Audio Video Library
General Beliefs Site Search Time Line
E-Mail Us Web Links Home

Most of the articles on these WebPages have been written by godly men with a central belief in the Lord Jesus Christ. However as with most of us, they may have different beliefs concerning some particular doctrines. These articles have been made available for the purpose of “gleaning the good” where good can be found. I do not necessarily endorse all that is written by others, anymore than I expect others to endorse all that I write.

   Morning Thoughts by Elder Philip Conley

Psalm 17:15, "As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness."

This morning, let us consider some of the sweeter thoughts of Scripture. While natural men cannot live and subsist simply on bread alone, meat alone, etc., so God's spiritual people cannot subsist on one food group of God's word alone. People who eat primarily from one type of food group will become malnourished and sickly, and God's people who focus on one group of thoughts to the neglect of the rest become faulty in understanding. This is why preaching on heaven's pure world all the time to the neglect of the other brings
about "fuzzy ideas." The foolish notions that have been spouted as of late about the "end times" comes from the constant attention being given to those things to the neglect of other passages. Therefore, we need to be found declaring all the counsel of God, but it does us good, from time to time, to focus directly upon that to which we are going for a little while before going back into the trenches of life. These times are the "beating back out of our armour" if you will. The world seeks to beat in and dent the armour we wear, but focusing on heaven for a little while beats it all back out to fight another day.

David concludes this Psalm with one of the most beautiful declarations of that happy estate to which we are going. While we have not many words to even begin to describe what is coming, David gives enough here to provide solace and sustenance for our journey and race. Many times, people ask questions like, "What is it going to be like in heaven? Will we have this? Will we have that?" To many of these queries,  I must respond, "I don't know." Paul himself was caught up to the third heaven (II Corinthians 12), but even he could not describe the experience. John sought to write what the seven thunders uttered (Revelation 10), but he was expressly forbidden to pen it. Therefore, heaven's pure world is beyond our feeble lips to declare, but what we have on record is enough. It has been said that what makes heaven heaven is the One who dwells there, and may we feel that thought, coupled with the words of Scripture, to be enough for us here.

David gives two primary thoughts about what heaven's pure world will be like. The first primary thought about it is that we will be satisfied in the presence of His righteousness. As we behold that glorious face
of our Dear Saviour, we will be completely and wholly satisfied. Have you ever felt satisfied here? Has anything in the world brought satisfaction to us?  Indeed, we have all felt some passing happiness in some worldly endeavour, but was that satisfaction or just fleeting, emotional contentment? At other times, we have felt lifted up in His presence in His house and been almost at the gates of glory reaching out to touch it. During these times, we can see His face as He appears through the lattice, and heaven seems but a step away. During these times, we can feel satisfied in the manifest Spirit-filled house, but again, this is fleeting.

How long does the joy of seeing the Master's face last? How does our heart yearn after that experience to see Him again? David speaks of complete satisfaction, for we will see Him as He is. We will know Him as He knows us, and that face will not be shown through a lattice nor depart from us. That face of Jesus Christ our Lord will be ever before us in complete and beautiful glory! That is enough to satisfy all of God's children. Right now, we are housed in these old bodies of clay that are not fit for standing in His glorious presence. The new creature (inner man/changed soul and spirit) is yearning for the day that all of God's dear children will be manifest. He is yearning to be delivered from the bondage of vanity that he has been made subject to, but one day, that release will come with the redemption of these bodies. (Romans 8:18-22)

This brings us to the next primary point that David makes. While what makes heaven heaven is the presence
of the LORD, what makes satisfaction never-ending in this scene is that not only do we stand there beholding the Lord for eternity, but we are there with His likeness. While I have not the words to describe what that looks like, the only sufficiency can be in what John pens about that state. It does not yet appear what we shall be, but the one thing we know is that His appearing will be marked with us appearing with Him in glory and like unto Him. (I John 3:1-2) What does that look like? It looks like Him. What does He look like? He looks perfect, beautiful, complete, glorious, and every other good and magnanimous adjective that we could tack on. Is that enough?

David's heart longed for that day that he would behold the Lord's face in glory, be satisfied in His presence, and appear with the likeness of the One who died for him. However, make no mistake about this dear ones. While we have His likeness, no one will mistake us for Him. He will still have the preeminence among His brethren, and He alone will be worshipped in all eternity. Likewise, no one will  mistake you for anyone else, but as one star differeth from another star in glory, you will be you. We understand that celestial stars have their own personal characteristics, but we understand that they all look like stars. In the resurrection, we will
still bear our personal identity, but we will all look like Christ and of the same family (for we will be).

So, let us close with a borrowed illustration from my dear departed father. When I was born, that little baby was me. Later in life, I became a toddler that got into everything, ate everything in the house, and was more than a handful, but it was still me. Then, I grew to school age and went off to school, but that was still me. Later, I became an athletic teenager that thought he could take on anyone and anything and was bigger than life, but that person was still me.

Today, as a minister of the gospel, husband, and father, I realize how foolish that teenager was, but this is still me. In a few years if the Lord blesses me to continue here, I will be middle-aged or perhaps even over the hill, and that person will still be me.  One day, if the Lord does not come back first, my body will be laid to rest in the ground somewhere with the soul and spirit caught up to , and that will still be me. When the Lord gathers His jewels home and my body is reunited with the soul and spirit, it will still be me. And through all the ages of eternity, it will still be me, and dear friends it will still be you as well with all of us beholding His glorious image in perfect satisfaction.

In Hope,

Bro Philip