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“Oh, the unspeakable greatness of that exchange,—the Sinless One is condemned, and he who is guilty goes free; the Blessing bears the curse, and the cursed is brought into blessing; the Life dies, and the dead live; the Glory is whelmed in darkness, and he who knew nothing but confusion of face is clothed with glory.” Trailady

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A person God turned around many times.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Glory

“Thou shalt guide me with Thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.” (Ps. 73:24). “God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: for He shall receive me.” (Ps. 49:15).

“Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.” (Act 2:29). Obviously, even in the Old Testament, David had “that blessed hope,” in “the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.” (Tit. 2:13).

To above psalms Christ referred when He confided to His disciples. “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” (Jn. 14:3). He would receive us to Himself and to His glory. “For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” (1Thess. 4:16,17).

Regarding the glory, when Ezekiel was caught up in vision into paradise, and saw and heard things unlawful for men to utter, his description included the tremendous glory there. These “visions of God” (Ez. 1:1) and His throne was bleached white with excruciating brightness.

“As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire, and like the appearance of lamps: it went up and down among the living creatures; and the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning. And the living creatures ran and returned as the appearance of a flash of lightning.” (Ez. 1:13,14). “And the likeness of the firmament upon the heads of the living creature was as the colour of the terrible crystal, stretched forth over their heads above.” (vs. 22).

“And I saw as the colour of amber, as the appearance of fire round about within it, from the appearance of His loins even upward, and from the appearance of His loins even downward, I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and it had brightness round about. As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake.” (vs. 27,28).

When Daniel saw the Lord I vision he wrote, “His body also was like the beryl, and His face as the appearance of lightning, and His eyes as lamps of fire, and His arms and His feet like in colour to polished brass, and the voice of His words like the voice of a multitude.” (Dan. 10:6).

Another scene of overpowering amplification of the senses—blinding light and deafening sound, John gave a similar testimony. “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.” (Rev. 1:14,15).

Moses respectfully requested to see God’s glory. But because this would not be in vision, by Moses’ physical eyes, he could not look into the face of the Lord as had the prophets. He must see only the Lord’s back. That was so glorious that “Moses made haste, and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshipped.” (Ex. 34:8).

Isaiah saw heaven in vision. “In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and His train filled the temple.
Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.
And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of His glory.
And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.” (Is. 6:1-4). Isaiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, and John could not bear the brilliant light of God, though it was shrouded in vision.

Only the Son of God has ever stood before the Creator without a veil of vision or smoke between them. Only He had “heard His voice [all the] time, [and] seen His shape.” (Jn. 5:37). “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him.” (Jn. 1:18). “And now, O Father, glorify Thou Me with Thine own self with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was.” (Jn. 17:5).

When Jesus was transfigured we have this account of the Father. “While [Peter] yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them.” “And they feared as they entered into the cloud.” “And behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him. And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid.” (Matt. 17:5,6;Lk. 9:34). “God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.” (Jn. 4:24). We can only enter His presence by faith, with light-years between us.

This was no ordinary cloud reflecting sunlight; the transfiguration occurred at night while the three disciples were “heavy with sleep.” (Lk. 9:32). This “cloud” was really the presence of the Almighty deigning to manifest Himself on this tiniest speck in His creation. A cloud was the closest resemblance to God’s glory that Mattew and Luke could compare to describe it.

An atmospheric cloud has billions of tiny water vapor droplets that catch sunlight and reflect and refract it in all directions. Thus clouds appear bright and white. But glory emanating from the immaterial Creator is as much apart from the material photons and water as His person is beyond time and matter. Unlike light which is physical packets of the faintest amount of mass and energy, and which possibly was created for Adam as an object lesson of God’s glory, that true glory is not derived from anything physical or material. Glory comes straight from heaven. It is divinely sourced.

Thus, in my opinion, glory is not detected by our eyes, which are mechanical and process material photons. Rather, glory needs only the human mind for its detection—the mind, God’s domain or the devil’s. The mind truly is a mystery to science. The psychologist and psychiatrist, neurologist and neurological surgeon may comprehend the brain; but the mind is far beyond any human to know. The conscience is the sense that God made to interact with man. We are above the animal kingdom because of our special dispensation of conscience.

“All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds.” “Thou hast made [man] a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of Thy hands; Thou hast put all things under his feet:
All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; the fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.” (Ps. 8:5-8). (1Cor. 15:39). “Man that is in honour, and understandeth not, is like the beasts that perish.” (Ps. 49:20). Satan has sought to efface this doctrine and the appreciation of God in our conscience. Very subtly the usurper of truth has accomplished this through his masterpiece theory of evolution. And has had papal endorsement since 1998.

Man didn’t descend from the animal kingdom. From his creation, he was different from every other animal in his capacity to know God, to obey and serve Him, and to love Him. This came only through God’s special endowment to man, and this endowment to his conscience has kept man precious in the Creator’s eyes—the apple of His eye—even in man’s corrupted state. Our conscience is the high worth God has placed on man in this pound of platinum comprising our frontal lobe. Worth can be calculated but never weighed; so too our spiritual conscience: for it is heaven-ordained and divinely maintained.

Here is the most intense field ever battled for. No nations waged war over natural resources so fiercely as heaven and hell have waged over the human soul. Character, developed in the conscience, will stand before God in judgment. Eternal life and death hinge on whose character we have, whose image our character bears, whose signature of ownership resides behind our forehead, Christ’s or Satan’s.

Is our conscience filled with all the fullness of God as we come to know the love of Christ? (Eph. 3:17-19). Or is it filled with ourselves, knowing only this world, running on fumes and the sparks of our own resources, which is all that Satan can offer us in spite of his great promises of deep wisdom from the gods? (Is. 50:11).

God’s immaterial glory, convicting sin, enters into the mind and conscience, which is why condemnation is heard, even by prophets, holy and wholly dedicated to God, though they were. “Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.” (Is. 6:5). Daniel wrote, “Yet heard I the voice of His words: and when I heard the voice of His words, then was I in a deep sleep on my face, and my face toward the ground.” (Dan. 10:9). And heard “And when he had spoken such words unto me, I set my face toward the ground, and I became dumb.” (vs. 15). Only by angelic assistance could he express, “For how can the servant of this my lord talk with this my lord? for as for me, straightway there remained no strength in me, neither is there breath left in me.” (vs. 17).

Ezekiel likewise fell down, hearing but remaining completely mute. “As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of One that spake.
And He said unto me, Son of man, stand upon thy feet, and I will speak unto thee.
And the Spirit entered into me when He spake unto me, and set me upon my feet, that I heard Him that spake unto me.” (Ez. 1:28-2:1,2).

Their conscience was stricken, their comeliness seen as corrupted as God views it, their glory but dung, “that no flesh should glory in His presence.” (1Cor. 1:29). “For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.” (Hab. 2:14). “And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of His glory.” (Is. 6:3). “Then the Spirit took me up, and I heard behind me a voice of a great rushing, saying, Blessed be the glory of the Lord from His place.” (Ez. 3:12).

Soon, the full atonement for sin will be finished in the Most Holy Place, and the blinding glory of God, being victorious over the effects of sin weighing on His infinitely holy soul, will blaze anew when He comes with His Son to take His people home to Himself.

“Behold, He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him, and they also which pierced Him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him.” (Rev 1:7). “And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” (Matt. 24:30). “Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.” (Matt. 26:64). “The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the LORD will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel.” (Joel 3:16).

Our characters, the only thing we will take to heaven, will be our title to dwell in God’s glorious presence. “And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and His servants shall serve Him:
And they shall see His face; and His name shall be in their foreheads.” (Rev. 22:3,4).

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