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Rainbow Divider

IS YOUR JESUS TOO SMALL?

by Phil Enlow

Rainbow Divider

The devil loves to diminish our Lord and Savior in our eyes, to obscure all that he is. He seeks to attack our confidence, our hope, to discourage. The devil ever seeks to make it appear that he has the upper hand but it is not so. From our point of view the future stretches out before us, full of unknowns. From God’s point of view all of history has already been written and the ends determined.

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Many years ago I remember reading a book entitled, “Your God is Too Small,” by J.B. Phillips. From what little I remember the author sought to present a biblical picture of God in contrast to many weak popular ideas he saw in the religious culture of the day. In no way do I pretend that this article should be compared with that fine and still-in-print book. It is just that my memory of it suggested the title.

The faith that brings men into a right relationship with God is not about religious doctrines and practices; it is about a Person. That Person is our Lord Jesus Christ.

When Saul the Pharisee was converted it was not to a better religion; it was to the Person of Jesus Christ, revealed to him as he traveled towards Damascus. Later known as Paul, he wrote of the “the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord” and of counting his former life — including his religion — as mere rubbish by comparison. Philippians 3:8.

Jesus Christ was Paul’s whole message. In 1 Cor. 2:2 he said, “… I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.” In 2 Cor. 4:5 we read, “For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord ….” Col. 1:28 begins, “We proclaim him ….”

Life

I sometimes wonder as I look inside myself and around at other believers if our understanding of just who Christ is suffers somewhat in the face of everyday life in this dark world. Life itself looms large before us. Emotions ebb and flow. The simple daily grind of putting one foot in front of the other wears on us. The world we see too often becomes more real than the one we don’t see. The struggles of life seem to grow in our eyes as Jesus becomes — well — smaller.

It’s not that we don’t believe in who He is — with our heads. It’s just that what we know in our heads is not always as real in our daily lives as it ought to be. It can even seem as if faith in Jesus is one thing while “real life” is another. Jesus is someone we sing and talk about “in church” whereas everyday life is sort of — separate. There is a disconnect between our “spiritual” lives and our “regular” lives.

Paul said in Phil. 1:21, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” For him, Christ was not just part of his life; He was all of it. Every part of Paul’s life was about Jesus Christ. I’m confident that there was a connection between that fact and Paul’s understanding — by divine revelation — of just who Jesus Christ is.

The Word

Where do you start? The entire Bible can rightly be called the revelation of Jesus Christ for it is about Him. He is both Author and Subject. His breath is upon every page. Taken together it is His portrait. Indeed He is called “the Word” in John 1:1-2. It is not just that He has spoken the Word; He IS the Word, the very expression of God to us. A true knowledge of God does not consist merely of a bunch of words strung together. It is so much more than that. It is light that shines in the heart, “the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.” 2 Cor. 4:6. No earthly intellect can discover such knowledge. It must be revealed. And no one, not even one truly enlightened by God’s Spirit, can plumb its amazing depths. Ephesians 3:14-19.

It is wonderful to see the Christ who once walked among men, His compassion, His power to perform miracles, His wisdom, His love. It is wonderful to see the ultimate demonstration of His love at the cross when He bore our sins and opened heaven’s door to those who repent and believe. It is wonderful to celebrate the glory of the resurrection, to know that He prays for us at the Father’s right hand, and to know that He will return for His own. And yet even with all of this He can sometimes seem too small as we live out our earthly lives.

I have no desire — even if I thought I could — to attempt some long theological treatise on the subject of who Jesus Christ is, but rather just to give a simple and I believe needed perspective to regular believers who struggle with life and need to see it with different eyes. I believe that the Lord desires to make Himself much more real to us to strengthen our faith and enable us to be the overcomers He intended. He wants to move our knowledge of Him from our heads to our hearts.

It is presently the season when many believers remember the humble birth of our Savior so long ago as He came to live among us. The fact that He came, as amazing as it is, becomes far more amazing when we consider who and what He was before as well as who and what He is now.

In the Beginning … and Before

We know that Bethlehem was not the beginning yet His life before that can seem a little vague. We know He was alive and surely active in there somewhere yet there is more than an element of mystery in it all. Still, the Word gives us many wonderful glimpses that magnify the amazing Being He was.

Jesus himself gives us one such glimpse in John 17:5 where he prayed, “And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.” That alone takes us back before the “beginning” to an existence we cannot even begin to imagine. There was a radiance and power about Him that defies description or understanding.

His deity is clearly set forth in John 1:1-2 — “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.” There they were, together, no world, no universe, just an unbroken glorious relationship.

The “Word,” the Son of God, was given the name Jesus when He was born into our world but I will, for the sake of simplicity, refer to Him as Jesus from the beginning. Whatever name He went by at any given point He has always been the same. As Heb. 13:8 says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”

Creation

Obviously, though, the world and the universe did come to be. John 1:3 goes on to say, “Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.” We tend to think of God the Father as the Creator but scripture clearly teaches that it was all done through the Son. It was through the lips of Jesus that the command went forth, “Let there be light.” Genesis 1:3. In fact, He made everything.

Col. 1:16-17 says, “For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” There have been some groups who have claimed that Jesus was himself a creature. That cannot be. He created all things. He obviously didn’t create Himself! And He was there before any of it.

Heb. 1:1-2 begins, “In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe.” Not only was it through him that all things were made; he owns it all as well!

Heb. 1:10-12 quotes from Psalm 102: “In the beginning, O Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. You will roll them up like a robe; like a garment they will be changed. But you remain the same, and your years will never end.” The writer was referring to Jesus in this scripture!

It’s easy to simply acknowledge such truths without it quite dawning on us just how amazing that is! Remember that Jesus was a glorious Being along with the Father before the world was. Then He made it all. Surely that would mean that He is greater in power and glory than the whole universe put together! Think about it.

Think about someone who can simply speak — and stars — and galaxies suddenly appear out of nowhere! We’re talking about galaxies. Our own sun is a rather small and ordinary star in the grand scheme of things yet even the sun could contain more than one million earths. But there are stars so massive that they could contain multiplied millions of stars the size of our sun! There is one star so large that a passenger airliner going full speed would require 1100 years to circle it once! And that’s just the biggest one we know about.

But we’re not just talking about stars; we’re talking about galaxies of stars, billions of them flung across unimaginable distances containing trillions upon trillions of stars! And He created them. Every single one! How great must He be! What “hands” He must have if the heavens are the work of his hands!

In Isaiah 40:12 the prophet asks, “Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens?” In verse 26 he says, “Lift your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.” He “calls them each by name”! That’s a lot of names! There are far more galaxies in the universe than there are people on earth. And there are hundreds of millions of stars in each galaxy!

And this amazing universe is not just a bunch of “stuff” flung out at random. He established laws to govern everything. There is an order to it all. And yet it doesn’t just run itself; as Paul said above, “in him all things hold together.” Hebrews 1:3 speaks of Jesus as “sustaining all things by his powerful word.” The universe is not just a machine he sort of “wound up” and left running by itself. It has One who rules over it and holds it all together! His name is Jesus.

I realize that many scientists of our day have shut their minds to this simple truth but that does not make it any less true. His handiwork is evident in all of creation for those who have eyes to see. We see it not only in the glory of the heavens but in the smallest of details right down to the atomic level and beyond. No matter where you look, He is there. His glory, and that of the Father, can clearly be seen. Psalm 19:1, Romans 1:19-20.

Before Bethlehem

But what about earth’s history prior to Christ’s birth in Bethlehem? Where was He? Was He involved? Was He somewhere in heaven just waiting for his “entrance” into history? Bible scholars have long recognized that He was indeed involved, making many appearances in the Old Testament. I would not even pretend to be able to unravel all of the references to deity in the Old Testament and clearly identify the Father and the Son as they acted but the Son was there — everywhere. I’m not even sure it is possible to distinguish, much less separate, Father and Son. One does not act apart from the other.

One thing we find in the pages of the Old Testament are instances where someone saw the Lord or saw God. The New Testament sheds light on this. John 1:18 tells us, “No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known.” The phrase “the One and Only” can also be translated as “the only begotten.”

Remember Col. 1:15 which declares Jesus to be “the image of the invisible God….” Heb. 1:3 tells us that “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being….” See also 1 Timothy 1:17. In each of these scriptures we see the same thought. God is invisible. He cannot be seen with human eyes. He has never been seen by human eyes. Who, then, was seen in the Old Testament scriptures but Jesus, “the image of the invisible God”? It is through His Son that God has made himself known to men.

And so, beginning in the garden, we find God walking and talking with Adam and Eve. In Genesis 18 we find the “Lord” appearing to Abraham along with angels. No doubt their appearance was human yet Abraham knew who they really were.

In Exodus 33 and 34 we find Moses asking the Lord to show him His glory. In this instance there was no human “veil” hiding the glory and Moses was told that he could not see His face and live. Still there was the form of someone that Moses literally saw on that occasion.

In Num. 12:6-8 we find the Lord rebuking Miriam and Aaron for their presumption in supposing that they were like Moses. He said, “When a prophet of the Lord is among you, I reveal myself to him in visions, I speak to him in dreams. But this is not true of my servant Moses; he is faithful in all my house. With him I speak face to face, clearly and not in riddles; he sees the form of the Lord.” Once again Moses was allowed to see the Lord.

Just before the giving of the law we read these words in Exodus 24:9-11 — “Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and the seventy elders of Israel went up and saw the God of Israel. Under his feet was something like a pavement made of sapphire, clear as the sky itself. But God did not raise his hand against these leaders of the Israelites; they saw God, and they ate and drank.”

If God, the one we know as God the Father, is invisible and has never been seen, and yet the scripture says that they saw “the God of Israel,” who did they see but Jesus? I am aware that there are some who have used these scriptures and others to try to prove that Jesus was the God of Israel but it’s not that simple. What about Acts 3:13 where Peter says in his sermon, “The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus”? There a clear distinction is made between “the God of our fathers” and “Jesus.”

Then there was the vision of Isaiah in Isaiah 6:1-4 where he saw the Lord high and exalted and heavenly beings crying “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.” See John 12:41 where John seems to identify Jesus as the one Isaiah saw.

I AM

In Exodus 3:14-16 we find Moses at the burning bush asking God’s name. “God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: “I AM has sent me to you.”‘ God also said to Moses, ‘Say to the Israelites, “The Lord, the God of your fathers — the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob — has sent me to you.” This is my name forever, the name by which I am to be remembered from generation to generation. Go, assemble the elders of Israel and say to them, “The Lord, the God of your fathers — the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob — appeared to me and said: I have watched over you and have seen what has been done to you in Egypt.”‘“

In John 8:54-58 Jesus was asked by religious leaders if he was greater than Abraham, “Jesus replied, ‘If I glorify myself, my glory means nothing. My Father, whom you claim as your God, is the one who glorifies me. Though you do not know him, I know him. If I said I did not, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and keep his word. Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad.’ ‘You are not yet fifty years old,’ the Jews said to him, ‘and you have seen Abraham!’ ‘I tell you the truth,’ Jesus answered, ‘before Abraham was born, I am!’”

The Jews knew what Jesus was saying. “I am” had special meaning in their minds. It was a name only God could rightly claim. This is why those who heard him picked up stones, but the scripture tells us that Jesus hid himself.

Through the Son

As I said above, I’m not sure it is possible in many instances to distinguish, much less separate, Father and Son. One does not act apart from the other. What the New Testament reveals is that the Father acts through His Son, that “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being….” Hebrews 1:3. Whatever visible form was seen was in reality the infinite invisible God expressing Himself through His Son, the one we know as Jesus.

It is much like creation as we noted above. Ultimately God (the Father) is the Creator yet it was the Son who made all things. Thus it is just as correct to refer to Jesus as the Creator. So which is it? Both! Father and Son are perfectly united in thought, purpose, and action. Thus, wherever God acts in the Old Testament, Jesus is there. Israel was his people in a much larger sense than merely through his physical birth. He had been their divine Shepherd from the days of Abraham on.

Much more could be said but this is sufficient to establish that Jesus was not just “on the sidelines” prior to coming to earth as a man but was a glorious being right in the middle of everything that had to do with God’s unfolding plan. He watched over his people, rescuing them from Egyptian bondage. He was the “Rock” that followed them in the wilderness (1 Corinthians 10:3-4). He was the Commander who revealed himself to Joshua (Joshua 5:13-15) and led the Israelites to victory in possessing Canaan.

He is revealed in Psalm 2 as the “Son” who by divine decree rules over the nations. He was the fourth man in the fiery furnace in Daniel 3. We see him later in Daniel 7:13-14 where the prophet writes, “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.”

All this is simply to highlight the fact that the one we know as Jesus was a magnificent, glorious, powerful being long before he appeared as a baby in Bethlehem. It was the unsurpassed greatness of divine love and mercy and the magnitude of our need that caused such a one to empty himself of his divine glory and humble himself to take on flesh. Phil. 2:5-11. Romans 5:6-8. The Creator became part of his own creation!

Veiled in Flesh

While Jesus walked among men a relative few actually knew who he was. Many saw the miracles and were amazed, yet they were left to their own speculation as to his true identity. His disciples knew, at least in a measure, but only because it had been revealed to them by God. Matthew 16:13-17. And yet even one of them remained an unbeliever at heart and betrayed him at the end.

His disciples were witness to many amazing things as they saw Jesus heal the sick, raise dead people to life, cast out demons, walk on the Sea of Galilee (in a raging storm no less!), command storms to be still, multiply food, produce amazing catches of fish, and many like things. In Mark 4 we find Jesus calming the storm as he and his disciples crossed the Sea of Galilee. In verse 41 we read of the disciples who witnessed this: “They were terrified and asked each other, ‘Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!’” “Who is this?” indeed!

God bore ample witness to his Son through his many miracles. Even in these things, based upon Jesus’ own words, it was his union with the Father that made the miracles possible. Jesus acted as the Father acted in and through him. John 10:37-38. John 14:9-11.

Special Witnesses

But there were other very special witnesses as to the true identity of Jesus. When John baptized Jesus he saw the Spirit of God coming to rest upon him like a dove and heard a voice from heaven that said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” Matthew 3:17.

In John 12:28-31 Jesus said, “‘Father, glorify your name!’ Then a voice came from heaven, ‘I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.’ The crowd that was there and heard it said it had thundered; others said an angel had spoken to him. Jesus said, ‘This voice was for your benefit, not mine.’” Here again we see different levels of revelation and understanding. Many onlookers just thought they had heard thunder but John heard the actual words.

But perhaps the greatest revelation of Jesus during his earthly life was reserved for Peter, James, and John. In Matthew 17:1-9 we read, “After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.

“Peter said to Jesus, ‘Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters — one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.’ While he was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!’

“When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified. But Jesus came and touched them. ‘Get up,’ he said. ‘Don’t be afraid.’ When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus. As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus instructed them, ‘Don’t tell anyone what you have seen, until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.’”

Of the three, James was one of the first martyrs (Acts 12:2) but Peter and John both refer back to this experience in their writings. John 1:14 says, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

In 2 Peter 1:16-18 Peter wrote, “We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.’ We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain.”

Death and Resurrection

God gave great witness concerning His Son during the crucifixion and resurrection. Prior to Jesus’ death there was darkness over the land for three hours. When he died we read, “At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split. The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus’ resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people. When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, ‘Surely he was the Son of God!’” Matthew 27:51-54.

The great hymn, “Alas! and Did My Saviour Bleed!” reflects this in verse 3:

“Well might the sun in darkness hide,
And shut his glories in;
When Christ the mighty Maker died
For man the creature’s sin.”

Thank God that Christ’s death because of our sins is not the end of the story. No doubt Satan and all his evil hosts did everything in their power to ensure that Jesus stayed in that tomb but they utterly failed. In John 10:17-18 Jesus said, “The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life — only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”

In Acts 1:3 Luke writes about Christ and his disciples, “After his suffering, he showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.” More than 500 of his followers saw him (1 Corinthians 15:6). He ate fish before their eyes. He had a real body, yet his body was not like theirs. He appeared and disappeared at will, passing through walls.

Exaltation

When it came time for Jesus to return to heaven his feet simply left the ground and he rose till the clouds hid him from the disciples’ eyes. Before Jesus ascended he had promised that the disciples — henceforth to be known as apostles — would receive power when the Holy Spirit came upon them. They experienced this a few days later during the feast of Pentecost and gave a powerful bold testimony to the assembled Jews concerning Jesus, that the one they had crucified had been made Lord and Christ. Acts 2:36.

What does that mean? What place does Jesus hold? What authority does he have? In Matt 28:18 he said to his disciples, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” In 1 Corinthians 15:27 we find that everything has been put under Christ’s feet — everything that is except the Father Himself.

We read in Phil. 2:9-11 that as a result of the cross, “Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Jesus IS Lord: not just was or will be but IS!

Paul wrote to the Ephesian believers: “I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.” Ephesians 1:18-23.

For Us!

It’s wonderful that Jesus conquered sin and death and that he reigns but it’s even more wonderful that he did all this for US. God’s plan is not complete without the full salvation of all those Christ died to redeem. All the resources of heaven are actively engaged in making that happen. As Paul writes in Rom. 8:31, “If God is for us, who can be against us?”

John the apostle was one of those who had been privileged to witness the transfiguration of Jesus on the mountain but even he wasn’t prepared for what he saw in Rev. 1:12-17. He heard a voice like a trumpet telling him to write what he saw and send it to seven churches. Then we read, “I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and among the lampstands was someone ‘like a son of man’ dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, and out of his mouth came a sharp double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance. When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead.”

You and I would too! What a sight that must have been. No “meek and mild” Jesus here. Here was the Lord of all radiant with the glory of heaven itself. It is one thing to say those words, and even to believe them, but it is something else again to see what John saw. To see Christ like that is to have all doubt removed.

In Rev. 1:5-7 John had written, “Grace and peace to you ... from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father — to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen. Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him. So shall it be! Amen.”

In John 17:1-3 Jesus began his prayer, “Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him.” That, in Jesus’ own words, is an expression of what his authority is all about: it is about US. In spite of the wickedness of this present world God has a people He has purposed to rescue. And He has provided a Savior who is more than able to fulfill that purpose. His authority comes from the highest throne in the universe. No devil in hell can stop him!

Under His Feet

1 Cor. 15:25-26 says of our Lord, “For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death.” That, in spite of appearances, is what is taking place. His reign is not about fixing this broken world; it is about the one to come.

Is he able to do that? Remember the one John saw at the beginning of Revelation? In Rev. 1:17-18 Jesus said, “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.” Jesus didn’t just escape death; he has the keys! Do not be afraid!

The Judge

We are told in numerous places that it will be Jesus who will one day sit on a great judgment throne and all will stand before him to be judged. Matt. 25:31, John 5:22-23, Acts 10:42, Acts 17:31, Romans 2:16, 2 Timothy 4:1. In Rev. 20:11-12 we read, “Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened.”

What an awesome sight that will be! “Earth and sky” will flee from his presence. Can you imagine how men will feel who have belittled and rejected him here? John saw a picture of this in Rev. 6:15-17 — “Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and every slave and every free man hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. They called to the mountains and the rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?’” That is some serious terror for a man to want a mountain to fall on him rather than have to face Jesus.

Only one question will matter on that day. Men’s destinies will be determined by what they have done with Jesus. Did they recognize him for who he is and bow the knee or did they reject him and continue in their sin and rebellion? Who they were on earth in the eyes of men, what they may have accomplished, none of that will be important then. Any question about who Jesus really is — Creator, Savior, Lord, Judge — will be forever erased. Every knee, including those belonging to the lost, will bow.

Satan’s Attack

The devil loves to diminish our Lord and Savior in our eyes, to obscure all that he is. He seeks to attack our confidence, our hope, to discourage. The devil ever seeks to make it appear that he has the upper hand but it is not so. From our point of view the future stretches out before us, full of unknowns. From God’s point of view all of history has already been written and the ends determined.

It is part of God’s purposes to allow the devil to seemingly flourish in the end of the age, to deceive those who willingly remain blind to who Jesus is, who choose darkness rather than light, who embrace their sins and reject God’s gift of righteousness. 2 Thess. 2:9-12. Yet in the midst of it all we have a God Who has promised never to leave us, never to forsake us. Hebrews 13:5. We have a Savior who promised to be with us to the end of the age. Matthew 28:20.

We serve one who “is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.” Hebrews 7:25. Our sin, our need, is great but God’s grace is greater! Rom. 5:20-21. Paul wrote to the Philippian believers that he was “confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Phil. 1:6.

What About You?

What about you, dear child of God? Are you feeling overwhelmed by the dark mists of doubt and fear, discouraged by your own weakness and failure, your circumstances, your outlook for the days ahead? We all need to lift up our eyes above those demon-inspired mists and behold a mighty Savior, one who is both able and totally committed to our complete salvation. He who maintains stars in their orbits billions of light years from earth, who keeps the very atoms from flying apart, is the one into whose hands we have committed our very souls. There we are safe — and the Father’s hands are around his! John 10:28-29.

No matter how great our need we have a throne of grace to which we may freely come to find the help we need. Our right to come is not based upon anything in us but has been won for us at the cross by the perfect Lamb of God who gave himself for us. Hebrews 4:14-16.

Satan has no weapon but his lies. We have God’s word, the word of One Who cannot lie (Hebrews 6:17-20). But remember, ultimately God’s word is a Person! That Person is Jesus. He not only tells the truth; He IS the truth. John 14:6.

As Jude, an earthly half-brother of our Lord wrote: “To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.” Jude 24-25.

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