247 – THE KING OF GLORY – II
In the leaflet The King of Glory no. 1 we focused on David’s declaration that Jehovah is the king of glory(Ps. 24:7-10). Jehovah claimed to be glorified in the plagues and pestilences, in the killings and vengeances described in minute details in the Old Testament—similar to the victorious Roman generals who returned from the conquests with their trophies of victory. At the front came the general, stately and proud. Right after him came the defeated princes and generals, chained like animals. After that came the army with the loot of gold, silver, price objects, weapons, and the women, beautiful women. It was no different in Israel, for Jehovah did not invent anything new in social behavior, even if he called himself the potter (Jer. 18:1-6). In Deut. 21:10-14, the prisoner woman was in the hands of her lord to do with her as he wished (Num. 31:8-9; Deut. 20:10-14; 21:10-14). The loot and the spoil belonged to the winners (Num. 31:12; Deut. 2:35; Deut. 3:7; Deut. 20:14; Josh. 22:7-8). Who instructed the people of Israel? The king of glory did (Ps. 24).
Let us return to the New Testament.
Jesus declared, “He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who is seeking the glory of the one who sent Him, He is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him” (John 7:18). In the first part of the verse, in which Jesus says, “He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory,” it is obvious that Jesus reproves Jehovah’s behavior. We focus on this on the previous leaflet. We will now analyze the second part, in which Jesus says, “He who is seeking the glory of the one who sent Him, he is true.” Speaking of himself, Jesus said, “If I glorify Myself, My glory is nothing” (John 8:54).Why did Jesus take this stand? First, because it is written, “Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips” (Prov. 27:2). Second, because self-exaltation is the need of the one who has faults. No one sees virtue in the one who sends plagues and pestilences, nor sees justice in the one who kills the children for the sins of their parents, or sees kindness in the one who sends food to the hungry and afterwards kill them while they eat (Is. 14:21; Ps. 78:23-31). There is no mercy in the one who does not forgive (Jer. 13:14-15). Within this dishonorable situation for the king of glory, the only way out was to speak well of himself, and exalt nonexistent qualities. This is the sin of boasting.
Jesus was busy with seeking the glory of the Father, not his own. Let us read: “I glorified Thee on the earth, having accomplished the work which Thou hast given Me to do (John 17:4). Jesus did not testify of himself (John 5:31). He said, “But I do not seek My glory; there is One who seeks” (John 8:50). Jesus was so careful about this issue — glory, that he said, “I do not receive glory from men” (John 5:41).
To receive glory from men makes one’s ego big. Jehovah received glory from men. “Every one who is called by My name, and whom I have created for My glory, whom I have formed, even whom I have made” (Is. 43:7). “‘For as the waistband clings to the waist of a man, so I made the whole household of Judah cling to Me’, declares Jehovah, ‘that they might be for Me a people, for renown, for praise, and for glory’” (Jer. 13:11).
Jehovah did not divide his glory with another (Is. 42:8; 49:3). And Jesus, on the contrary, divided with the disciples the glory he had received from the Father. “And the glory which Thou hast given Me I have given them; that they may be one, just as We are one” (John 17:22).
It is important to make an exception. In the psalm eight, we read, “What is man, that you think of him? What is the son of man, that you care for him? For you have made him a little lower than God, and crowned him with glory and honor. You make him ruler over the works of your hands. You have put all things under his feet: All sheep and cattle, yes, and the animals of the field, the birds of the sky, the fish of the sea, and whatever passes through the paths of the seas” (Ps. 8:4-8). Notice that Jehovah created man lesser than angels. Man created by Jesus is greater than the angels, for he is going to judge them (2 Cor. 5:17; I Cor. 6:3). Man created by Jehovah would have dominion over the animals, but man created by Jesus has dominion over the angels. The glory that Jesus is going to give to Christians, his faithful servants, is to be like him. Paul expresses himself over this issue: “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which will be revealed toward us” (Rom. 8:18). “When Christ, our life, is revealed, then you will also be revealed with him in glory” Col. 3:4). And Paul goes on: “But we are bound to always give thanks to God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because God chose you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief in the truth; to which he called you through our Good News, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thess. 2:13-14).
Now, Peter is speaking: “I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and who will also share in the glory that will be revealed” (1 Pet. 5:1). The apostle Peter explains a detail in the victorious life of a Christian, saying, “If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you” (1 Pet. 4:14). And, concerning the glorious operation of the Holy Spirit, the apostle Paul adds the following,“Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit” (2 Cor. 3:17-18).
Our readers should note that the true Christian is not transformed from fall to fall; or from sin to sin; or from scandal to scandal, but from glory to glory, or from victory to victory. Peter called the attention of some Christians of his time, saying, “For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? (1 Pet. 2:20). Christians, when they sin, are going to be harshly treated by Satan. John affirms that every Christian who is born again does not sin; and the one that is born of God, keeps himself pure, and the evil one does not touch him (1 John 5:18). If he sins, the evil one touches him. Sin opens the door to Satan, but holiness is an invincible fortress.
To conclude, we remember that Christ has never proclaimed his own glory, because it was not made of words, but of works, and works speak louder than words. If Jesus were Jehovah, as some claim that he is, he would be killing, sending plagues and pestilences, causing wars among brothers, cruelly avenging himself; and in this case he would be asserting his glory with words. But, thank to God it was not so. If that was so, Jesus could never be called king of glory, for the kings always make mistakes. Jesus, though, is the God of Glory, for the true God never commits injustice or makes mistakes (1 John 5:20).
by PASTOR OLAVO SILVEIRA PEREIRA