The Glory of God

THE personal glory of the Creator is quite beyond the ability of the human mind to comprehend. However, we can understand to some extent the glorious virtues of his character. We might say that God’s infinite wisdom, his unyielding justice, his boundless love, and his almighty power, being in perfect balance as they are, together reveal his glory.

Enlightened Christians can now comprehend God’s glory through an understanding of his plan for the redemption and recovery of the human race from death. But the world in general does not possess this knowledge and therefore does not now “see” the glory of God. The understanding which will enable the world of mankind to comprehend the glory of God’s character will be given during the thousand-year reign of Christ. Then the knowledge of the Lord will fill the earth, and as a result “all flesh” will discern the glory of God. Isaiah wrote, “The glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.”—Isa. 40:5

The whole world will then know of God’s justice as represented in the divine penalty for sin. They will know how divine wisdom found the way whereby God could be just, yet release the condemned world from death. Paul explained it this way: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; to declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.”—Rom. 3:23-26

During the millennial reign of Christ the world will learn that it was divine love that provided the Redeemer, who himself lovingly died for their sins. The world will also then discern—even better than we are able to comprehend at the present time—the miracle-working power of God; for they will see it demonstrated in the resurrection of the dead. Since all the dead from every part of the earth eventually are to be awakened from death, the glory of God will indeed then fill the earth.—Acts 24:15

The glory of God was reflected to a limited degree in our first parents, whom he created in his image, crowned with glory and honor. (Gen. 1:27; Ps. 8:4,5) As a result of the reign of sin and death man has lost much of his original perfection, although there are degrees of the divine qualities of justice, sympathy, and love to be found in many persons even now.

During the Gospel Age God has been inviting a small company of people to come out from the world, offering them the privilege of striving, through the exercise of faith, for a change of nature, from the human to the divine. (II Pet. 1:4) Those who, in the resurrection, reach this high position will attain also unto the divine glory.

All who do not attain to spiritual glory in the resurrection will have the opportunity of being restored to human perfection. And think what a change that will be! It will be a progressive return to holiness, or perfection, which the Bible likens to traveling over a “highway.” (Isa. 35:8) It is the return road from death which Isaiah described when he wrote, “The ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.”—Isa. 35:10

All mankind who have been ransomed by Jesus will return from the sleep of death. If they then accept the provisions of divine love through Christ, and obey the laws of his kingdom, they will obtain eternal joy and gladness; and sorrow, sickness, and death will be no more.—Rev. 21:4

The Bible assures us that then all will acclaim the glory of God, and the glory of his beloved Son, Christ Jesus, the “Lamb” which was slain to take away the sin of the world. (John 1:29) The people will then sing that inspiring song recorded in Revelation 15:3,4: “Great and wonderful are thy deeds, O Lord God the Almighty! Just and true are thy ways, O King of the ages! Who shall not fear and glorify thy name, O Lord? For thou alone art holy. All nations shall come and worship thee, for thy judgments have been revealed.”—Revised Standard Version

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