The Unspeakable Glory of Heaven

Erich Maag

When we consider the glory of heaven, we’re speaking of an area outside of our universe and the three dimensions of length, width, and height that we live in. This glory, which Paul called “the third heaven” (2 Cor 12:2), is the abode of the invisible God and His angels. Its focal point is God’s throne room. The prophet Ezekiel tried to describe this unspeakable glory in words that we can understand.

His vision transports us directly into heaven: “And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone: and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it. And I saw as the colour of amber, as the appearance of fire round about within it, from the appearance of his loins even upward, and from the appearance of his loins even downward, I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and it had brightness round about. As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake” (Ezek 1:26-28).

This is how Ezekiel describes the throne of God in heaven. What he saw was radiant light reflected from gemstones, colorful wheels of light blended with angelic beings, and around the throne of God, the vibrant glinting brilliance of a rainbow. That is a tremendous image of the sovereignty, majesty, and glory of the Lord, in His incredible beauty and heavenly perfection.

The Apostle John was also allowed a glimpse of this divine glory (Rev 4:3). Both Ezekiel and John mention and describe the temple of God. This is the “third heaven” itself, the palace of God, for which we have received infinite precious promises: “Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name” (Rev 3:12).

This passage is referring to every believing child of God. Naturally, we won’t be made into immobile pillars in a physical temple, but we’ll enter into God’s presence, never to leave Him again, to serve Him always. This image still expresses an important truth.

What did Jesus say to His disciples? “…I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also” (John 14:3). Being in God’s presence means that He will wipe away all our tears. There will be no more suffering. We will have perfect peace and perfect joy. Yes, the whole community of the faithful will be perfected.

At the end of human history, after the millennial kingdom, God will create a new heaven and a new earth, without sin or curse.  It will be something completely new. The third heaven will be merged with the new heaven and the new earth, in a manner of speaking. This is a totally new kind of being and a totally new dimension of existence. This is beyond our imagination, because our perspective is always stuck in three dimensions.

But, however we interpret the eternal, after God has created the new earth and the new heaven, the new Jerusalem will come down to the new earth, adorned like a bride for her bridegroom. Then God’s dwelling place will be with the people forever, the effects of the curse will finally be eliminated, and God will live in boundless and profound fellowship with the redeemed people.

This is our comfort and our firm assurance. Maranatha—Our Lord, come!

Midnight Call - 05/2019

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