"And all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid. But many of the priests and Levites and chief of the fathers, who were ancient men, that had seen the first house, when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice; and many shouted aloud for joy: so that the people could not discern the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people...." Ezra 3:11-13
Me, I guess I'm Old School (or should I say, Old Temple). For the Church has changed, and not all for the better. And not all the changes were approved by the Head of the Church, Jesus Christ the Righteous. We are looking at the messages to the Seven Churches in Asia, but before we take a look at what's in the messages, I'd like to take a minute to behold the Messenger.
Hear John's descrption from Revelation 1:12-17....
"And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; and in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. 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 brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and His voice as the sound of many waters. And He had in His right hand seven stars; and out of His mouth went a sharp twoedged sword; and His countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength. And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead."
How different from the namby-pamby wimp so popular with the carnal christians of today, who accepts everyone, tolerates everything, judges no one, and makes no call to repentance! The Church has lost her fear of God, and now sees Him as a cuddly Teddy bear or their Best Bud. True, in past generations Christ was seen as a stern and angry Judge; and maybe that view was out of line with Scripture. But now we have gone too far in the other direction and completely emasculated Him.
Behold, the Messenger of the Covenant! His feet are like brass. Brass in the Bible symbolizes divine judgement, like the brazen serpent in the wilderness. And His eyes, like fire: a refiner's fire, melting away all the dross so that only the purest gold may remain (Malachi 3:1-3) Out of His mouth, a sharp, two-edged sword (Hebrews 4:12). A sword divides (Matthew 10:34-35) And the fact that He holds in His hands the stars (leadership of the churches) means simply, He can do whatever He wants to with them.
John, "the Apostle whom Jesus loved", who knew Christ personally and spent his life serving Him faithfully, fell at His feet as dead. If anyone had a right to see Jesus as his "best bud" it would have been John. But John responded with fear, and respect, and a sense of his own unworthiness.
If there was one thing I could change in the Church today, it would be our view of Jesus Christ. He ain't Mr. Rogers, and he ain't Big Bird! He is the Lord of Sabaoth, the Commander of the armies of Heaven. "If then I be a Father, where is Mine honour? and if I be a Master, where is My fear?" asks God through Malachi.
You saw that cop grab that impudent little High School girl and flip her desk right over with her in it? You think Jesus won't do the same to His Church????? Do some homework, read Revelation chapters 1-3, and meet me back here next time. We'll get into some specifics...if you dare!