Month 8:29, Week 4:7 (Shibi'i/Sukkot), Year:Day 5940:235 AM|
2Exodus 3/40, Yovel - Year 50/50
Gregorian Calendar: Monday 28 November 2016
Astonishing & Magnificent Glory
Introducing the Qavod Series of Sermons
Shabbat shalom kol beit Yisra'el and Mishpachah Lev-Tsiyon and welcome to our sixth series of sermons (eighth, counting two earlier collections) which I am calling the Qavod or Glory Series. If that sounds a little 'charismatic' to you - and it's true, Pentecostals and Charismatics use the word 'glory' a lot - then in the course of this assembly I hope to explain explain exactly what the Bible means by this word and how we are to pursue it.
First, let's define terms. When the Scriptures speak of 'glory' they are describing that aspect of Yahweh, or a human being, that is worthy of three things - praise, honour and respect.
It is also a term that is associated with the brightness and splendour of theophanies, or manifestations of Elohim (God) as, for example, when the glory of Yahweh-Elohim manifest in the Temple of Solomon during its dedication, or the transfiguration of Yah'shua (Jesus) on the Mount when Moses and Elijah joined Him.
The Characteristics That People Honour
As Christians or Messianics we use the word 'glory' of people and of creation as that characteristic which humans typically honour. Three stand out particularly.
Wisdom, Power and Wealth as Glory
First, it is associated with wisdom:
"It is the glory of Elohim (God) to conceal a matter;
to search out a matter is the glory of kings" (Prov.25:2, NIV).
Perhaps a more commonly and better understood idea of glory is in power, might or strength:
Then there is the glory of wealth:
"You have indeed defeated Edom and now you are arrogant. Glory in your victory, but stay at home!" (2 Kings 14:10, NIV).
Spiritual and Vain Glory
"So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these" (Matt.6:28-29, NKJV).
Now you're probably thinking that there isn't anything very spiritual in the last two examples of power and wealth, and you would be right if it is vain-glory that you have in mind. We'll distinguish between spiritual and vain or carnal glory in just a moment but for now let's just try and understand how the Bible uses this word.
The Quality of Land and People
Glory can also refer to the quality of a piece of land (Is.35:2) or the qualities of a person like age (Prov.16:31), physical strength (Prov.20:29) and outward appearance (Is.53:2).
The Human Glory That Fades
Millionnaires, olympic stars and superstars excel in shrewdness, strength, talent, beauty, discipline and sometimes just plain good 'luck', and as a result enjoy the kind of adoration that many people crave. But Yahweh reminds us in His Davar (Word) that even the greatest human honour and splendour will fade away. Alexander the Great's Empire is legendary but only crumbling artifcats remain of that glory.
The King of Glory
Elohim (God) alone is is perfectly and eternally glorious by His very nature. Scripture calls Him the "King of Glory" in no uncertain terms:
Nothing Can Detract From Yahweh's Glory
"Lift up your heads, O you gates;
be lifted up, you ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory?
Yahweh strong and mighty,
Yahweh mighty in battle.
Lift up your heads, O you gates;
lift them up, you ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.
Who is He, this King of glory?
He is the King of glory" (Ps.24:7-10, NIV).
Yahweh is, and always has been, magnificent, powerful and kadosh (holy, set-apart). Everything He does demonstrates His glory and nothing can detract from it.
Our Purpose to Refelect His Glory
We humans, on the other hand, because of our sin, fall far short of Elohim's (God's) perfection. Our own self-generated brightness is as dark clouds by comparison. But the amazingly good news and an almost unbelievable emet (truth) is that those who trust Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) for salvation share in those awesome qualities by virtue of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) which He places in them. Not possessing glory of our own, we can nevertheless become vessels of that glory, making it known on earth through our lives. That is the purpose of our lives - to give glory to Yahweh-Elohim and to thus partake of its blessings. We can do exactly what Yah'shua (Jesus) did in terms or being a spiritual channel. "Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father" (John 14:9, NIV). And when our salvation is completed, Yah'shua (Jesus) will give us perfect glorified physical bodies like His own heavenly resurrected one, untouched by sin or sickness, unmarred by ugliness of any sort. The glory of Elohim (God) is the glory of the qodeshim (saints, set-apart ones) when they seek to give Yahweh glory by their witness.
Several 'Glory' Concepts in Hebrew
At this juncture I have to point out that there are several Hebrew words that we translate into the singular English word "glory". There is a qualitative difference between them which is not always made clear in our language. First, there is qavod which translated literally, it may surprise you to learn, means 'heavy', 'weighty' and even 'burdensome':
Eliakim and Yah'shua
"In that day I will summon my servant, Eliakim son of Hilkiah. I will clothe him with your robe and fasten your sash around him and hand your authority over to him. He will be a father to those who live in Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. I will place on his shoulder the key to the house of David; what he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. I will drive him like a peg into a firm place; he will be a seat of honour for the house of his father. All the glory (qavod) of his family will hang on him: its offspring and offshoots -- all its lesser vessels, from the bowls to all the jars" (Isa.22:20-24, NIV).
Eliakim became the Steward or Prime Minister of King Hezekiah, the second most important position in the Kingdom. Indeed, he was highly honoured in being called "my servant". Why is this such an important passage? Because Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) applied all this terminology to Himself, revealing a prophetic tavnith or pattern, since He was the one chosen by His Father Yahweh to determine who would enter His future Davidic Kingdom as we read in the Book of Revelation:
Eliakim Faltered and Failed
"These are the devarim (words) of Him who is qadosh (holy, set-apart) and true, who holds the key of David. What He opens no one can shut, and what He shuts no one can open" (Rev.3:7, NIV).
By extension - and this is important to understand - Yah'shua (Jesus) extends the calling to us, the honour and the glory to His chosen servants, the Throne symbolising the honour Eliakim should have brought to his family. Unfortunately - and this is a problem you will recognise in the descendants of those whose forefathers held positions of great importance - Isaiah noted how Eliakim's posterity would use him to gain glory for themselves. Sadly, Eliakim, after a period of faithful service, his "peg" was removed because he faltered and fell, and also all of his family "hanging" on him fell as well.
The Glory is Weighty
There are two important things I want to point out here. Firstly, the qavod of glory that Yahweh's servants are called to is not the kind owned or claimed by the millionnaires, olympic stars and superstars I spoke of earlier. This qavod or glory is 'heavy', 'weighty' and 'burdensome' because it consists of the responsibility of leadership. How, then, is it a 'glory'? Because of what it leads to provided that the one upon whose shoulders the responsibility has been laid does not falter and fall away.
Falling Like Flies
The other day my wife remarked that believers we know seem to be falling away like flies in this special time of the Judgment of Yahweh. Foundationa are being shaken to see if they are made of rock or clay. A pastor friend of ours contacted me a week ago totally besides himself. His wife had been committing adultery with another man and was caught out by her husband. Instead of repenting, as she ought to have done if there had been any honour left in her, she instead reported him to the police, accused him of all kinds of invented crimes, called in the Social Services, and abducted their children. We were stunned for a while and yet this is the kind of thing going on that I have been warning about for some time now. Many families we know have been ripped apart. Judgment is under way in the House of Elohim (God) and you are going to see much, much more to come that will amaze you and make you shake your head in disbelief.
The anointing and qavod-glory does not remain on those who are habitually disobedient and unrepentant. This is not a game, brethren and sisters, it's real and it's being played out now. This is judgment time, make no mistake about that.
A Concealed Glory
Absolutely do not seek glory for yourself. If you do, your peg will be removed and your dependants will fall with you. Make teshuvah (repent) and be saved. So, you see, this word qavod is not, I suspect, what you thought it was. It is a glory that is concealed in high and responsible calling. The glory is rarely seen in the way the glory of the millionnaire or the movie star is, save by those who have the Ruach (Spirit), though all will see the actual glory when glorification takes place at the Second Coming.
The Marred Servant
This is how Yah'shua (Jesus) Himself was viewed by nearly everyone while He was mortal. His glory was hidden, concealed, and what the unspiritual did see revolted them, even as it was prophesied:
Three Witnesses to the Actual Glory of Messiah
"See, my servant will act wisely;
He will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted.
Just as there were many who were appalled at Him --
His appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any man
and his form marred beyond human likeness --
so will he sprinkle many nations,
and kings will shut their mouths because of Him.
For what they were not told, they will see,
and what they have not heard, they will understand"
Only three of His talmidim (disciples) saw Him in His true glorified state on the Mount of Transfiguration. And, of course, John the Apostle, who was one of those three, saw the resurrected Messiah in His glorified state as he records it in the Book of Revelation:
No Outer Glory for the Remnant
"His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters ... these are the words of the Son of Elohim (God), whose eyes are like blazing fire and whose feet are like burnished bronze" (Rev.1:15; 2:18 NIV).
If you are looking for visible glory, fame, recognition, a following, or whatever tickles your flesh, you will not find it in this work or in the labours of the Remnant because the glory that matters is concealed until the Bride is rewarded. Yes, spectacular things will happen at the Remant's hands but these will not be to impress but to deliver.
Let us dig more into this subject. Another Hebrew word for "glory" is hadar as in the Psalm:
The Familial Inheritance of Good Character
"Let Your work appear to Your servants,
And Your glory (hadar) to their children.
And let the beauty of Yahweh our Elohim (God) be upon us,
And establish the work of our hands for us;
Yes, establish the work of our hands" (Ps.90:16-17, NKJV).
Here the sense is "splendour" (NIV) or 'brilliance' - notice once more the relationship or connection between the servants of Yahweh and their children, and how that hadar stays in the family provided the servants do not falter and fall. It is a generational blessing. One of its fruits, as we see here, is "the beauty of Yahweh", meaning beauty of character. That is splendour - a splendid thing. Beauty of character is one of the most glorious inheritances of the qodeshim (saints) and should be our great quest and prize. But pride will not deliver it - only humility, surrender and service.
Glory as Sovereignty
Another closely related Hebrew word is hod, which those of you who know anything about the false Jewish occultic practice of kabbalism will know how it figures in their counterfeit 'tree of life'. In the Scriptures the word hod describes Yahweh's glory in terms of sovereignty, rulership, toqef (authority) and HONOUR, as is so often translated as seen in this Psalm:
Hod as Reputation
"Let them praise the name of Yahweh,
For His name alone is exalted;
His glory (hod) is above the earth and heaven.
And He has exalted the horn of His people,
The praise of all His qodeshim (saints, set-apart ones) --
Of the children of Israel,
A people near to Him" (Ps.148:13-14, NKJV).
There is much about hod or honour that I must talk about sometime soon so we shall be returning to this very neglected subject in Western Christianity. The Septuagint (LXX) or Greek translation of the Tanakh (Old Testament) translates the Hebrew hod as dóxa. That I find very interesting because this Greek word has the sense of unifying or echad glory with its various manifestations that emcompass the greatness and majesty of Elohim (God). It's the 'big picture' of glory, as it were. The Messianic Scriptures (New Testament) also inherited this important complex of meanings, using dóxa in the classic Greek sense of "reputation", again in the Hebrew sense of "weighty" (like qavod), used by Paul to the Cointhians when he wrote:
The Servant of No Reputation
"For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory (Gk. dóxa, Heb. hod) that far outweighs them all" (2 Cor.4:17, NIV).
Here, then, is glory in the sense of a heavenly reputation - not the kind of reputation that 'gets you places' here on earth for indeed we are told we shall have none of that. Why? Because our names will be dragged through the mud by evil people. And whilst we should seek to maintain a good reputation and a shem tov or 'good name' where we can, we must also expect it to be blackened. Not only that, but out reputation is not something we should be parading about and glorying in because of the divine expectation that we must be prepared to sacrifice our reputation for the sake of the emet (truth), even as Yah'shua (Jesus) did:
Trial and Tribulation is Not Strange
"Let this mind be in you, which was also in Messiah Yah'shua (Christ Jesus): Who, being in the form of Elohim (God), thought it not robbery to be equal with Elohim (God): But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore Elohim (God) also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Yah'shua (Jesus) every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) is Master (Lord), to the glory of Elohim (God) the Father" (Phil.2:5-11, KJV).
And finally, to round off the sense of hod or dóxa, we have the the testimony of the Apostle Peter who wrote:
In other words, this is Elohim's (God's) taberacling presence!
"Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Messiah, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory (dóxa ) is revealed (or "the revelation of His glory" - AENT). If you are insulted because of the name of Messiah, you are blessed, for the Ruach (Spirit) of glory (dóxa ) and of Elohim (God) rests on you" (1 Peter 4:12-14, NIV).
Linked to Suffering Servanthood
This word we call "glory" in English is a big, important - and I imagine unexpected - word in Hebrew for many of you. We see especially how suffering servanthood, with the burden and heaviness of responsibility, is linked closely with it. Qavod, and its associates, is not a 'happy-clappy' word, and to associate it with such is to diminish and cheapen it. Rather it is one of deep, deep reverence, tempering and suspending in its right place the simcha (joy) that rightly attends it. In that respect it should conjure up in our hearts the same kaleidoscope of thoughts and feelings as the work of the Cross itself:
The Source of True Joy
"Let us fix our eyes on Yah'shua (Jesus), the author and perfecter of our emunah (faith), who for the simcha (joy) set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of Elohim (God). Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart" (Heb.12:2-3, NIV).
The simcha (joy) for Yah'shua (Jesus) came in the anticipation of the wonderful result for mankind that would be the reward of His suffering on the cross. And let none suppose that this was some small, measured amount of suffering - it was total. We suffer like Messiah for the tiqveh (hope) of the fruit our suffering will bring both for others and for the growth of godly character, not in ancipation of some charismatic reward now. This simcha (joy) is not all reserved until the resurrection for we participate in it as we witness others saved, others delivered, and ourselves victorious over sin. There is much to be joyful about but it's not the happy-clappy psychic illusion that so many confuse with the real thing. 'Glory' is not an emotional 'high' for "Elohim (God) is not an Elohim (God) of disorder but of shalom (peace)" (1 Cor.14:33, NIV).
A Very Dangerous Time to Live
We are, as I speak, entering a very, very dangerous time in world history and many have been fooled into thinking that they can let down their guard and carry on as before following the American Presidential Election. Those who lost the election have not given up and will resort to every means, mostly foul, to maintain their control. They will not acknowledge defeat and are carrying on as before as though nothing had happened. Many who were prepping have stopped, thinking the President-Elect will be their saviour. They are in for a terribly rude awakening. Only the other day a sister in America asked me if I thought the USA would make it now that the current President is leaving office. My answer was blunt - there has been no national repentance, people are still seeking deliverance by any means other than repenting of their sins and surrendering to Messiah, and that judgment is coming on both the people who have rebelled and the wicked élites. We haven't seen the heavy blows of the present Judgment yet.
Let us summarise now. Yahweh alone possesses true glory  and reveals it through many means including nature, His marvelous acts, visible demonstrations of His presence, and most importantly of all, through His Son, Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesuis Christ) . This revelation of Elohim's (God's) glory inspires worship from all He has created. Indeed by His very nature He is worthy of our praise!  As believers - those two trust in Yah'shua (Jesus) and demonstrate that by obeying all the mitzvot (commandments) - we shall share in His glory. For now we only experience it partially, but when He returns, we will experience it completely . It is our responsibility and privilege to reveal Yahweh's glory on earth, in all its many forms, as Yah'shua (Jesus) did, by trusting and worshipping Him, loving one another and living godly, Torah-obedient lives . We also have learned that glory is not always to be understood in terms of wonderment and simcha (joy) but also weight and responsibility, a willingness to suffer, knowing that this produces perhaps the greatest glory of all that is not revealed until much later. Finally, the expression "give glory to Elohim (God)" sometimes means 'confess your sin' or 'tell the emet (truth)' :
"Hear and pay attention,
do not be arrogant,
for Yahweh has spoken.
Give glory to Yahweh your Elohim (God)
before He brings the darkness,
before your feet stumble
on the darkening hills.
You hope for light,
but He will turn it to thick darkness
and change it to deep gloom" (Jer.13:15-16, NIV).
As we enter this new and challenging time of the penultimate Judgment and its aftermath, let us consecrate ourselves to giving all glory to Yahweh-Elohim, our Heavenly Father, and not go seeking our own. Let us rather accept whatever qavod-glory may be coming our way in terms of the weight of responsibility we are called to bear, not attempting to pass it onto others, for the Remnant must learn to operate as one Body, sharing the load. As far as each congregation are concerned, no one man can possibly carry it all, even though the pastor must carry the greater part. It is up to family heads to rally around him, and families around their heads, according to the divine tavnith, that his work - and the work of the Bride as a whole - may be one great shared simcha (joy) in the joint bringing to pass of the Kingdom of Elohim (God) on earth. Amen.
 The Orthodox Jewish Bible (OJB) uses qavod (or kavod)
 Exodus 15:11; Isaiah 40:3-8; 48:8-11; Romans 3:23; Philippians 3:18-19
 Deuteronomy 5:23-26; 2 Chronicles 5:13-14; Psalm 19:1; Habakkuk 2:14; John 1:14; 11:1-4
 1 Chronicles 16:28-29; Psalm 8:1-4; 29:9; 108:1-5; Romans 16:27; Revelation 4:11; 19:7
 John 17:20-24; Romans 8:16-18; 2 Corinthians 4:16-18; Philippians 3:20-21; 1 Thessalonians 2:11-12; 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14; 1 Peter 4:14; 5:1-4,8-10
 Psalm 13:1-4; John 15:5-8; 1 Corinthians 10:31; 1 Peter 1:3-7; 2:12
 Joshua 7:14-19; John 9:24