1 John 5:20, Fall 2009
John 17:2, Summer 2011
John 3:36, “He that believes on the Son has eternal life, but he who does not believe on the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”
L.S. Chafer described Eternal Life as, “A sharp distinction must be made between human existence which by its nature continues forever, and the gift of God which is eternal life. Humanity is not wholly conformed to time. Every human being will be living on forever, even after it has been decreed that time shall be no more. Thus, humanity intrudes into eternity and must, in the end, conform to the eternal mode of existence. Each human being has a beginning. In this he is unlike God. Each human being, however, has no end of his existence. In this respect, he is to some extent like God. That human beings have no end is a solemn thought; but on those who receive God’s gift of eternal life, the very life of God is bestowed. That life is a partaking of the divine nature. It is no less than “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Thus, by re- generation, all who believe become possessors of that which in God is itself eternal. In 1 Corinthians 13:12, it is declared, accordingly, that the believer one day will know even as now he is known of God, that is, the finite mind will be superseded by the mind of God. Even now it is said that he has the mind of Christ (1 Cor 2:16). Little, indeed, may be anticipated respecting the coming transcendent experience of those who now possess eternal life, when they shall enter into the experience of eternal life in full.” (Systematic Theology, Vol. 7 – Eternity.)
ATTITUDE TOWARD CHRIST DETERMINES WHETHER WE HAVE ETERNAL LIFE OR NOT, 1 Tim 1:16; 1 John 5:10-13, 20. The Greek word PISTEUO in John 3:36 is in the Present Tense which means, you have eternal life the moment you believe and continue to have it. See also John 5:24; 6:47. Therefore, a person has eternal life the moment he believes in the Lord Jesus Christ as his personal Savior.
There is a difference between salvation and eternal life. Salvation means purchased from the slave market of sin (redeemed), while Eternal Life is that which is bestowed onto us, as a result of our salvation. In Luke 10:25-28, Jesus is not speaking directly of salvation but of eternal life, and specifically the experiential aspect of our eternal life, which is eternal fellowship with God.
That is why Luke 10:25-28 says, “And a lawyer stood up and put Him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 26And He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How does it read to you?” 27And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” 28And He said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this and you will live.”
This is how we experience our eternal life in time, but it is not the means of eternal life. John 3:36 is the means for gaining eternal life, while Luke 10:25ff is the means for experiencing eternal life.
To love God in this way means you must believe in His Word and what it says about gaining eternal life, John 5:33-47; 6:68; 12:44-50; 17:3.
In prophesizing about the Cross, Jesus made the point clear, John 3:14-16.
John 3:14-16, “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; 15so that whoever believes in Him will have eternal life. 16For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”
ETERNAL LIFE IS DESCRIBED IN THE EXPERIENTIAL ASPECT OF KNOWING GOD AND HAVING FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD THROUGH HIS SON, JESUS CHRIST, Luke 10:25-28, as also told analogously to the woman at the well in John 4:14 and the “eating of His flesh” in John 6:54.
John 4:14, “But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”
ETERNAL LIFE IS MENTIONED 43 TIMES IN THE NEW TESTAMENT. Even though “Eternal Life” was anticipated in the Old Testament, (“everlasting life,” Dan 12:2, “age to come,” Luke 18:30, etc.), its concept for the believer is a New Testament revelation. It is specially noted in the Gospel of John and 1 John.
Dan 12:22, “Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt.”
ZOE, (life), is found 134 times. The verb form ZAO is found 143 times and is similar in meaning.
AIONIOS, (eternal), appears 78 times, usually translated “eternal.”
BOTH THE TERMS ETERNAL AND LIFE ARE DIFFICULT TO DEFINE EXCEPT DESCRIPTIVELY.
ZOE used in Christianity has shades of meaning in Scripture, sometimes a little different than BIOS, which occurs only eleven times in the New Testament and refers to earthly life only. ZOE is found in the following meanings:
- Life principle, or that which makes one alive physically, John 10:11, 15, 17; 13:37.
- Life time, or duration of man’s life, similar to BIOS, 7:3; Jam 4:14.
- The sum of all activities comprising life, 1 Cor 6:3-4; 1 Tim 2:2; 4:8.
- Happiness or state of enjoying life, 1 Thes 3:8, verb form; cf. John 10:10.
- As made of existence given by God, whether physical or spiritual, Acts 17:25.
- Spiritual or eternal life, a state of regeneration or renewal in holiness and fellowship with God, John 3:15-16, 36; 5:24; 6:47; the life which is in Christ and God; divine life itself, John 1:4; 1 John 1:1-2; 5:11.
THE WORD “ZOE” (LIFE) IS SOMETIMES USED TO DENOTE ETERNAL LIFE, 1 John 5:12, in many instances AIONIOS, (eternal), is used to distinguish eternal life from ordinary physical life. The adjective AIONIOS corresponds to the noun AION, which refers to life in general, or the age in which a life is lived.
THE IDEA OF ETERNITY SEEMS TO BE DERIVED FROM THE FACT THAT ETERNITY IS A FUTURE AGE WHICH ECLIPSES OTHER AGES, and thus is the age pre-eminent. Hence, eternal life is that which anticipates and assures fellowship with God in eternity, as well as having promise of entering into that eternal fellowship in time.
THE SCRIPTURES DESCRIBE BUT DO NOT FORMALLY DEFINE ETERNAL LIFE. It is characterized as God’s life, and the nearest approach to a definition is given in John 17:3 where Christ stated: “This is life eternal, that they might know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”
ETERNAL LIFE IS CONTRASTED IN SCRIPTURE WITH ORDINARY PHYSICAL LIFE. Though human life is endless in its duration, it does not possess inherently the qualities which enter into eternal life. Hence, one having physical life without eternal life is described as “dead in trespasses and sins,” Eph 2:1. The lack of eternal life is equated with the state of being unsaved, condemned, or lost, in contrast to those who have eternal life who are declared to be saved, and promised that they shall never perish, John 3:15-16, 18, 36; 5:24; 10:9.
THE FIRST MENTION IN SCRIPTURE tells us that it is not gained as a result of our works, Mat 19:16-17, 29; Mark 10:17-18, 30; Luke 18:18-19, 30. Compare with John 6:27-40; Titus 3:4-7.
Mat 19:16-17, “And someone came to Him and said, “Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may obtain eternal life?” 17And He said to him, ‘Why are you asking Me about what is good? There is only One who is good but if you wish to enter into life keep the commandments.’”
The rich young ruler is first of all an unbeliever. He has a plan for salvation which includes religion: keeping the law, self-righteousness, and trying to keep the law, dependent upon his riches, which is a part of his philosophy. He is the type described in John 12:25.
John 12:25, “He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal.”
Jesus did not mean that it was possible to inherit eternal life by keeping the commandments, any more than He meant that He was not good. Jesus wanted him to realize that keeping commands is not enough, human good works are not enough, self-righteousness is not enough.
We, like the rich young ruler, are imperfect beings. An imperfect being can only come up with an imperfect plan, and the best plan that we can devise is only good in time, never in eternity.
Whereas, Christ is God, and as God, He is perfect, and therefore His plan is perfect and permanent, resulting in eternal life.
Warren Wiersbe notes. “Christ told him to keep the Law, not because the Law saves, but because we must be convicted by the Law before we feel the need to be saved by grace. This young man knew the Law, and the Law had served as a schoolmaster to bring him to Christ (Gal 3:24). Now the Law was serving as a mirror (James 1:22-25) to show the young man his real need. If he really tried to obey God’s Law, the man would discover how sinful he was!” (Expository Outlines of the New Testament.)
This also compares with Rom 2:7, which is not a verse about obtaining eternal life, but describes on what basis God judges, our works.
A corrected translation of Rom 2:7 by R.B. Thieme, Jr is, “To those on the one hand who on the basis of expectation of a good work are seeking eternal life, there is glory, honor (something of value), immortality (resurrection body).”
Therefore, this verse describes rewards for those who have eternal life and produce divine good.
Warren Wiersbe note, “The Jews thought they held the highest “status” among God’s people, not realizing that it is one thing to be a hearer of the Law, and quite another to be a doer (Rom 2:13). Keep in mind that these verses do not tell us how to be saved. They describe how God judge’s mankind according to the deeds performed in the course of life. Verses 7-8 are not talking about a person’s occasional actions, but the total purpose and drift of his life, the “life-choice” as William Newell describes it. People do not get eternal life by patiently seeking it; but if they are seeking for life, they will find it in Christ.”
“The second principle of judgment is “according to his deeds.” This refers to the justice of the judgment, not to the divine provision of eternal life. The passage does not teach that salvation is earned by good deeds. Eternal life is not attained by patient continuing in well-doing. That would be a violation of the whole tenor of Scripture, (Titus 3:5-7). Salvation is by faith, judgment is according to works.” (The Complete Biblical Library – Romans-Corinthians.)
Although works are not the means of Eternal Life, they do lead to the enjoyment of eternal life, which is descriptive of the eternal rewards and blessings we will enjoy in eternity, John 4:36; Gal 6:8-10.
John 4:36, “Already he who reaps is receiving wages and is gathering fruit for eternal life; so that he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together.”
Our eternal life should be a motivator for producing Divine Good, 1 Tim 6:12; Titus 1:1-4; 1 John 3:15-16
1 Tim 6:11-12, “But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness. 12Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.”
ETERNAL LIFE IS IMPUTED TO THE HUMAN SPIRIT, which is created for you by God the Holy Spirit at regeneration, John 3:3-7; Titus 3:5-7.
ETERNAL LIFE IS A PROMISE FROM GOD which can never be revoked, 1 John 2:25 cf. John 10:28-30.
KNOWING YOU HAVE ETERNAL LIFE SHOULD BE THE CAUSE OF CONFIDENCE in time for your spiritual life, 1 John 5:13, 20; Jude 1:21.
EVEN IN THE CASE OF THE ELECT, ETERNAL LIFE IS NOT POSSESSED UNTIL FAITH IN CHRIST is exercised, Eph 2:1, 5.
ETERNAL LIFE IS FOR ALL OF MANKIND, not just the Jew, Acts 13:14-48; Rom 2:11.
Acts 13:46-48, “Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly and said, “It was necessary that the word of God be spoken to you (the Jews) first; since you repudiate it and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we are turning to the Gentiles. 47For so the Lord has commanded us, ‘I have placed You as a light for the Gentiles, That You may bring salvation to the end of the earth.’” 48When the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord; and as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.”
ETERNAL LIFE IS IDENTIFIED WITH YOUR REGENERATION and is received in the new birth, John 3:3-6; Titus 3:5. It is the result of your salvation, rather than the cause of it. Experientially, it is the manifestation of your new life in Christ, as you walk in God’s will and plan on a daily basis.
Experiencing your Eternal Life while on earth occurs only when you are willing to die to everything in your life, including your rights, your virtues, and your religion, and become willing to receive into yourself a new life that you have never before experienced.
This new life exhibits itself in your conscious repentance and through your unconscious holiness.
So, we have to ask ourselves, “am I seeking only for the evidence of God’s kingdom, or am I actually recognizing His absolute sovereign control in my life?”
The new birth gives you a new power of vision by which you begin to discern God’s control. His sovereignty was there all the time, but with God being true to His nature, you could not see it until you received His very nature yourself. This occurred positionally at the moment of salvation and is realized experientially, as you learn and grow in His Word.
John 3:3, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
Mat 5:3, “Blessed are the poor in spirit (those who recognize they need a savior), for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
Mat 5:8, “Blessed are the pure in heart (filled with Bible Doctrine), for they shall see God.”
Mat 5:10, “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness (spiritually mature believers), for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Parenthesis mine.)
ALL THREE MEMBERS OF THE TRINITY ARE SAID TO IMPART ETERNAL LIFE TO THE BELIEVER.
- Eternal life is given by the work of the Holy Spirit at the moment of faith in Christ, John 3:3-6; Titus 3:5.
- The Father is said to beget His spiritual children, James 1:17-18.
- The life which is bestowed upon the believer is identified with the life which is in Christ, John 5:21; 2 Cor 5:17; 1 John 5:12.
As a result, Jesus Christ is the bestower of Eternal Life to the believer, John 10:28; 17:2.
As in the case of the incarnation of Christ, however, the Trinity is related to the impartation of life.
THE IMPARTATION OF ETERNAL LIFE IS EMBODIED IN THREE PRINCIPAL FIGURES IN SCRIPTURE.
- Regeneration is described first as a new birth, being “born . . . of God,” John 1:13, or “born again,” John 3:3. The bestowal of eternal life, therefore, relates the believer to God in a Father and son relationship.
- The new life in Christ is described as a spiritual resurrection. Not only is the believer “raised together with Christ,” Col. 3:1, but is “alive from the dead,” Rom 6:13. Christ anticipated this in His prophecy: “An hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live,” John 5:25.
- The bestowal of new life is compared to the act of creation.
The possessor of eternal life is declared to be, “created in Christ Jesus for good works,” Eph 2:10.
As Adam became a living soul by the breath of God, so the believer becomes a new creation. The concept of a new creation carries with it not only the possession of eternal life, but involves a new nature which corresponds to that life, 2 Cor 5:17, “The old things passed away; behold, new things have come.”
Distinction Between Human Life and Eternal Life:
A sharp distinction must be made between human existence, which by its nature continues forever, and the gift of God which is eternal life, Rom 6:20-23.
Humanity is not wholly conformed to time. Every human being will be living on forever, even after it has been decreed that time will be no more. Thus, humanity intrudes into eternity and must, in the end, conform to the eternal mode of existence.
- Each human being has a beginning. In this he is unlike God.
- Each human being, however, has no end of his existence. In this respect, he is to some extent like God.
That human beings have no end is a solemn thought; but on those who receive God’s gift of eternal life, the very life of God is bestowed. That life is a partaking of the Divine nature. It is no less than Col 1:27, “Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
Thus, by regeneration all who believe become possessors of that which in God is itself eternal. In 1 Cor 13:12, it is declared, accordingly, that the believer one day will know even as now he is known of God, that is, the finite mind will be superseded by the mind of God. Even now it is said that the believer has the mind of Christ, 1 Cor 2:16. This is in contrast to the unbeliever who does not have eternal life but will live forever in torment, Rev 20:13-15; Mat 25:46; Jude 1:7.
There are Three Categories of Eternal Life for Believers Only: Each category of eternal life reveals a new aspect of God’s perfect integrity and plan. For the believer who dies in time, prior to resurrection, there are three categories of eternal life.
- The believer has eternal life while living on the earth, having both earthly and eternal life.
- The believer has eternal life after death while living in heaven and waiting for his resurrection body. This can be classified as having both interim life and eternal life. So, the interim body refers to the manner of existence of the human soul and spirit in the interval between death and resurrection.
2 Cor 5:1-5 that, should this “earthly house of this tabernacle” be dissolved, “we have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens,” and that the human spirit earnestly desires not to be unclothed or disembodied but to be clothed upon; and to this end a body “from heaven,” eternal – with respect to its qualities as anybody.
- The believer has eternal life forever in a resurrection body, which is resurrection life and eternal life, 1 Cor 15:20-21, 35-57; 1 Thes 4:13-18; 5:9-10.
Those believers who, in the rapture generation, do not die physically, have two categories of eternal life.
- Temporal life plus eternal life.
- Resurrection life plus eternal life.
There is a Body for Each Stage of Eternal Life, so as Not to be “Unclothed”:
Temporal life plus eternal life has the body of corruption with the Old Sin Nature, Rom 8:21ff; Gal 6:8.
- The interim life plus eternal life has the interim body, 1 Cor 13:12, (“face to face” with the Lord), which experiences no more pain, tears, sorrow, old sin nature, or sickness, Rev 21:4.
- In this interim body, you are recognizable, Luke 16:23ff. This is the body you occupy while awaiting your resurrection body, 2 Cor 5:8, “absent from the body and face to face with the Lord.”
- The interim life and eternal life stage makes no distinction between winners and losers in the Christian life. It provides sublime happiness for every believer.
This gives the greatest of comfort to loved ones at a funeral, 1 Thes 4:18. Losers and winners have it just as good in heaven in an interim body.
Resurrection life plus eternal life has the resurrection body, 1 Cor 15:35-53. This is the final body you will have for all of eternity. There is distinction in this body between winner and loser believers, 1 Cor 15:41-42a.
Therefore, eternal life exists in two or more categories of life. The person who does not die experiences two categories of eternal life; the person who does die experiences three categories of eternal life.
The Gift of Eternal Life:
Eph 2:8-9, clearly identifies eternal life as a gift from God based on our non-meritorious act of faith.
This is also supported by John 3:36, “He that believes on the Son has eternal life, but he who does not believe on the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”
A person is given eternal life by God, and therefore has eternal life the moment he believes in the Lord Jesus Christ as His personal Savior, John 17:2.
Eternal life is imputed to the human spirit, which is created for you by God the Holy Spirit at regeneration, Gal 6:8.
The Doctrine of Sleep:
In the New Testament, the word “sleep” is the softened term for the believer’s death. Christ employed it in the case of Lazarus, John 11:11-13, and the Apostle Paul used it likewise, cf. 1 Cor 15:51.
Some have confused the fact that the body sleeps with a notion that the soul sleeps. No ground is found in the Word of God for the supposed sleep of the soul. On the other hand, by terms which cannot be mistaken, it is declared that those who die go on in consciousness, and in the case of believers, into the immediate presence of the Lord.
- To the thief on the cross Christ said, “Today you shall be with Me in Paradise,” Luke 23:43.
- The Apostle Paul, speaking of the believer’s death said, “To depart, and to be with Christ is far better,” Phil 1:23.
He also noted, “Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord, (for we walk by faith, not by sight), we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord,” 2 Cor 5:6-8.
- The “Rich Man” speaking to Abraham in Hades, about sending Lazarus back to earth to witness to his brothers, shows consciousness of soul after death for both the believer and unbeliever, Luke 16:19-31.
Since death is never represented as an unconscious condition, the souls and spirits of all men, because they remain cognizant, are subject to both location and conditions.
Eternal Life is Attainable Only in Time:
- Eternal life can only be received while a person lives on earth in his temporal life.
- You cannot get eternal life once you die as an unbeliever.
- Eternal life begins in time, 2 Cor 6:2. You cannot get eternal life in eternity; you have to get it now.
Eternal Life Belongs Only to the Believer:
- The three categories of eternal life do not apply to the unbeliever, who is described by John 3:18.
- Eternal life belongs only to the believer who is never without a body. You always have a body with your eternal life.
Rewards and Eternal Life:
Much Scripture sustains the truth that rewards are to be given to faithful believers for their service while in the world, 1 Cor 3:12-15; 9:16-27; 2 Cor 5:9-11; Rev 3:11; 22:12. These rewards are to be bestowed by Christ from His Judgment Seat in heaven, after the Rapture of the Church and the believer has been received into heaven.
The Marriage of the Lamb: Rev 19:7-9:
In Verse 7, we have a miss translation. The word “bride” is incorrect. The Greek word is GUNE, which means, “woman or wife.” The Greek word for “bride” is NUMPHE (noom-fay’). In the New Testament, the English word “bride” is used 6 times, and this is the only time the word GUNE is used. The other verses use NUMPHE, John 3:29, Rev 18:23; 21:2, 9; 22:17. So it should read, “His wife has made herself ready.”
“Wife” indicates that the marriage ceremony is complete. It was completed at the Rapture of the Church, when the Lord (bridegroom) comes and takes His bride which is when she becomes His wife.
There was no such thing as a marriage ceremony in ancient Israel as we have today. There was a marriage contract between two families, and after agreeing on an appropriate dowry, the groom would go to the house of his betrothed and take her to his family’s home. After a time, there would then be a great wedding feast.
Therefore, in Rev 19:7, the noun GAMOS does not mean “marriage,” it always means the “marriage banquet.”
The moment that the believer received Jesus Christ as his Savior, that is the moment the marriage contract is entered into.
Also in the ancient world, often the bride and the groom were not acquainted until the groom picked the bride up in the chariot and brought her to his home. Because they were not acquainted, the friends of the bride and the friends of the groom had to become acquainted with each other. Therefore, there was one big party that lasted for a week or ten days, and in some cases a month called the marriage supper or feast.
The analogy here: The groom picking up the bride in the air (the Rapture or Resurrection of the Church), 1 Thes 4:14-17. The groom is the Lord Jesus Christ seated at the right hand of the Father; the bride is the Church. So, at the Rapture when our Lord picks us up and gives us our resurrection body, we are taken to His Father’s house, heaven, and we are married to the Lord.
Then there is the wedding banquet. The friends of the bride are waiting outside. Once the groom has arrived with the bride, then you have the wedding banquet. This coincides with the Second Advent of our Lord when He reveals us to the entire world.
R.B. Thieme Jr. states, “The friends of the bride are waiting at the home of the groom, (a.k.a., Castle Zion in Jerusalem). The groom, who at that time will rule the earth, is coming to His castle with His bride, the Church Age believers, and the friends of the groom are the Old Testament saints and Tribulational saints and martyrs.”
The wedding, therefore, occurs in heaven. The marriage supper or wedding feast occurs on earth and is the Millennium.
Chronological Order: Like an interlude between the record of the judgments that are stated in Revelation chapters 17 and 18, and the description of the glorious coming of Christ set forth in chapter 19, is the statement that the marriage of the Lamb has come, or “is come,” Rev 19:7. The Aorist Tense of ERCHOMAI, ELTHEN, translated “is come,” signifies a completed act, showing us that the marriage has been consummated at this time of speaking.
The Time of the Marriage: The marriage is revealed being tied to the Rapture of the Church. Prior to the Rapture, the Church is still anticipating this union. This marriage is also seen as prior to the events of the BEMA seat of Christ, inasmuch as when the “wife,” (GUNE) appears, she appears “clothed in the righteous acts of the saints,” Rev 19:8, which can only refer to those things that have been accepted at the BEMA seat of Christ, 2 Cor 5:10; 1 Cor 3:10-15.
Dr. Lehman Strauss writes, “Has it ever occurred to you… that at the marriage of the Bride to the Lamb, each of us will be wearing the wedding garment of our own making?” What a solemn thought!”
Thus, the marriage itself must be placed prior to the Judgment Seat of Christ.
The Place of the Marriage can only be in heaven: It is in the air that the Church meets the Lord in the clouds, 1 Thes 4:17; Rev 19:14, the marriage must take place in heaven. No other location would fit a heavenly people, Phil. 3:20.
The Participants in the Marriage: The marriage of the Lamb is an event which involves only Christ and the Church. According to Daniel 12:1-3 and Isaiah 26:19-21, the resurrection of Israel and the Old Testament saints will not take place until the Second Advent of Christ. Rev 20:4-6 makes it equally clear that tribulation saints who have been martyred will not be resurrected until that time also. While they will take part in the marriage supper, as “friends,” they cannot be in the position of participating in the marriage ceremony itself.
The Marriage Supper: Rev 19:9
Isa 25:6, “The LORD of hosts will prepare a lavish banquet for all peoples on this mountain; a banquet of aged wine, choice pieces with marrow, And refined, aged wine.”
The word “invited” or “called” in Rev 19:9, (KALEO) implies that these blessed ones have not only received the invitation, they have accepted it, as opposed to those “called” in Mat 22:1-10.
It is interesting that this is the marriage supper of the Lamb, and not of “the King” or “the Lord.” The one title that Christ wants emphasized for all eternity is “the Lamb,” for it speaks of His love for the Church and the price He paid to purchase it.
The marriage feast will be a fantastic celebration of the marriage of the Lamb to His bride, the Church. When this takes place, all the universe will know that the Church is what the Bible says the Church is, the bride of Christ. It will bring great honor and give great glory to God the Father, as a culmination of His great plan of redemption.
There are several interpretations of where the Marriage Supper or Feast will take place:
- Some have thought it to occur in heaven before the Second Advent of our Lord.
- Others have placed two suppers in Scripture, one in heaven and one on earth. In this view, L.S. Chafer stated, “Distinction is called for at this point between the marriage supper which is in heaven and celebrated before Christ returns, and the marriage feast, Mat 25:10; Luke 12:37, which is on the earth after His return.” (Systematic Theology).
- Yet, others have placed it on earth, that being the millennium.
Walvoord and Zuck state, “Expositors have debated whether the wedding will be in heaven or on earth. While the difference is not that important, the interpretive problem can be resolved by comparing the wedding described here to weddings in the first century. A wedding normally included these stages: (1) The legal consummation of the marriage by the parents of the bride and of the groom, with the payment of the dowry; (2) The bridegroom coming to claim his bride (as illustrated in Matt. 25:1-13 in the familiar Parable of the 10 Virgins); (3) The wedding supper (as illustrated in John 2:1-11), which was a several-day feast following the previous phase of the wedding.
In Revelation 19:9 “the wedding supper” is phase 3. And the announcement coincides with the second coming of Christ. It would seem, therefore, that the wedding supper has not yet been observed. In fulfilling the symbol, Christ is completing phase 1 in the Church Age as individuals are saved. Phase 2 will be accomplished at the Rapture of the church, when Christ takes His bride to heaven, the Father’s house (John 14:1-3). Accordingly, it would seem that the beginning of the Millennium itself will fulfill the symbolism of the wedding supper (GAMOS). It is also significant that the use of the word “bride” in 19:7 (GUNE, lit., “wife,”) implies that phase 2 of the wedding will have been completed and that all that remains is the feast itself. (The word commonly used for “bride” is NUMPHE; cf. John 3:29; Rev 18:23; 21:2, 9; 22:17.)
All this suggests that the wedding feast is an earthly feast, which also corresponds to the illustrations of weddings in the Bible (Matt. 22:1-14; 25:1-13), and thus will take place on earth at the beginning of the Millennium. The importance of the announcement and invitation to the wedding supper, repeated in Revelation 22:17, is seen in the angel’s remarks. These are the true words of God.” (The Bible Knowledge Commentary.)
Therefore, the marriage of the Lamb is an event in heaven in which the Church is eternally united to Christ, while the marriage supper or feast is ultimately the Millennial reign of our Lord Jesus Christ, to which believing Jews and Gentiles will be invited. This will take place on the earth (the millennium), during which time the bridegroom is honored, through the display of the bride to all His friends who are assembled there.
Dwight Pentecost states, “In this connection it seems necessary to distinguish between the marriage of the Lamb and the marriage supper. The marriage of the Lamb is an event that has particular reference to the church and takes place in heaven. The marriage supper is an event that involves Israel and takes place on the earth. In Matthew 22:1-14; Luke 14:16-24; and Matthew 25:1-13, where Israel is awaiting the return of the bridegroom and the bride, the wedding feast or supper is located on the earth and has particular reference to Israel. The wedding supper, then, becomes the parabolic picture of the entire millennial age, to which Israel will be invited during the tribulation period, which invitation many will reject and so they will be cast out, and many will accept and they will be received in. Because of the rejection, the invitation will likewise go to the Gentiles so that many of them will be included. Israel, at the Second Advent, will be waiting for the Bridegroom to come from the wedding ceremony and invite them to that supper, at which the Bridegroom will introduce His bride to His friends (Matt. 25:1-13).” (Things to Come, Chapter 14.)
The parable of the ten virgins in Mat 25:1-13, is a parallel passage from the perspective of those invited to the marriage supper, that is, the friends of the bridegroom, which are Old Testament Saints. Note how John the Baptist refers to himself in John 3:29-30 as not the bride or even the friend of the bride, but as a “friend of the bridegroom.” Abraham was called the “friend of God” in James 2:23; compared with Luke 13:28-30. They were Old Testament saints of the Age of Israel.
The Millennial Kingdom:
The Millennium is the term used to indicate the yet future Dispensation, when The Lord Jesus Christ will personal reign on the present earth, as foretold in Revelation.
This Age is also known as the Kingdom Age, which describes the age according to its purpose, rather than just using Millennium that merely indicates the time during which it is.
Rev 11:15-17, “Then the seventh angel sounded; and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever.’”
There are many misguided interpretations as what the Millennial Kingdom will be including:
- A synonymous time with the eternal state, or heaven into which one comes after death, so that it has no relationship to the earth whatsoever.
- A non-material or “spiritual” kingdom in which God rules over the heads of men, so that, while it is related to the present age, it is unrelated to the earth.
- Purely earthly, without spiritual realities attached to it, so that it is a political and social structure to be achieved by the efforts of men, and thus becomes the goal of a social and economic evolution to which men press.
- In the same general concept, it has to do with a nationalistic movement on the part of Israel that will reconstitute that nation as an independent nation in the political realm.
- Synonymous with the visible organized church, so that the church becomes the kingdom, thus making the kingdom both spiritual and political.
- A manifestation, in the earthly realm, of the universal sovereignty of God, in which He rules in the affairs of men, so that the kingdom is conceived as being both spiritual and material in its concept.
Given the varying views of men, we must as always, go to the Bible to understand the truth of the Millennial Kingdom, of which it says is a precise 1,000-year time frame in which the Lord Jesus Christ will personally reign on earth over an earthly kingdom, Rev 20:2-6.
The fact of a Millennium was held by all evangelical teachers until recent centuries, when the teachings of Post-millennialism and Amillennialism came to be received by some. As a consequence, there are today three general millennial theories including:
Post-millennialism which took shape, as a result of the teachings of Daniel Whitby, (1638-1726) in England. Though believing with the Early Church that the kingdom would come at the second advent of Christ, Whitby went on to state that by the present gospel agencies every evil in the world would be corrected until Christ should have a spiritual reign over the earth and continue that reign for a thousand years, at which time His second advent would occur, and He come back to set up the judgment, and close the present order. The majority of those who previously believed this theory have drifted over to a second current theory.
Amillennialism or non-millennialism, which theory teaches that there will be no millennium other than that which supposedly is in progress at the present time. They incorrectly hold that the thousand years mentioned in Rev 20 is a symbolic number, not a literal description, that the millennium has already begun and is identical with the current Church Age, (or more rarely, that it ended with the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70, a.k.a Preterism). Amillennialism holds that while Christ’s reign during the millennium is spiritual in nature, at the end of the Church Age, Christ will return in final judgment and establish a permanent physical reign. Amillennialism also teaches that the binding of Satan described in Revelation has already occurred; he has been prevented from “deceiving the nations” by preventing the spread of the gospel. This theory is born out of the theology of Roman Catholicism, which teaches that the church is the kingdom, and therefore is reigning or should be reigning now. This position was espoused by the late B. B. Warfield of Princeton and is held by many teachers of theology in seminaries today.
Premillennialism, (what we believe), teaches that the present age increases with evil and ends in judgment at the second advent of Christ, when He will set up His kingdom and reign with righteousness for a thousand years. The length of the reign is not the important thing, but the fact that the Church will reign with Him as His Bride is.
It should be remembered that the millennium is not heaven. On the contrary, it is to be characterized by a limited amount of evil, which Christ the King will judge perfectly and immediately, Isa 11:1-16. Neither is it the new earth, which God will yet create after the millennium, Isa 65:17; 66:22; 2 Pet 3:13; Rev 21:1.
The Thousand year’s reign is the direct administration of Divine government on earth for one thousand years by our Lord and His saints. Its earthly center will be Jerusalem and the nation Israel, though Christ and His saints will rule in heavenly resurrection bodies in Jerusalem and will take the place now occupied by angels. Resurrected individuals, although having a part in the Millennium, are not on the earth to be subjects of the King’s reign. Instead, they are participants in His reign, Rev 20:6.
This kingdom is seen to be:
Theocratic. The King will be Immanuel, and by human birth, a rightful heir to David’s throne. Himself born of a virgin in Bethlehem of Judea.
Immanuel’s kingdom will be heavenly in character, in that the God of heaven will rule on the earth. His will to be done on earth as it is done in heaven, see Isa 11:6-9; 41:17-20; 55:12-13.
Immanuel’s kingdom will be on the earth, rather than in heaven, and centered at Jerusalem. His blessed reign will be over regathered and converted Israel and extended through them to the nations.
Immanuel’s kingdom will be realized only by virtue of the power and presence of the returning King.
Immanuel’s kingdom, though material and political, will be spiritual in that its subjects will walk on the earth in the undimmed light of God.
The Millennium and Israel’s Covenants:
This age will see the complete fulfillment of all the Covenants that God made with Israel, and the Millennial Age is instituted out of necessity, in order to fulfill the Covenants. The Old Testament was occupied with national promises and programs and not primarily individual expectation.
L.S. Chafer observes: “The kingdom Scriptures of the Old Testament are occupied largely with the character and glory of Messiah’s reign, the promises to Israel of restoration and earthly glory, the universal blessings to Gentiles, and the deliverance of creation itself. There is little revealed in the Old Testament Scripture concerning the responsibility of the individual in the kingdom; it is rather a message to the nation Israel as a whole. Evidently the details concerning individual responsibility were, in the mind of the Spirit, reserved for the personal teaching of the King, at the time when the kingdom would be “at hand”.” (Lewis Sperry Chafer, Systematic Theology, IV)
The Abrahamic Covenant, Gen 12:1-3; 13:14-17; 15:1-21; 17:1-18; 26:3‑4; Ex 6:2‑8. The promises in the Abrahamic Covenant concerning the land and the seed are fulfilled in the Millennial Age, Isa 10:21-22; 19:25; 43:1; 65:8-9; Jer 30:22; 32:38; Ezek 34:24, 30-31; Mic 7:19-20; Zech 13:9; Mal 3:16-18. All subsequent Covenant promises are reiterations, enlargements, and clarifications of parts of this original Covenant made through Abraham with the nation and establish certain national promises and hopes. Israel’s perpetuity, their possession of the land, and their inheritance of blessings are directly related to the fulfillment of this covenant.
The Davidic Covenant, 2 Sam 7:4-17; Psa 89. The promises in the Davidic Covenant concerning the king, the throne, and the royal house are fulfilled by Messiah in the Millennial Age, Isa 11:1-2; 55:3, 11; Jer 23:5-8; 33:20-26; Ezek 34:23-25; 37:23-24; Hos 3:5; Mic 4:7-8. The fact that Israel has a kingdom, over which David’s Son reigns as King, is based on this Davidic Covenant
The Palestinic Covenant, Deut 30:1-10. The promises, in the Palestinic Covenant concerning the possession of the land, are fulfilled by Israel in the Millennial Age, Isa 11:11-12; 65:9; Ezek 16:60-63; 36:28-29; 39:28; Hos 1:10-2:1; Mic 2:12; Zech 10:6. These references are to the possession of the land promise fulfillment of the Palestinic Covenant.
The New Covenant, Jer 31:31-34. The promises of the New Covenant of a new heart, the forgiveness of sin, the filling of the Spirit are fulfilled in the converted nation in the Millennial Age, Jer 31:31-34; 32:35-39; Ezek 11:18-20; 16:60-63; 37:26; Rom 11:26-29. All the spiritual blessings Israel receives are fulfillment of this Covenant.
Therefore, the Millennial Age is the beginning of the fulfillment of all that God promised to the nation Israel.
A number of other reasons are given why this theocratic kingdom is an absolute necessity.
- As we noted above, it is necessary in order to fulfill all God’s eternal covenants made with Israel.
- It is necessary in order to preserve the integrity of the character of God, since He has promised Israel these things and has foretold of them.
- It is necessary to accomplish God’s purpose of demonstrating His perfect government over the earth.
- It is necessary to restore the original harmony between God and His creation, between the supernatural and the natural.
- It is necessary in order to redeem the earth from the curse imposed upon it due to sin, Rom 8:22.
- It is necessary in order to provide a final test of fallen humanity. Man will be placed under the most ideal circumstances, with all outward source of temptation removed, in that Satan is bound, Rev 20:1-3, and every want supplied, so that there is nothing to covet. It will be demonstrated through those who are born in the Millennium with a fallen, sinful nature that man is corrupt and worthy of judgment. In spite of the visible presence of the King and all the blessings that come from Him, by rebellion at the termination of the Millennium, Rev 20:7-9, men will prove that the heart is corrupt.
- It is necessary to make a full manifestation of the glory of Christ in the kingdom over which He rules.
The role of Church Age believers during the Millennium.
There has been general confusion, even among premillennialists, concerning the relationship that would exist during the Millennial Age between the resurrected and translated saints of the Church Age, the resurrected saints of the Old Testament, the resurrected saints of the Tribulation, and the living saints from the Tribulation, among both Jews and Gentiles who pass into the Millennium.
It has been recognized that the Church would reign as a wife with Christ. The Old Testament saints (including resurrected Tribulation saints), it is agreed, are to be resurrected and rewarded in that age, which includes leadership or ruling positions for some.
Of those that survive the Tribulation, the saved Jews, who are found to be righteous at the judgment on Israel, together with the saved Gentiles, who are declared righteous at the judgment on the Gentiles at the time of the Second Advent, are to be the subjects of the King in the Millennium.
As stated above, the church will be the wife of our Lord at this time. As such, we will share in all that our Lord is doing. As bride and consort, then wife, the Church will rightfully share with Him in His reign, Rev 12:5; 19:15; Psa 2:9 compared with 2 Tim 2:12; Rev 2:26-27; 3:21; 5:10; 20:6.
The purpose of this present Age, (Church Age), evidently, is not to form a kingdom by securing subjects of the King: it is the calling out and perfecting into His very image those who will be co-reigners with Him in His yet future kingdom, Rev 2:26-27; 20:6.
The queen is never a subject of the king: her place is to share with him in His authority and glory and to rest in the bosom of the Bridegroom in the palace of the King.
As members of His body, we are the visible representatives of the Head and the instruments of His manifestation and service, and as the Bride of the Lamb, we are yet to share in and manifest the ineffable glory and majesty of the Bridegroom-King. Therefore, the church will be with Him and share His glory and reign.
Our occupation will not be with our position or glory but with God Himself. We will be fully occupied with the One, “who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood and He has made us a kingdom, priests to His God and Father—to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen. Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So, it is to be. Amen.” (Rev 1:5-7)
Conditions existing within the Millennium for those on the earth.
Untold blessing and glory will be poured out upon earth through the Lord Jesus Christ, in the kingdom, showing the “greatness of the kingdom,” Dan 7:27.
Peace. The cessation of war through the unification of the kingdoms of the world, under the reign of Christ, together with the resultant economic prosperity, since nations need not devote vast proportions of their expenditure on munitions, is a major theme of the prophets. National and individual peace is the fruit of Messiah’s reign (Isa 2:4; 9:4-7; 11:6-9; 32:17-18; 33:5-6; 54:13; 55:12; 60:18; 65:25; 66:12; Ezek 28:26; 34:25, 28; Hos 2:18; Mic 4:2-3; Zech. 9:10).
Joy. The fulness of joy will be a distinctive mark of the age (Isa 9:3-4; 12:3-6; 14:7-8; 25:8-9; 30:29; 42:1, 10-12; 52:9; 60:15; 61:7, 10; 65:18-19; 66:10-14; Jer 30:18-19; 31:13-14; Zeph 3:14-17; Zech. 8:18-19; 10:6-7).
Holiness. The theocratic kingdom will be a holy kingdom, in which holiness is manifested through the King and the King’s subjects. The land will be holy, the city holy, the temple holy, and the subjects holy unto the Lord (Isa 1:26-27; 4:3-4; 29:18-23; 31:6-7; 35:8-9; 52:1; 60:21; 61:10; Jer 31:23; Ezek 36:24-31; 37:23-24; 43:7-12; 45:1; Joel 3:21; Zeph 3:11, 13; Zech. 8:3; 13:1-2; 14:20-21).
Glory. The kingdom will be a glorious kingdom, in which the glory of God will find full manifestation (Isa 24:23; 4:2; 35:2; 40:5; 60:1-9).
Comfort. The King will personally minister to every need, so that there will be the fullness of comfort in that day (Isa 12:1-2; 29:22-23; 30:26; 40:1-2; 49:13; 51:3; 61:3-7; 66:13-14; Jer 31:23-25; Zeph 3:18-20; Zech 9:11-12; Rev 21:4).
Justice. There will be the administration of perfect justice to every individual (Isa 9:7; 11:5; 32:16; 42:1-4; 65:21-23; Jer 23:5; 31:23; 31:29-30).
Full knowledge. The ministry of the King will bring the subjects of His kingdom into full knowledge. Undoubtedly, there will be an unparalleled teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit. (Isa 11:1-2, 9; 41:19-20; 54:13; Hab 2:14).
Instruction. This knowledge will come about through the instruction that issues from the King (Isa 2:2a; 12:3-6; 25:9; 29:17-24; 30:20-21; 32:3-4; 49:10; 52:8; Jer 3:14-15; 23:1-4; Mic 4:2).
The removal of the curse. The original curse placed upon creation (Gen 3:17-19) will be removed, so that there will be abundant productivity to the earth. Animal creation will be changed so as to lose its venom and ferocity, (Isa 11:6-9; 35:9; 65:25),
Sickness removed. The ministry of the King as a healer will be seen throughout the age, so that sickness and even death, except as a penal measure in dealing with overt sin, will be removed (Isa 33:24; Jer 30:17; Ezek 34:16).
Healing of the deformed. Accompanying this ministry will be the healing of all deformity at the inception of the millennium (Isa 29:17-19; 35:3-6; 61:1-2; Jer 31:8; Mic 4:6-7; Zeph. 3:19).
Protection. There will be a supernatural work of preservation of life in the millennial age through the King (Isa 41:8-14; 62:8-9; Jer 32:27; 23:6; Ezek 34:27; Joel 3:16-17; Amos 9:15; Zech 8:14-15; 9:8; 14:10-11).
Freedom from oppression. There will be no social, political, or religious oppression in that day (Isa 14:3-6; 42:6-7; 49:8-9; Zech 9:11-12).
No immaturity. The suggestion seems to be that there will not be the tragedies of feeble-mindedness nor of dwarfed bodies in that day (Isa 65:20). Longevity will be restored.
Reproduction by the living peoples. The living saints, who go into the Millennium in their natural bodies, will beget children throughout the age. The earth’s population will soar. Those born in this age will not be born without a sin nature, so salvation will be required (Jer 30:20; 31:29; Ezek 47:22; Zech 10:8).
Labor. The period will not be characterized by idleness, but there will be a perfect economic system, in which the needs of men are abundantly provided for by labor in that system, under the guidance of the King. There will be a fully developed industrialized society, providing for the needs of the King’s subjects (Isa 62:8-9; 65:21-23; Jer 31:5; Ezek 48:18-19). Agriculture, as well as manufacturing will provide employment.
Economic prosperity. The perfect labor situation will produce economic abundance, so that there will be no want (Isa 4:1; 35:1-2, 7; 30:23-25; 62:8-9; 65:21-23; Jer.31:5, 12; Eze 34:26; Mic 4:1, 4; Zech 8:11-12; 9:16-17; Ezek 36:29-30; Joel 2:21-27; Amos 9:13-14).
Increase of light. There will be an increase of solar and lunar light in the age. This increased light probably is a major cause in the increased productivity of the earth (Isa 4:5; 30:26; 60:19-20; Zech. 2:5).
Unified Language. The language barriers will be removed so that there can be free social intercourse (Zeph 3:9).
Unified Worship. All the world will unite in the worship of God and God’s Messiah (Isa 45:23; 52:1, 7-10; 66:17-23; Zech 13:2; 14:16; 8:23; 9:7; Zeph 3:9; Mal 1:11; Rev 5:9-14).
The manifest presence of God. God’s presence will be fully recognized, and fellowship with God will be experienced to an unprecedented degree (Ezek 37:27-28; Zech 2:2, 10-13; Rev 21:3).
The fullness of the Spirit. Divine presence and enablement will be the experience of all who are in subjection to the authority of the King (Isa 32:13-15; 41:1; 44:3; 59:19, 21; 61:1; Ezek 36:26-27; 37:14; 39:29; Joel 2:28-29; Ezek 11:19-20).
The perpetuity of the Millennial state. That which characterizes the Millennial Age is not viewed as temporary, but eternal (Joel 3:20; Amos 9:15; Ezek 37:26-28; Isa 51:6-8; 55:3, 13; 56:5; 60:19-20; 61:8; Jer 32:40; Ezek 16:60; 43:7-9; Dan 9:24; Hos 2:19-23).
The wide diversity of the realms in which the blessings of the King’s presence is felt is thus clearly seen.
The Creation of a New Heaven and a New Earth:
The New Jerusalem, Rev 21:2-22:5
Some Essential Features of Eternal Life:
A LIFE OF FELLOWSHIP WITH HIM.
- “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face,” 1 Cor 13:12.
- “Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is,” 1 John 3:2.
- “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also,” John 14:3.
- “And they shall see his face,” Rev 22:4.
A LIFE OF ABUNDCE.
- “For bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come,” 1 Tim 4:8.
- “I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the Water of Life without cost,” Rev 21:6.
A LIFE OF REST.
- “And I heard a voice from heaven, saying, “Write, ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on!’” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “so that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow with them,” Rev 14:13.
A LIFE FULL OF KNOWLEDGE.
- “Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part; 10but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. 11When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. 12For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known,” 1 Cor 13:8-12.
A LIFE OF JOY.
- “and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away,” 21:4.
A LIFE OF HOLINESS.
- “and nothing unclean, and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into it, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life,” Rev 21:27.
A LIFE OF SERVICE.
- “There will no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His bond-servants will serve Him,” Rev 22:3.
A LIFE OF WORSHIP.
- “After these things I heard something like a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, ‘Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God,’” Rev 19:1, with Rev 7:9-12.
A LIFE OF GLORY.
- “For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison,” 2 Cor 4:17.
- “When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory,” Col 3:4.
The truth should ever be in mind that heaven and hell are not attained by mere accident. They are presented in Scripture, with a view to human responsibility, as depending upon the human determination.
This truth is asserted in such passages as, “Come. And whosoever will, let him take the Water of Life freely” and “Ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.” That so great a variation in destiny is possible for human beings is set forth in conformity with man’s viewpoint and represents the greatest of all human responsibilities.
(Rev. 7:9—12) “After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sits upon the throne, and unto the Lamb… Blessing and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honor, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.”
No redeemed individual could ever fully understand the glory of the prospect set before him. John summarized the anticipated glory by saying, “We know that when He appears, we will be like Him,” 1 John 3:2. The glory of our expectation is that we shall be transformed into His likeness, being sinless, deathless, and experiencing the perfection of development.
There is the danger that the redeemed one will become so occupied with the anticipation of his own experience of glory that the supreme glorification of the Godhead is lost.
Our occupation in the eternal state will not be with our position or glory but with God Himself. John writes: “We shall see Him as he is,” 1 John 3:2. We shall be fully occupied with the One “that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father,” Rev 1:5-6, ascribing “Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, unto Him that sits upon the throne, and unto the Lamb forever and ever,” Rev 5:13, saying, “Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honor, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen,” Rev. 7:12, for ‘Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory and blessing,” Rev 5:12.
Our words cannot describe and our minds cannot comprehend what the true reality of the eternal state will be, yet our Lord has given us a glimpse into that eternal estate that He has prepared for us.
1 Cor 2:9, “But just as it is written, ‘Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him.’”