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
God is glorified sequentially in time. God is also glorified in eternity. Man will ultimately be glorified in the Person of Jesus Christ because, as the Son of Man, He fulfills the destiny of man. Nature will be glorified in the new heavens and new earth. Questions and answers.
Series:Chapter 5 – The Resurrection of the King
Duration:1 hr 27 mins 52 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 148 – Doctrinal Consequence of Resurrection – Glorification (Part 2)

20 Apr 2000
Fellowship Chapel, Jarrettsville, MD

We have a new diagram in this section that I want to link to the diagram that we show all the time on good and evil. Remember back when we did this diagram where we have the good and evil coexisting for a period, we have this period in here and in the Christian view that split, at this point of the judgment, so that at that point you have God dividing the good from the evil permanently; there’s a permanent barrier that sets in there. So that’s the judgment, and that’s the fall, and that’s the creation. So you have the good, then you have it mixed, and then you have it separated.

On Figure 8 of the notes, page 113, I’ve tried to picture a thing that we’ll work through in more detail but I want to introduce it so you’ll know where we’re moving. After I diagramed this I got to thinking that if you think of this in terms of a graph, what I failed to do was put the “Y” axis on the graph, the vertical Y axis, and if you want to draw that in, then on that “Y” axis, the point where I have creation, that circle would be zero and anything under zero downward would be minus righteousness, and everything above that zero at creation would be positive righteous­ness. That’s what I’m trying to indicate by that step function there.

You start out with creation, Adam and Eve with just the righteousness of creation, but no right­eousness as a result of obedience under tests, so it starts out as zero. Then you have the fall and you go into unrighteous­ness. Then you have dwelling in unrighteousness over until the resurrection, and then the resurrection moves you all the way up to positive righteousness, just like justification, remember justification is not just-as-if-I’d-never-sinned, it’s more than that, it’s imputed righteousness added on to forgiveness. It goes above, so you don’t go back to zero, you go positive. The resurrection, what that resurrection does when it splits is two resurrections, there’s a resurrection unto eternal life and there’s a resurrection unto damnation, and at that point you have the two values and those two values correspond to the good and evil in this diagram.

So that’s what’s happening here. The resurrection administers physically the split. That’s the way the split happens in history. It’s administered spiritually at regeneration, but physically as far as the body and as far as nature goes, it’s administered right at that point and then you bifurcate. On the top of that diagram there are two periods of history, and there may be some quibble as to how I’m using these words here, but I’ve chosen to adapt the convention that everything this side of resurrection is mortal history. So I’m using that vocabulary word to refer to everything up to resurrection; after resurrection everything is immortal history. You can quibble with it because immortal means not subject to death, but the resurrection unto damnation is permanent death, so there’s a little bit of a problem with that word mirrors how it’s used in 1 Corinthians so we’ll just stick with that.

So mortal history means the period of time when you can fall, the period of time when sin is possible and salvation is possible. Mortality means it’s changeable, repentance is possible. When you go across the barrier and you get into immortal history there’s no repentance, there’s no grace. The day of grace has ended. That’s what the horror of resurrection is. I’m trying to show that, and I go back to the fact that if you look at how resurrection is pictured in the Scripture, it’s not just good news. It’s not just the sweet message of hope, it’s a message of terror’ which resurrection are you talking about. It depends. But both of them create this situation that we’ve seen over and over where God finally separates. Resurrection is the final say in that sequence of events.

That’s the vocabulary and what I want to do now is back in the notes to page 111, we’re going to go back to the theme that we ran into in the very first of the Bible, and that was creation. You remember that to the events of creation, fall and the flood we associated three great doctrines. In creation we associated the doctrines of God, man and nature. That’s what we’re going to do now at the end of history because the resurrection basically is the end point, and we have God, man, and nature again. So we’re simply working through those three doctrines all over again, but from the standpoint of the end of history instead of the standpoint of the beginning of history. At the end of history each one of these reaches a state, so we want to talk about that state that is reached in the eternal condition.

That’s why in the notes, we covered some of those verses on page 111, God’s glorification, that’s what we’re talking about here, the first of those three, God, man and nature. So we’re talking about God being glorified and I give the text of Revelation 4-5 because that shows what we mean when we say God is glorified. It means that there is historical evidence of all of His good works to the point where it’s impossible not to accord Him praise. So “worthy art Thou, O Lord, our God,” is not just an emotional response to feel good. “Worthy” at this point is a declaration of a concluding sequence of thought that says I have contemplated all of the sequence of works down through history and I have to conclude, “worthy is the Lamb.”

In our Christian life today we can’t truly say that with all of our heart because there are areas that we’ve talked about here. It goes back to this diagram, the diagram of the mix. We live inside here so there are mysteries left for us. There’s the Job situation, why do these things happen; we know that our God is good because He’s shown it other ways, but we don’t get it all together. So we see fragments and pieces of the big picture, and we take the big picture by faith in His character. That’s where we get our confidence; that’s the peace that passes all understanding, Philippians 4 says. What does it mean “passes all?” It means we can’t reason to it, that we can’t linearly reason to peace in the ordinary sense of the Word, we can’t draw a proof and say we’ve got this. What we can do is we can reason to peace in another way, and that is we see what God has done, we jump over to conclude He has this certain character and then because we have concluded He has this certain character, we trust that in the area we can’t see, we can’t see how all the details fit, it’s got to be okay. We all have that experience in the Christian life.

In here we can say He’s worthy in anticipation of the end, but the worthy that’s sung at the end of history is a real testimony to the fact that the pieces fit together now, now we see He is worthy. So when we say God is glorified we’re looking forward in time to where some of these mysteries, there will always be some mysteries because He’s incomprehensible, but the struggle we have now is resolved, and so He’s glorified. I’ve tried to indicate that He’s glorified in two ways. He’s glorified in sequence of time, and I gave a verse, Genesis 4:6, the first time men worshipped, then the next verse I cite is Exodus 6:3, that’s by My name Yahweh I was not known to Abraham. What does that mean? Yahweh occurs in the text, what do you mean it wasn’t known? It wasn’t appreciated, they used the word but they didn’t realize, oh, that’s what the word means. It’s the God who comes alongside Israel while they’re in Egypt suffering, the burning bush picture of God, that God. He is with them in the middle of the crucible of suffering, now I know what the word Yahweh means. Exodus 6:3 is where it says the fathers didn’t know Me by that name, there you have this glorification of God in time.

Here’s the sequence, here’s Abraham in 2000 BC, here’s the Exodus, 1400 BC; Abraham’s here, Moses is here, and you’ve got six centuries separating those guys. The name of God is used throughout, here, here, here, here, everybody is using His name, but it wasn’t until here where He is really known as Yahweh. What does that mean? It means after He did the Exodus and got involved in that work; oh, now I see more about who our God is. So we have a progression, this is progressive revelation. And because it’s progressive revelation it means that we can say history is designed pedagogically. History is designed to be pedagogical, that is, it’s designed to teach lessons sequentially, one, two, three, four.

One of my sons is going through his first year of teaching this particular age group and all fall he spent hours at night because every day in every course he had to design a lesson plan, and had to have it approved and go through all the ritual and bureaucracy, and go through this every night, besides grading papers and doing everything else. It’s awful for the first year teacher because you don’t have any lesson plans, you have to work that through, then the second year you can cruise a little bit because now at least you went through this material once before and you know what part of it bombed out and what part was great and you can adjust. The work becomes a little easier. But the whole idea is what takes the time is the sequence, do I teach them this first or do I teach them that first. If I teach them this way will they understand that? If I start over here will they understand this?

God did the same thing for us in history. That’s why it’s so important to think of your Bible chronologically, and when you read a passage of Scripture learn to read it, when in the sequence of the curriculum did this happen? If you’ll always remember that, whatever page of Scripture you read, place it in the sequence of revelation and it’ll help you not get fouled up by thinking that way. Just remember, when we go to the book of Revelation, that’s at the end. Is it hard to read? You bet. Why is it hard to read? Because it presumes you read the rest of the Bible. And you’re never going to get very far in those hard passages, they’re hard enough but you’re never going to even start learning them until we understand the Old Testament lessons that we’re supposed to learn before we got there. That’s like walking into a course late in the semester and what’s on the board is all French to you. That’s the idea of the Scriptures.

That’s what we mean God is glorified sequentially in time. Another verse is Ephesians 3:10 where the angels are learning something through the Church Age that they never learned before. What on earth can they learn from us? Maybe how not to do it. But whatever, it’s something about the church that angels are learning, not about us, about God through us. So even angels experience this pedagogically progressive revelation. It’s the same thing.

God is also glorified, not just in time, but the important thing to think of is that in the final analysis, when we come down to this sequence at the end, I’ve always indicated the good and evil as red and black, but what you want to remember is that when we get down to this glorification at the end, God is glorified in the black area as well as the red area. So God is glorified throughout all space. All the space of His creation, in hell and in heaven, He is glorified, which tips us off to the fact that glorification is not necessarily good news either. The whole idea of heaven and hell is that in hell or the Lake of Fire you have a creaturely existence that is perpetually and permanently doomed to experience the wrath of God, by their own choice. It’s a fearful thing to think about, and that’s the tremendous and awesome responsibility that the Bible places on human freedom. It’s so ironic that the unbelievers are always yak, yaking about well we don’t like a sovereign God because that curtails human freedom. Then we present a gospel of human freedom that results in damnation for the wrong decision, now I don’t want that choice, God shouldn’t have let me do that; well you wanted freedom. So whatever God does He’s always going to be criticized.

At this point He is glorified to those who are in heaven and He is glorified to those who are in hell, so God is glorified in space. That’s the passage that we all read in Philippians 2:9-11 which is really taken out of Isaiah 45, that’s where it first shows up historically, “God also highly exalted Him, and given Him the name which is above every name, [10] that at the name of…” in Philippians it says “Jesus,” in Isaiah it says “Yahweh,” so excuse me Jehovah’s Witnesses, you-hoo, this is saying that Jesus is Jehovah. “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth”—all the spatial realms. So justification occurs throughout. [11] “And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” It doesn’t mean that everybody willingly confesses, it’s just saying everybody will confess, some willingly and some unwillingly, but all will confess. In other words, God’s glory saturates heaven and hell. Who has the last say? God does!

Then we can turn to Revelation 21, which is the last picture we have in history and it’s highly symbolic in the sense that you’ve got to think about what is being presented, but there’s enough about it to whet our curiosity, not enough about it to satisfy it. But you’ll notice the words that are used here. In verse 1, “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth,” that answers to Genesis 1, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth,” so the Bible concludes with a new heavens and a new earth, meaning what we would translate today a new universe. So just as in that tomb, and we had discussion in the Q&A about what does the resurrection body look like, and we always say let’s go back to the tomb and you walk in the tomb and there’s Jesus clothes but there’s no bones, there’s no flesh left, all of it’s gone, just His clothes there, just garments that He was wrapped in actually. But there are no pieces of His mortal body left there. Which means that His resurrection body must have transformed out of the debris of His mortal body, just like a butterfly out of a larva, just like a tree out of an acorn, the same kind of thing.

In that analogy in verse 1, where do the new heavens and new earth come from? The new heavens and new earth come from the debris of the old universe. So obviously there’s a conflagration of the universe at the end time. With all due respect to Carl Sagan, the universe does not die a cold death; it dies a hot one, and it’s simply dissolved, as Peter says.

“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea.” I don’t know why there’s no sea, I kind of like the sea myself. But I think there’s some theology about what the sea refers to there. [2] “And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven …. [3] And I heard a loud voice,” and in verse 3 you have that theme of the Scripture, the Immanuel theme. What is Immanuel? I am with “el, El is God, Immanuel with us. That’s verse 3; the theme of Immanuel is that the home and the seat of the location of the throne of God is with the human race. It’s not with a set of Martians; it’s not some weird creature out of Star Wars on some distant galaxy far, far away. The throne of God is this planet, and it is with the human race. That’s what verse 3 means. That is the geocentric- Theocentric view of the universe that the Bible presents. It’s very offensive to people, a lot of people just bristle when you talk about this … well, I don’t think the earth is the center of the universe, that’s kind of arrogant. Actually it isn’t arrogant; what’s arrogant is to hope that He’s not going to be here so I can do what I want to and not held responsible, that’s what’s arrogant.

Verse 3 is that “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.” Notice it doesn’t say in verse 3 among the Jews. It’s universal language that’s used in Revelation 21, it’s among men, among all men. See, the Israel/Gentile distinction is gone here. [4] “And He shall wipe away ever 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.” That’s the Christian answer to suffering. That goes back to our graph that we’ve shown over and over, that only Christianity has an answer. Again look at the bottom part, if you don’t accept the Bible and you’re trying to invent your own religion or philosophy, try learning a lesson from the thousands of people that have gone before you who have tried to develop their own philosophies in religion and isn’t it interesting they all come out with the same answer, that the good and the evil, the pain and the suffering go on and on and on and there’s never any relief.

The Bible, in verse 4, clearly says this new heavens and this new universe, there is relief, it is a total restructuring. But you notice you can’t get to verse 4 until you go through verse 1. To get to the state of verse 4 takes more than a government program. It takes more than the church evangelizing; it takes more than all the missions put together in the world. It takes more than the dreams of the most totalitarian social reformer. You can’t get to verse 4 until you pass through verse 1, and there’s a reason for that, because in verse 4 when you talk about the tears in the eyes, the death, the crying and the pain, if you think biblically what do you say caused it? Go back to the cause. It wasn’t caused by failure of a government program. It was caused by sin against Almighty God and it had catastrophic repercussions. The damage sunk all the way down into the structure of our DNA in our bodies, it sunk all the way into the DNA of the plants, the animals, it sunk into the physics of the earth, it sunk into the physics of the universe. So something that is that widespread and those kind of consequences aren’t going to be removed by a simple religious act or a series of acts, or government programs, or all the political promises on earth; not going to do it, can’t do it, beyond control!

In verse 5, “And He who sits on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.” Who is saying that? “He who sits on the throne.” Is it man that calls the final whistle here? That’s what’s so interesting about Scripture. Who sets off history? In the beginning I have created all things. In the end I make all things new. So from the beginning to the end it is always the sovereign Creator God who does it and not man. Man has no part in this, absolutely no part.

Verse 8 depicts the eternal separation, “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.” That means there’s something beyond the first death, which we all experience. That’s the second death, and that’s the resurrection to damnation.

If you look further down the chapter, it describes the city and then it makes an interesting point. And I believe this to be literal; I don’t think this is just symbolic here. Verse 23, “And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine upon it, for the glory of God has illuminated it; and its lamp is the Lamb.” Whatever the glory of God is, it’s light. It takes the form of light, and we unconsciously all know that because what is the synonym for evil? Darkness! “Walk in the light.” Why do we say that? Where did that metaphor come from? Because in our hearts the syntactical structure that we use around the words “light” and “darkness” are structured by God’s design to reflect His glory.

Remember back in Genesis 1 there was a strange thing that gets people bent out of shape about light. It talks about there was day, and there was light and there was darkness and that was day one. There was darkness and light, day two; darkness and light, day three, and then God created the heavens and the stars day four. And skeptics always jumped on that and said see, that shows you how silly the Bible is, how can you have alternating twenty-four hour cycles of light and darkness without the sun and the earth rotating? Well the stunning answer to that dilemma, from the text of Genesis is that the sequence of light and darkness, that twenty-four periodicity is more fundamental than terrestrial motion, or solar positioning. The twenty-four hour cycling was embedded into the very structure of the universe; the universe glowed for twelve hours and then it got dark for twelve, there was a twenty-four hour periodicity, independently of the planets, independently of the sun, independently of the earth. All the sun does and the earth and the relative motions, they just are clocks that clock that prior periodicity. They were designed that way to capture the twenty-four cycle, but that’s all, they don’t create it, it was there before.

That alternating light and darkness goes back to mortality, that’s the mortal history. It’s not necessarily the sign of the big catastrophe in Genesis 1-2, that business of light and darkness is the fact that the first universe that God created in Genesis 1 is subject to sin and collapse. There is not a perpetual light there, and the twenty-four-hour day is to remind us that we have a choice all through­out mortal history. We have today and we have tonight, and we can be creatures of the day or we can be creatures of the night. Every twenty-four hours He reminds us of repentance. Every twenty-four hours we are reminded that we live in mortal history, just like every time we eat meat, from the Noahic Covenant we know that an animal had to die in order that we may live.

If you start thinking in these categories, then all around you you see revelation going on. It’s just that we are so schooled in secularist thinking, we have learned all our astronomy, all our biology, all our subjects in a totally foreign frame of reference, so it’s hard for us, it takes us years as Christians to dig out from all the junk that we’ve learned to get back to see what a peasant would have known in 600 BC from the text of Scriptures. We think we’re more advanced. So we have God’s glorifica­tion in space, and God’s glorification in time, and God’s glorification in the final state of affairs.

Revelation 22:3, going further, has a very important observation about this universe. It says “And there shall no longer be any curse,” what’s that talking about? Genesis 3. “There shall no longer be any curse,” again what is that saying? Separation of good and evil is a permanent thing, there’s going to be no more falls, had enough of that. The temporal mortal nature of the universe, its vulner­ability is taken away, never again, in all of our lives, and we’re all here as human beings made in God’s image, we’re going to live billions and billions of years, the lifespan that we now exper­ience will be looked upon as our childhood, back in our childhood when we lived in the dark world, this is how it was. And it’s almost inconceivable to think that we’re going to live forever and ever in a totally different universe, that’s going to look like Revelation 21-22. But that’s our ultimate home, that’s what we’re designed to do.

Now we move from the glorification of God to the glorification of man. Turn to John 5:27, this is a verse we’ve covered because I want you to remember this and not think of resurrection as just a nice little thing to think about, a great idea, etc. Here’s the authority that is passed to the Son. There’s a lesson in all this. You see these things, it’s so obvious who wrote the Bible because it’s so consistent, God is not a God of confusion, and when He writes Scripture and designs history it has a neat pattern to in. Look at this sentence, “and He gave Him authority,” let’s just look at that a minute. “He gave Him authority,” subject of the sentence, in the context it’s God the Father. So we say okay, First Person of the Trinity, “He.” “He gave Him,” the Son, “authority.” Let’s go a little deeper. If God gave the Son authority to execute judgment, why did He do so? The sentence continues, “… because He {the Son} is the Son of Man,” or the son of Adam, so somehow this authority and this giving, “gave authority” is linked to the fact that the Son is God and man, that He wasn’t given the authority until He was incarnated, the bare-naked so to speak Second Person of the Trinity, the angel of Jehovah as He occurs in the Old Testament, He wasn’t given authority to judge until He took upon Himself humanity.

That raises a question, why did God hold up this transfer of authority from the First to the Second Person, until the Second Person sort of was ready for it? What is this readiness business, that He became a man and dwelt among us, and learned obedience. But wait a minute, the Son is perfect righteousness, He’s already righteous. But the executor of this authority is the authority to execute judgment on whom? Creatures, and as the Son executes this authority He acts as a man, because He is the Son of Man. What does that tell you?

Do you remember back in Genesis 1 as God was making man, what did He say man had? Have dominion over the things that I have made. So who was the executor of authority in the universe? Who’s the head creature? Man is. Man is the head creature, so when you get down to the end and there has to be an authority of judgment executed, it isn’t done by an angel, it’s not done by an animal, it’s not done by a creature in a galaxy far, far away, it is done by a member of the human race who carries the genetic structure of Adam in Him.

Man finally has dominion, some men don’t, some men do, because you have to be “in Christ” in this new human race, but it still is a human race, it’s not a divine race, it’s not an angelic race, it’s a human race. So the Father gave authority to judge creatures to the One creature who was the Creature-Judger. And He’s the Creature-Judger because He’s a member of the human race, and it goes back to the dominion in Genesis 1. See it all fits.

Genesis 1 is so important because it sets up the categories that are never violated for the rest of the Scriptures. The entire plan of salvation comes out of those categories in Genesis. Screw those up and you might as well just collapse the rest of the Bible. People who get all kinds of fuzzy feelings in Genesis 1-11, really are sad people because they don’t realize that when you fuzzy up what’s going on back there, you eliminate stuff like this. What kind of insight does this give you if you don’t go back to Genesis and the role of man? So, “He gave Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man,” He is the God-man Savior, and we have explored the four areas of the life of Christ.

We said His birth, His life, His death and His resurrection, and we explored each one of there four areas in Christ’s life. We said what was the issue on the birth of Christ? Why is the virgin birth not just a little trivial touchdown? It’s because it’s the unification of God and man; a strange thing that happens. So the virgin birth is very important and unbelief reveals this unbelief by looking at the virgin birth and saying the guy is a bastard, Jesus is illegitimate. It has to because it tries to encompass … remember strategic envelopment, it’s trying to encompass the Lord Jesus Christ inside a framework of unbelief, we can’t accept that fact, this is incarnation, you’re crazy, it can’t be incarnation, it doesn’t happen in the universe. Well it did happen because the universe isn’t the way you thought it was.

Then His life: what did we say the issue of His life was? That He is the ultimate revelation of God, because He is pure, because He is obedient, He reveals God as no other creature reveals God. What did we say about the death of Christ? He paid the price, there’s God’s grace, so He could be the executer of the judgment, but He’s also the payer of the penalty. And the resurrection is He’s reached the end of the track and He’s successful, He’s now starting the new universe.

So John 5:27 is the giving of authority to execute judgment, He’s the Son of Man. [28] “do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs shall hear His voice.” Not some, not just Christians, “ALL who are in the tombs shall hear His voice, [29] and shall come forth,” not just Christians. ALL will hear and ALL will come forth, “those who did good deeds, to resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment.” That’s the final act, as it were, of the Lord Jesus Christ in history. This is this person, now, that walked around in Palestine, that’s His position at the end of history.

Man is glorified; man is glorified here in what sense? How does Jesus glorify man? Because as the Son of Man He fulfills the destiny of man, and by looking at the Lord Jesus Christ in His humanity we see what men ought to be like. They ought to be like that, the way God designed them to be. Where can we find a model to find out what men ought to be? The Lord Jesus Christ. There was an experience by some university students I knew years ago, the Christians at this campus had a neat deal because they had some real anti-Christian professors, but what the Christian students did is get together and scoped these guys out, because this is what the unbelievers do to Christians, the favorite trick in a university course if the professor really wants to smoke out the Christians he’ll say some little thing or he’ll get a discussion going and then he goes around saying, yeah, you’re a Christian, I can tell, and then he goes after them the rest of the semester. I’ve watched it; I’ve been in courses where that happened. The Christians did the same thing; they figured okay, two can play that game. So they talked to all the students that took the guy’s course the semester before, find out his notes, find out his vulner­abilities, find out how he smokes them out, and then avoid him. When he tries to bait, they don’t bite. So now he doesn’t know who’s a Christian or not, because they’re not coming out this time.

In on course they had a discussion about who would make the greatest leader. The teacher got on the board and started writing all these characteristics of what would be the ideal social/political leader. So they wrote down he had to be brilliant, he had to know his business, but also in order to be leader had to have lived in the [can’t understand word] areas, he had to share the hurts of the people, so this started going on down. You can see where I’m leading with this, that here’s a class of unbelievers, with an unbelieving professor, trying desperately, because they’re all made in God’s image, they may deny it, you know, I came from monkeys, I gave up my bananas and jumped out of the trees, but nevertheless, I’m not really a monkey I’m a real person made in God’s image. So even if I act like a monkey I think like a person made in God’s image from time to time. At this time, sure enough all these things are written on the blackboard.

So one girl sitting in the back of the room saved up, she didn’t fly her flag because this guy would shoot, but he couldn’t shoot this particular semester because they weren’t flying flags. He walked into this one, he had about 20 or 30 characteristics on this blackboard in front of about 100 students, so she’s sitting in the back and says okay, I got you this time. He’s asking, does this remind you of anybody, do we know a leader, Martin Luther King or George Washington, Julius Caesar, and she raises her hand, “I think it was the Lord Jesus Christ.” Quiet, you could hear a pin drop. I’m sure you’ve all been in those situations when, just from the back of her room with all her voice she said that. For a stunned instant that entire lecture hall couldn’t recover, the professor didn’t know what to say, because he walked into it, because everyone in the room when they finally saw these characteristics said of course, that’s it.

The point of it all was that here, unconsciously the world seeks the Lord Jesus Christ because He is the One who is the ideal model. What’s so interesting about this case where He is given authority is that this is not an abstraction. The professor was thinking in terms of an ideal leader, George Washington and all these other guys, they had their faults and they fit 15 out of the 32 features, but there was a gap, etc. but no one person could possibly fit all these things. Well the Christian says yes there is one person that fits all these things.

There’s something concrete and that’s what we mean by man is glorified. He is glorified because of the work of Christ. Not only is Christ the model, but Christ in His treatment and nurture of believers is growing for the future creatures who are sons and daughters of Adam and Eve who will rule as man was designed to rule. So there’s the glorification of man.

Now we go on, and there are two quotes here that I want to look at. I’m going to give you three quotes, two on page 115. One is by Jacques Ellul: “From the beginning man worked desperately [blank spot, quote continues to have his own little world, independent of all that God desired. And God will give him the perfect work which he himself could not bring about.] God will release man’s setting. But in his new world one of man’s desires will not be a satisfied: the desire for the absence of God. Man wanted to build a city from which God would be absent, but he never managed. God will make for him the perfect city, where he will be all in all.”

I want to go to another quote that’s so powerful by C. S. Lewis, I’ve always been impressed by this, page 117. “It is a serious thing to live in a society,” this is so neat when you think of people and particularly obnoxious people, the people that give you a hard time and when you’re having a hard time with them, that’s when this particular quote means most, when you’re dealing with difficult people.

“It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or the other destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations—these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit—immortal horrors or everlasting splendors. This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of that kind (and it is in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously—no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption. And our charity must be real and costly love, with deep feeling for the sins in spite of which we love the sinner—no mere tolerance or indulgence which parodies love as flippant merriment. Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself,” that’s his Anglican background, “your neighbor is the holiest object present to your senses. If he is your Christian neighbor he is holy in almost the same way, for in him also Christ vere latitat—the glorifier and the glorified, Glory Himself, is truly hidden.” I love Lewis’ point in the early part, “potential gods and goddesses,” that captures what we’re talking about, man glorified ultimately in the immortal state.

Going back, page 116 the glorification of nature. Revelation 21-22 started with a new environment for man. It says “a new heavens and a new earth.” You’ll notice that they are similar, this new heavens and new earth. It’s not heaven, see this is one of the things we have to be careful of; we can get ourselves thinking like the pagan Greeks if we’re not careful, by constantly talking about heaven like we’re sort of fairies that float around in the air, that’s heaven. That’s not the ultimate state. We may die and be absent from the body and face to face with the Lord so there’s an interim existence between death and resurrection, yes, there’s interim existence but that interim existence is not the ultimate final state of affairs. In the final state of affairs, Revelation 21 say there’s a new heavens and a new earth. We’re used to living in the heavens and the earth, we’re used to seeing stars, we’re used to walking around with rocks, trees, vegetation, that happens in the new heavens and new earth. How, I don’t know, but it’s there.

The point is that these natural things around us are there by God’s design and will forever be there by God’s design. The new heavens and the new earth is to the old heavens and old earth like the resurrection body is to our mortal bodies; there is a correspondence. So this heaven that we’re talking about, we must be careful, it’s not heaven as such, it’s a heaven and earth, there’s a new earth as well as a new heaven. There’s grass to grow, there are trees, going back to Revelation 21 think of what we see there. In Revelation 22:2, “And on either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.” There you have … what was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the garden? It was so healing that God got men out of there. Why? Because it would have given us eternal life as fallen creatures. He didn’t want Adam and Eve to go through the [can’t understand word] of resurrection/damnation right there in the garden, and get frozen into a perpetual existence in sin. He wanted a chance for redemption. So here in verse 2 it’s talking about water, it’s talking about streets, it’s talking about trees, it’s talking about fruit on the trees. Did Jesus eat in His resurrection body? Yes, not only did He eat He cooked some dinner for the guys, had a party. So you can’t think of the resurrection body in such esoteric super-hyper-spiritual ways.

What it does for me in my thinking is when I look out and I see plants and I see physical realities, different kinds of rocks, the sky and the clouds, I think they’ll be here forever in some shape or form. This environment we live in, the good parts of it, will live forever. It’s hard for us some­times, we see the storms, we see the disease, the famine, the drought, so it’s hard for us to separate from this physical environment the good stuff from the bad stuff. But the Bible says this has good stuff in it and that’s going to go on forever and ever. He’s not going to do away with matter. When we start thinking that way we get into Gnosticism and the Greek way of thinking, that these bodies are evil. These bodies aren’t evil, they’re fallen bodies but the body before the fall wasn’t evil. Adam and Eve didn’t have evil bodies; the Lord Jesus Christ didn’t have an evil body. Our bodies are evil, but that’s because they share the fall, but that doesn’t mean you throw the baby out with the bath water. Just because our bodies are fallen doesn’t mean all bodies have to be fallen. No. It’s the same with nature out there, nature, because it’s fallen it groans, Romans 8 says, it groans waiting for our redemption. It’s still going to be there; it isn’t done away with.

So we’ve talked about the doctrine of God’s glorification, man’s glorification and nature’s glorification. That’s the biblical event of the future. We don’t have that much text to go on but that’s the important highlights of it. Next week we’re going to deal with how to apply this doctrine of glorification.

Maybe we can think through some of the stuff that we covered. What we’re dealing with now in the doctrine of glorification is material that you really have to mine from very few Scriptures, but it’s important because it gives us the future picture. It gives us a little bit about the goal of where things are moving. The way to think about a lot of it is to contrast it in your head with what the world presents as a goal. If you start asking yourself that question, start saying okay, that’s what the Bible says is our future, now what does the secular world say is our future? You start asking that question and think about it, they’re not saying too much. It’s relatively a trivial answer that’s ever given, and the only secular philosophy that had a vision of the future was communism. That’s why a lot of students who knew the ideals would die for communism.

This is why the Viet Cong in Vietnam did what they did, where they got their strength from to endure. I mean, we carpet bombed them with B-52s, dropping thousand pound bombs, they would rupture your insides if you were anywhere near half a mile from the burst of the bomb, and blow out your ear drums if you were within a mile of it. These people endured carpet bombing and everything else. It was because they were well taught. I’ve read the National Security Agency’s interrogations of the Viet Cong and Vietnamese prisoners in the war, and they said these kids, 17, 18, 19 years old, and they were not just parroting communism, they had learned it so well they could think it; quite an indictment about educational systems. But that’s why they were able to ….

People who have an eschatology, a self-conscious eschatology are unstoppable. That’s why we should be unstoppable and really very, very tenacious and persistent people, because we have a defined eschatology, we know where we’re going, we know where history is going and we know that the Lord has the final say. So no matter what happens, we’re not intimidated. A good powerful eschatology keeps you from being intimidated by the world, because you know they’re losers. In the final analysis every person who is not trusting the Lord Jesus Christ is an eternal loser, so why be intimidated by losers.

Question asked, what’s the eschatology of communism? Clough replies: The eschatology of communism was the supposedly classless society where you would have prosperity in a class­less environment. The irony is that communism historically produced a very powerful totalitarianism everywhere it went; the irony is it’s exactly opposite to what its eschatology called for. Communism originally got its eschatology, by the way, from the Bible. Do you know how it did it?

There was a Jewish scholar by the name of Norman Cohen who wrote a book, I forgot the name of it, and he traced the communist eschatology, the communist idea of the future, this goal of a perfect society, he traced it; there’s two lines, one goes back to Hegel because Marx philosophically followed Hegel, but Hegel wrote a book, he wrote an essay something about the fourth kingdom or something like that. Immediately that language should gel, fourth kingdom, where have I heard that before? Hegel got it from the book of Daniel.

So it’s an interesting trip, it went from the Bible to Hegel to Marx. The other interesting thing is that Marx was also in Germany where there was a radicalism of peasants who were basically coming out of Reformation Theology, like a postmillennial view, and there were some radical cults in Germany and somehow he was associated … I’ve forgotten the whole linkage but the big idea is that there was lots of roots that the only secular eschatology that had any power to it was a rip-off from the Scriptures. That’s what’s so interesting, because apart from the Scriptures there’s no hope for the future. Carl Sagan can talk all he wants to about the passage of time, but that’s all he’s got is the passage of time, hoping that the probabilities are going to pop up something good after while given a million tries.

Question asked: Clough replies: That’s right, and that’s why a strong eschatology on the part of unbelief is such a rare thing. I think the explanation why communism latched on to a lot of people is that deep down inside the most ardent atheist or communist is still made in God’s image. They may not be able to articulate why they think this way, but I think it’s the strong call of their very being that says that there’s got to be something better and if we’ve got to tear down and over­throw we’ve got to do it, we’ve got to do it! What did we say between the fall and the judgment? Is the universe normal or abnormal? It’s abnormal. Why do we cry over someone who’s died? Why is there the pain over someone when we die? If that’s part of our normal existence, why are we bothered by it? But we are. We never get, I don’t think you ever get used to looking at death. I don’t think a doctor ever gets used to that, but it’s because we’re not made for this world. So I’d say that the answer to your question is that the creation of the image of God in their hearts got mixed up with a false idea and it’s tangled up, and it can’t separate it.

Question asked, something about C. S. Lewis and how cruel Satan is: Clough replies: It may even be more strange than that; it may be that Satan himself is deluded enough to think he has a fighting chance. Why does he try so hard? If he were really convinced that he was a loser, what makes him keep on going, unless it’s to stave off what he thinks is inevitable. But the fact is he’s working awfully hard. So the endeavors of Satan seem to argue that he still thinks he has a chance. So what we have here, if that’s the case, then we have the most brilliant creature who has ever been made, the most brilliant creature that has ever been made, also the most deceived. The conclusion is that intelligence doesn’t save you, if that’s true, because all intelligence does is when you’re perverted and deceived you really are a fascinating work of art, because you’re so consistently deceived and so seriously perverted that you really are a case.

Question asked: Clough replies: That’s kind of interesting because it’s almost an intellectual version of reincarnation. [same guy says something else] It’s been years since I’ve read Nietzsche so I’m completely cold on his writings. I just remember that I think he was the origin of the concept of the super man, [same guy says yes] in western culture. And I also remember reading how some of the intellectuals that helped along Nazism in Germany were infatuated with Nietzsche.

[There is discussion, several people say things, there’s laughter, all unintelligible] Clough says: Yeah, it’s a perversion of sacrifice, and that’s why you see these dedicated people historically the students that give their lives for communism. You wonder what is going on here. And they actually had a lot more dedication than people who were the anti-communists, because a secular anti-communist doesn’t have much of a platform to stand on.

Someone says something about if there’s nothing worth living for, there’s only something worth dying for … Clough says: The ultimate thing to think about here when we talk about the context of life, we have the word environment, let’s just use that word for sake of argument. Who controls the environment? The ultimate environment, the eternal long-range environment? What does that environment look like? What are its principles, what are its design, what are its goals, and when you start asking that ultimate environment question we’re back again to the fact of the Hebrews idea that the things which we see did not come out of the things which appear, it comes out of the Word of God. So there’s a design there, but it’s coming from outside of man, and God controls the environment. The environment didn’t get out of control because Adam and Eve fell. The environment disintegrated but under whose curse? Who cursed the environment? It was God who cursed it. So even the decay pattern as a result of the sin itself, and the design of God, and He’s in control of that. That’s encouraging to know that that environment will one day be catastrophically and miraculously transformed. That’s the message of Revelation 21-22.

Question asked about the sequence of Lucifer’s fall versus the fall of man … the issue of Gen. 1 with the separation of light and darkness prior to the creation of the sun and stars: Clough replies: Down through church history there have been two answers to that question. One is that the fall of the angels obviously occurred before the fall of man because Satan was a tempter. So we know that the angels had to fall before man. The question is, when did the fall take place? Did it take place prior to the creation of the present universe? Or did it take place after the creation of Adam, prior to the fall? A gap, by the way, which we don’t know how long it is; we’ve got it bracketed, but we don’t know exactly.

Within orthodox scholarship there are two answers to the question. I at one time held to the idea of the fall being prior to the material universe but I’ve come more and more to think of it as occurring after Adam was created, probably because of it, because if man was created to be the ultimate ruler of the universe, that means angels aren’t, and there may be a jealousy factor there; that may explain why the fallen angels and Satan are so hateful and so resent man. In the New Testament, in Corinth of all places, the most screwed up church in the New Testa­ment, it’s said don’t you know that you will judge the angels one day. It’s a hard hitting text. So the angels turn out to be very interesting creatures and they play a role in history.

There are two ways of handling it, you could say the darkness and the physics of the darkness in Genesis 1 is the ramification and revelation of a fall that had occurred previously, the darkness at the beginning of the chaos, etc. Or you can say that that is a chaotic condition that that was dark physically and was later seen to be a revelation of evil as a teaching device. In other words, it’s the blackboard on which God is illustrating things. Why did He make a lamb like a lamb? It’s to show Christ. Why did He make a lion like a lion? To show Christ. Why did He make darkness? To show what evil is. It’s like a teacher has his flannel graphs. So you can think of it that way.

It’s not like this is some big test of orthodoxy. Where I think it becomes a test of orthodoxy is what happened in the early 1900s with the idea …in the early 1900s because Scofield wrote his Bible, he tried to do something good. Scofield was a good man. By the way, the Scofield Bible probably saved the church from a total capitulation of liberalism in the 20s and 30s, and it saved Oxford Press from bankruptcy in the middle of the depression. People forget Oxford University Press was kept floating in the depression by its sale of Scofield Bibles. The Scofield Bible people in the 1900s tried to argue, they started with that, the angels falling before Genesis 1:2 but then what they tried to add on to that, that we object to as creationists, is they tried to say we can compress all the ages of the universe back there. So they shoved the Pleistocene, they shoved the Paleozoic era, the Mesozoic era, scraped it all into this gap and then they said whew, we’ve got that taken care of, now we can go on. The problem is once you do that, what do you do with day four? What do you do with the flood? The flood becomes a trivial event because it doesn’t leave any geological evidence because the geologic evidence is all caused by stuff before Genesis 1:2. So that’s why that use of the gap for apologetic purposes I vehemently object to, because I think it gives Christians a false sense of they’ve solved a problem that they haven’t really solved.

Question asked, is it possible that the fall of the angels could have happened at the exact time of the fall of man [can’t hear clearly] if Satan decides to trip up man and that’s the first sin and he’s falling at the same time that Eve’s falling at the same time that Adam’s falling, it’s all happening in that same period and then boom, the cursings …: Clough replies: Here’s what happens, there’s a structure. Both these views have a structure, it’s like we always say, don’t ever think of one verse in isolation because if you have one thought it’s structured. What I’m saying is that the view that you’re taking, which is a variant of the general view that Satan had to have fallen after the finish of creation, but before Adam fell or at the same time, but it doesn’t really make too much difference to the argument.

So what has to happen, if I want to hold to a pre-creation fall of angels, if I want to move the fall of the angels backwards in time, then what has to happen to get around Genesis 1:31 which God says my handiwork is very good, what I have to then say is that the handiwork that He’s saying is very good is a fix-up job on what messed up. The danger I see in doing that it takes the whole works of Genesis 1 and makes them less than a total creation. Now good Christians will argue well that’s okay, He can still save it by referring to John 1 and other passages. All I’m saying is that it seems to me that the nation Israel, who had to live in a polytheistic mythical environment where there were gods and goddesses of the creation all around them, it’s strange that their ground document which would have been Genesis, is picturing their God of Israel as a fixer-upper but not as a grandiose Creator of all things. It seems to me their faith would have needed a core statement that Yahweh is the God of all, and I think that you see that in Exodus 20 when God Himself speaks from Sinai and He talks to the people and He says I want you guys to take it easy on the Sabbath day because I took six days and I made all that are in the heavens and the earth, and He makes His making contingent on that Genesis 1 narrative. Well if He did that and He’s really only saying I made the material universe, the problem the Israelites had was with the immaterial demonic forces in their environment.

So the polemic of Exodus 20 would then be weakened, it would be a polemic only of I made the material universe, I didn’t make the background universe. I think in order to survive spiritually their faith needed to have a universal Creator of all things, including the unseen forces of darkness. And that would have had to have been stated clearly and I think Genesis states it clearly.

So that’s a very strong argument, particularly when everything left the fingertips of God it was very good. Where some people have a problem with that is if you look in Ezekiel it looks like there’s an expanse between the time I created you until evil was found in you, that text about the fall of Satan. That may be a result of the fact we don’t understand time properly, because Dr. Humphreys, if you read his little book, I advise you all to get that little book, Starlight and Time, it’s a little book, it’s actually a chapter out of a forthcoming big book that he’s trying to write but never finishes, but that book is his explanation of time problems. He shows that if you take the Genesis narrative as telling us that the universe started with a compressed ball of matter, but unlike the big bang idea it was H2O, there were only two elements in existence, hydrogen and oxygen, water, and that was the ball that was created there in Genesis 1:1-2, and then out of that God created all the other elements, that’s the land coming into existence, then the fourth day He expanded the heavens and the earth, and he’s got good exegetical reason because the Hebrew always pictures the heavens in terms of a tent.

The Bedouin lie down in their tents at night and look up and the picture in the Hebrew is they took this heaven and He went like this with it, He expanded it, which then, to make a long story short, Humphries points out that this has enormous implications for time because time seems to vary by the density of gravity. So his argument is that if you had a stop watch and you were on the earth, standing on the planet earth on the fourth day and you clocked the time, you’d look here and when God finished His work it would be twenty-four hours, twelve hours of day, twelve hours of night. But if, on the other hand, you took the watch and you got yourself in a rocket ship and you were following the edge of the universe as He expanded it, and you were looking at your watch, you’d find billions of years had gone by so that on the rim of the expansion time is going like this.

Since the angels occupy the heavens, for them it might have been a long time. So Ezekiel, when it seems to have that long time language in there it might be genuine because from the angelic point of view it might have seemed to them like a long time. In other words, what I’m saying is you’ve got to be cautious about how we understand time; there are strange things that happen. You can prove that because clocks that are at sea level and clocks where the gravitational constant is less go faster. You can prove that because you can put a clock on a mountain top and a clock down at sea level and they do not keep the same time. So time is distorted that way.

Question asked: Clough replies: I take that position, and the argument that I got … the more I thought about that is that we’ve got to preserve the power and the size of the claim that God created the heavens and the earth, and if you don’t do that, what you have is I repaired the heavens and the earth, and yes, if He repaired [can’t understand word/s] that doesn’t destroy His deity but it just kind of does something to it, it doesn’t quite make Him come off like He’s a powerful God.

Question asked, are there any indications as to how much time there might have been from …. Clough replies: Well Adam didn’t get very old, it wasn’t that long between the time he was created and the time he fell, I don’t know how long it is, I really haven’t studied that matter. But obviously Adam has a finite time interval in his life, it had to happen sometime in there, and it had to happen before the birth of his son, so you can back up your time there, so you can bracket that time.