Tuesday, May 3, 2011

JESUS' EYES OF FIRE

JESUS--HIS EYES OF FIRE


Continuing the description of Jesus Christ, as He appeared to the Apostle John on the island of Patmos in a vision.  Today we’ll focus on Jesus’ EYES--like a FLAME of FIRE.

Revelation 1:14-- “His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and His EYES were as a FLAME OF FIRE.”

A FLAME of fire is the same as saying a BLAZING FIRE.  Jesus’ eyes were full of FIERY INTENSITY.  What do you envision when you think of FIERY EYES?  Are these eyes which convey comfort and compassion?  Do they soften with love and adoration?  Or are they blank, showing no emotion at all?  Most definitely NO!

Eyes flashing like flames of fire are hot with passion.  What kind of passion?  We might say anger, or at least SOFTEN the anger A BIT, and say "RIGHTEOUS INDIGNATION."  Eyes full of FIRE are NOT COMFORTING.  One look at an expression such as that, and we’d desire to run and hide.  John fainted. (Revelation 1:17)

Throughout the scripture, fire is used as a symbol of JUDGMENT.  (Here we go with that JUDGMENT idea again.) 

When Jesus appears in a vision, which demonstrates His RIGHTEOUS JUDGMENT, it fits THE CHARACTER of Revelation’s prophecy, which shows God, and His Son Jesus, in a variety of upcoming JUDGMENTS.  In Genesis 19:24, FIRE is used to bring JUDGMENT upon Sodom and Gomorrah.  In Exodus 9:24, a JUDGMENT fell upon Egypt--this time, hail which was mingled with FIRE.  In Ezekiel 21:31, the WRATH of the Lord is described as a FIRE--“I will blow against you in the FIRE OF MY WRATH."  In Ezekiel 38, verses 19 and 22 (which show the RESULTS of the Gog/Magog invasion upon Israel), God is said to act in “My jealousy and in the FIRE OF MY WRATH."  AND when God destroys the invading armies, He will do so with pestilence and blood, with overflowing rain, and great hailstones, FIRE and BRIMSTONE.

In our modern world, we EMPHASIZE how God is LOVE and MERCY--and INDEED God is just that.  In our Christian era of the CHURCH, we live under the shelter of God’s GRACE--His free GIFT to mankind through Jesus’ death and resurrection.  We have the opportunity to respond to God’s abounding and PERFECT LOVE--His AGAPE love, His UNCONDITIONAL LOVE--the LOVE which LOVES because LOVE IS GOD’S NATURE AND CORE, and a LOVE which He gives to ALL--without condition.  (If we will accept it!)

But this is ONLY ONE SIDE of our Lord!  He deals in JUDGMENT, too.

There are many people who believe the GOD of the OLD TESTAMENT was a harsh, judgmental, jealous, and unapproachable God, and that it was ONLY in the OLD TESTAMENT that God acted that way.  This assumption is NOT true.

God exercised GRACE, MERCY, PATIENCE, LONGSUFFERING and LOVE in the Old Testament, and MANY CHAPTERS AND VERSES make this clear.  GRACE was demonstrated to Abraham, Noah, Moses, King David--a LONG LIST of Old Testament saints.  These Old Testament saints HEARD the GOSPEL (the GOOD NEWS) that God would send a SAVIOR.  Without SEEING Jesus--His life, ministry, death and resurrection--these Old Testament people BELIEVED God’s PROMISE, and they received SALVATION, by believing in the FUTURE sacrifice of God’s Son.  (We in the Church have an EASIER way to believe, CALL IT 20/20 HINDSIGHT.  We can look BACK upon Jesus’ work, which is ALREADY accomplished for us.  IF WE WILL BELIEVE!  You could say that we are WITHOUT EXCUSE!)

ANOTHER FACT--The Old Testament is NOT the ONLY place in scripture where we read about God’s JUDGMENT falling!  In the earliest days of a YOUNG CHURCH, in Acts 5:1-11, JUDGMENT IMMEDIATELY FELL upon Ananias and Sapphira, BECAUSE they CONSPIRED TO LIE to the Holy Spirit.  When confronted about their LIES, they FELL DEAD on the spot!  And GREAT FEAR came upon ALL the church.

When we delve further into our study of the book of Revelation, we’ll see Jesus dealing in JUDGMENT to part of the SEVEN CHURCHES.  He wields a sharp two-edged sword in the letter to the Church of Pergamos.   His EYES OF FIRE are viewed AGAIN (plus He’s got feet like fine burnished hot brass) in the letter to the Church of Thyatira.  In Laodecia, we see Him nauseated, spewing that Church out of His mouth.  All these are pictures of JUDGMENTS.

Throughout Revelation 6 to 19, we read of JUDGMENT after JUDGMENT.  Four horsemen of the Apocalypse.  Falling stars.  Earthquakes.   Pestilences.  Darkness.  A scorching sun. Hideous locusts (evil angels).  Evil spirits like frogs.  Black smoke from the bottomless pit full of scorpion-like devils.  Wars, violence and bloodshed.  Destruction of Mystery Babylon.  Then FINALLY, at last, after all the distressing WOES, JUDGMENT will fall upon the armies gathered at Armageddon.  God’s WRATH reaches its CLIMAX--cleansing the world so that Jesus can set up His PERFECT government of peace!

These elements of JUDGMENT are so different from the meek, polite, gentle, loving Jesus that many of us learned about in Sunday School.  Certainly, Jesus is ALL those good and pleasant things (and we’d never frighten children by telling them of judgment).

But the TRUTH IS THIS--Jesus BRINGS the JUDGMENTS of God, as He opens a certain seven-sealed scroll in Revelation 6.  His eyes FLASH with BLAZING FIRE, a FLAME of FIRE, as He drives out the enemies and orchestrates God’s JUDGMENTS.  His ANGER FALLS upon SIN, upon SATAN, upon ANTICHRIST and the FALSE PROPHET, upon MYSTERY BABYLON, upon WICKED ARMIES and HEATHEN NATIONS, upon ALL that is EVIL.

His anger NEVER FALLS upon His redeemed people.  Instead, His ANGER and JUDGMENTS SAVE His people, and ALL OF CREATION, the EARTH!  In Matthew 24:22, Jesus said, “Except those days be shortened, there should be NO FLESH SAVED: but for THE ELECT’S SAKE, those days shall be shortened.”  Evil would TOTALLY DESTROY the earth.  But, PRAISE JESUS, His JUDGMENTS will SAVE the creation!

The EYES of Jesus, as well as BURNING with THE FIRE of His INDIGNATION, are PURE EYES.  They CANNOT behold EVIL.

“Thou art of PURER EYES than to behold evil, and CANST NOT look upon iniquity…”  Habbakuk 1:13.

The EYES of Jesus SEE and KNOW all things.  Eyes of FIRE penetrate; they see right INTO the MINDS and HEARTS of people.  It’s impossible to HIDE from His PENETRATING eyes of FIRE.

“Neither is there any creature that is NOT manifest in His sight:  but ALL THINGS are naked and open unto the EYES of Him with Whom we have to do.”  Hebrews 4:13.

Truly, the EYES of our Lord BURN DEEP into the INNERMOST being of anyone who belongs to Jesus--He can see our MOTIVES, our THOUGHTS, our VERY CORE.  This is WHY it’s of UTMOST IMPORTANCE that we CONFESS our sins and shortcomings as soon as we are aware of them.  When the EYES of Jesus, with His FLAME of FIRE penetrates, let us be found BLAMELESS and SPOTLESS, through our repentance.

Those EYES of BLAZING FIRE will SCORCH into the innermost being of anyone who is unrighteous--within those who have rejected Him.  These people will have NO EXCUSE before the EYES of the Almighty Lord.

Think of a dad, arms crossed over his chest, foot tapping on the floor, as he glowers AT YOU, the disobedient child.  Think of the meanest teacher during your elementary school days, pacing the floor in front of the blackboard, slapping a ruler against her palm as she glares straight at you.  How did you feel?  Like squirming?  Like crawling under a table or desk?  But you had nowhere to hide; you knew you were caught, and GUILTY.  And the PUNISHMENT was coming!

Then apply this idea to the FIERY EYES of Jesus.  It’s very unsettling to have a PURE PERSON stare at us steadily, especially if we’re harboring some secret impurity in our lives.  While the eyes of Jesus will most certainly glow with love and compassion, they also FLASH with the INTENSITY of His RIGHTEOUS JUDGMENT.

We don’t have to be CAUGHT needing REBUKE, or even worse, suffer JUDGMENT.  At all times, we’re JUST A PRAYER AWAY from being CLEANSED, BEING FORGIVEN and RESTORED to a PERFECT guilt-free FELLOWSHIP with our Lord.

Have you committed some sin?  Then confess it, be forgiven and cleansed from all unrighteousness.

Have you NEVER asked Jesus to be your SAVIOR and LORD.  There’s no better time to do so than NOW.  Do it.  Confess your rebellion against God, then ask for forgiveness, and invite Jesus to come live inside your heart.  He will.  Immediately, you’ll sense a flow of peace, and relief.  You are now RIGHT with God through FAITH in Jesus, and as you walk in Him, you’ll NEVER see His BURNING EYES OF JUDGMENT.

It’s my prayer that many will be made RIGHT with God, BEFORE it’s too late.  The days of the terrible Tribulation rapidly approach.  Don’t allow yourself to GET CAUGHT in that time when JUDGMENTS will FALL across this earth!

Jesus is the WAY.  Flee to His safety; He’ll gather you up like a lost and abandoned sheep, dress your wounds and comfort you.

Have a most perfect and awesome day!

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