Would you please explain Isaiah 66:19 in light of Revelation 1:7?


We read in Isaiah 66:19: “I will set a sign among them; and those among them who escape I will send to the nations: to Tarshish and Pul and Lud, who draw the bow, and Tubal and Javan, to the coastlands afar off who have not heard My fame nor seen My glory. And they shall declare My glory among the Gentiles.”

On the other hand, we read in Revelation 1:7: “Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.”

Is there a contradiction?  Shouldn’t those who “who have not heard My fame nor seen My glory” have seen Christ in His glory at His return when “every eye will see Him”?

We know, of course, that the Bible does not contain any contradictions (John 10:35). Therefore, both passages must harmonize and complement each other.

Let us focus first on Revelation 1:7 which says that every eye will see Christ when He returns. In what way will they see Him? Will all human beings see Him in His glorified state—as He really is? No, because no man can see God in His true glory and live. We can only see Christ in His full glorious state when we ourselves are spirit beings.

1 John 3:2 says: “Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like him, for we shall see Him AS HE IS.”

We state the following in our free booklet, “The Gospel of the Kingdom of God”: “No human being can look at God in His glorified state, as He is, and live. But when we are changed, we can look at God and His Son Jesus Christ in their glorified state and live. Why? Because we will be like them, Jesus Christ being the image of God the Father. And what does it mean to be like Christ? To bear His image? It means that we will look like He looks. And how does He look in His glorified state? Let’s read Revelation 1:14-16, which gives us a glimpse of what Christ looks like today: ‘His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire. His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters…and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength.’ That’s exactly how we will look too, when we are changed and are in the Kingdom of God.”

How are we then to understand the statement that every eye will see Christ when He returns? Will every eye see Christ in His full glory?

Continuing with our booklet, “The Gospel of the Kingdom of God”:

“If we can’t see the Kingdom of God, or the two present members of that Family, how do we explain passages like [Revelation] 1:7? Here we read about the return of Jesus Christ, bringing to the earth the government or rulership of the Kingdom of God. It says: ‘Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him.’

“Jesus Christ Himself describes His return in Matthew 24:30: ‘Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes [nations] of the earth will mourn, and they will SEE the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.’…

“Also, consider John 3:3 where Christ told Nicodemus: ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.’… Unless we are born again, we CAN’T SEE the Kingdom of God. If we are born again, we are born of the Spirit—we will BE spirit. As a matter of fact, we will be God beings. And when we are spirit beings and full-fledged members of the God Family, we can SEE the Kingdom of God in its power—we CAN see the other members of the God Family—we CAN see God the Father, Jesus Christ, and other Christians made immortal.

“The word for ‘see’ here is the Greek word, ‘eidon.’ It is the same word as used in Luke 9:27, where Christ said that some of the disciples would SEE the Kingdom of God in power and glory, before they died. And they DID see it—but in a vision… They were still flesh and blood, but they SAW the glorified Christ. They could only do that IN A VISION.

“We DO read that Moses SAW the form of the Lord in His glorified state—but he was only allowed to see God’s back. Read it in Numbers 12:8: ‘I speak with him face to face [but not in His glorified state], even plainly and not in dark sayings, and he SEES the form of the Lord.’ Now read [Exodus] 33: 18-23: ‘And he said, “Please, show me Your glory….” (20) But He said, “You cannot see My face [in its glorified state]; for no MAN shall see Me and live…. ( 22) So it shall be, while My glory passes by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock, and will cover you with My hand while I pass by. Then I will take away My hand, and you shall see My back; but My face shall not be seen!”’

“… those outside the Kingdom of God will SEE those inside the Kingdom of God [including Jesus Christ]. But how can that be, if flesh and blood cannot see the Kingdom of God? For instance, we read in [Revelation] 1:7, that those who mourn over Christ’s return will SEE Him. Now, those people who are mourning that Christ comes back won’t be in the Kingdom—at least not at that time. But it says that they SEE Him. We also read, in Matthew 24:30, that all the tribes of the earth will mourn, when they SEE Christ return. Again, the tribes won’t be in the Kingdom of God, but they still see Him, the King of the Kingdom. And remember, Christ comes back in glory.

“Also, we read in Luke 13:28 that those who weep because they have not been allowed to enter the Kingdom, SEE Abraham and others in the Kingdom. And finally, we read in Luke 16:23 that the rich man who is in torment because of his impending death, SEES Abraham afar off.

“It is interesting that in all those passages, except in the ones in John 3:3 and Luke 9:27, the Greek word, translated ‘see,’ is NOT ‘eidon,’ but ‘horao.’ This word ‘horao’ CAN have, and many times does have, the meaning of seeing in a literal sense. For instance, we read in Matthew 5:8 that the pure in spirit will SEE God. The Greek word is ‘horao’ and has the literal meaning. Also, we read in 1 John 3:2 that we, when we are glorified, will SEE the returning Christ AS HE IS. The Greek word here is ‘horao’ as well. This passage is interesting, as it implies that others who are not glorified, who are not in the Kingdom, will see Christ, too, but NOT AS HE IS.

“That explains HOW the world will SEE the returning Christ. They will see Him, even in glory, but not to the degree of glory that would kill them immediately. We [those who are resurrected at His return] will SEE Him as He is, but the world will not see Him in His fullest glory.

“In addition—this Greek word ‘horao’ can ALSO have a figurative meaning. That is, it can also mean, ‘acknowledge, understand, comprehend, experience, discern, take heed behold, perceive’… So the people of this world and the rich man who SEE Abraham in the Kingdom, see him in the sense that they recognize and discern and understand the fact that he is in the Kingdom, while they are not.”

With this background, let us now analyze the statement in Isaiah 66:19 which says that after His return, Christ will send His servants to some who had not seen His glory. Apart from the fact that no human being did see His full glory at the time of His return, these people did not recognize or discern or comprehend who and what Jesus was and is. Many will die in their futile attempt to fight the living Christ (Zechariah 14:3-4, 12-14). Others, living in distant lands, were not present at Jerusalem and part of the armies of the beast power and the kings from the east to fight against Christ (Revelation 16:12-15; 19:11-21). They did not die then, but they did not comprehend either that Jesus Christ is the Messiah; the KING of kings and the LORD of lords—the immortal Son of God—the second member in the Family of God. So, Christ will send His servants to them to “declare [His] glory among the Gentiles.”

Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary understands the passage of Isaiah 66:19 in this light, saying: “… they shall declare my glory among the Gentiles… they shall declare publicly, plainly, and clearly, that Christ is the brightness of the divine Glory; shall declare the glory of his deity; of his rich grace and love to sinners, in suffering and dying for them; of his salvation…”

Barnes’ Notes on the Bible adds: “Neither have seen my glory – The glory which he had manifested to the Hebrews in giving his law, and in the various exhibitions of his character and perfections among them.”

Malachi 1:11 says the same thing in different words: “‘For from the rising of the sun, even to its going down, My name shall be great among the Gentiles… My Name shall be great among the nations,’ Says the LORD of hosts.”

Ultimately, all nations will comprehend the glory of God—both the Father and the Son—and they will learn that they, too, can become glorious God beings in the Family of God—and then, they will be able to see God AS HE IS.

Lead Writer: Norbert Link

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