One of the greatest problems of the Church today is that we do not understand God’s glory. Sharing His glory doesn’t excite us. We would much rather seek the riches of this world than the riches of His glory. But Peter teaches that it is an unfathomable gift, a precious gift, to become partakers of God’s glory (2 Peter 1:4).
2 Pet 1:4 By which He has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. (ESV)
GLORY as defined in Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary: 1. Praise, honor. 2. Something that secures praise and honor. 3. Resplendence, magnificence.
The glory of which we speak comprises the second and third meanings listed above. The first meaning speaks of our praise and honor unto God, while the second and third relate to something that emanates from God – His magnificence. Glory is the manifestation of the presence of God – manifested to us in a very real and often physical way. At times His presence is felt, heard, seen, and even smelled. Healings and other physical miracles are our most common example today of the manifest presence, or glory of God. To the Jews of Moses’ and Solomon’s time, the Shekinah Glory of God was the pillar of fire by night and the cloud of glory by day. It guided them through the wilderness, appeared in the tabernacle and temple, and was a sign to all other nations that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob was with them.
In later chapters, we will expand on the Glory of God and the Jewish Exodus experience. What will be a central proposition of this book is that the “pillar and the cloud” will appear again in the last days. And the Church will be right in the middle of it.
[The new book, THE REVEALING: UNLOCKING HIDDEN TRUTHS ON THE CHILDREN OF GOD, discusses the supernatural appearance of God’s glory over Zion and why Christians will be there. This book is available at Amazon. CLICK HERE.]
The following is an example of the DEEP DIVE in THE REVEALING. There are 18 separate explorations delving into incredible biblical topics seldom discussed today.
DEEP DIVE: THE GLORY OF GOD (From the Dictionary of Demons and Deities)
The basic idea of the Hebrew kabod [which if often replaced by the word, Shekinah] is that of weightiness. People become ‘weighty’ through riches. “Abraham became very weighty in livestock, in silver, and in gold” (Gen 13:2).
God’s ‘glory’ is to be perceived in His works, i.e.., the world, human beings, and historical events (Num 14:21-22; Ps 8:5; 57:6.12; Isa 6:3). In the age to come it will be revealed so that all flesh will see it (Isa 40:5; Hab 2:14). This revelation of divine glory can be connected with the restoration of Israel (lsa 42:8; 43:6-7; 48:10-11; 58:8; 60: 1-3) and/or God’s judgement (lsa 59: 19; Ezek 28:22; 39: 13.21). In some texts belonging to the Priestly Document (P), one of the sources of the Pentateuch, the Glory is associated with the Pillar of Cloud and fire, which according to older sources, encompassed Yahweh leading the People through the desert and indicated God’s presence at the Tabernacle: “… the Glory of Yahweh appeared in the Cloud” (Exod 16: 10): “The Glory of Yahweh rested on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it … the Glory of Yahweh looked … like a devouring flame on the top of the mount” (Exod 24: 16-17: ef. 40:38: at night, there was fire in the Cloud); “The Cloud covered it [the Tabernacle), and the Glory of Yahweh appeared” (Num 17:7: cf. Exod 24:43-44).
In Ezekiel, the prophet recounts that he once had a vision of a throne-chariot in heaven. Seated upon the throne was a “Likeness as the appearance of a man (Adam)” (v 26). Ezekiel describes the body of this figure: “His torso was like gleaming metallic substance, and his lower body was like fire.” The prophet concludes: “This was the appearance of the likeness of the Glory of Yahweh” (v 28).
In Ezekiel 9:3-4, Yahweh and the Glory even appear as interchangeable, as is the case with God and the Angel of Yahweh in Genesis, Exodus and Judges: “Now the Glory of the God of Israel had gone up from the cherubim on which He rested to the threshold of the house and called to the man in linen … and Yahweh said to him …” However, the Glory has a radiant body and is accompanied by phenomena similar to those associated with the Glory in the P source and the texts influenced by it: When the Glory rose from the cherubim, the Temple was “filled with the Cloud, and the court was full of the brightness of the Glory of Yahweh” (9:4). The NT continues the usage of the LXX; doxa in the NT should often be seen as a technical term loaded with the Jewish understanding of “glory”. Doxa is a phenomenon of light characteristic of angelophanies, theophanies, and Christophanies (Luke 2:9: 9:31-32; Acts 7:55; 2 Pet 1: 17). The Son of Man will come in or with God’s glory (Mark 8:38 [cf. 2 Thess 1:7]: 13:26; cf. 10:37: Malt 19:28).
The Gospel of John speaks of “seeing” the glory of God (11 :40) or the glory of the Son (1:14: 12:41; 17:24; cf. 2:11). In 1:14 (“we saw his glory”), the background may be the vision of the Glory described in Exod 33: 18-34:8 (HANSON 1977:90-100); it is thus possible that John regards the Son not only as the one who manifests the divine presence and power through his words and works, but as the personified Glory. It is noteworthy that the phrase “saw his glory” is repeated in 12:41: “he [Isaiah] saw his [Christ’s] glory”. Isa 6:1, however, reads “I saw the Lord seated upon a high and lofty throne… ” Tg. Isa. 6: 1 reads, “yeqara of the Lord”, but Tg. Isa. 6:5 says that the prophet saw “the glory (yeqara) of the Shekinah of the King of the Worlds”. While sekina in the Targums is generally regarded as a buffer word meant to safeguard God from coming into too close contact with the world, the Merkabah mystics used it as an alternative term for the Kabod. Thus, Ma’aseh Merkabah contains the statement, “I gazed upon the Shekinah and saw everything that they do before his Throne of Glory (kabod)” (SCHAFER 1981:§592). When it is said that Isaiah saw the glory of Christ, it is implied that the Son is the divine manifestation upon the heavenly throne, even the Glory.
There are other NT texts; where Jesus may be seen as the Glory. The conjunction kai (‘and’) in Acts 7:55 may be epexegetically: “… he saw the Glory of God, namely (kai) Jesus standing at the right hand of God” (MARTIN 1967:312). The idea of Jesus being seated at the right hand of the “Power” (Mark 14:62 [Luke 22:69: “Power of God”]). however, may be taken to imply that he was enthroned alongside the Glory, since the mystical texts use “Power” as a synonym of “Glory” (FOSSUM 1989:191-193).
The Christological hymn in Phil 2 says that Christ was “existing in the form (morphe) of God” (v 6). This description corresponds to the subsequent incarnational phrases, “taking the form of a slave”, “becoming in the likeness of men”, and “being found in the fashion as a man” (vv 7-8). Given the OT evidence that God’s visible form is the man-like form of the Glory, Phil 2:6 would seem to say that Christ is the divine Glory. The same idea is expressed by the title, “image of the invisible God”, in the beginning of the hymn on Christ in Col I: 15-20 (FOSSUM 1989:185-190). In Biblical terminology, “image” (and “likeness”), “form”, and “glory” are interchangeable (FOSSUM 1985:269-270.284).
In Ephesians I: 17, we find the phrase, “the God of our Lord Jesus Christ. the Father of the Glory”. The parallelism suggests; that “our Lord Jesus Christ” is “the Glory”. Tit 2: 13 may be translated, “the Glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus”. Here Christ Jesus may be the Glory of “our great God and Savior”. Jas 2: I, a notoriously difficult verse to translate, may in effect say, “our Lord Jesus Christ, the Glory”. 1 Pet 4:14 says, ” … the Spirit of the Glory and of God rests upon you.” Here, too. the Glory may be the Son.
Phil 3:21 speaks of Christ’s “body of glory” to which the body of the believers will be conformed. The term may reflect that of gup hakkabod or gup hasekina found in the Jewish mystical texts (SCHOLEM 1991:278 n. 19). The idea that one who ascended to heaven was transformed, often as a result of the vision of God (or his garment) or the divine Glory, is found in several texts (MORRAY-JONES 1992:11.14.22-26). In 2 Cor 3:18, Paul says that the Christians, “gazing with unveiled face on the Glory of God, are being transformed into the same image, from glory to glory.” Here mystical terminology has been adapted to describe what goes on when the Christians are reading the Scriptures. In contrast to the Jews (cf. vv 13-16; 4:4), the Christians see the Glory of God. Moreover, they are transformed into the “same image”, obviously, that which they behold. A few verses later, it is said that Christ is the “image of God” (4:4). The Glory obviously is Christ.
Romans 8:29-30 says that the elect will be “conformed to the image of His Son” and be “glorified” (cf. vv 17-18; Col 3:4; 1 John 3:2). The same eschatological adaptation of this thought is found in 1 Cor 15:49, “… we shall bear the image of the heavenly man.” Paul can even say that the Christian male is the “image and glory of God” (I Cor 11:7). The statement alludes to Gen 1:26 and presupposes that Christ is the heavenly Adam, the Glory, after whose image and likeness man was created (cf. 4Q504. frag. 8, “You have fashioned Adam, our Father, in the image of [Your] Glory”).
From the Dictionary of Deities and Demons in The Bible (excerpts, pp. 348-352)