Meeting Jesus As Judge
The depth of intimacy with our Lord affords a liberty and honesty in our relationship like no other. No one will ever know us to the minutest detail as He. We have great assurance and confidence in Him, knowing that He will never leave us or forsake us. Jesus, as the perfect Husband, exhibits an unparalleled patience with His bride. He affords us an extended grace period or honeymoon, where we become secure in His undying love. When our relationship is strong and stable, as King, He is also faithful to begin to reveal truth to us about our character. He shows us weaknesses and flaws that do not conform to His image and likeness. Jesus is a faithful Bridegroom/ King who confronts us, and works in us to conform our character to His likeness.
Truth is a two-edged sword that helps us first to identify with our new nature in Christ. As we align ourselves with His thinking and who we are in Him, we also begin to see that which is not of Him. We are like Adam and Eve in the Garden, as we see our nakedness. Nakedness here is a metaphor for the fallen nature of man, and that fallen nature is inherently rebellious to Him because is shamed-based at its root. We need clarity of both aspects of the sword. Our intimate relationship with and knowledge of Him gives us the courage to embrace the power of the cross prepared for us specifically, allow the Holy Spirit to work within our lives, and leave behind our old self to be clothed in Christ.
The bride must undergo the refining of the will so that she appears like her Husband. We are to be changed from glory to glory. The good news is that the end result will be glorious; the “bad news” is that the process is quite grueling. Malachi 3:2-3 says:
But who can endure the day of His coming?
And who can stand when He appears?
For He is like a refiner’s fire
And like launderers’ soap.
He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver.
A silversmith places a piece of silver over the hottest portion of the flame to burn off all impurities. His eyes are riveted on the silver because a moment too long under the flames would destroy it. He knows the process is complete when his image is reflected. Jesus watches over us and carries us through the fires of affliction until He sees His image reflected in us, His bride.
Our desire for the Lord, awakened by the revelation of His desire for us, gives us courage to enter the fire. Our knowledge (gonosko) or intimacy with His goodness and His desire for the ultimate best for us, gives us the courage to withstand the heat of the flame until His work is complete. Psalm 19: 9-10 says: The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
His judgments toward His bride are to be a desired, treasured gift. They are to be sought after, not fled from or scorned. We rejoice not in the process, but in the results of who and what we become. We rejoice because of His undying love and faithfulness to help us face the truth, purge us from bondage and sin, conform us to His image and share His inheritance with us!
Judgment begins at the House of the Lord (1 Pet. 4:17) and we are that house, and Jesus has begun this work. Throughout the ensuing articles, I will refer to this work of Jesus with His bride as remedial judgment. Because the work He is doing is His remedy to prepare us as His bride.
We live in the most spectacular time in all of history, what all of creation groans for, what all of history has waited for: the return of the Creator of all the earth. The brightest and the darkest days of all time lay ahead. The decisions that we make in response to the Lord’s work will determine whether our days are dark or bright. It is my prayer that all those who read these articles recognize the seriousness of the times, identify the role they are to play and push forward to advance the work of His Kingdom.