their pains, for their  repeated movements toward holocaust, for their sheer impertinence against the God of truth, in endeavouring to extinguish what He has pledged to KEEP. That ? despite predicted  exile and penalty, it is for one thing, Israel*7; and  when it has been kept, and largely converted, then with the Gentiles who  also believe, it will be one nation, one special people, one nation of priests as in I Peter 2,with direct access to the Lord (cf. Ephesians 2:16-18).

Meanwhile, as these outcomes hasten to fly into being, necessary work is divinely done. As to the nations, their incendiary assault will be assaulted, and reality will be restored, test concluded! Indeed, by then, what a lot the continual tests will have shown the superficial or the devious in false religion, on this side and the other (cf. Jeremiah 23), by addition and by subtraction, by circumvention and  misuse of the Bible. Such you find in Islam*8 and many of the other sects*9 (that is, bodies using Jesus Christ and parts of the Bible in ways divorced from its themes and text)!

The more furious the adversaries, the more total the finale! The more repentant those who rage, or decline to be interested, the more certain the issue of salvation. But to repent ?  One either does or does not repent of an error, a foolishness, a misconception! There is no middle ground. To repent involves an entire change of heart and mind, a re-direction from misdirection which, in the light of the Gospel, is wrought by God in His own power, even to the point of an entire re-generation in the nature and heart concerned.





See On Translations of the Bible,  Words about Words, 20.



In Isaiah 42, in the Messianic series, 40, 42, 49-55, 60-61, 65-66, where the One in whom the Father delights is not any of Israel (Isaiah 41:28-29, 51:20), but one His own, His elect, who is to BE the covenant, we find not only a special feature, but its criterion.

This ? it is a certain blindness in His people. As in  Isaiah 49:7, they abominate  Him, so in 42:18 they are blind to the manifested messianic operations just  described. Thus the body concerned is the one who is blind, it is Jacob who is plundered (Isaiah 42:24), a people who had sinned against their Lord, specified in terms of  "we", as here.

So  far  from this body to be  returned to their Lord, being characterisable as shining  like lights in the world, they are worse than merely blind. It is  alas poor Israel and not some spiritual luminary which is in view. Blind ? they are not only DEEMED blind, but the very criterion of blindness.

"Who is blind but My servant."

A blind servant as such,  a  body to which this  appellation applies, is while being His servant, unique.  As the epitome of blindness, a definition for it,  a zenith, it is this Jacob, this Israel. To nothing  else does this  apply, and indeed, it applies in continual reference, unique in feature and focus.

Attempts to dilute the reality merely lead  to obfuscation of the obvious. In Isaiah 43, the word of God goes on to  talk of His coming comfort to this same people, and of their past when

"I gave Egypt for your ransom, Ethiopia and Seba in your place."

It is for this body that He will send to Babylon, in their predicament in view, and it is this one which He has favoured when "there  was no false god among you."



See On Translations of the Bible, 4, #n52. On the millenium, its length,  scope and nature, see for example Sparkling Life ... Ch. 10.



See for example:

SMR  886ff., 943ff.;

Mini-Messages with Maxi-Point ... Ch. 10 (short treatment of death-date prophecy concerning Christ), as in

Christ the Citadel ... Ch. 2,

The Christian Prescription  Ch. 2.


*2A    DON'T KID WITH AN ORCHID (cf. Palm 119)

Christ has  done all for all, and redeemed some. What had been a site for weeping because of seeming to be forgotten (Isaiah 49:14), now by contrast has a tide of rejoicing, a total change of character. It was AS  ZION that it wept; it is as Zion that it is comforted. The transformation is for the body already spiritually specified, historically coherent, with a past liability special to itself, making a unique situation of having the Lord's name, as a people, and not having the Lord's saving presence because of the squalor of separating sin, spoiling its place, and defiling its name.

The immediate point in Isaiah 61:9  is a body of people who had ashes, but who in the midst of the divine work of God's vengeance,  are ready to be comforted (61:2), even those in Zion. Participants of Zion are those mourning, and these are those comforted. There are not two churches. There is one.  There is one city of Jerusalem on this earth, whose members here, as such, receive the transforming comfort. It is, to be sure, Gospel comfort which affects the heart, but equally sure, it is inhabitants already of Zion, who receive this, and whose obliteration is now confronted and itself annihilated. This is the  application of the Gospel too small only for Israel, but not too great to reach it, to Israel. It is a Zion no longer to be crumpled and quashed, squashed out of existence by looming enemies, vast in power and mean in pity.

Similarly in Isaiah 49, it is a Zion which says to the Lord that He has forsaken her. It is not a non-Zion, nor a people without hope, simple children of wrath (Ephesians 2:12). It is people already Zion, who are to be comforted, and they are called "His people," (Isaiah 49:13), not without hope and without God in the world. It is "His afflicted" whom He comforts, even the one declaring, as Zion, "the LORD has forsaken me," Isaiah 49:14.

It is useless to strive.  ONE body is being consistently here evoked, one historic body of promise and exile, of lost opportunity, of squashed spirituality, wandering and lost, deprived of heritage, scorned and mocked, where is your God! who being now delivered both territorially so that it might exist, and spiritually, that it might live (as in Ezekiel 36-37, cf. It Bubbles ... Ch. 11), is found amid a monumental work of the Lord. This is to become one of the chief foci of history, both geographic and spiritual (as in the progression in Zechariah 12), amid wars in which it will singularly be triumphant, while Jerusalem weighs on the nations as a problem and a potency, a burdensome stone which it cannot hurl away. The governors of Judah are not to be an evangelising body in this phase of the matter, but a devastating repulse to invasive forces, destructive and overwhelming, as "a fiery torch in the sheaves," a thing which never does good to sheaves, but rather obliterates them.

For  all that,  it is only because of the Lord Himself that this triumph to enable continuance is found, just as it is only because of Him that the salvation is gloriously active as in Zechariah 12:10. Thus it is when Israel per se is losing strength (Deuteronomy 32:36), as the full weight of affairs presses, that the final coup is wrought by the Lord.

What then ? It is a Judah statedly already there that the Lord saves, not the institution of one which as saved has some symbolic name invented and applied; and the saving is as noted in Zechariah 12, as in Isaiah 66, involves the destruction of nations coming against Jerusalem (Zechariah 12:9), leading on to the spiritual reconstitution of much in Israel, explicitly in terms of the Gospel, the cross in its centre, and the pardon thus gained.

They are a people who feel "forgotten" by the  Lord, not never known (49:14), and it is  AS Zion  that it says so. Nothing could be  clearer. It is this people who have lost its former children (Isaiah 49:21) AS  ZION (49:14), which now exults in the plenitude of divine pity; and it is for this that the land will become too small, because of compression, as has literally happened. We deal here with historical  facts, not metaphorical figments, identifiable parties, not notions from abstract space, forced like fat into too small a coat, bulging where it cannot fit.

We should have pity on the context, and its various substance and imagery, as in all contexts, identifying the terms from context, and applying the figures in terms of the thrust of the passage and the items on the agenda, which signify the setting. We should thus seek also to have pity on those who hear the word of God, not invaded as a text, but expounded, what it contains, what remains.

It  is Zion which was wandering desolate, qua Zion, and it is Zion who had lost her children, wandering indeed to and fro, as she has done. It is  Zion who was "left alone", not a body filled with the presence of the Lord. It is not a spiritual oppressor to whom the Lord's ire is directed, but an  earthly one in this instance, and those of this kind He will "feed... with their own  flesh," 49:26 (cf. 66:16).

It is not the world which is too  small (Isaiah 49:20), but the little land of Israel for the now entirely changed situation when the Lord is imminent, and to be eminent once more within it. The "prey" here, therefore, it is a people once of the Lord as nation, who erred so that as prey they were molested and sometimes ingested by their captors, but now are delivered amid the preparation and  consummation of the Gospel in their very midst, while the Lord overcomes their molesters, "the terrible," 49:25.

It is, again, not the nations, the Gentiles, who so willingly change from their inordinate hostility to Christ as in Psalm 2, 110, so that they might bring Christians to the Church, but it is those who allow, sponsor or promote the return of  Jews to Zion, of Israel to its land, who  sponsor their endeavours, support their cause. Such was the case of Britain with its epochal Balfour Declaration of 1917, establishing the homeland,  while the USA has helped to make Israel a site to come to, in its periodic but sometimes substantial alliance with Israel as some nations seek to obliterate it (notably in the 1973 war). Germany has been at great pains to give reparations and aid, including by report atomic submarines, as it has tried to overcome the past, in this, most commendably.

Thus has Isaiah 49:23 been fulfilled, as 66:5-12. Where there is constant and precise harmony in depiction,  and a perspective and use of language alike confirm as the depiction develops, it is most unwise to vary and move to what jars as a forced interpretation, and does not allow it room for application, instead persisting in a constant state of artful indiscipline, producing confusion. The word of the Lord is clear (Proverbs 8:8), and obfuscation is not only unnecessary but woeful.

So in  Isaiah 66, it is by fire and the sword that the Lord will (not evangelise), but JUDGE ALL FLESH,  while the hearts of those recipients of grace will "rejoice", so that the "hand of the Lord is known to His servants." Nothing in the Church involves such devastation: indeed its task if crucially opposite, not apposite to this (John 18:36,  Matthew 26:52ff.); but everything coheres about the biblically persistent account as in  Micah 7, of those who had been stricken by the Lord, though bearing His name, on their deliverance. It is so in each context, and in all in an orchestra of consonance each with the other, the one and the other alike.

This Israel is one to whom many said, "Where is the LORD your God!" (Micah 7:10), not a pagan notion or nation! and it is to this recipient that the deliverance comes with a force parallel to that used in the Exodus (cf. Micah 7:15), so fulfilling "truth to Jacob and mercy to Abraham," as "sworn to our fathers from days of old," Micah 7:20.

Indeed,  as noted in *1A above,

So  far  from this body to be  returned to their Lord, being characterisable as shining  like lights in the world, they are worse than merely blind. It is  alas poor Israel and not some spiritual luminary which is in view. Blind ? they are not only DEEMED blind, but the very criterion of blindness.

"Who is blind but My servant."

A blind servant as such,  a  body to which this  appellation applies, is while being His servant, unique.  As the epitome of blindness, a definition for it,  a zenith, it is this Jacob, this Israel. To nothing  else does this  apply, and indeed, it applies in continual reference, unique in feature and focus.

Attempts to dilute the reality merely lead  to obfuscation of the obvious. In Isaiah 43, the word of God goes on to  talk of His coming comfort to this same people, and of their past when

"I gave Egypt for your ransom, Ethiopia and Seba in your place."

It is for this body that He will send to Babylon, in their predicament in view, and it is this one which He has favoured when "there  was no false god among you."


It is only when each text and  context is evaluated without lassitude or lordliness, without 'knowing what it must be,' in terms of traditional or psychic desire, and all are held in integrity, reinforcing and confirming each other, without fusion or confusion, that the wonder of the Lord's precision and the certainty of His message is to be found. There are no throw-aways in the word of God. It is necessary to realise that this is the greatest expositor of all time, GOD HIMSELF, the author of the Book (Isaiah 34:16), one which continues in power needing no help (Isaiah 59:21, Matthew 5:17ff.);and that it is He who is expounding His own meaning in the word of God. He has no equal. Each word is to be taken in context, symbolic, literal, figurative, subtle, but rich in enlightening power. It is like looking into an orchid. It is not to the point to ignore what you see in view of some idea of orchids; you discern each feature and in its detail and overall impact, one and the other, realise what it is.

Thus you learn from what is there.



See  The Song.



Ephesians 1:4, Romans 8:29ff., Isaiah 46:10, 44:24-45, 41:24, 48:5-11.



As seen in Palestinian Media Watch, which translates  certain  Palentinian documents,


much is made by many of a Koran reference (Surah 5, 60), to Jews in terms of pigs and apes. This is is repeated in various modes and moods, as if Jews were a debased people, assuredly by divine command to be exterminated, to be dispossessed; and this type of thing reaches to high levels of authority amid those of Fatah. The view that  Allah wants Jews exterminated is expressly rather  freely. Hamas would normally be regarded as the more virulent body against Israel, devoted to its extermination; but a number of these citations are from  Fatah.




Isaiah 42, that vastly impactive  Messianic chapter, having started following the dismissal of all who could be  considered as  agents of salvation, securers of its destiny, in the perspective of Isaiah 41 as it ended, leads in in Isaiah 42 to the one unlike all Israel, the immediate  domain of the Lord's dealings there, to the One who is not only worthy but delightful, and will personally be given as a covenant of  salvation (42:6), both to Jew  and to Gentile (cf. Genesis 12:1-3). Precisely the same dismissal occurs  in  51:18-20 before the Messianic brilliance and uniqueness  of  Isaiah 52-53, where  the sinless Lamb of God bears sin  vicariously as  none other could,   all being sinners, and none other having the amplitude and irrevocable power of  God,  to bear and to break sin, even  to death, even in resurrection (Isaiah 26:19).

It  is in this setting of majesty that we  find  a third entry in the Messianic tissue of truth. This is  in Isaiah 49. in a spreading passage Identifying Israel in its call for it to  leave Babylon (48:20),  foreseen in Isaiah as a coming exilic site for the sinful nation, and by being the one redeemed by the Redeemer (Isaiah 48:17), as also by its specious disobedience as a people  of the Lord (Isaiah 48:1). Here as in Isaiah 66, there is the wonder at the institution and multiplication of a restored Israel, back from  exile. This is in the context, then, of the Messiah and His Gospel and His grace, to which Israel as all others, is invited (Isaiah 55), freely in a magnificence provision, which the Lord emphasises in the most vivid manner in that Chapter. It is in this field of history, then, that we move.

In the midst of these proceeding, including Isaiah 49:7, where Israel as a nation is seen to ABHOR the Messiah,  and hence much later as in Zechariah 12:1-13:1, where their ultimate conversion comes suddenly in  terms of the crucified Christ (God speaking AS Christ, in 12:10), that we then move.

Once again, then, as in 66, there is a divine presentation of marvelling, of wonder. How could such a people be so suddenly increased in their land,  after so many had been murdered! (49:18-21). Having promised  to provide a eventual answer to the power  politics of national hatred practised by many against Israel (49:18), the Lord evokes the scene. The people as so envisaged  prophetically, are seen asking themselves a question.

"Then you will begin to  say in your heart,
Who has begotten these or  me,
Since I have lost my children and am  desolate,
A captive, and wandering to and fro ?"

How could such a national entity even exist,  far less in such numbers that the land is TOO SMALL for them! (49:21). As elsewhere in  Isaiah, we now find that refreshing  contemplation, an  Israel returned to the Lord  (as in Zechariah 12:10ff.), that divine Messiah whom  the national powers had  crucified (though others of the nation  at that time founded the Christian Church on the  self-same risen Messiah whom  their  compatriots had murdered). Here now we see a thing to come, as it becomes an arm of the body of Christ, at peace with Gentile Christians (Isaiah 66), bearing the same sign, that of the cross (per Isaiah 50-55), with its Gospel grace (Isaiah 55).

How could this be ? WHO COULD so deliver  such a stricken nation, once at peace with God  but then in collision, from its ferment of foes  ? (Isaiah 49:24ff.). Can  the prey be so delivered ? By all means,  the Lord replies in this passage,

"Even  the  captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible be delivered;  for I will  contend with him who contends with you, 
and I will save your children."

It is in this thematic position that Isaiah 50 commences where we find the Messiah once more, in His own stricken character, as He prepares to bear the sin of many,  as in Isaiah 52-53.

In this way, we find the parallel to Isaiah 66:8ff.): "Shall the earth be made to give birth in one day ?" we are asked.  It did in one day in May 1948, as fulfilment, when it was suddenly and without delay instituted by broadcast. It proceeds: "Or  shall a nation be born at once  ?"

The  Lord indicates that it is HE who  will  "cause delivery," there being  no such thing here as being shut up in the womb! and hence move to deliverance itself, which this signifies. By Isaiah 66, we find ourselves in the mode in the prophetical work, where the truth itself has come to Israel, and it is as a portion of the body of Christ that it now has this international field that we find as Isaiah 66 draws near to its end. It is as in Isaiah 42:6 and 49:6, too  small  a  thing  for the Lord to  come just for those chosen in Israel (Isaiah 49:6), but it shall be as a light to the Gentiles.

All in one and One in all the Chapter ends, with the clarification that this applies to the multi-partite generation of those who know Christ (as in Psalm 22:30-31), and not to those who Jew, or Gentile, have forsaken Him, not opened the throat to His waters of salvation, and moved on to something else,  anything ... so long as it is not-God!

While poetic power  and strength of imagery is vast in Isaiah's prophecy, the practicalities are never forsaken, and though we see now Israel in its own day (Isaiah 7), as in Ahaz busily rejecting the most staggeringly abundant divine offer of aid, examples of the contemporary scene and its inculpation and shame, we find movements of utter glory, just as practical in its impact. Peace and power, glory and majesty will the Lord show in the Messiah, though He be rejected by this nation in focus, Israel, at the outset (49:7, 53:3), and this  will be found in Israel in due time, when history is far older, so that  as in Isaiah 60, you see  the  blessed time of their awakening, so that the very walls are salvation, and we move on in the vision to this transfiguration which shows the elemental wonder and coming fulfilment in its light. There are many phases, each clear in its context, each in its sequential mission.

Thus Israel  ASKS for its troubles as in Isaiah 1, is stricken with guilt for them as in Isaiah 7, 31, and suffers, finds the light of the Messiah as in 7, 9, but is not moved as a nation, till as in Isaiah 42,48-49, it comes to the Messiah once more, and as in 55 many find the Lord, those in the Lord now given another name (as in 65), amidst the curse on the uncured Israel. But its day comes as in Isaiah 42, 49, 66, both to become a nation once more, and a people of multitudes that cram into the territory, and in its day, it finds the light,  merging into the Christian Church as an arm (Isaiah 66), not sovereign (Isaiah 19), for ONE is sovereign. Israel per se, not glorified as a nation, for it is the LORD  in it which bears the  glory (as in Zechariah 6:12ff.), and it is to Him only that it is due (as in Isaiah 2:17). It is as moon reflecting light from the sun that any glory ever comes to any, the sun of Christ.

Yet  within this limitation, great is the joy and  exultation (Isaiah 51:11), even eternal of its blessed people,  seen in the light of eternity as in Isaiah 33, protected, given provision, in the presence of the majesty of the Lord, as the scene moves to the millenium (as in Isaiah 65) and the ultimates of glory in eternity, each individual knowing and known to the Lord (Isaiah 53:10,  44:1-6, cf. Psalm 84:7 and Ch. 4 below).



See for example Sparkling Life ... Ch.10, and Regal Rays of Revelation Ch. 8.

*7 See for example It Bubbles ... Ch. 11, Galloping Events Ch. 4, and volumes on Israel (in Search).


See for example:

More Marvels ... Ch.     4, esp.  *4

SMR   pp. 50ff., 62ff., 829ff. , 1080

Dancers, Prancers, Lancers and Answers Ch. 3, *1A misconceptions about the Cross, variable and mutually conflicting, on the part of the Koran

Lord of Life Ch.  3 (and force), 1081ff. (and faith), Outrageous Outages  ... Ch.   5

His Wounds Opened Eternity Ch.    4    3

Stepping Out for Christ Ch.    9,  

Tender Times for Timely Truth
Ch.    8 (in perspective), see also *1,

See Divine Agenda Chs.    6
with  3 (an overview of religious truancies, including Marx, Darwin and Koran)
and Highway to Hell -
(Koran citations in both, with ideational parallels in perspective,  in the latter two;  and in the former,  futile depravities in endless ideologies such as Sudan has shown so significantly, Islam ablaze without glory),
Overflight in Christ Ch.
  1 (and the Koran's musings);

1493 (esp. Britain and sharia);
News 138Beauty for Ashes Chs.    4,   7

BARBLISS   5, Acme ... Ch.  9 , Great Execrations ... Ch.    3,  SMR p. 1O88D - three major religions in some ways in concert, astray.

News 138Beauty for Ashes Chs.    4,   7,   SMR pp. 1074ff., esp. 1079, 1081ff.
(These latter show this religion, with the other three major conspiracies  towards the ultimate - why conspiracies ? It is because men conspire, or breathe plans together for a control, rule or oversight not ordained by God: these are breaths of man, and the breath that matters is that of God, in and by which all scripture is inspired by Him (II Timothy 3:16, Isaiah 8:20), in the Book of the Lord (Isaiah 34:16), the Bible, and sustained and implemented by Him (Matthew 26:54ff.). Other ideas for rule are always unruly, since they always tend to use power for what neither reason nor truth compels.).

 PP 8, app.,  PP 11,  4,   11,   5 (national character and character of Islam).

See also SMR pp. 822ff., 986ff., 1O88D.



See Errors, and Sects.

How remarkable a testimony to Jesus the Christ, that formally by report, there are some 2 billion out of earth's approximately 7 billion, who follow sects that religiously use His name, while transmuting its content (cf. Ch. 8 below)! See *8 above, and SMR pp. 912ff., with 1032-1088H. Besides Islam and Romanism, there are many smaller bodies in the same generic path.