Have you ever found that, in some cases, certain words or phrases pertaining to Christianity don’t quite ‘sit right’ with you?
…or maybe I should say, that I’ve found that to be true…!
We enter into Christ more or less clueless. We are blinded by Light! and thrilled! imbibing joyously, zealously, what we are told. Our hungry infant spirit, newly quickened, can’t get enough. Like newborns in the natural, though, we too drool, drip & create messes wherever we are…
The mind of Christ & the Spirit of God are certainly at work, guarding & guiding our intakes of spiritual truth, and the processing of it. Which might explain the many times something I’ve heard – maybe someone’s ‘drooling’ – didn’t feel quite right…in some cases, even up until the present. Along the way, I’ve agreed & amen’d to the general chorus, or maybe withheld verbal assent because privately…hmmm…I wasn’t sure so I didn’t challenge, but some issues I’ve always doubted, or was unconvinced. In some cases, I don’t know if I even realized I was…not on board.
As a new believer, it seemed that every time I turned around, that ‘Four Spiritual Laws’ booklet was turning up. Declaring myself ‘born-again’ & that Jesus was my Lord & Savior was more or less…what everyone was saying. Expected?
At some point I began to think that such literature & statements may not really be the best approach. I believe that every set of circumstances is tailor-made, in a sense, and requires sensitivity in the Spirit, if one wants to have Christ shown forth. At that point I myself abandoned ‘Four Spiritual Laws’ & became much more discerning in my use of the ‘born-again’ label. Proffering the ‘my personal Lord & Savior’ phrase seemed even inappropriate somehow, at times.
Most of these…glitches…I’ve held in my heart, until a moment when the Lord may come, revealing & uncovering. It is a joyful, grateful moment indeed! when I finally ‘see’ that I was not wrong!! and why I felt the way I did. (Because I suspect that there is a rebel & a revolutionary yet in me that never quite burst forth…there is always the possibility that it’s me who is in error, yet rebelling… )
Along with the types of doubtfulness already mentioned, have you ever felt in general that something is missing?
You heartily accept & believe in Jesus Christ, His cross & His blood. No doubt there…not a smidgen. But…there is a fulness of which you sense that you are not partaking…maybe?
…so all this preamble is leading to the priesthood…
“Faithfulness to God is defined by faithfulness to the (New) Covenant & the priesthood” (10:36) *
“If Christians would…relate to Jesus Christ as Lord & Priest forever, Christians might learn the New Covenant & their own priesthood.” (about 28:00)*
(*“Bring Forth the Topstone”, pt.2 – Rev. Wayne Monbleau audio, www.lovinggraceradio.net Monthly Meditation – Feb.2018 )
Newly saved, I learned of Jesus Christ as our High Priest. It wasn’t that I’d never heard about that – and for sure I accepted that teaching. But to me, it seemed ethereal, distant…something Jesus was still doing, taking care of business for all of us who believed, ‘up there’ in heavenly places. I was much more impacted by Him as my Lord & Savior, though; that relationship seemed so much more immediate & accessible. And this approach to Jesus Christ is understandable. We learn & grow by degrees, here a little, there a little, faith upon faith, from glory to glory. But as I am finding out, I was missing a big piece of the whole reality.
In the above-mentioned audio message, Wayne Monbleau made a statement concerning Jesus as our personal Savior. It pricked me. Troubled me a little. As I continued to listen, new meanings emerged from old Scriptures that I thought I understood…
Nowhere in the Bible will you find the term ‘personal Savior’. (Don’t freak out, I’m not saying Jesus doesn’t save individual people personally.) But Wayne presents a strong Biblical case for seeing Jesus primarily in another light – that of our High Priest. And seeing ourselves as “…“men from every tribe & tongue & people & nation, and You have made them to be a kingdom and priests unto our God.” (Revelation 5:9)
He asserts that most of the Body doesn’t recognize this fact, nor live & operate within it. I have to confess that though I think I have, and sometimes do minister to the Lord – I think that’s what I’m doing – I do not experience myself as a priest unto God. But now, the shape of my whole picture is beginning to shift. The ‘pause’ button has been pressed, and I am contemplating a whole new, other reality: the priesthood. I have begun…just begun…stepping out into an eternal action. Entering into His gates with thanksgiving, following through into His courts with praise.
My reality for so long has not been this priest mentality, and so I’m finding I easily slip out of it. But my times are in His hands…I try not to allow my relationship with God to become works-based…but because His word declares the priesthood, even though I often seem to be elsewhere! I believe it is real, and that it changes things.
(The above-quoted audio message, “Bring Forth the Topstone”, is a monthly mediation teaching that I receive in CD form as a monthly partner with Loving Grace Ministries, and as a result this message may not be accessible to my readers. Therefore, I am going to try to re-cap one aspect of this teaching that impacted me with delight. Here goes…)
“…not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.” (Zechariah 4:6}
I have always been stirred deeply by this Scripture. In times of group prayer or testifying, it has often been a boldly declared pillar of faith. Well…yes…
The next verse, though, wasn’t quite so clear to me. It resonated vaguely, but, uh…I never understood exactly what was being said. I was missing the connections. As it seems to be turning out, there is an underlying, very practical truth resident within these statements. We already know it but may not realize we do…
“Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel, thou shalt become a plain: and he shalt bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it.” (v.7)
Historically, Zerubbabel led the bulk of the Jews exiled to Babylon (by Nebuchadnezzar) back to Israel. Once home again, rebuilding of the temple is begun under his continued leadership. Opposition halts its progress. The temple foundation then lies dormant for 15 years.
The Holy Spirit gets in the mix, and the people resume work on the temple, Zerubbabel still leading the charge.
…so we might see the connection here, of this problem of finally re-motivating the people to build and supervising of the building process. to ‘O great mountain’. And you might get the idea that, with God’s help & power, Zerubbabel will knock it out, maybe shouting in triumph, declaring the grace of God as he places/brings forth the final headstone/topstone in the temple! Makes sense to me…
Except…what’s this about a headstone, or topstone? (I’ve seen the term ‘cornerstone’ & ‘capstone’ used also. Not sure but I think these terms can be used interchangeably, at least in a general principle way.)
“The stone which the builders refused has become the headstone of the corner” (Psalm 118:22)
In his audio teaching, Rev. Monbleau explains a little bit about a topstone, as used in an arch. It is placed in the strategic position of bearing the stress & weight of the structure. It is critical. The entire cohesiveness of the arch depends on the topstone.
Sound like Jesus?
…who also was refused/rejected by many in His time, and crucified…and is still refused by many today.
But because of these similarities, we can attribute spiritual meaning to these verses in Zechariah. We are not just being taught Bible history – something deeper is going on here. It isn’t just about faith in God providing Zerubbabel with the fortitude & means needed to overcome & rebuild the temple, either. It is about the topstone.
The Hebrew word for ‘stone’ in Psalm 118 above, includes the concept of High Priest. Our Lord and High Priest Jesus Christ is seen in this imagery of Zerubbabel’s day. Zerubbabel & his workers kept working until the were able to place the topstone. Rev. Monbleau likens this process to our own seeking out of Jesus as our High Priest, in any mountainous obstacle we face. As we continue to seek & search for our High Priest, Wayne asserts that the obstacles will lessen & flatten out – they will become as a plain before Zerubbabel (you).
Our High Priest came forth because of the grace of God. What He accomplished for us was made so because of the grace of God.
As your mountains become plains, your heart will shout “Grace!”