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Bruce Larner - Reflect His Glory

Bruce Larner - Reflect His Glory

 The Best Commentary On The Bible Is The Bible Itself
Bruce Larner - Reflect His Glory
 
The Reflections Newsletter

Monday, February 28, 2011

**In This Issue**

  1. What Is Your Mental Image of Jesus?
  2. What Does the Bible Say About...?
     

Welcome to the Reflections Newsletter from Reflect His Glory.  RHG is a co-ministry with Creation Science Ministries.  Feel free to send this to your relatives and friends.
 


What Is Your Mental Image of Jesus?

A lady I met a while back told me that "her Jesus" would not overthrow tables of commerce as Jesus did in the temple.  This told me something about her mental image of Jesus, and it certainly is not Biblically accurate.  Her Jesus is meek, mild and tolerates just about everything.

This led me to wonder if we have an accurate mental image of Jesus, and from where we derive our image of Him.  This lady derived her thinking from her own imagination.  My guess is that others find their mental image of Jesus from the accounts given to us in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

If our concept of Jesus only comes from the gospels, do we actually have an accurate Biblical mental image of Jesus?  Since I posed the question, you have probably guessed my answer is "No" 

We should not limit our understanding of Jesus based on only what we have seen in the gospels.  This is because there is more to be understood.  What Jesus did and said while He was physically here on the earth, as seen in the gospels, was in direct relation to who He is and of His ministry.  Christ Jesus' ministry dictated, to a degree, the things He said and did.  He was a loving and caring servant of God, ready to die for our salvation.  Therefore, He came to save the world, and not to condemn the world.  This is found in John 3:16-17.  Now that He has fulfilled His earthly ministry, do you think His present ministry might have some bearing on what He says and does as well, and if so, where do we learn about this?

I am not suggesting that Jesus is schizophrenic, nor that He is now different than who He was when He was incarnate on the earth.  He has not changed.   I am merely saying that for the most part the gospel accounts show us one side of Jesus while He was on earth.  There is another side to Jesus of which we only see glimpses in the gospels.  We must to look elsewhere to find this other side of Jesus.

For example, the Book of Hebrews says that Jesus is our High Priest forever.  Right now at this exact moment while you read this article, and throughout all eternity, Jesus is and will be our High Priest.  Do you know that we will still need a High Priest in Heaven?  As High Priest, He is constantly representing us before God (the Father), much like a lawyer would represent his client before a judge.  Are you not glad that you have Jesus as your heavenly lawyer?  You should be, because you certainly need Him as your lawyer, and so do I.  (Heb. 7:17, 25, & 28)

The book of Revelation gives us a clear view as to the real picture of Jesus, especially in light of His present ministry.  To me, what we see of Jesus in Revelation is earth shattering, and probably demolishes many peoples' flimsy mental images of the King we serve.

John described the physical representation of Jesus that he saw in Revelation 1:13 Ė 16.  Jesus was dressed in a long robe with a golden sash around His chest.  His head and hair were as white as snow.  His eyes could pierce through anything because they were like a blazing fire.  His feet were like bronze glowing from being in a furnace of fire.  His voice was like Niagara Falls (My personal interpretation).  From His mouth extends a sharp double-edged sword.  Lastly, His face is described as like the brightness of the sun.  How long could you look directly into the sun and not go blind?  In fact, it is impossible.

Without explaining this description of Jesus in detail, I think you would agree that the Jesus pictured here does not look like the Jesus who walked the hills of Galilee.  John saw an extremely powerful majestic Jesus, and could not stand in His presence.  He "fell at Jesusí feet as though he were dead".  You could say that the very presence of Jesus knocked the wind out of John.

Now look at some of the things that Jesus actually said to the seven churches of Revelation, some of which may be quite astounding to those who have a meek and mild image of Jesus.

To the church at Ephesus Jesus said, "yet, I hold this against youÖ"  Did you know that Jesus can hold something against us?  How does that fit into your mental image?  Jesus then said, "if you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand", meaning, remove 'your church and its witness'.  In Revelation 1:20, church equals lampstand.  Would Jesus actually discard part of His church (Rev. 2:4-6)?  It appears He would.  I think we have got many examples of discarded churches today.

To the church at Pergamum Jesus said, (Rev. 2:16) "repent Ö otherwise I will soon come to you and fight against them with the sword of my mouth". "Them" refers to those in the church who hold to the teaching of Balaam.  Here we see Jesus as one who fights against people in the church.  I have heard of church people fighting each other, but Jesus fighting church people, that is something else.

In Rev. 2:20 we see that Jesus has something against the church at Thyatira too.   Jesus was very upset with this church because they "tolerated" (a very relevant word, donít you think) a false prophetess who was leading some of His people astray.  In verse 22 He says that He will cast her into a bed of suffering and kill her children.  What? Did Jesus really say that?

In Revelation 3:14-22, Jesus told the church at Laodicea that He would spit them out of His mouth because they were lukewarm.  He would rather have them cold instead of lukewarm. You would think lukewarm would be better than cold, but not in Jesusí eyes.  Does your mental image of Jesus include spitting church people out of His mouth?  I have seen a few paintings of Jesus, but I have never seen Him spitting in any of them.

I do not want to be unbalanced in my depiction of Jesus by saying what I have said.  Yet I think that we have been unbalanced in our portrayal of who Jesus really is in our vision of Him.  I say this only to bring some balance back into the picture.  If our mental image of Jesus does not include what we see in Revelation, then our mental image of the One we serve is not correct.

Jesus is not always meek, mild, and quiet spoken.  He is the King and the final authority over all there is, both material and spiritual.  At times He will show His displeasure, and will if necessary bring severe judgment, even to His own people.

So that I do not to leave you in too much fear, open your Bible to Revelation 5: 5-6 and see another accurate description of Christ Jesus.  John was prompted to turn around and see "the Lion of the tribe of Judah", the only one powerful enough to open the seven seals of the scroll.  Being fearful of seeing this Lion, John probably nervously turned around to see the Lion. To his amazement he saw "the Lamb of God".  Godís Lion in this case was a Lamb. How grateful and relieved John must have felt.  Jesus is both Lion and Lamb. He is not just a lamb, and He is not just a lion. He is both.  To be loved and revered.

I am not exactly sure how I will feel when I meet Christ Jesus face to face on that "great and terrible day" as the Kings James Version describes that day.  However, I think I will shrink in reverence and be trembling with excitement, and then fall as dead as did John.  Yet as Jesus touched John on the shoulder, He will touch me, and I will melt in the presence of His great love and compassion.


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Bruce Larner - Reflect His Glory


What Does the Bible Say About...?

 

In this section of the Reflections Newsletter we answer questions that have been asked.  If you have a question that you would like ask, and do not mind having it printed in the newsletter, (your name will not be mentioned), feel free to send your question in an email to me at biblequestions@reflecthisglory.org.  Of course, you may call me anytime by phone at 801.302 -1111.

The question for this issue is, "We all know that we should continue a pattern of spiritual growth throughout our lives.  But is there any evidence that Abraham and Moses continued to do so when they reached old age?"

There is nothing specific in the Bible that says so.  However, by "digging a little deeper" into the Scriptures, we find evidence in the affirmative.  Of course, like all of us, Abraham and Moses were human, and made mistakes during their lifetimes.  However, much can be told about a man, or woman, by their final acts before the Lord calls them home.  In this regard, both Abraham and Moses excelled.

Abraham was concerned that his son Isaac, the child of promise, would obtain a bride from his own people, and not from the ungodly Canaanites who surrounded them.  He sent his servant on a mission to find such a woman, and that woman whom he found, and brought back, was Rebekah.  Isaac and Rebekah would be the parents of Esau and Jacob, and Jacob would, in turn, be the father of the twelve tribes of Israel.  So Abraham was intent on doing that which would fulfill God's promise to him, to create through him, a great nation.  The promise is first given by God to Abraham in Genesis 12:1-3.

Moses also gave evidence of spiritual strength.  Most of the Book of Deuteronomy consists of his final address to the children of Israel.  In it, he reiterates and reviews the Mosaic Law, which was given to him by God, and revealed in the Book of Exodus and the Book of Leviticus.  Moses also promised blessings upon those who obey the Lord, and warns of judgment for those who disobey.  This can be found in Deuteronomy Chapter 28.  So, obviously, even at the age of 120 years, Moses was still aware of the ways of God, and encouraged his people to follow them.

 

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Bruce Larner - Reflect His Glory

 

**MEMORY VERSE OF THE MONTH**

Be still, and know that I am God;

Psalm 46:10  KJV ER

Bruce Larner - Reflect His Glory

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"Then Jesus said to those Jews which believed on him,
"
If you continue in My word, then are you My disciples indeed;
And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free
."

John 8:31-32

  
Bruce Larner - Reflect His Glory
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Bruce Larner - Reflect His Glory
Bruce Larner - Reflect His Glory