His Beatitude Sir Godfrey Gregg DD
To my beloved Lord Patriarch and Bishop of Starlight of Israel Sir Darrindel Hoyte-Johnson, Matriarch-Elect Hon. Janet McClean, Crowned Queen Abbess Dr. Jacinta Albert-Patrick, His Eminence Sir Eric Alleyne, Patriarch McGillvary and the Queen Abbess of London, England, Clergy, brothers, sisters, friends and well-wishers greetings. Turn with me to the book of Revelation for out scripture reading.
Rev 1:12-18 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 hairs 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 two-edged sword and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength. And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me,
Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive forevermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.
In the text before us we see a beautiful picture of what we will one day experience, either at the rapture, or when we leave this world by way of death. We will one day meet our Lord and Saviour face to face. What a glorious day it will be when we look upon Him Who bore our sins to Calvary because He first loved us. It is too much for us to comprehend just what it will be like. There is no experience in this life that we can compare it too. No way to comprehend it. One day we will meet Him face to face. This One, who we who are saved have already met heart to heart, will one day be before us. We will meet Him. What a day when we meet our Lord face to face. What an experience for our eyes to meet His for the very first time. There was a man by the name of Bartimeaus who one day opened his eyes to see the Saviour face to face. No doubt, he carried that lovely vision to his grave rejoicing in that he would soon be with Him for all eternity. Fanny Crosby wrote all those wonderful songs that we are familiar with in our hymn books. “Pass me not O gentle Saviour” One day she opened her eyes to see Him for the first time. Oh! What a wonderful sight. Many of us have seen some beautiful sights in this life. Many of us have seen some beautiful things. I have seen some wonderful sights. I remember my father’s face when he took his last breath, what a beautiful sight. I remember watching my daughter’s face at birth, Oh what a beautiful sight. I remember when she took that first step. I remember when I came home from work and the excitement on her face. Oh what a beautiful sight. And the joy that was in her face and I am sure in mine. I have seen some beautiful sights in my life. But friend, brothers and sisters I haven’t seen anything yet, nothing can compare to what I am going to see one day when I hear that trumpet sound and that shout. Nothing can compare to what I will see when our eyes meet. When I see Him, truly see Him for the first time. I know Him now, but one day I will see Him face to face. Just what are we going to see when we meet Jesus face to face? Let’s look at the one that John saw when he turned around. Though there are many things that could be covered here concerning this Great One, I want to note three things primarily that reveal to us exactly who this was.
1. “His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow”
We see pictured here the wisdom of God. “The Ancient of Days.” He who is wise, and in this case “All Wise”. We see here the omniscience of God for He knows all things. Hallelujah, for we through this person we are more than conquerors.
2. “and his eyes were as a flame of fire”
Of course, here we see pictured “The all-seeing eye of God”. He is everywhere and see’s everything. He is omnipresent. This would also mean that He is in all times as well as all places. God is infinite, eternal. Because He is Omnipresent His eyes, as a flame of fire, can look upon us and all of the impurities of our lives are exposed to view. All that we have ever done is brought to remembrance by the all-seeing eyes of God.
3. “And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace”
And here we see judgment as represented by the brass. The awful judgment of God, which will be executed one day upon His enemies. Oh, what a wonderful picture. The One Whose heel was bruised has feet of fine brass with which to crush the head of the adversary! There is no room to doubt who this was that John saw. No room for argument or speculation. This is the Glorious Lord Jesus Christ. And He says so. Hallelujah
“I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive forevermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.”
One day we will meet Him face to face. Hallelujah one day we shall see the King of all kings and we shall reign with Him forever and forever.
I. When our eyes meet there will be “comprehension”…
There are those who will say that when they meet the Lord they are going to ask Him a lot of questions. There are a lot of things that they want to know. But this is not true. When we stand before God one day we will know that none of our questions matter. Nothing will matter anymore about this life, we will be in the presence of God! We won’t care about anything else. When we come into the Glorious presence of God we will be like dead men ourselves. We won’t be able to speak. We won’t be able to question. We will know! When those eyes that are as a flame of fire look at us then all of the dross of our past lives will burn away. All of the things that we have done and claimed that they were for Him and for His honour and His Glory, will be exposed for what they really are. All of the wood, hay, and stubble of our lives will burn away never to be remembered. All that will be left will be the things that have truly been done for Him and Oh, how precious little we will be when this takes place. We will know finally just what we amount too in the presence of God. All of our self-promoting service will be worthless to us then and we will fall at His feet in shame.
If we could truly grasp the enormity of this truth how it would affect us in our daily lives. If we could see how that we deceive even ourselves into thinking that we are serving God when, many times it is just our own desires and a way of working out our own means. I remember hearing a young woman being boasted upon by her mother. “Oh, she just does so much at the church. I don’t know how she finds the energy to do it all. And then find time for a family. Why do you drive yourself so hard?” And the young woman’s reply was, “Well, somebody’s got to do it.” How sad. To think of serving God just because someone has to do it. The truth is that no one “has to do it”. We are to serve God because we love Him. We should serve Him because of a heart that is about to explode with gratitude. Aching to please Him, to make God smile. That should be our goal. Why do you do what you do? One day all of the facades will just melt away and you will stand there naked and ashamed in the presence of a Holy God. If you do what you do for any other reason than Him, then you are sowing to the wind. It is wood, hay, and stubble. It is not serving God if it is not done for Him. It is serving self and seeking the praise or adoration of men. God help us to learn the difference. There will be comprehension. There will be no question as to who He is when we meet him. When I was young in the faith I fell into that trap of immature ignorance of believing that there were people going to hell and when they got there they may not know where they were or why. That is so far from true. When we die, we will all stand before God. We will know exactly who He is and we will know exactly who we are. For the first time we will be honest and we will cry Holy! Holy! Holy! Lord God Almighty! Oh, friend, what a day that will be.
II. When our eyes meet there will be “conviction”…
At the present, we fail miserably to be what we ought to be. The sad part is that we all practice the art of being deceitful about it. We all make excuses when we fail. As a matter of fact, we are, for the most part, so good at it that we even fool ourselves. We practice “self-deceit” on a regular basis. “Well, I was unable to make it to church the other night, I just did not get home in time to get ready”. Does that sound familiar? How about this, “I can’t tithe, I have got to have every last dime just to get by.” Oh yes. We all make excuses all the time. I can’t memorize scripture, it’s just too much.” Well, you know at least a half dozen phone numbers by heart. How many songs can you sing along to on the radio, and the many songs we learn? Spiritual Baptist are too familiar with this practice. Too much to memorize? When we meet Jesus face to face we will make no excuses then. When He looks at us with those eyes that burn as a flame of fire He will know all and there will be no use in trying to lie about it. We will be convicted by our own consciences, and He will know.
Oh the horror of standing before Him and having no excuses for our failures. The conviction! Remember if you will that outside the judgment hall, Peter warmed himself by the world’s fire. This same Peter that had vehemently exclaimed that he would die before he would deny The Lord has just denied the Lord three times. Now as Jesus is led from the judgment hall Peter’s eyes meet His. Does he make excuses. “Now, Lord, You just have to understand my circumstances.” Or maybe, “Lord, You know my heart.” Sound familiar? Well, guess what Peter did. He went out and wept bitterly. He did not speak to The Lord, he did not ask any questions. He had no defense. He was immediately convicted in his heart and he went out and wept bitterly. This was no mere shedding of heartbroken tears in silence. He wept bitterly!
Now, imagine the things that will cross your mind when you meet Jesus face to face. All of the times that you cheated in your dealings with your fellow man. Every lie that you have told since you got saved. Every lustful indulgence. Every attempt at self-promotion. And yes, every thing that you have done in His name, for self advancement, or gratification. Lying and making strife for personal gains and some filthy money. A favour from someone because you are good at what you do trying to deceive others. Oh, the things that we will all give account for at the judgment seat of Christ. Oh, the fearful approach that we will make when we meet Him. There will be no bold questions pouring forth from our lips, we will be unable to speak. That great man John the apostle fell at His feet as a dead man. He could not stand before Jesus. Not until Jesus reached out to Him and placed His right hand upon him. What a beautiful sight. I am not a whit of the man that John was and I will never be. But, one day, when I meet Jesus and I find myself unable to stand.
III. When our eyes meet there will be “consolation”
Yes, there will be consolation. When I see Him for the first time, and see myself truly, for the first time, I will be unable to stand, unable to speak. I will fall at His feet as if I were a dead man. No way that we can stand in His presence. Oh, the fear! We will know what we truly deserve. Yet look at our passage.
Rev 1:17-18 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive forevermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.
“He laid His right hand upon me, saying unto me, fear not:” Praises be to God for His precious consolation. When we find ourselves in His presence, and convicted. When we fall at His feet as dead: When we cannot find it within ourselves to stand or to speak, Praise God, He will lay that powerful right hand upon us and say “Fear not.” It is as if God is telling John, “Don’t fear me now. This is the day that we have
been waiting for. Don’t be afraid of me now. I love you and I am here for you now and forever. You can trust me now like you have never trusted me before. Thanks be unto God, one day we will look back and like the songwriter we will say that it has been worth every mile. It will make all the heartaches, troubles and sorrows seem like nothing. Our journey home will be ended and we will ever be with the Lord. Hallelujah!
IV. For some there will be “condemnation” when their eyes meet His…
This will be a truly glorious day for those of us who are saved. A wonderful occasion. But for many this is not the case. For many this will be the end of all things. There will be eternal condemnation at this meeting. We are talking about the day that men finally meet God face to face. All who die stand before God. All who die lost are met with the horrible words “Depart from me”. There will be condemnation when many meet Him. Are you ready? Are you prepared to meet Jesus. You are going too one of these days. When we were children we played hide and seek. After counting to the agreed upon number, we would shout, “Ready or not, here I come”. And then we would go. Jesus is saying “ready or not, here I come”. He’s coming. Will He come back to take you in death, or rapture? Either way you have got to be prepared. Are you ready?
Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
We all will die if the Lord does not come back first and take us out of here, and we will be judged when we die. Judgment is coming, it is “appointed”, but it is an appointment without a time. Are you ready? This is one appointment we all have to keep. None shall be excused, and there will be no place to hide.