"We shall see him as he is."

1 John 3:2.

H. C. Anstey.

Christian Friend vol. 14, 1887, p. 197.

This especial favour is reserved for a unique company. Christians only are to have this sight of their Lord; therefore the great importance of the last word. It is not what He was on earth, nor is it here what He will be. What He was the apostle (who had seen Him as a perfect Man on earth) speaks of in chap. 1. On earth he had seen Him "the eternal life which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;" and what He will be John tells us in the book of Revelation. (Rev. 1:7; Rev. 19:11-16.) But in this passage the apostle says it is what He is now that we shall see.

And what is He now? He has entered into that glory which He had with the Father before the world was, as the ever-obedient Son, obedient even unto death; and in John 17 the Lord prays respecting us, "Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me" - that glory which He has now, the glory which He had before the world was. That wondrous relationship too of the Son with the Father, into which He has entered, He has entered as Man, as the One who glorified God on the earth, and who could claim the glory as earned which was always His. We are to witness what that glory and that relationship are. Infinite grace that brings us in on the ground of His own work, that work for God's glory, and for our eternal blessing! Blessed Lord, we shall see Thee in Thine own glory, and in Thine own enjoyment of all the affections of Thy Father's heart! Into that full joy the Lord entered after His work on the cross. His hour of sorrow (John 12:27) all ended with that work, and the hour of His glory began, as He said, "Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee." If we seek the answer to the question, What is He now? the Holy Ghost, descended from Him when glorified, gives the answer through the apostle Peter. "The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified His Son Jesus." It is the answer to His prayer in John 17: "With the glory which I had with thee before the world was;" and we are to be there to see Him in it.

How does this affect us? We wander on the earth absent from Him (2 Cor. 5:6), and our faith but feebly lays hold of what He is now, consequent on the work which He has accomplished. Thence may be traced the miserable apprehension we have of our own relationship, that in which we stand with the Father; and that, alas! is no uncommon thing with real Christians. How can I know what I am with God until I see Him by faith or "as He is"? Well, in that day I shall know it. He is now seated in the enjoyment of all the affections of the Father's bosom, and all the love of the Father's heart. Nothing more shall ever disturb that blessed relationship and rest into which He has entered, based on the completion of all His earthly toil. But that work also puts every Christian before God "as He is," in the blessed relationship of children with God as their Father; and that is the way it affects us. (John 17:23 20:17.) "As He is, so are we in this world." (1 John 4:17.) We are in the wine relationship, His Father ours, His God ours. (John 20:17.)

But not only are we in the same relationship, but we are to be in the same place, in order to behold His glory; we are to be with Him in it. It is this unique favour that John, I believe, speaks of in the verse quoted at the head of this paper, because only in the same place as He Himself is in can I behold what His glory is in the place. When I see Christ in it, and see what it is as displayed towards Him, I shall have the true sense of what is my place and relationship with the Father as belonging to Christ, both, alas! so feebly entered into by me now. But this necessitates my being with Him in it, in order to see it displayed towards Him; that is, in the glory that he speaks of in John 17: "Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world." It is a glory that flows from love, the Father's personal love to the Son, but which of necessity includes in that all that are His.

John looked forward with joy to that time when he, in the company of all the members of the body, shall "see Him as He is." We and he are still awaiting it. We shall be admitted into the "Father's house" to see what that sphere has been, glory and affection displayed towards Him, before we are brought out to share with Him in all the glory of the kingdom. The heart of the Father has been for eighteen centuries delighting in Him, in Him who was ever His delight, even before the foundation of the world, as Proverbs 8 says. But what saint has fully entered into what that delight, that joy of the Father, in Him has been? Well, we shall see it in that day; for "we shall see Him as He is," as He is now, and not as He will be when displayed in the day of His appearing.

We are going into the Father's house, as John 14:1-3 says; but the first thought is that we shall "see Him as He is" there. We are to have, so to speak, this private time with Him in His own abode, before the whole universe, heaven and earth participate in the joy of themselves giving to Him His chief place over them all. But the precious thing is the intimacy of the house. Who will picture the joy of that hour, the joy of the Father's house? It is more than the joy of Luke 15; for this His eternal Son never went astray. It is this beloved Son that we shall see as He is. We shall be like Him when He appears, but we shall first have seen Him as He is. "We know that when He shall appear we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him AS HE IS." H. C. Anstey.

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There are two ways the Christian is seen in the epistles. First, as in Christ - here is no progress, no question; he is accepted in Him: a complete, perfect, present state. But he is also a pilgrim upon earth, having to attain the goal. This gives occasion to every kind of exhortation, warning, and "ifs." Thus he learns obedience and dependence, the two characteristics of the new man. But with this he is led to the sure, infallible faithfulness of God to bring him through to the end, and bound to reckon on it. (1 Cor. 1:8.)