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THEY DO NOT TURN ASIDE, THESE ROBOTS
Ø Before we look at pseudo-man, manoeuvrable ‘man’, that is, at engineered robotic agencies without life, soul or spirit, programmable like indoctrinated combatants, able to be more soulless than the most obsessively passionate jihad fanatic, bent on destruction of women and children, in part or whole, without regard to life, agony or other consideration than that of some guru or book without warrant*1A, masquerading itself as if from God: let us look for one moment at man in the sight of God. Let us turn from this flood of alien execrations and calumniating cursings to the beauty of holiness in the sublime majesty of the living God.
There is no limit to the goodness of God, but there is a limit to man, as we saw in Ch. 9 above. Isaiah 57:15 tells us that God will not always strive with man, for the spirit would fail before him. Man is not exactly fragile, but in the tempests of judgment, in the toils of reality, when man is eking out his way in the light of truth, the very instrument can become twisted, like a bent ruler, the mind can become distorted and even glory in its fallen state, so that nothing measured is true. Where it is in the realm of the invisible, truth, validity, cogency, beauty, peace, majesty, humility, there can be a strange mixture: overweaning pride in one’s position, and complete confusion on its basis.
That, it is one of the fulfillments of Isaiah 57:15, reflected in the spoliations noted in I Timothy 4:2, and II Timothy 4:3, until the time comes that in the judgment of God, men come to be “speaking lies in hypocrisy”.
In such times, you may find impending or actual, indeed, such judgments as are found in Ezekiel 21, which follows on the great graciousness (over generations) displayed in Ezekiel 20.
People can actually become hardened in self-sufficiency and a sort of striving, arriving, complacent spiritual self-assurance, built on a divine mercy both ignored and despised when it is raised to their view, so that when the actualities of Ezekiel 21 strike, they are amazed. How many nations have been amazed! How horrified was Jerusalem when judgment, long delayed on inequity, murder, false sexual and spiritual passions, foul ethics, corruption and cruelty, at last struck.
From Micah, they had been warned, and as century was added to century, how impelling the word of the prophets. How little they cared is shown by the treatment accorded Jeremiah, set in a stinking, sinking well, ready to be enclosed in the foul mud, but rescued by a eunuch who, having pity and no little courage, brought him up. The results ? Read the book of Lamentations.
How they lamented! “Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by ? Look and see if there is any sorrow like my sorrow, which has been brought upon me, which the Lord has inflicted in the day of His fierce anger.” Alas, was it nothing to them who passed God by, in successive generations, with here a revival under Jehoshaphat, under Hezekiah, under that fresh and invigorating breath of wind, Josiah the great reformer, and then went on their way. Professionally ignorant were the deluded priests, hazily unhallowed the confused prophets, delighting in gain (Ezekiel 34, 21-22), spurning spirituality, awry from all godliness! As to the people, was it not as Jeremiah put it, from the Lord! (Ch. 5).
· “ ‘But this people has a defiant and rebellious heart;
o They have revolted and departed.
· ‘They do not say in their heart,
o ‘Let us now fear the Lord our God,
o Who gives rain, both the former and the latter, in its season.
o He reserves for us the appointed weeks of the harvest.’
· ‘Your iniquities have turned these things away,
o And your sins have withheld good from you.
· ‘For among My people are found wicked men;
o They lie in wait as one who sets snares;
o They set a trap;
o They catch men.
· ‘As a cage is full of birds,
o So their houses are full of deceit.
o Therefore they have become great and grown rich.
· ‘They have grown fat, they are sleek;
o Yes, they surpass the deeds of the wicked;
o They do not plead the cause,
o The cause of the fatherless;
o Yet they prosper,
o And the right of the needy they do not defend.
· ‘Shall I not punish them for these things?’ says the Lord.
Shall I not avenge Myself on such a nation as this?
· ‘An astonishing and horrible thing
o Has been committed in the land:
· ‘The prophets prophesy falsely,
o And the priests rule by their own power;
o And My people love to have it so.
· ‘But what will you do in the end ?’ “
What indeed! It is here that one sees in the following Chapter from that of our study in Ch. 9 above, Ch. 22, such words as these (22:16):
· “Swords at the ready!
Set your blade!
Wherever your edge is ordered!”
It is here also that we read that classical words which laugh at probability and elevate morality to a position of judgment. It is the case of the King of Babylon, envisaged in consideration of his next step of conquest. Where will he go to ravage savagely, to destroy, to assert his majesty and seek his greatness ? At the parting of the ways he stood.
They make an augury, but it is considered a false one, improper, astray. No, they throw all that away and decide to attack Jerusalem anyway (Ezekiel 21:21ff.).
Why ? What is the causative element for this decision ? It is “because He will bring their iniquity to remembrance, that they may be taken.” It would seem the capital ‘h’ is fitting here, since the original does not include this information one way or the other. The LORD brings to remembrance what HE has been remembering in the massif of their immorality, a proverb for all time, enshrined in the parable of Ezekiel 23, and exhibited like befouled washing to the world, as in Ezekiel 22.
How sad that when confidence was high, self-esteem leaping in the best psychological manner, they did not consider God, who even to the very last, was holding out a way of escape (cf. Jeremiah 17), just as you see in in the midst of the impending judgments, at Revelation 22:17. WHOEVER THIRSTS, let him take of the water of life freely! It is dolorous in the extreme, that so many REFUSE to take the water (if only they were not so fascinated with mirage which is no water), because they WILL not take it freely! As a gift! they chafe. Yet this is the ONLY way it comes!
That, then is our apéritif, our entrée, our preliminary preparation. Let us move nearer, now, to home and consider what warnings, what developments, what parallels we may find.
ROBOTIC DEVICES IN STORE EN MASSE
FOR THE MILITARY,
says recent News
and GRACE STILL IN STORE FROM THE LORD
1. SOME EXAMPLES
A WORD FOR OUR DAY
This is the MASS for the MILITARY, and judging by the report, it is a horrid one! In an article headed, “War without death” in The Advertiser, Feb, 8, p. 29, we find some of the work of Boeing and General Dynamics, with its Eagle Enterprise division.
Future wars, we are told, would involve masses of robots dropped from aircraft, these too unmanned in a human conservation role for the attacker; and this could be linked with a human devastation role for the robots. Almost as if smiling with the teeth of war, the statement comes that this could involve “little if any” domestic opposition to such a crusade (or parade, or insurgency, or territorial aggrandisement or empire nascency), for few would be killed in the realm of the technocratic power dispatching these robots, it is thought.
It might be added however that the possibility of early or eventual retaliation might arise, unless of course the slaying were envisaged as epochal! Then of course, as in the earlier atomic days, there might be questions of first strike! In history, somebody often manages to have either a massive overdose of some sense of human or national glory, direct or indirect as in the case of jihad (cf. More Marvels Ch. 4), paranoia or both.
Terrorists might have other ideas that simply suffering such assaults, of course, but when the financial controls of Revelation 13, so often augured in various ways already (cf. SMR 906ff.) come into force, there will be no small difficulty for such as they! These controls, so much readied in the plethora of cards instead of paper, electronic financial media instead of tellers, numbers instead of people for reference, the diminution of personal access and the magnification of keyboard finance, which can be broken or pirated by law or otherwise, are looming like a tornado, clearly visible on the horizon. Meanwhile, the townsfolk keep busy, for is it not quite a little way away ?
On the other hand, the view is put that many wars would not start, in view of the loathsome horror of such heartless armies of relatively unsquanderable robots. Unfortunately, that view is true only in part, for if there is one thing that history teaches in this arena, it is that there is a species of summary desire which quickly inhabits many, when equipped or thought to be equipped, so that they try out not the new vacuum cleaner, but the nation cleaner-up! This sense of experiment, may be imbued with hatred, revenge or simple self-congratulation.
In such ways, victory, triumph, glory and hegemony often call the ‘elect’ of the race to dominate, until they join the dusty battalions of others of the army of pomp, from past years. Ezekiel , given to speak of the demise of Egypt as a Great Power, had these words (31:13-18):
· “ ‘On its ruin will remain all the birds of the heavens,
And all the beasts of the field will come to its branches—
So that no trees by the waters may ever again exalt themselves for
nor set their tops among the thick boughs,
that no tree which drinks water may ever be high enough to reach up to them.
· ‘For they have all been delivered to death,
To the depths of the earth,
Among the children of men who go down to the Pit.’
“Thus says the Lord God:
‘In the day when it went
down to hell, I caused mourning. I covered the deep because of it. I restrained
its rivers, and the great waters were held back. I caused Lebanon to mourn for
it, and all the trees of the field wilted because of it. I made the nations
shake at the sound of its fall, when I cast it down to hell together with those
who descend into the Pit; and all the trees of Eden, the choice and best of
Lebanon, all that drink water, were comforted in the depths of the earth.
· ‘They also went down to hell with it, with those slain by the sword; and those who were its strong arm dwelt in its shadows among the nations.
· ‘To which of the trees in Eden will you then be likened in glory and greatness?
Yet you shall be brought down with the trees of Eden to the depths of the earth;
you shall lie in the midst of the uncircumcised, with those slain by the sword.
This is Pharaoh and all his multitude,’ says the Lord God.”
In the following Chapter, Ezekiel 32, at 29-32, we have this further perspective as the LORD attests what He has resolved, in the customary prophetic review, and reflects on what He is about to do. This is seen with security from the Sovereign, whose works to Him are as done, before history notes them (Isaiah 46:10). Note especially the line below, made bold in terms of divine CAUSATION in this matter!
“ ‘There is Edom,
Her kings and all her princes,
Who despite their might
Are laid beside those slain by the sword;
They shall lie with the uncircumcised,
And with those who go down to the Pit.
‘There are the princes of the north,
All of them, and all the Sidonians,
Who have gone down with the slain
In shame at the terror which they caused by their might;
They lie uncircumcised with those slain by the sword,
And bear their shame with those who go down to the Pit.
‘Pharaoh will see them
And be comforted over all his multitude,
Pharaoh and all his army,
Slain by the sword,’
Says the Lord God.
‘For I have caused My terror in the land of the living;
And he shall be placed in the midst of the uncircumcised
With those slain by the sword,
Pharaoh and all his multitude,’
Says the Lord God.”
Overall, it is as in Isaiah 44:24-25, where God specifies His intent, and when it is secure past all relenting, for He always seeks mercy: then it is made firm and nothing will change it.
“Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer,
And He who formed you from the womb:
‘I am the Lord, who makes all things,
Who stretches out the heavens all alone,
Who spreads abroad the earth by Myself;
‘Who frustrates the signs of the babblers,
And drives diviners mad;
Who turns wise men backward,
And makes their knowledge foolishness;
‘Who confirms the word of His servant,
And performs the counsel of His messengers;
‘Who says to Jerusalem, ‘You shall be inhabited,’
To the cities of Judah, ‘You shall be built,’
And I will raise up her waste places;
‘Who says to the deep, ‘Be dry!
And I will dry up your rivers’;
‘Who says of Cyrus, ‘He is My shepherd,
And he shall perform all My pleasure,
Saying to Jerusalem, ‘You shall be built,”
And to the temple, ‘Your foundation shall be laid.’ ”
There is a resolution which once discharged into the atmosphere of His word, and laid in the concrete of declaration in His name as His intent, can be distinguished from the words of historians, the prognostications of the wise and the hopes of the ambitious. How is this done ? It is so contradistinct from other things because it ALWAYS happens, and the Lord sees to it that the gap between His word and that of contestants, spiritual provocateurs and the like, is that between the highest eminence and the lowest hell.
Cyrus of course, to take the case in point above, that King of the Medes and Persians,
v did come,
v did set the Jews free,
v did write his Cyrus Cylinder which did set forth his intention to do so,
and these things did come to pass,
v not only the destruction of Jerusalem as foretold by Jeremiah,
v the use of Babylon for this destructive purpose, as foretold by Isaiah,
v but the deliverance from Babylon by Cyrus,
v as likewise foretold by Isaiah,
v whilst the 70 year exile of Jeremiah’s declaration, this also came to pass.
What DOES NOT PASS, it is quite simply the word of God, as Peter acutely tells us in I Peter 1:24-25. Christ declared that not a jot (smallest letter) or tittle (smallest routine difference between two letters, a little pointed ‘horn’ that is added to one letter so that it is distinct from another) will pass TILL ALL IS FULFILLED! How fruitless is science, if its methodology is carefully kept from this WORD It is not so with a DNA code, which they labour to disentangle from its coiled complexities so artfully composed, but a PLAIN HEBREW and GREEK text, blatantly open, universally obvious, for millennia published to the world! There is, quite simply, no excuse.
It would then be timely to survey what JOEL has to say on our REPORT of ROBOTS, in his day, over 3000 years ago. His coverage has for many years delighted and incited the imagination of the author, and it is now that the events are becoming more concrete for inspection, less demanding in conception!
1. JOEL’S LEGACY FROM THE LORD, TO OUR DAY
In a little, we shall plan to survey the newspaper report of recent military, robotic technology, and what it is planned to do. Meanwhile let us see the prophecy of Joel in this connection.
Joel deals at first with a locust plague, in Ch. 1. It is dramatised, but our own mouse plague of some years ago, reminds us that drama has little need of invention in such cases: it is openly self-declared. There is to be a progressive devastation from this locust source (Joel 1:4). To a fast, they are exhorted to turn, for a “fire has devoured the open pastures” (), and this account is repeated.
We are, in the midst of this rank series of (relatively) minor, but still ravaging judgments (they are not destroyed as a nation, though greatly impoverished), told of the day of the Lord. It is not A day; it is THE day of the Lord. It is “a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness”. We are therefore reminded of the epochal judgment on Egypt at the time of Israel’s so famous Exodus.
Now however a clearly new element enters. We are reminded of Daniel 12:1 which imparts in the name of the Lord, that
“there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation… and at that time, your people shall be delivered.”
In context, this is the end of the prophecy of Daniel, and is in conjunction with the realm of the general resurrection and eternal judgments, for its dramatic topography!
What then is this new element in Joel 2 ? It is this, in words close to those of Daniel, somewhat in form and mightily in force. The famous translator and commentator Keil, in his commentary on the Old Testament with Delitzsch, renders verse two here as follows.
· “A day of darkness and obscurity, a day of clouds and cloudy night: like morning dawn spread over the mountains, a people great and strong: there has not been the like from all eternity, nor will there be after it to the years of generation and generation. Before it burns fire, and behind it flames flame: the land before it as the garden of Eden, and behind it like a desolate wilderness; and even that which escaped did not remain to it.”
From eternity backwards, history has known nothing like this, which is to come. Afterwards, you could not find the like to the years as long as you wish. It is unique in all history. Its devastation is not merely vast, but the manner of it is excruciatingly impersonal, imperiously disregarding man and his ways, pushing without apparent vulnerability, crowding and quashing they come, these strange and spectacular species that act as if alive, and yet seem to lack the very weaknesses of flesh. Of this we read in a passage taken from Joel 2:6-10.
· “Before them the people writhe in pain;
All faces are drained of color.
They run like mighty men,
They climb the wall like men of war;
Every one marches in formation,
And they do not break ranks.
“They do not push one another;
Every one marches in his own column.
Though they lunge between the weapons,
They are not cut down.
”They run to and fro in the city,
They run on the wall;
They climb into the houses,
They enter at the windows like a thief.
The earth quakes before them …”
Keil’s rendering of verses 7-8 will help, in that it is graphic:
· “They run like heroes, like warriors they climb the wall; every one goes on its way, and they do not change their paths. And they do not press one another, they go every one in his path; and they fall headlong through weapons, and do not cut themselves in pieces. They run about in the city, they run upon the wall, they climb into the houses, they come through the windows like a thief.”
appears that in some way this action is serving God, but as we reflect on what
He had to say about Egypt, and His own work in securing these downfalls in due
time, perhaps after generations of patience, we must realise that by no means
does this imply that they are specifically in alliance with God. Thus,
It might be well to reflect also, that being ‘in alliance with God’ has nothing to do with His necessary power. With God, NOTHING will be called impossible; but it has MUCH to do with the outcomes for those concerned. A wife may be in alliance with a bold warrior, her husband, or married to his enemy. It is not what she does in the battle which counts at the onset, but where her alliance lies has much to do with the results.
In view of this coming judgment, this unique thing from all eternity which is scheduled for appearance in its time, this “day of the Lord,” we do well to ponder its end (Joel 2:11), for the Lord gives His voice before His great army, “for strong is He who executes His word.”
As to this phrase itself, it is necessary to consider Joel 2:31, quoted by Peter at Pentecost, where “the day of the Lord” refers to the actual end-of-Age judgment before which dread hour for the ungodly, people are to call upon the name of the Lord. Thus the term found in the earlier part of Joel 2 is paralleled later in the same chapter, and in the same tenor, style and sense of ultimacy for the flesh which loiters in this world. It is the “great and terrible” day, out of which and the environments of its terror, those who “call on the name of the Lord”, who is one Lord and not another! (cf. Exodus 20), will be saved.
Never from eternity, we recall, was there a day like this, nor does one arrive like it from generation to generation.
v What then are the dramatically, though tersely described devices in view, as noted in Joel 2:6-10 ?
v These are precisely robotic.
They act in some ways with an address and determination, a specific targeting of victims and the like, as if men; but their appearance is not that of men, and their vulnerability is not that of men. That is just what robotic devices are. These are to be instruments of terror, of judgment and of overwhelming force as the final judgment scene comes into focus, and before the Lord actually sits in judgment. Locusts remind one of these things, in their smothering numbers, their ceaseless insistence, their devastating thoroughness; but these devices are not susceptible to death, like locusts, being merely engines of devastation, without life, but with plan and purpose in some way bent upon them.
This, is it not the way with robots! But what is happening NOW to forward such things, as a preliminary ? Why what would be more appropriate than this: TO MAKE THEM!
2. THE NATURE OF THE CURRENT MILITARY PREPARATION FOR LOCUST-LIKE NUMBERS OF OSTENSIBLY INVULNERABLE DEVASTATORS
We turn now
to the report in The Advertiser,
Let us take for illustration of the trend and preparation, the Stryker of General Dynamics, and consider some of its capacities; but first we need to realise that its size is that of a small sports utility vehicle. It can SCOUT, and with this, SEARCH and DESTROY. It takes, we read, robotics to a new level.
It can detect enemy targets to 3 km. distant, and on receiving orders from the command post in its remote fastness, can launch Javelin anti-tank missiles. For eminently dangerous missions, its role is to replace … people!
Thus it is equipped “with an array of sophisticated sensors, infra-red cameras and images gathered by satellites updated by a highpower computerised mission planner 10 times a second.”
Referrring back to Joel, this gives the sense which we have already seen in this prophecy here, of directness, protectedness and zealous, purposeful continuance! Satellite reinforcement to the data bank ten times per second is rather quick, even for a man, and facilitates the element of surprise, the sense of the overpowering as in Joel! A quotation from Arniss Mangolds of Foster-Miller’s military robot division is so apt to our present point that it seems best to cite it as given in The Advertiser’s report:
Ø ‘When you see a robot coming down (on the battlefield), it’s interesting and even if it has a weapon on it, maybe it’s a little scary and you give it a little respect. But if you’re standing somewhere and see 10 robots coming at you, it’s scary.’
This is precisely the feeling evoked as one reads Joel: that it is a terrifying, a remorseless, and an inveterate foe that is coming, as insensitive to fear as locusts are, and as determined, yet without feeling the emotion, merely fulfilling the purpose for some reason. The reason, in this robotic case, would be clear. It would be the reason of the controller in his safe stronghold, well away from exposure to the easiest forms of retaliation. If you were in trench warfare and a group of 10 charged at you, then you could at least duck and weave, destroying their advancing forces in measure, and if others were with you, in concert; and however unlikely it might be that you would succeed, it would not necessarily be emotionally draining. You just do it.
In the robotic case however, their flanks are not open, their disposition is not easily deterred; their ‘intelligence’ is hidden from you, and not near!
With the Stryker, there is planned to be an assortment of other vehicles, from land or air, all unmanned. This provides the sense of overpowering multitude exhibited in Joel’s prophecy for the “day of the Lord”, yes that same “day of the Lord” noted later in this very chapter, as the finale and terminator for the history of our Age!
This technology has been rapidly developed since the US war in Afghanistan, where “Packbots” were used in cave investigation. Driving on small tank tracks, these can cover rough terrain, provide smoke-screens for advancing troops, check chemicals in the atmosphere and send LIVE images to command posts. It is less gory, for the attacker, more certain, less complex, and at $76,000 per unit, less costly! Whether it is more humane will depend on the purpose: if to slay mass assassins, then presumably so.
Why kill the innocent if you do not have to, in hunting down blood megalomania, which instead of prizing dollars (a vain pursuit), prizes death. In so doing, however, whatever the reason, and in this case without rationality (cf. More Marvels … Ch. 4, Divine Agenda Ch. 6, SMR pp. 986ff, 1080ff., 809, 1078, 625ff.), there is simultaneously, fulfilment of Revelation 6, where we find various crusades in the days leading up to the end of the Age, and two of them have these characteristics.
1) There is installed a dynamic of death. One mission is sent with stated purpose: “to take peace form the earth, and that people should kill one another, and there was given to him a great sword.” This is in Rev. 6:4.
2) Another messenger is sent. The vocation in judgment ? It is “over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death and by the beasts of the earth.” The morbidity of this assault on mortality becomes clear in the killing with death, a spreading thrust of lethality. ‘Death’ possibly by metonymy signifies just such a scope and frenzy, indulgence and inveterate consistency.
3) As noted earlier, the term translated here as ‘beasts’ is in form ‘little beasts’ and can include insects. (See Deliverance from Disorientation Ch 11, *1 where the Greek Lexicon’s contribution is noted for the term in view, namely fhrion.) The spread of these "little beasts" in the form of destructive insect attacks, has also been noted before (Licence for Liberty Ch. 5, in which Revelation 6 is being considered). See also News 84, and with it, Regal Rays of Revelation Ch. 5, where some of the current developments in our present Age and contemporary world are related to the prophecy. The heating process helps these insects to transfer themselves and to threaten new plagues; and this is now, as things are merely what Christ has called “the beginning of sorrows”.
There is, then, the multiple prophetic background on the one hand, and the time for its fulfilment on the other. Here we find the present and the correlation in intimate parallel, developing apace, with the presentation prophetically made. Feasibility in operation for these new robotics ? It was claimed that operation of a Stryker would be possible for those concerned, with one week of training deemed sufficient - presumably on a relevant educational basis, though not a highly technical specialisation. In the defence sector, golf-cart sized robots would soon, the report proceeded, be available to patrol sensitive US sites.
At the organisational level, we learn that Boeing is also involved in further troop-replacement technological systems, called Future Combat Systems, with a two billion dollar contract out for 2010 deployment.
3. The GRACE OF GOD
The Divine Procedure
and the Human Distortion
All this human organisation, however, is as nothing compared with the divine provisions, prevision and containment. Thus in Joel 3 we learn of a coming titanic battle*1, in a passage often misapplied to an extraordinary degree by the Graham evangelism procedures. This is found in Joel 3:14ff.. As noted previously, endeavours to take these prophecies as something to do with the Gospel are unsustainable. You find the same message in Isaiah 59, 66, Micah 7, Deuteronomy 32, Habakkuk 3, Ezekiel 38-39. In each case the enemy assaults on Israel are noted, sometimes the sin of Israel leading to its horrific position and persecution is mentioned, and on every report of this day when the Lord acts, fury being noted on occasion, there is relief for Israel.
Isaiah 66, misused by Pentecostalism*1
not a little, there is nothing irenic, nothing of PEACE on EARTH from the
PROCLAMATION of PARDON to be found; but rather a vehement vengeance which,
after long patience, the Lord proclaims and on which He acts. It delivers the
Now in the Gospel’s application, the Lord FORGIVES those who, though once His enemies (Ephesians 2:2ff.), now become friends: which is hard to identify with extermination of the same, in this passage, which is accordingly not evangelisation, but judgment, the nether pole to that! The means for the avoidance of judgment ought not really to be confused with the imposition of judgment! Nor should health be made to coincide with destruction, nor fury with peace.
We find as we read in 66:15 (cf. 66:6), that in this instance, He does not come to proclaim peace (Isiah 52:7). This is not the action of beautiful feet, as there, even for the emissaries of the Gospel, but the opposite. Here the Lord will come “to render His anger with fury”, and in so doing will JUDGE ALL FLESH. The Gospel does not here relate at all, except as in John 3:37, for its deliberate and long-term rejection. Nor do all hear it at one time, in the Gospel.
That, the Gospel, it is not a season of anger with fury, leading to judgment, nor on its proclamation is all flesh judged. As it proceeds, this Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Jews as such are not vindicated in power, but on the contrary, they have often, when the false Gospel of Rome was proclaimed, made objects of the most vile torture and the vindication, pro tem., has been that of His BOND of the covenant (Ezekiel 20:37), which is a very different thing from its blessing. In fact, the Lord had the curses for breach read from one mountain, and the blessings from another, so diverse are these, so immiscible!
As to the Jews in religion, in Judaism, their faults were highlighted, their stance was the more debased, since they did not receive the Christ. Nothing more opposite or less apposite could well be imagined than this endeavour to equate a people in covenantal breach and rebellion, refusing the consummation required for their covenant (Deuteronomy 18) and a people coming into blessing in the relinquishment of divine anger, the satisfaction of His grounds for wrath and the indelible declaration of their pardon! Those on whom the Lord acts in these passages in Micah 7, Deuteronomy 32, Joel 3 and so on, are enemies receiving their judgment, not alienated being comforted.
Those who are to be comforted however (precisely as in Romans 11:25ff.) are those who are in that chapter DEFINED to be ONCE IN, then OUT, and NOW BROUGHT BACK, as a people, to the Lord; and of course, this ONLY in terms of that very Gospel which they sent off as a nation, rather like Russia in one way, packing from their shores.
v When the Lord indicates that He will use power and force to overcome resistance -
v as He takes steps to comfort those who had long become alienated from Him as a nation (66:10ff., cf. Paul’s coverage in Romans 11),
the time when AT LAST there is to be a huge restoration to the Messiah of much
v He means it.
This He accomplishes on the outer domain, using dynamic overthrows as He did also (is expressly said to have done in this context) at the Exodus. In this, He is not talking of making peace. He is talking much of its precise, multiply-defined opposite, and of this as apposite!
Not actually! It is parallel to Zechariah 12, where the return of Israel is envisaged with many nations interfering and seeking to subdue Jerusalem, and PAYING for it, as has happened – is it not so, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Iraq ? Is it not so ? Was it not so
· in 1948,
· 1991 ?
SO it has been, as it was to be. What remains is to come, as noted, and in the process, as noted from Joel 2, some intensely NON-peaceful weaponry revealed, with appalling devastation in view, as if the very relentlessness of the human heart in disbelieving the most manifest word of God, and pretending confusion should meet not more pacifiers, but a veritable deluge of war, a devastation of peace, a process that repays the long slander on God, as if He did not care for the Jews because of Israel’s error, or would forget them.
Forget! “The LORD will roar from Zion,” as Joel 3:16 tells us, and “the heavens and earth will shake”, while He becomes a shelter for the children of Israel, already in sharp focus of rebuke, and here of deliverance, in this book. “For I will acquit them of the guilt of bloodshed, whom I had not acquitted,” the Lord declares (cf. Ezekiel 21-22). This He does as in indicated for that closely defined nation (cf. SMR Appendix A), with the action of ONE DAY, as on the Cross (Zechariah 3:9), so that they repent, looking “on Me whom they pierced” as Zechariah prophesied some 2500 years ago.
If in this he preceded the Cross with the national repentance for the abuse of Him, the Lord Himself, whom they hung there, it is again, only further verification of the divine felicity in exposing any part of history, in any connection, at will, like a battle General with a map, pointing now here, now there with equal facility. So it all hangs together, like the vestments on the nail, in Isaiah 22!
Micah 7 takes it a little further, advising us as does Isaiah 2 which refers to people hiding in terror in rocks as the devastations proceed, that “the nations” shall “lick the dust like a serpent: they shall crawl from their holes like snakes of the earth.” Crawling like a snake is scarcely consonant with being delighted with the joy of the Lord, and coming to Him in all boldness through the blood of Christ (Hebrews 10:19ff., 4:16). PREPARE for WAR, cries Joel in 3:9, and “turn your pruning hooks into spears.” Alas the endeavour to make of war a thing of peace, of the weapons of war, in their being transformed from the implements of peace, into a time of serenity, or making of meekness in repentance, an image for gathering the nations in hostility, or of divine insurgency with chariots in fury, an image for gathering the elect in peace: it is a thing of horror, attesting that there is indeed spiritual warfare even now, when such travesty can be made of the word of God.
What then ? It is the GRACE of GOD which has told us beforehand of what is to be. It is KIND to warn, and it is THOUGHTFUL to expose the coming schedule of events, just as Christ made so clear from the first (John 14:29-31), and emphasised to the last (Matthew 24:6,21-22), wars being not merely extravagantly typical of the coming Age, but of the intensive evils so profound that human life could not long continue, and would not, except HE SHOULD COME BACK!
Lift up your hearts! He advises as we see in Luke 21:28, when you see these special features compositely present (cf. Answers to Questions Ch. 5, SMR Ch. 8), including the liberation of Jerusalem for Israel (21:24).
This is grace, to give us in the midst of an increasingly hot cauldron, destined to become unbearable by flesh itself, a recounting of events,
a schedule of items,
a word of encouragement and
a place for orientation,
so that we not only know where WE (who are Christians) are going, but where the WORLD (which is not cf. John 14:30, James 4:4) is to proceed, and this with considerable notation of steps on the way. If the way is dark for those who long for this world or its cultures or consist with its vultures, is this not as Christ declared, a matter of judgment BECAUSE THEY PREFER DARKNESS TO LIGHT!
What is prodigious grace from the Lord, it is this: that the WORLD should likewise be warned so that
people in it, however deeply committed
Ø to evil, to laxity,
Ø to self-seeking, to self-esteem instead of spiritual realism,
Ø to creation instead of Creator,
Ø to autonomy instead of faith in their Creator,
Ø to self-fulfilment instead of the doing of the will of God,
Ø to the little instead of the great,
Ø to the lax instead of love,
to the push of power
instead of the inward peace with the ONLY ONE from whom peace can POSSIBLY come
Isaiah 9:7, Philippians 4:43-6),
who is specifically sent for the purpose,
WITH the CROSS of loss, the suffering to be FOLLOWED BY HIS GLORY
(cf. Luke 24:25-26 and Matthew 24:36-51, Acts 1:7ff.)
may awaken and come to Him whose they are BY CREATION, and finding in Him their home, rejoice in God their Saviour, BY REDEMPTION.
Thus there are varied graces: He shows the warning, the process and the procedure alike, gives the appeal, provides the witness, gives joy to the redeemed, a way out for the lost and a way in to His protective counsel and divine peace for any who call upon His name (Joel 2:32, Acts 2:21), whose repentance and return to His rest (Matthew 11:26-30), however overdue, is nevertheless an occasion of joy, even in heaven (Luke15:7).
*1A See the exposure of these clamant claims on which
so many mass murders are vainly based, in
More Marvels Ch. 4. Many are the murders
from the distorted concepts of man in the grip of false prophets, such as
Christ predicted with unerring certainty (Matthew 24:24), and the Islamic scourge
is now gripping much of the world in intolerance, with substitution of death
threats or suffering in the place of free pursuit of truth and trying of the
spirits with the reason God has provided, and consideration of the utter
failure rationally of the Koran to fulfil its simple requirements. Contrasted
is the unassailable certainty of the Bible, when scientific method is applied.
For these matters, see
· TMR 1,
One of the aspects most obvious to any survivor from the slaughters of the 20th century is simply that the Bible said that Israel would be reconstituted, and it was; that it would fight many intent on its overthrow, and it did; that these would be overcome with amazing success, in view of the disproportion between Israel and its foes, and they were. The allegedly Almighty being termed ‘Allah’ on the other hand, has not managed to bring triumphant results to the masses of Moslems seeking the extermination of Israel, its compromise or dispossession of Jerusalem, though whole nations have combined to oppress the Jew, in concert, and one, Egypt with much Russian assistance.
It is not the US, as many foolishly imagine, which has engineered this, though it has been used just as Russia has been used on the opposite side with Nasser’s equipment when he sought to exterminate Israel by making the sea its receptacle, that is for the people, not the land! The sea stays the same, its waves not covering the Jew.
The US moreover has just as surely let Israel down rather grossly in even conceiving, far less pressing as Bush does, some ‘Palestinian State’ which as shown before on this site, might be fine if it were placed in some part of the MAJORITY of Palestine given to Jordan, one of the many nearby nations with scope for Islam if they enjoy each other’s brotherhood, but not when placed in the ludicrous residue of Palestine accorded to the Jews, for which they had indeed to fight, as an option instead of being exterminated.
God Himself SAID He would do this; He did it. Allah met the word of God and has failed consecutively in war after war despite the calling on his name, and the ascription of injury to his cause by the presence of the Jew in his ancient land, which God promised to give him, and to which to return him after much and long discipline (Leviticus 26, Deuteronomy 32).
All this God did, all of it. God met the word of God, and DID IT. Two almighties do not work, and only one of them has sent His only begotten Son into the world. That is the One whose word stands, and the other is the one who must bow, because in fact, ONLY ONE does what He says and performs it through all time. That, it is only the beginning, but for this endnote, it suffices.
Let it however be added for perspective, that only one offers salvation by grace, so that man does not have to wait to see if he has in some way passed the balance of good over evil, but is granted life by the God who made it in the first place, not on some slender mathematics, so that evil is not atoned for, but on a vast magnificence, so that evil is paid for, the accounts cleared, and heaven opens for those who are granted life, by faith through the loss not of murdered people, but of Christ upon the Cross. The resurrection covers His loss, though not His suffering, which remains effective cover for sin for all who come to Him. See II Corinthians 5:17ff., Galatians 3:1-13, John 3:16, Romans 5 and 8.
This is the form and acme of grace, the grace of God, such as first created man, now intent on his recovery with that amplitude of love which forms the basis of all friendship, parenthood and brotherliness, and that hatred of evil which brings peace and purity when it has with it, the power necessary. It is this which is present in Christ for living in godly fashion.
As with all love, it does not seize, but many have been gripped by its victory, which begins in the Christ, moves to the heart and brings kindness to the life. See Titus 2-3. In this era of blessing, we need not curse, since He has borne it, nor execrations since this is better annulled in Christ; but how deeply ravaging, as with the course of surging flood waters, is the dynamic of evil upon a world which ignores the grace of God, facing without faith in His word, His Son and His salvation, the ignominies of eternal shame.
It is often forgotten that though the Lord, as per the progressive and processive prophecies of Deuteronomy 32 and Leviticus 26, has indeed repaid Israel as the nation concerned, for its aroused sinfulness and eventual slaughter of the Messiah, yet He loves them and would seek and find them yet; and it is precisely this end which is noted in Romans 11, Micah 7 and Deuteronomy 32. What has been done to them NOW by more recent vultures among the nation, or segments, is not without comparison with what was done to them by nations like Babylon and Assyria! And what did He have to say about that ?
In Isaiah 30:29ff., you see what He did about the rampaging cruelty of the Assyrians, just as you discern how He suffered that same arrogant nation as instrument FIRST to be used in divine rebukes to others (Isaiah 37:26ff.)!
Nevertheless, the Lord does not forget the nation, as you see in the tender words of Jeremiah 31:18ff., nor ignore the miscreants who demean her to the dust, as if they were angelic visitants, and she the rubbish of ruin:
· “Therefore please hear this, you afflicted,
And drunk but not with wine.
Thus says your Lord,
The Lord and your God,
Who pleads the cause of His people:
‘See, I have taken out of your hand
The cup of trembling,
The dregs of the cup of My fury;
You shall no longer drink it.
But I will put it into the hand of those who afflict you,
Who have said to you,
“Lie down, that we may walk over you.”
And you have laid your body like the ground,
And as the street, for those who walk over.’ ”
You find this in Isaiah 51:21-23. You find a not dissimilar sentiment in the rebuke to Edom, as in Obadiah. God is a God of justice, and He does not ignore the earth, nor forsake even such as these who rebel, for in His covenant He has determined it, and though they be in breach of it, yet does His faithfulness continue as in Ezekiel 36. “Not for your sakes,” He there declares as He surveys their two-stages restoration, first in land and then in spirit (Ezekiel 37), “do I this,” but because “O house of Israel, but for My holy name’s sake!” (36:22). Indeed, it is because He ”had pity on My name” (36:21). He IS faithful and that therefore appears. On His promises that endure, see Galloping Events Ch. 4.
Accordingly, this action for the rebellious house of Israel, unlike the case for the Church, where HE CERTAINLY acts for their sake! (John 10), is one of those drastic, long-term prophetic mosaics in which there is drama, faithfulness and innovation: in this case, that of the Gospel. For though it has been foreseen, foretold and even applied for thousands of years, its application TO SUCH A PEOPLE after such actions and such a time, is an innovation of delicious mercy on which Paul does not fail to reflect (Romans 11:25ff.), with awe and wonder.