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The Mystery of Messiah The Lord of Glory

The Mystery of Messiah The Lord of Glory

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This seeks to explain the person of Christ and his glorious form in the Old and New Testament Scriptures. Centered upon a word study of “glory” in the Hebrew, a breakdown of several passages produces a surprising exegesis and fluidity with the glory of Jesus before and after His incarnation, leading us to His final glorification on the Cross. This teaching was taught at New Life Christian Community in Perth, Austrailia.

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The Mystery of Messiah The Lord of Glory

INTRODUCTION

INTRODUCTION

  1. For yhwh, 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 yeshua the messiah,” (my translation).
    1. Paraphrase: In the beginning God said, “Let there be light and it was so,” (history commenced and some thousands of years go by). Then, God the Son was born in the flesh and God said, “Let there be light in My people’s hearts,” so that we would be shown the glory of who God is through the person of Jesus the Messiah.
      1. Jesus is not just the entryway to our understanding of who God is––Jesus is the physical manifestation of the highest representation of the glory of God. Why?
    2. My goal in today’s study is to decipher several passages of Scripture in order to obtain a new lens by which we see God’s physical manifested form as the highest representation of His glory. In other words, I want us to see Jesus as the ultimate glorious sign and wonder of ages past and the age to come.
      1. Why is this important?
        1. Misunderstanding of God’s glory today.

(1)  Glory in the charismatic movement today is typically equated with seeing certain “strange occurrences”. These things can be fascinating and even exhilarating when experienced – however, they will never be fulfilling to a man’s heart. Why? We were simply not made to see one-off strange occurrences that temporarily exhilarate us– we were made for the perpetual strange occurrence in the immediate presence of God remaining in an infinite state of exhilarated euphoric fascination awe and wonder (EEFAW Principle) FOREVER.

(2)  Charismatic worship.

(a)  What do we mean when we say “God, show us Your glory!?”

(3)  Fremantle Dockers hat.

  1. My journey of hunting for, and fasting for, and longing for glimpses of glory that merely equated to signs and wonders.

(3)  Signs and wonders experiences: 2 angels; deaf ear opening; Man w/ Parkinson’s. Dream about demon.

(4)  Fasting…

  1. Is glory more than signs and wonders?
  2. Right understanding of God’s glory
    1. This age:

1.That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him (Ephesians 1:17, NASB)

1.I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus, the Messiah, the most glorious Father, would give you a wise spirit, along with revelation that comes through knowing the Messiah fully. (ISV)

Your portion in this life is this: The Father of glory wants to show you the glory of who ‘God is through the physical manifestation of the person of God- His Son.

  1. The age to come:

That in the ages to come He (God) might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness towards us in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:7, NASB)

This is your full and glorious portion in the age to come: God is going to reveal to us for ages to come the overwhelming wealth and supply of His grace and supreme kindness towards us that He actively and purposely unveiled in the physical manifestation of the person of His Son. We will meditate upon and worship this glorious Man forever.

  1. A Biblical Solution
    1. The Whale Watching point at Cape Naturaliste and beholding the glory of Jesus.
      1. Problem: Jesus isn’t being seen as THE sign and wonder that we are to study and behold and peer into during this age and as a result the focus of Christianity is off track.
      2. Solution: To return to wholehearted worship and adoration of the Man Jesus Christ who is the full physically manifest representation of the glory of God in the highest possible sense.

(3)  How then do we live? If this is true, what needs to change in my life?

BIBLICAL IDENTIFICATION OF GLORY

SECTION 1: BIBLICAL IDENTIFICATION OF GLORY

  1. Definition of Glory:
    1. “ ‘Glory’ in the English Versions of the Bible, …in which the ideas of size, rarity, beauty and adornment are prominent, the emphasis being… upon some external physical characteristic which attracts the attention, and makes the object described by the word significant or prominent,” (International Standard Bible Encyclopedia).
  2. 6 Hebrew words for various forms of glory found in the OT.
    1. ‘addereth; hadhar; hodh; tehar; yeqara’; tiph’arah.
    2. Hodh–, essentially the same meaning of ‘brightness’, ‘light’
  3. The most commonly used Hebrew word for glory in the OT is kabhodh, with 200 appearances in many different ways.
    1. Kabhodh– “The fundamental idea of this root seems to be “weight,” “heaviness,” and hence in its primary uses it conveys the idea of some external, physical manifestation of dignity, preeminence or majesty. At least three uses may be distinguished: (1) It defines the wealth or other material possessions which give honor or distinction to a person; (2) the majesty, dignity, splendor or honor of a person; (3) most important of all, it describes the form (Person) in which Yahweh reveals Himself or is the sign and manifestation of His presence…(emphasis mine).
    2. Since in all three instances kabhodh applies distinctly to a person: kabhodh distinctly means “the man himself in his most characteristic nature.”
  4. We will focus on these last two definitions for the majority of this study since they relate more directly to YHWH’s own kabhodh.
  5. Greek word in New Testament
    1. Doxa- “honor, renown; glory, an especially divine quality, the unspoken manifestation of God, splendor.”
      1. Doxa is much more diversely used since it basically can mean any of the previous 7 meanings in Hebrew. Thus, since glory takes the form of doxa in the NT it becomes harder to comprehend the actual meaning of what is being said.
      2. Disclaimer: As you study this out in Scripture, be aware that what I’m presenting in this teaching is not easily found. The Scriptures are not replete with examples of glory that support the case that is about to be made. However, there are several strange occurrences in the Scriptures where glory is applied in a very different way to our understanding of it today. I seek to simply make us aware of these occurrences in application to beholding Jesus.

THE KABHODH OF GOD'S MANIFESTATION IN THE OT

THE KABHODH OF GOD’S MANIFESTATION IN THE OLD TESTAMENT

  1. Elijah –

B.And he said, “Go out and stand on the mount before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper. 13And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave.(1 Kings 19:11, ESV)

We can establish with this reading that many strange elements occur when the Lord appears, however the Lord is not within these elements. What is shocking is that the sound of a low whisper is what elicits Elijah’s reaction to go out to meet God. Elijah tarried in the cave waiting for the person of God to show up… because you talk to a person, not an element (unless you’re weird).

  1. Mysterious use of Kabhodh in direct relation to YHWH.

Then Moses said, “I pray You, show me Your glory!” (Exodus 33:18)

Full stop! This is Exodus 33! Moses has seen 10 divine plagues inflicted upon the Egyptians. He has seen a great sea open up before him, form two walls on either side and has walked through that sea on dry ground. He has seen manna fall from heaven to feed them daily. He has witnessed the quail come from the sky. Ex. 24 has already happened where Moses went up to the throne room of God and everyone saw ‘something’. Moses had already been up on the mountain in the elements of “glory” for 40 days when the finger of God drew the Law on stone tablets. Moses however knew something that we do not. He knew there was more… He wanted to see the kabhodh! He wanted to know the person, this is why He cried out, “YHWH I beg you, show me (who You are) Your glory!”

33:19 And He said, “I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the LORD before you; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion on whom I will show compassion.” 20But He said, “You cannot see My face, for no man can see Me and live!” 21Then the LORD said, “Behold, there is a place by Me, and you shall stand there on the rock; 22and it will come about, while My glory (kabhodh) is passing by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock and cover you with My hand until I have passed by. 23“Then I will take My hand away and you shall see My back, but My face shall not be seen.”

The Lord Himself here connects His kabhodh with the form that Moses will see: A hand, and a back and this is the answer to Moses prayer.

  1. 34:5 The LORD descended in the cloud and stood there with him as he called upon the name of the LORD. 6 Then the LORD passed by in front of him (without the cloud?) and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth; 7who keeps lovingkindness 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.” (Ex. 16:7,10; 24:16,17; 29:43; 33:18, 22; 40:34,35.)
  2. “The glory of Yahweh is clearly a physical manifestation, a form with hands and rear parts, of which Moses is permitted to catch only a passing glimpse, but the implication is clear that he actually does see Yahweh with his physical eyes.”
  3. Ezekiel 1 is peculiar – He takes an entire chapter describing fire, and smoke, and creatures, and what we may call ‘glory’ in the Charismatic church, but Ezekiel omits the use of kabhodh until the very end of the chapter where he specifically relates the kabhodh to the form that He sees on the throne.

Now above the expanse that was over their heads there was something resembling a throne, like lapis lazuli in appearance; and on that which resembled a throne, high up, was a figure with the appearance of a man. Then I noticed from the appearance of His loins upward something glowing like metal that looked like fire all around within it, and from the appearance of His loins and downward I saw something like fire; and there was radiance all around Him. As the appearance of the rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the appearance of the surrounding radiance. Such was the appearance of the likeness, of the glory (kabhodh) of the Lord. (Ezekiel 1:27-28)

  1. The glory of Yahweh manifests itself with all of the accompaniments that seem glorious themselves, and Ezekiel elaborately describes these things, but the accompaniments are simply not the glory to Ezekiel. The glory to Ezekiel was in the form itself.

Then the glory (kabhodh) of the God of Israel went up from the cherub on which it had been, to the threshold of the temple. And He called to the man clothed in linen at whose loins was writing the case. (Ezekiel 9:3)

  1. Hebrews 1 -“… His son…who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person…”

E.(Hebrews 1:3)

  1. In this verse we find brightness (hodh) and glory (kabhodh) linked to the express image (kabhodh) of His person. It seems the writer of Hebrews was intentionally trying to communicate something here. Translated in Hebrew this would be what I term a: TKO– Triple Kabhodh Overload.
    1. Translation: Jesus is the physical manifested form of God’s brightness and glory.

CONCLUSION OF SECTION 1

CONCLUSION OF SECTION 1

  1. How then do we live? If this is true, what needs to change in my life?

39But He answered and said to them, “An evil and adulterous generation craves for a sign; and yet no sign will be given to it but the sign of Jonah the prophet; 40for just as JONAH WAS THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS IN THE BELLY OF THE SEA MONSTER, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 41“The men of Nineveh will stand up with this generation at the judgment, and will condemn it because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, something greater than Jonah is here. 42“The Queen of the South will rise up with this generation at the judgment and will condemn it, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, something greater than Solomon is here. (Matthew 12:39-42)

You’re asking for a sign and a wonder but I’m telling you that the greatest sign and wonder is standing in front of you… and furthermore this sign and wonder is going to die on a Cross, be in the middle of the earth for three days, and rise from the dead with the keys of Hades and death in His hands. Meditate on that!

MAGNIFICENCE OF MYSTERIOUS KABHODH OF GOD REVEALED

SECTION 2: THE MAGNIFICENCE OF THE MYSTERIOUS KABHODH OF GOD REVEALED

  1. The beauty of the incarnate Lord of Glory.

B.The Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory (doxa), glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth… no one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him. (John 1:14)

  1. The Word from the beginning became flesh and took on a form that He had never taken on––a human body. Then, for the first time in history, human beings looked upon the kabhodh of God and saw this form in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, and in whom the fullness of the Godhead dwelled bodily (Col. 2:3,9). But there was a difference in the kabhodh now because it was without the normal elements that accompanied God’s kabhodh in the OT. What was known about God was miniscule in comparison to the incarnation of His person. (We’re talking an inch worm that goes into a cocoon and emerges a ten foot tall butterfly with a thousand different colors and designs on its wings that sings and dances a thousand songs in a thousand keys at once.) No one had ever seen God at any time, but Jesus who is in the bosom of the Father and who existed in this ‘bosomial’ form in the past, explained perfectly who God is when He became a human being.
  2. It is important to note John’s citation of grace and truth applied here to Jesus, applied also by God to Himself when He proclaims His name to Moses.

2.The LORD, the LORD God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth. (Exodus 34:6) (This kindness is the abounding revelation of Jesus that we will look upon forever in the ages to come).

2.John knew full well the implications of making this statement in his day to Torah observant Jews. I believe this could be John subtly revealing a profound mystery: Jesus Himself was the Kabhodh that passed before Moses’ eyes. This begs the questions: Could Jesus be the person who came and spoke to Elijah? Was Jesus the Kabhodh of the One seated on the throne in Ezekiel?

He is the image of the invisible God. (Colossians 1:15)

Not that anyone has seen the Father, except the One who is from God; He has seen the Father. (John 6:46)

Jesus himself declares that no one has ever seen the Father. Is this a confession of His own manifestation in the OT Scriptures and Theophanies? Is Jesus admitting that the Father exists as something that we do not understand in our human minds, and that is precisely why Jesus came in physical form to give understanding? If so, what was the understanding He came to give?

THE GLORY OF GOD AS THE SUFFERING SERVANT

THE GLORY OF GOD AS THE SUFFERING SERVANT – THE TRUE SIGN AND WONDER

  1. 18For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God… 23but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness, 24but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men… 7but we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory; 8the wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
    1. The idea of God the Messiah dying on a cross is foolishness, but to those who understand what He’s done it is the supreme example of the strength of God. We preach that God the Messiah has died on a cross and this causes Jews to stumble because this wasn’t their expectation for the Messiah. This is foolishness to Greeks because they don’t believe a deity could, or would, die in the first place. But to anyone who will accept it, Messiah’s death on the Cross is the power and wisdom of God. The utter foolishness of God in choosing to come to the earth as a human and die on a Cross is wiser than the vain ideas men have of fixing the earth’s problems. Moreover, the weakness of God in giving His own body to flesh and dying a condemned man’s death on the Cross is stronger than the strength men exhibit to try and fix things themselves. So, we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the mystery of Messiah crucified, but none of the rulers (principalities and powers) of this age understood the mystery that God had sealed His own execution from the foundations of the earth. Had they understood they would not have crucified the Lord of glory since this very act glorified Him to the pinnacle of what glory truly is… an innocent person laying down his life for His friends.
      1. Remember what kabhodh means when applied directly to a person: ‘the man himself in his most characteristic nature.’ God chose the very last possible thing anyone would think of to redeem the earth. He chose the most foolish thing imaginable. He made Himself the weakest and most vulnerable vessel. Why? God’s great revealing of His kabhodh was the ultimate representation of glory in showing WHO He really was; His most characteristic nature––The Suffering Servant.
      2. For in the Cross of Christ, as in a splendid theatre, the incomparable goodness of God is set before the whole world. The glory of God shines, indeed, in all creatures on the high and below, but never more brightly than in the cross… If it be objected that nothing could be less glorious than Christ’s death… I reply that in the death we see a boundless glory which is concealed from the ungodly. (John Calvin’s Commentary on the Gospel According to St. John p. 68; p. 135)

JOHN'S IDENTIFICATION OF JESUS' GLORY

THE GOSPEL OF JOHN’S IDENTIFICATION OF JESUS’ GLORY

  1. John’s definition of the glorification of Jesus comes to a head in the center of His gospel as he cites Isaiah 53 in reference to Jesus’ glory.

This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet which he spoke: ‘Lord, who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?’ … 41 These things Isaiah said because he saw His glory and He spoke of Him. (John 12:41)

  1. Isaiah seems to have seen the vision of the Suffering Servant. John connects the dots of Jesus embodying the unbelievable ‘Arm of the Lord’ who revealed the fullness of God’s glory in the humiliation of the Cross.

Remember our earlier definition of glory: ‘some external physical characteristic which attracts the attention.’ Now let’s cite the verse after the one we just looked at in Isaiah 53 –

He has no form or comeliness; and when we see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him. (Isaiah 53:2)

God’s big idea was to do the complete, polar opposite of our modern definition of glory in order to illustrate the highest measure of true glory – God crucified!

JESUS' SELF-FULFILLMENT OF GLORIFICATION

JESUS’ SELF-FULFILLMENT OF GLORIFICATION IN JOHN’S GOSPEL

  1. Jesus interchangeably uses glory and lifted up when speaking of Himself going to the Cross in the gospel of John. It becomes expressly clear that the ‘being lifted up on the Cross’ was in fact the identification of glory Jesus was seeking. The ramification of this for us as his disciples is simply that we must also take up our cross so that we would be glorified at the Day of the Lord.
    1. (3:14) As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up.
    2. (8:28) So Jesus said, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught Me.
    3. (8:24) Jesus answered, “If I glorify Myself, My glory is nothing; it is My Father who glorifies Me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God’…”

3.(In the context of this study it seems possible that Jesus is referring to Isaiah 53:10 here– “For it pleased the Father to crush him…”)

  1. (12:16) These things were not clear to his disciples at first: but when Jesus had been lifted up into his glory, then it came to their minds that these things in the Writings were about him and that they had been done to him.
  2. (12:23-27) 23And Jesus answered them, saying, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25“He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal. 26“If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.  27“Now My soul has become troubled; and what shall I say, ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour. “Father, glorify Your name.” Then a voice came out of heaven: “I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.”
    1. My typical prayer is “Father save me from this trial!”
    2. (12:32) “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.”
    3. (13:31) Therefore when he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in Him; 32if God is glorified in Him, God will also glorify Him in Himself, and will glorify Him immediately.
    4. (17:1) Jesus spoke these things; and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You, 2even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, that to all whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life. 3“This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. 4“I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do. 5“Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.

(17:22) “The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; 23I 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. 24“Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.

APPLICATION TO THE DAY OF THE LORD

APPLICATION TO THE DAY OF THE LORD

  1. The forbearance of God in the Old Testament.
    1. The concept that the evil receive good in this life, and the righteous receive bad is Scriptural. Psalm 73 appropriately defines the tension that the righteous feel, however this is exactly the point. As the Psalmist finally arrives at the end of his Psalm and says “But then I saw their end!” is the realization that although secure now they will forever be displaced in eternal torment. Our point in this life is to then simply model the same path of suffering that Jesus walked unto obtaining glory in the age to come.
    2. Psalm 50-
    3. John 1:46- “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?”
    4. Many of them were saying, “He has a demon and is insane. Why do you listen to Him?”
    5. Luke 24: Surely the Messiah had to suffer these things before entering His glory.
    6. Rom. 3:21-26

CONCLUSION

CONCLUSION

  1. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:5-11)
  2. The kabhodh of God in the Old Testament relates to various forms of glory. Kabhodh also relates to the very specific and glorious physical manifestation of the person Christ and His earliest manifestations, mysterious as they are. In the New Testament, the kabhodh of God seeks to define further the true nature of who YHWH always was–The Suffering Servant. The highest representation of God’s glory, which can be seen in the elements surrounding a ‘form’ in the Old Testament, becomes defined by God becoming a physical human being in the New Testament and dying on a crossbeam for the sins of the world. The highest definition of humility and glory are synonymous to the personhood of Christ, as God removes His cloak of “elemental glory” to reveal His true glory– a Lamb to the slaughter, the servant of all, the lover of His enemies, giving more than a cup of cold water to those who hate Him, forgiving those who have cursed Him, and praying to the Father for His enemies from the Cross, “Father forgive them! They don’t know I’m the Lord of glory!” Jesus fulfilled the Sermon on the Mount and much more through His death on Calvary.
    1. The secret of the glory of the Lord as the Lamb slain before the foundations of the earth was concealed in the Son before existence as we know it, and the rulers of this age did not understand this, or they would not have crucified Him. Basically, the glory of God was so immediately evident in the humiliated suffering servant that Satan, all the principalities and powers, and worldly rulers missed it. It was the mysterious way that God sealed His own crucifixion at the hands of the ones who were “looking” for a different glory.

2.         The glory that men are seeking after militates against the true glory of what Jesus has modeled for us in His life, death, and resurrection. What we must grab a hold of and cling to with all of our strength is a pursuit of the presented form of glory defined by the person of Jesus. This is true meekness and what He is seeking for us to obtain– the Cross and the laying down of our lives.

Stephen Holmes Stephen Holmes (18 Posts)

Stephen Holmes is a missionary pastor who lives with his wife and three kids in various nations seeking to give a faithful witness of the Gospel to the Jew first and also to the Gentile through Bible Teaching, Preaching, Song and Discipleship.


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