A Voice in the
" Messiah: God Comes to Humanity "
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"Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God; speak ye comfortably
to Jerusalem; and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that
her iniquity is pardoned." (Is40:1-2)
When God makes an appearance on earth how does He do it? Back in the 70s
there was a (rock) "christmas" musical addressing the birth of Jesus
Christ, and it had lyrics something on the order of "God invaded our
planet 2000 years ago" Today there are various entities, including the
Vatican, speaking of god-like ones appearing on earth via the transport
of UFOs and stargates; aliens with glowing eyes and deep dark voices.
What is "invasion"? To enter by force in order to conquer or pillage.
To enter and permeate, especially harmfully. In other words, to come
along with superior forces to annihilate and do harm.
No, God did -not- "invade" our planet!
But notice that when God comes He has 'peaceful' intentions. He does not
come along marching in (left, right, left, right), leaving everybody
quaking in fear at His arrival. He comes speaking "comfort". Where
there's been adversity and animosity, the warfare has ended. As a result
of His arrival whatever iniquity is "pardoned".
It is not God's intention or desire to come other than peacefully and in
righeousness. That's all God ever wanted with man ever since the
beginning at the creation. Those who view God as being vindictive,
vengeful and full of wrath don't know God.
And so the Great God comes with the announcement of His messenger:
"The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness (John the immerser),
Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway
for our God." (Is40:3)
God is coming. He is awesome. Who can measure up? How is it to be
determined who is worthy to receive Him? Not just anybody can receive
such grandeur. In what manner does He appear on the scene? When He
appeared on Mt.Sinai it was with thunder, lightning, thick cloud, sound
of the shofar such that the people were afraid and stood at a distance.
(Ex20:18) As a nation Israel was just about to receive the Law, and thus
theoretically (judicially) they hadn't yet sinned. After all, "where
there is no law, neither is there transgression" (Ro4:15)
But now (since then: and Adam and Eve) there -has- been sin. Certainly,
God is offering terms of "peace" and "comfort" and of "pardon". But how
does God come to mankind within the context of trespasses?
"Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill made low;
the crooked straight, and the rough places plain. And the glory of the
Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together; for the
mouth of the Lord hath spoken it, (Is40:4-5)
God must establish just -WHO- HE IS. As He proclaims that He is the one
who "created all things" (Eph3:9, Re4:11), He also shows His power by
'rearranging' that which He made. Raise the valleys, lower the hills,
straightens what is crooked and smooths out what is rough. What is the
goal and purpose to this exercise? To determine...
"Who may abide the day of His coming, and who shall stand when He
Who is the "messenger of the covenant"? Jesus would say, "This is the
covenant in My blood" (Mt26:28, 1Co11:25) Typically we think of a
"messenger" as making communication "on behalf of" somebody else. But as
we progress we are going to see that 1) God is the Creator, 2) God
issues the invitation, 3) Jesus of the Covenant -is- very God (as Jesus
would say, "I and the Father are one" (Jn10:30) 4) Jesus is God, the
Messenger on behalf of Himself. "In the beginning was the Word, and the
Word was with God, and the Word was God" (Jn1:1)
"Thus saith the Lord of Hosts, Yet once a little while and I will shake
the heavens, and the earth, the sea, and the dry land; and I will shake
all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come.
"The Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His temple, even the
messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in; Behold, He shall come,
saith the Lord of Hosts. (Hag 2:6-7, Mal 3:1-2)
And so, as God comes, some house cleaning must be done. God is holy and
does not countenance sin.
"For He is like a refiner's fire. And He shall purify the sons of Levi,
that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness. (Mal3:3)
Why the "sons of Levi"?
"Woe to the shepherds (the sons of Levi) who destroy and scatter the
sheep of My pasture! says Jehovah. Therefore thus says Jehovah the God
of Israel, against the shepherds who feed My people, You have scattered
My flock, and have driven them away, and have not attended to them.
Behold, I will attend to you for the evil of your doings, says Jehovah.
And I will gather the remnant of My flock out of all the lands where I
have driven them, and will bring them back to their folds. And they
shall be fruitful and multiply. And I will set up shepherds over them
who will feed them. And they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed; nor
shall they be lacking, says Jehovah. Behold, the days are coming, says
Jehovah, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King who
shall reign and act prudently, and shall execute justice and
righteousness in the earth." (Jer23:1-5)
Why the sons of Levi? As God was dispensing judgement, He put a mark on
those who had cried (in sorrow) over Israel's sin, to preserve them, and
then as the death angel was let loose on those without the mark God
tells him to go and "kill...do not have pity" and says, "and begin at My
sanctuary" (Ezk9:5-6) The Levites were those who knew (better than
anybody else) -what- God's Holy Law was, and they were leading Israel
astray. Maybe "all we like sheep have gone astray" (Is53:6), but it was
the Levites who -led- them astray. Today, that would be the -pastors-.
God offers (and desires) peace. But He is also holy and just, and there
is a day of reckoning; to determine what has been done, "whether good or
This sets the stage. If man has sinned is there an equitable way to be
atoned? By what means? By whose agency?
God is offering "peace" in the context of "pardon". In other words,
things are not 'perfect' and 'sinless' like at the beginning of Eden.
But neither is God ram-charging onto the scene, guns blazing, judgment
and mayhem with no opportunity to make a plea. God -knows- who is at
fault. He knows that satan is the usurper who "led them astray"
(Re20:10) As the old hymn says, "For still our ancient foe doth seek to
work us woe...his craft and power are great...and armed with cruel hate"
but God our "Mighty Fortress" must win the battle. God has not left us
dangling. He has provided us with Salvation through our Lord Jesus
"But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus
This is the background. The prophecy, history and doctrine of this
- Next -
The accompanying recording is an 'oratorio': Handel's "Messiah".
If you don't like opera you may not care for this (the two are very
similar). Played non-stop the whole thing is about 2.5 hours long.
But for the next five months the 'articles' take this work, divided up
into sections, presenting the Scriptures and running 'commentary'
which can be read by itself without the music. The entire history of
Jesus on this earth is presented: From when He was first promised to
Eve in Eden, crucifixion and resurrection, clear through to His glory
in Heaven where He has judged sinners and is reigning with God in
The oratorio itself is word-for-word from the KJV. God's Word set to
music. If you just read the words it might seem a bit sparse at times.
The performance may not be as 'puristically' "Baroque" as some musicians
might prefer, but I believe it captures the 'spirit' of the work about
as well as I've heard. And, sorry about the recorded quality: it both
comes from LPs pressed in the 60s, and the MP3 format is the lowest
quality for 'space' considerations.
The on-screen text is in three parts, corresponding to how the Messiah
was originally published. Hopefully it will be obvious 'why' I have
divided it up into the five sections as I did.