6. The Glory and Kingdom to Come


Audio (37:28)

‘At the Throne of Grace’ (1930), mosaic, La Chapelle Saint Claude la Colombiere, Paray-le-Monial, France.
'At the Throne of Grace' (1930), mosaic, La Chapelle Saint Claude la Colombiere, Paray-le-Monial, France.

The final chapter of the Glorious Kingdom takes place when Jesus returns in all his glory as the Son of Man and King. As we study this, I want to focus on glory and the Kingdom. Please understand if I don't emphasize prophetic timetables that are so often speculative.

We see hints of the glorious coming of Christ[110] in the mouths of disciples as their faith rises to glimpse who Christ actually is. James and John sense Jesus' coming reign when they boldly request:

"Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory." (Mark 10:37)

The thief on the cross, in a supreme vision of faith, says to Jesus who is dying alongside him:

"Remember me when you come into your kingdom." (Luke 23:42)

To the disciples on the road to Emmaus after his resurrection, Jesus asks:

"Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?" (Luke 24:26)

Throughout the Gospels there is the sense that Jesus is now King, but that the full glory of his reign is yet to be seen. Jesus himself announces that "the kingdom of God is at hand" (Mark 1:15), and glimpses of his glory are seen throughout his ministry. Nevertheless, he looks forward to a day when his glory will be fully revealed.

"For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father's glory with his angels...." (Matthew 16:27)

"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him...." (Matthew 25:31)

The phrase "come in his glory" seems to be synonymous with "come in his kingdom."

"... See the Son of Man coming in his kingdom." (Matthew 16:28b)

It is the Messianic age, the time of a glorious, cosmic coronation for all the universe to see. That is the focus of this lesson.

The Coming of the Son of Man

As we observed in Lesson 2, Jesus clearly sees himself as fulfilling Daniel's prophecy of "a son of man" who appears before the Ancient of Days. Let me recite these verses again, since they provide the key to Jesus teach about both the Son of Man and the Kingdom of God.

"13  In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. 14  He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed." (Daniel 7:13-14)

The reference to this passage is clearest when Jesus is questioned by the high priest before the Sanhedrin.

"... Again the high priest asked him, 'Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?'

'I am,' said Jesus. 'And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.'" (Mark 14:61b-62)

While Jesus clearly refers to himself with the title Son of Man in the presence of his disciples, much of his focus is future, looking forward to the coming of the Son of Man with all his glory and kingdom visible at last.

Jesus himself had a lot to say about his glorious Second Coming. Let's look at several of these passages.

The Glorious Throne of the Kingdom (Matthew 19:28)

You'll recall that a rich young ruler came to Jesus inquiring about how he might obtain eternal life. When Jesus asked him to sell all he had and give to the poor, it was too much. The man walked away from the Kingdom.

Then Jesus talked about the impossibility of the rich entering the Kingdom, citing a parable of the day about a camel going through the eye of a needle. The disciples wonder aloud what chance there will be for poor men, such as they, in the Kingdom. Jesus tells them:

"I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel." (Matthew 19:28)

We see three lessons here:

First, Jesus sees the Son of Man's glorious future coming as a "renewal of all things." This word "renewal" (NIV, NRSV), "regeneration" (KJV, NASB), "in the new world" (ESV) is palingenesia, "state of being renewed, with focus on a cosmic experience, renewal," referring to the renewing of the world in the time of the Messiah in an eschatological sense, "in the new (Messianic) age or world."[111]

Second, this new age of the world involves both glory and Kingdom reign, the "glorious throne."

Third, the new age of the Messiah involves God's people becoming part of the administration of the Kingdom, "sitting on twelve thrones, judging...." The twelve apostles judge the New Israel. We, too, are promised a part in this reign, as we'll see below.

Glorious in Judgment Accompanied by Angels

Another series of passages relates to Jesus' role as King and Judge. Jesus' glory at his coming will include the fullness of his Father's glory, but also the glory of the "holy angels." Imagine the hillside of Bethlehem on Christmas night.

"An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.... Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying..." (Luke 2:9, 13).

Perhaps you can catch a glimpse of the megawatt glory that heralded Christ's birth. That same outsized glory will be present at Christ's return.

"If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father's glory with the holy angels." (Mark 8:38, cf. Matthew 16:26-27; Luke 9:26-27)

If you're ashamed of Jesus and his message now, he'll be ashamed of you when he comes to reign and judge the earth.

Judging the nations is the context of another passage about the Son of Man's return, the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats (Matthew 25:31-46).

"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left." (Matthew 25:31-33)

When he comes, Jesus will not come alone, but he will come to judge the world accompanied by his retinue of holy angels. Paul writes to the Thessalonian church:

"This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed." (2 Thessalonians 1:7b-10a)

Here his glory is described as "blazing fire" (NIV) or, literally, "flaming fire" (ESV, KJV),[112] a reflection of God's glory seen in the Exodus[113] and in Revelation.[114]

Coming on the Clouds with Power and Great Glory

The presence of holy angels is mentioned several times by Jesus as he looks forward to coming of the Son of Man. For example, Jesus says to Nathanael,

"I tell you the truth, you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man." (John 1:51)

Angels also accompany Jesus' coming in glory in a central block of eschatological teaching in the Synoptic Gospels. Notice these verses:

"At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other." (Matthew 24:30-31; Mark 13:26-27; Luke 21:27)

Several events are found in these verses that seem to happen simultaneously:

1. People all over the earth will visibly see the Son of Man returning, and this will greatly trouble those who don't serve him -- "the nations of the earth." They will "mourn."[115] Revelation carries the same themes.

"Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him." (Revelation 1:7)

The terror and depth of their mourning on this occasion is seen from the reaction of the rich and powerful -- indeed all, both slave and free.

"They called to the mountains and the rocks, 'Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?'" (Revelation 6:15-17)

2. Christ will direct his angels to gather[116] his elect wherever they may be found, the so-called "rapture."[117] Notice that the rapture described by Jesus won't be secret, but will coincide with the public appearance of the Son of Man in the sky.

3. The Son of Man will come "with power and great glory." He came as a gentle teacher, a lamb, the first time. But when he returns he will be the Lamb who is the Lion of the tribe of Judah (Revelation 5:5-6).

4. The Son of Man will come on the clouds. This clearly recalls Daniel's prophecy that we studied in Lesson 2.

"In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven." (Daniel 7:13b)[118]

The three corresponding elements in Jesus' words and Daniel's prophecy are (1) the title "Son of Man," (2) the right hand of the Mighty One ("the Ancient of Days"), and (3) coming on the clouds.

Q1. What does Matthew 24:30-31 tell us will happen when Christ returns? How does this relate to Daniel's prophecy of the Son of Man?
http://www.joyfulheart.com/forums/topic/1714-q1-christs-return/

Future Glory with Christ

Most of the Son of Man passages point to the glorious coming of the Son of Man, his breaking into the old world order, his gathering his people, and his judgment of the unrighteous. These are the initial pieces of a "new administration" being set up and a dismantling of the old.

The book of Revelation, however, gives us a glimpse of the continuing glory of the Father and Son, with all his people that lasts forever.

As we conclude this study, let's explore that future state of glory. We can't be dogmatic, since we only have glimpses of this glory and kingdom, and many of those glimpses are in highly symbolic terms, especially in the Book of Revelation. Incidentally, because they're symbolic doesn't mean they aren't real. Only that they're inexpressible in human language that has no way to express glory on this scale, to express the inexpressible. So join with me as we take a quick tour of some of these mentions of future glory.

Lesson 4 and Lesson 5 have explored aspects of God's glory and Kingdom that believers experience here on earth, what some theologians have termed "realized eschatology." In this lesson, we'll explore the final state of glory, eschatology proper, since "eschatology" means "a study of the End" (from Greek eschatos, "last" and logos, "calculation, reckoning," in other words, "study of").

Expectation of Future Glory

Paul speaks of a hope or expectation of glory for believers when Christ returns.

"For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all." (2 Corinthians 4:17)

"To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory." (Colossians 1:27)

"Now if we are children, then we are heirs -- heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory." (Romans 8:17)

Our present and future are tied up with our bond in Christ. He is our hope of experiencing God's glory now and at Christ's coming. This coming is our "blessed hope."

"... Waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ." (Titus 2:13 ESV)

We are called to his glory and his kingdom and thus we long for him. We are called to be conformed to the image of Christ (Romans 8:29), the process of becoming like him.

Peter, too, anticipates this glory:

"I appeal as ... one who also will share in the glory to be revealed.... And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.... And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast." (1 Peter 5:1, 4, 10)

You even see this idea in the Psalms:

"You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will take me into glory." (Psalm 73:24)

Kidner argues that, rather than promotion to earthly honor, the Psalmist is referring to "the crowning joy of passing into God's presence."[119] Jude concludes his short letter with a benediction full of glory:

"To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy -- to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen." (Jude 24-25)

Bright Shining Glory

According to Revelation, our future state of glory will be brilliant -- like Christ's resurrected glory.

"I saw ... among the lampstands ... someone 'like a son of man".... His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire.... His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance." (Revelation 1:12-14, 16)

Our resurrected glory will be similar. Those who "awake to everlasting life ...will shine like the brightness of the heavens." (Daniel 12:2, 3)

 "It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power.... We will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality." (1 Corinthians 15:43, 52-53)

"The righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father." (Matthew 13:43)

Ruling and Reigning in Christ's Kingdom

The fullness of Christ's glorious reign will be announced by the "seventh trumpet."

"The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: 'The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever.'" (Revelation 11:15)

Christ's reign over all fulfills Daniel's prophecy of the Son of Man. But, according to Daniel, when the everlasting Kingdom is given to the Son of Man, it is then bestowed -- presumably by him -- upon his people, the "saints," the "holy ones."

"But the saints of the Most High will receive the kingdom and will possess it forever -- yes, for ever and ever.... As I watched, this horn was waging war against the saints and defeating them, until the Ancient of Days came and pronounced judgment in favor of the saints of the Most High, and the time came when they possessed the kingdom." (Daniel 7:18, 21-22)

"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.'" (Matthew 25:34)

As mentioned in Lesson 5, we believers are to rule and reign with Christ in the present time, but especially when Christ returns, and the governments of the world are subsumed by the Kingdom of God.

Another way of expressing the rule of the saints concerns sitting on Christ's throne with him.

"To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne." (Revelation 3:21a)

"At the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel." (Matthew 19:28)

Theses verses also indicate a reign of the saints with Christ:

"If we endure, we will also reign with him." (2 Timothy 2:12a)

"He ... has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father." (Revelation 1:6a)

"I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge.... They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years." (Revelation 20:4)

I wonder who we'll be ruling over, but I guess God will figure that out for us.

Q2. (2 Timothy 2:12a) What does it mean to "rule and reign" with Christ now, in this life? What do you think it will mean after Christ returns? How does this relate to our theme of the Glorious Kingdom?
http://www.joyfulheart.com/forums/topic/1715-q2-reigning-with-christ/

The Radiant Glory of the Bride (Revelation 21)

It's hard for us to fathom our "eternal glory in Christ" (1 Peter 5:10). But Paul prays daily that the believers in Ephesus could have the eyes of their hearts opened so they could know "the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints" (Ephesians 1:18). "Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror," says Paul. "Then we shall see face to face" (1 Corinthians 13:12a). John writes of that day, "when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is." (1 John 3:2).

What is this glory like? The writer of Hebrews compares the church to "the city with foundations," the heavenly Jerusalem (Hebrews 11:10; 11:15-16).

 "You have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven." (Hebrews 12:22-23a)

John the Revelator uses this image of the glorious City of God to describe the glory of Christ's bride, the church.

"'Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.'  And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal." (Revelation 21:9-11)

I encourage you to read all of Revelation 21 to get the full, overwhelming word picture of the future glory of the church -- our future glory! Here are some highlights:

  • 12 gates and 12 foundations representing the 12 tribes and the 12 apostles (verses 12-14).
  • Foursquare, shaped like a glorious, giant cube 12,000 stadia (1,400 miles) long, wide, and tall (verses 15-17). The walls were 144 cubits thick. Note the use of symbolic numbers:  12,000 stadia = 12 (number of tribes/apostles) x 1000 (a huge number). 144 cubits is 12 x 12.
  • "The wall was made of jasper, and the city of pure gold, as pure as glass" (verse 18). The streets were "pure gold, like transparent glass" (verse 21b).
  • The foundations were decorated with 12 kinds of precious stones (verses 19-20)
  • Each of 12 gates was made of a single giant pearl (the "pearly gates").
  • God and the Lamb are its temple (verse 22)
  • Light comes from the glory of God and of the Lamb (verse 23).
  • And it goes on....

Is all this literal or figurative? John's words (literal) speak of a reality so great and glorious that it can only be hinted at by grand figures and symbols. The actual will be grander than the description, which is limited by the lack of English words to express it adequately.

What is this City that John describes in his vision? It is the Bride. The saints. It is you and I amped up to a level of glory far beyond what we can imagine. Will we be glorified? Oh, yes!

Q3. Based on John's vision of the Bride, the Holy City, in Revelation 21, how would you describe in your own words the glory we will experience?
http://www.joyfulheart.com/forums/topic/1716-q3-the-glory-of-the-bride/

We Will See His Face (Revelation 22:4-5)

The ultimate, however, is not our glory or power as administrators in the Eternal Kingdom. The ultimate is intimacy with the Lord himself.

"They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever." (Revelation 22:3-5)

"They will see his face." The Hebrew idea of "face" goes way back to the Ancient Near East. Here are some examples of how it is used.

"My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest." (Exodus 33:14)

The word "Presence" is Hebrew pânîym, "face," which can be used as a substitute for the self or feelings of the self.[120] God's face indicates his presence. In the Aaronic Benediction, often used liturgically in churches, we see this.

"The LORD bless you and keep you;
the LORD make his face (pânîym) to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
the LORD lift up his countenance (pânîym) upon you and give you peace."
(Numbers 6:24-26)

For one's face to "shine" means to smile at one, look kindly upon one, and therefore be gracious to them. To "lift up his countenance upon you" means to look at you and acknowledge you as a person.

Conversely, to "hide one's face" means to refuse to look at a person, and thus ignore him. David pleads:

"Do not hide your face from me,
do not turn your servant away in anger;
you have been my helper.
Do not reject me or forsake me,
O God my Savior." (Psalm 27:9)

In the previous verse, David says,

"My heart says of you, 'Seek his face!'
Your face, LORD, I will seek." (Psalm 27:8)

To seek God's face means to desire to enter into his presence, to spend intimate time with him. To relate to God "face to face" is the ultimate.

"So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel, saying,
"For I have seen God face to face,
and yet my life has been delivered." (Genesis 32:30)

"The LORD would speak to Moses face to face,
as a man speaks with his friend." (Exodus 33:11)

"Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror;
then we shall see face to face." (1 Corinthians 13:12)

Now we return to the verse where we began, but this time with greater understanding.

"They will see his face ... And they will reign for ever and ever." (Revelation 22:3-5)

In business and politics, face-time with the top man is coveted; it is the ultimate access to power. Jesus has already bestowed power upon us, but as we seek his face, we'll be able to discern just what the Father is doing, and thus, when we act on his will, we will see that power make a difference in our world.

The key is face-time. And the ultimate joy of heaven is not the gold and precious gems. That attracts the worldly. But those who know Jesus are attracted by one singular opportunity: to see his face.

Jesus' friend Lazarus had two sisters -- Mary and Martha. Martha was the busybody, while Mary had an acute hunger for God. Luke records:

"She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to his teaching." But when Martha rebuked her sister for being lazy when there were guests to feed, Jesus rebuked her: 

"Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her." (Luke 10:41-42)

Face-time. That is the ultimate joy of heaven. Two old Gospel songs come to mind that feature this:

O that will be glory for me,
Glory for me, glory for me,
When by His grace I shall look on His face,
That will be glory, be glory for me.[121]

And another.

"O I want to see Him, look upon His face...."[122]

Kingdom authority is wonderful. But it pales before the glory of His presence. And so Paul urges his disciples to value this glory above all else.

"Now if we are children, then we are heirs -- heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory." (Romans 8:17)

"... "Urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.... He called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ." (2 Thessalonians 2:11-12, 14)

Q4. (Psalm 27:8) What does it mean "to seek his face"? What is necessary in us to have a desire for that? How did talking to God "face to face" change Moses? How will it change us? What does it cost us to actively seek him? Is it worth it? How does seeking his face relate to our theme of the Glorious Kingdom?
http://www.joyfulheart.com/forums/topic/1717-q4-seeking-his-face/

Lessons for Disciples

We've covered a lot of material in this chapter and there are a number of lessons for us to grasp.

  1. "Entering his glory" means that Christ will openly assume the glory due him as Son of God and Son of Man.
  2. When he returns, he will come with glory and judgment, attended by angels.
  3. People all over the earth will visibly see the Son of Man returning.
  4. Christ will direct his angels to gather his elect wherever they may be found, the so-called "rapture."
  5. The Son of Man will come "with power and great glory."
  6. The Son of Man will come on the clouds, fulfilling Daniel's prophecy of the Son of Man (Daniel 7:13-14).
  7. Believers are promised that they will share in Christ's glory on the Last Day, and be glorified themselves.
  8. Daniel's prophecy of the saints receiving the Kingdom (Daniel 7:18, 21-22) is fulfilled in the promise that we will rule and reign with Christ in his Kingdom.
  9. We will experience overwhelming glory with other believers as the Bride, typified by the glorious Holy City of God, shining with God's glory and brilliance (Revelation 21).

10.   The privilege of seeing his face, of communing with Christ the King intimately, is the ultimate fulfillment of his glory and kingdom.

Lift Up Your Heads, the King is Coming (Psalm 24:7-10)

My dear friends, we've been talking about promises that are rich -- the glory of the Kingdom that we will experience on the Last Day. But there is a glory for us to partake in now, mediated by the Holy Spirit. We can "seek his face" every day, even though our vision of him may be dim like the reflection in an ancient polished brass mirror (1 Corinthians 13:12). We can spend face-time before the "throne of grace" (Hebrews 4:16). We can "behold his glory" now, and be transformed day-by-day into his likeness, "from one degree of glory to another" (2 Corinthians 3:18). My friend, if you're not in the habit of spending time with the Lord on a daily basis, I hope you'll resolve to change that so you may begin to experience his glory and his Kingdom authority.

But there will come a day when the dimness of our vision will give way to sharp clarity when the Lord returns. The Psalmist likens it to gates if a city that are lowered to protect against enemies, but are raised when word comes that the king is entering the city. The King is Christ!

"Lift up your heads, O gates!
and be lifted up, O ancient doors!
that the King of glory may come in.
Who is the King of glory? The LORD, strong and mighty,
the LORD, mighty in battle.
Lift up your heads, O gates!
and be lifted up, O ancient doors!
that the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The LORD of hosts,
he is the King of glory." (Psalm 24:7-10)

The Glorious Kingdom: A Disciple's Guide to Kingdom Glory and Authority, by Dr. Ralph F. Wilson
Available in PDF and Kindle formats

Come soon, Lord Jesus!

Prayer

Lord, forgive us for neglecting your presence and your glory. Help us now, in this time of our lives to seek You, to seek first your Kingdom and your glory, not our own. Help us to be disciples who come boldly to your throne, and see you "lift your countenance upon us." We want to know you. We want to see you face-to-face no matter what the cost. Help us, we pray, in Jesus' name. Amen.

Key Verses

"I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel." (Matthew 19:28)

"At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other." (Matthew 24:30-31)

"I saw ... among the lampstands was someone 'like a son of man".... His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire.... His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance." (Revelation 1:12-14, 16)

"The righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father." (Matthew 13:43)

"But the saints of the Most High will receive the kingdom and will possess it forever -- yes, for ever and ever...." (Daniel 7:18)

"To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory." (Colossians 1:27)

"I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge.... They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years." (Revelation 20:4)

"'Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.'  And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal." (Revelation 21:9-11)

"They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads." (Revelation 22:3)

"The LORD bless you and keep you;
the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace." (Numbers 6:24-26)

"My heart says of you, 'Seek his face!'
Your face, LORD, I will seek." (Psalm 27:8)

"...Urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.... He called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ." (2 Thessalonians 2:11-12, 14)

End Notes

[110] Paul sees this as the Christian's blessed hope: "... Waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ" (Titus 2:13 ESV). A similar phrase also appears in one of the prophetic psalms: "For the LORD will rebuild Zion and appear in his glory" (Psalm 102:16).

[111] Palingenesia, BDAG 752, 1b. The Greek noun is compounded from two words, palin, "anew, again" and genesis, "origin, source, beginning."

[112] "Blazing" (NIV), "flaming" (NRSV, ESV, KJV) is phlox, "flame" (BDAG 1060).

[113] Exodus 24:17; Deuteronomy 4:24; Hebrews 12:29; Psalm 18:8; 50:3; Isaiah 29:6; 30:30.

[114] Revelation 1:14; 2:18; 19:12.

[115] "Mourn" (NIV), "wail" (NRSV, ESV, KJV), in Matthew 24:30 and Revelation 1:7 is koptō, to "cut, smite, strike." Here to "beat one's breast as an act of mourning," then more generally, to "mourn (greatly)" (BDAG 559).

[116] "Gather" is episynagō, "to bring together, gather (together)" (BDAG 382).

[117] "Rapture" comes from the Latin word raptus, past tense of rapere, "to seize." Our word "rape" comes from the same word. It describes the phrase "caught up" in 1 Thessalonians 4:17, "We who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air." The Greek word is harpazō, "snatch, seize," that is, take suddenly and vehemently (BDAG 134, 2b).

[118] As mentioned above, Jesus' words before the high priest are clearly intended to recall this prophecy (Matthew 26:64b).

[119] Derek Kidner, Psalms 73-150 (Tyndale Old Testament Commentary; InterVarsity Press, 1975, p. 263). Tate, on the other hand sees it as meaning "a life guided by the counsel of God and coming to its end with a 'glory' [honorable burial] which testifies of its worth and fulfillment" (Marvin E. Tate, Psalms 51-100 (Word Biblical Commentary; Word, 1990), pp. 230, 236.

[120] Victor P. Hamilton, pânîym, TWOT #1782.

[121] Words and music by Charles Gabriel (1900).

[122] Rufus Cornelius, "O I Want to See Him"(1916).


Copyright © 1985-2017, Ralph F. Wilson. <pastor@joyfulheart.com> All rights reserved. A single copy of this article is free. Do not put this on a website. See legal, copyright, and reprint information.

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