What will it be like to see Him face to face?
This mighty God who calls us “friend”? Have you tried to imagine it? The idea of the “face of God” appears many times in Scripture, and can be understood to mean Yeshua himself – the visible incarnation of our invisible God. With the escalating chaos and destruction in the world, many are wondering if we might be seeing His face sooner rather than later.
Many times in the gospels, Yeshua tells us to “watch” and to be ready. He tells us to look out for the signs and to be attuned to the birth pangs as the earth groans for redemption.
But while the people of Israel by and large missed the time of the first visitation, expecting a conquering king (definitely not a suffering servant) is today’s church in danger of making the opposite mistake?
Are we expecting an impoverished Yeshua in sandals with a lamb hoisted on his shoulders? Or the sword-wielding King of the Universe in blood-drenched garments, on a rampage of vengeance? We have become so familiar with the Yeshua of the first coming that we forget all about the very promises and prophecies that the people of Israel knew so well – that the Messiah will indeed come as a mighty warrior, to do battle and to conquer.
Now God is no fan of violence.
The account of Noah teaches us that the hatred and violence rampant on the earth was the main reason for the cataclysmic judgement of the flood. He is not a fan of the shedding of blood, but clearly there are times when He deems it necessary.
He has priorities. For example, we can see that although he is concerned with the welfare of animals (Jonah 4:11), and cares about the spilling of their blood (the life is in the blood) he requires bucket loads of it to be shed to atone for sin, because sin is even more serious than the blood of innocent animals. One thing trumps the other. We can see it too in our own lives. We know that God does not enjoy making us suffer (Lamentations 3:33 – “He does not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men”). But we also know that He will allow suffering in our lives to refine us and to achieve His higher goal of conforming us to the likeness of His Son. His desire for our holiness trumps His desire to keep us free from pain.
Similarly, there are priorities that He has in His heart when He comes again, and drastic times call for drastic measures. He will avenge His enemies.
He will restore justice and bring in His reign of righteousness. Are we ready for that? Have we absorbed the fact that He will not come with an olive branch, but a sword?
Centuries of unholy murder and bloodshed in the name of God have turned our stomachs, and this idea of violence and religion sits as easily together as orange juice and toothpaste. It seems inconceivable to the twenty-first century thinker that God could possibly endorse any kind of violence, let alone instigate it. But we if we believe the Bible, we need to adjust our mindset to align with what it teaches about the second coming. Here is the picture that God paints of the second coming:
“Who is this coming from Edom, from Bozrah, with his garments stained crimson? Who is this, robed in splendor, striding forward in the greatness of his strength?
“It is I, proclaiming victory, mighty to save.”
Why are your garments red, like those of one treading the winepress?
“I have trodden the winepress alone; from the nations no one was with me. I trampled them in my anger and trod them down in my wrath; their blood spattered my garments, and I stained all my clothing. It was for me the day of vengeance; the year for me to redeem had come.” Isaiah 63:1-4
This picture is shadowed in Genesis 49:10-11 (a prophecy for Judah) and Zechariah 9, as well as Revelation 19:11-16:
“I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: King of kings and Lord of lords.”
If this warrior king on the warpath is not who you are expecting, please adjust your mindset.
Because He is coming, whether you are ready or not.