WE ARE DESTINED TO SHARE GOD’S GLORY AS EXHIBITED IN CHRIST
Jesus, the only begotten Son of God, is the ‘‘brightness of His (God’s) glory.’’ No one else now or in eternity will alter that truth. But God has a plan for this earth and His Church that transcends what we see and hear and touch, and it includes His glory. God wants us to comprehend His plan for the Church – all of us – because this is the ultimate motivation to ‘‘fight the good fight of faith.’’ Jesus, as the “heir” of all things, has shared His inheritance with us, His Bride and His Body.
(The following article is drawn from the new book,
THE REVEALING: UNLOCKING HIDDEN TRUTHS ON THE GLORIFICATION OF GOD’S CHILDREN)
WE ARE HEIRS, BUT DO WE CARE? WE DON’T KNOW VERY MUCH ABOUT OUR INHERITANCE. SO ARE WE INDIFFERENT? DO WE REALLY WANT TO UNDERSTAND WHAT IS IN STORE FOR US? DO WE CARE WHAT WE WILL BECOME AT OUR RESURRECTION? HAVE WE THOUGHT ABOUT WHAT THE GREATEST GIFT IS THAT GOD COULD EVER GIVE US?
PETER SAYS THAT GREATEST GIFT — IN FACT, OUR INHERITANCE — IS TO PARTAKE OF GOD’S DIVINE NATURE… WHEN CHRIST RETURNS FOR HIS SAINTS, TO DWELL WITH REDEEMED HUMANITY, FOR THE REMAINDER OF TIME AND ETERNITY. “He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature,” (2 PETER 1:4)
THE WRITER TO HEBREWS EXPRESSES THE VERY SAME THING, AND OUR DESTINY RESTS UPON THIS VISION OF GLORY
Heb 1:1-3 1God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; 3who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.
Heb 12:2 Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Apparently, so we are told, even the Son of God needed the motivation to fulfill His mission on the earth. His Father had revealed to Him that there was a joy waiting for Him at the end of the cross that He had never known. Jesus was not only looking forward to the joy of being back with His Father but bringing many with Him to exhibit them to the Father – so that the Father and the Son might enjoy the presence of these glorified sons and daughters, while they enjoy the presence of the LORD.
1 Thes 1:9b-10 And how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, 10 and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come. (ESV)
Acts 7:54-60 54When they heard these things they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed at him with their teeth. 55But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, 56and said, “Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!” 57Then they cried out with a loud voice, stopped their ears, and ran at him with one accord; 58and they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not charge them with this sin.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
God gave Stephen a vision to give him strength just as Jesus needed a vision or revelation to strengthen Him to endure the cross. His vision included Jesus standing at the right hand of God (the place of honor and authority), and the visible glory of God in the open heavens.
Meditating on the glory of God strengthens us. Realizing that we will share that glory incentivizes us to endure hardship, persecution, and even martyrdom. It is vital to understand how important this doctrine is. If the Lord tarries, persecution will become a way of life for Christians everywhere.
THE HOPE OF GLORY
Oftentimes, Christians aren’t clear regarding what their motivation should be to “make it through the pearly gates”, or how our lives can exemplify the life of Christ right now. However, the proper motivation should not be confusing nor fail to fully inspire us. Paul teaches:
Col 1:26-27 26The mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. 27To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
Paul’s letter to the Colossians is most clear: Glory is our hope. We typically think of this “glory” as living in heaven (“Lord Build Me A Cabin in Gloryland” or “take me to my mansion in the sky”). However, it is much more than that. “Christ formed in you” brings this glorious fulfillment. The word translated ‘‘in’’ also means ‘‘among’’ which carries with it the idea that Christ is to be formed in the many-membered Body of Christ. In this book, we will examine at least some of the many riches of God’s glory to which Paul refers. In this regard, consider the following passage so chock full of meaning:
Heb 2:9-10 9But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone. 10For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
It is the riches of glory, not the hope of heaven, that we should seek. Understand God has a father’s heart – He wants His sons and daughters to be secure, but he also wants them to succeed, to complete their mission. And success in God’s eyes is maturing to a glorious destiny – receiving the promised inheritance – coming unto glory (experiencing God’s manifest presence) and expressing it on this earth. We should show forth His glory in our lives – now in part – and at the Parousia (His coming) in fullness. Escaping trials and tribulation is not the primary directive for the Church. Fellowship through suffering is (Phil 3:10). Glory grows through tribulation.
Eph 3:8-11 8To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, 9and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ; 10to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the Church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, 11according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him. 13Therefore I ask that you do not lose heart at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.
Scholars teach that Satan was jealous of Adam’s authority and even more that Adam should possess even a modicum of God’s glory. As Lucifer, (or Light-Bearer), he held the responsibility of leading the heavenly worship of God. As the most exalted angel and perhaps the high priest of heaven, apparently, he had the privilege of exhibiting a large measure of glory that ultimately belonged to God. However, Satan lost God’s glory through his rebellion. Since then, he seeks to establish his own glory. Furthermore, by usurping the dominion God gave Adam he hopes to deny the measure of God’s glory destined for humanity.
God does have a plan to reveal His manifold wisdom through the Church to the principalities and powers in heavenly places. This will include a “panoramic” exhibition of God’s authority directed at Satan, his angels, as well as the antichrist and false prophet. More to the point, God intends to display His glory through the Church – the body of Christ – which will be fully infused with the glory of God. God’s strategy, at its very least, consists of a restoration of humankind to its Edenic state on this earth. The Church is His mechanism, the means, for accomplishing this goal.
 This statement has nothing to do with the timing of the Rapture. Or the necessity that the Body of Christ “go through the Tribulation.”
 Israel was established to be the light unto the Gentiles. (Isaiah 42:6, 49:6) However, Israel and Judah failed in their duty and God, turned to the Church to complete His plan for saving humanity and restoring God’s plan for humankind. This does not mean that God has rejected Israel. Israel’s rejection opened the door to Gentiles that they may be the means to advance God’s plan. (Romans 11:11,12) God has not forsaken Israel. (Romans 11:1) Of course, this is an enormous controversy within the Evangelical church, so it is not easily demonstrated. There is also the view of Dr. Michael S. Heiser (who we will liberally reference) who sees the 10 lost tribes of Israel signifying “the nations” and the Gentile believers in whom they were mixed. Therefore, in Heiser’s view, it is as if the dispersion of the 10 lost tribes infused of all humanity with the possibility to be saved by the God of Israel, Yahweh. See Michael S. Heiser, Reversing Hermon, Defender Books, Crane, Mo.