Christ Never Rushes to Judgment!September 30, 2018
BEFORE I SAY ANYTHING ELSE IN THIS LETTER, I want to thank you for the gifts and offerings you send to this ministry. Thank you so much for joining hands with us spiritually and financially so we can do what Jesus has called us to do! You are truly partners with us in this heavenly assignment, and we are grateful to God for you!
This entire month, I have been focusing my prayers and my communication with partners on the subject of John’s vision of the exalted Christ in Revelation 1:9-20. These verses are jam-packed with revelatory truth about who Jesus is to the Church today. There is so much I could say about this revelation — more than I could write in a single letter. But today, I’ve decided to focus on one facet of this amazing account: Christ’s feet.
This month’s letter will be a little deeper than usual, but if you’ll read all the way to the end, I think you’ll be glad you did. Let’s get started!
WHAT IS ‘FINE BRASS’?
In Revelation 1:15, John wrote that in his vision of Jesus as the exalted Christ, his eyes caught a glimpse of Jesus’ feet. John described them this way: “And his feet [were] like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace….”
John described Jesus’ feet as “like unto fine brass.” The Greek word for “fine brass” is chalkolibanon — a very unusual compound of two Greek words, formed from the words chalkos and libanos.
- The first part of the word, chalkos, depicts brass or bronze. These very words are used in the Old Testament in connection with divine judgment. This is very important, so please hold this thought.
- The second part of the word, libanos, is the Greek word for It is the very word that is used to depict the intercessory ministry of the High Priest in the Old Testament.
WHAT DOES ALL OF THIS MEAN?
Frankincense and brass naturally don’t mix, so the words “like unto fine brass” are an allegorical message about Christ to the Church at large throughout the ages — combining the symbolic meanings of both brass and frankincense to paint a picture of judgment and prayer.
- First, this tells us Christ was ready to judge every opposing force that would not submit to His will. The fact that this judgment is on “feet” tells us that Christ in His exalted state is engaged and ready to move His feet in the direction where judgment needs to be applied.
- Second, it tells us that because both brass and bronze are very heavy — and it is very difficult to quickly move an object made of these kinds of metal — when Christ moves to bring judgment, He does it slowly in order to provide people with “space to repent” (see Revelation 2:21).
CHRIST IS NEVER IN A RUSH TO JUDGE!
John wrote that Christ’s feet looked “as if they burned in a furnace.” This tells us the metal had not yet set. In other words, the decision-making process was still being “forged in the crucible.” The metal had been heated and poured forth, but because it still glowed brightly, we know that the hardening process was not yet complete. The effect of the heavy brass or bronze — or the effect of judgment — was not ready yet to be measured out.
Christ is revealed here as being willing to move forward to bring rebuke, correction, or even judgment, if necessary — yet He is not rushing to judgment! The fact that His feet are like brass or bronze means that he slowly lifts one foot at a time when He moves to bring correction. He is pictured here as moving slowly enough to give each person an opportunity to avoid judgment by repenting before suffering the consequences of continued error or sin.
CHRIST IS PRAYING FOR YOU TO SELF-CORRECT
There is one more important thing to see in Revelation 1:15. The use of the word libanos in the phrase “fine brass” — which is the Greek word for frankincense — tells us:
- Jesus’ feet are doused in the incense of the heavenly Holy of Holies, where He ever lives to make intercession for those who come to Him (see Hebrews 7:25).
- Perhaps Christ’s feet carry the golden hue of frankincense because He lives in the atmosphere of prayer, where He continually intercedes for every person He has ever washed in His blood.
- Although He is poised with potential judgment if necessary, Jesus is, has been, and always will be interceding in prayer for the Church, pleading for His people to hear Him and self-correct before He arrives with judgment.
- Jesus does not want to bring judgment, though He will if necessary. His desire is to issue a correction and to move slowly enough in the direction of correction to give the person in error time to repent and self-correct so that judgment doesn’t need to be applied.
Wow — this text leaves me speechless!
Jesus will do what He must do in terms of judgment, but He is not rushing to judge anyone. He corrects and then gives a person time to self-correct. Even if he or she does not self-correct, Jesus still moves slowly when it comes to applying judgment. The judgment He carries toward an offender is doused in prayer — that the individual will hear, repent, and self-correct so that Christ does not have to arrive on the scene to bring a more difficult response.
Think of the times the Holy Spirit has corrected you for something — but then gave you time to recognize it, correct it, and make it right. Aren’t you thankful for His patience with you?
Yes, Christ will bring correction if absolutely necessary, but that is never His highest and finest will. His greatest desire is for every Christian to hear His corrective voice when He speaks, and then to self-correct so that judgment never has to be applied. This is what Christ is praying for each one of us!
- Think about how this applies to people you know who once walked with God, but now are walking distant from the Lord.
- Christ pleads with them, but does not quickly judge them.
- Yes, He will bring correction to them if they are really His, but first He gives them time to respond and bring correction to themselves.
As you pray for people who have wandered from God, always pray for Him to give them “space to repent” — that is, time to get things right — and that they will have the spiritual sense to recognize where they are wrong and to bring correction to themselves.
I told you this month would be a little different than usual, but it’s important for us to hear the whole counsel of God. This is a clear aspect of the revelation of Jesus in Revelation chapter 1. It is vital that we understand the merciful, slow-moving nature of Christ when it comes to the issue of divine judgment.
How can Denise and I and our team be praying for you this month? Please let us hear from you so we’ll know how to pray more specifically. If you have no one else to express your prayer needs to, we are here for you. Praying for our partners and friends really is one of our highest honors in the ministry!
With your partnership, you are affecting many lives for Jesus Christ! We really do love you and thank God for you!
We are your brother and sister, friends, and partners in Jesus Christ,
Rick and Denise Renner
along with Paul, Philip, and Joel and their families