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Why Three Glories: Part 2 – What God is Seeking

To understand why there are three glories, we must first come to understand what God is seeking from each one of us and why.  And the individual to whom we must look for this understanding is the individual God sent into the world to manifest or reveal Himself to us, meaning His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ [1].

Hebrews 1:1-3 IV (KJV) – 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…

I John 5:20 IV (KJV) – And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true; and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.

What then did Jesus say about God and what He is seeking from each of us? According to John’s account of His life and ministry, Jesus taught that we are to call on God as our Father [2], and that He is seeking true worshipers who worship Him in spirit and truth.  Unto such God promises to give His Spirit, meaning the Holy Ghost, whom Jesus called the Comforter and the Spirit of truth.

Matthew 6:9-15 IV (KJV) – Therefore after this manner shall ye pray, saying, Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is done in heaven. Give us this day, our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And suffer us not to be led into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.

John 4:25,26 IV (KJV) – And the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth; for the Father seeketh such to worship him. For unto such hath God promised his Spirit. And they who worship him, must worship in spirit and in truth.

Why and for what purpose does God seek our worship, and why should the manner in which we worship Him (i.e. “in spirit and in truth”) matter to Him or to us for that matter?  To answer these questions, first recall how God created each of us in His own image.

Genesis 1:27,29 IV (KJV) – And I, God, said unto mine Only Begotten, which was with me from the beginning, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and it was so… And I, God, created man in mine own image, in the image of mine Only Begotten created I him; male and female created I them.

Next, recall how it is written in Genesis 3 (IV/KJV) that our first parents, Adam and Eve, were tempted of the devil and fell into transgressionAdam in being disobedient and Eve in being deceived. As a result, they were driven out from their first estate and entered into a lost and fallen state wherein death reigned.  And it is into this lost and fallen state, which is outside the kingdom of God, that each of us was born.

John 3:3-5 IV (KJV) – Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of GodExcept a man be born of water, and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

Romans 5:12-14 IV (KJV) – Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned; (For, before the law, sin was in the world; yet sin is not imputed to those who have no law. Nevertheless, death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. For I say, that through the offense, death reigned over all. …)

I Corinthians 15:21,22 IV (KJV) – For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

Note how Paul wrote in the above passages of scripture that death entered or came into the world in consequence of one man’s offense; not as a result of the sins of all [3].  Note also how Paul went on to write that death has passed upon all of us because all have sinned.  In other words, irrespective of whether or not we have sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, death yet reigns over all because all have sinned.

Romans 5:13,14 IV (KJV) – (For, before the law, sin was in the world; yet sin is not imputed to those who have no law. Nevertheless, death reigned from Adam to Moses, [4] even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. For I say, that through the offense, death reigned over all. …)

Therefore, it is not Adam’s sin or the sin of any other which will determine whether or not we may enter into the kingdom of God. Rather, if we remain outside of God’s kingdom in spiritual death and are eventually consigned to the second death in eternity, it will be because of our own sins.

Ezekiel 18:20 IV (KJV) – The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son; the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.

Revelation 21:7,8 IV (KJV) – He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone; which is the second death.

Briefly stated, God has concluded all under sin because all have sinned and come short of His glory.

Galatians 3:22 IV (KJV) – But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.

In the words of the prophets and apostles, we have sinned and are all as an unclean thing.

Isaiah 53:6 IV (KJV) – All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

I John 1:8-10 IV (KJV) – If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

What then shall we do to be saved in the kingdom of heaven?  In the words of Jesus, except we are born again we cannot see or enter into the kingdom of God.

John 3:3-7 IV (KJV) – Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. … Except a man be born of water, and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh, is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit, is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

Therefore, in due time Jesus appeared to give this precious spiritual birth to everyone who willingly receives Him, but only to those who believe upon His name.

John 1:11,12 IV (KJV) – He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God; only to them who believe on his name.

Ephesians 4:7,8 IV (KJV) – But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.

Why believe upon His name?  His name means He will save His people from their sins, not in their sins.  Jesus came into the world with an abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness so that whosoever will receive Him as their King might receive the power from on high to be born again by God’s Spirit;

Romans 5:17-19 IV (KJV) – For if by one man’s offense death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) Therefore, as by the offense of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

Romans 6:20-23 IV (KJV) – For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

This gift which Jesus came to give us is the Spirit of adoption through whom we are born of God and become joint heirs with Him in His kingdom as God’s children.

Romans 8:13-17 IV (KJV) – For if ye live after the flesh, unto sin, ye shall die; but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live unto Christ. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption; whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God; And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

Galatians 4:6 IV (KJV) – And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.

For it is by His Spirit that we bear God the fruit of His own countenance unto righteousness and, thereby, become like Him in light and love.

Ephesians 2:8-10 IV (KJV) – For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Ephesians 5:8-12 IV (KJV) – For ye were sometime darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord; walk as children of light; (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth; ) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.

To this end, then, Jesus came preaching the kingdom of God, that we might we enter therein by faith in Him as our Lord and Savior, as our Redeemer King.

Mark 1:12,13 IV (KJV) – Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God; and saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent ye, and believe the gospel.

Matthew 12:23 IV (KJV) – But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you

Matthew 6:38 IV (KJV) – Wherefore, seek not the things of this world but seek ye first to build up the kingdom of God, and to establish his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.

By coming into this world, Jesus Christ cast a net wherein He might bring all men unto Himself.  The good He will keep.  The bad will be cast away, i.e. He will cause them to depart from Him.

Matthew 13:48 IV (KJV) – Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind, which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels; but cast the bad away.

Matthew 6:38 IV (KJV) – Wherefore, seek not the things of this world but seek ye first to build up the kingdom of God, and to establish his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.

Luke 13:25-30 IV (KJV) – Therefore, when once the Lord of the kingdom is risen up, and hath shut the door of the kingdom, then ye shall stand without, and knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us, But the Lord shall answer and say unto you, I will not receive you, for ye know not from whence ye are.  Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. But he shall say, I tell you, ye know not from whence ye are; depart from me, all workers of iniquity. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth among you, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you are thrust out. And verily I say unto you, They shall come from the east, and the west; and from the north, and the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God; And, behold, there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last, and shall be saved therein.

Those He casts out and away from Himself are they who die in their sins.

John 8:21-24 IV (KJV) – Then said Jesus again unto them, I go my way, and ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sins; whither I go, ye cannot come… Ye are from beneath; I am from above; ye are of this world; I am not of this world. I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins; for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.

What about little children and those who die without the law? As has been written in a previous post, Jesus testified that it is not the will of our heavenly Father that little children should perish.

Matthew 18:12-14 IV (KJV) – How think ye? If a man have a hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains and seeketh that which is gone astray? And if it so be that he find it, verily, I say unto you, he rejoiceth more over that which was lost, than over the ninety and nine which went not astray. Even so, it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.

We can be confident, then, that Jesus will indeed save all little children. How can we be sure?  As Jesus testified, He seeks to do the will of His heavenly Father.

John 5:28-31 IV (KJV) – Marvel not at this; for the hour is coming, in the which all who are in their graves shall hear his voice. And shall come forth; they who have done good, in the resurrection of the just; and they who have done evil, in the resurrection of the unjust. And shall all be judged of the Son of Man. For as I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just; For I can of mine own self do nothing; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father who hath sent me.

This is why Jesus tells us that we must become as a little child or we cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 18:1-3 IV (KJV) – At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, and said, Verily, I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever, therefore, shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

Why must we become as children? We must be born again.  We must receive the baptism of Jesus by entering into His death to sin so that we might live in the newness of life unto God by Him.

Romans 6:3-11 IV (KJV) – Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death; that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection; Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead to sin is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him; Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once; but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Thus, the decision we face in this life is whether or not we will allow Jesus Christ to restore God’s image within us by being born of His Spirit, which is to dwell within us so we may dwell within His kingdom. Those who choose this precious gift of eternal life become what God intended each of us to be in the beginning, His dear children. Those who reject His Spirit are rejected of Him and are cast out of His kingdom.

Matthew 13:41-43 IV (KJV) – As, therefore, the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so shall it be in the end of this world, or the destruction of the wicked. For in that day, before the Son of Man shall come, he shall send forth his angels and messengers of heaven. And they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity, and shall cast them out among the wicked; and there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Hebrews 6:8 IV (KJV) – For that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; therefore they who bring not forth good fruits, shall be cast into the fire; for their end is to be burned.

Jesus conquered death and hell and all power has been given to Him in heaven and in earth. He is now the head of all principalities and powers.  Therefore, all things and all creatures are subject unto Him.  At the conclusion of His work, when His has brought all things into subjection, He will present the kingdom unto His Father.

I Corinthians 15:22-26 IV (KJV) – For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order; Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. Afterward cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule, and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy, death, shall be destroyed.

By our worshipping Him, then, God is able to raise us up from our fallen state (into which we were physically born) and give us a new birth. That is, when we are born of God we receive the Spirit of adoption which bears witness to our spirits that we are the children of God.  In this way, we may be glorified together in and through Jesus Christ.

Romans 8:15-17 IV (KJV) – For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption; whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God; And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

Remember, all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. Therefore, each and every one of us must be born again. Otherwise, we cannot see or enter into His kingdom.

John 3:3-7 IV (KJV) – Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus said unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water, and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh, is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit, is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

If this is indeed true, that we must be born again to see and to enter into the kingdom of God, who should we expect to initiate this new birth in our lives, and by what means may we expect this special birth to be fulfilled within us? James explains the matter as follows:

James 1:18-22 IV (KJV) – Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. Wherefore lay aside all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness, the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

Plainly stated, it was by the will of our heavenly Father.

John 1:14-16 IV (KJV) – And the same word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. John bear witness of him, and cried, saying, This is he of whom I spake; He who cometh after me, is preferred before me; for he was before me. For in the beginning was the Word, even the Son, who is made flesh, and sent unto us by the will of the Father. And as many as believe on his name shall receive of his fullness. And of his fullness have all we received, even immortality and eternal life, through his grace.

As for our part, then, the new birth is to be received with meekness God’s engrafted word of truth and then become doers of His words.  That is, we are to let or allow God to minister this birth in our lives.

I John 1:1-3 IV (KJV) – Brethren, this is the testimony which we give of that which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.

Colossians 3:12-17 IV (KJV) – Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any; even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

Remember, faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. Stated another way, we receive this new life by receiving Jesus Christ as God’s Word of life. We first are to hear His words; then we are to live our lives accordingly (i.e. according to His sayings which are spirit and life).

Romans 10:8,9,16 IV (KJV) – But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart; that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

In other words, being born again is a choice each of us must make for ourselves. How we respond to His word is a choice.  We can choose to obey or disobey God, to honor or dishonor Him, and to conform to His will or rebel against Him.

Deuteronomy 30:19,20 IV (KJV) – I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live; That thou mayest love the Lord thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him; for he is thy life, and the length of thy days; that thou mayest dwell in the land which the Lord sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.

Joshua 24:15 IV (KJV) – And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

While God created us in His image, and now provides the means for us to be born again (through His word of truth), His love for us dictates that we must choosethrough obedience to His word – in whose image we wish to come forth in the resurrection of the dead. Those who are willing to receive God’s love and then continue in the same in honor to His glory will be like Jesus Christ when He appears in glory, and will, in turn, come forth in the resurrection of the just to reign with Him in His kingdom.

I John 3:1-3 IV (KJV) – Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God; therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

I John 4:16,17 IV (KJV)– And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as he is, so are we in this world.

Revelation 3:19-22 IV (KJV) – As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock; if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

What awaits those who disobey God, who come out in open rebellion against Him, who defile His image in the way they live? According to the recorded word of God, they will incur the wrath of God for not loving the truth, but remain in unrighteousness after the Lord has manifested Himself unto them.

Romans 1:18,19 IV (KJV) – For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men; who love not the truth, but remain in unrighteousness, after that which may be known of God is manifest to them.

Therefore, those who reject Jesus Christ and turn from His love will die in their sins.

John 8:21-25 IV (KJV) – Then said Jesus again unto them, I go my way, and ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sins; whither I go, ye cannot come.  Then said the Jews, Will he kill himself? because he saith, Whither I go, ye cannot come. And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above; ye are of this world; I am not of this world. I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins; for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins. Then said they unto him, Who art thou? And Jesus saith unto them, Even the same that I said unto you from the beginning.

They will remain in a state of death, meaning in a state which is separate from God. In keeping with their choice not to receive anew the image of God in their countenances, they will bear the image of their fallen state in the resurrection of the unjust, which is an image that reflects their separation from God.

Isaiah 59:1-3 IV (KJV) – Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear; But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness.

Jude 1:17-19 IV (KJV) – But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time,who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.

Therefore, we must choose between two options. On the one hand (the right hand of God) to worship the One who is the express image of the God who created us, meaning Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 1:1-3 IV (KJV) – 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…

Colossians 1:15-20 IV (KJV) – …Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature. For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers; all things were created by him, and for him; And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church; who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell; And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.

The second option is in direct opposition to worshiping God’s image. Through disregard and disrespect, we may worship the image of that evil one who beguiled our first parents, the one who led them into transgression and thus caused their fall. For those who choose to worship the evil one there awaits a certain outcome, meaning God’s wrath.  By not choosing to worship God and to receive His image into their countenances, they demonstrate contempt for His image.  In doing so, they offend God and, therefore, must receive their reward with the evil one they worship along with those angels which fell from God’s presence because of their rebellion against Him.

Revelation 14:9-12 IV (KJV) – And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb; and the smoke of their torment ascendeth up forever and ever; and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. Here is the patience of the saints; here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

While the rebellious are tormented with fire and brimstone, those who have not worshipped the beast, but instead have worshipped Emmanuel, will receive an eternal inheritance in the kingdom of heaven.

Revelation 22:4 IV (KJV) – And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them; and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshiped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands: and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

II Corinthians 4:6,7 IV (KJV) – 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. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

Are there any states in between these two states, i.e. that of being tormented with fire and brimstone on the one hand and that of being filled with the light of the knowledge of the glory of God on the other hand?  In I Corinthians 15, Paul testifies that there are two more eternal estates.  And they are associated with those who inherit outer darkness.  That is, in between these two eternal states, one of no glory and one full of glory, there are two stations for those who do not worship the image of the beast but who do not fully bear the image of God.  These will inherit one of two glories that do not fully radiant God’s glory.  They will either inherit a body that reflects the glory of the Lord as the moon reflects the glory of the sun.  Or they will inherit a glory that shines like stars in the darkness of night.

I Corinthians 15:39-54 IV (KJV) – All flesh is not the same flesh; but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds. Also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial, and bodies telestial; but the glory of the celestial, one; and the terrestrial, another; and the telestial, another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differeth from another star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption; It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. Howbeit, that which is natural first, and not that which is spiritual; but afterwards, that which is spiritual; The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy; and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the sound of the last trump; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

TO BE CONTINUED

[1] See also John 14:5-9 IV (KJV), Ephesians 1:15-23 IV (KJV), and I Timothy 3:16 IV (KJV) with Matthew 2:2-8 IV (KJV), Isaiah 7:14 & Isaiah 9:6-7, etc.

[2] Jesus testified that God is not everyone’s Father.  Those who believe in His name and work the works of faith which Abraham did are God’s children.  However, those who work the works of Satan (especially murder) are the children of the devil; that is, the devil is their father, not God who created them.

John 8:28-45 IV (KJV) –Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of Man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. And he that sent me is with me; the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him. As he spake these words, many believed on him. Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man; how sayest thou, ye shall be made free? Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house for ever, but the Son abideth ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. I know that ye are Abraham’s seed; but ye seek to kill me because my word hath no place in you. I speak that which I have seen with my Father; and ye do that which ye have seen with your father. They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham. But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God; this did not Abraham. Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God. Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me; for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot bear my word. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do; he was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own; for he is a liar, and the father of it. And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.

[3] Adam opened the door and ushered death into the world. Consequently, all those who came after him were brought under its influence of its dominion. This principle of the actions of one affecting others is reflected or exemplified in the covenant God made with the children of Israel in Horeb, in which God testified how He visits the iniquity of the fathers upon their children to the third and fourth generations.

Deuteronomy 5:7-9 IV (KJV) – Thou shalt have no one other gods before me. Thou shalt not make thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the waters beneath the earth; Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them; for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me. And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments. 

In other words, there are consequences for the way in which we live our lives, especially with respect to our worship as outlined in the covenant God made in Horeb. What or who we worship not only affects us, it affects future generations in terms of how the Lord deals with mankind in whole. Take, for example, King David.  Though God called him a man after His own heart, David nevertheless sinned against God by committing adultery with another man’s wife, a woman who was very beautiful to David.  Then David arranged the murder of the woman’s husband. In consequence of his transgression against God, as pronounced by Nathan the prophet, David’s household and the household of Israel he governed were devastated for generations to come.

II Samuel 12:9-14 IV (KJV) – Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the Lord, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon. Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife. Thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbor, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun. For thou didst it secretly; but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun. And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the Lord. And Nathan said unto David, The Lord also hath not put away thy sin that thou shalt not die. Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die.

[4]  Why does Paul write that death reigned from Adam to Moses?  Why not say, from Adam to Christ?  God established the law of Moses as a schoolmaster because of transgression.  The law points out the sin that existed since the beginning, even before the law was instituted.  So, even though those who lived before Moses were not under the law he instituted, yet sinned reigned over them.

Galatians 3:13-26 IV (KJV) – Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us; for it is written, Cursed is everyone that hangeth on a tree; That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that they might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man’s covenant, yet when it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto. Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. For if the inheritance is of the law, then it is no more of promise; but God gave it to Abraham by promise. Wherefore then, the law was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made in the law given to Moses, who was ordained by the hand of angels to be a mediator of this first covenant, (the law.) Now this mediator was not a mediator of the new covenant; but there is one mediator of the new covenant, who is Christ, as it is written in the law concerning the promises made to Abraham and his seed. Now Christ is the mediator of life; for this is the promise which God made unto Abraham. Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid; for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster until Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Jesus Christ.

Further, Moses’ law continued until Christ as did sin, meaning the Law of Moses did not put away sin.  Rather by the law comes the knowledge of sin.

Romans 3:19-26 IV (KJV) – Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law; that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. For by the law is the knowledge of sin; therefore by the deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified in his sight. But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe; for there is no difference; For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Therefore being justified only by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus; Whom God has 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.

Thus, the law of Moses was introduced in the intervening time between Adam and Christ to reveal the sin and the consequences of sin that all have committed from Adam to Christ.  And notwithstanding the coming of Christ, death still reigns in the lives of those who remain outside the kingdom of God as the children of the devil, and will reign over such until the end when death shall finally be put away forever.

I John 3:4-10 IV (KJV) – Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law; for sin is the transgression of the law. And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not; whosoever continueth in sin hath not seen him, neither known him. Little children, let no man deceive you; he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that continueth in sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God doth not continue in sin; for the Spirit of God remaineth in him; and he cannot continue in sin, because he is born of God, having received that holy Spirit of promise. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil; whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.

Revelation 20:12-15 IV (KJV) –And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them; and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

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