God’s Face Shining Upon Us #5

Thursday, September 10, 2020

God be merciful unto us, and bless us; and cause his face to shine upon us; Selah (Psalm 67:1 KJV).

For the next several days, let us study Psalm 67 and see how it is but a small glimpse into the future.

The Mount of Transfiguration actually previews Christ’s Second Coming. Matthew records: “[16:27] For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. [28] Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom. [17:1] And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, [2] And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.” Did you see how Jesus’ “face” glowed? This foreshadows His glorious return, when He radiates before the nation Israel!

In Paul’s Gospel, we see the invisible Godhead manifested in the Person (“face”) of Jesus Christ. Second Corinthians chapter 4: “[3] But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: [4] In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. [5] For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. [6] For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. [7] But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.”

King David, representing Israel’s Little Flock expecting Christ’s return, prayed: “Make thy face to shine upon thy servant: save me for thy mercies’ sake” (Psalm 31:16). As the Levitical high priests blessed Israel—“The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee” (Numbers 6:25)—so the Lord Jesus Christ will do it prophetically! 🙂

Fury Turned Away? #5

Monday, October 16, 2017

And tarry with him a few days, until thy brother’s fury turn away; Until thy brother’s anger turn away from thee, and he forget that which thou hast done to him: then I will send, and fetch thee from thence: why should I be deprived also of you both in one day? (Genesis 27:44,45 KJV).

How does this “fury” compare to Almighty God’s anger?

Second Peter 1:16 again: “For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.” This, along with verses 17 and 18, refers to the Mount of Transfiguration in Matthew 17:1-8. To silence contemporary Bible critics, Peter insists he personally witnessed a preview of the glory of Christ’s coming; he is writing at the end of his life (1:13-15), approximately 30 to 35 years after Calvary. Throughout Christ’s earthly ministry (Matthew through John) and early Acts (chapters 1-7), the Lord Jesus and His 12 Apostles preached about divine wrath coming upon Israel.

John the Baptist preached to the unbelieving Jews just prior to the beginning of Jesus’ earthly ministry. Matthew chapter 3: “[11] I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: [12] Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.This “fire,” “unquenchable fire,” is said to be coming within their lifetime. Yet, there was no such wrath at Christ’s First Coming, even after Israel rejected and crucified Him.

After Calvary and Christ’s ascension to Heaven, the Holy Spirit led Peter to preach on Pentecost, Acts chapter 2: “[34] For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, [35] Until I make thy foes thy footstool. [36] Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made the same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.” Christ is again said to be coming in wrath to judge His enemies….

His Son #5

Sunday, October 23, 2016

“God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Hebrews 1:1-3 KJV).

What can today’s Scripture teach us?

The Bible says Jesus Christ’s earthly ministry was to the nation Israel only. Jesus Himself stated, “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matthew 15:24). Romans 15:8 affirms: “Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision [Israel] for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers.” These “fathers” are the “fathers” of today’s Scripture—Israel’s patriarchs. Jesus Christ’s earthly ministry (Matthew through John) continues what started in Genesis through Malachi, and early Acts (according to the Book of Hebrews) continues Christ’s earthly ministry.

Reading again from Hebrews chapter 2: “[1] Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. [2] For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward; [3] How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord [Matthew through John—“Hear ye My Son”], and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; [4] God also bearing them witness [in the early Acts period], both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will? [5] For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak.”

Reviewing thus far, we know that, whether in the Four Gospels, or early Acts (Hebrews), God is urging Israel to listen to His Son. In Jesus Christ alone will they find salvation (deliverance) from sin, Satan, and the “wrath to come….”

His Son #4

Saturday, October 22, 2016

“God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Hebrews 1:1-3 KJV).

What can today’s Scripture teach us?

Jesus’ earthly ministry began with Father God announcing from Heaven: “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17). “Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Mark 1:11). “Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased” (Luke 3:22).

Near the end of Jesus’ earthly ministry, the Transfiguration occurred. Two individuals appeared with Jesus—Moses (Law) and Elijah (Prophets). As the Law and the Prophets foretold Jesus’ death, so Moses and Elijah discussed that death on the Mount. Father God spoke from Heaven again: “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him(Matthew 17:5). “This is my beloved Son: hear him(Mark 9:7; Luke 9:35). For Israel, there is insight from God beyond the Law and the Prophets. Any Jews who refuse to listen to Jesus are depriving themselves of further revelation from the God of Abraham.

In light of today’s Scripture, God’s Son speaking, Hebrews chapter 2 warns Israel: “[1] Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. [2] For if the word [the Law] spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward; [3] How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; [4] God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?”

Let us examine this passage a little more closely….

A Family Reunion in Heaven

Saturday, June 7, 2014

“Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words” (1 Thessalonians 4:17,18 KJV).

Will we recognize our loved ones in heaven? (Indeed!)

Besides us dying in our sins and going to hell, or our relatives and friends dying in their sins and going to hell, the worst pain associated with living in this sin-cursed world is relatives and friends dying in Jesus Christ and going to heaven.

We Christians anticipate the day when we will be reunited with loved ones who have died in Jesus Christ (today’s Scripture): commonly called “the Rapture,” from the Latin word translated “caught up” in today’s Scripture, when Jesus Christ will return to earth to receive unto Himself all members of the Church the Body of Christ, living and deceased (see verses 13-18). Moreover, the question often arises, “Will we be able to recognize our loved ones?” After all, we have not seen some of them in many years or decades. (They are enjoying such fellowship with Jesus Christ and each other they do not know how long it has actually been!)

The following Scriptures cause us to believe that we will certainly recognize our loved ones in heaven:

  • Firstly, on the Mount of Transfiguration, Apostles Peter, James, and John recognized Moses and Elijah (Matthew 17:4; Mark 9:5; Luke 9:33)—Moses and Elijah lived several centuries earlier!
  • Secondly, the Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Thessalonians 2:19,20: “For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming? For ye are our glory and joy.” Led by the Holy Spirit, Paul implied that he would recognize the Thessalonians when the Lord returned to take us to heaven.
  • Thirdly, Jesus Christ’s resurrected body looked just as it did before He died (John 20:19-29).

We have every reason to believe that, in heaven, we will look basically the same way as we do now (minus physical imperfections, effects of aging, et cetera). What a day that will be! 🙂

The King, the Donkey, and the Horse #5

Sunday, July 28, 2013

“…[T]he sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow” (1 Peter 1:11 KJV).

The King appeared once, and He shall return….

Society is becoming increasingly hostile toward Christianity (Jesus Christ never was popular with mankind anyway!). The Bible abounds with verses that discuss Jesus Christ reigning over this planet. After all, “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created” (Revelation 4:11). Creation was to originally glorify its Creator, the Lord Jesus Christ, but a usurper, a trespasser, Satan, desires that worship. Hence, there exists “this present evil world” (Galatians 1:4; cf. 1 John 5:19). If Jesus Christ is to reign over this planet, all individuals who oppose His will must be forcefully evicted first.

In the book of the Revelation, the Holy Spirit through the Apostle John summarizes all of the Old Testament prophecies of Jesus Christ’s return to earth (those not fulfilled at His first coming). He came once—meek and lowly to “suffer” and die for man’s sins (today’s Scripture). Now, He is coming back to righteously judge whoever rejects that sacrifice He made at Calvary, to dispossess the earth from Satan and purify it so as to reign over that creation that was originally made for Him—“the glory that should follow” (today’s Scripture).

Jesus Christ Himself foretold, “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory” (Matthew 25:31). We see a brief glimpse of that “glory” at the Mount of Transfiguration (Matthew 16:28–17:8; Mark 9:1-8; Luke 9:27-36).

At His Second Coming, Jesus Christ will leave the third heaven, with tens of thousands of mighty angelic soldiers following Him. They will glide over the Middle East, utterly conquering Satan and his troops gathered against believing Israel (Psalm 68:1-35; Psalm 83:1-18; Isaiah 63:1-6; Joel 3:1-16; Zechariah 14:1-5; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9; 2 Thessalonians 2:8; Jude 14,15; Revelation 19:11-21; et al.). With the opposition gone, Jesus Christ can dismount His horse and reign over earth….

A Glimpse of the Kingdom of God

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

“But I tell you of a truth, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:27 KJV).

What did the Lord mean in today’s Scripture?

Our Lord is speaking of three apostles in particular, as the next verses (28-36) explain. In the verse previous to today’s Scripture, He spoke of Himself “coming in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels” (verse 26).

Notice how Matthew and Mark record that verse: “Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom” (Matthew 16:28). “And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power” (Mark 9:1).

If we consider today’s Scripture in light of Matthew 16:28 and Mark 9:1 (above), we understand that these verses describe Christ’s glorious Second Coming to establish His earthly kingdom. Reading Matthew 16:28–17:8, Mark 9:1-8, and Luke 9:27-36, we realize that Jesus, in today’s Scripture, is referring to the Apostles Peter, John and James, who saw His radiant body on the Mount of Transfiguration. Essentially, Peter, John, and James saw a preview of Christ coming in His glory at His Second Coming to set up His kingdom on earth. The Lord’s appearance was glowing white, and His clothes were whiter than bleached garments!

Matthew 25:31 says: “The Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:” Paul, in 2 Thessalonians 2:8, refers to “the brightness of [Christ’s] coming.” Peter, describing Christ’s kingdom, writes in 1 Peter 1:11, “the glory that should follow.” Many years after Christ’s earthly ministry, John later saw some of that glory when he later just before he wrote the book of the Revelation: “and [Christ’s] countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength” (1:16).

What a glorious day Christ’s Second Coming will be!

God Has Already Spoken to Us

Sunday, August 5, 2012

“We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (2 Peter 1:19-21 KJV).

Does God communicate with us through hunches, feelings, emotions, visions, dreams, and “soft, still” voices in our heads? These are subjective: they are tentative because they vary amongst individuals. We need an objective standard, something trustworthy and unchanging—God’s written Word, the Holy Bible.

God did communicate with man via theophanies (God appeared in a physical body and spoke to people; Genesis 3:8,9; Genesis 18:1; et al.). Through angels, visions/dreams, supernatural spiritual gifts, and prophets, He relayed His messages to people (Daniel 9:22,23; Matthew 1:20-24; Acts 10:3; 2 Corinthians 12:1; et al.). But, according to 1 Corinthians 13:8-13, these temporary things—partial wisdom and partial knowledge—were done away when complete wisdom and complete knowledge were brought in.

When was complete wisdom and complete knowledge brought in? As soon as God’s written Word was completed (nearly 2000 years ago), God’s will was fully revealed to man. In the King James Bible’s 66 books we know everything that God wants us to know. Visions, apparitions, “prophetic words” from a preacher’s lips, and angelic appearances are not God’s methods of communication with us.

In the context of today’s Scripture (verses 16-18) the Apostle Peter recounts the time on the Mount of Transfiguration when he, James, and John saw Jesus Christ in His glorified form (Matthew 17:1-8; Mark 9:2-8; Luke 9:28-36). But Peter says we have “a more sure word of prophecy.” The Bible is more reliable than experiences we can see with our physical eyes.

We have God’s revealed and written Word preserved in English in the King James Bible. The Bible is the Final Authority, not religious tradition or a preacher’s hunches.

The Glory of Our Lord Jesus Christ #4

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

“But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thessalonians 2:13,14 KJV).

Saints, today’s Scripture tells us that through Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork at Calvary—Paul’s Gospel of 1 Corinthians 15:1-4—we can now obtain “the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.” In Christ, we have acquired the righteous status before God that Adam had prior to mankind’s fall into sin. God has redeemed our souls from sin and hell and He has given us a new identity in Christ. But, our vile physical bodies have not yet been redeemed from sin’s curse, so we cannot see the glory of that new identity. At the rapture, we will receive glorified physical bodies, and the glory we have in Christ will be manifested (Romans 8:18-25).

Our Lord Jesus Christ “dwells in the light which no man can approach unto” (1 Timothy 6:16). Christ is so holy that light emanates from His body (remember the Mount of Transfiguration?). When the ascended Lord Jesus appeared to Saul of Tarsus (the future Apostle Paul), Saul was blinded for three days because of “the glory of that light” (Acts 9:1-9; Acts 22:5-11; Acts 26:12,13). This is the glory of God that dwells in us; we just cannot see it right now.

Currently, we live in these limited physical bodies that cannot reflect the glory of Christ that we have inside (in the inner man). That will change at the rapture. “As we have borne the image of the earthy [these physical bodies linked to fallen Adam], we shall also bear the image of the heavenly [the glorified bodies that will reflect Christ’s glory; Philippians 3:20,21]” (1 Corinthians 15:49ff.).

After the rapture, we will have bodies that will be just as radiant as Jesus’ body on the Mount of Transfiguration. Then, we will be glorified together with Christ (Romans 8:16,17). Glorious truth!

The Glory of Our Lord Jesus Christ #3

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

“But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thessalonians 2:13,14 KJV).

In the beginning Adam and Eve were physically naked, but they were not ashamed (Genesis 2:25). Why? They had perfect fellowship with God, for God had made man “in his own image” (Genesis 1:27). Mankind reflected God’s glory, God’s holiness: man, like God, was sinless. Adam and Eve needed no clothes, for the light of God’s righteousness emanated from their bodies: God’s holiness was their covering. However, once Adam sinned, they “knew that they were naked” (Genesis 3:7). They quickly sewed (itchy!) fig leaf aprons for clothes! They no longer bore God’s image; sin caused them to lose that glorious light covering them.

During His earthly ministry, our Lord Jesus took the Apostles Peter, James, and John to a high mountain. Instantly, the Lord Jesus’ body shone brightly. “[H]is face did shine as the sun, and his raiment [clothing] was white as the light” (Matthew 17:2). His clothes were “exceeding white as snow [bleached white!]” (Mark 9:3; Luke 9:29). This is the famous “Mount of Transfiguration” account. Usually, Jesus’ physical body looked normal; but here, the glorious light (holiness) in which He dwelt in glory was briefly manifested for these three apostles. This was the light that once covered Adam and Eve before they sinned!

Look at those who have trusted the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation. Physically, they look like everyone else. The light of the righteousness of God that Christians have inside (in the soul) is not visible today; just like Jesus Christ looked normal physically (the difference was spiritual!!). At the rapture, our resurrected (glorified) physical bodies will display the glory that now resides in us Christians. Our new bodies will shine brilliantly, reflecting the inward glory (of our Lord Jesus Christ) that we have right now (today’s Scripture). Glorious truth!