In heaven, all the angels and hosts gather around the throne room of God to report assignments and carry out others. The Prophet Micaiah says, ‘I saw the Lord sitting on his throne with all the host of heaven standing round him on his right and on his left’ (1 Kings 22:19). The Prophet Isaiah also records, ‘I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying’ (Isaiah 6:1-2). Without insights from God, no one can know what happens in the Council unless God Himself gives us a glimpse. Jeremiah writes;
‘For who has stood in the council of the Lord to see or hear his word? Who has listened and heard his word?’
In the Council of God, critical decisions are made for each individual and for the entire human race collectively- and it usually begins with God asking a question. For instance, King Ahab’s wickedness grew so much that ‘there was never a man like Ahab, who sold himself to do evil in the eyes of the Lord, urged on by Jezebel his wife’ (1 Kings 21:25). All the while, God observed as Ahab made wrong choices that costed him and the people he governed. When Ahab’s day of reckoning came, God assembled His council and asked, ‘Who will entice Ahab into attacking Ramoth Gilead and going to his death there?’ One suggested this, and the other that’ (22:v20).
‘Finally, a spirit came forward, stood before the Lord and said, ‘I will entice him.’
‘By what means?’ the Lord asked.
‘I will go out and be a lying spirit in the mouths of all his prophets,’ he said.
‘You will succeed in enticing him,’ said the Lord. ‘Go and do it.’
Ultimately, Ahab met his death, putting an end to his wickedness and influence of evil.
In another council, God had observed that, ‘I reared children and brought them up, but they rebelled against me . . . a sinful nation, a people loaded with guilt, a brood of evildoers, children given to corruption! They have forsaken the Lord; they have spurned the Holy One of Israel and turned their backs on him’ (Isaiah 1:2,4). God then calls His council to intervene. Again, God starts off with a question and a willing party comes forward. Prophet Isaiah ‘heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?’’ (6:v8). This time, not an angel, but Prophet Isaiah himself volunteers, ‘for we are God’s fellow workers’ (1 Corinthians 3:9). He says, ‘Here am I. Send me!’ (Isaiah 6:8).
‘He (God) said, ‘Go and tell this people: Be ever hearing, but never understanding; be ever seeing, but never perceiving. Make the heart of this people calloused; make their ears dull and close their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed.’’ (v9-10)
‘Then I (Isaiah) said, ‘For how long, O Lord?’
God answered, ‘Until the cities lie ruined and without inhabitant . . . But as the terebinth and oak leave stumps when they are cut down, so the holy seed will be the stump in the land.’
God in His magnificent wisdom, uses the rebellion of Israel to birth forth a Spiritual Israel. Paul writes, ‘For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in’ (Romans 11:25). When Israel turned their backs on Him by rebellion, God’s plan was not just to bring them back to Him, but to make all nations turn to Him. Instead of accepting sacrifices from His people Israel, God springs forth a holy seed that will be the ultimate sacrifice for all mankind.
So when Israel of old lied in ruined, then God’s plan sprang into action. Another council was called, but this time round, God did not ask any question because He ‘looked and was displeased that there was no justice. He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his own arm brought salvation for him, and his own righteousness sustained him’ (Isaiah 59:15-16). God then sends Himself to bring justice and redeem mankind from wickedness. Prophet Isaiah receives a revelation and records the greatest conversation from the Council of God, before God Himself set foot on earth as a man.
God the Son: ‘I have laboured to no purpose; I have spent my strength in vain and for nothing. Yet what is due to me is in the Lord’s hand, and my reward is with my God’ (49:v4)
God the Father: ‘It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth’ (v6)
God the Son: ‘The Lord has forsaken me, the Lord has forgotten me’ (v14)
God the Father: ‘See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me. Your sons hasten back, and those who laid you waste depart from you. Lift up your eyes and look around; all your sons gather and come to you. As surely as I live, you will wear them as ornaments; you will put them on like a bride’ (v16-18)
God the Son: ‘The Sovereign Lord has given me an instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught. The Sovereign Lord has opened my ears, and I have not been rebellious; I have not drawn back. I offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard; I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting. Because the Sovereign Lord helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore have I set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame’ (50:v4-7)
God the Father: ‘I will contend with those who contend with you, and your children I will save. I will make your oppressors eat their own flesh; they will be drunk with their own blood, as with wine. Then all mankind will know that I, the Lord, am your saviour, your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob’ (49:v25-26)
God the Son: ‘He who vindicates me is near. Who then will bring charges against me? Let us face each other! Who is my accuser? Let him confront me! It is the Sovereign Lord who helps me. Who is he who will condemn me? They will wear out like a garment; the moths will eat them up. Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the word of his servant? Let him who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God’ (50:v8-10)
‘Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own; but he sent me. Why is my language not clear to you? . . . If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? He who belongs to God hears what God says.”’ ~ John 8:42-43, 46-47