"They're on Our Right, They're on Our Left, They're in Front of Us, They're Behind Us; They Can't Get Away from Us This Time." Those were the words of the most decorated marine in history, Lieutenant General Lewis Burwell "Chesty" Puller in The Battle of Chosin Reservoir, in the Korean War with the Chinese surrounding him.
Definitely a brassy thing to say. But, some people like a good fight. And, fight he did! They not only escaped the siege, but wiped out the Chinese in their path.
Victory never comes without a battle. And, that's a good thing, because we all fight battles. But, loss comes in battles, as well. Some will lose, and some will win. Which will you be? First, do you have a good defense? Second, have you mounted an offensive strategy? Third, who's leading the charge? And, there is your hope... in Jesus, the ultimate warrior!
Revelation 6:2 And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.
And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse;
and he that sat upon it was called Faithful and True,
and in righteousness he does judge and make war.
His eyes were as a flame of fire,
and on his head were many crowns;
and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
And he was clothed with a robe dipped in blood:
and his name is called The Word of God.
And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses,
clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
And out of his mouth goes forth a sharp sword,
that with it he should smite the nations:
and he shall rule them with a rod of iron:
and he treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
And he has on his robe and on his thigh a name written,
KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
The roar of the lion is no new sound. Some of the references to Jesus roaring like a lion appeared many thousands of years before the first advent of Jesus on Earth. C. S. Lewis wrote a picturesque trilogy based on the coming of the Lion that he called the Chronicles of Narnia, Narnia being the abode of the sons and daughters of Adam and Eve.
Joel 3:16-18 The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice
from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the LORD will be
the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel. So shall you
know that I am the LORD your God... And it shall come to pass in that day, that the
mountains shall drop down new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the
rivers of Judah shall flow with waters, and a fountain shall come forth from the
house of the LORD..."
Of course, we all wait in hope for the return of the Lion. Jesus is the Lion and He will call His children from afar on that great and notable day.
Hosea 11:10 They shall walk after the LORD: he shall roar like a lion:
when he shall roar, then the children shall come trembling from the west.
The image of the Lion fits well, because is Jesus not the King, much like the Lion is the King of Beasts? Actually that is quite a striking metaphor, seeing as how the King of the Beasts must be a beast himself. God, being the Creator of mankind, was not a man himself, until he robed Himself in flesh like clay, and took upon Himself the likeness of a man in Jesus Christ. Then He was able to call Himself the King of Men... the Son of Man... He who was first the Son of God now walked in the clay that He created. Now... the Lion could call Himself the King of all Creation, because He dwelt in our earthly realm.
Isaiah 31:4 For thus has the LORD spoken unto me, Like the lion and the
young lion roaring over his prey, when a multitude of shepherds is called forth
against him, he will not be afraid of their voice, nor disturbed by the noise of
them: so shall the LORD of hosts come down to fight for mount Zion, and for its
Oddly matched battle usually, between the lion of Judah and the multitude of world leaders! (Our leaders are our shepherds, I hope we vote in the matter.)
Isaiah 42:13 The LORD shall go forth as a mighty man, he shall stir up
jealousy like a man of war: he shall cry, yea, shout aloud; he shall prevail
against his enemies.
And on the Lion marches...coming, coming in glory! Hear the battle cry? Our Champion is leaping and charging ahead, leading the Kingdom Saints!
Jeremiah 25:30 Therefore prophesy against them all these words, and
say unto them, The LORD shall roar from on high, and utter his voice from his
holy habitation; he shall mightily roar upon his habitation; he shall give a
shout, as they that tread the grapes, against all the inhabitants of the
There will come a day when all will see His face in glory. After the rapture of the church, after the havoc of the man Antichrist, the man of sin, has devastated Earth with the climax of sin's effect which began at the Fall, after the desecration of everything called holy on this earth! Then comes King Jesus, charging on a white horse, leading the saints in their glorified bodies. Then we will not only behold Him, but we will be like Him, for we will have seen Him as he is.
1 John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the children of God, and it does not
yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be
like him; for we shall see him as he is.
Do you ever wonder at the marvel of God? Look at the first quatrain of Scripture... "In the beginning God..." Nothing there to explain who God is. He just was. There you have it. Helping verbs with no verbs to help. In my mind, that's a powerful way to end a sentence.
No, the bible takes for granted the existence of God. And, it begins with the creation of heaven and earth, the works of God's hands. But, hit the fast forward button and take a look at the book of Revelation. Revelation 4:2 "And immediately I was in the spirit; and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne."
John the Beloved has us peering through the clouds to see a throne set in heaven. There is one throne, and one sitting on that throne, John says. That's a good place to start. Some general conclusions can be drawn here. First, this guy on the throne is a King. Second, this King rules heaven and earth, since he sits on the throne of heaven. Turn back a few pages to chapter one.
Revelation 1:4 John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him who is, and who was, and who is to come; and from the seven Spirits who are before his throne;
Is, was, and is to come? More helping verbs without verb partners. But, it gives you the idea that God is everything that you can imagine, and then some. He extends beyond your imagination and capacity of mind. And, when the stars all twinkle out at night, God is still awake.
Revelation 1:5 "And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loves us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,"
Who is John sending greetings from? the firstborn of the dead? That's Jesus. He died and was born again from the dead.
Revelation 1:7-8 "Behold, he comes with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also who pierced him: and all tribes of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, says the Lord, who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty."
Get the picture? Jesus is everything, so you understand the use of all the helping verbs? They are helping God. They have no verbs. They show who God is. Jesus is Almighty. He is the first and He is the last. Isn't that strange? If I say, "The house is huge," you think about "huge" because it is huge. But, if I say, "The house is," you think about "House," because the house just is. There is no adjective there to limit the noun or to distract your attention away from the subject of the sentence. It's all about the house nad not the enormity of it. With God, it's not about finite measures, and mere adjectives and verbs. God is! Forget the verbs and the adjectives.
John says that Jesus was and is and will be and that He is standing there in the middle of those seven candlesticks. And, don't forget the seven stars in His right hand. The candlesticks are the churches, and the stars are the ministers of those churches. So, as always, a good place to find Jesus is standing in church. That's why you feel so empty when you have to miss church. But, don't worry. John won't leave you hanging on to the was, the is, and the am. He gave us a few adjectives and verbs as well.
Revelation 1:14-15 "His head and his hair were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; And his feet like unto fine bronze, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters."
If that is not enough description, turn to chapter nineteen.
Revelation 19:11-13 "And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon it was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he does judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a robe dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God."
Revelation 19:16 "And he has on his robe and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS."
There you see, He is the King of all Kings, King Jesus, the King of heaven and Earth. That's not all though. There is more, more than this warrior King. Look just over near the great river Chebar. There stands Ezekiel the Hebrew slave, with his eyes turned toward heaven. Is it a star constellation that has his attention? Not quite.
Ezekiel 1:26-28 "And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone: and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it. And I saw as the color of amber, as the appearance of fire round about within it, from the appearance of his waist even upward, and from the appearance of his waist even downward, I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and it had brightness round about. As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spoke."
Ezekiel and John both have been in the throne room already, and I haven't been invited yet?! It's ok. At least they brought back a few adjectives. Fire and an appearance of precious stones. Brightness and a rainbow. The glory of God. But, He looked like a man...Jesus Christ. Flesh like me.
Hebrews 1:1 "God, who at many times and in various manners spoke in time past unto the fathers by the prophets..."
Look at how the Hebrew writer started his epistle. He began with God. That is a great place to start a book, is it not? Especially if Paul wrote it. All of Paul's other epistles start off with the word, "Paul." But, here he seems to have forgotten who he was and had his attention on God, as he neared the final days of his life, and impending martyrdom. Now, back to Genesis one.
Genesis 1:1 "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth."
Who is the King of Glory? Who created heaven and earth? Who was it that sits on the throne?
Psalms 24:8 "Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle."
Who is this King of Glory?
Psalms 24:10 "Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah."
Who is my maker?
Job 36:3 "I will get my knowledge from afar, and will ascribe righteousness to my Maker."
Who is our Maker? The Lord is our Maker!
Psalms 95:6 "O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker."
I am so glad that God is. If not, where would I be?
I heard a message tonight about light and mirrors. Interesting take on how mirrors reflect light infinitely. The reflections just keep on going when you get two mirrors together. I was always entranced by that effect when I was a kid...I still am so much so that I can't get the metaphor off my mind tonight.
A slinky is one of my favorite toys, and I love to give them as gifts to students. They are like mirrors, prisms, kalidoscopes, and a tuning fork. Think about it. The comparison is striking. They don't all reflect light, but they all reflect. Mirrors and prisms reflect light. (Mirrors also reflect images.) Kalidoscopes reflect colors and light, but the emphasis is on the patterns reflected. A tuning fork reflects sound waves. What do slinkys reflect? Energy. It is a coil toy that reverberates with energy. None of these "toys" require batteries. The tuning fork is still fun in the dark, but the others are useless without light.
The world we live in is a world shrouded in darkness. Mankind lives so far from the source of light, that we live in an almost eternal night. Yet, even when I am peering into the darkness, the truth of God's words flickers clearly like a candle, or flames across the horizon of my conscience thoughts, and then I close the Bible, and see the dark night. So, I open the pages once again, wishing the words could be absorbed by osmosis while I sleep. Then I wake outside the dark night in some eternal day, to dreams of myrtle trees, mountains of brass, and women with the wind in their wings. I hear a startling whistle and turn to see the four horses of the Revelator: white, red, black, and pale, shaking their mighty heads, charging from Zechariah's mountains of brass across John's island horizon. There somewhere beyond those myrtle trees, I know is a sea of glass. Behind those tramping hooves of the horsemen, comes the flaming sword of Jesus, and He rides on his white horse.
Amazingly, the Bible reverberates through the ages, reflecting images and patterns, colors, from ages past to ages future. The Bible tells the end from the beginning, from the beginning to the end. The reflected images keep going back and forth of Jesus, reflected from one testament to the other, just like those mirror images. And, what is our job? We are to reflect the light of Jesus to the world. We are to show our true colors to a dark world....to light up the dark night.