The GLORY of GOD!

July 25, 2018

 

 

“Glory, Glory, Glory to the Lamb!

For He is glorious and greatly to be praised

The Lamb upon the throne.

And unto Him we lift up our voice the Lamb upon the throne.”

(Larry Dempsey)

In Exodus 33:18-20, Moses said to God, “I pray You, show me Your glory!” That’s what this message is about…The GLORY of God!

The primary word for glory in Hebrew is kabod. This word is used 375 times in the Old Testament, it means, “weight, heaviness, burden, substance, dignity, wealth,” and at times, “brightness, splendor radiance and honor.” My interpretation, “The weighty importance, shining, and divine majesty which accompany God's presence.”

Hebrews 1:3a (TLB), “God’s Son shines out with God’s glory, and all that God’s Son is and does marks him as God.”

The Apostle Paul uses the word GLORY 75 times.

The New Testament word is doxa, used to express glory, it means, “opinion,” as in a good opinion of someone. Also doxa means “praise,” as in ‘The Doxology,’”

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow,

Praise Him, all creatures here below,

Praise Him above, ye heavenly host,

Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

(Thomas Ken, 1674)

Synopsis: Glory is the brilliant, physical manifestation of Jehovah’s presence. The external splendor, and radiance of God as displayed in the heavens that declare the glory of God: “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork” (Psalm 19:1). GLORY is the manifested excellence, absolute perfection, royal majesty and sublimity of Almighty God.

The shekinah glory: The word, shekinah is not found in the Bible, but certainly the concept is there. It is the English transliteration of a Hebrew word meaning "dwelling" or "settling" and denotes the dwelling or settling of the divine presence of God. The Jewish rabbis coined this extra-biblical expression, a form of a Hebrew word that literally means “he caused to dwell.” Shikinah means, the majestic presence or manifestation of God which has descended to dwell among men, so that man is His temple, “Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?” (1 Corinthians 6:19). In Romans 9:4, He is simply called “The Glory.”

The shekinah glory is the light that that surrounds those who have just been in God’s presence:

“Now it was so, when Moses came down from Mount Sinai (and the two tablets of the Testimony were in Moses’ hand when he came down from the mountain), that Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone while he talked with Him. So when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone, and they were afraid to come near him” (Exodus 34:29,30).

“While He was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!’  And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces and were greatly afraid.  But Jesus came and touched them and said, ‘Arise, and do not be afraid.’  When they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only’”(Matthew 17:5-8).

Since the shekinah is light, those passages in the New Testament which mention radiance, refer to the shekinah:

The birth of our Lord: “The glory of the Lord shown round about them” (Luke 2:9).  

The transfiguration: “Six days later Jesus took with Him Peter and [James and John his brother, and led them up on a high mountain by themselves. And He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light” (Matthew 17:1,2). 

Christ’s baptism: “For when He received honor and glory from God the Father, such an utterance as this was made to Him by the majestic Glory, ‘This is My beloved Son with whom I am well-pleased;”  (2 Peter 1:17).

“For God, who said, ‘Light shall shine out of darkness,’ is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6).

Glory is  state of blessedness into which believers will enter and enjoy for eternity. “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18).

Glory is ours now and forever, “So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body” (1 Corinthians 15:42-44).

 

FOUR DISTINCT MEANINGS OF GLORY:

 

1. THE GLORY OF BEAUTY:

“Oh, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness! Tremble before Him, all the earth” (Psalm 96:9). “Give unto the Lord the glory due to His name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness” (Psalm 29:2).

Holiness is the antithesis of sin, and the beauty of holiness is in direct contrast from the ugliness of sin. Sin is a deformity, a monstrosity. Sin is repulsive, repugnant to the infinitely pure God.

•Sin dirties the soul.

•Sin dominates the mind.

•Sin disgraces God.

•Sin depresses the heart.

•Sin diseases the body.

•Sin defiles the spirit.

•Sin destroys the testimony.

That is why God selected leprosy, the most loathsome and horrible of all diseases, to be sin’s emblem. When the Prophet was Divinely inspired to depict the condition of degenerate Israel it was in these words, “From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrefying sores” (Isaiah 1:6). O that sin were sickening and hateful to us: not merely its grosser forms, but sin itself. At the opposite extreme from the hideousness of sin is “the beauty of holiness.” Holiness is beautiful in the sight of God, Why? It is the reflection of His own nature, for He is “glorious in holiness” (Exodus 15:11).

This is the only kind of beauty which the Lord cares for in our devotions. “Godliness is to the soul as the light is to the world, to illustrate and adorn it. It is not greatness which sets us off before God, but goodness” (Thomas Watson). Ornate architecture and expensive apparel God delights not in. It is the loveliness of inward purity and outward sanctity that pleases the thrice Holy One. Sincerity of heart, fervor of spirit, reverence of demeanor, the exercise of faith, the outgoings of love, are some of the elements which comprise the “beauty of holiness” in our worship. (Arthur W. Pink).

2. THE GLORY OF POWER:

God’s power brings glory to the church. “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen” (Ephesians 3:20,21). How beautiful is the church that leads people “out of darkness into His glorious light” (1 Peter 2:9).

God gives us Resurrection power. “That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection…” (Philippians 3:10). “And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:18-29). “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might” (Ephesians 6:10).

The Power of God for battle. “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds” (2 Corinthians 10:4).

In Christ we have power and wisdom. “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God’ (1 Corinthians 1:18).  “You…have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him” (Colossians 3:10). “For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual” (1 Corinthians 2:11-13).

3. THE GLORY OF HIS PERSON:

Glory is the essential attribute of God, as seen in Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 1:3, “He (Christ) is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and  upholds all things by the word of His power.”

Revelation 1:14-16, “His (Christ’s) head and His hair were white like white wool, like snow; and His eyes were like a flame of fire. His feet were like burnished bronze, when it has been made to glow in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters. In His right hand He held seven stars, and out of His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword; and His face was like the sun shining in its strength.”

Exodus 33:18,19, “And he (Moses )said, “Please, show me Your glory.” Then He said, “I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.”

Exodus 34:5-8, “The Lord descended in the cloud and stood there with him as he called upon the name of the Lord. Then the Lord passed by in front of him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in loving-kindness and truth; who keeps loving-kindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin; yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished, visiting the iniquity of fathers on the children and on the grandchildren to the third and fourth generations.” Moses made haste to bow low toward the earth and worship.”

The Puritan John Owen wrote, “The glory of God comprehends both the holy properties of His nature and the counsels of His will; and the light of the knowledge of these things we have only in the face or person of Jesus Christ”

Isaiah 40:5, “Then the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all flesh will see it together; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

 “The glory of the Lord shall be revealed.”  What does that mean?  “The glory of the Lord is the expression of God’s person.  It is any manifestation of God’s character, any manifestation of His attributes in the world, in the universe, is His glory.  In other words, the glory is to God what the brightness is to the sun.  The glory is to God what wet is to water.  The glory is what heat is to fire. In other words, it is the emanation, it is the effulgence, the brightness, the product of His presence, the revelation of Himself. Anytime God discloses Himself, it is the manifestation of His glory.  That really refers to His presence.” (John MacArthur).

 

4. HE GLORY 0F HIS GARMENT: Splendor, Majesty, Light, Strength

“How does the Scripture reveal that God covers Himself? “O Lord my God, You are very great; You are clothed with splendor and majesty” (Psalm 104:1). In a manner completely unknown to humanity and in some way diametrically opposed to our nature, it is as if God somehow wears His glorious attributes like a garment. There are many implications of God using characteristics such as honor and majesty for His covering. God exposes His glory rather than covering His intrinsic being. Psalm 104 continues, verse 2, “Covering Yourself with light as with a cloak, stretching out heaven like a tent curtain.”  

In essence, since God is so pure, He dresses Himself with His glorious character, “The Lord reigns, He is clothed with majesty; The Lord is clothed, He has girded Himself with strength. Surely the world is established, so that it cannot be moved.” (Psalm 93:1).” (Rivkeh.org)

God is clothed in His shekinah glory, this garment of glory was revealed:

At Sinai: Exodus 24:16,17, “Now the glory of the Lord rested on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days. And on the seventh day He called to Moses out of the midst of the cloud. The sight of the glory of the Lord was like a consuming fire on the top of the mountain in the eyes of the children of Israel.

In the Tabernacle: “Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the Tabernacle” (Exodus 40:34).

In the Temple: “Now when Solomon had finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the house. The priests could not enter into the house of the Lord because the glory of the Lord filled the Lord’s house” (2 Chronicles 7:1,2).

 

At the annunciation: “In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them” (Luke 2:8,9).

 

God clothes the church in His glory: “Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen” (Ephesians 3:20,21).

5. THE GLORY OF PRAISE:

The Glory of God is revealed in our worship…Human hearts touching the heart of God! As we experience the glory of God it leads us to worship. No one can stand in the presence of God without being in awe, which leads us to worship. Conversely, it is also true that as we choose to worship God in spirit and in truth, God reveals his glory to us in that place of worship.

We see it in the life of Moses at the burning bush in the desert, he heard the voice of God calling to him; he worshiped there on holy ground. “Then He (God) said, ‘Do not come near here; remove your sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.’ He said also, ‘I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ Then Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God. God desires to reveal his glory to hungry hearts”(Exodus 3:5,6).

Similarly, we see Joshua coming in contact with a holy God: “And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and bowed down, and said to him, ‘What has my lord to say to his servant?’  The captain of the Lord’s host said to Joshua, ‘Remove your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy.’ And Joshua did so” (Joshua 5:14,15).

This same glory of God that dwelt with his people in the Old Testament tabernacle and temple is now dwelling in His church, “To Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen” (Ephesians 3:21).

Our public services are to be an ovation to the glory of God. King David chose 4000 of the 38,000 Levites as musicians and singers, that was a worship team! Oh, the sounds of glory.

Our public services are not to be:

       •A political rally.

       •A feel-good time of fellowship.

       •Just for teaching and preaching.

       •A time for discipline and scolding.

       •Not even for winning souls.

 

WE COME TOGETHER TO WORSHIP! We come to experience the presence of God, as we talk to Him, sing praises to Him, “Whoever offers praise glorifies Me…(Psalm 50:23). and to bask in the glory of His very presence, as we place Him on the throne, “But You are holy, enthroned in the praises of Israel” (Psalm 22:3). The only thing that really matters is the glory of God. All that we do, all that we think, and how we live our lives should reflect God’s glory. Moses didn’t seek the power or provision of God, he sought God’s presence—His glory. We must do the same.

CONCLUSION: We believers have been infected with God’s glory and we are carriers! God gave Jesus His glory, and Jesus passed it on to His disciples. John 17:22,23, “The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me.”

This is still applicable today: 2 Corinthians 3:16-18, “Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.

Just as the glory of God was seen on Moses face as he descended from the mountain, God’s glory is seen in His children. We are not as Moses who had to cover his face to hide God’s glory, that glory is to be shown to a lost world. Proverbs 4:18, “But the path of the just is like the shining sun, that shines ever brighter unto the perfect day. “So if the old way, which has been replaced, was glorious, how much more glorious is the new, which remains forever!” (2 Corinthians 3:11).

As infected carriers, we dare not avoid others, but get close enough to them to infect them with God’s glory!

Unless otherwise noted, the New King James Version of the Bible was used. Also The New Living Translation (NLT); The New American Standard Bible (NASB); The Message (MSG); The New Century Version (NCV); The Amplified Bible (AMP); The King James Version (KJV), The New Life Version (NLV); English Standard Version (ESV); J.B. Phillips New Testament; Easy to Read Version (ERV); Common English  bible (CEB); NET Bible (NET) and The Living Bible (TLB). Contemporary English Version (CEV).

 

If this message was helpful to you, please let me know: pastorbigjohn@sbcglobal.net

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