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One Day We Can See His Face

The Glory of the Lord

 

Isaiah 40:5 - "And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it:"

There is a place and a time when everybody, every human being ever born on earth, from Adam to the last person, including you and me, at one event and one place will see the glory of the Lord God.

After creation, Adam and Eve, dressed with the garment of light provided by God, were talking face to face with the Creator who came in his natural glory to teach them. But when Adam and Eve disobeyed the express command of the Lord and accepted the lordship of the devil, the garment of light disappeared, the sinful nature took over them and sin and rebellion no longer could withstand the presence and the glory of God.

Later on, when the Lord wanted to appear to Abraham, the Lord veiled the glory of his presence and took the form of a man in order to talk with Abraham and give to him the promise of a great nation. (Genesis 17:1; 18:1)

Also, under the form of a man, on a fearful and lonely night, the Lord wrested with Jacob and gave him the blessings of grace and victory, and changed his name to the one all saved human beings will remember forever: Israel. (Gen. 32:28)

Because of servitude and slavery in Egypt, the children of God were crying out to God for deliverance. Moses at 80 was in the land of Midian keeping the flock of Jethro, his father in law. One day he saw a bush in flames that didn't burn up as usual, and he went closer to find out why. (Exo. 3:2, 3) It was the Lord calling Moses from the middle of the flame: "I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt." (Exo. 3:10) What is the name of the God of my fathers? asked Moses: "And God said unto Moses: I AM THAT I AM... Thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me to you." (Exo. 3:14)

It was necessary to bring ten plagues upon Egypt to convince Pharaoh that the children of Israel should go to serve the Lord. On marching on the way "the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night." (Exo. 13:21) A manifestation of God's love in covering the camp of Israel with the glory of his presence.

When Moses was called to the top of mount Sinai to receive the instructions for the construction of the Sanctuary, he asked the Lord: "I beseech thee, shew me thy glory." (Exo. 33:18) And the Lord replied: "Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live." (Exo. 33:20) "For our God is a consuming fire." (Heb. 12:29; Deut. 4:24)

When the tabernacle was finished: "Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle." (Exo. 40:34) The day of inauguration of the services in the tabernacle, "the glory of the Lord appeared unto all the people. And there came a fire out from before the Lord, and consumed upon the altar the burnt offering and the fat: which when all the people saw, they shouted, and fell on their faces." (Lev. 9:23, 24)

Upon the mercy seat on the ark of the covenant was shining with majestic splendor the visible manifestation of the divine presence or Shekinah. Once a year, on the Day of Atonement, the High Priest did enter there with the blood of the atonement to cleanse the Sanctuary from the sins of the people. (Lev. 16)

The time came when the children of Israel, departing from the Lord, went behind the idols of the land and became captives of Babylonia. Still some of them were faithful to God as Daniel and his companions. After the dream of the great image with the head of gold that God gave to king Nebuchadnezzar, the king came back to his selfishness and pride and decided to represent Babylon with a 60 cubits tall image of gold. (Dan. 3) The officials and the servants of the kingdom were brought there to worship the image on the inaugural day; a mandatory command with death penalty for non-compliance. A burning fiery furnace was ready to take care of anyone not bowing down to worship before the image at the time the music and the command were given. (Dan. 3:6)

Within the congregation were three Hebrews who didn't bow down to the idol of the king. King Nebuchadnezzar, extremely angry dared to say, "and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hand?" (Dan. 3:15) Then tied up hand and foot, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were thrown into the fiery furnace. Every eye turned to the flames of the furnace. An unexpected surprise came to the king when he saw the men freely walking inside the flames and another man with them like the Son of God. The Creator of atoms, and all elements on earth and the universe, fire and ice, was there to save them and to vindicate the faith of the three faithful followers. And the glory of Almighty God spread out, by those present, to all parts of the entire kingdom. Still today, the glory of God at that moment is spreading out to all nations on earth, and it is a memorandum of loyalty for the future when the children of God are call to worship the image of the last days. (Rev. 13:14, 15)

When in the counsels of the Godhead it was decided to create humankind, a distinct race to demonstrate the love and glory of God, basically free living entities with freedom of choice, the same Creator who had the power of life, offered himself to redeem man if ever were necessary. The story tells us that after Creation by the audacity of Lucifer our first parents were thrown into sin and rebellion. The plan of redemption began to be revealed: "And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel" (Gen. 3:15) The whole Great Controversy outlined on that sentence. "But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a Lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was preordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you." (1 Peter 1:19, 20)

One memorable night, on the hills of Bethlehem, the shepherds were watching their flock when: "the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said to them, Fear not: for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying: Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." (Luke 2:9-14) No fear to meet the Divine any more. Here He was as a babe clothed with human flesh, and in need of tender care from human arms.

According to the plan made before Eden, the Son of God, voluntarily will lay aside his divine prerogatives, will take on human flesh upon himself to become a man, the Lamb of God, and offer himself as a sacrifice for the redemption of the human race. Jesus was anointed as the Messiah by the Holy Spirit in the autumn of 27 AD when He came to John the Baptist to be baptized. During his ministry He told the Jews: "Verily, verily, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM." (John 8:58) They could not see through Jesus human body the divine being who came to visit Abraham and later told Moses I AM that I AM.

The apostle John gave true testimony of Christ nature: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." (John 1:1) "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." (John 1:14)

At the end of Christ ministry on earth, because He was made sin for us and carried on his shoulders the sins of the world, the Father did separate His face and His presence from the Son. That brought upon Jesus the agony of the separation, more painful than a sword thru His heart. Even in that condition, coming out of Gethsemane, when the mob came to arrest Him asking for Jesus of Nazareth, and He said: I AM HE, a flash of divine glory overcame that band of men throwing them to the ground. (John 18:6)

On the morning of Christ resurrection, when the angel came to roll away the stone covering Jesus tomb, the glory of the angel plus the glory of the resurrected Christ proclaiming: 'I am the resurrection and the life', sent the soldiers of the Roman Guard fainting to the ground. (Matt. 28:2-4)

Saul of Tarsus, on the way to Damascus, was blinded by "a light shone around him." Three days later, when Ananias prayed for him "there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he received his sight at once." (Acts 9:3, 18)

And now let us turn to the future, to the Second Coming of Christ. "And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory." (Luke 21:27) At that moment the glory of the Lord is life for those waiting on Him, but it is death for whoever rejected His grace of salvation. Those who did not repent of their sins, neither sent their sins to be forgiven by Jesus in the Heavenly Sanctuary, are all overcome by the glory of the Lord. The wicked, whose names are not in the Lamb's Book of Life, cannot withstand the brightness and the glory of the Lord and fall lifeless to the ground all over the earth. "For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand? (Rev. 6:17)

"Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law." "sin is lawlessness" (1 John 3:4) "For the wages of sin is death." (Romans 6:23) On the other side, God is Love and Life. To preserve the character of God among the human race, God sent Jesus to offer salvation to whosoever will and to give a personal demonstration of His love. God sent His word, the Ten Commandments, a full prescription of His love, as from man to God, and as of man to man. (Exodus 20:2-17) There is supreme love to God in the first four commandments. Anyone can tell that the one keeping the Sabbath holy can do it from the love in his heart to his Savior and Lord. There is love to the neighbor as to himself when obeying the last six commandments. There you can find that peaceful and loving community. No fear of abuse or crime, day or night.

What is man capable of doing to add a few days or years to his life? No file could hold such amount of effort and wealth expended for that purpose. Compare those few days of pain and suffering with the eternal life that the Lord is providing for those coming to Him. And that is the only way to Life, He is the Creator, He is the Savior, He paid for everyone with His Life, no one else did it for you and for me. Jesus told Nicodemus: "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." (John 3:3) From the heart must be born a loving obedience to the Savior and Lord of the human race. And Christ saving grace is applied to you and to me as individuals by his mediatory ministry in the Heavenly Sanctuary, because we belong to Him, and to the body of Christ, which is the church of the Lord. In the last days it is called "the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ." (Rev. 12:17) And again: "Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus." (Rev.14:12)

The mighty power and the glory of God upon his children will inflame the hope of the gospel until 'the earth was lightened with his glory.' (Rev. 18:1) Prepare now your mind and your body to endure all things till being with the glorious Savior forever.

The millennium begins with the Second Coming of Christ. While the wicked cannot withstand the brightness of Christ coming and fall to the ground lifeless, the faithful alive, together with the resurrected ones whose names are in the Book of Life are taken to heaven for a thousand years. The millennium ends when Christ returns with his children, and the New Jerusalem. At the call of his voice all the wicked come back to life. This is the place and the time, when all flesh together at the same time shall see the glory of the Lord. (Isaiah 40:5) The saved inside the Holy City and the wicked outside the wall will bend their knees and confess the justice of God. "For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God." (Romans 14:11)

When fire comes down from heaven, only the saints are protected inside the New Jerusalem, but those outside the walls: the wicked, Satan and his angels, all are consumed in the lake of fire that purifies the earth. That is the end of death, sin, the wicked, and evil forces. On an earth made new, peace, love, and harmony spring forth forever. "The throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: And they shall see his face..." (Rev. 22:3, 4)

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