The Divine Appointment of Salvation for Walls and Bulwarks
By Michael Zaucha
Our Great God and Father is revealed as the One “who declares the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it” (Isa. 46:10-11), and Jesus Christ our Lord, God’s Beloved Son, God’s Elect Servant (Isa. 42:1), as Him who was sent to accomplish all of His Father’s good pleasure, and He has and continues to do so is the good news of the Gospel.
It is a Provision of God. “In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah; We have a strong city; salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks” (Isa. 26.1). The provision of a strong city is God’s appointed work, and praise God, it is an appointment He was faithful to keep. It is being manifested now as true, and will even moreso be shown to be true when Jesus comes again “from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power” (II Th. 1:7-9).
We all had better be in that strong city on that day.
Man is not able to think of such a Provision against what is to come, let alone provide for it. From this perspective, it’s a hands-off work to man. To God alone be the glory for this mighty Provision of a strong city.
With the Provision of God’s appointment made, the prophet cries out unto God: “Open Ye the gates” (vs. 2) – the crying out is unto God to do this for the people, for God is the One who must open the gates to the strong city – so “that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in.” In order for God’s people to partake of the Divine Provision, they must enter into it, and it is only God that can open the gates of entry to the strong city, and then and only then, the righteous nation may enter into it - the righteous being them being those who keep the truth. Jesus spoke of such a nation that keepeth the truth are in a most favored position with God: “Blessed are they which hear the word of God, and keep it” (Lk. 11:28). “Thy word is truth” (Jn. 17:17).
To each of the individuals and the entirety of the body of the righteous nation, “Thou (God) wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee.” (vs. 3). With the Provision made of a strong city, and the gates to it opened, again, there is more good news to declare: the promise of God to keep you in that place where He hath brought you in, for it is a place of peace, but know that there is a requirement of the righteous that have entered into it, and that is to stay where God has placed them, and they do so by trusting in God, in trusting and believing in the Provision that He Himself has provided, that it will affect the very thing that God said it would.
So the exhortation is to the righteous nation, both then and now: “Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength” (Isa. 26:1-4). Hear the precision of the revelation to partake of everlasting strength.
The necessary strength to endure to the end is not around the Lord, it is not even by the Lord. It is far more closer and intimate than that - it is “IN” the Lord that is the place of obtainment of everlasting strength found.
The Fulfillment is Christ Jesus Himself. The Scripture’s announcement is that the spirit of the prophet Isaiah is the testimony of Christ Jesus Himself (Rev. 19:10). From the foundational revelation, Jesus Christ Himself is the strong city of refuge we have: “ we know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and the wicked one toucheth him not” (I Jn. 5:18) – how is that for being in a place of safety and strength; and that it is God has who has put us into Christ: “of Him (of God), are ye in Christ Jesus (I Cor. 1:30); that Jesus Christ Himself is the appointed salvation of God – “ Be it known unto you all, by the name of Jesus Christ, there is neither salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12); that Jesus Christ Himself is our wall and bulwarks against the evil of this day, and from that great and terrible day of the Lord that is nigh at hand: “There is therefore now, no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1); that it is Jesus Christ Himself who opened the gates of entry for the righteous nation into this so-great salvation of God by His death, burial, and resurrection from the dead: “for through Him – through our living and reigning Lord Jesus Christ, we have access by one Spirit to the Father” (Eph. 2:18); and it is Jesus Christ Himself who keeps us from falling and will present us faultless before the presence of God’s full glory, on that great day of the Lord, with exceeding joy (Jude 24). It is the gospel that affirms this very truth concerning Jesus that the prophet Isaiah was given to see.
As you read on in the Isaiah text, the context of this mighty Provision of God is because it is set in a time of trouble for the people of God; a time of assault upon the people of God by their enemies; and of an appointment of God of a soon coming time when “the Lord cometh out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity” (Isa. 26:21). The people of God are in need of a strong city with strong walls and bulwarks to hide them in “until the indignation be overpast” – and the fullness of that Appointed Provision of God is Jesus Christ Himself.
Jesus – Our Provision in the Day of Trouble. This need of this provision was true then for God’s people in their day, and it is oh so true for God’s people now in our day. For we are living in most perilous of times, and come they have upon us in wave upon even higher wave of worsenment. For it is clearly evident that men are truly lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof (II Tim. 3:2-5) – and this being a commentary on the so-called religious ones of the day. How much more the wicked ones?
This world truly lieth in wickedness (I Jn. 5:19), and it is this present evil world (Gal. 1:4), and yet, it is the one that the saints of the Most High God must pass though in this present life, and come through it without the defilement of it upon them.
Furthermore, in this world, there is a kingdom, and it is revealed to be a kingdom of darkness, and it is full of darkness, because there is a prince of this world, who is full of darkness, the devil, who is a liar, and the father of lies; who is a deceiver who likens himself to the Most High (Isa. 14:14). Jesus reveals the devil as a “murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him” (Jn. 8:44).
And to those who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ, the prince of this world is wroth with them, being angered and enraged against them, so much so, that he went to make war with them (Rev. 12:17).
Additionally, there are sufferings to endure, temptations and trials to overcome, deeds of the flesh to be mortified, our old man to be put off, and the gate is so strait and the way so narrow – and who is sufficient for these things?
Hear the good news of the gospel: “God is my king of old, working salvation in the midst of the earth (Ps. 74:12). From old, from ancient times, before the world was, God had appointed a strong city for His people, and that provision is Christ Jesus Himself. God hath provided a strong city for His people whose walls are called salvation and its gates praise (Isa. 60:18) – and the chief cornerstone of that strong city is Christ Jesus Himself.
“Therefore – because all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (I Jn. 2:16), because the people of God need it, God had appointed it according to His manifold wisdom before the foundations of the world - thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste” (Isa. 28:16). The gospel announces that this precious corner stone is Jesus Christ Himself, and all that believeth, hope and trust in the One which God has laid most securely in His sight, you shall not be ashamed now and most notably at His coming the second time (Heb. 9:28).
There is no confidence or hope for God’s people in a city built with brick and mortar, not even one built of steel and concrete, for they cannot stand against that which is come upon the saints and what still is yet to come. Nothing man could do is able to accomplish the provision necessary for salvation against the evil day of today and from that great and notable day of the Lord still to come. This truth is made evident in the Scripture, and all must partake of it to endure. Even in the sundry times of revelation, Abraham knew of a need of such a provision of God. He wasn’t looking for an earthly city to dwell in but for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God (Heb. 11:10).
Jesus Christ Himself is the appointed of God and the provided of God salvation that the prophet was given to see from afar off. God revealed this to the prophet as well. Speaking to His Elect Servant, His Beloved Son, and the Holy Spirit moved the holy prophet Isaiah to write it down: “And He (God) said, It is a light thing that Thou shouldest be My servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give Thee for a light to the Gentiles, that Thou mayest be My salvation unto the end of the earth” (Isa. 49:6). “My salvation shall be from generation to generation” (Isa. 51:8), even shall it be for ever (Isa. 51:6) saith the Lord.
Brethren, God didn’t give man a plan of salvation, God gave us His Beloved Son, “that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (Jn. 3:16). God didn’t give us the law or a set of steps to follow to save us, God gave us His Only Begotten Son to save us, “Christ sufferd once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God” (I Pet. 3:18). God’s appointed salvation that provides strength and safety is not in a city made with hands, but in the man Christ Jesus, who Himself is that strong city of promise.
And when that appointed of God time came to bring nigh His salvation, “when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law,” (Gal. 3:4), and that woman, Mary, Jesus’ mother, brought the child to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord. A man named Simeon was there, and it wasn’t a coincidence – he being there by the Holy Spirit, took the child, that Holy Thing in his arms and declared the appointment of God was coming to pass: “mine eyes have seen Thy salvation” (Lk. 2:30) was this holy man of God’s declaration. Simeon was given to see the substance of God’s so-great the salvation in the person Christ Jesus, our Lord, the Son of God, the Son of Man.
It is written: “Behold, a King shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment. And a Man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land” (Isa. 32:1-2).
Jesus said to those who are laboring and heavy laden, being tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, laboring under the load of traditions received from your fathers, and the guilt of sin upon the conscience, Jesus said: “Come unto me, and I will give you rest” (Mt. 11:28).
And to those that are thirsting in the dry wilderness of this weary land, Jesus says: “if any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink. He that believeth on Me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water” (Jn. 7:37-38). For Him that cometh unto Me, I will in no wise cast out (Jn. 6:37). Jesus is a strong city, and God hath appointed Him for walls and bulwarks.
Jesus–the Living Way. Entrance into that strong city must be opened for man to enter in, because of the transgression of Adam access to the city of the Great King was denied. Adam and all his seed were banished from it, being kept from entering by Cherubims, and a flaming sword (Gen. 3:24). The gospel declares the good news of this opening up of access to the strong city, and it was Jesus Himself that accomplished it, doing it by His death on the cross, when He gave Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour (Eph. 5:2), and God saw it and was satisfied (Isa. 53:11).
It is the gospel of Jesus Christ that declares the good news of this accomplishment that Jesus died for our sins according to the scriptures, and was buried, and rose again the third day, according to the Scriptures, and ascended up into heaven, appearing at the closed gates in the greatness of His strength, being Him that is mighty to save, the man Christ Jesus who conquered sin and death and the devil, and showing the cost that He paid to win the victory – blood stained garments, and pierced hands and feet. “I have trodden the winepress alone” (Isa. 63:3) – the winepress of the wrath of God is His victorious announcement having “His own self bore our sins in His own body on the tree” (I Pet. 2:24), and was stricken, smitten of God and afflicted – for our transgressions (Isa. 53:4-11).
And been raised from the dead, because it was not possible to be holden of it (Acts 2:24), Jesus appeared in heaven, and the satisfied God cried out to the Gatekeepers: Open wide ye everlasting doors and let the King of Glory in (cf. Ps. 24:7-9) – the Apostle affirms this glorious truth: “when He (Jesus) had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on High” (Heb. 1:3). Christ Jesus is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are a figure of the true, but into heaven itself – now – to appear in the presence of God for us (Heb. 9:24).
The Good News of the Gospel. The gates to the strong city have been opened and continue to be so to this very day is the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ. But we would be remiss to declare that this will not always be the case, for the Scripture is very clear that when Jesus comes again, “when the Master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door saying, Lord, Lord, open to us; and He shall answer and say unto you: I know you not whence ye are . . . I tell you depart from Me, all ye workers of iniquity” (Lk. 13:25-28). To these, there will be weeping, and gnashing of teeth having been cast out for ever from the presence of God and from His Christ.
Today is the day of salvation. Today, if you will hear His voice, harden not your hearts. Behold,
Jesus stands at the door, and knock; if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and sup with him, and he with Me” (Rev. 3:20). That invitation of that Great Shepherd of the Sheep is still for today, and is still unto all.
Conclusion. The prophet Isaiah was moved by the Holy Ghost to pen the lyrics of a most hopeful song for the people of God, one in which began to reveal the enormity of God’s so great salvation, the provisions of it and those who are included in it – the nation of the righteous. This nation is not defined by a geographical location on the earth – rather it is the one nation that is comprised of all kindreds, and people, and tongues (Rev. 7:9), both of Jews and Gentiles, male and female who have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb (Rev. 7:14).
While the song began to first be sung in the land of Judah, it has spread across all boundaries of land and time, for what God is doing in Christ Jesus cannot and will not be contained in a land registered on the earth. The prophet was given to see it’s coming to pass from afar and spoke of a time when God will fulfill His appointment of salvation for walls and bulwarks, when the gates to it will be opened, and when the righteous nation will access all the promises of God.
Brethren, the gospel is announcing that this appointment of God has come to pass – that in Christ Jesus, we have a strong city; that God has appointed His Son our salvation, our walls and bulwarks; that Jesus has opened the gates of access to God, and that Jesus is keeping us and perfecting us to believe and trust fully on Him.
So I exhort you to walk about it, that city of the Great king, consider the strength of its walls and bulwarks; consider the beauty and regal glory of its towers and palaces (Ps. 48). Jesus died and rose again that you might enter in and remain, even for ever and for ever. End.