05-06-16 THE GLORY THAT
WILL BE OURS - PART TWO
Published June 5, 2016
By John Aldworth
Psalm 84:11: For the Lord God is a sun and a shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly.
1 Sam. 2:8:He raises the poor out of the dust and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill to set them among prices and make them inherit the throne of glory.
Rom. 8:18: For I reckon the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared to the
glory that shall be revealed in us.
Col. 3: 4: When Christ who is our life shall appear then shall ye also appear with Him in glory.
1 Tim. 1:11: According to the glorious gospel (i.e. the gospel of the glory) of the blessed (happy) God, which was committed to my trust.
2 Cor. 4:3-4: But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost. In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel (i.e. the gospel of the glory) of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
Psalm 84:11, indeed the whole psalm, is prophetic. That is, it has yet to take place. The 'amiable' tabernacles, the courts of the Lord of Hosts, the psalmist was longing for were not the tabernacle or the temple then in Israel. The courts and tabernacles he was seeking were far off in the kingdom of heaven yet to come. Only there will Israel's elect find glory, and only there in the day of Christ when Christ
appears in kingdom power will we grace-saved Gentile believers also find our glory
Therefore we conclude that God has yet to 'give both grace and glory'. For sure, grace is now ours abundantly and we can never give enough thanks to God for it. Yet the glory is still to come.
In Part One of this study we showed that the glory of God is the garment God always intended his creature, man, to be clothed with. Now, in Part Two, we endeavour to set out both how and when we shall be so clothed.
According to Col. 3:3-4, quoted above, our being clothed with glory will take place at Christ's appearing. This is the dawning of the Day of Christ when the Lord will fully manifest Himself as King of heaven and earth. He will shine powerfully forth to all in heaven and all on earth as the 'blessed and only potentate Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords' (1Tim. 6:15).
It is the prospect of this shining forth (Greek: epiphanea) thatis proclaimed as the 'glorious gospel' in both 2 Cor. 4:4 and 1 Tim. 1:11. Notice in these verses that Christ, who is God, is described as 'blessed', that is 'happy' (Greek: makarios). It is a happy God we will meet at his and our appearing. Happy, because his appearing in glory is the joyful outcome of both his suffering for us on earth and his long wait, sitting at the Father's right hand,until his enemies are made his footstool.
As the Lord told two doubtful disciples on the road to Emmaus: 'Ought not Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into his glory' (Luke 24:26). Christ entered into his glory when the Father raised Him from the dead and set Him at his right hand and gave Him to be Head over all things to the church (Eph. 1:20-22). But as yet this is a hidden glory, for Col. 3:3 tells us that at present both our life and Christ Himself are 'hid in God'.
Hid, that is from human eyes. The world, for example, carries on as though He never lived at all and is not alive now. Indeed, the Lord's concealment is so real that the professing church for the most part also acts as though He is never powerfully present. The ApostlePaul rightly described the state of today's Christianity as 'having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof' and advised 'from such turn away' (2Tim. 3:5).
Fact is, no organised church in New Zealand proclaims the 'preaching of Jesus Christ according to the revelation of the mystery' as revealed in scripture. Yet God has commanded that this preaching, along with Paul's 'my gospel' be 'made known to all nations for the obedience of faith' (Rom. 16:25-26). Why then are the organised churches not proclaiming it? Apparently, it's not enough that the Ten Commandments are broken daily by nearly everybody. On top of that the churches are breaking this injunction by God the Father, one you might well call 'the EleventhCommandment of God'.
Isaiah clearly foresaw our time, prophesying: 'For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people'. This is what humanity sinks into when the light of Christis withheld. But, thank God there will soon be an end to this nosedive into night.
As Isaiah also foresaw, the Day of Christ will come, when 'the Lord shall arise upon thee and his glory shall be seen upon thee' (Isaiah 60:1-2). The 'thee' here is Israel but before the light dawns on the regathered chosen nation the light of the Lord must first light up the Gentiles. Thus Isaiah 49: 5-6, speaking of Christ says:
Though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the sight of the Lord. And He said, It is a light thing that Thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give Thee for a light to the Gentiles that Thou mayest be my salvation unto the ends of the earth.
In the dispensation to come, theDay of Christ, the worldwide darkness now prevailing will be banished by a blaze of glory as Christ manifests Himself and his Kingdom both in heaven and upon earth (2 Tim. 4:1, Titus 2:13). This great event is foreseen in Psalms 77:18 and 97:4 which say 'his lightnings (will) enlighten the world; the earth saw and trembled'. The effect of it will be astonishing. Isaiah 29:18 proclaims:
In that day (the Day of Christ) shall the deaf hear the words of the book and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity and out of darkness.
They will be able to do sobecause the Lord will shut up and then imprison the devil and the 'rulers of the darkness of this world (Eph. 6: 12) thus breaking the stranglehold of 'spiritual wickedness in high places'. Accordingly, Isaiah proclaims (Isa.24:21-22):
And it shall come to pass in that day (i.e. the Day of Christ) that the Lord shall punish the host of high ones that are on high, and the kings of the earth upon the earth. And they shall be gathered as prisoners are gathered together in the pit, and shall be shut in prison, and after many days they shall visited (i.e. punished).
The Day of Christ will be payback time for the tyrants, war lords and despots who have so long repressed mankind.Ps. 76:12 rejoices in the truth that:
He shall cut off the spirit of princes: He is (will be) terrible to the kings of the earth.
All this and more is the gospel (good news) of the glory of Christ, of his appearing and his kingdom (2 Tim.4:1). Importantly, it is also the time of our being clothed with the glory God intended for mankind all along, the glory of Christ Himself.
So, how can we lay hold of this glory? How can we be sure we will appear with Christ in glory? The answer lies in being obedient to God's commandments issued through his chosen Apostle to the Gentiles, Paul.
For example, in Titus 2:13 we are told to be 'looking for that blessed hope and the appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ'. And in Phil. 3:14-15 the Apostle of grace urges us to, like him, 'press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus'.
The calling on high, of course, is something only God can do. We can't haul ourselves up to heaven. Only God Himself can resurrect us and present us faultless before the presence of his glory. This is why, in verse 11, the Apostle Paul describes this 'high calling', the (out) resurrection from the dead (Greek, ex-anastasis), as an attainment for which he was happy to 'suffer the loss of all things'.
Right now then we should be looking for his appearing, be willing to suffer the loss of many things, be forgetting the things behind (vs. 13)and looking to the things that are before us in heaven, in order to press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling.
Is it a race? In one sense it is, because we if we qualify to be the 'firstfruits in Christ' (1 Cor. 15: 23) we will be the first (after Christ Himself) to rise from the dead. And this only because we are 'risen with Him'. Is it a matter of our being chosen? Yes, it is. And in order to qualify we need, on the apostle's urging, to be 'thus minded' with him (Phil. 3:15).
Therefore let us so run that we may obtain (1 Cor. 9:24).
(To be continued)