"Christ the King" (about 1985), stained glass at Our Lady of the Annunciation Melkite Greek-Catholic Cathedral in Roslindale neighborhood of Boston, MA.

It is easy to say -- "Oh, yes, the Kingdom of God must be glorious. Ho hum."

The problem is that the concept of the Kingdom of God is pretty nebulous to the modern Christian. And the idea of glory is even fuzzier. Yet, the concepts of Kingdom and glory run throughout the Bible -- especially the New Testament.

When you start probing the twin themes of glory and kingdom in Scripture and begin to connect the dots, the implications of glory and the Kingdom to the disciple are life-changing. That's the path on which I invite you to join me.

This study of the Glorious Kingdom begins with Moses experience of God's glory at Mount Sinai and the building of the Tabernacle in the Wilderness, a portable dwelling of the King in the midst of his people Israel.

Then we examine Jesus' relation to the glory and authority God's Kingdom from Daniel's prophecy of the Son of Man. Then to the Glorious Kingdom in Jesus' life and ministry, and including the glory of his death and resurrection. Next we consider how beholding God's glory changes us, and how we have authority in the Kingdom to rule and reign in our present life. Finally, we examine Christ's exalted glory at his return and the absolute glory of the Church, his Bride.

Several streams came together in 2016 that led me to examine the Glorious Kingdom of Jesus Christ. The first two of these streams were from extensive studies of Daniel and John's Gospel that I had undertaken over the last couple of years.

In studying the Son of Man in Daniel, I became convinced that Daniel 7:13-14 was for Jesus a core source of his own sense of identity. In these verses the Son of Man is 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 7:14)

 The Son of Man comes from the inexpressible light and glory of this Glorious Kingdom into our shadowy world declaring, "The Kingdom of God is at hand!"

As I studied John's Gospel, I became entranced with its major theme of glory and being glorified. Jesus prays,

"Father, I want those you have given me
to be with me where I am,
and to see my glory,
the glory you have given me
because you loved me before the creation of the world." (John 17:24)

Jesus stands before Pilate, who represents the earthly glories of the Roman Empire, and declares:

"My kingdom is not of this world....
But now my kingdom is from another place." (John 18:36)

Jesus has come from the Glorious Kingdom and will soon return. John testifies:

"The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.
We have seen his glory,
the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father,
full of grace and truth." (John 1:14)

Another stream comes from the realm of Christian music. God brought two special songs across my path. One is from Australian worship leader Geoff Bullock:

"And this Kingdom will know no end,
And its glory shall know no bounds.
For the majesty and power
Of this Kingdom's King has come.
And this Kingdom's reign,
And this Kingdom's rule,
And this Kingdom's power and authority
Jesus, God's righteousness revealed."[1]

Another song, picked up by the 1950s Folk Movement, is a traditional Calypso Christmas carol:

"The Virgin Mary had a baby boy....
And they said that his name is Jesus.
   He come from the Glory,
   He come from the Glorious Kingdom.
   He come from the Glory,
   He come from the Glorious Kingdom."[2]

The Glory, the King, the Kingdom. As I hummed and worshipped, meditated and theologized, I found myself longing to know and experience the Shekinah glory of Jesus in a new way. I have become convinced that this Glorious Kingdom is meant to both attract and engage us at the deepest levels of our spirits in the rule of the Kingdom in our spheres of influence,

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

"Giving thanks to the Father,
who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints
in the kingdom of light." (Colossians 1:12)

As we consider the various aspects of the Glorious Kingdom taught in Holy Scripture, I hope you will join me on this journey closer to the heart of God.

Dr. Ralph F. Wilson
Loomis, California
December 17, 2016

[1] Geoff Bullock, "This Kingdom," © 1992, Universal Music / Word Music LLC.

[2] The old carol was first popularized by Edric Connor in the 1950s, later recorded by the Kingston Trio as "The Virgin Mary Had a Baby Boy" (album "Close Up," 1961), Harry Belafonte as "The Baby Boy" (album "Jump Up Calypso," 1961), and others.

Copyright © 2024, 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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