Bible Prophecy Fulfilled: Psalm 68 = Eph 4“He who ascended also descended”
Midrashic triple prophecy of Psalm 68:
Overview: Psalm 68 was written around 1001 BC by David from Jerusalem shortly after he moved the Ark of the Covenant into the Tabernacle tent of David. The central theme is God enters His sanctuary in a formal procession. The triple prophecy includes Solomon entering the temple in 970 BC as a warrior king, Christ ascending into the heavenly sanctuary as a king and high priest in AD 33 and Christians entering the heavenly sanctuary at the second coming. The Key details included ascension, descension, clouds, victory over enemies, giving and receiving gifts, incarnation, death in hades and resurrection. It ties together Moses, David, Solomon, Christ, and Christians. The exodus imagery in Ps 68 begins at Pentecost 1446 BC when God descended upon the Sinai (Heb 12:18-29). The narrative then highlights the Ark of the Covenant leading Israel away from Sinai in 1445 BC with a promise to defeat their enemies, then jumps to the defeat of Og and Mt. Bashan in 1406 BC and finally ends when the oppressed find comfort after crossing the Jordan. There are a few key differences in the original story in 1446 BC, the prophecy of Ps 68 in 1001 BC and the Apostle Paul’s messianic application in Eph 4 in AD 59. In classic Midrashic messianic prophecy style, in the original story, God “descends” upon Sinai and “gives” supernatural gifts to men. In Ps 68 God “ascends” up the summit of Sinai and “receives” gifts from men. In Eph 4 Jesus “ascends” to heaven and “gives” supernatural gifts to men. Although called the “Mountain of God”, the imagery of God ascending Sinai as His sanctuary is a new idea introduced by David in Ps 68. Until that time God was only envisioned as “descending” from above down to the summit. Paul’s application of Ps 68 associates God at Mt. Sinai with Jesus “descending to the lowest” through His incarnation, death and burial, and “ascending to the highest” through resurrection and ascension with clouds (Acts 1:9). Paul’s antitypical use of God’s ascension on Mt. Sinai on Pentecost 1446 BC being applied to the incarnation, death, burial, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ is as awesome as it is surprising. The corresponding ascension and descending of Jesus in Ephesians leads us to look back to 1446 BC and realize that God himself had “descended to the lowest” by being relegated to a rank below the Egyptian pagan gods. After conquering these Egyptian pagan gods in the 10 plagues and the crossing of the Red Sea, God then “ascends” to His rightful place on the summit of the Mountain of God! We see just how deep God plans recurring Midrashic themes from Genesis to Revelation that are revealed to us by the Holy Spirit in the 66 books of the Bible.
A. Sinai to Canaan:
1. 1446 BC: AT SINAI: In the Exodus account, God “descends” upon Mt. Sinai on Pentecost in 1446 BC which explodes in fire at the summit and God “gives” supernatural gifts to craftsman enabling them the skill and knowledge to build the tabernacle and associated furniture (Ex28:3; 31:2-3). We immediately see the correspondence on Pentecost AD 33 in Acts 2 when fire appears over the heads of the 12 apostles. Further, there is a direct messianic fulfillment of Isa 2:1-5 where both the Law of Moses and the Law of Christ were given on Pentecost.
a. “You shall speak to all the skillful persons whom I have endowed with the spirit of wisdom, that they make Aaron’s garments to consecrate him, that he may minister as priest to Me." (Exodus 28:3)
b. “See, I have called by name Bezalel, the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. “I have filled him with the Spirit of God in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all kinds of craftsmanship," (Exodus 31:2–3)
2. 1445 BC: LEAVING SINAI: In 1445 BC Israel leaves Mt. Sinai for Canaan with the Ark of the Covenant leading the way. Notice how Ps 68:1 echoes Num 10:33. Moses leads the “captives” out of bondage and defeats the enemies.
a. "Let God arise, let His enemies be scattered, And let those who hate Him flee before Him." (Psalm 68:1)
b. "Thus they set out from the mount of the Lord three days’ journey, with the ark of the covenant of the Lord journeying in front of them for the three days, to seek out a resting place for them. The cloud of the Lord was over them by day when they set out from the camp. Then it came about when the ark set out that Moses said, “Rise up, O Lord! And let Your enemies be scattered, And let those who hate You flee before You.” When it came to rest, he said, “Return, O Lord, To the myriad thousands of Israel.”" (Numbers 10:33-36)
3. 1406 BC: MT. BASHAN/HERMON VS. MT. ZION/JERUSALEM: David makes three references to “Mt. Bashan” (Mt. Hermon) in Ps 68:15, 29. Although King Og is not named it is this conquest story that David has in view. Moses defeated Og who is ruler of Mt. Hermon and the land of Bashan all of which was given as a “gift” to three tribes. This follows the theme of God ascending, enemies defeated, and gifts are given. As David planned the Jerusalem temple he looked back at the time Moses defeated Og and Mt. Hermon. Mt. Zion was chosen by God as the mountain of His sanctuary instead Mt. Hermon with all its height, beauty and splendour. David personifies the multi-peaked Mt. Hermon as being envious of multi-peaked Mt. Sinai and Jerusalem for the place of His Holy dwelling. As David writes Ps 68 he is in the process of building the temple in Jerusalem which Solomon will assemble. Through personification, Mt. Hermon bemoans that lowly Jerusalem was chosen over the breathtaking snowy peaks of Mt. Hermon. While Mt. Sinai was the tallest mountain in the region, Mt. Zion was rather unspectacular in comparison to both Mt. Sinai and Mt. Hermon. David’s mediation about these three mountains as he prepares a temple for God to dwell in Jerusalem undergirds why he referred to the defeat of Og and Mt Bashan.
a. "Then they turned and went up by the way of Bashan, and Og the king of Bashan went out with all his people, for battle at Edrei. But the Lord said to Moses, “Do not fear him, for I have given him into your hand, and all his people and his land; and you shall do to him as you did to Sihon, king of the Amorites, who lived at Heshbon.” So they killed him and his sons and all his people, until there was no remnant left him; and they possessed his land." (Numbers 21:33–35)
b. "The territory of Og king of Bashan, one of the remnant of Rephaim, who lived at Ashtaroth and at Edrei, and ruled over Mount Hermon and Salecah and all Bashan, as far as the border of the Geshurites and the Maacathites, and half of Gilead, as far as the border of Sihon king of Heshbon. Moses the servant of the Lord and the sons of Israel defeated them; and Moses the servant of the Lord gave it to the Reubenites and the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh as a possession." (Joshua 12:4–6)
c. "“Kings of armies flee, they flee, And she who remains at home will divide the spoil!” When you lie down among the sheepfolds, You are like the wings of a dove covered with silver, And its pinions with glistening gold. When the Almighty scattered the kings there, It was snowing in Zalmon. A mountain of God is the mountain of Bashan; A mountain of many peaks is the mountain of Bashan. Why do you look with envy, O mountains with many peaks, At the mountain which God has desired for His abode? Surely the Lord will dwell there forever." (Psalm 68:12–16)
B. Mt. Zion and Jerusalem:
1. 1010 BC: DAVID ASCENDS THE THRONE: The puzzling reference to David delivering the head of Goliath in 1025 BC to the Jebusites at Jerusalem is clarified when it shows that at age 15, David had already targeted Jerusalem as the capital of his kingdom (1 Sam 17:54). Although anointed at age 15, David had “descended to the lowest” by being hunted by Saul (1 Samuel 26:20; 24:14). The key moment that marks the very lowest point in David’s life was when he was about to be captured by Saul first on the mountain of Maon in 1 Sam 23:26-28 and second in the cave at Engedi in 1 Samuel 24:1-4. David wrote two Psalms about this very low time in his life. First, Ps 142 focuses on David's feelings of near death when he first realized he was trapped inside the cave, “Maskil of David, when he was in the cave. A Prayer. I cry aloud with my voice to the LORD” (Psalm 142:title–1). Second, Ps 57 focuses on David's feelings of exhilaration and praise when he realizes that God has delivered him from what he thought was certain death: “For the choir director; set to Mikhtam of David, when he fled from Saul in the cave.” (Psalm 57:title). David wrote the famous Psalm 2 recalling how he felt like a worm when he was almost capture twice by Saul, in spite of the fact he was the anointed king of Israel. It was at this time David uttered “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?” Saul once had the Spirit of God indwelling him but the Holy Spirit was withdrawn from Saul because of sin and given to David. This irked and angered Saul to such an extent that it drove him into a 4 year long psychotic rage to kill David. This is when Saul taunted David when he pursued and almost captured him on the mountain of Maon, “Commit yourself to the Lord; let Him deliver him; Let Him rescue him, because He delights in him.” (Psalm 22:8) Here is a paraphrase Saul’s mocking of David: “David, you think you are so holy and that you have the Spirit of God in you that was once in me. Well now I have surrounded you on this mountain and am going to capture and kill you. All your trust in that indwelling Spirit of God is not going to help you now.” David was about to be captured by Saul because God providentially used the Philistines to attack Judea, causing Saul to immediately withdraw and allowing David to escape (1 Samuel 23:27-28). It is this event where David coins his famous “rock of escape” phrase used throughout the Psalms. Now we understand why Jesus Christ was meditating on this period of David’s life in Psalm 2. Both were kings that had been humiliated to the lowest part of the earth. Both had the wicked pursuing and mocking them. The difference is that God allowed David to escape, but Jesus was delivered over to death to become Saviour, God, King and High Priest. In 1010 BC, at age 30, David ascends to the throne after the death of Saul. The Amalekites burned David’s home city of Ziglag that Achish, king of Gath had given him. They also captured all of the women and children and plundered the valuables. Incredibly David’s own men want to stone him (1 Samuel 30:6) while he is unaware that Saul is dead and his is king. David “strengthened himself in the Lord” and pursued the Amalekites and liberated the oppressed Hebrew captives. Upon returning David learns that Saul had been killed. David has now fully ascended to the highest throne in the land and he proceeds to give gifts from the plunder of the Amalekites to the surrounding cities of Judea. This directly echoes the application in Eph 4 where like Jesus, David was once lowly, on the verge of being stoned by his own people, but is now exalted and gives gifts. David gave material gifts, but Jesus gave supernatural gifts. Even more spectacular is that it was three days from the time David almost got stoned to the time he learned he was the exalted king. This event therefore, is a messianic prophecy of the Death and Resurrection of Christ on the third day.
a. "Now then, do not let my blood fall to the ground away from the presence of the Lord; for the king of Israel has come out to search for a single flea, just as one hunts a partridge in the mountains.” (1 Samuel 26:20)
b. “After whom has the king of Israel come out? Whom are you pursuing? A dead dog, a single flea?" (1 Samuel 24:14)
c. "Saul went on one side of the mountain, and David and his men on the other side of the mountain; and David was hurrying to get away from Saul, for Saul and his men were surrounding David and his men to seize them. But a messenger came to Saul, saying, “Hurry and come, for the Philistines have made a raid on the land.” So Saul returned from pursuing David and went to meet the Philistines; therefore they called that place the Rock of Escape." (1 Samuel 23:26–28)
d. "My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?" (David said when Saul surrounded him 1 Sam 23:26)
e. "You have ascended on high, You have led captive Your captives; You have received gifts among men, Even among the rebellious also, that the Lord God may dwell there." (Psalm 68:18)
f. "Moreover David was greatly distressed because the people spoke of stoning him, for all the people were embittered, each one because of his sons and his daughters. But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God." (1 Samuel 30:6)
g. "Now it came about after the death of Saul, when David had returned from the slaughter of the Amalekites, that David remained two days in Ziklag. On the third day, behold, a man came out of the camp from Saul, with his clothes torn and dust on his head. And it came about when he came to David that he fell to the ground and prostrated himself." (2 Samuel 1:1–2)
1001 BC: Ark of the Covenant ascends Jerusalem: 2 Sam 6-7. David
was king for 7 years at Hebron (1010-1003 BC) and 33 years in Jerusalem (1003
to 970 BC). David captured Jerusalem in 1003 BC and immediately set his hear to
build a temple for Yahweh but first came the war with the Philistines. After
this, in 1001 BC David attempts to bring the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem
from Kiriath-Jearim where it has been for 92 years from 1093-1001 BC. 2 Sam 6:2
directly ties into the central imagery of Ps 68 with God enthroned on his
sanctuary. After Uzzah gets cooked for touching the Ark on the ox cart near the
house of Obed-Edom, David makes a second attempt using poles and priests. The
Ark is placed inside the “Tabernacle of David” in Jerusalem while the
“Tabernacle of Moses” has been at Gibeon for 58 years from 1018-960 BC. The two
tabernacles operated contemporaneously from 1001 BC until the temple of Solomon
was completed in 967 BC, at which time the bronze “sea of Moses” was moved into
the temple. In a messianic progression, the tabernacle went extinct as David
completely reorganizes the country in military, civic and worship. Notably, in
Amos 9:11, it is the Tabernacle of David, not the Tabernacle of Moses that will
be restored by the Messiah as the church. Finally, after defeating his enemies
and as the Ark of the Covenant, central to Ps 68:1 + Numbers 10:3-36, ascends
Jerusalem, David offers gifts to God via sacrifice and David offers gifts of
food to the people (2 Samuel 6:17-19). David draws this event of the Ark
ascending Jerusalem, the defeat of enemies and gifts into the messianic imagery
in Ps 68:18,29. Ps 68:24 describes how the event was formal procession into His
new Sanctuary, the Tabernacle tent of David. David had already begun planning
to build a Temple to house the Ark. Shortly after David brings Ark to Jerusalem
in 1001 BC while the Temple is being prepared is when David writes Psalm 68.
a. "And David arose and went with all the people who were with him to Baale-judah, to bring up from there the ark of God which is called by the Name, the very name of the Lord of hosts who is enthroned above the cherubim." (2 Samuel 6:2)
b. "So they brought in the ark of the Lord and set it in its place inside the tent which David had pitched for it; and David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the Lord. When David had finished offering the burnt offering and the peace offering, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord of hosts. Further, he distributed to all the people, to all the multitude of Israel, both to men and women, a cake of bread and one of dates and one of raisins to each one. Then all the people departed each to his house." (2 Samuel 6:17–19)
c. "In that day I will raise up the fallen booth of David, And wall up its breaches; I will also raise up its ruins And rebuild it as in the days of old" (Amos 9:11)
3. 967 BC: God ascends the Jerusalem temple with Shekinah Glory: Psalm 68 was written by David in 1001 BC after moving the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem. Just as David had a formal processional of moving the Ark into the Tabernacle of David, so too did Solomon have a formal processional envisioned in advance by David in Ps 68:24 of moving the Ark into the newly completed temple in 970 BC. 2 Chron 5:13-14 and 7:1-3 both tie in all the elements at Mt. Sinai with God ascending his rightful place, enthroned in his temple on the Holy Mountain of Jerusalem and gifts are “received among men” in the way of massive numbers of animals sacrificed. Gifts of sacrifices and prayers are offered to God who sends fire down from heaven upon the altar. Then gifts were given to men as they were provided the meat from the sacrifices for 7 feast days. The Holy of Holies is filled with clouds echoing Ps 68:4,33 where God is envisioned riding through the air with clouds just like at Mt. Sinai where God “dawned from Mt. Seir” due south to descend upon the summit of Mt. Lawz in Saudi Arabia. David concludes Ps 68:35 as a messianic prophecy of how Christians as the church will replace the Temple of Solomon.
a. "in unison when the trumpeters and the singers were to make themselves heard with one voice to praise and to glorify the Lord, and when they lifted up their voice accompanied by trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and when they praised the Lord saying, “He indeed is good for His lovingkindness is everlasting,” then the house, the house of the Lord, was filled with a cloud, so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the house of God." (2 Chronicles 5:13–14)
b. "“Now the Lord has fulfilled His word which He spoke; for I have risen in the place of my father David and sit on the throne of Israel, as the Lord promised, and have built the house for the name of the Lord, the God of Israel. “There I have set the ark in which is the covenant of the Lord, which He made with the sons of Israel.”" (2 Chronicles 6:10–11)
c. "Now when Solomon had finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the house. The priests could not enter into the house of the Lord because the glory of the Lord filled the Lord’s house. All the sons of Israel, seeing the fire come down and the glory of the Lord upon the house, bowed down on the pavement with their faces to the ground, and they worshiped and gave praise to the Lord, saying, “Truly He is good, truly His lovingkindness is everlasting.” Then the king and all the people offered sacrifice before the Lord. King Solomon offered a sacrifice of 22,000 oxen and 120,000 sheep. Thus the king and all the people dedicated the house of God." (2 Chronicles 7:1–5)
d. "So Solomon observed the feast at that time for seven days, and all Israel with him, a very great assembly who came from the entrance of Hamath to the brook of Egypt." (2 Chronicles 7:8)
e. "O God, You are awesome from Your sanctuary. The God of Israel Himself gives strength and power to the people. Blessed be God!" (Psalm 68:35)
B. Temple transforms from physical to spiritual, stones to Christians:
1. AD 33: Death and Ascension of Jesus Christ: In AD 59 Apostle Paul quotes Ps 68 by associating Mt. Sinai and the temple in Jerusalem as a messianic prophecy of the death, burial, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus ascending to the true heavenly sanctuary as our High Priest with his blood. Ps 68 ties together all the elements of God ascending Mt. Sinai, the ark as the mercy seat of forgiveness ascending Jerusalem by David, then by Solomon into the Temple. Enemies and the devil are defeated: Heb 2:14. The devil is captured, and his goods are plundered as he is led away captive by being bound for 1000 years. (Mt 12:29; Rev 20). Sinful men whom the Devil had held captive are released (Luke 4:18). As Christ ascends, there are clouds (Acts 1:9). There is a royal ascension ceremony in heaven as Jesus takes his place in the Temple (Rev 5) and finally when Jesus is fully glorified in Heaven (Jn 7:39 + Acts 2:33) He sends supernatural gifts to the church on the day of Pentecost AD 33 in Acts 2. These gifts were initially given to only the 12 apostles, then through the laying on of the apostle’s hands (Acts 8:18; 19:6), they were individually transmitted to Christian men and women. Once the New Testament scriptures were completed, the supernatural gifts ceased (1 Cor 13:8-13; Rom 12; Eph 4). The most striking part of Eph 4 is that Paul associates the ascension of God up the summit of Mt. Sinai to Jesus’ ascension up to heaven. Daniel 7:13-14 is the primary messianic prophecy of the ascension of Christ from earth to heaven with clouds to take his rightful place as king of his kingdom. Most surprising is Paul’s inspired commentary in classic Midrashic style, by inferring Christ descended before he ascended. While this includes His incarnation by descending from heaven, giving up equality with God, and becoming a man (Phil 2:6-9) the language includes the death of Christ where he descended down into the Hadean world below the earth. Paul’s Midrashic inference that Ps 68 foresaw the death, burial, resurrection and ascension of Christ can then be applied to Yahweh who somehow had descended in 1446 BC before he ascended to the summit of Mt. Sinai. We are not told how YHWH descended from heaven to below the earth, then ascend Mt. Sinai. Following the entire pattern of Ps 68 and how it is connected with all the other stories, Jehovah had been downranked to being equal to the Egyptian gods, echoing the incarnation, God had descended below the rank of the Egyptian gods to the lowest parts of the earth. Pharaoh replied to Moses, “I do not know YHWH, nor will I listen to him”. Through the destruction of Egypt, the 10 plagues and the Red Sea crossing at the Straits of Tiran, God defeated His enemies, then he ascended triumphally to the summit of Mt. Sinai (Mt. Lawz). Jesus period of being downranked to the lowest parts of the earth is echoed through God himself at Mt. Sinai in 1446 BC, although he was the one true God and creator. Likewise, anointed king David being hunted by Saul and almost stoned by his fellow Hebrews at the time Saul had died and David was now king. Likewise, anointed Jesus Christ, creator and Saviour who was crucified on the cross. The pattern and theme in YHWH, David and Jesus in Ps 68/Eph 4 starts with a “descending” below their rightful rank and ends with an “ascending” to their rightful rank. Yahweh, God of gods, was downranked below usurper idol gods. David, king of kings, was downranked below other usurper kings. In this way, the downranking of God the Father and King David was a messianic prophecy of the crucifixion and burial of Christ when Jesus was downranked to hades for three days until his resurrection.
a. "But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore it says, “When He ascended on high, He led captive a host of captives, And He gave gifts to men.” (Now this expression, “He ascended,” what does it mean except that He also had descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is Himself also He who ascended far above all the heavens, so that He might fill all things.) And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ." (Ephesians 4:7–13)
b. "Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil," (Hebrews 2:14)
c. "“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, And recovery of sight to the blind, To set free those who are oppressed," (Luke 4:18)
d. "“Or how can anyone enter the strong man’s house and carry off his property, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house." (Matthew 12:29)
e. "I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a book written inside and on the back, sealed up with seven seals. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the book and to break its seals?” And no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the book or to look into it. Then I began to weep greatly because no one was found worthy to open the book or to look into it; and one of the elders said to me, “Stop weeping; behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome so as to open the book and its seven seals.” And I saw between the throne (with the four living creatures) and the elders a Lamb standing, as if slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, sent out into all the earth. And He came and took the book out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne. When He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. “You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.” Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.” And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, “To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.” And the four living creatures kept saying, “Amen.” And the elders fell down and worshiped." (Revelation 5)
f. "“I kept looking in the night visions, And behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man was coming, And He came up to the Ancient of Days And was presented before Him. “And to Him was given dominion, Glory and a kingdom, That all the peoples, nations and men of every language Might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion Which will not pass away; And His kingdom is one Which will not be destroyed." (Daniel 7:13–14)
2. Future Exaltation of Christians at Second Coming: As we have seen, Ps 68 follows no less than 6 storylines which are all sewn together to create a common pattern of descension, humiliation, defeat of enemies, ascension, glory, clouds and fire, give and receiving gifts. Christians die exactly like Christ by bearing the cross daily (Lk 9:23; Gal 2:20). Through water baptism, Christians have been crucified with Christ and are buried and risen to new life but and are currently in a state of “descension” awaiting our future ascension with Christ and glorification that will be revealed at the second coming (Rom 6:3-10). Now Christians are subjected to futility as we await our adoption as sons of God (Rom 8:18-25). Through Midrashic inference, we see that the third messianic prophecy of Ps 68 is the ascension of Christians at the second coming, rising to meet Jesus in the air with clouds as the angels bring down flaming fire to destroy the enemies of Christians. (2 Thess 1:5-9; Rom 16:20; Rev 3:9) The translation of Christians from fleshly futility to spiritual glory entering the heavenly temple of God in great pomp and ceremony that includes a marriage feast. Christians inherit great wealth as a free gift and reward. What is most striking is that since Christians are the temple of God, after the second coming God will indwell Christians with the same shekinah glory as seen at Mt. Sinai and Solomon’s temple. Christians as the body of Christ are one with God in heaven with Christ as the head. God infills Christ and the church with his glory for all eternity in heaven.
a. "And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me." (Luke 9:23)
b. "“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me." (Galatians 2:20)
c. "Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God." (Romans 6:3–10)
d. "For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it." (Romans 8:18–25)
e. "The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you." (Romans 16:20)
f. "‘Behold, I will cause those of the synagogue of Satan, who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie—I will make them come and bow down at your feet, and make them know that I have loved you." (Revelation 3:9)
g. "Then he said to me, “Write, ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’ ” And he said to me, “These are true words of God.”" (Revelation 19:9)
h. "This is a plain indication of God’s righteous judgment so that you will be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which indeed you are suffering. For after all it is only just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power," (2 Thessalonians 1:5-9)
i. "As is the earthy, so also are those who are earthy; and as is the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly. Just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we will also bear the image of the heavenly. Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality." (1 Corinthians 15:48–53)
j. "in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit." (Ephesians 2:21–22)
k. "‘He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it anymore; and I will write on him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God, and My new name." (Revelation 3:12)
l. "I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple." (Revelation 21:22)
m. "which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all." (Ephesians 1:20–23)
1. David wrote Psalm 68 in 1001 BC after he began planning the Temple and had moved the Ark of the Covenant into the Tabernacle of David in Jerusalem.
2. In Psalm 68 David echoes four historic events to lay the groundwork for the messianic prophecy:
a. God ascending Mt. Sinai in 1446 BC.
b. The Ark of the Covenant leaving Sinai in 1445 BC.
c. Moses’ defeat of Og, king of Bashan who ruled Mt. Hermon.
d. David brings the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem in 1001 BC
3. David made three prophecies, two of which were messianic:
a. Prophecy: The procession of God entering the temple of Solomon in 967 BC.
b. Messianic #1: The death burial, resurrection and ascension of Christ in AD 33.
c. Messianic #2: Christians ascending in glory to heaven at the second coming.
4. You need to be a Christian if you want to be one with God and share His glory in heaven:
a. You must believe Jesus died and was raised the third day and taken up to Glory: Mk 16:16
b. You must repent of your sins: Acts 2:38; 22:16
c. You must become evangelistic and confess Jesus before men: Matthew 10:32-33; Acts 8:36–38
d. You must be immersed in water for the remission of your sins to be born again and rise in new life: Jn 3:3-5; 1 Pet 3:21
By Steve Rudd 2020: Contact the author for comments, input or corrections.