GLORY!

Jan Antonsson

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The Glory Road Blog, A Kingdom Highway

May 20, 2017

Neosho, MO

“Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God (Romans 5:20, ESV).

The subject of glory has fascinated me since the Spirit quickened Isaiah 40:5, to me decades ago, “And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.’’  I remember excitedly telling Harry Fox about it along with my impression and sincere hope that we would be among that group of people still alive to see it.  He smiled at me and replied, “Maybe so honey child, or God could take another thousand years to do it.”  I repeated my impression several times over the ensuing decades and his reply was always the same.  Still, until this day, I have not given up hope of witnessing this great prophecy come to pass, now and in this time.

The Old Testament Prophets foretold that we would see the glory of God on earth.  The graphic above reflects this thought: “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you. For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the LORD will arise upon you, and his glory will be seen upon you (Isaiah 60:1-2, ESV).  Clearly, this is not talking about heaven, by and by, but on this earth right now, while we’re yet alive.

Also, Lenny’s favorite verse, Habakkuk 2:14, prophesies that those of us on earth will behold His glory: “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.”  What a wonderful promise this is, and as the world gets more conflicted, more divided, more chaotic, and violent, my heart longs for this peace which will overtake us, infill us, and flow out of us.

I grew up in Fundamentalist religious thought.  There are some good things about it, my love of scripture being one of them, but as with everything flowing from the minds of men, there is a huge downside to it, and one such negative is that we were taught to take the Bible literally, never realizing that it was a book of symbols, written to people who expressed ideas in metaphors and icons.  We in the West are more literal and intellectual, while those in the East are more intuitive, using symbols to convey their ideas.  “Our God is a rock,”  is one example (See I Samuel 2:2; II Samuel 22:3, 32, 47; 23:3).  Psalm 18:2 is a perfect illustration:  “The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”  I tend to think of rocks as hard, inflexible, unthinking, and unyielding, but the writers of scripture probably meant that God is solid, strong, and unwavering.

John the Baptizer referred to Jesus as the “Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world” (John 1:19, ESV).  John the Beloved spoke of Christ as a “Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth” (Revelation 5:6, ESV).  These images spoke to the people who had been worshipping God with animal sacrifices, in order to atone for their sins, yet they also knew what the Hebrew writer observed: “For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins” (Hebrews 10:4, ESV).  Only Christ could accomplish that!

My point here is that if we could figure out everything in our spiritual life just by reading the Bible, there would have been no need for Christ to take on flesh and dwell among us, only to be slaughtered on the cross for our sins. We must rely, not uon the letter, which kills, but upon the Spirit, which makes alive (II Corinthians 3:6).  Jesus called the Spirit a helper who would lead, guide,  and stand beside us. (See John 14:16 and I John 2:1).  I grew up believing in “judgment day” as one 24 hour period when God would judge the quick and the dead and consequently, we would not know how it would turn out for us until that day was accomplished.

J. Preston Eby, in one of his early writings, pointed out the folly of this kind of thinking by calculating how long it would take to get through everyone who had ever lived and those still living, even if God only took 15 minutes for each person.  That eased my mind about several things which had worried me.  Then, the Spirit quickened to me Paul’s statement found in II Corinthians 5:8, KJV: “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.  In other words, when our body dies, we are ushered into the presence of the Lord, which refutes the early teaching I received that we would remain in the grave until Judgment Day.  What a horror that would be.

What does this have to do with our seeing God’s glory, you ask.  It is my conviction based on experience, that all of God’s good gifts are available to us now, by the Spirit:  faith, forgiveness, unconditional love, grace, mercy, and power to live over coming lives, including healing by the same Spirit which raised Christ from the dead (Romans 8:11).  We don’t have to wait until we die to enjoy these precious free gifts in Christ.  We have them now.  Look around you.  Think of those for whom you have prayed and were able to see God answer those prayers in the affirmative.  That’s glory.  Think of those whom you’ve asked God to help you forgive, and He did.  That’s glory.  Think of the times you’ve asked Him to apply a liberal dose of His perfect love to free you from your fears, and He did.  That’s glory.  

When one sinner repents, Jesus said, the angels rejoice (Luke 15:10).  You may not notice it unless you were praying for that person, but when you do notice, that’s God’s glory on earth (and that person may have been you)!  It has taken me decades to comprehend the magnitude of this truth that Isaiah’s prophecy is not limited to a spectacular one time event, though I don’t rule that out, but it can be, an every day occurrence when God opens our eyes to see it. This truth started small, like a mustard seed, but like other things God gives us, that seed keeps growing and blossoming into a marvelous blessing in our lives.

It begins, I believe, with the sure knowledge that, “In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will (Ephesians 1:11, ESV).  He has been working into me the truth that it is Christ’s faith and God’s will not Jan’s, which heals the sick and raises the dead. He continually digs ever deeper in my psyche to plant this incredible good news.  It has taken decades, but now, when I look at the chaos and despair everywhere around us, I take enormous comfort in knowing that God has it all in hand.  He is truly the One with the Plan and the Power to accomplish all that He purposes.  We have a front row seat to see Him work, to praise His glory, and to bask in His light which shines upon us, within us, and through us, right now, right here on this earth!  

Father, You said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” which darkness was found in our hearts.  We glorify You for giving us “the light of the knowledge of  the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ,” and ask You to make us light bearers and joy bringers to those You have put in our paths. We love you Father, our Abba, the answer to all our prayers, as we join our voices with “the voice of a great multitude, and the voice of many waters, and the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, “Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth.”  Amen. Jan Antonsson

Jan Austin Antonsson

17178 Highway 59, Neosho, MO 64850 (Snail Mail Address)

All our writings from 1997-2010 are on

The Glory Road

Our writings from 2010 until the present are on this blog.

We always enjoy hearing from you!

Jantonsson@aol.com

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