The sweetest sound that a lost sinner can hear is a message of the absolute reign of the REDEEMER KING in the earth. “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!” (Isa 52:7) Only those who remain as rebels against GOD and HIS KING shall refuse to worship at HIS footstool whenever HIS triumphs are proclaimed. This is a unifying message for all of the sons of GOD. “Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the LORD shall bring again Zion. Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem: for the LORD hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem.” (Isa 52:8-9)
The religion of this world is satisfied with the declaration of a god who is subservient to the free will of men. Those who declare this weak kneed deity have not been acquainted with the GOD of the Bible who answers to none and declares the end from the beginning. HE will accomplish HIS purpose in the earth and not one event will transpire therein which is not in keeping with that purpose and unto HIS glory. HE is to be feared as ONE whom the scripture describes as a “consuming fire” whose will cannot be thwarted nor even one of those whom HIS soul loveth, could ever perish or be removed from HIS presence. “HE is GOD and there is none else.”
One of the most glorious revelations that is brought to the awareness of those who are given eyes to see and a heart to call upon HIS NAME is that “HE will show mercy.” Now those who are intent on robbing HIM of glory tell us that HIS mercy is extended in response to something which men do. This would be no mercy at all but rather the payment of a debt or a conditional reward bestowed on those who possess some ability to either approach HIM or earn HIS favor.
Yet we read HIS own words which HE said to Moses, “I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.” (Exo 33:19) HIS mercy is HIS prerogative and it is because HE shows mercy, that any man should ever call out to HIM. The heart of man is “deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jer 17:9) Much less can he who is born of a woman, conceived in sin, ever stir himself up to seek the LORD.
The man who is awakened by SPIRIT of GOD, to flee from the wrath to come, demonstrates the goodness of the LORD in calling HIS people out of darkness and into the glorious LIGHT. I believe it is impossible to find a true believer in CHRIST who does not attribute all of his deliverance to the mercy of GOD quite apart from anything of worth, found in himself. Can a man who contends that his own faith has brought salvation unto him, give GOD glory? No indeed those who are made the recipients of GOD’s mercy confess that HE alone has saved them from certain destruction, knowing that in their flesh dwells no good thing.
Still there are those who insist that a man can choose to be saved whenever he wants. Such are blind guides who are unacquainted with the Sovereign prerogative of GOD to show mercy to whom HE wills. They have no knowledge of the depths of the depravity of the heart of man, who will not seek after GOD, neither can he know HIS ways or desire HIS glory.
The GOD of our SALVATION is a “terrible GOD”. “Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.” (Rev 15:4) “Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty. Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain: Who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters: who maketh the clouds his chariot: who walketh upon the wings of the wind: Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire: Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever. Thou coveredst it with the deep as with a garment: the waters stood above the mountains. At thy rebuke they fled; at the voice of thy thunder they hasted away.” (Psa 104:1-7)
This GOD is the ONE who has declared that “A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth.” (Isa 42:3) HE is that ONE who promises, “And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness. The meek also shall increase their joy in the LORD, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.” (Isa 29:18-19) HE is that ONE who is “Mighty to save”.
What good news is brought to those who sit in darkness, that “Our GOD reigneth”. HE is that ONE who has obtained eternal redemption,. If HE were not a “terrible GOD” then HE would need to wait upon others, yet HIS “own arm has brought salvation” unto HIMSELF and thus HIS people. Oh what hope and expectation is brought to those who tremble before HIM as they behold HIS mighty power, HIS ablility, and HIS willingness to show mercy.
The Psalmist said, “But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.” (Psa 130:4) When the LORD (by HIS sovereign grace) is pleased to give a man a HOPE in HIS mercy, he is overwhelmed that his sins have been taken away. He trembles before the LORD, and can do nothing but praise HIM for HIS excellent goodness to one worthy of death and destruction. As we read in the scripture concerning the “terribleness” of GOD, we find that HE often uses this revelation to reveal HIS mercy. Except a man have a clear understanding of the justice of GOD in destroying sinners and HIS power to do so, can he then rightly fear the LORD, even as Job expressed at the end of his trial.
“For the LORD your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward: He doth execute the judgment of the fatherless and widow, and loveth the stranger, in giving him food and raiment.” (Deut 10:17-18) HIS ear is open unto the cry of the needy and him that hath no strength. “Nevertheless for thy great mercies' sake thou didst not utterly consume them, nor forsake them; for thou art a gracious and merciful God. Now therefore, our God, the great, the mighty, and the terrible God, who keepest covenant and mercy.” (Neh 9:31-32)
We read of this “terrible GOD” that HE is the “KING over all the Earth”. Now surely this speaks of HIS absolute sway over all events in the earth, but that is not primarily the message which we are sent to declare in the Earth, though it be absolutely true. Rather the import of declaring HIM as KING is primarily centered on HIS reign as the REDEEMER KING who has come to fulfill the purpose of HIS FATHER. “Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.” (Psa 2:6)
The establishment of the Kingdom of CHRIST in the earth is a manifestation of that salvation which HE has purchased with HIS own blood on Calvary’s tree, in order to satisfy the claims of HIS justice in the behalf of all of those for whom HE came bearing their sorrows as their SUBSTITUTE and RIGHTEOUS PRIEST. “I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.” (Dan 7:13-14)
HE is the SAVIOR and DELIVERER of the subjects of HIS kingdom, who are one and the same with the objects of HIS redemptive work. HE came into the world with an express purpose, as the angel testified to Joseph, “Thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” (Mat 1:21) Who else but HE who is a “terrible GOD” can guarantee that HE shall accomplish exactly what HE set out to do.
This is the unequivocal message which Peter declared on the day of Pentecost. “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.” (Act 2:36) “For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.” (1Cor 15:25) HE is indeed a “terrible GOD” who shall lose none of HIS own.mam