December 25, 2006 The Glory of
God- Isaiah 40, Hebrews 1, John 1
I want you to take your Bible with me and turn to that chapter, Isaiah
chapter 40. As we prepare our hearts for making this Christmas season
most meaningful, I want us to focus on this very phrase in verse 5,
"And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed."
You might think that perhaps we're forcing this theme on to the issue
of Christmas, but that is not the case at all, for the word of Isaiah
in chapter 40 verse 5, "And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed"
is in fact the Christmas story. It is the Christmas message. The birth
of Christ was the revelation of the glory of the Lord...just as Isaiah
Let me give you simply this, to begin with. Here is a definition from
John Macarthur: "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, it is the brightness,
it is the product of His presence, it is the revelation of Himself.
Anytime God discloses Himself, it is the manifestation of His glory.
That really refers to His presence."
1. The Glory of God in creation
Psalm 8:3-4- response- consider the "work" (same word used
for embroidering the veil of the Holy of Holies)
Psalm 19- the heavens declare
Job 38:6-7 angels rejoiced Job 37:23-24
God purposed creation to be a channel through which His glory would
Job 38-41 is a discourse on Gods glory as creator- the word of
God sustains the world (Col 1:16-17)
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness
and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,
19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for
God made it evident to them.
20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His
eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood
through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.
His eternal power and divine nature are clearly seen in creation. Therefore
even the lost have a revelation from God in Creation!
Creation was the first way God revealed how great He is
Revelation 4:11 " Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive
glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of
Your will they existed, and were created."
Angels began praising from the time they were created and they have
never stopped-Holy, Holy, Holy, all thy works shall praise thy name!
2. Gods Glory revealed in the fall and flood
Gods Righteous holiness tempered with grace and mercy is revealed
through His response to the fall. After the fall He sends an intercessor
in Christ to come seeking them and gives Hope in the promise of the
seed of the woman in Genesis 3:16-17.
The judgment of the flood also reveals Gods glory!- through the
flood God supernaturally intervened in the plans the world had to consume
the seed of the woman and so destroy the plan of God. God floods the
earth, saves the seed, provides a new life and gloriously promises to
never destroy the world in that way again. We will see later that the
final judgment will be a day in which Gods glory is revealed in
a very special way.
"That water that delivered Noah and his sons from their enemies,
is a type of the blood that delivers Gods church from their sins,
their worst enemies. That water that was so plentiful and abundant,
that it filled the world, and reached above the tops of the highest
mountains, was a type of that blood, the sufficiency of which is so
abundant, that it is sufficient for the whole world, sufficient to bury
the highest mountains of sin. The ark, that was the refuge and hiding
place of the church in this time of storm and flood, was a type of Christ,
the true hiding place of the church from the storms and floods of Gods
wrath". J. Edwards
3. Gods Glory revealed in the History of Israel
a. Through Abraham and the covenant
glory showed that He was worthy to be believed.Abe responds not so much
from fear as he responds TO the kind of God the glory reveals Him to
Lets look at how Abraham, and therefore WE, should respond to
Gods revelation in our lives.
The Revelation The Response
Go without knowing Left Ur (obedience)
Promise-Genesis 12 Built an altar between Bethel and Ai , Called on
the name-Gen 12:8
(worship and trust)
Promise of land- Gen 13 Built an altar at Hebron (remembrance and worship)
Promise of descendants-Gen 15 Abram believed GOD (Faith)
Covenant Gen 17 Fell on face (humility)
Gods faithfulness Planted tamarisk tree as a memorial (testimony
Provision of ram Named the place after God (testimony)
Get this!- Faith in the biblical sense is faith in a Person. Abraham
did all he did because he had understanding of who God is through the
revelation of His glory.
b. Gods Glory revealed to Moses and the Law- Exodus
The burning bush- this is the first incident where God comes and tabernacles
in something- Gods purpose was to reveal himself to Moses and
then to give Him instructions.
Note this- God reveals Himself THEN reveals his will. This is the pattern-
knowledge of God is nonsense without wanting to please Him and obey
him. You do not know God if you dont want to obey Him.
So what did God reveal to Moses?
1. His Holiness (take off sandals, holy ground)
2. God remembers and keeps His promises Gen 15 13-14. God is not slack
concerning His promise
Verse 6-Moses response- He hid His
3. He is the eternal and unchanging God -I AM Yahweh- the self existent
one, the eternal one, the A and Z.
Result: obedience- not out of confidence or adequacy for the job- the
reason was that God revealed His glory.
KEY point: When we obey in spite of our doubts we glorify God.
c. The Deliverance
The people of Israel went out with an high hand, and Christ went before
them in a pillar of cloud and fire. There was a glorious triumph over
earth and hell in that deliverance. And when Pharaoh and his hosts,
and Satan by them, pursued the people, Christ overthrew them in the
Red Sea. The Lord triumphed gloriously.
d. On Sinai
This was another new thing that God did, a new step taken in this great
affair, Deu. 4:33, "Did ever a people hear the voice of God speaking
out of the midst of the fire, as thou hast heard, and live? And it was
a great thing that God did towards this work, and that whether we consider
it as delivered as a new exhibition of the covenant of works, or given
as a rule of life. Chapter 33 Shekinah revealed to Israel- response
all the people arise and worship- Worship is not a ritual it is the
response of a person to the person of God!
33:18 Show me Thy Glory!
God said v. 19
ð Ill show you my goodness
ð I will proclaim my name-"person or character"
ð Ill show you my mercy and grace
God protected Moses from being consumed by the glorious intensity of
34;29 God transfigures Moses- revealed his glory through a man- a channel
of grace for the first time in History.
2 Cor 3:13- Moses veiled his face so the sons of Israel might not look
intently at the end of what was fading out. Moses was NOT the final
revelation of Gods glory.
e. Revelation of Gods Glory through the tabernacle
God gave Israel a place to worship Him Ex 29:42-46 tells us it was consecrated
by His glory. The rituals provided an acceptable way of worship- the
shed blood provided access to God. God gave certain craftsmen special
skills by his Spirit in ch 40:23-38.
At the dedication 2 things happened-
Inside, the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle- at this time the
God whose being fills the universe swept in and dwelt on the mercy seat
beneath the wings of the cherubim. Each time God manifested himself
it was in the shining of light- the tabernacle was transformed!
Outside, 40:34 the cloud covered the tent of meeting.
In 1 Kings 8:11, it says when they completed the temple, the glory of
the Lord came and filled it. When they offered the first offering, 2
Chronicles chapter 7 verse 1, the glory of the Lord was seen and the
people fell down and worshiped.
f. The temple
Under Solomon 1 Kings 8:10-11
For years the temple glowed with the presence of Yahweh- Ezekiel 10:3-4,
18-19 and 11:22-23 tells of its departure
God could not reveal himself in a desecrated temple so the glory moved
to the front door to the east gate and left the temple area to the Mount
of Olives and disappeared- the basic route the Jews went into captivity
into Babylon. By modern reckoning this happened Sept. 17, 592 BC.
Israel went into the 70 year captivity- when they returned under Zerubbabel
they rebuilt the temple but scripture does not say that the glory reoccupied
the temple at that time.
Haggai promised that Gods glory would one day be revealed there-
I will shake the nations and I will fill this house with my glory.
"Now there's coming a day," says the prophet Habakkuk, "when
the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea." But until that day of full knowledge,
we are dealing with limited perception. And yet God wants us to know
Him and He wants us to perceive Him and He wants us to understand His
self-revelation. How can we ever know if that's all we have? It says,
verse 7 of Amos 3, "The Lord God will do nothing but that He revealeth
His secret unto His servants the prophets." He has disclosed Himself
through the prophets in the writings of the Old Testament.
f. Through the conquest-briefly acknowledge
g. Through Davidic kingdom- briefly acknowledge-
h. through the prophets, especially Isaiah and Ezekiel
Note: the foregoing were all shadowy , imncomplete pictures of the glory
yet to be revealed in Christ Jesus,. In Jesus we get a redefinition
of just what Glory IS.
So Creation and the Shekinah is limited. The written word gives content
to the creation. It gives content to the Shekinah. But these manifestations
of the Glory of God were passing. When Job contemplates the God who
reveals Himself in creation, he says this: "Lo," Job 26:14,
"these are but the outskirts of His ways and how small a whisper
do we hear of Him." You see, God only whispers in His creation.
God only whispers in His Shekinah. But He speaks in His Word. And in
the Old Testament, verse 1, He spoke. Not a whisper but in full voice.
Well, fortunately Isaiah comes along and Isaiah says this: "The
glory of the Lord shall be...what?...revealed." There's coming
a greater disclosure, a fuller revelation. Let's see how the New Testament
speaks of its fulfillment.
Hebrews chapter 1--Hebrews chapter 1 is another text that deals with
the true Christmas story...God's Final Word in His Son
1 God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many
portions and in many ways,
2 in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed
heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.
3 And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of
His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He
had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the
Majesty on high,
4 having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited
a more excellent name than they.
At many times and in many ways God has revealed Himself to us. Every
revelation has shown Him to be a God of infinite Glory. The revelation
of His glory naturally follows His Redemptive plan in History- revelation
and redemption go hand in hand.
These revelations were designed
1. To dispel our ignorance of God
2. That we might know Him PERSONALLY and relate to Him-faith
3. To bring us to worship, obedience and love toward Him-enjoy Him
This study attempts to trace the progressive revelation of Gods
glory so that we might fulfill the command to glorify God in 1 Cor 6:20.
The Glory would kill a man if exposed to it full on before the incarnation.
Jesus made God's glory accessible.
20 For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your
We will look at three aspects:
1. What scripture teaches about Gods glory
2. Our response
3. How to glorify God.Before we can glorify God we must have some concept
of the glory of God. Gods attributes are the qualities that characterize
A partial list:
Wisdom, power, holiness, goodness, mercy, love, righteousness, grace,
justice, truth, omniscience, omnipresence, eternality
All these are multiplied to the infinite degree and God defines any
manifestation of them that we see on earth. Glory is displayed excellence.
God naturally and rightfully "glories" in his own person.
He glories in what He has done but also in Who He is!
As God manifests any of His attributes he glories in that- when he shows
mercy, he delights in it. When God loves the world so much that he sends
his son, it pleases Him to do so. This infinite weight of glory cannot
be hidden or contained. It is Gods nature to reveal Himself.
4. Revelation of Gods Glory through Jesus Christ
Jesus is more than a manifestation
of the lory of God. He IS God's Glory in human flesh.
1 John 1:1
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory,
glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Hebrews 1:3 the radiance of His glory.
At His birth
Luke 1:11-12 glory appeared to Zacharias
Luke 2:8-9 glory appeared to Shepherds
Matt. 2:2 Wise men followed "the shining"
Johns account in John 1
At the transfiguration:
Peters eyewitness account 2 Peter 1:16-18 refers to transfiguration.
Luke 9:25 "there are some standing here who shall not taste death
until they see the Kingdom of God."
Eight days later- vv 28-32. the transfiguration was a revelation of
the essential glory of the Father that belonged to Jesus.
Hebrews 10:19-20 Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to (enter
the holy place by the blood of Jesus,
20 by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil,
that is, His flesh
Jesus body was a veil that was rent.- it protected us from the
glory of God
He has no stately form or majesty
That we should look upon Him,
Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him.
3 He was despised and forsaken of men,
A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
And like one from whom men hide their face
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
John 17:4-5 Jesus work on earth was to reveal the Father. Jesus asked
the Father that he might "glorify me now". We see the ultimate
answer 60 years later in a vision Rev 1:13-16. Johns response-
fell at His feet like a dead man.
The resurrection gets its own point below as it is shared by Jesus and
4. Glory of God revealed through believers
In the Beginning:
The Word and the Father
In the beginning God
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the
Word was God. 2 The Word was with God in the beginning.
Matthew and Luke begin with the birth of John the Baptist and the Lord
Jesus, and Mark begins with the ministry of John the Baptist. John goes
all the way back to "the beginning." The first words of Johns
Gospel, "In the beginning
," bring to mind the account
of creation in Genesis 1. The phrase, "in the beginning,"
both in the English and in the Greek,23 is the same in Genesis 1:1 and
John 1:1. This cannot be merely coincidental; it must be intentional.
When Moses wrote the Book of Genesis, he began, "In the beginning
" John is doing virtually the same thing in the first
two verses of his Gospel.
The New Testament writers clearly agree with John in affirming that
the Jesus of the Gospels, the Jesus whom the church worships as Savior
and Lord, was not only a sinless man, but also perfect and undiminished
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation,
16 for all things in heaven and on earth were created by himall
things, whether visible or invisible, whether thrones or dominions,
whether principalities or powersall things were created through
him and for him. 17 He himself is before all things and all things are
held together in him. 18 He is the head of the body, the church, as
well as the beginning, the firstborn from among the dead so that he
himself may become first in all things. 19 For God was pleased to have
all his fullness dwell in him 20 and through him to reconcile all things
to himself by making peace through the blood of his crosswhether
things on the earth or things in heaven (Colossians 1:15-20).
John introduces "light" as a theme that will recur throughout
this Gospel (John 3:18-21; 5:35; 8:12; 9:5; 12:35-36; 12:46). It is
a prophetic theme, which is highlighted in Matthew (4:13-16; 5:14-16)
and Luke (1:76-79; 2:25-32; 16:8) as well. Jesus came as the "light."
The worlds efforts to suppress the "light" have failed,
and thus the light continues to shine, even till the present time, through
the people of God:
3 But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are
perishing, among whom the god of this age has blinded the minds of those
who do not believe so they would not see the light of the glorious gospel
of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For we do not proclaim ourselves,
but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your slaves for Jesus
sake. 6 For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness,"
is the one who shined in our hearts to give us the light of the glorious
knowledge of God in the face of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 4:3-6).
7 Therefore, do not be partakers with them, 8 for you were at one time
darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of the
light9 for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness,
and truth10 trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Do
not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but rather expose
them. 12 For the things they do in secret are shameful even to mention.
13 But all things being exposed by the light are made evident. 14 For
everything made evident is light, and for this reason it says, "Awake!
O sleeper. Rise from the dead, And Christ will shine on you!" (Ephesians
The "Light" and Lost Sinners
9 The true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.
10 He was in the world, and the world was created through him, but the
world did not recognize him. 11 He came to what was his own, but his
own people did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him, who
believed in his name, he gave the right to become Gods children,
13 children not fathered by human descent or by human desire or a husbands
decision, but by God.
Then your light shall break forth like the morning, Your healing shall
spring forth speedily, And your righteousness shall go before you; The
glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard (Isaiah 58:8, NKJV).
1 Arise, shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the LORD is
risen upon you. 2 For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, And
deep darkness the people; But the LORD will arise over you, And His
glory will be seen upon you. 3 The Gentiles shall come to your light,
And kings to the brightness of your rising (Isaiah 60:1-3, NKJV).
The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood
The Word and Human Flesh
14 Now the Word became flesh and lived among us. We saw his glorythe
glory of the only [begotten] One, full of grace and truth, who came
from the Father. 15 John testified about him and cried out, "This
one was the one about whom I said, He who comes after me is greater
than I am, because he existed before me." 16 For we have
all received from his fullness one gracious gift after another. 17 For
the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came about through
Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God. The only One, himself God,
who is in the presence of the Father, has made God known.
6. The Glory of God revealed by resurrection
There is perhaps no greater demonstration of Gods glory than the
resurrection of Jesus Christ. 1 Cor 15-reminder of what we just focused
on at Easter, and the resurrection life that is ours because of this!
Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism in death that like as Christ
was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also
should walk in newness of life
Through our resurrection
God continues to reveal His glory. God has used some unusual channels-
broken pots (2 Corinthians 3-4) follow suit with a bush, a tent of animal
skins, the tongue-tied Moses, and the rejected Jesus, who was the greatest
revelation of God. Now after the ascension, Glory is revealed also in
sinners who have become transformed!
Eph 2:19-22 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you
are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God's household,
20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets,
Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone,
21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into
a holy temple in the Lord,
22 in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God
in the Spirit.
God is doing now what he did in the OT-making His presence to dwell
in a set apart place- the temple of God.
1 Cor 3:16 you are the temple of God.
1 Cor 6:19-20 temple of the Holy spirit
John 14:21ff- Father and Son indwell
God is glorified when He is revealed in us!
2 Cor 3:18 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 from the Lord, the Spirit.
How to reveal Gods Glory
1. By our very salvation
Eph 1:1-14 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who
has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places
in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world,
that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined
us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to
the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace,
which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.
2. By a worthy walk 1 Thess 2:11-12, 2 Cor 4:1-7 Eph 4:1, Col 1:10
3. By a transformed life 2 Cor 4:10, Romans 12:1-2
4. By containing treasure-what treasure? The glory of God in the face
of Christ Jesus
5. By our verbal witness to His work in our lives
6. The Glory of God revealed by the finished redemption
What we shall be one day will bring God great glory
2 Corinthians 3:18-But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a
mirror the [John 17:22, 24; 2 Cor 4:4, 6] glory of the Lord, are being
transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the
Lord, the Spirit.
Philippians 3:21-who will transform the body of our humble state into
conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power
that He has even to subject all things to Himself.
Colossians 1:27- to whom God willed to make known what is the riches
of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in
you, the hope of glory.
By bearing much fruit John 15:8- Fruit is the right response to the
revelation of Gods glory!
7. The Glory of God revealed by the second coming-
"Then they will see [Dan 7:13; Rev 1:7] THE SON OF MAN [Matt 16:27;
Mark 8:38] COMING IN CLOUDS with great power and glory.
Remember Ezekiels vision when the glory departed Ichabod was written
over it. Like when the ark was captured by the Philistines in 1 Samuel?
In Ezekiel 36 we find the rest of the story- the prophecy of its return.
In ch 43 its almost identical with 1 Kings 8 the dedication of
Solomons temple. 43:1-2.
In chapter 11 the departure now in 43 the prophet watched in the direction
of the East and saw it return from there 43:3 identifies the glory-
here the glory is not longer localized in v. 7 the whole earth is lit
up with glory. 44:4 the end time- Ezekiel brought to the eschatological
temple. This will come to pass when Christ returns to literally reign
from Jerusalem for a thousand years.
Vision of the Heavenly city Rev 21:10
John 14- Jesus comes with the place prepared for us-not the personal,
warm idea of "drawing us to His side"
Rev 5:8, 9-12
The ones who have been redeemed offer worship and praise for redemption.
In his presence we will walk in the light of His glory- no need for
Rev 21-22 the eternal state of Glory.
And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for
the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb. The nations
will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their
glory into it.
and review of some thematic responses-
God reveals- We respond
To Paul -Acts 9:6 He fell on his face and said, Lord what will you have
me do? -Obedience
Isaiah-Isaiah 6 book refers to glory 36 times Woe is me; send
me!- Conviction and humility- a passion to obey
At the Red Sea- Exodus 15 "feared the Lord"- Song of Moses-Awe
and worship, verbal praise
David-1 Samuel and Psalms filled with Glory Praise and Prayer- 1 Chronicles
29, Psalm 24, 66
Moses- Exodus 34 :8 Bow low toward the earth and worship
Ezekiel Ez. 1:28 - 23 mentions Fell on face and listened
John- Revelation 1:17 Fell like a dead man then raised to give witness-
John becomes perhaps the greatest witness to Glory in His writings
I turned to locate the voice that was speaking with me, and when I did
so, I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and in the midst of the lampstands
was one like a son of man. He was dressed in a robe extending down to
his feet and he wore a wide golden belt around his chest. 14 His head
and hair were as white as wool, even as white as snow, and his eyes
were like a fiery flame. 15 His feet were like polished bronze that
has been refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many
waters. 16 He held seven stars in his right hand, and a sharp double-edged
sword extended out of his mouth. His face shone like the sun shining
at full strength. 17 When I saw him I fell down at his feet as though
I were dead, but he placed his right hand on me and said, "Do not
be afraid! I am the first and the last, 18 namely, the one who lives!
I was dead, but look, now I am aliveforever and everand
I have the keys of death and Hades!" (Revelation 1:9-18)