It's time to derive your worldview from the Bible

Rather than reading the Bible through the eyes of modern secularism, this provocative six-part course teaches you to read the Bible through its own eyes—as a record of God’s dealing with the human race. When you read it at this level, you will discover reasons to worship God in areas of life you probably never before associated with “religion.”

by Charles Clough
Review of the biblical context of the resurrection. Using the resurrection to represent a vague hope is improper and reveals a false theology. The fall and final judgment have cosmic results and bracket evil. Glorification is the ultimate, final aim and purpose of history. God is progressively glorified throughout history.
Series:Chapter 5 – The Resurrection of the King
Duration:1 hr 2 mins 37 secs

© Charles A. Clough 2000

Charles A. Clough
Biblical Framework Series 1995–2003

Part 5: Confrontation with the King
Chapter 5: The Resurrection of the King

Lesson 147 – Doctrinal Consequence of Resurrection – Glorification (Part 1)

06 Apr 2000
Fellowship Chapel, Jarrettsville, MD

I want to go back to the context of the resurrection. All of the events that we’ve studied we have associated with them certain doctrines of truth, and the resurrection is no exception. In thinking about the resurrection we emphasized that the term has come to be used for a vague hope, it’s a message of hopefulness, that sort of thing. What I’m trying to show is that that’s not the whole story and when the resurrection is used that way it’s actually used improperly. I want to review two passages to show this, one in John 5 and then we’ll touch briefly in Acts 17. Here are cases where the resurrection is taught in Scripture, but it’s taught within a certain contextual environ­ment. It’s clear that it’s not this nice, gooey, hopeful message in these cases. There’s hope in it, but the hope is a disciplined hope, it’s a holy hope.

In John 5 Jesus is having a real confrontation here with the Jews, and he says in verse 18, “For this cause therefore the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God.” By the way, verse 18 is an excellent verse to show that Jesus Christ claimed to be God. People who doubt this, some of the cults particularly will say well, He really never said that He was God, He’s sort of near God but not really equal to God. Here’s an interesting verse because He made Himself so equal with God they were going to kill Him. And they are the monotheistic Jews so you might just remember this verse; it’s a useful text to remember when you get in this argument about whether Jesus ever claimed explicitly to be God.

Let’s follow the argument. Here’s a confrontation with Jews, verse 19, “Jesus therefore answered and was saying to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. [20] For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He himself is doing,” etc. Verse 21, “for just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes. [22] For not even the Father judges anyone …” Now look at verse 22, here’s the prelude to the doctrine of the resurrection, “For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son.”

So here we are again, the context of the resurrection is one of ultimate responsibility of man and the final judgment. That’s the context that you’ll see when you study how the resurrection is discussed in Scripture. This is how you can separate orthodox teaching about the resurrection from some liberal goo where somebody is using the Christian vocabulary and they have no more motive to adhere to the content of Scripture than the man in the moon, it just sounds nice to talk at Easter about the resurrection. You know, the birds, the bees, the flowers and the resurrection, that kind of thing. Spring is a nice time, but the resurrection isn’t just a resurrection to happiness.

Let’s go down further in the text. Verse 22 starts it off. Judgment is the theme: [23] “in order that all may honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.” By the way, verse 22 is another nice verse to remember when you deal with the issue, well what about other religions that are sincere but don’t accept Jesus? I think verse 23 sort of answers that question. “He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.” That’s the answer to that question.

Verse 24, “Truly, truly, I say to you, He who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life. [25] Truly, truly, I say to you,” now watch, in verse 25 there’s a phrase used and in verse 28 the same phrase looks like it’s used but with a modification, so watch very carefully the text. Verse 25 says, “Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear shall live.” Clearly he’s talking about a spiritual death and a spiritual kind of resurrection. That’s fine, resurrection can be used as a metaphor of regeneration, that’s fine, the text does that. But having admitted that point you can’t work backwards and say because the resurrection is used metaphorically illustratively of the resurrection, therefore there was no physical resurrection. You can’t work that backwards. A metaphor is a metaphor of a real thing, not of an imaginary thing. You can’t have a metaphor of a metaphor. So the genuine physical resurrection is the metaphorical use of the word. So verse 25 is talking about regener­ation at the point of salvation, when someone trusts in the Lord Jesus Christ. “I say to you an hour is coming…when the dead shall hear,” the dead there is the unregenerate, who “hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear shall live.”

Verse 26, “For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself; [27] and He gave Him authority to execute judgment,” notice, here’s our word “judgment” again, “and He gave Him authority to execute judgment because He is the Son of Man.” Notice the title used here. The judgment that is being handed over to the Son is handed over to the Son because He’s both God and man. He’s God and therefore is holy and righteous and has the standards of judgment, but He’s also man in that He rules the human race. He’s the second Adam, He takes Adam’s position. We studied the title The Son of God and The Son of Man, he uses both titles here. Notice verse 25, Son of God; notice verse 27, Son of Man, this is one of those rare passages in Scripture where those two titles happen.

But now in verse 28, if you compare it with verse 25, in verse 25 it says “an hour is coming and now is,” and in verse 28 it says “an hour is coming,” and there is no “and now is.” So notice that the resurrection, when he uses it metaphorically he’s talking about right now, in the present, verse 25, but when he reverts to speaking about the real resurrection, physically, it’s an hour coming and it isn’t here yet. “Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs shall hear His voice, [29] and shall come forth; those who did good, to the resurrection of life, those who committed evil to a resurrection of judgment.”

So the resurrection has two parts, it’s not just good news. It’s good and evil, it’s good news and it’s bad news. The reason it’s good news and bad news harps back to the diagram on good and evil. We’ve emphasized that in the Christian position good and evil are temporary until the point of judgment, and at the point of judgment good is eternally and finally and completely separated from evil. There’s no switching back and forth here. The railroad tracks fork, and there’s no crossovers from this point on. That’s the moment of eternal doom or eternal bliss. That’s the context of the resurrection, so when you hear people endlessly talking about resurrection, remember if you don’t see this and get the concept of what’s going on, you’ll be all screwed up when you think about resurrection, not thinking about it biblically. So here’s a major passage, John 5:18-29, where Jesus teaches about the resurrection. In verse 29 the judgment has happened, that’s the fork in the road. So please think about this and protect your mind against some really false stuff that goes on about the resurrection.

Just to reinforce John 5, turn to Acts 17, here’s the Apostle Paul, we’ve already looked at John, teaching the same thing, same context, same topic, the resurrection. One was to a Jewish audience, the other is to a Greek audience, and in both cases circumstances are identical. Resurrection is this terminating point in history. It’s hopeful in that the Christian message, the biblical Christian message is that good and evil temporarily coexist, not eternally coexist. In the pagan mind the unbeliever has no separation of good and evil, none, it’s forever mixed. You can be reincarnated 8,582 times but every time you’re reincarnated what are you reincarnated into? Back into a world of good and evil.

That’s why in the Orient the real-thinking Orientals who have thought through their religious position don’t view reincarnation like American people do. American students particularly get into this thing and they think it’s cool, and they think it’s cool because they don’t think about it too carefully. That’s why they think it’s cool. But in the East people have had centuries to think this through far more carefully than some little 18-year-old on some college campus somewhere. And they have seen, properly so, that reincarnation is not necessarily good, it’s a spinning wheel, and you want to get off the spinning wheel so you go into nirvana or some metaphysical suicide to stop this wheel business, stop this, you don’t want to be reincarnated. Who wants to be reincar­nated 8,000 times into this mess? There’s the difference between Christianity and paganism.

Christianity depends on two critical points, and they’re supernatural, they’re catastrophic, there’s no apologies made here, we have to unambiguously emphatically and clearly enunciate that these two points, the fall and the final judgment are miraculous, they are instantaneous, and they’re cosmic, they apply to the whole universe. There was a fall with cosmic results. There is going to be a judgment with cosmic results. Thank God for that because that brackets evil. Evil is bracketed in space and time, and then in eternity it’s confined; there’s an eternal confinement so it doesn’t break out again, it’s there.

In Acts 17 when Paul’s talking to pagans, he says in verse 30, “Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance,” that means all through history, up until the time of the preaching of the gospel, “the times of ignorance” start with Noah’s decay, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, when the nations lose the light of the Noahic Bible, and come up to the great commission, when the gospel once again goes forth in a new dispensation, into the world to clarify. So in verse 30, “having over looked the times of ignorance,” that doesn’t mean people who reject God don’t get judged, it just means that God gave the entire human race at one point universal revelation. This business about what about those who haven’t heard, there’s not a people group or linguistic group that hasn’t heard, everybody has heard. Maybe they haven’t heard the advanced features of the gospel, but they’ve certainly heard about God as creator and their conscience bears witness that they’re morally obligated to their Creator, and they’re guilty, and have “fallen short of the glory of God.” Everybody’s heard that before the missionary even comes.

So here we find “the times of ignorance” has ended, notice the adverb “now,” “God is now declaring to men that all,” this is universal, “that all everywhere should repent.” So there’s a universal command to go into every people’s group, every linguistic subset of the human race, and there’s nothing here about the American Civil Liberties Union has a veto of verse 30.

Verse 31, “Because he has fixed a day in which He will judge the world,” notice again, context, what’s the context of resurrection, “He will judge,” there it is, krino, “He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead,” resurrection. There you have it, John 5, Acts 17, two major passages. That’s the real biblical context of resurrection.

Every event that we’ve studied so far we’ve said there are doctrinal truths associated with them. There are a lot of doctrinal truths; we don’t cover them all. I just try to take one or two basic doctrines to associate with each of these events. Tonight we’re going to open the doctrinal area that’s associated with the resurrection. The resurrection is the event, and the truth that’s associated with it is glorification. We want to spend time on glorification.

The Westminster Confession of Faith, probably one of the most theologically consistent creedal statements, not that we’d agree with everything in its totality, but it has a lot of good theology in it, said that the chief end of man is “to glorify God”, and the interesting thing is, “and enjoy Him forever.” These are these mundane Puritanical people that wrote the Westminster Confession and isn’t it interesting that they spoke of joy, and the caricature you get all the time is that they were sober people and they walked around with a big long expression on their face. That’s because they took life seriously, and it was interpreted as heaviness. It really wasn’t heaviness, if the Puritan looked heavy on the outside, he had joy on the inside. Today the pagan has a lot of weight on the inside and he just has a superficial veneer of ha-ha on the outside. It’s exactly reverse.

Here glorification is the final purpose of history. This marks a difference between what we call dispensational theology and covenant theology, because falling out of the Reformation there was such a profound interest in the redemption, in atonement, in what Christ did on the cross and how we receive it by faith, and justification by faith, that there was a fixation on redemption. So you’ll find a lot of Reformed people really emphasize that it’s redemption that is the center of action, that’s the final result of history. But that’s not really true because angels are never redeemed. What’s the purpose of history for that portion of the creation? It can’t be redemption because there is no redemption. The purpose of history includes redemption, but redemption is only part of glorification. Glorification is the bigger envelope that contains everything else.

So the ultimate aim and purpose of history is glorification. Let’s see what that means practically by turning to Revelation 4. This is the biblical philosophy of everything, or the teleology, the purpose behind history. People always want to seek a purpose, because if history does not have a purpose, if the whole doesn’t have a purpose, the parts can’t. So it’s not just an academic exercise to think about the purpose of history because what you’re really saying is I just want purpose in my life, and if this whole universe has no purpose then my life has no purpose, it can’t.

Back when Carl Sagan was doing his Cosmos, as I said, many times if you really wanted to… when you read his book, Cosmos, from which the TV series was made, or I think the book was made from the TV series or something. Anyway, I picked that up and I was looking through it because I wanted to see, here is a very thoughtful philosophic evolutionist. A tremendous pagan, really a nice committed pagan, nice teacher, committed to his students, a very clear, skillful teacher, very well liked. He had a lot of charisma, but what you want to see is where does Sagen go finally? What’s the final teleology, what’s the final purpose of the whole universe? He says the idea of the universe slowly dying a cold death, a thermodynamic cold death where all the energy finally just gets dissipated and it just becomes a cold piece of matter, he said that may sound a little depressing, but it’s not going to happen for billions of years, so in the meantime we can do good works. Does that answer the question? That’s not an answer to the question, what’s the purpose of it all? A cold death? That means there’s no purpose whatsoever. If that’s the ultimate end of everything, then what’s the motivation to do good works now; if it doesn’t count, if there’s no carryover, if it doesn’t finally matter, then it doesn’t matter!

In Scripture we’re coming down to a very serious point in the resurrection, because it introduces that eternal state, and that eternal state, the new creation, is formed out of the previous universe. In the Q&A someone asked what’s the relationship between the resurrected body and the natural body? This is a specific thing, so let’s look at that for a minute. Here’s the resurrection body, visualize the Lord Jesus Christ because that’s the only resurrection body we have around to look at. Jesus Christ rose from the dead. What’s the connection between Jesus Christ’s risen body and His natural body? What’s the connection? Are they connected? Yes they are, because what happened to Jesus’ natural body at the point of resurrection? It disappeared. When they went into the tomb they saw empty linen, there was no body there, there was no skeleton, there was no flesh, not even His clothes except that outer garment. The resurrection body replaced the natural body; the natural body was no more.

So in this new state of existence whatever the body is in the resurrection body, we’d like to know more about it, but we’ll find out one day that resurrection body corresponds in eternity to our existing body. There is a link between them; there is a correspondence. In Jesus case there were scars that were inflicted on which of His bodies, resurrection body or natural body? They were inflicted on His natural body. Were those scars carried over to His resurrection body? Yes they were. Was His Jewishness carried over into His resurrection body? Yes. Are racial character­istics, racial in a modern sense, not racial scripturally because there was only one human race, are racial character­istics carried over in the resurrection body? Yes they are, the book of Revelation, every race, every nation shall worship before God.

There’s a powerful philosophy in this and it’s sad that the conservative church in America, South Africa and other places, never thought this through. They had the biblical basis to neutralize the poison and toxin of racism but they never caught on, they never seemed to catch that racial charac­teristics are part of God’s design, and there’s no one race that is a complete picture of human­ity. The white race is not the complete picture of humanity. The black race is not the complete picture of humanity. The red races are not the complete pictures of humanity, nor are the yellow races. All four of those groups, red, yellow, black, and white, it takes them all to make a composite.

Years ago on the cover of Time Magazine they had an artist who did one of the most amazing works I’ve ever seen. Time Magazine commissioned one of their illustrators to try to put Eve on the cover of Time, and the artist very skillfully did a computer composite where he took women of different races, combined their facial structures in this picture, and what he came up with was the most intriguing woman you’ve ever seen.

In art the Mona Lisa and has this expression on her mouth, and the intriguing question is: is she smiling at you or isn’t she. You can sit there and debate because sometimes … you know is she really smiling or what. In this picture of Eve if you look at her and she’s a stunning woman, but you wonder, what race is she? She’s not mine, but she’s not really black, and she’s not really Chinese, but there’s just this haunting image of this woman. It was a classic and a lot of thought went into that, and I think it behooves us to consider that, because what that artist tried to do was to bring all the potential species, all the specifications, specialized biology’s that we all see today and we call them this race or that race, and he tried to bring it back to the fountainhead of what it must have looked like. I think he did an excellent job.

In eternity the glorification principle argues that God is going to be glorified through what He has created and what He has done in His creation. In Revelation 4 and 5 there are two classic passages of songs that are sung. These are sung before the throne of God. What we want to look at, it’s familiar to all of you because there are some hymns that use these words, but what we want to ask ourselves as we look at these two songs is, what is the logic in them? Let’s ask ourselves what does the song lyrics command us to do and why?

Revelation 4:11, “Worthy art Thou, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for” now here’s the purpose, here’s the reason for that statement in the hymn, because “Thou didst create all things, and because of Thy will they existed, and were created.” It doesn’t say natural law, it doesn’t say e=mc2, what does it say that causes the universe to hold together? The will of God. Remember Hebrews 11, by Your Word what we see has come about, not from the things which we can touch, taste or feel, but comes about from things that we can’t touch, taste or feel, the Word of God in His head, He expresses it.

So it’s important that in verse 11 the careful logic behind this hymn is not just that God created, but that He creates and He sustains and it’s all things, including Satan and evil things. Notice this because this comes to terms with this good/evil issue. Of course they weren’t evil when He created them, but the point still is, He created all things including Satan, and because of His will, they existed. It’s God’s will, and He is thanked eternally for this. So part of the glorification comes about through the revelation in creation to creatures. So the revelation is in creation and it’s to the creatures inside that creation.

In Revelation 5:9 we’ll see how this advances. “And they sang a new song, saying, ‘Worthy art Thou to take the book, and to break its seals; for Thou wast slain, and didst purchase for God with Thy blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. [10] And Thou hast made them to be a kingdom,” notice it doesn’t say four kingdoms for four races, “a kingdom, and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.” What is the motive of the praise in verse 10? It’s redemption. So revelation in creation to the creatures and it’s also revelation in His redemptive acts of history. That’s a cause for praise. If you want to see the motif, look at the Psalms. Over and over and over again the Psalmists exalt God because of His work in their lives.

Let’s back up a bit and ask a question, let’s go kind of backwards to these hymns. These hymns are in the last book of Scripture, Revelation. How come they’re not in the first book of Scripture? Why could not Revelation 9:5 be sung in Eden? Because it hadn’t happened yet. The praise is a response to God’s historic work. History is His story. So the praise is a result of certain historical events and acts that have happened. What we read in the last book of the Bible has to be in the last book of the Bible because it has to be after all these things have transpired. You can’t praise God for something He hasn’t done. You can say He’s capable of doing that, He’s worthy, but you can’t praise Him for it because it hasn’t happened yet.

The thing to remember about glorification is that it is progressive throughout history. God is progressively glorified. At each step in history man learns more and more and more and more about God. It’s a progress, until a point is reached at the end of history when apparently God is finished with work as we know it. What He’s going to do in the eternal state, that’s a whole other story. But for this history, for this cosmos, for this universe, for this story that we’re part of, He’s going to finish it. The last chapter of the book will be done and it will be done when He’s figured out that we’ve seen enough of Him, He will have done enough work that we will be capable of singing from our heart these hymns. We can’t sing these hymns from our hearts by faith trying to work it up, operation bootstrap, it doesn’t come that way. These only can actually flow out of our hearts when we have experienced what God has done in our lives, in other people’s lives, and looking at history. That’s why we have the biblical record.

Why is this book full of history? Did you ever stop to think about that? The first historians in the human race are right here. It’s not what you learn in secular school that Herodotus and the Greeks started writing history. No-no, this book was written centuries before the Greeks, and it’s about history. And the motive behind this was to record whose acts? It was to record God’s acts. That was the motive originally for history, and that is why whenever the Bible is cut off and excluded from the educational process, because of the ACLU or somebody, that’s the doom for teaching history, because take God out of history, why should I bother with it? Why bother, there’s no coherent plan left once you’ve excluded God from it. Therefore there’s no motivation, people don’t want to learn it anymore, so we replace history with courses on sex education or something.

So glorification is our doctrine and on page 111 of the notes we go through parts of this doctrine.

The part that I’m working through now is “The Glorification of God.” Go back to Genesis 4, we’ll take a quick spin through the Bible; we want to show you how the human race has gradually learned more and more about God, and has responded. In Genesis 4:26, if you look in a concordance you find that this is the first time in history that worship is mentioned, which is kind of interesting What were Adam and Eve doing, because it says, “And to Seth, to him also a son was born; and he called his name Enosh. Then men began to call upon the name of the Lord.” So worship did not start with Adam and Eve, it started later, corporate worship. So it must be that it started after the fall, after God started preaching the gospel, the protevangelium of the Genesis 3:16 promise, after they experienced the tragedy of a murder in their family, after they exper­ienced the fallout of a (quote) “dysfunctional” family this side of the fall, and then men began to worship the Lord.

You see, it takes us time to appreciate God, and worship has to be an appreciation for Him. That’s why, those of us who are concerned today, are worried about the inroads of mysticism in the church. We’re worried about the hoopla that passes for worship of God. We’re not saying that people can’t have their own ways of worship, what we’re saying is if it’s not Theocentric, if it’s just kind of like a musical orgy that makes me feel good, it pumps my emotions, that is not worship of God. Sorry. Adam and Eve could have had a boom box in Eden, but that wouldn’t have been worship. The worship started after they had a chance to reflect on God’s actions; then after heart reflection, then they began to appreciate Him and worship Him. If you tie the word “appreciate” to the word “worship” you get a more biblically correct view of what goes on here.

Let’s move to Exodus 6:3, these are picked out just so that you’ll see that it took centuries of God’s working to teach us. Or, said another way that history is in a profound way pedagogical. From Genesis 4 to Exodus 6 think how much history has gone on. Look at the framework here. Creation has happened, the fall has happened, the flood has happened, all these chaotic events have gone on, the covenant with Noah, the beginning of the next civilization has happened. Then we come on to the call of Abraham, 2000 BC, that’s happened; now we’re at the Exodus, just about at the Exodus. Look at all the events that have happened.

In Exodus 6:3, God says to Moses, “and I appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as God Almighty, but by My name, Yahweh, I did not make Myself known to them.” biblical critics have a big feast day about this because obviously the word Yahweh occurs before this, so they say see, contradiction of Scripture. No, it’s not a contradiction of Scripture. Let’s just review, what is this word that’s translated capital L, capital O, R, D, LORD, usually capitalized in your English translations just to let you know this is not the same word as Lord. Those are two different words. This word is a word which is the proper name of God; this word is a title, not a name. The proper word for God no one knows because the Jewish people lost the pronunciation of it. In Hebrew it’s [ ] it’s called the Tetragrammaton, Tetra=four, four letters, YHWH, and scholars have big debates over what does this word mean. It seems that the best explanation for it is it’s related to the verb to be. The verb to be, the stem is [ ]in Hebrew. It’s more than “I am,” the idea is “I am with you.” I am the One who is with you, in that sense the “I am.”

Does that ring a bell about something that Jesus said He was? In the text, remember that scene as the police came to Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane and if you don’t catch this name Yahweh, you don’t see what happens, what John puts in that little text. Here these guys come, they’re all armed, they’re going to take away … you know, it’s one Jewish carpenter, and they’ve got the whole police force out. Of course in behalf of them they were worried about a riot so that’s why they had overwhelming force applied to the point. So they came up and Jesus just says “I AM,” and they all fall backwards. It sounds like something’s wrong with the text here, what’s going on, why all this experience like a big flash/bang kind of thing going on here. It’s because at the point that Jesus uttered that, He was actually uttering His own essence. Remember He’s God and man. And He said “I AM the one who I AM.”

He’s saying the same thing to Moses in the burning bush. This is a revelation of Him. So if we say that the meaning equals “I AM the One Who is with you,” that name was the one that He gave when Moses asked Him, who shall I say Lord, that sent me? Tell them that “I AM” sent you. As God speaks that word, the bush is sitting there in an inferno but it’s not consumed. Many scholars believe that that is a picture of Israel. Israel was in Egypt, under intense persecution but she was never going to be exterminated. The Jews will never be exterminated, you can burn the bush all you want to burn it, but it never goes away because God is the One who is with them. So He has that name.

If that’s the meaning of it, and it’s the burning bush and Israel’s exper­ience that’s the background of that name, does Exodus 6:3 make sense now? God could have used that name before, but He says “I did not make Myself known to them” with that name. If this is the meaning of the name, how could they appreciate the meaning of the name had the Exodus not happened? Here this Jewish community was, it came out of one family, in the loins of the superpower on earth, that was hell-bent on genocide, a genocidal destruction of the Jewish popu­lation, and they survived. They not only survived, they’re the only people in the ancient world to break loose and get their freedom without fighting for it. It was rare enough, if there ever was, I’m not that familiar with ancient history in that portion of time, but if there ever was a group of people that got their freedom from a superpower, that would have been one thing, but to get their freedom from a superpower without even firing a shot, that’s quite another thing, and that’s what the Jewish people did. That’s the experience. Now they can say LORD, you are the One who was with us. They could have said the words before, but the words wouldn’t carry any content.

So here’s the progress. We’ve seen Genesis 4; men began to publicly worship the Lord. In Exodus 6 the primary name of God is given. Now let’s come to John 17, Jesus’ high priestly prayer. Again, what are we doing, we’re just simply showing progress in revelation. [blank spot: John 17:1 “These things Jesus spoke; and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, ‘Father, the hour has come; glorify Thy Son, that the Son may glorify Thee.” Verse 2, “Even as Thou gavest Him] authority over all mankind ….”

Verse 3, “And this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent.” In that sense of the use of eternal life in verse 3, could it be said that unbelievers have eternal life? No. Could it be said that in a technical sense Abraham was regenerated, etc., but life eternal, “that they may know God and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent” in time past. In other words, this side of the incarnation. There’s a progress here, Old Testament saints couldn’t even say this. This is something that is clarified on this side of the incarnation. There is a progress. In verse 8, he talks about “the words which Thou gavest Me I have given to them,” the words that he gave Jesus, they weren’t available before Jesus came to give them. So the whole New Testament is something new. Verse 14 says “… the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world,” and I’m not praying for the world in this context. John 17 represents the discussion of the Lord Jesus Christ about the progress in revelation. Now you’re even better known, God.

Then we come to a passage like Eph. 3, this is after the church gets started, the day of Pentecost, we have this new thing called the church, where Jews and Gentiles are equal, and in Ephesians 3:10 part of the being and the existence of the church has nothing to do with us. It says God is doing a work in the church “in order that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known by means of [through] the church to” whom? Believers? No. Look who the object of the preposition is there, “to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.” Those are angels. So the angels, then, didn’t know certain things about God until the church happened in history. It took Pentecost, as late as Pentecost, over the centuries before the angels saw some more stuff going on. So could the angels before Pentecost have praised God like they can after Pentecost? No because now they know more about Him, they appreciate Him more deeply.

What is our point? The point is that the doctrine of glorification means that God is progressively known through history at each point in His revelation. It’s a growing body of appreciation for His work. That appreciation is not voluntarily accepted in order to be effective. What I mean by that is that so far we’ve talked about believes responding to God’s revelation. But the Bible doesn’t leave it there. The Bible says that God is also glorified through unbelievers, and in unbelievers. Turn to Isaiah 45:23, here in the Old Testament is a passage, you’ll be more familiar with it from Philippians, but I’d rather turn to Isaiah 45 because it puts it back in its original context. We get overly familiar with it in Philippians. “I have sworn by Myself, the word has gone forth from My mouth in righteousness and will not turn back, That to Me every knee will bow, every tongue will swear [allegiance.] [46] They will say of Me, ‘Only in the LORD are righteousness and strength.’ Men will come to Him, and all who were angry at Him shall be put to shame.”

Paul picks that up in Philippians and points out that “at the name of Jesus,” we dealt with this when we were dealing with the deity of Jesus; I said one of the proofs of the deity of Jesus is you can take all these passages out of the Old Testament that talk about Yahweh and in the New Testament, lo and behold, they’re quoted verbatim and now they’re applied to Jesus. Yahweh—Jesus. If that’s not calling Jesus God, I don’t know what is. Philippians takes this passage and applies it and removes the name Yahweh and replaces it with Ihsou (’Iesou). In Philippians 2:10 watch what God does with it, powerful evidence of the exalted position of Jesus. This is why the Jews threw rocks. Do you see a flagrant substitution of Jesus in place of Yahweh, “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, [11] and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

The implication is that when good is removed from evil and Satan, his hordes, as well as unbelievers who have gone into eternity unbelieving, will be forced to acknowledge who God is, over against their heart which rebels. It’s an awful position to be in because what that means is they have to constantly be aware that they made the ultimate mistake. Talk about rubbing your nose in it forever and ever and ever, this is a horrible thing to think about, to have to eternally be reminded that you screwed up, with no hope of being saved, being delivered from that. What an awful thing. We experience it as shame, but the nice thing about the gospel is it heals the shame. But what if there was no gospel, what if you couldn’t receive God’s grace and you just sat there wallowing in your own shame. But even that is glorifying God because it says in the final analysis He is who He is and He’s holy, and I’m not. That’s the sobering side of glorification. So we’re not little naïve sentimentalists here when we articulate this doctrine of glorification.

God is glorified, glorification. He is glorified as to who He is, and we respond to that through His acts of history, His creation and His acts of history. Psalm 139 is another passage, it says He’s known everywhere in the universe, and the passage in Philippians 2 and Isaiah shows that every creature, Paul applies it to EVERY creature.

Turn to Revelation 21-22, these two chapters are the only chapters that deal specifically with the eternal state and the new universe. In Revelation 21:1, here’s the resurrection of the universe. We talked about the resurrection of Jesus Christ in the tomb; we talked about the resurrection of individual believers, but in Revelation 21:1 we have a resurrection of the whole cosmos. “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no more sea.” That’s always bothered me, I always liked to watch the ocean waves, and there’s a reason I guess why there’s not going to be a sea in the new universe. [2] “And I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. [3] And I heard a loud voice from the throne,” and here, remember the theme of God, God is Immanuel, His ultimate place is with man on planet earth, not Mars, not Venus, not a star ten light years away, but this planet. “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He shall dwell among them, and they shall be His peoples, and God Himself shall be among them. [4] And He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall no longer be any death; there shall no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain: the first things have passed away.”

What that verse is saying is what we’ve said on the diagram with good and evil, that it will be separated and once it’s fixed it won’t be liable to another disaster, another fall. So we’re talking about this state, God is good forever and ever, and it’s talking at this point it’s talking about part of that eternal state, it’s talking about the good. Verse 5, “And He who sits on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’ And He said, ‘Write, for these words are faithful and true.’ [6] And He said to me, ‘It is done.’” History is done, that mortal period. “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost,” in other words, we’ll drink freely of eternal life. One of the greatest verses on grace in the entire Scripture, I don’t want you to try to pay for it God says, you drink freely, I offer you a drink and all it takes is an act of belief and receive it like you do water.

Verse 7, “He who overcomes shall inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son. [8] But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” He goes on with a vision of Jerusalem, and then at the end of this chapter, notice verse 22. “And I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God, the Almighty, and the Lamb, are its temple. [23] And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine upon it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb. [24] And the nations shall walk by its light, and the kings of the earth shall bring their glory into it. [25] And in the daytime (for there shall be no night there) its gates shall never be closed,” thinking of Eden, when Eden was closed. [26] And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it; [27] and nothing unclean and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into it, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”

There’s that permanent exclusion that’s tied in with this whole idea of the resurrection. The resur­rection is the first brick in this house, the new house. That’s the significance of Jesus’ resurrection, it’s the first brick among many other bricks yet to be made that will together be this new heavens and this new earth. Then it says in Revelation 22:11, the permanent bifurcation of good and evil, “Let the one who does wrong, still do wrong; and let the one who is filthy, still be filthy; and let the one who is righteous still practice righteousness; and let the one who is holy, still keep himself holy.” So the invitation is to declare your allegiance because in eternity I’m going to separate it.

If you look on the diagram, page 113, this is the picture that I’m trying to get to summarize what we’re doing here. I’ll just introduce this to you so you’ll think about this as you read the notes on the glorification of man. This has an implication that we’ll take up when we talk about the Christian life, but notice the pathway. First you have creation, then you have the fall, then you have this period of mortal history, and then immortal history begins with the resurrection. And once that begins there’s no change-over, there’s two railroads parallel to each other but no cross tracks. There is a resurrection unto eternal life and a resurrection unto damnation. We’ll talk a little more about this. Look at Revelation 21-22, see if you can kind of soak in it a little bit.