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In Three Parts

Part II

including the Isaianic Excursion



FROM Galloping Events Ch. 4 - on Isaiah 42, 48, 49,
with references to Isaiah 1, 30, 50-53, 65

where is to be found choice territory

Isaiah 42 and 49, with 66 are of great interest. Let us add here a little to the account of the former.

First as shown in SMR Ch. 9 and elsewhere (see Isaiah excursions esp. in Scoop of the Universe 47; Biblical Blessings App.1,  3; Spiritual Refreshings for the Digital Millenium  11, The Biblical Workman Ch.  1, Barbs, Arrows and Balms  13, Divine Agenda Ch.  5 - esp. Isaiah  9, and Ch. 8, esp. *3 below), we have the Messiah before us in Isaiah to such an extent that Luther regarded this as the EVANGELICAL PROPHET.

From Isaiah 4, typifying the temple symbolism, to Ch. 32, exposing it as the prerogative in substance of a man, to fulfil its portent; from Isaiah  7 and the birth-that-surpasses (SMR pp. 770ff.), and Isaiah 9, to the child who is the Mighty God, we move on to Isaiah 11 with the King, maternally of the seed of David, whose kingdom is such that His word is per se equipped to do WHATEVER HE SAYS; from Isaiah 40 and the God who on earth takes the lambs tenderly, to Isaiah 52-53 where the pure sacrifice REQUIRES One not of Adam's race as to status, but merely as to format - a non-sinner for slaughter to cover sin; from Isaiah 55 with the free grace offer of a salvation thus paid for (53:5-11) to 65:13ff., where this replaces the Old Covenant; from Isaiah 62:1ff., where it occasions a new name for the New Covenanters, to Isaiah 66 (cf. Ch. 1 above) , where Israel is brought anew to the birth in a day, and the Lord uses power such as in Exodus
(cf. Micah 7, Isaiah 66:15-16) to rescue His restored people, we find Isaiah expressive of the depth and the scope of the movements.

Let us however now look a little further at Isaiah 42 and 49.


Here, then, in the very face and light of the Messiah's coming, Himself to BE the covenant (for it is, after all, in His OWN BLOOD, Isaiah 53:10ff.), we find some repercussions for the nation which assailed Him (Isaiah 49:7). Let us look through this prophetic chapter.

DESPITE the fact that He is come to be a LIGHT to the Gentiles (49:6 cf. Appendix, Biblical Blessings, End-note *1), opening blind eyes, and removing those in the prison house of servitude to sin, and in the very midst of stating that He will NOT give His glory to another while at that very time of instituting on earth His servant as a light to the Gentiles, and in 53, as the Saviour, whereas ONLY GOD is Saviour (43:10-11): despise all these exquisite facts , focusses, features and facets, there is a sudden contrast. What is this absorbing injection, this new thing ?

Even though the Messiah, God Himself on earth (Ezekiel 34), doing the job as the Good Shepherd that those witheringly exposed 'shepherds' of Ezekiel 34 vintage so despitefully, disgracefully and emptily used, and abused, we come to an abysmal contrast. There, exposed to our eyes, as likewise in 49:10ff.,  is  a people who for all that, are still BLIND, and are dubbed His servant, a failed one (42:18ff)..

What then is this development ? "Who," the LORD asks, 49:19, in sublime irony, "is blind as he who is perfect, and blind as the LORD's servant!" HOW BLIND to you have to be not to NOTICE these magnitudes of divine splendour reported and exposed here,  as THIS MESSIAH! WHO is so blind as this ? WHo has such a blindness as to ignore what is predicted when it comes, what is in Jewish format when it arrives, what is the culmination of centuries of prophecy, when it surges into their midst... WHO is so blind as THIS! God exclaims with total justice.

This divine disengagement from the sinning nation (as in Isaiah 1 and 65), mocks their pretensions just as in Ch. 1 He scorns their ceremonial substitutes for spirituality, the end of all conceivable claim from the sacramentalists of this world (cf. Questions and Answers Ch. 2).

Clearly then, we are seeing sinning Israel in the sort of colours witnessed in Isaiah 30:8ff., and 30:15ff.. "Seeing many things, but you do not observe," God chides, very much as in the message to Isaiah concerning the nation in Isaiah 6:9ff.. THIS is made the worse, since in the intervening verses from the exposé on the Messiah, in 42:1-9, the LORD has been exposing ground for new rejoicing. Acting like an invisible but wholly effective magnet, the Lord is seen bringing back to their forsaken land, a rebellious people, with gratuitous grace, amazing power, tremendous determination, irresistible resolution. He carries, they come. He wills it; they are there. This is after a "long time" (49:14); but it comes. Twelve midnight seems far off at 5 a.m., but it comes. Wait for it, it will surely come. The LORD ... far more surely than that, for HE MADE TIME! It serves Him, He does not serve it!

  • In this process, there is, as in Isaiah 66 at the dénouement, to be a strong work in battle:
  • "The LORD shall go forth like a mighty man:

He shall stir up His zeal, like man of war,
He shall cry out, yes, shout aloud;
He shall prevail against His enemies"  - Isaiah 49:13.

  • "I will lay waste the mountains and hills...

I will bring the blind by a way they did not know...
I will make darkness light before them,
And crooked places straight.
These things I will do for them,
And not forsake them" - Isaiah 42:15-16.


Thus the focus coming on this so disappointing servant, of such pretensions to spirituality as to be "perfect", but of such lapses into unloveliness as to be "blind", after all this grace of God, astonishes the reader. HOW COULD anyone be so unreceptive, unperceptive, in a word, BLIND! Well, that is the word of which the Lord makes use!

Despite their being a "people robbed and plundered", God "will exalt the law and make it honourable". The divinely long announced schema will be fulfilled; the promises will be redeemed; the Messiah will come and the restoration and restitution alike. WHO, He asks, "gave Jacob for plunder, and Israel for the robbers", concerning the covenantal people who as such are still a "servant", and as a disciplined servant have been lavishly exposed to plunder by explicit and often expressed divine design, from Leviticus 26 on.

Since it is undoubtedly His own removal of the divine shield to the covenant forsakers, which led to these disasters for this people, it is clear that He is making obvious one simple fact: HE acted in discipline, and it was NOT the power of the enemy which accomplished it. At HIS will and discretion, in HIS time, He will use the same power that instituted the nation (cf. Micah 7:15), to deliver it; the same resolution which left it in just rebuke, to bring it back, so making the nations look to their own foolish pride and imagination and forcing them to face this fact: GOD did it and GOD will restore it. HE took away and HE will restore, AS He will. It is HIS affair; and so, not quite so incidentally, are the sins of those who plundered what He disciplined! (Cf. Ezekiel 36:15, 37:28).

What then ? THIS: "All flesh shall know
That I, the LORD, am your Saviour,
And your Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob"  -
just as in Deuteronomy 32 we find that the Lord proceeds to "raise My hand to heaven,
And say, 'As I live forever,
If I whet My glittering sword,
And My hand takes hold on judgment,
I will render vengeance to My enemies..."

Then the Gentiles are asked to "rejoice... with His people...

He will provide atonement for His land and His people" - Deut. 32:43, precisely as inscribed in the detailed words of Zechariah 12:10ff.. It is then that the Redeemer, fulfilled in the Messiah in His works, is recognised, so that the faithfulness of God leads now to the faith perception of a changed people, who in large numbers receive the crucified, the pierced Messiah (as in Psalm 22, Isaiah 53) as Saviour, and wash in the fountain of blood which becomes to faith available (Zechariah 13:1ff), when the significance of their former  folly leads to repentance, repentance to life.

Now let us note further that God confirms, in Isaiah 42:25, the grounds of special, specific, historic anger on this servant people, who have had to be replaced by MY SERVANT, in WHOM MY SOUL DELIGHTS (Isaiah 42:1). Indeed, the Lord stressed in 41:26ff., the entire absence of anyone else whatsoever to fulfil the role of Saviour being unfolded at once thereafter, as in Isaiah 42, and reflected in 49 and 52-53 (cf. 51:18ff.).

Thus is the Jewish nation, located by divine restitution and grace once more in its land made desolate for their sins, which led to this "servant" being so plundered, and this "servant" being so blind. In this, it has been wholly unlike any other, for there are no others who have been as a nation in this position, and then being repudiated, have remained to be called a servant, and blind simultaneously! Gentile unbelievers have not the historic preliminaries, and so it is indeed to Jacob, as He says, that the Lord speaks.

He means what He says, and the covenantally unqualified promise is confirmed, both in its express statement and its sublime spiritual significance. GOD ALWAYS carries out His resolutions, duly set down and inscribed is His word.
By all means have fear about the sun rising tomorrow (cf. Jeremiah 33's promise of continuation of what is in view, Israel the nation); but never doubt this, that God is so honourable that it is a sweet rejoicing of the heart to behold it. HE IS TRUTH, as well as the way and the life for us who know Him; and there is no other for those who don't!


In Isaiah 49, the next major focus on the Messiah, we see these things, not unexpectedly, extended. Again we see the Messiah in 49:1-9, with all the wonder of His being, facing the desolatory task assigned in its cost-effective ransoming aspect (49:4), as  when He cried as in Psalm 22, "My God, my God why hast Thou forsaken Me!" as sin hit (Isaiah 53:6 cf. Joyful Jottings 21, 22, 25), and the necessary sense of separation accrued (Isaiah 66:1-2).

Here, He cries, as with the bleak experience of the gaunt and unhallowed weight of sin coming to Him as assigned: "I have laboured in vain,
I have spent My strength for nothing and in vain.
Yet surely My just reward is with the LORD,
And my work with my God."

His "reward" is the multitude of children whom He redeemed, for though He lacked His own, in this He gains more, even from every tribe and nation. His NAME attests who and of whom He is, God in fleshly format (as in Philippians 2:1-10); and in this name has He exalted His Father who has exalted His Son.

With this immense payment of God the Sent (Isaiah 48:16), there is a magnification of the dimensions of the task: not as if it were suddenly thought of, but the weight of accomplishment by the Messiah, makes it now apt to expose this facet in the 8th. century B.C. prophecy, concerning His exalted mission, framed in ignominy, fulfilled in glory (cf. Luke 24:25-26).  Now we find this:

"Indeed He says, 'It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant
To raise up the tribes of Jacob,
And to restore the preserved ones of Israel.
I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles,
That You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth' " -
Isaiah 49:6, cf. Biblical Blessings, Appendix 1, esp. End-note 1.

With this augmentation of role for the Messiah, we find nevertheless the original sustained, to restore the preserved of Israel - for many fell, and raise up the tribes of Jacob. In the process, as already seen in Isaiah 42:10ff., we have this amazing phenomenon of the blind servant, in total contrast to the effectual one, who so far from being blind, IS the light!

  • Nevertheless, then, the love of God is not quenched, and to this sinning people,

and He declares:

  • See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands,
  • Your walls are continually before Me.
  • Your sons shall make haste;
  • Your destroyers and those who laid you waste
  • Shall go away from you" - Isaiah 49:16-17.

So we see the walls of the spent nation, the disciplined, blind servant, as a divine focus as He restores the people from their destroyers, who had reduced the prior magnificence of their servant post, to this desolation. This, it is  a thing true of no other people, as a nation, and the just opposite of Gentiles, themselves lacking any magnificence or post of past divine relationship; and here He is, performing this noble task, as becomes Him, with one amazingly and almost immeasurable one to be added! That ? The Gentiles, to be their light also.

It is not the world or the church, or Britain or Panama, it is not in the Himalayas or in Ireland, or in some South American place once patronisingly thought of for the "Jews", those wanderers, those dispossessed, those plundered and robbed, that people served with contempt by so many for so long, extending into the Middle Ages and well beyond,  Hitler himself,  a mere consummation. It is not another than those for whom so many have been assassins, and so many have THIEVED.

It is Israel the nation, to be restored, the perfect who is blind, the ex-grandee who is robbed, the servant who does not serve.

But wait! "For your waste and desolate places,
And the land of your destruction.
Will even now be too small for the inhabitants,
And those who swallowed you up will be far away.
The children you will have
After you have lost the others,
Will say again in your ears,
'The place is too small for me:
Give me a place where I may dwell' " -

just as if it were said by the hundreds of thousands reputedly demonstrated in Israel and Jerusalem. And what did they want, that they so demonstrated ? This:  that they did NOT WANT ARAB CONTROL of the Mount, and this was their concern, in parallel with those Israelis who for long and loudly have proclaimed, Enough! in the give-away mission of the rulers of Israel, seen so often of late. But this Israel, this restored nation, this suddenly reborn nation, they are indeed being crammed into the forsaken nation, to what the Lord calls so exactly, "the land of your destruction". It is there, not in heavenly places, that the action is to occur, it is here rather than in some spiritual condition, that the restoration statedly occurs, with battle, not balm, with blood, not choral items. It has been ghastly, but this is the prediction. It has happened as forecast. Sin involves costs to many, and when there is also redemption, this is even greater.

Thus it is to the land of their desolation, that they come, are returned by the resolution and faithfulness of the Lord, back to the site of the destroyed Jerusalem and the place from which went an exiled Judah and little Benjamin, and even in greater tragedy, aggravated after the murder of the Messiah, in a real saga of suffering, that nation. The suffering as itemised in kind in Leviticus 26, Deuteronomy 32, with the clinical precision of a syndrome, addressed by the doctor, when diagnosed: it has come. The return has come. The nations in their turbulence have come; and the intervention by the Lord as so often predicted, both has come and is to come. But listen, to the recording in advance of the nation, Israel, on its restoration, phase 1 (see earlier chapters) ...

Then indeed, "You will say in your heart,
'Who has begotten these for me,
Since I have lost my children and am desolate,
A captive, and wandering to and fro?
Who has brought these up?
There I was, let alone;
But these, where were they?' " (from Isaiah 49:21).

In verse 23, we find the international actions which helped this staggering result of the murdered crush of Jews, yet yielding a nation so crammed. KINGS were to have helped; and how the British Government has helped since 1917 right up to the World War II time; and how Germany repaid in reparations, and how Nixon helped in 1973 with an incredible largesse of aid to the beleaguered Jewish people, with a SHUTTLE OF ENORMOUS SCOPE, through monster US cargo planes, constantly equipping and re-equipping the Israeli armies until they, in dashing bravado and initiative, drove the Holy Day attack of the Arabs back, with their allies, beyond Suez and surrounded and Egyptian Army on the FAR SIDE of that body of water!

Yes it is fulfilled.

  • "Shall the prey be taken from the mighty,

Or the captives of the righteous be delivered ?
But thus says the LORD:
'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 contend with you,
And I will save your children.
I will feed those who oppress you with their own flesh,
And they shall be drunk with their own blood as with sweet wine.
All flesh shall know that I, the LORD, am your Saviour,
And your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob."

There is, as often noted on this site, MUCH MORE to come. But this much has in large part already happened, with just that zeal and bloodshed stated so pithily, pointedly and didactically by the Great Teacher, the LORD Himself.

HOW GERMANY suffered for the sins of her false and foolish government of World War II, and what German blood was shed for these follies. How USSR was bled in WWII, also as she was prepared for the eventual liberation of great numbers of Jews from her once entrapping midst! What developments have liberalised the Russian ways, to this end! How nations like France have suffered humiliation for their treatment under Louis XIV and others, of the Jews, in ways Hosmer points out in his story of the Jews. The Lord knows well how to repay, as He declares so, roundly (Deuteronomy 32:41).

Thus have the captives of the mighty been restored amid widespread bloodshed, and thus has the "land of your destruction", the very site on which they former grandeur of this 'blind servant' was so desolated, causing grief all but unspeakable to the rebelling people, the Jewish nation, thus has it become a source of concern for land sufficient for its returning sons.



with substantial references from Isaiah 40-55

(ex 44,46,47,54) and
2, 9, 10, 30, 35


From Spiritual Refreshings for the Digital Millenium, Chapter 15 -



The Explanation of Families, the Family of God,
the Criterion of Love, the Meaning of Life,
the Key of Destiny, the Refreshing of Life,
the Avenue of Eternity: in
Jesus Christ the Righteous (Acts 3:14-15)

WHAT is the meaning of this! thunders the Headmaster! What indeed is the meaning of anything ? might reply the cheeky child of today.

Christ is the ONLY meaning of anything.

What of God the Father ? HE it is who GIVES Christ as the meaning, and none other is.

WHY should He do so ?

It is simply this: that Christ IS that meaning. In the beginning as the everlasting WORD of God, He was, as He is, the expression towards the outward things, of the inner things. He is the face of the magnificence of God, the declaration of His will, His covenant (Isaiah 42:6, Matthew 26:28,42), made with His blood, His life poured out for sin, because it was

1) without sin of its own
2) freely made available and
3) adequate for any without limit, the infinite for the finite.

If it was equally LIMITED to those who received Him, that is still no limit on the love, since the reception of deception instead of direction, of unbelief instead of correction, of delusion instead of deliverance, this is limit not on the love, but on its application. And what IS that limit ? THIS is their condemnation, that light has come into the world (described in great detail in John 1-2) and men have preferred darkness to light.
The WORLD has been loved, has been lost and only a selection is to be found.

But let us return to our cheeky child. That MEANING, we might tell him/her, is this: that God is no isolate, but exists as an inner Being and an expression, an outer declaration. We mirror that, being in His image.

He also exists as the Holy Spirit, and we too have a spirit, which decides whether to rebel or to realise, to hope or to fume in the follies of rebelliousness of mind, stubbornness of heart and grandeur of self-imaginings, whether because we are exalted, and want to be proud, or depressed, and strive to be re-assured in our own impoverished little selves.

The tenderness of fathers to children, derives from the tenderness of God to His word, who incarnated by a direct act equivalent to procreation, through Mary (God does not NEED to use the means, since He made them and knows their meaning and ways), in the virgin birth. AS Father of Christ, He declares that Christ is His ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, and the word of God declares this with clarity that excels in Luke 2:35.

What then DOES the angel say to Mary ? This: "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you: THEREFORE also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called he Son of God" - Luke 2:35. Note the ADDED emphasis. It is BECAUSE of this act of originating the embryo, that the Son will be the name of the Father who begot Him! That is WHY He bears this title, Son of God.

The Church does not require us to believe it, says William Barclay. WHICH church! The ONLY church which is the Christian Church (cf. Refreshings Ch. 8) is the one which declares what GOD has declared, hence receives the BIBLE as His utterance, His SON as His only begotten and His sovereignty as final. Any 'other' church merely preaches some other gospel, or has some other spirit or has some other Jesus, NOT so begotten (II Corinthians 11:4ff.).

If YOU were begotten by James Smith, then someone of whom we need not affirm that, is NOT YOU! Now another Jesus is the production of false apostles, Paul declares in II Corinthians 11. Anyone who wants one, can have one, with the little football dolls and the striped hats of parties. Anyone who wants God cannot have one. God's children follow God's ways. The church which is the church of God is the pillar and ground of the truth, like a candlestick HOLDING UP the light of life, not extinguishing it by hiding it under a 'bushel' as Christ put it!

It is quite vital to realise WHO Jesus the Christ IS. HOW can you believe in Him if you do not know who He is!


The Christ was SENT INTO the world (I John 4:9). He was OUT of the world before that (John 17:1-3), in the glory of His Father. He CAME INTO the world IN THE FLESH (I John 4:3) to be the SAVIOUR (I John 4:14) BECAUSE GOD SO  LOVED the world (John 3:16). Having come, He LOVED HIS OWN to the end (John 13:1ff.), served them and saved them (Titus 3:5, Ephesians 2:8), having foreknown who they would be (Ephesians 1:4), and indeed having in His own love, predestinated them to this very thing. As HE IS LOVE (I John 4:8) and HENCE became a propitiation for the sins of those who receive Him as He is (John 4:23, I John 4:10), this ALSO He did in love, not willing that any should perish (I Timothy 2:1-3). While the SCOPE of His offering is as wide as the world, the EFFECTIVENESS and REALISATION of it is as narrow as those who believe, for no PAYMENT of redemption is made where there is no acceptance of the same.

This LOVE, this tenderness, this solicitude, this concern, this willingness to do what it takes to secure the deliverance from the oppressions of delusion and confusion, the profusion of folly and the intrusion of damnation (the ultimate damage) is the very heart of God (Psalm 102:18-21, Isaiah 61:1-3). You see it in Isaiah 42:1ff., where the DELIGHT of the Father in the Son is declared, as indeed, it was when Christ actually DID at length in the predicted time, come to earth. Then it was audibly announced from heaven, and that not only once! (Matthew 3:16-17,17:5). Then, as John shows, His Father's willingness was likewise declared, even as He approached the DEATH OF REJECTION AND MORTAL CONTEMPT at the hands of the rabble (John 11:48), even if it was a ruling rabble: the will of the Father as of the Son, in love for the lost (Isaiah 53:10), like the violent desire of the rabble, yet opposite in kind, was quite clear and direct (cf. Luke 22:42ff.). Nothing was withheld that salvation demanded!

WITHIN the Godhead there is this mutual delight, this cohesion of beauty, this conclave of wonder, and it is beyond all that we conceive, for here is no combination of parts, but the infinite intimacy of what comprises the Godhead, three persons; for God is a SPIRIT and space is not a criterion, but a creation! How foolish are those misled and confused physicists who imagine that space is a criterion. It is a mere stage. Fancy seeing a play and studying the exact configuration of the nails in the platform and stage trappings, when the PURPOSE is the play.

Hence OUTSIDE the Godhead, when God makes His will known, there is this same love, this same (but now created and hence merely IMAGED sense of a unity) as is seen

1) in our mind, body and spirit capacity for mutuality,  and

2) in our families and

3) in our friendships and

4) in our societies of choice, in some degree, at their best. Indeed, it spreads out like a flowing stream (Isaiah 58:6-10, 13ff.), as it moves in the path of His revealed and revealing kindness. God, being uncreated, does not vary as do those who are made; for the elements are His, and the knowledge is HIS, and what He would be He is, and what He would not be, He is not, and what He would become, He is, and what He would have become, He did, and where He is to go is where He is.

As He says, when Moses asks, "... when I come to the children of Israel and tell them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they say to me, 'What is His name?' what shall I tell them?" - "I AM WHO I AM.. Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.' " This is found in Exodus 3:13-14. Thus Christ declared (John 8:58), "Before Abraham was, I AM!" It is NOT just that He happened to mention Abraham here, but since the setting is Jewish, He is saying that HE pre-dated the initiation of the very nation of Israel, the first call of the first patriarch, and He is adding something equally important.
BEFORE Abraham CAME TO BE, He had a style of existence in which what we know as TIME DID NOT FIGURE. Past and present, future and the whole matrix and web of time were no constraint on Him or His mode of existence. Through this created thing called time (Romans 8:38-39 makes it clear that it IS created) and beyond it, as sovereign over all, creator of all, was the Being who as Christ came into the world, the one who simply can say, I AM; before this or that, I AM; when this or that comes, I AM.

It is so simple. A novelist does not say to a character in her/his book, I was around when you were doing that. The author/authoress is PRIOR in kind. The SORT of time which eventuates in the book was WRITTEN, created by the writer. Outside of it, the creator of the book is not enmeshed in its toils (except perhaps it were an autobiography) or limited by its turmoils; not in creative writing.

How much more the creator of the universe.

But IN THIS UNIVERSE there is the opportunity for love and tenderness and peace and unity which ONLY GOD has. It is derivative for us; integral, intrinsic for Him. If HE did not have it, there would be no source. SINCE He has it, this IS the source. WHERE the source is cut off by unbelief, there is the gap, the awful, the atrocious gap, the source of all atrocity, whether done with gentlemanly graces of externals, or with slicing scimitar. The end, the objective, the heart it is which matters (cf. I Timothy 1:5), and there is the source and criterion of all atrocity. It may be invaded by the antagonist of the universe, the autocrat of unholiness, flinging his tinny tinsel about as if its glitters and glamour were anything but deceit, deception and confusion of the issue. It may be expanded by egotism, pride, hatred and contempt. If the love of GOD is not in the heart, then that lifeless instrument of life is merely a place for categorisation of the lack: as in vitamin deficiency of the spirit. It is however far more serious.


Since GOD IS LOVE and GOD IS LIFE'S SOURCE, the absence of God, self-defined, self-declared BY HIS ETERNAL WORD, is the absence of life. The result may be like a vine branch recently cut off, or like one long scorched; but it has no life. Its derivative biological life may continue, but its living condition is defunct. Corpses without tags, bodies without funerals, they continue, and their hearts are proud, or spiteful or grievously afflicted with egotism, desire, some delirium of conception, some poised hope for recognition at last because of their empty selves, as though debt were credit, and absence were presence; and so they hope to evade hell.

But hell is no mere penalty. It is the recognition of the CONDITION. It is the passport's end, which is called unbelief, it is the destiny of category, it is the empty shell for the empty husk to call its own. It is the cover of the uncovered, the exposure of ignominy far worse in this, that it is WILLINGLY deserved, NOT through some deprivation, but through persevering rejection of that God who is the I AM, who IS love; and hence through the rejection of love, uncreated love, in favour of some sentiment, affection, affectation or desire. It is the end of justice deferred (cf. II Peter 3:9), and the exclusion of mercy (cf. Matthew 7:21ff.). Its name rots, and its contents are as its name (Mark 9).

There is no INSINCERITY in God. If you are His, so then you are; and if you are not, then no pretence or substitution is possible. You CANNOT worship what is NOT God and get away with it, as if to ask the Government department on spiritual returns to make some sort of correction. It is YOU who must make the correction through REPENTANCE WHICH IS REAL, corresponds to reality, and hence accepts the TRUTH of God where it may be found, in HIS WORD, His eternal word, His son, His Only-Begotten Son, whom He sent INTO the world, from the glory He hitherto had enjoyed with His Father. Into this world He came, we read (Philippians 2) by a CHANGE OF FORM.

He did not cease to be, who IS ETERNAL, the I AM, but He changed His form. In heaven, EQUAL with God, this WORD, this eternal light (Revelation 21:23, John 3:3-13, 12:35-36,47-50, 9:5), shines as He has shone, for ever (Micah 5:1-3). "His GOINGS FORTH are FROM EVERLASTING." His proceedings are not limited to, or in time. Time is His and He made (Romans 8:38); and without HIM was NOTHING made that is of the made category (John 1:1-3). NAME IT! If it is made, He made it. HE is not made, for He could not have made Himself, being not there: the CLASS of being, "made", is exclusively and totally HIS production. He is the word who WAS WITH GOD AND WHO WAS GOD.

The Jehovah's Witness folly, that there is more than one God

(for there is ONLY ONE CREATOR by definition in Isaiah 45:18-19, 44:25-26, 43:10, 40:11-14, 45:5, 21-25, re both el and elohim, and it is He who is also the ONLY Saviour and the EXPLICIT speaker, and there is no god formed before or after - this is explicit, so that any other being allegedly co-creating is another God, a polytheistic implication, and an affront to the truth, both logical - SMR Ch.1 - and Biblical),

in the face of Ephesians 4:4 not to mention the entirety of the Bible including the ten commandments

is so ludicrous that it is a marvel any can stand without blushing in such manifest and total contradiction of the Bible, which is professed as if believed!

The "gods" who have NOT made heaven and earth are mere pretences and pretensions (Jeremiah 10:11) who will perish, as God says so dramatically in Ezekiel 28:9 and Psalm 82. You may SAY you are gods, but you will DIE like men! He declares with unremitting and scathing irony. Gods! there is ONE who counts, who made all,  who is everlasting. The rest are the inventions of the heart of men, or the excrescences of heaven, like dispossessed Satan (Revelation 12), removed even from the purlieus of heaven because ...  though created, he rebelled; though in heavenly places, he fell; though given glory, he demitted. But even he, he was not GOD, he did not create, except for his rebellion, he created that! for there is ONLY ONE. THIS ONE is what the Bible affirms is the CREATOR of all that is, the Christ, one of that trinity of persons who comprise God, one God, one Being. It is ONE FOR ALL, and all must come to the One.. For there is ONE CREATOR ONLY (Isaiah 45:18). "There is no other," He there declares.

The category : creator but not God, when it comes to the universe, has ZERO occupants.

As to those who believe in any such being, such a fabricated nonentity in such a category, they are worshipping the god of their own creation, which cannot save them, since he is no God!

THAT is precisely what Israel did, they worshipped "that which IS NOT GOD"! and God so declares. They invented, they lamented, they spewed out gods, and they worshipped them in vain, like silly kids who do not know the difference between pantomime and reality (Deuteronomy 32:17-21). This is like those who perpetually want what they are not, to do what they cannot, and hence fail to be what they might be, or do as they ought. It is illusion and a profusion of confusion, a severance from reality, the more awful in this, that reality, God, who has fathered time and creation, is so very wonderful. Truth is illustrious, glorious; and personal. It is hence able to be propositional, revelatory and realised.


It is necessary to live in the truth, according to it and to face it in all things.
The alternative is not to trifle, to hire a lawyer or to engage in a talk-fest! It is hell.

That, quite simply, is where it belongs: it CANNOT of necessity belong where truth rules (Revelation 21:4-8). Sorrow goes, but so do lies, when heaven is in view.

Now Christ is the key, He is the fresh showers upon the mown grass that gives it light, upon the grass to be mown, which gives to it beauty and fulness (Psalm 72). His is the UTTERANCE, the DECLARATION, the REVELATION and the OUTGOING of God. HE it is who is sent after the glory (Zechariah 2:8), and it is HE who says,

"From the time that it was, I was there,
And now the Lord God and His Spirit
Have sent Me!" (Isaiah 48:16).

Without Him (Isaiah 51:6, in context 50:4-5, 49:3 -

"an Israel in whom I will be glorified" (Israel = prince with God),
the One who DID it, and did not fail, for His people, being likewise
"a light for the Gentiles" (Isaiah 49:6), though rejected by the nation (49:7),
the One who in Himself was THE COVENANT (Isaiah 42:6), and
on whom was laid the iniquity of all who were to be healed,
who had believed the report of Him (Isaiah 53:1 - still the issue!): as in Isaiah 53:3-6 ...


This is not too dramatic. As Isaiah 51:6 makes clear, this effective Israel, this One who took it, did it and make it happen, this Christ, this Prince of Peace of whose kingdom there would be no end (Isaiah 9:7), this one who could be named 'everlasting Father', but who at the same time was the earthly Prince on whose shoulder the government would by divine decree, interminably be placed, this One whose name included the very matrix of deity specifications, in nomenclature, WONDERFUL, COUNSELLOR, THE MIGHTY GOD (as in 10:21), this everlasting WORD of GOD, this brilliance of His glory: He was crucial to all. WITHOUT HIM ? Nullity and straggling segments of the disjointed, embroiled in a horrid ruin.

But with HIM ?
God explicitly states (Isaiah 51:16):

"And I have put My words in Your  mouth:
I have covered You with the shadow of My hand,
That I may plant the heavens,
Lay the foundations of the earth,
And say to Zion, 'You are My people!"

Here is the "Mine elect in whom My soul delights" (Isaiah 42:1), the sinless substitute of Isaiah 53:10-12,6, the enabler, the doer of the works (42:3ff.); and it is ONLY BECAUSE GOD has put in the MOUTH of His Son, His words (as reflected in John 12:48-50, cf. John 10:30-33) that the HEAVENS WERE PLANTED, OR 'THE FOUNDATIONS OF THE EARTH' LAID (Isaiah 51:16).

Thus in Isaiah 49:6, we read of this same Messiah:

"And He has made My mouth like a sharp sword:
In the shadow of His hand He has hidden Me,
And made Me a polished shaft,
In His quiver He has hidden Me."

It is HE who is to be as a covenant to the people (Isaiah 49:8, cf. 42:6).
It is only through Him, that this plan of salvation being operable, God says to Zion, "You are My people!" (Isaiah 51:16 cf. Hosea 13:14 with Hosea 14, in the parable of the life of Hosea). Here is the One who stands out of Israel, beyond Israel, for Israel*1A, or more especially, for those who believe in Him. Thus in Isaiah 51:20, we see the sons of Israel are all fallen. "BY WHOM WILL I COMFORT YOU ?" the Lord dramatically asks, only to answer, soon, clearly, decisively (Isaiah 52-53). THEY, Israel and her sons, they are sold FOR NOTHING (Isaiah 52:3); full of the fury of the Lord, they are weak, pathetic, powerless; nevertheless they may arise…

WHY is this so ? How can such a transformation occur when the means so entirely lack, as so repeatedly insisted! It is because of the beauty of the feet upon the mountains (Isaiah 52:7), which carry those who "proclaim salvation". Where ? How ? By whom ? we naturally ask. In 52:13 we find the quite astounding answer: It is by MY SERVANT, who shall "be exalted"  - and so far, this fact is not astonishing. It is by this one, "You are My servant, an Israel in whom I will be glorified," this single, and singular star of the morning, in the starkest possible contrast to the repeated estimates and judgments on the degraded state of the nation! Far from sin, He was able to become the sin bearer; without sin, He was the Saviour; from God He performed as deity alone can do (Isaiah 40:10-11,25).

But then ? Yes we follow the exaltation of such a contradistinct person, with such an advent (as in Isaiah 40:1-10), with peaceable equanimity; but consider what allows! This:

"Just as many as were astonished at you,
So His visage was marred more than any man,
And His form more than the sons of men:
So shall He sprinkle many nations… WHO HAS BELIEVED OUR REPORT ? …"

and so it moves on into Isaiah 53, and the Saviour, the substitutionary sacrifice for sin, the alive and triumphant overcomer of death, indeed of murder.

TO HIM, this NOTHING (as in Daniel 9:26 - "there is nothing for Him"), so that to man might be something, might indeed be in fellowship with God. By this Christ,  the abuse is abused, the death is dismissed, life in its liberality accounting triumphantly but vicariously, for the doom of deserved death in its destruction (as Hosea 13:14, I Corinthians 15:53-58 declare with the eloquence of a loving realism, the immortal words of Him who alone has immortality, but confers eternal life to whom He will, and is most willing).

He accordingly, is this way, and He made it; but it is a way to be travelled, a highway to be entered (Isaiah 55:1-6, 35:8).

Already, we have been introduced to Him, just before,  in Isaiah 50:4-8 indeed in amazing circumstances, where His resolve and purity when under mordant assault are focussed, and of course He appears in Isaiah 40:10, 42 and 49, at length.

Thus we have learned and re-learned that Israel the nation, they fail (41:27ff., 51:19ff. - indeed right from Ch.1); but here is AN Israel (49:3) who will NOT "fail or be discouraged" (42:4) "till He has established justice in the earth; and the coastlands will wait for His law." Without THIS Israel, this replacement, this Saviour from heaven, Israel all and altogether would be defunct. ONLY because of Him, has history been unleashed! - for as with Israel itself, so with the Gentile nations, He who comes for the one, comes also for the other. Rejected by the first (Isaiah 49:7), He is received by many in the second, until the time come (Zechariah 12:10), and Israel repents of this murder, and cries in anguish of soul, with profound mourning, for "they shall look upon ME whom they have pierced," the Lord declares.

It was because of this provision of THIS servant, THIS, "mine elect", that history was ever unleashed! That is what we learn in 51:16 in context (with 50:4ff. for example, and 49:1-6). Let us hear it:

"And I have put My words in your mouth, and I have covered you in the shadow of My hand, that I may plant the heavens, and lay the foundation of the earth, and say to Zion, You are My people."

It is just as in Revelation 5:1-7, when history cannot be unscrolled until the Lamb seizing the plan, enables its execution!

As in David, so in Isaiah, the word can turn from the needy sinner to the necessary Saviour, from sin’s need, to sin bearer (cf. Psalm 40:1-5, then 40:6). The reason is clear: it is through man, God in this format, that man is able to be saved. It is through, specifically, AN Israel, or prevailing Prince,  or Prince of God, who is in the format of a man, but without sin, and sent from heaven, with the throne of God His own (Psalm 45), that anything can be done; and it is only BECAUSE the plan is secure, that the creation was performed!

Here is the crux in creation,
of salvation, prepared beforehand in the plan for the universe (cf. Ephesians 1:4),
known from the first, executed to the last!
His death was not for His own sin, but

"for the transgression of My people was He smitten",
"Surely He has borne our griefs";
but wrongly: many having considered Him
"smitten of God and afflicted",
even though it is written,
"But He was wounded for our transgressions".

This they did, rejecting Him in unbelief, then as now:
for the nation of the Jews, however, as for the new nations of the Gentiles,
where it becomes both de rigueur and a terminal rigor of the dismissive soul that does so.
Blessed are those who repent (Luke 13:1-3, Hebrews 2:3,12:25).

Let us hear a little of these words in Hebrews:

"See that you do not refuse Him who speaks.
For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth,
much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven: Whose voice then shook the earth {in the Exodus and following events};
but now He has promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only,
but also heaven."

Again we read:

"How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation" - in 2:3.




The matter may be seen in a developmental manner. Thus Israel the nation was chosen to show forth the praises of the Lord (Isaiah 43:21), but their performance became so appalling in this regard, that they were deemed ‘blind’ in an exemplary way: "Who is blind but My servant!" (Isaiah 42:19). Nor is this merely a passing phase: "Seeing many things, but you do not observe; opening his ears, but he does not hear…"  Indeed, in Isaiah 30 we read the categorical judgment on the nation: "For it is a rebellious people, lying children , children who will not hear the law of the LORD.." (Isaiah 30:9). Indeed, the prophet is required to write this: "Now go, write it before them on a tablet, and inscribe it in a  book, that it may be for the time to come for ever and ever."

That ? It is in the verse preceding the judgment: "It is a rebellious people…"!

Hence there was needed one who WOULD BE ABLE to act because HE was altogether delightful to the Lord, who would be Saviour (Isaiah 53) because He had done no violence, because there was no deceit in His mouth, because His was no case of required discipline, but perfection without blemish able to be thought of as guilty, but in fact taking the vicarious punishment of the straying Israel, even all who would believe (Isaiah 53:1, 4-6). This is made clear in terms of contrast in Isaiah 41:27-42:1,6). With all of Israel unable to produce any counsellor or deliverer from the sins which brought blindness and the rebellion which ruined them (as also in Isaiah 51:20, 52:110,13), the Lord would send His own wholly different ‘servant’ who would both BE the covenant and BE the light (Isaiah 42:6, 49:6), even to the Gentiles, though the Lord gives His glory to NONE OTHER (Isaiah 42:8).

This it was in the first instance Israel which was to receive the WORDS which God planted (as in Isaiah 51:16); but it did not keep them. Hence the movement (Isaiah 49:3) to this wholly pure One, to be Saviour from sin (though God ONLY is this - Isaiah 43:10), who would call the ELECT from Israel as one above them, and operative in His contradistinct power to deliver them: there being NO OTHER SAVIOUR as He says in this context. Israel is HOPELESS for even being obedient, He declares, but THIS pure servant will be EFFECTUAL even for bearing the sin of the repentant, who tremble at His word (Isaiah 66:1-4, cf. Psalm 49:7,15). While man CANNOT redeem, this God as man, will do just that!

Hence the word of God is planted (Isaiah 49:2,6) in the mouth of THIS, ‘My servant’ in contradistinction to Israel, and to mere man altogether (from whom we are to ‘cease’ - Isaiah 2:22, the race and the individual, none being able to stand before the fire of His glory, Isaiah 2:11-21): for "the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day", as He says. ONLY THUS could creation occur at all (Isaiah 51:16).

It is in the mouth of THIS walking Covenant, God inscribed as man, the eternal word made flesh (Micah 5:1-3, Isaiah 42:6, 55:4) that God puts His words, making that mouth like a sharp sword (Isaiah 49:2), hiding Him in the shadow of His hand. It is THIS EFFECTUAL SERVANT who makes the earth makeable, who makes history possible, without whom there could be no creation! (51:6).





Grand Biblical Perspectives

with specific reference to Isaiah 48-49 and the progression to 50-55


On this topic, see also:







In Chapter 8, we were looking at Isaiah 48:16 and its triune wonder
as God comes to do His great, His remarkable and strange work for man;
but strange though it is to carnal ears,
it is shining with the light of eternal splendour
to those who realise, at last, the way, will and wisdom of God.


Indeed, this declaration of 48:16, that God is moving from heaven to earth for a task to be performed, sent by God and His Spirit, is not only trinitarian. It shows the mode of relationship, just as does John 15:26, with 16:5ff., 14:25ff. and especially 16:7.

There we find that on Christ's DEPARTURE from this earth, then the Spirit of God will continue the application of His power in His name. It is expedient that He at the completion of His incisive, sacrificial work and demonstration, should depart so that the Spirit of God more broadly and most intimately should continue His work. It is this which Acts 1:1 reflects, and Acts 2ff. illustrates, just as Christ in Luke 24:49 implied.

In this context of Isaiah, it is well to ponder its depth and purport.

Thus, the Lord, having shown the coming ruin of Babylon, in Isaiah 47, in 48 asks Jacob to listen as He makes a personalised address of some length. Challenging them because of their unbelief, despite His unique and demonstrated power to show what is to come, and then do it, stating "I have declared the former things," God tells them that new things are to be told them, which were not in this depth and scope before known, so that there is no chance for them to pretend "Of course I knew them," in that know-all and idolatrous lapse for which Israel was so noted, so often.

For His own name's sake, in accord with His mercy, pity and truth, God then opens the books and tells Israel what is to be, and what deliverance He is about to unveil.

LISTEN! He says (48:12), and setting the perspective, that He has founded heaven and earth, He declares that He will indeed subdue and demolish Babylon (as in Isaiah 47 just preceding), but He has more than Cyrus in mind (as in Isaiah 44-45).

Now begins a lament and exhortation combined of the most moving and heartfelt kind. There is a way, the Lord indicates, in which they should go. It is not hidden, obscure but declared and demonstrated. If ONLY they had followed it, what peace and order would have been theirs! But they did not ... (Isaiah 48:17-19).

In speaking thus, the Lord makes a stupendous revelation about His name and way. It is to this that we next must give attention

Continuing to speak and demand as God their attention, He says this:


"Come near to Me, hear this. I have not spoken in secret from the beginning:
from the time that it was, I was there.
And now the Lord God and His Spirit have sent Me."

He continues speaking as "the LORD, your Redeemer", and "the Holy One of Israel."

While Babylon is about to receive her recompense for the assault on Israel Isaiah (48:14), as in Isaiah 47, yet God has a deeper message, for which He asks them to come near, listening intently.

Thus not only has God poured scorn on idols, including pomposity and self-belief (Isaiah 48:5,7), but He has differentiated Himself in the whole realm of history and His long association with Israel, from ALL that is not God, pursuing it back to the creation itself, and insisting multiply on speaking in His name, in the most direct, infinitely discrete and separate fashion from all else. In fact, as has been seen from Deuteronomy 32,  in Ch. 4 and Ch. 5 above, this differentiation from NOT-GOD is fundamental at all times to the word and way of God - just as parents are not to be confused with other children, so God is not to be confused with NOT-GOD! This is a call to the revelation from the first, in order in those very terms, to extend it and divulge what is amazing in the very texture of divine communication for man.

Having brought things to this focus, then, the Lord proceeds with more.

He then divulges as a thing that Israel cannot know, find out or pretend to have discovered in itself, and shows that this is nothing less than what proceeds from Him who is the first and last and the Lord, and that He for His name's sake, thus established in their minds and memories, is about to ACT! In what way is He then to do this ?

Firstly, the generic, the fashion of it is shown and declared. He declares that He has not been a secretive God, and from the first has revealed Himself (Isaiah 48:16). From the first, in all time, all things, He was there, as to the last, He knows and declares, foreseeing what is to be (as in 45:7,19,21,22); and it is He who is their salvation (as in 45:22, 42:6, 49:6).  Having demolished the fraud of idols (46), and shown the fate of powerful and imposing Babylon in its imperial strength brought to the dust (47), He now identifies Himself in this manner, beyond all human thought and ascription, but dependent on revelation alone: this being His very name, mode of being, status and majesty.

Always there, never absent, God from everlasting to everlasting (cf. 45:12, Psalm 90:2, 44:24ff.), without parallel, gives death and shame to pretenders and postulations. It is He now reveals that He is SENT TO ISRAEL, and who is sending Him ? Who is this but  "the Lord God and His Spirit."

As God, God comes: it is precisely as in Psalm 2, 45, where in Him must man trust, even in the Messiah, and where His is the very throne of God. Thus as God, the LORD of Israel, that special name which is His, He is sent from the Lord God and the Spirit which is God also. In this threefold communion, not as synthetic, for that implies a constitution of what was separate and hence something else to do it, or some environment: as this One sent,  He comes.

He acts, and He is sent.

Just as each and all are eternal and all one, so each is able to act in the name of the Being who is God, and who is one. Thus the LORD is sent to them as God.

The ONE speaking to them in Isaiah 48 has throughout been God, and not only so: God as intensively separated from all other beings, situations and powers. He says to listening Israel,

 "I knew that you would deal very treacherously" - 48:8,

and He who so declares, it is "the LORD of hosts", that very one sent.

Yes, this is His name (48:2). In continuing to speak in the first person, in an intensive and extensive concentration and exclusivistic focus, He now indicates that He who has thus revealed Himself and is as He has been, the LORD, is sent by the Lord of hosts and the Spirit. Obviously, then, in God there are specialised functions which are more than items: they are persons! Instead of ruminating within oneself, as in the image of God, as created man may do, with God the movements and actualities are far more profound. God expresses Himself, for His own part, IN a Person, and that person is the LORD who is sent. His expression is not just personalised thoughts or intimations within oneself, it IS the Person who is the Messiah, the Word (as John 1:1 shows). This is precisely as in Isaiah 49:2.

The Spirit of God moves with this as does the Sender. The One sent comes in this communion, with this trinitarian reality as to His very Being. In this way, quite simply, God sends God, the Sende the Sent, the person who sends the person who is sent, beyond man, while man is made to hear and to respond, in His image, but as created. Nothing can duplicate the eternal, being made, but what is made may be made to hear, to respond, to love, to obey, to understand, to participate in the glorious fellowship of this unique, eternal and majestic Being.

Thus we come in the One Sent, to the incarnation of 40:10, where God on earth takes lambs in His arms, and of Zechariah 12:10, where in this format, it is GOD who is pierced, who speaks, precisely as here, as God when in the person of the SENT being, the Messiah. That God should send God, that His Spirit should also be sending the Messiah is merely intimation of the infinite intimacy of God.

Families are one human expression for man in God's image of this fact. With God, however, increate, these intimacies are not ones of generation, as if what had not been comes into being: rather they are personal. The arm of action and the speech of revelation are not just power and words, for there are no created members in God. It is person to person action, at a far more elevated level than function to function as in man; and in this unity of ONE BEING, the THREE persons who comprise Him, move as one, being one in heart, character, nature, but distinguishable in operation and inter-relationship (cf. SMR pp. 532ff.).

That having been made clear, that it is none less than GOD HIMSELF who is to come and act, who is to be this humanly undiscoverable secret, this acme and wonder to be revealed in detail never before known to Israel: then God proceeds from ontology to action. He will act in this COMING which is the obverse of His being SENT.

Demanding action on their part, to leave the premises of Babylon, that religious renegade, dizzy setting for idols and confusion, an empire He has already judged and one soon to be destroyed, lamenting on their earlier wilful and fateful disobediences, the Lord then continues in the first person to indicate the nature of His being as the SENT ONE. He is to have a mother for the earthly format... (Isaiah 49:1).

Thus does Isaiah 49 proceed. From the womb this incarnate SENT one is to be declarative in Being, and from the first as He grows up into youth and manhood, He is to be specially elect, select and secure. In the shadow of the Lord's hand is He hidden, secured, and "He made Me a polished shaft,  in His quiver has He hidden Me." There is thus the profound potentiation for maturity coming in this incarnate being, sent for a specialised purpose to recalcitrant Israel, to deliver them not only in time, but for ever.  However, they must HEAR (cf. John 5:24).

We then find that there is a tragedy, "I have laboured in vain, I have spent My strength for nothing," but that this is only the appearance of horror, for "surely My just reward is with the LORD, and my word with my God."

Here the immense weight of being human (as in Psalm 22:1 echoed in Matthew 27:46) is shown, and that of performing the task for which He is sent! and for all of that, and in terms of who He IS, the Lord is yet inseparable despite anguish and agony, from His celestial identity. If the pangs are of the order of infinity, so is the power to bear them, and overcoming, triumph.

He is formed from the womb, He declares, still in the first person in this sequence and spiritual saga of action and power, grace and deliverance, and His purpose is to bring Jacob, Israel back to Himself, and "My God shall be My strength" - 49:5. Events are evidently exerting on Him a pressure intense and elemental, and what this is, we are to be shown.

Indeed, it is not enough for His purpose to be to redeem Israel, it is to be "as a light to the Gentiles, that You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth."

When it is God who is concerned, this is scarcely surprising, although from the very flood on, there has been a catastrophic element for man in the most manifest manner. It is thus good to hear these comforting and indeed glorious words of divine composure and plan: He no mere observer, nor even a participant alone, but One as SENT, for a time submerged in the smog of the sinners, as He redeems. Yet does the light shine undivestible, amid the gloom, the horror and the ransom procedure (cf. John 1:5), as becomes the One who He is (as in John 1:3, Colossians 1:15, John 8:;58).

This amazing development revealed in Isaiah 49:6,  is from one called  "He",  evidently the One who sent Him, and indicates that the intense unity in heaven is not breached one earth, despite the rigours of the task the LORD has in person undertaken, its horrors and its invasive dynamic as if to delete.

Having shown speech from heaven, the prophet is now inspired to show speech of the target, Israel, in earth. This is found in 49:14ff.. Indeed, now we come to an elemental conversation which interprets and applies the realities into the human field. We look at the body, the recipients, at man.

Israel feels forsaken ? But He has "inscribed you on the palms of My hands." It is as a child, a nursing child to its mother that He is concerning Himself with Israel. He has not forgotten them.

The inscribing on the hands of course is in line with Psalm 22, written around 1000 B.C. by David, in his own prophetic prediction, that His hands and feet are pierced, although He is to be resurrected (Psalm 16). It puts the redeeming medium and the depth of compassion and concern into one glorious unity.

Moving to Isaiah 50, we find an excoriating flash of challenge and exposure from the Lord to Israel, and in this once more the first personal account.

"The Lord GOD has given Me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary. He awakens me morning by morning, He awakens My ear, to hear as the learned."

Thus we are here introduced to more of the incarnation of one person of the trinity, to see how it was that, as would transpire, that He would know more than scholars and be better versed than those who had had all the advantages of the utmost of Jewish culture, when the time came (Luke 2:41ff.). We continue then, with the first personal account of the LORD Himself, as emphatically pre-identified, and now step by step, expressing His revelation in advance, concerning what He is to do. It is like an interview, but before time, with the Victor. We see the pangs on the way!

Thus, if there is majesty and knowledge, learning and understanding beyond all, there is no less suffering beyond all in this mission of majesty and this declaration of deity.

"I gave My back to those who struck Me,
and My cheeks to those who plucked out the beard;
I did not hide My face from shame and spitting."

In this revelation there is thus a new feature in detail. There is to be striking of His very body, and tearing of His beard, yes He is quite simply, to be spat upon. Indeed, the thing is to go far further than this, as we see in Isaiah 52:14, when His visage is to become scarcely recognisable as human, an excellent portrayal of what sin does, shown as He vicariously bore it. Worst of all is to come in Isaiah 53:6, but we anticipate.

Let us return to Isaiah 50:5-10.

This is then used to show that for all who suffer for Him, there is the resource AS MAN, and even within mankind to STAY on your God, and trust in His NAME! This is an example in the meantime.

In Isaiah 51, we learn that "the LORD will comfort Zion," in her day of affliction, and just as Isaiah 49:2 showed the Lord Himself, incarnate, with the divine words put in His mouth for His mission, so here we learn that if this so distinct Being had not been scheduled to come on mission (with His joyful willingness - Psalm 40), the very heavens and earth would not even have been created (Isaiah 51:16, 49:2). "Your sons have fainted" and "they are full of the fury of the LORD, the rebuke of your God."

Yet in the way, God is intent to declare, there is to be a deliverance, and godless nations will know it (Isaiah 51:20,23). The One who has made His mouth like a sharp sword, and hidden Him in His quiver (Isaiah 49:2), who has in Him an Israel, or one prevailing, a prince with God, who unlike the nation, does NOT fail and is NOT awry but true (Isaiah 49:3), here speaks to His Messiah in that intimacy which we have already seen in Isaiah 49:3.

The Person is shown by the notation, the task, the performance, the victory, for by stated definition there is in all Israel, only ONE and He is the Lord Himself, who either can or will do what is necessary, that earth be made, that salvation be ready, that all may proceed to its consummate end in the culmination of the Cross and the climax of the resurrection. Here is the one IN Israel, who is the ONE FOR Israel, by whom alone Israel may become Israel indeed, for in itself, it has failed, and that miserably.

Meanwhile, as in Isaiah 52, we learn this of the nation being addressed, itself in some ways symbolic of all, since all are to have the same salvation, even by name, the Gentiles also (42:6, 49:6):

"You have sold yourself for nothing, and you shall be redeemed without money,"

a fact made explicit after redemption in Isaiah 55, where the folly of seeking relief from any source other than God, who gives it freely, is shown.

What then is this redemption without money ? It has beauty in it: 52:7. How beautiful, indeed, are the very feet of the One who brings good tidings, making clear that God does indeed reign, and that His salvation is to be seen by the very extremities of the earth! (52:10).

We turn now to Isaiah 52:13, the narration of the Sender concerning the Sent:

 "Behold, My servant shall deal prudently;
He shall be exalted and extolled and be very high."

Before however any might imagine that perhaps he misunderstood the suffering just revealed in the first personal narration of the one SENT, we are told something even deeper in the realm of suffering.

"Just as many were astonished at You,
So His visage was marred more than any man,
and His form more than the sons of man."

The Sender is speaking with that glorious intimacy to His Sent one, His servant, the One appointed to do the task of redemption, in terms of many being "astonished at You," as if in a communiqué there is an element of direct speech to the recipient, as when an Official in Whitehall is speaking in official terms of what is to be done, and then turns to speak to the well-known recipient in a more personal manner.

More is told: just as this horror impacted on the Sent One (52:15), so "shall He sprinkle many nations."

At once we see the sacrificial element, for sprinkling with sacrificial blood, as one can see endlessly in Leviticus, in the sense of covering ever so many actions and situations, such even as leprosy, is part of the very life of the nation. It is now not merely Israel, but in parallel with the word of 49:6 (which is the same in essence as that in 42:6), for many nations! In other words, just as the SENT one is to be salvation not only to Israel but to many nations, so here does He sprinkle not just in Israel, but many nations. It is a sacrificial service on which the action becomes centred.

Then in Isaiah 53, the plan of salvation is spelt out in great detail, the poverty of placement of the Saviour, as He grew up on earth towards that maturity in which He would act effectually as Messiah: thus none can claim it was the flesh rather than the incarnation that mattered.

We find this as the service reaches its crescendo:  "Surely He has borne our griefs", so that there is now not an animal death merely, but a sense of burden and investment with human weakness and penalty, on the SENT one. Indeed, "He was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and with His stripes we are healed." Although grief is a strong feature, sin is the centre; and the punishment for it is His lot to bear, indeed its very evil dynamic and awfulness, vicariously.

From prison He comes (53:8), so that we learn there is to be a judicial assault on Him, an incredible seeming thing, since this is the Creator of the heaven and the earth who comes to receive this at the hands of created, merely human agents, whose intense evil dares even in the name of 'religion' so to act! This essentialises the rebellion of centuries, on the part of Israel which was in view, just as departure increasingly from it in the Gentile nations is occurring now. Man does not lightly take the heaviness of his eccentric burden and cast it on the Lord! But let us examine from Isaiah further the work of the SENT one.

No children are His (53:8), and He is indeed to be BURIED! (53:9), and there the historical specifications are given: it is to be in association with both the rich and the criminal element, that He is to be placed in His death, as of course happened, this being an obvious and crucial test, not only in overall and amazing fact, but in detail.

Why is this so ? It was "because He had done no violence, nor was any deceit in His mouth." This means that had He used His power, this would never have been able to reach Him; but He being SENT to DO this, of course He did not use that power to violate His whole purpose, but instead to fulfil it. To use it to deliver Himself ?  that would contravene His whole purpose and mission (as in John 19:36ff., and in accord with His prohibition seen in Matthew 26:52ff.). Christ rejected any thought of armed help, declaring of His coming captivity,

"How then could the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen thus ?"

There is fidelity.

Indeed, there is in all of this just that resonance to which one has earlier much referred: everything resonates, the reality, the phrasing, the history, the actions, the atmosphere, the whole concoction of forecast and actuality, like a body, with all its parts working as one, in place.

It is the body of language of the Lord (cf. Isaiah 34:16, 8:20). It is the work of the Book of the Lord and of the Lord of the Book, the Creator of man, declaring and revealing His deliverance, salvation, redemption and restoration for man. He does it, as the text has greatly emphasised, in COMPLETE CONTRAST and contradistinction to any power, word, idea, philosophy, action or work of mankind! He does it all Himself and on Himself alone must the one who seeks and finds Him, rely (Romans 3:23ff., Ephesians 2:1-10).

NATURALLY, as Isaiah declares from the Lord in 8:20, if people despite this amazing grace and glorious sovereignty, staggering salvation and immense participatory kindness, do not speak in accordance with this, His word (as in Isaiah 48), there is no light in them!

There is, as the text has again and again made clear from Isaiah 44 on, ONE GOD, and no other, and ONE who expresses and is the salvation for man, and who intimates its precise method and substance in great detail many centuries before it happens (cf. Barbs ... 17, TMR Ch. 4). HE is ONE only, His word is HIS only, and His way is ONE only; and how He laments for those who pertinaciously refuse to follow it (Isaiah 49:17ff.)

Now we see, there is accordingly, ONE SALVATION, and this the LORD SENT constitutes! To speak differently: to to turn out the light, the very light of God, and to add to the incredible opacity of not believing all His earlier actions, that of dismissing this ultimately glorious and intimately marvellous divine action in His own name, the very PERSON of God the SENT, being spat on, stripped, condemned and buried, this is the depth of the abyss, an awesome horror, an unspeakable disrelish, the ultimate of shame.

How should any escape if this be ignored! It was enough before, how His word was disregarded or even hypocritically used for ulterior purposes; but this is the ultimate shame and endless disgrace, when such things are bypassed (cf. Hebrews 2:1-4).


So we move in Isaiah 54 to the tender consolations of God to those who come, and  its comforting beauty, before at last we come to Isaiah 55, where God speaks directly to Israel in view of all this, declaring: "Incline your ear and come to Me. Hear, and your soul shall live, and I will make an everlasting covenant with you - the sure mercies of David.

"Indeed I have given Him  a witness to the people, a leader and commander for the people.
Surely you shall call a nation you do not know
and nations who do not know you shall run to you
because of the LORD your God..."

THIS then becomes a mission, as in the early Church with its Jewish constituency and apostles; and it did indeed do just that. Why pay money for what does not profit! He declares. If you have no money, fine, as if seeking water from water sellers but not having means of purchase, "Come buy wine and milk without money and without price."

So is the ransom complete, the message complete, the payment finished, the gift in freedom, requiring only to be accepted (as in John 4).





The matter may be seen in a developmental manner. Thus Israel the nation was chosen to show forth the praises of the Lord (Isaiah 43:21), but their performance became so appalling in this regard, that they were deemed ‘blind’ in an exemplary way: "Who is blind but My servant!" (Isaiah 42:19). Nor is this merely a passing phase: "Seeing many things, but you do not observe; opening the ears, but he does not hear…" 

Indeed, in Isaiah 30 we read the categorical judgment on the nation:

"For it is a rebellious people, lying children ,
children who will not hear the law of the LORD.." (Isaiah 30:9).

Indeed, the prophet is required to write this:

"Now go, write it before them on a tablet, and inscribe it in a  book, that it may be for the time to come for ever and ever."

That ? It is in the verse preceding the judgment: "It is a rebellious people…"!

Hence there was needed one who WOULD BE ABLE to act because HE was altogether delightful to the Lord, who would be Saviour (Isaiah 53) because He had done no violence, because there was no deceit in His mouth, because His was no case of required discipline, but perfection without blemish able to be thought of as guilty, but in fact taking the vicarious punishment of the straying Israel, even all who would believe (Isaiah 53:1, 4-6). This is made clear in terms of contrast in Isaiah 41:27-42:1,6). With all of Israel unable to produce any counsellor or deliverer from the sins which brought blindness and the rebellion which ruined them (as also in Isaiah 51:20, 52:110,13), the Lord would send His own wholly different ‘servant’ who would both BE the covenant and BE the light (Isaiah 42:6, 49:6), even to the Gentiles, though the Lord gives His glory to NONE OTHER (Isaiah 42:8).

This it was in the first instance Israel which was to receive the WORDS which God planted (as in Isaiah 51:16); but it did not keep them. Hence the movement (Isaiah 49:3) to this wholly pure One, to be Saviour from sin (though God ONLY is this - Isaiah 43:10), who would call the ELECT from Israel as one above them, and operative in His contradistinct power to deliver them: there being NO OTHER SAVIOUR as He says in this context. Israel is HOPELESS for even being obedient, He declares, but THIS pure servant will be EFFECTUAL even for bearing the sin of the repentant, who tremble at His word (Isaiah 66:1-4, cf. Psalm 49:7,15). While man CANNOT redeem, this God as man, will do just that!

Hence the word of God is planted (Isaiah 49:2,6) in the mouth of THIS, ‘My servant’ in contradistinction to Israel, and to mere man altogether (from whom we are to ‘cease’ - Isaiah 2:22, the race and the individual, none being able to stand before the fire of His glory, Isaiah 2:11-21): for "the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day", as He says. ONLY THUS could creation occur at all (Isaiah 51:16).

It is in the mouth of THIS walking Covenant, God inscribed as man, the eternal word made flesh (Micah 5:1-3, Isaiah 42:6, 55:4) that God puts His words, making that mouth like a sharp sword (Isaiah 49:2), hiding Him in the shadow of His hand. It is THIS EFFECTUAL SERVANT who makes the earth makeable, who makes history possible, without whom there could be no creation! (51:6).




from The Kingdom of Heaven Ch. 9 - No. 8, on Isaiah 53:10


8) The NKJV has a capital for "You" in Isaiah 53:10. This is one interpretation, the original not determining this point. If you take this then that GOD is making the SACRIFICE for sin in this verse, the translation "if" would be ludicrous, for the thing is seen as DONE.

If it is translated not "if" but "when", as it may be, then you have the paradox that WHEN He makes this of His Son, in the most poignant moment in history, THEN the Son sees His seed. Not so. Then the Son cried out, My God, My God, why have you forsaken ME! There could hardly be any less apposite concept.

Further, as Professor E.J.Young points out in his trilogy The Book of Isaiah (Vol. III, p. 354), "God is not addressed in this passage but rather is spoken of in the third person both before and after this verse. Furthermore, sacrifices were offered up not by God but to Him. Although the Lord does bring about the death of the servant, He is not the Offerer. In verse 12 the servant receives the reward for his work, which proves that it is he himself who offers the sacrifice." We may add to this. God in heaven, as distinct from the human-formatted servant, is not addressed in this verse, nor in the preceding chapter, nor in the two following! It is indeed the action of the offerer, the labourer, the sufferer which is rewarded, "He shall divide the spoil with the strong, because He poured out His soul unto death" (v.12).

Indeed, if you consider the mode of address, the milieu of terminology, the intimacy of the passage, not only is God being addressed constantly in the third person, so that any question must relate to this mode, if the context is to make things clear (Proverbs 8:8), as we must expect when any ambiguity might otherwise arise, but there is another fascinating feature. "You" or if you will, "thou" is a term in constant use in this chapter, the preceding and the two succeeding. It is used in this way directly or by implication (as in an imperative) - some 15 times in Ch.52, and some 39 times in the next chapter!

It is not too much to say that the address TO the sinner, or TO the people is constant, evocative, intimate, persistent, penetrating, occurring as if one were looking over one's shoulder to a fellow labourer and constantly stating or implying 'you' almost at every turn. Thus, there is the comforting closeness of 52:1-2, where God is telling Zion to re-dress (cf. 61:10, where justification is in view), as in 45:25 -

"In the Lord shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and glory", as in 53:5,8,11, in our immediate context. Such themes are woven into the work like threads in tapestry, constant, thematic. "Your God reigns!" is the cry to Zion in 52:7. "Depart!" He exclaims in 52:11, as the tardy sinner is addressed in terms of holiness to the Lord. It is all focussed on "you" or "thou" and "He", the Lord who speaks in solace, comfort and the offers of salvation to the one addressed.

Similarly, at the very start of 53, "Who has believed our report?" is a personalised proposition, searching into the soul of the listener. In Ch.54, there are numerous encouragements to the same addressee:

"Enlarge the place of your tent!",

"Do not spare!",

"You will forget the shame of your youth!",

"For a mere moment, I have forsaken you, with a little wrath I hid my face from you for a moment, but with everlasting kindness I will have mercy on you," says the Lord, your Redeemer."

In this last case, not only is the subject spoken to as 'you', but the Lord speaks of Himself as 'your Redeemer'. The material before us is soaked in 'you', in individual, in joint, in continual circumnavigations of the soul of the listener.

"Oh you afflicted one!" , "Great shall be the peace of your children!".

In the next chapter, 55, it becomes if possible more intensive. "Ho, every one who thirsts, come to the waters, and you who have no money, come, buy and eat!" The evangelical thrust, the penetrating appeal, the solacing spiritual challenge is vigorous but tender.

"Why do you spend your money for what is not bread, and your wages
for what does not satisfy? ... I will make an everlasting covenant with you -
the sure mercies of David.

"Indeed I have given him as a witness to the people,
a leader and commander for the people. ..
Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near.
Let the wicked forsake his way..."

Such is the continual thrust and command, offer and appeal in this whole area of Isaiah.

Therefore, we must confirm mightily what E.J. Young has to say on this particular point: that God is not the One addressed. Not only is God NOT addressed in this context, but Zion and the individual sinner are both addressed in the second person, literally scores of times. This is the whole tenor of the passage - what HE, God is doing, what His servant is doing in His name, and those to whom He is doing it, repeatedly called to mind and called in heart, with 'you'. The sacrificial physician, spending his life for his patients, is being exposed in honour, while the patients are being appealed to, so that they take advantage of His labours on their behalf. HE does this, and YOU should do that, receive it, eat, drink, dress, come out, receive, be covered from sin.

That then simply confirms the need to AVOID the third personal rendering. Equally however, we must emphasise, it confirms the need to USE the second personal ending, which is the dominating feature with the interchange between "Him" and the appeal, in the overall passage; and this to such an extent that it is rather a matter of seeing why to think of it as at all varied from this pattern and format at all, than why to render in terms of 'you' as so often.

We therefore cannot rightly force into the context either verbally or in terms of the connotations, 'You' as the divine addressee in 53:10. It is NOT - "When You shall make His soul..."

What however if one should consider putting not 'You", but "his soul" as the subject, so that the force is this: WHEN HIS SOUL makes a sin offering... ? This would certainly be an extraordinary variant, since we have been considering the servant as "him" or as "he' all through, rather than a "soul". We might in context have expected, perhaps, When He shall offer His soul...", since then the contour of thought would be unvaried. That however is not what the text provides for us. In form, it is EITHER second person singular masculine, or third person singular feminine.

This contour, this mode of address and of interchange between the One in whose name these words are given, and the one/ones to whom they are addressed, of course does not HAVE to be unvaried. When however ambiguity can arise, it is important to consult the evidence which ANY writer has seen fit to provide, to guide one into the chosen thought. Otherwise the writer becomes unclear, something God forbids in Proverbs 8:8 for the wisdom of His speech.

If nevertheless, you put, "When His soul shall make a sacrifice for sin" (which in grammar here you may), then we appear to have contorted language. In the Old Testament, the priest made a sacrifice of the soul of the living creature... of its life. Now, at Calvary Christ was offering Himself, thereby being both priest and sacrifice. Does it then mean to say this: When His life shall offer His life? Actually, it is His spirit which offers, the spirit which was heavy at Gethsemane and which He commended at the end of the agony, into His Father's hands (Luke 23:46). It is also a variation from the norm of expression for sacrifice. The LIFE is OFFERED. It does not offer. The priest offers, the spirit, or the person, it is this which offers the life.

Indeed, in verse 10, already, the operation of sin-bearing by appointment has been covered; it has 'pleased the Lord to bruise Him'. Now arises the consequence FROM this PAST. When YOU later act, Zion, or individual sinner, to utilise this offering, THEN HE will see the efficacy with joy. When the individual, when Zion should so act, when the "you" who has been addressed, is being addressed and is about to be addressed continually in these chapters, as we have just shown: when THIS is to act, as constantly exhorted throughout to act, and to act in this sacred way, THEN, as constantly throughout also, THEN the purpose of the Lord will be fulfilled. THEN?

It is THEN that the evangelical marvel will be appreciated, its fruits gained, its justifying power will arise and be satisfied - indeed THAT is precisely what the very next verse goes on to relate. "By His knowledge, my righteous servant shall justify many!" and THIS, continually upon the listening ear-drum like rain, is what is beating, beating on the mind. YOU eat, YOU drink, YOU dress, YOU come out - and here, YOU take as a sin-offering HIS soul.

His "soul" or "life" here becomes apt as the receivable offering, in that at death it is as one slaughtered. It is as such that it is received. The whole ignominious insult, the degrading lump of flesh concept is here. It is WHAT He is made of, HOW He is disregarded in SLAUGHTER which comes through; as it is not His soul which offers, but His life, His soul which IS the object of slaughter, the one to be received, in whom the impending justification about to be mentioned, occurs.

It is God who puts Him to grief, we find in verse 10; and as to the servant, it is He whose life is to be received.

We do not, on the contrary, in verse 10 find a finished act of being "put to grief" suddenly unfinished, any more than we find a tragic phase allied WHILE IN FOCUS, with joy. Sequence - the sufferings and afterward the glory . Even if it were a parallel expression, it would be a movement from past to present, from a death already in view re suffering - v.9 "He made His grave", with v.10a), to a death merely in prospect; and it is looking at joy in the presence of the death as about to occur.

The joy however is for the future, not at the prospect of dying, which was accompanied by loud cries, as Hebrews 5 tells us, beforehand in an agony of grief. To refocus the 'operation', in prospect, while speaking of joy in terms of this operation, is neither natural nor necessary. The joy was set before Him, not experienced then: that is the position as given to us.

The "putting to grief" and the "trespass offering" being set are different aspects of the one thing. It is the UTILISATION of the offering which is the moment of marvel, the transforming of the tragedy, when the whole enactment, completed in resurrection, is publicised (cf. 53:12). Then indeed He who faced an initial situation which appeared as if "I have laboured in vain, I have spent my strength for nothing and in vain" (49:4) finds His "just reward", for it is

"too small a thing that You should be My servant, to raise up the tribes of Jacob...
I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles,
that You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth."

THAT is the payload! There is the transformation!

Hence the rendering preferred is this: "When you make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed" - the same as the NKJV except for this, the 'y' in You is not capitalised. Ch.54 goes on "For the Lord has called you", "Sing, O barren", "This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of Me!"

In sum: While the NKJV is better here than the putting of 'His soul' as subject, as some do, it is worse than leaving the 'y' small. A note would have helped here.



for More Coverage,

from The Shadow of a Mighty Rock, p. 727:


Hundreds of prophecies in the old Testament bore on Christ and were duly, as always, fulfilled. We are not pursuing that particular topic here. It was this same Jesus Christ who said (John 14:6):

I am the way, the truth and the life:

no man comes to the Father

except by Me.

It was Isaiah who wrote, concerning Christ being hustled with profound rejection to the Cross:

Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him;

He has put Him to grief.

When you make His soul an offering for sin,

He shall SEE His seed,

{That is, when you receive Him (Isaiah 53:1, John 1:12), He will see you as a child of God - this is life's entry.

It is thus He prolongs - you prolong His days here (``Christ in you'') through His sacrifice.

By this sacrifice(Col. 1:21-22), He shortened His earthly days (Ps. 102:23-102:10-13 is cited in Hebrews 1:10-12).}

He shall prolong His days,

and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand...

By His knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many;
{that is, acquit them by bearing their sins }
for He shall bear their iniquities ... Isaiah 53:10-11.

In all solemnity, one must ask : Are you one of that "many" ? Have you made His soul, His life an offering for your sin, accepting the sacrifice rendered ?

He saw life not when but because He saw death; and that life, is it yours ?



from Tender Talks for Timely Truths Ch. 11,
with references from Isaiah 41, 43-45, 48, 53, 57



We have now reached the point where the normal confusions and distractions are laid to rest, and we can look at the simple realities of double predestination without imagining predestination MEANS a lack of love or IMPLIES an arbitrariness, caprice or meanness.

In fact, it ENTAILS a magnificent certainty that NOTHING is too hard for the Lord, and His roving word which subjects history in advance, by the medium of prophecy, attests His entire control, even amidst the marvellous wonders of freedom, for all things are naked before Him who made them! There will be then, NO MISTAKES, and His clearly attested love, being as broad as Colossians 1:19ff. and I John 4:7ff, declares it is, in the whole gamut of scripture, is merely the more obviously fulfilled, when to Him, time is no constraint, but merely a carrier!

What God did: It displays the EXACT OPPOSITE of not being loving. It is that wedding of truth and love, mercy and deliverance with judgment and reality, of which Psalm 85 speaks. There is and can be no pretence or pretension in heaven. GOD has done ALL the things required to make endless guilt into endless blessing, paying the difference where it counts. WHERE does it count ? It is OFFERED to all, and on behalf of all, that He did it (I John 2:2); it is received by SOME, and for the some, He accordingly has paid (the "many" of Isaiah 53:11, Matthew 26:28, those for whom, delivered up, He provides all things - Romans 8:32).

Indeed, He FOREKNEW these, and knowing all things, hence foreknew those who were NOT these, and hence foreknew the destiny of all. Did He predestine this also which is to be ? But of course, for if ANYTHING were open, NOTHING would be closed. IF some things could go where they would, then their endlessly reticulating results would destroy any knowability at all. Only if all things are known, is anything predictable. But prediction is a specialty of the God of the Bible to the point that He makes it a multiple challenge to observe its force, and to admit the hopeless incomparability of any other such thing! (Isaiah, in 41:21-24,43:8-14,44:6-8,48:2-17 is eloquent on the point.)

And what does the word of God say in the New Testament, "And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account" ? (Hebrews 4:13). Are some things then hidden ? Is some time unknown to Him who made it ? Is some person !
Or is ALL some ? Does the all-inclusive really betoken the non-inclusive ? Again, even modern theology in its known proclivities, can only ADD to derive such a qualification. When you add to an overwhelming and profound attribution of a quality to God, to alter it, you add nonsense, your word to His! Biblically, ALL things are those which lie open... to Him.

  • Of course. HE WORKS all things after the counsel of His own will (Ephesians 1:11) and, HE will work and who will  hinder or stop it (Isaiah 43:13) ?


  • Again,


  • "the LORD of hosts has purposed,

And who will annul it ?
His hand is stretched out,
And who will turn it back" - Isaiah 14:27.

  • He IS the first and the last (Isaiah 44:6, 48:12), and will fulfil all His pleasure (Isaiah 44:28), even with Cyrus, foretold as a great deliverer from the exiled Jews, long before his birth ("though you have not known Me" - Isaiah 45:4)!


  • "Known to God are all His works since the foundation of the world!" (Acts 15:18).


  • Cyrus, though he DID not know God, is named and his course proclaimed in Isaiah 43-45.


  • The betrayer of Christ, as noted in John 13:18, was also known and his whole family situation traced in its destiny before he ever was born; and his destiny was doom, as the psalms most clearly show, and history merely confirmed. (See the cited Psalm 41, and the correlative parallels in Psalm 69, 109 -cf. Joyful Jottings 25!)

"If there is calamity in the city will not the Lord have done it!" asks Amos (3:6), or  'evil' as the AV puts it. This is of course the desolation of judgment, in that sense of evil, the onset of calamity; but this is the sense now in view for us! Judgment is foreknown, and like all others things, it is in the plan of God. It is BY HIS WILL, that all things proceed, each with its onus of guilt or blame or praise; for He has provided, knows and discerns, gives counsel and brings it to pass in the most singular fashion, when the time comes (as in Isaiah 44:24-28).

In this passage we find that God who created all things, "frustrates the signs of the babblers, and drives diviners mad", for it is He who "makes their knowledge foolishness", and He again, who conversely "confirms the word of His servant, and performs the counsel of His messengers." In fact, it is He who, when Jerusalem was foreseen as to be destroyed, already has in His arsenal of accomplishments to come, this:

  • "Who says to Jerusalem, You shall be inhabited...
  • 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."

THIS is the God with whom we have to do, in looking at the Biblical picture of events brought to pass by the deliberate action of God, events being not autonomous, but invested with significance, whatever may be the profound abuses of freedom made by many, on the way. (See Pain, Suffering in News 55, in Scoop of the Universe.) Even when hardened unbelief is blown like  chaff, rustled off like Autumn leaves, sent scudding like small clouds (Psalm 1:6), this is by divine resolution so to act

WHOM He will, He hardens! (Romans 9:16-18). It is not of him who wills or runs, we read, but of God who shows mercy. It is HIS prerogative. His love in exercising it is indeed sovereign, but its true nature is for all that revealed as has been shown above and in the many references made elsewhere on site.

Does He not say of Pharaoh, "FOR THIS CAUSE I HAVE RAISED YOU UP!" (Romans 9:17, Exodus 9:16). What cause ? to SHOW in him, in Pharaoh, the judgments on obstructive renegacy, in the face of the light and favour and mercy of God! to make him an example! to deliver Israel in such a way that it would make world history for ever (as have, indeed, the events of this century in fulfilment of prophecy - SMR Chs. 8 - 9)!

But, one may say, is that fair ? Is this love ? Is this not tantamount to a deterministic manipulation of man, which is neither free NOR loving, for that matter! Not at all. "WHAT IF ... " says Romans 9:22, GOD WITH MUCH PATIENCE BORE.... Hence we are in consistency with all the other scriptures, reminded that God is sovereign, is gracious, is long-suffering, is love, but that love does not dangle its delightfulness before the obstructionist rejections for ever (Genesis 6:3, cf. I Timothy 4:2, II Timothy 4:3). Flesh could not bare it.

Nor, on the other hand, does the love of God violate. Sovereignly it takes that to which it relates, knowing better than man who are His (II Timothy 2:19). He takes the morally worthless in pride of their performances with the morally worthless in pollution of their products, and all one, makes them one in Christ through personal payment of the difference, and presents to each a new nature, gratis, which is the occasion of Paul crying, "all things are become new!" (II Cor. 5).

It is not glorification of determinism, nor is it glorification of autonomy, therefore which comes, but glorification of God.

Nothing else secular or religious can meet the necessities of non-reductionist FREEDOM in some arenas, escaping autonomous grandeurs, and non-reductionist trends in some things, avoiding deterministic reductionism. There is a kind of certainty (miracles apart) in some things, but it is limited; and there is a kind of independence in some things, but it is in both cases limited, and it moreover applies, as with other things, here and not there, as the case befits.

Philosophy haggles away with its vague generalisations, for millenia, about these facts, trying betimes to sweep this side or that under the carpet, but it smells of rats dying, and the carpet is therefore constantly lifted, and the smell is not pleasant.

It needs cleaning away, and this is done ONLY when GOD does the selection (as the Calvinists rightly insist from the Bible), and man is RELEVANT to that selection (as the Bible constantly affirms), but not the OPERATIVE agent in resolution of the issue (as John 15, Romans 9 make so very clear).

Liberty is preserved in ESSENCE when God who knows beyond all criteria of lesser kind, uses HIS power to call His own to Himself (for He knows their spirits, Romans 8:29ff., I Timothy 2:19, John 6:37, Matthew 11:27, John 10:27-28, Ephesians 1:4). That is what is written, and that is the way it is. Liberty in man does not need to turn into autonomy, which is mere myth, in order to express itself, since God can do this, and HE ? He DOES IT WITH GENUINE AUTONOMY, righteously. To Him alone does this quality even possibly, belong!

HOW we CAN be in any sense free, and NOT in any sense like little gods is thus solved.

We are free in this, that from God, we individually do relate to Him first and foremost by our spirits, at the first made in His image (Numbers 16:22, Zechariah 12:1, Genesis 2:7, Isaiah 57:16, Hebrews 12:23, I Cor. 14:14ff., Ecclesiastes 12:7, Proverbs 20:27, Colossians 3:10); and it is HE who acts in the conclusion of that liberty, not we.

We are NOT autonomous in this, that it is HE who acts relative to ourselves, and not we ourselves. God is God and we are His creation, and each acts accordingly. It is HE who preserves the integrity of the broken image in the salvation, and it is from HIM that the knowledge and the wisdom and the fulfilment comes, even from Him who being love, loves, and loving, loves chastely. It is in distance from HIM (as in Psalm 1), that the wicked are as chaff, for what else is such a disruption of such a marvellous creation. It is like a Rolls Royce trying to run on the rims. It is mere mess.

The desire to escape the capricious God which is so strong in anti-double-predestinative views, is removed in any justice even of motive, by the simple fact that the LOVE of God who SO acts is NOT limited, and that it is not through ANY deficiency or defect, or limitation in it that anyone goes to hell (cf. The Kingdom of Heaven Ch. 4, End-note 1B, Ch. 2, pp. 31ff.).

The determination of what is indeed FOREKNOWN concerning destiny of all things, but NOT foreknown in terms of works as Romans 9 makes so very clear (which would merely be the same non-free question all over again, in another form), but rather in depth and reality: this is of course the divine prerogative. Hence they STUMBLE at the word, to which they are ORDAINED, we read (I Peter 2:8 - indeed, it is written that in this they stumble, being "disobedient, to which they were ordained"!). Hence likewise,  Pharaoh, fitting the case in the divine knowledge, is indeed USED: yet NOT so as to preclude his liberty, but to EXPRESS IT!

Let us take this second case now further. You cannot, simply cannot have it that the Lord RAISES UP PHARAOH, that is brings him to pass, for an historical purpose, without acknowledging that God is in charge, and He MAKES His plans happen. Nor can you ignore Paul's 'what if' (of Romans 9:22), as if God did this without respect to His often stated love and forbearance and desire that all men should come to a knowledge of the truth (I Timothy 2).

It is double predestination, as in Cyrus, whose non-knowledge of God is cited in terms of future events, and he is ONE PERSON. It is so in JUDAS, quoted in the New Testament as fulfilling a specific mission which was tagged to him a millenium before, in writing, divinely inspired! His whole situation is specific and specialised and so denoted in the Psalms, and acknowledged in John's Gospel.

God knows, God plans and God provides, counsels, purposes, states and does. That, as we see, is precisely not only what He says, but challenging, exhibits in His words as He turns history to match them, like a sculptor implementing his vision, in due time, in the stone, piece by piece.

Thus the Lord can state all things down to personal details BECAUSE He has all things in hand, has plans and programs, which of course, are not happenings, but holy travails which realise all things in terms of HIS principles and HIS foreknowledge and HIS desire, the nature of which is as stated, in this ... that He WOULD have all men to be saved. This is His disposition; but it is not a mandate to violate His values, principles, or love, as if He were some vulgar rapist, at the spiritual level! As far is the divine Lord from this, as heaven above the earth; and yet further.

Indeed, He is the EXACT opposite, and it is this which makes history possible, salvation available and heaven assured to be SUCH. It is not the place of the devious, the mistaken, the hypocrites who abhor what they servilely pretend to bless. It is the place of love.

Now it is true that "the ungodly are ... like the chaff which the wind drives away" (Psalm 1), but this too is what the Lord does in His own way, in the interests of the whirls of the worlds of things which are against the truth. All this is in His manifold knowledge, who judges and arrests, intervenes and concludes, and for conclusion, this is the way of it. There is no dignity in garbage. That is no reflection on the kitchen.

God loves, and would not have any perish, would have all come to a knowledge of the truth, and indeed, in Colossians 1:19ff., it was pleasing to Him that all might be reconciled... in heaven and on earth!

It was so at  predestination and it was so at foreknowing, for HE does not change! It is always so.

As to the question (for us) of when it happens, time is no vast wall to God, but a mere terrain to be looked over at will, this way and that, from beyond it. He created this delay type of time, with which we as creations of His, are so familiar (Romans 8:38). Time is no barrier to God.

Our time ? It is the setting for the book called history.

But as to God, He knows the realities and surely they come to pass. He is not surprised, and He is not limited, as if our wills were pictures of obscurity to Him from whom nothing is hidden. How much scripture is denied when this is denied! God is free and He implements His principles with perfection of purity and restraint, being the God who is love.

Autonomy is impossible to us, but liberty is available in Him, and in love He enables this. It is His sovereignty which enables the realities of man's responsibility.

It is the same on the other side. Just as it is love which is implemented, and not some construction of man, as if divine things were harnessed at his bidding, so that divine love is not only protected, but projected. So too is sovereignty protected, and projected, for God is not some invasion plane for marvellous man, fumbling, to achieve his mighty objectives over his Maker, and to seize His territory!

Just as the denial of double predestination is a needless and unscriptural lust to protect autonomy in man, so is it in a heedless presumption to protect love in GOD!  In this latter respect, Calvin's restrictive approach to love in terms of election, is quite unnecessary. Understandable indeed is his motive; but acceptable in Biblical reality, it is not! (Cf. Tender Times for Timely Truths 2, *1, and Predestination and Freewill, Ch.2.) NEITHER is the love of God restricted, whatever the eventual consequences, nor is His knowledge, His power or the culminating consummation of His will. He knows what He is doing and the responsibility of man is total, enormous.

It is time to repent, therefore, if you have not yet done so. It is ENTIRELY YOUR FAULT, if you have not found God. It is ENTIRELY HIS GLORY if you ever do! Such is love and such is liberty, divinely revealed and enabled. It is NOT that He enables YOU to choose, for He denies this! It is NOT that you are enlightened so that you chose, since as to "the natural man", "the things of the Spirit of God are ... foolishness" (I Cor. 2:14). How could you choose what you deem foolish; ONLY when you are changed do they not appear so! It IS the case that you are chosen in the sovereign love of a loving sovereign, and chosen NOT on your performance, but on His. He does not violate; for His love is chaste, and it is sure.



from Scoop of the Universe 47,
with Excursion to Isaiah 53-66,
and references from Isaiah 41, 43-45, 48, 53,

NEWS 47 ( in fact this teems with Isaiah so much, that it is all taken)

Has it come to that ? A little space of time is left before the God who made space returns as the Man from Beyond Space, making our space probes with radio-telescopes for intelligent messages the more ludicrous. It is the acme of anachronism. It has all happened 2000 years ago. HE has come. HE will return. Secular society is millenia behind the times. It is looking for the wrong person from the wrong site for the wrong reason.

Time Magazine, p. 15, Feb. 15, 1999

Certainly it is interesting, more Moslem hands on more potential gateways to atomic weaponry, in the very heart and midst of an ancient Empire which updated itself with vast Western aid, and currently lives not a little on the same.

Thus we read that Chechnya has opted through a combination of the preference of the armed forces and the meditations thereon (or perhaps on other things as well) of the President, for a Moslem constitution. Indeed, we find the President revoked the parliament's "legislative functions", no mean section of the total!  and ORDERED it to CO-OPERATE with Muslim leaders in writing such a constitution to REPLACE secular law!

Outstanding! As we have seen in The Shadow of a Mighty Rock ('SMR' cf. pp. 510ff., 516ff.), the Caucasus region, and areas beyond to the North, are precisely the sovereignly selected site for the consummate assault on Israel which has for so many millenia been predicted.

Its results are to make devastation an art form. We indeed read of it not merely in Ezekiel 38-39, but in Isaiah 66:14-16, but in 49:25-26, 42:14-17, and Deuteronomy 32. We have outlined the total scope of the  read-out from before Christ's coming to the contemporary situation in SMR pp. 755ff., esp. to 836, but with a mini-map for the preliminary outlook. Before however we address these facts, let us consider the actual Moslem situation a little more in this arena... for that is what some such location, in this very region, is destined to become.

Time Magazine notes the likelihood of Moslem rule spreading to the fascinatingly named Dagestan, and Ingushetiya; but there is no mean Moslem enclave in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia,  the Kazhak area and of course, Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran; and Libya in its present government seems to have  shown a trend for interest in things unattractive to peace in Israel, for example. Such nations are indicated as shown in the SMR reference (516ff.) noted above.

The huge thrust of it all reminds one of the Pan-Islam Conference of 1991 around the time of the earlier Gulf War. The call (SMR p. 518) then went out for Iran's parliament to discuss ways of assisting the Palestinian Intifadeh; and the fascinating phrase was this: "Islamicize all opposition to Israel". Clearly the means, the aggregations, the weapons the - shall we say - tilt of thought, all congregate like so many bees, or wasps or predators circling, in the divinely demarcated arena noted (cf. Matthew 24:28).

What makes it still more delightful to the enquiring mind seeing the hand of God in human affairs at this level, is this: the RETURN of the Jews to their land is an important PRELIMINARY to this assault, and this is a noted CRITERION for the general time of the attack, as seen BOTH in Isaiah and in Ezekiel. Thus the latter, in 38:11-12, the prophet SPEAKS OF ISRAEL AS BROUGHT BACK FROM THE NATIONS and to be established without further ado. This then is a focussed feature.

As we have seen in SMR Appendix A, for example, this time in Ezekiel is one which has various characterising features. Thus it comes after an international return of the Jews (Ezekiel 37) in a sort of divine disgrace, whereby God harangues them for their unfaithfulness, while in faithfulness to His own promises bringing them back, for all that (cf. 36:19-32). Brought back, they are in this vignette, this tableau, to be brought into a new covenant which as noted is yet to come (cf. 36:25ff., cf. 11:19ff., and Jeremiah 31:31), but which is centred in Christ, the Messiah (Ezekiel 37:24ff.), as also detailed in Isaiah (11, 40,42,49,52-53,55,65:13-15 etc., and Ezekiel 34).

The result of the battle to come, when this new nation is assaulted at this stage, is this for those Jews concerned:

  • "The nations also will know that I, the LORD, sanctify Israel, when My sanctuary is in their midst forevermore" - 37:28.


  • This is picked up further in Ezekiel 39:27-28, after the divine storm against the forces looming  and then lunging to plunder and pulverise Israel (as detailed in Ezekiel 38-39). Then, says the Lord, He will be " ' hallowed in them in the sight of many nations. Then they shall know that I am the LORD their God, who sent them into captivity among the nations, but also brought them back to their land ... And I will not hide My face from them any more: for I shall have poured out My Spirit on the house of Israel,' says the Lord GOD."

Here we see the step 2) as above, the outpouring of the Spirit of God upon Israel, as in Zechariah 12:10, where it is set forth prominently and at length. The whole scene has changed. Now Israel is, as shown in the commencement of Zechariah 12, a nation with a decisive change toward the Lord, and the ground of national discipline is removed as the chastisement complete. Now it is the predator nations who assault it who receive the lesson.

The teaching method by this stage is drastic, as are the results (cf. Ezekiel 39:5ff., Isaiah 66:15-16), where military symbols reek with ruin.

Ezekiel 37, in which the predicted and contemporary situation is set up, as we have traced elsewhere in detail, has TWO main phases.

  • 1) The assembling of the dry and internationally scattered 'bones' of the Jewish people to their homeland as promises to Abraham; and


  • 2) the filling of this assemblage, bone on bone, with flesh and life, indeed with the breath of life by specific and secondary prophetic command (37:11-14,21-24). THAT event is traced in breath-taking detail in turn, in Zechariah 12:10: They shall look upon Me whom they have pierced", comes the divine pronouncement as we have seen earlier.

We must remember that Zechariah is full of the Messiah: thus in Ch. 3:9 we find Him evacuating the iniquity of the land IN ONE DAY, or of those who are its accepted occupants in His New Covenant as before noted; in 9:9 see His procession on an ass's colt, in 11:13 see Him, as God, betrayed in fleshly format and SOLD for 30 pieces of silver, in 14 see Him return personally and again in physical format to the land, assuming world rule, before the evacuation of the present universe (as in Matthew 24:35, Isaiah 24 and 51:6).

The FIRST part of the Ezekiel return to UNREVOKED continuation in the blessing of the Lord has happened in the life-times of many of our readers, and of some of us (Ezekiel 37:26-28). It was 1948 with the temple finally secured in 1967, as was of course necessary if, as Zechariah 12 shows so clearly, the Jews in this final POST-MESSIAH time (i.e. one from which they can look BACK as in 12:10 and MOURN for having PIERCED HIM), should gain this city. Otherwise how could they have been attacked in it! Indeed, Christ in Luke 21:24 speaks clearly of its lease out, in the punishment of God, to the Gentiles UNTIL the time appointed for this is over!

To revert to the Ezekiel-provided situation: The INTERVENTION in this scenario of a VAST multi-national attack from the Northern confederacy is so significant as to occupy more than one chapter; and the response is climacteric. That is the RESPONDING intervention, that of God Almighty. It will SPEAK to the nations in easily identifiable language (Ezekiel 39:28-29). They, the UN in general and ONLY LATELY the U.S. have shown a certain difficulty in hearing ... which in this way could be remedied. God has chosen a people for a place for a purpose; and what better title for the ownership of land than having ... CREATED IT! (cf. News 46).

You see this same setting and result in Isaiah. Thus in Isaiah 66, it is spectacular. The Jewish prophet, having detailed the salvation in the Messiah (Chs. 52-53), while noting that GOD HIMSELF ALONE is the Saviour (43:10-11), so identifies the Messiah as God on earth. (This is something which historically  the Pope has claimed to be, but Christ the claim has reason cf. SMR Ch.10 pp. 1045-1088).

Most understandably, therefore, the Lord proceeds*1 in Isaiah 66:3 to repudiate the (NOW) unnecessary and ludicrous animal sacrifices, acts of a former epoch, before this, the Messiah came. After all, there is no more need to be a shouting newsboy if you have become an atomic scientist! This rejection of the earlier mode comes with the ONCE shed blood (Hebrews 9) of Christ covering all who are His from all time to all time (cf. Isaiah 52-53, where He bears the iniquity of those who BELIEVE in Him - 53:1, 55:1ff., News 46, references therein and Barbs, Arrows and Balms 17).

What need is there any more for introductory rites which prepared the way! So Isaiah repudiates these animal sacrifices in blunt terms indeed, for the era to which His New Covenant predicted program relates - that is now.

Having spoken, as a Jewish prophet, of the Jewish shortcoming, in 66:4, of the blessedness of those to be cast out for their faith in the Messiah by those who will not yield the bud for the bloom, the preliminary for the finale, the prophet (who cannot be called racist, for he is one of his own race, the good of which he passionately and sacrificially seeks) speaks of a sudden event.

In history where is its equal in kind ? (66:7-9). A whole nation will ARISE like a sudden rain shower; it will just BE in a way which seems to mock the idea of gestation!

"Who has heard such a thing ? Who has seen such things!" (66:8), the prophet marvels as the Lord sets out for his envisioning eye, the things which are to be.

"Shall a nation be born at once!" - he expostulates. Yes, it shall be; or rather now, looking back, we can say that  it was so born, with a constructive magnificence which resembles, at the other end of the scale, the destructive force of a cyclone.

It was in May 1948, and against all likelihood, that a small aboriginal population (I like that, since the Jews were there for so long, and seemed - though back - to be made to look foreign, while this was theirs by divine order, Genesis 12:1-3, 17:1ff. etc.)  'took over'. This was despite the evacuation of the British (which had for long been sympathetic, following the Balfour Declaration of 1917, but had become most markedly less so as they hindered returning Jews escaping the ghoulishness of Europe, even, after the World War II,  turning back some of the naval hulks they used to seek refuge back in Palestine).

The Arab Legion however was prepared - though not for what in fact was to happen, for who can fight against God, when He states and foretells His ways! Yes, the Legion was official; was formed and formatted; but the Jews were among the rest, a presence merely. Yet the Lord delivered them as He promises in this precise setting (Zechariah 12) and so they acted as mighty-mouse in the midst of midgets, who in fact were like a Goliath in resources and in population, and of course, perhaps most of all, in the sheer MONUMENTAL MAGNITUDE of their territories compared with the slight paring for the Jews, gained in 1948, despite all of that. That war was won in such a style that the Lord's predictive powers were exhibited with something of the drama of the Exodus.

Now it is IN THIS SETTING that we are now reading in the news,  of the next development which is close to the current direction of the news both in kind and in place. It has been before; and it is continually growing closer*2 in approximation to the divinely stipulated scenario.

What is that ? We said we should return, but again before we do so, note that the Moslem powers in the region, massive and not afraid of war (consider that between Iran and Iraq and the extremities it went to, right down to children in arms), are increasingly by the fraternity of their religion linking many serious things. These ? MANY peoples, DISTURBED peoples, religion of MIGHT and ATOMIC arms, or the likelihood of the same, flowing from what is  the recent past for numbers of Soviet units, now more or less distanced, developed or disjoined FROM RUSSIA, but not necessarily FROM EACH OTHER! Moreover, the likelihood of money interesting underpaid scientists not accustomed to such penury as is repeatedly reported, is not to be discounted.

Back to Isaiah then: We come in context next to read in 66:11-12, as we do in Isaiah 49:22-23 of the many blessings coming to the Jews (as also in the predictions of Isaiah 35 about deserts and roses - roses, a Jewish specialty now in their massive world-wide flower distribution program); and then, in Isaiah 66:14, there is a sense of relish and expectation. All this has a wonderful feeling, but there is contest abroad. Not so simply do the Jews enjoy their inheritance, now after so long and so much, they are permitted by the Lord, to return. Human agencies now will bare their teeth.

They are not to be left alone, these Jews, no not even after Hitler, and not after the Europe of many centuries and its sometimes hideous oppressions, of which Hitler was a summit but not a start! It is true that they have asked for it from the hand of the Lord by rejecting their Messiah, but no less so that the Lord does not appreciate people pushing in and bullying those whom He decides and resolves to discipline (cf. Ezekiel 38:11-19, Obadiah 13-17). This is doubtless the more so when the discipline He has devised is complete in substance! It is not necessary for others to 'play God' when God does it without playing...

What then does Isaiah narrate, and what follows ? The Lord will come with fire (Isaiah 66:15) - just as in Ezekiel 38-39 in the wholly parallel procedure, and for that matter in Isaiah 49:26, where in turn the land had so grown that it would become rather difficult to hold all the inhabitants of the returning Jewry (49:19).

There will be an intervention not dissimilar to that wrought with Moses and Pharaoh (see Micah 7: 15-17  - this is the prophet who foretold the deity of Christ in 5:3 and the birth place as Bethlehem). It will be prodigious. It is planned. It will speak...

Indeed, it will closely be followed by an international terminus with broader dimensions and which is preceded by the removal of the people of God (Daniel 2:34-45, Revelation 19, II Thessalonians 1, I Thessalonians 1, Philippians 3:20-21, Matthew 24:30ff.).

So what ? SO this. It is time to seek the Lord whether Jew or Gentile, whether of this 'faith' or that, for it is only the meta-faith*3, that is the faith where the evidence requires acceptance and logic is remorseless in its insistence, the Gospel of the wholly unmatched Jesus Christ which will be saving: this and this only is saving faith, that which resides in the promised remedy of the assured Redeemer, who, incidentally, came long ago (SMR pp. 886 ff.) on time as always, and will return. It is time to SEEK THE LORD while He may be found (Isaiah 55:6-7).




NEWS, news! You want news! Here it is, this ultra-space detailing of history from the God who made space, whose intelligence is seen in every nucleated cell of your body, specifying in elaborate and brilliantly miniaturised code the whole detail for the construction of the same, generation by generation, including the reproduction switch.

While people search space for the odd globule of understandable communication, the space beneath their own skins teems with the same, while the place on which they walk, this world, has already seen the history to come, for the Jews, traced in stupendous detail. This attests not only intelligence but power, and not only power but judgment, and not this merely, but mercy and faithfulness. Further, this message from the Book of the Lord, the Bible, flashes like lightning to the Gentiles, traces in outline their spiritual developments and the divine answers, to this day, which is near the last - no one on earth knows how near, but definitively near.

Meanwhile, the Gentiles look into space, like some star-gazing adolescent out of tune with things, wistfully wondering about what has been declared, looking for what has already come and is near to terminating the time in which to look! Behind the times! This is not anachronism only, it needs a new word: this is a sort of spiritual Alzheimer's disease, a total disorientation, a looking for what is not to be found while what is to be found has already looked upon us and made declaration decisive, energetic and abundantly verified.

Let us survey the scene in Isaiah a little, both to see something of this fact, so often brought to light in this site, and to comprehend better the impact of the present phase of it, in this News item in particular.

It is fascinating and instructive, both, to study the PROGRESSION in Isaiah. As we have outlined a little of it here, in the nearer sections to our immediate historical and evangelical interest, let us merely sketch in some of the major thrusts. This will give us a double advantage: we shall see more intimately, through still only in overview, some of the movements in our areas of immediate concern, and we shall begin at least to sense the immense depth, vast enterprise of communication which the Lord undertook through this prophet, rightly called 'the evangelical prophet.

Let us then look back to Isaiah 53 and on to 66, to get the sense of movement and flow.

1. Thus after the amazing depiction of the LAMB of God who should be offered as a sacrifice to remove the sins of those who believe (Isaiah 53:1,4-6), who are THEREFORE and THEREBY healed (53:5), we run into a mountain of immense solidity. The PERMANENCE, SOLIDITY and INTERNATIONAL NATURE  of this offer of God:
"Enlarge the place of your tent ... Do not spare;
Lengthen your cords ...
For you shall expand to the right and to the left,
And your descendants will inherit the nations ..." (54:2-3).

As to the Lord, "He is called the God of the whole earth" (54:5). Nor, as we shall see, is this some sort of domination by Israel: quite the contrary (wait for Isaiah 65:13ff.).

2. The tenderness of His divine comfort now reflects what was more immediately national in concept (but not limited to that) in Isaiah 40:1-10 (54:11ff.).  This divine provision, at such sacrifice to Himself (Isaiah 40:10), is shown to be immovable. You may tend to think of freedom as being as light as air; but its provision can entail so immense a sacrifice that mountains symbolise it. Indeed, in Isaiah 54, we learn that for those so covered in the Messiah, the mountains may be removed BUT "My kindness shall not depart from you, nor shall My covenant of peace by removed, says the LORD who has mercy on you" - Isaiah 54:10.

In Isaiah 55, the splendour of divine FREEDOM in providing this eternal blessedness (cf. Isaiah 51:11), so that the Lord expostulates, Why buy artificial 'food' for money when it does not profit, or quench thirsts with nominal return, when you do not accept the salvation of God which is free, and is provided and presented with no price, no money, being liberal and gratuitous! (55:1-3).

At once, as normal in Isaiah, we come to the FOCUS on the SAVIOUR (we remember constantly that God has categorically affirmed that there is in existence no SAVIOUR but HIMSELF (Isaiah 43:10-11), the King, the Leader, Commander, who shall Himself be the Covenant (55:3, cf. 42:6), in that it is not in the blood of lambs or the work of hands, but in the blood of this lamb that atonement is made, alone sufficient, exclusively and exhaustively so: it is altogether FREE (55:1ff., cf. Ephesians 2:8-10).

3.The personal side comes next: SEEK THE LORD WHILE HE MAY BE FOUND (55:6). There is a time when He is near and a time when He may not be found! Seize the time when He is near, grasping it like a rope dangling from a cliff, while you are suspending over the abyss of sin without redemption.

4.Passing over Isaiah 56-58, which is less germane to our immediate purpose, but noting some of the thrust and movement for perspective's sake, we find this: it is not RACE but GRACE (56) which matters, knowing God and receiving what He says; but whatever the importance of a man in his religion, it is less than useless when mere form intrudes, the work of greedy, slumberous dogs: trees planted by the Lord (to change from the animal to the botanical kingdom for imagery), Isaiah 61:3, SHOW it because they ARE it, and they ARE it because the LORD has planted them. In 57 we see reviewed the fiascos of false faiths, revisionist works of the flesh masquerading as "religion", contrasted with what it essential:

"For thus says the High and Lofty One
Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy:
I dwell in the high and holy place,
With him who has a contrite and humble spirit,
To revive the heart of the contrite ones..." (57:15)... He proceeds to itemise the wicked's restless condition, like waters of a troubled sea, contrasting this with the way of the redeemed, "Peace to him who is near and to him who is far off" . As for the wicked, NO PEACE! is his placard, which he waves heedless.

5.In 58, religious nominality and formalism is exposed, contrasting with sincerity leading to benevolence and beneficence in those who belong to the Lord, and there comes the immense emphasis on the day of REST, enjoined in severest terms from Exodus 20, stressed as a sign of the covenant in Ezekiel 20:12. No punctilious legalism is this (cf. Mark 2:23-28), but a delight in the Lord results the earnest spiritual reality of such prolonged communion and constant closeness as this day typifies and advances.

Now the Lord proceeds to the most energetic and lethal exposure of sins in society and soul that one could wish, and this is measured against Matthew 23 as perhaps the most vehement denunciation you could ever wish to see, yet one of perfect control and admirable incisiveness: Isaiah 59:1-15.

6.THEN we find the beginning of reversion to the divine intervention in 59:15-20, where the Lord signifies the part of His divine program which leads to direct arrival in Zion (as in Zechariah 14, where His feet touch the Mount of Olives), and in the teeth of the gale of the antichrist's propaganda, His will arouse power and wave a banner of truth, in the face of that malign power which He shall thus overthrow. This is quoted by Paul in Romans 11 as the time of the Gentiles ends and the Lord rescues all His people.

We shall revert to this theme.

7.In Isaiah 60 we see a transfiguration of Israel. The city is held up, but suddenly its very walls become SALVATION (60:18), and the gates PRAISE! Contempt will be replaced by resplendent beauty, "the sun shall no longer be your light by day... but the Lord will be to you an everlasting light, and your God your glory...".  Indeed, the sun... will never go down again, this spiritual wonder. ALL will be righteous.

If we peep now at Isaiah 65:13-15, we see at once that this is not a mere city. The NEW covenant which is being made in the Messiah (Isaiah 42:6), free and full of everlasting favour and joy, is SPECIFICALLY denied to Judaism, that is to that form of continuing Jewish worship which is abstracted from the Messiah (died and prophesied to do so around 30 A.D. - SMR pp. 886ff.). It is given - the name of blessing is given - differently. It is given to those who BELIEVE in the Messiah (Jewish, prophesied and the proper culmination, Biblically, for any Jew as indeed for anyone else among mankind who lives on earth). The blessed and representative people of God are now CALLED BY ANOTHER NAME. Those who remain without this shield and salvation are specifically DIVORCED and confined to the utmost degradation!

GOD HAS ORDAINED a two-stage exposure of His purpose in the sacrificial temple system and its culmination in Christ, and woe to those who reject the latter, whether with or without temple, but to those who insist on the mere temple when Christ has come, then these are transformed from the head ot the tail. That is the message of Isaiah 65:13-15.

So we are able to understand the glory in Isaiah 60, the transfiguration of Zion, for it is the whole church, Jew and Gentile, of every clime and chime, so long as it is in Christ, obedient to this COMMANDER and led by this LEADER, as we saw in Isaiah 54. HENCE they are all righteous (60:21) for the simple reason that they are all His; this being the spiritual reality not the formal appearance (cf. Luke 13:30 - Many who are first will be last).

8. Now we move to Isaiah 61, quoted by Christ and directly applied to Himself as in Luke 4:16ff.. The JUBILEE YEAR of spiritual liberation has arrived (not the normal 50 year arrangements to cancel indebtedness, but the spiritual provision of eternity, provided by One on foot among men): the broken-hearted are to be healed, captives no longer detained in their sins (61:1-3), men planted like trees of righteousness by the divine hand: beauty for ashes and joy for grief is the glory to be provided.

However Christ stopped short of quoting "the day of vengeance" which should follow, no doubt because the Son of man did not come to condemn the world, but that it through Him might be saved (John 3:17). NOW is that time, and the other ? well, as we have been seeing, that waits in the shadows, till the people of shadows are fully ripened. THIS, He says in John, is the condemnation, that light has come into the world and men have preferred darkness. What secures hell is not mere sin, since God has this abiding desire that all might be saved (I Timothy 2); it is rather the intransigent failure to accept liberation (John 15:21ff.).

9.At the end of Isaiah 61, we see the exultation and delight in the Lord of the disciple who is His indeed, covered in a righteousness he has done nothing to produce, but which enshrouds him with a fulness like that tendered to a bride or bridegroom before marriage: the garments of salvation are provided.

10.In Isaiah 62 we see that despite such current and then contemporary horrors are were drastically rebuked in Isaiah 59, there is to come a time when in Zion there will be a New Covenant glory (62:5-6,11), and this is in accord with Zechariah 12, Romans 11. Even though the Jew did not capture the glory, but if it were possible, crucified it, as so many of the Gentiles have done, mixing power and self-righteousness (cf. Romans 10) with what the Lord said to their downfall (and the Gentile world is now in precisely the parallel situation in this respect, to the world of the Jews in the time of the crucifixion, seminary after seminary defiling the delights of the Gospel, and many churches are ensnared, like the Jewish high priests of old, legislating in the Lord's name, amiss - cf. II Thessalonians 2, Matthew 24, II Peter 2): yet the time is to come. Thus in Romans 11 Paul makes it categorically clear that Jewish blindness is ONLY FOR A SEASON, and that this amazing thing is to have a cessation! The Lord indeed will come to Zion (Romans 11:26) as Isaiah predicted (and we saw) in Isaiah 59:20ff.. THAT word was BOUND in a definitive way: it would not depart, no the prophecy would not depart, yes and as part of the word of God it would not at all depart but be divinely sustained (cf. Isaiah 40:8).

WHEN the Lord so should come, as Paul notes in Romans 11, then there is the occasion for the exultant rejoicing of the apostle: he delights in the ONENESS of them all, Jew and Gentile contingents in Christ, the one rejecting and rejected, the other accepting, but to take heed lest it likewise fall, then the other coming back (Romans 11:33-36). The UNITY in the DIVERSITY, the COMMONNESS despite the historical differences between the two strands, Jew and Gentile, the depth of the wisdom of God who integrates and makes ONE, all of this, over time, by ONE REDEEMER, it transports the apostle with rapture. Here comes the bride! There is the Lord! So it is all one in a magnificent symphony of brilliant strategy, like marvellous earthworks, disturbing much, yet finally yielding in all its wonder, ONE GARDEN with ONE GARDENER, for the whole converted phase of the human race, throughout all its history. It is all FROM God and TO God, says Paul, and THROUGH HIM. THAT is how He works (Romans 11:36).

If, then,  the fall of Israel was a blessing (in that the Gospel hose was turned directly and altogether upon them) to the Gentiles, how much more the RESTORATION in the believing phase for Israel (Romans 11:15)! It will be like "life from the dead"! So does the vast conversion to occur in Israel (Zechariah 12:10) precede the Lord's return (Zechariah 14) to govern the nations. So do the Gentiles "rejoice with His people" (Deuteronomy 32:43), woven like a tartan, each contributing to one wholesome and holy whole.

THUS the Jewish people would have their restoration first as a nation, physically AND then in individuals, in a significant and substantial measure, spiritually (Zechariah 12:12-14, Isaiah 55:1-3), adding its number to those of the redeemed (cf. Revelation 7), all in ONE covenant, in a NEW covenant, law written on the HEART (Ezekiel 11:19, Jeremiah 31:31ff.), bought with blood, redeemed by life, the life of God incarnated in Christ, sent from above (Isaiah 1:18, 53:6, Micah 5:1-3, John 8:23-44, I John 4:9, 17:1-3, 8:58, Titus 2:13-14, 3:4-7). It is however in this same FREE salvation in CHRIST that this is to occur, and this battalion will hold its illustrious place: for the grace gives lustre to all.

11. In Isaiah 63 we move to the direct - one could almost say 'military' - judgments of the Lord on sinning flesh, as these end-time events come to their culmination (cf. Revelation 19, Zechariah 14). The tender mercies and pity of the Lord to Israel over time are reviewed, and the rest which was provided (cf. 63:14). An impassioned plea to the Lord comes from some of the saints of that time (cf. Isaiah 8:16-18,20), as seen in 63:15-19.

12. Yet the ways of the nation are not rectified, and though the Lord is the One who "acts for the one who waits upon Him" (64:4), and brings joy to the one who rejoices with His heavenly joy and has in mind the ways of God, yet the analysis stays, the diagnosis does not waver. "We are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags" (the last thing to be clad with in His presence - the mistranslation by some of Revelation 19:8, contrary to that book and any other in the Bible, being exposed in The Kingdom of Heaven, Ch.9, pp. 158-161). Thus speaks the prophet consistently and constantly.

13. But the Lord in Isaiah 65 declares,

"I am sought by those who did not ask for Me;
I was found by those who did not seek Me.
I said, "Here I am, here I am,"
To a nation that was not called by My name.
I have stretched out My hands all day long to a rebellious people,
Who walk in a way that is not good,
According to their own thoughts,
A people who provoke Me to anger continually to My face..." (vv.1-3),

and this accords sadly with Isaiah 30:8-11).

Gentiles do well to note, that God is no respecter of persons and that these sins of ancient Israel are precisely those infecting many a nation, many a church, many a heart in the Gentile world of today; as its whole culture moves with just that imperious dismissal and arrogance, deft but deadly interweaving of things divine and things human, in such a way as to nullify the former (cf. Mark 7:7), which has produced such tragedy to the Jews, and will do so to the Gentiles likewise.

Gentiles ? Yes, Jew or Gentile, the servants of the Lord, as we saw, are shown in 65:13ff. to be blessed in Christ without respect to race;  while cursed are those knowingly in defiance of Him.

The malady is objective; so is the cure; so is the consequence of ignoring it.

14.Isaiah 65 goes on with the depiction of that heavenly rule in Christ in the earth which saw fit, through Jew and Roman instrumentality, to crucify Him. Now manifest in power, as earlier marvellous in service, we find Him mighty in presence, reigning, so that "the earth will be filled with the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea" - Habakkuk 2:14.

15. It is then that the true majesty of the Lord is shown (66:1-2), the inadequacy in the end of animal and typical sacrificial systems is shown, the deliverance of the oppressed, who were valiant for the truth in the midst of all such muddied muddles: these are all seen, and we have earlier alluded to this (Isaiah 66:3-6). Next looming is the amazingly sudden restoration of the Jews, in this post-Temple time, following the death and resurrection of the Messiah (Isaiah 26:19, 53:12, Psalm 16,2,72) is noted.

16. Then as the nations arise to do their (evil) pleasure in this changed situation (cf. Zechariah 12:10), toward the land where the people are turned now to Him, so  comes the thrust of fearsome power which overturns once and for all such presumption (Isaiah 66:15-16, Habakkuk 3:10ff., Micah 7:15ff., Isaiah 42 and 49 as shown, Matthew 24:29-51, Acts 1:7ff.), the many references moving to, through and from

  • the massive conversion among the Jews,


  • their deliverance as a nation,


  • the initial impact of Christ's return for His own, viewed as a bride, HIS bride, taken to heaven (Revelation 19:9, I Thessalonians 4), this divine action being neither partial nor negligent, neither a bride in instalments nor lassitudinous,  but conceived holistically, the entire realm of completed Christendom now as one, Jew and Gentile, gloriously and blessedly one, delivered from above (Romans 11:26-36), as the Lord gathers the category of the elect, before judgment ( Matthew 24:31,45-51, 25:11ff.), as He told the Jewish apostles of the Christian church from the first, in the very teeth of malign developments of evil power on earth (Matthew 24:3,15-31, II Thessalonians 2:7-10), escaping after shining like gold in the furnace,


  • the calamities of unrelieved 'flesh'  left behind, the phase of coming "in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, even on those do not obey the Gospel" (II Thessalonians 1:8, 2:8-10), when justice and judgment begins to be unleashed more severely (1:6),


  • and the final judgments (Matthew 25, Revelation 20).

Thus those who play God find that the fifth Act of the play, as  often enough  in Shakespeare, has enough of slaughter in it; for  the offscouring of the universe is not after all, the apostles, though in their forbearance they looked like it, but what insists on denying the wonder of reality, and so qualifies. (Cf. Isaiah 66:24, I Corinthians 4:9-13).

Dedicated garbage is a strange concept; but it seems less when one finds, so often, the dismissive delirium of those who will not heed the love of God, the gravity of their offences and the wonder of His FREE provisions, in Christ (cf. Matthew 5:29, Mark 9:2-47).

It is true we do not know the hour of Christ's coming, but it is no less true that when "these things come to pass", Christians are to "look up and lift up your hearts" because "your redemption draws  near" (Luke 21:28, Romans 8:23, Hebrews 9:12ff.).

By "meta-faith" is simply meant the FAITH which has as its object the One who is shown to be objectively true. As exhibited constantly in this Site, that is Jesus Christ, necessarily, with no logical options. For further on the meta-religion denotation, as an aid to clear thought in the midst of the philosophy of religion which makes it a sub-set of human endeavour, and a social activity per se, as if God were not there and alone amongst us all were mute: see A Spiritual Potpourri, Ch.15, Endnote1.


Now to PART 3