THE GLORY OF HIS APPEARING Print E-mail

THE GLORY OF HIS APPEARING

Tuesday Morning Bible Study

October 10, 2017, the Year of Our Lord

Pastor Carolyn Sissom

 

The seventh day of the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles was the Feast of His Appearing.  Last week we discussed when the Feast was observed at the dedication of Solomon’s Temple as a type and pattern of the Glory of the church.  When the feast was observed in the days of Zerubbabel’s temple, we have a type of the restoration of the Church to her first Glory. 

 

There is no question that one day the Lord shall himself descend from heaven with a shout…In a moment in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump; for the trumpet call shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible and we shall be changed. (1 Cor. 15:52).

 

While we are waiting for the glory of His Second Coming, there is rapture for the Church even now.  There is a resurrection for her even now.  Through visitation, He has appeared and continues to appear to His Church.

 

Through prophetic ecstasy our spirit can be raptured into His Presence.  We who are alive in Christ, have been resurrected from the walking dead.  Restoration glories are being restored to the Church since the time of Azusa Street. 

The greatest desire that Christ expressed in his prayer was that his people might be with him to behold his glory (Jn. 17:24).  Only a sight of his glory, and nothing else, will truly satisfy God’s people.  The hearts of believers are like a magnetized needle which cannot rest until it is pointing north.  So also, a believer, magnetized by the love of Christ, will always be restless until he or she comes to Christ and beholds his glory.  Once we have tasted his glory, nothing else will satisfy.

In Exodus 3: 2-6, we read how the Angel of the Lord appeared to Moses in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush.  This fire was a living representation of the presence of God in the person of the Son.  Concerning the Father, Christ is called the Angel of the Lord, the Angel of the covenant.  But absolutely in himself, he was the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

The fire represented his divine nature which is a consuming fire.  The fire also pictured his present work which was to deliver his church out of fiery trials.  This fire was in a bush, but the bush was not destroyed.  Although the fire was in the bush only for a short while, yet God was said to dwell in the bush. (Deut. 33:16). The fire in the bush, which was there only temporarily, was a type of him in whom the fullness of the Godhead dwelt bodily, and that forever (Col. 2:9). The eternal fire of the divine nature dwells in the bush of our frail nature, yet our frail nature is not destroyed.

Moses was amazed at this marvelous and wonderful sight.  But if the sight of the burning bush was so wonderful, how much more wonderful is the reality in Christ Jesus.  Moses was told to take off his shoes.  By this reverence, we cast off the walk of our flesh so that we may behold this glory, the glory of the only begotten of the Father. 

Ps. 4: 3-6: Sons of men, how long will you turn my glory into shame?  How long will you love vanity, and seek after leasing? Selah.  The Lord has set apart him that is godly for himself: the LORD will hear when I call unto him…Many will say, who will show us good?

Who will help us to get as much of this world’s goods as will give rest and satisfaction to our minds?  By contrast, the psalmist says, Lord, lift up the light of your countenance upon us.  The light of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ is the only good which will satisfy me and it is all that I desire.

As we diligently study the Holy Bible, all scripture reveals the glory of Christ.  In John 5:39, Jesus tells us to search the scripture for it is a revelation of Him and His glory (1 Pet. 1: 11-13).

There are three ways by which the glory of Christ is presented to us in Holy Scripture:

  1. By direct descriptions of his glorious appearing and incarnation.
  2. By prophecies, promises and clear instructions concerning him.
  3. Through divine worship in the Old Testament to reveal the Glory of Christ.

His personal appearance to Isaiah was to show forth his glory, when he saw his glory, and spoke of him Jn. 12:41.  Isaiah received a visitation of the glory of the divine presence of Christ by vision seeing a train of all His glorious graces.  What Isaiah saw was so glorious that even the seraphim could not bear to look at the sight, how much more glorious is Christ himself openly revealed to us in His gospel!

Then there is the excellent glory which his three disciples saw on the Mount of Transfiguration of which Peter speaks (2 Pet. 1: 17-18).  There God the Father gave Christ honor and glory which all those who believe in him can behold by testimony of the Scripture.

   From the throne of his majesty, by audible voices, by visible signs, by the opening of the heavens, by the descent of the Holy Spirit on His person and His the Body of Christ, we are able to meditate on His Glory.

He invites us to fellowship with him in beholding his glory.  To show us how near he is to us, we are told that he stands at the door and knocks, ready to enter our souls and have communion with us (Rev. 3:20).  He is always accompanied with the glorious train of his graces.  We cannot boast of knowing Christ, if there is no evidence of his grace in our heart and life.  Just as Christ in us is the hope of Glory; when we are in Him, we are in Glory; in that place, he is the life of present grace.

As we behold the glory of Christ, our hearts are filled with admiration, adoration, and thanksgiving.  When he comes again, it will be to be admired in all who believe (2 Thess. 1:10).

When we see Christ at his second coming, we will be filled with overwhelming admiration of his glorious appearance.  This admiration will result in adoration and thanksgiving (Rev. 5: 9-14).  

Because he became flesh and is now exalted in a fullness of all divine perfection far above the glory of angels and men.  Believers shall also have a glorified nature when we see him as he is; we shall be like him (1 Jo. 3:2)

The exaltation of his human nature in union with the divine nature is far above the whole creation in power, dignity, authority and rule.  The glory of Christ in his exaltation is made more wonderful by the full revelation of his own divine wisdom, love and grace in his mediatory work and redemption of the church.  This is the New Jerusalem which shines forth in all its brightness to the eternal joy of those who behold him.

Everything Moses did in erecting the tabernacle and instituting all its services were intended to testify to the person and glory of Christ which would later be revealed (Heb. 3:1-5).  That was the substance of the ministry of the prophets as well.

This is especially seen in the Song of Solomon.  King Solomon in the Song is a type of Christ.  The Song is a gracious record of the divine love and grace of Christ to his church with expressions of her love and delight in him.  The Old Testament believers had a view of his glory.  We have received a far greater revelation of the same glory. 

The glory of Christ was represented and made known under the Old Testament in his personal appearances to the leaders of Israel in their generations.  He appeared to Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Joshua, Isaiah, Ezekiel, David, Solomon and to others.

He gloriously appeared on Mount Sinai at the giving of the law (Exod. 19).  This is described by the psalmist; and applied by Paul to the ascension of Christ following his resurrection.

Ps. 68:17: The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels; the LORD is among them, as in Sinai, in the holy place.

Eph. 4: 8-9: When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men…He also descended first into the lower parts of the earth.  He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.

The people were terrified when the law was given because of God’s holiness and awesome power on the mountain.  Jesus Christ fulfilled perfectly all demands of the same law which brought life because He procured pardon and righteousness which he gives freely to his people.

His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end. 

The glory of Christ under the Old Testament was revealed in promises, visitation,  prophecies, and predictions about his coming, his offices, his kingdom and his glory.  With the wisdom, grace, and love of God to the church, these things are the lifeline running through all the writings of the Old Testament.

Those who do not see the glory of Christ in the Scriptures, it is because a veil of blindness is over their minds.  So to many the Bible is a sealed book.  To those whose eyes have been opened, we are able to see His glory and the opening of the seals.

There are many metaphors of the glory of Christ in the Old Testament as well as the New Testament.  He is the rose of Sharon, the sweet perfume of his love, grace and obedience.  He is the lily for the beauty of his grace and love.  In the New Testament, He is called the pearl of great price because he is precious to the brethren.  He is called the vine for his fruitfulness.  He is called the Lamb for his meekness and fitness for sacrifice.

I will use one more example today of the Glory of Christ in mystical Union with His Church.  This union corresponds to all the real or moral unions between persons or things.  Such as the union between the head of a body and its members, or the vine and its branches which is real, or between a husband and wife which is moral and real.

As the head and husband of the church, Christ became responsible for all the debts incurred by his wife.  He sanctified and saved her by his sufferings and the shedding of his blood on the cross.

The glory of Christ in this union is unique and is a mystery.  The mystical union of Christ with his church was only after he suffered for her, for it follows the conversion of men to him.  It is by faith that we are united to him.  Until that union with him has been wrought in us, we have no mystical union with him.  He is not a head or husband to unregenerate, unsanctified unbelievers.  Such was the state of the whole church when Christ died for us (Ro. 5:8; Eph. 2:5).

Although this mystical union does not actually take place until believers are united to Christ, yet the church of the elect was chosen to be Christ’s spouse before his sufferings, in order that he might love her and suffer for her.

We have the example of Jacob who served Laban many years for a wife.  Rachel did not become his wife until after he had served for her.  By his service, he purchased her to be his wife.  Yet, while he is serving for her, she is called his wife, because of his love for her, and because she was espoused to be his wife.  So the church was to be the spouse of Christ in God’s purpose, and so Christ loved her and gave himself for her.

2 Co. 11:2: I am jealous over you with godly jealousy; for I have espoused you to one husband that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.

So in the work of redemption, it was the church which was to be redeemed because she was to be the spouse of Christ.  This made possible the actual union between Christ and his church.  Behind all that Christ did and suffered for the church, there was a supreme act of the will of God the Father, giving all the elect to him, entrusting them to him, to be redeemed, sanctified and saved.

On these grounds this mystical union between Christ and his church was real before it actually came into being.

There is also a federal union, a union formed by a treaty, a contract or a covenant drawn up between the persons concerned.  So the LORD JESUS CHRIST undertook to be the surety of the New Covenant on behalf of the church.  As surety, he gave himself to God to fulfill all the demands of the law and justice on behalf of the church so that we might be sanctified and saved.

By reason of this federal union, it was just and right for God to impute our sins to Christ and his obedience and death to us, treating us as if we had obeyed and died for our own sins.  So it is in this union that Christ is exceedingly glorious and precious to believers.  No heart can conceive or tongue express the glory of Christ in this union.

Because of this union, Christ is glorious in the sight of God, angels and men.  In Christ both the justice and mercy of God are glorified.  By his cross, divine holiness and justice were exalted, and through his triumph, grace and mercy are poured out to the full. 

In this glory, our carnal soul will die and our spirit man will live in eternal beauty and fullness.

Christ is glorious in that perfect obedience to the law of God.  This obedience was necessary to exalt the wisdom, holiness and righteousness of God in giving the law.  By virtue of this mystical union with the church, the law was perfectly obeyed in us by being obeyed for us.  Now the glory of God in giving the law and its promised rewards are seen in all its perfection. (Ro. 8: 3-4).   

Our view of Christ’s glory by faith will scatter all fears, answer all objections, and disperse all depression of poor, tempted, doubting souls.  It is our anchor which holds us firm and steadfast in all trials, storms, and temptations, both in life and in death.

Lord Jesus take us from glory to glory that we may behold you in the beauty of your Holiness.

Carolyn Sissom, Pastor

Eastgate Ministries Church

www.eastgate Ministries.com

Scripture from K.J.V. and N.K.J.V. – I entered into the labors of The Glory of Christ by John Owen (1612-1683) Comments and conclusions are my own and not meant to reflect the views of those who I entered into their labors.

 
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