CHRISTMAS 2020 - Glory To God in the Highest - Paul M Hanssen
CHRISTMAS 2020: Glory to God in the Highest
The shepherds on the hillsides surrounding Bethlehem were the first to hear the glad tidings of the birth of the Lamb of God. Imagine, an angel appearing unto you heralding the birth of the Redeemer. Then, imagine in the darkness of the night a great multitude of an angelic host appearing and singing a harmonious melody of praise to God enveloped in a message of peace and goodwill toward mankind.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. (Luke 2:13-14)
These two short verses reveal a dynamic truth about God and man; Heaven and Earth. First of all, we see Heaven where God resides and is seated upon His royal throne. It is here that He is praised and glorified in the highest. Then we see Earth, where man resides in his low fallen state. The message that the angelic host proclaimed among men on Earth was ‘peace and good will’.
On Earth, due to man’s sin and rebellion against Him, God is not glorified. Sin separated man from God which caused him to become a glorifier of ‘self’ rather than the exalter of God in the Highest. In the highest, in the high and lofty realms of God’s heavenly Kingdom and throne room, He is glorified. The multitude of heavenly host that exists for the purpose of serving their Creator and Master, glorify God. To the highest of heavenly realms, God is exalted and honored for who He is by His angelic worshipping warriors. These angels never left their first estate or eternal calling. They never fell from their purpose as man did. The host of Heaven still fulfills their purpose of glorifying God in the highest.
To glorify means to give honor, praise, and worship. It also means to ‘promote and to boast about’. It is impossible to glorify God whilst at the same time promote and boast about one’s self. You and I are also created, as are the angels, for the ultimate purpose of glorifying God in the highest. Our lives are to boast about and promote Him who is seated upon the high and lofty throne of the King of kings. For us to accomplish this we need redemption; we need a Redeemer; we need the Lamb of God.
All of mankind seeks for peace and goodwill. Peace means prosperity, quietness, rest, and to be at one with. Goodwill means happiness, satisfaction, and pleasure. The definitions of peace and goodwill encapsulate just about everything that fallen man is looking for. In his fallen condition, mankind continues aimlessly to seek for something that can only be found through the redemption of God’s Lamb. The message of the angelic host at the birth of Jesus reveals the provision of that which all mankind is searching for. Jesus came to redeem and to establish God’s Kingdom (His throne) within the hearts of His people.
When God is honored, glorified, exalted, and magnified in the highest, peace and goodwill are the result among man. The angels do their part, in Heaven. However, man must also do his part on Earth. Before we can fulfill our mandate and join on Earth to that which is done in Heaven, we need a living experience and an encounter with the Lamb of God. Once the shepherds found God’s Lamb, they began to do on Earth as was done in Heaven.
And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them. (Luke 2:20)
When Heaven and Earth are united as one, creation will finally experience peace and goodwill! The Kingdom of God on ‘Earth as it is in Heaven’ will be experienced when creation glorifies God in the highest; when the King upon the high and lofty throne is revered, boasted about, honored, and promoted. This will become a living reality on Earth during the Millennium. However, it can also be a living reality in the life of the believer who welcomes the establishment of the Kingdom of God within the heart.
That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. (Ephesians 1:10-12). (highlights added by the author)
Do not spend your days searching for peace and goodwill on Earth. Rather, spend your days searching for the Lamb of God who has come to establish God’s Kingdom within the hearts of His fallen creation. Upon seeing Him and experiencing a new birth of the Lamb of God within the manger of your heart, you too will be filled with the same “glory to God in the highest” as the angelic host. Earth and Heaven become one. This, in turn, produces peace and goodwill! The manger of Bethlehem becomes the throne of Zion. Both Bethlehem and Zion (Jerusalem) were called “The City of David”. This is a dynamic picture of Earth and Heaven being joined.
ON EARTH PEACE AND GOODWILL!
Merry Christmas to you and yours.
Pastor Paul M Hanssen