The “Weight of Glory”

by Sandy Simpson, 3/2/16


2 Corinthians 4:17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; (KJV)


This is both an incredible source of hope for Christians who are downtrodden, and a source of escalating heresy in many churches.  It is critical that we understand what Paul was talking about when he wrote the phrase “weight of glory”.  Jacob Prasch has repeated this phrase in his teachings over the years … “A text, out of context, in isolation from co-text is always a pre-text."  A huge problem today is that individuals and movements tend to yank verses out of their context and build a cult of heresy around them.  This is called eisegesis or plugging your own ideas into the Scriptures instead of exegesis, gaining understanding and interpretation of the Bible by studying it in context and in the scope of the whole written Word.


2 Corinthians 4:8-18 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. So then death worketh in us, but life in you. We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak; Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you. For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God. For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.


There is only one place in the Bible where it talks about the "weight of glory", namely 2 Cor. 4:17.  This verse is also translated:


For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, (NASB)

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. (NIV)


In context, Paul is contrasting our current light affliction with the “weight of glory” to come when we are in heaven with the Savior, not that "glory" has weight.  Weight is a metaphor for something that has real impact and eternal presence in our lives as opposed to the light and fleeting afflictions we have to suffer now.  This is the true believer’s hope that someday our troubles will be over with.  So we must continue in hope and trust the Lord who is presently unseen to bring us to where the unseen things in eternity are revealed.


1 Corinthians 13:12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.


The reason I stated earlier the interpretation of this “hope of glory” is a source of joy for the true believer, on one hand, but an opening for the devil in apostate Third Wave, Word of Faith and New Apostolic churches worldwide. For these individuals and movements to redefine the hope of glory as some kind of physical heaviness they feel when they get slain in the spirit is not only unbiblical, it can be downright demonic.  All you have to do is go on YouTube and watch services held in these churches.  You will see people falling down like they are being pressed down by the gravity of Jupiter.  They slump to the floor and testify that the “weight of glory” or the “glory cloud” is causing them to uncontrollably fall down.  They have taken a section of Scripture and blasphemized it into being the result of a transferable impartation proving they are under the influence of the “Holy Ghost”.  But all this is proving that, over and over again, those who have given themselves over to this Kundalini-type spirit in the churches have no one to teach them what the Bible is really saying.  What a shame and a curse.


Let’s look at what good biblical commentators have to say about this 2 Cor. 4:17:


Barnes New Testament Notes


Verse 17. For our light affliction. This verse, with the following, is designed to show further the sources of consolation and support which Paul and his fellow-labourers had in their many trials. Bloomfield remarks on this passage, that, "in energy and beauty of expression, it is little inferior to any in Demosthenes himself, to whom, indeed, and to Thucydides in his orations, the style of the apostle, when it rises to the oratorical, bears no slight resemblance." The passage abounds with intensive and emphatic expressions, and manifests that the mind of the writer was labouring to convey ideas which language, even after all the energy of expression which he could command, would very imperfectly communicate. The trials which Paul endured, to many persons would have seemed to be anything else but light. They consisted of want, and danger, and contempt, and stoning, and toil, and weariness, and the scorn of the world, and constant exposure to death by land or by sea. See #2Co 4:7-10; comp. #2Co 11:23-27. Yet these trials, though continued through many years, and constituting, as it were, his very life, he speaks of as the lightest conceivable thing when compared with that eternal glory which awaited him. He strives to get an expression as emphatic as possible to show that, in his estimation, they were not worthy to be named in comparison with the eternal weight of glory. It is not sufficient to say that the affliction was "light," or was a mere trifle; but he says that it was to endure but for a moment. Though trials had followed him ever since he began to make known the Redeemer, and though he had the firmest expectation that they would follow him to the end of life and everywhere, (#Ac 20:23,) yet all this was a momentary trifle compared with the eternal glory before him. The word rendered "light," (elafron) means that which is easy to bear, and is usually applied to a burden. See #Mt 11:30 2Co 1:17.


John Gill Expositor


Ver. 17. For our light affliction, &c.] The difference between the present and future state of the saints is here expressed, the disparity between them shown, and the influence the one has upon the other. The present state is a state of "affliction". Affliction is the common lot of the children of men, but more especially of the children of God, and is here designed by "our" affliction; for these, besides their soul trouble, meet with such in the world, and from the men of it, others do not. Afflictions are appointed for them by their heavenly Father; provision is made for them, and support under them, in the covenant of grace; they are Christ’s legacy to them, and by which they are conformed to him; they are always for their good, spiritual and eternal; and lie in their way to heaven, through which they must pass into the kingdom: now these their outward afflictions which are here meant, lie chiefly in the meanness of their outward circumstances; in poverty and distress, in disgrace, reproaches, and persecutions for their profession of Christ, and his truths: and in opposition to this their mean and despicable condition in the eyes of the world, their future state is signified by "glory", as it often is in the word of God; and is of such a nature, that all the glories of this world, such as kingdoms, crowns, inheritances, possessions, riches, honour, and substance of every kind and degree, by all which the heavenly state is expressed, are but faint resemblances of it: it is the same glory Christ has entered into, is possessed of for, and will give to all his people; it will chiefly lie in communion with Father, Son, and Spirit, with angels, and one another; there will be a visible glory upon the bodies of the saints, which will be fashioned like to the glorious body of Christ; and their souls will be blessed with perfect knowledge and holiness. Their affliction is represented as "light" which though it is not in itself, but often very grievous and heavy to be borne, especially when any soul trouble is added to it; yet is light, when the saint is supported by the arm of the Lord, indulged with his presence, and favoured with the discoveries of his love. The afflictions of God’s people are light, when compared with their deserts, with the sufferings of Christ, the torments of the damned in hell, and the joys of heaven, which are here, by way of opposition thereunto, styled a "weight of glory". The apostle has respect to the Hebrew word dwbk, which signifies both "weight" and "glory", and is often used for riches, honour, and whatsoever is excellent, solid, and substantial: and here the phrase designs the weighty riches of glory, that massy crown of glory which fadeth not away, that bulky and more enduring substance, which Christ will cause them that love him to inherit. Again, the afflictions of the children of God are said to be for a moment; they are but for a while, and that a little while; at most they are but for the present time of life, and that is but as a vapour which appears for a little while, and then vanishes away; it is but as a moment, a point of time, in comparison of eternity: but the glory the saints are chosen and called unto, that weight of it which shall be put upon them is "eternal", it will last forever; it will know no end: hence it is called an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens, an everlasting kingdom, everlasting habitations, an incorruptible inheritance, and a crown of glory that fadeth not away. Now the present affliction of the people of God has a considerable influence upon this; it is said here, that it worketh for us this glory. The Jews {y} introduce God speaking words much like these.


Saith the holy blessed God, I have sent them chastisements in this world, … "to strengthen their arms for", or that their arms may lay hold upon the world to come.”


Now afflictions may be said to work eternal glory for the saints, not by way of merit, for they are not worthy to be compared with the glory to be revealed; there is no proportion between them; besides, the heavenly kingdom and glory was prepared from the foundation of the world, and is a free grace gift of their heavenly Father; but they work as means of enjoying it, as the word and ordinances do; the Spirit of God makes use of them, as of the other, to work up the saints for that selfsame thing, glory: these are means of trying, exercising, and improving their graces, of weaning their hearts from this world, and drawing out their desires, hope, and expectation of another; they are the way in which believers walk to glory, and which it last issue and terminate in it; glory follows upon them, though it is not for them.


Matthew Henry Concise Commentary


#13-18 The grace of faith is an effectual remedy against fainting in times of trouble. They knew that Christ was raised, and that his resurrection was an earnest and assurance of theirs. The hope of this resurrection will encourage in a suffering day, and set us above the fear of death. Also, their sufferings were for the advantage of the church, and to God’s glory. The sufferings of Christ’s ministers, as well as their preaching and conversation, are for the good of the church and the glory of God. The prospect of eternal life and happiness was their support and comfort. What sense was ready to pronounce heavy and long, grievous and tedious, faith perceived to be light and short, and but for a moment. The weight of all temporal afflictions was lightness itself, while the glory to come was a substance, weighty, and lasting beyond description. If the apostle could call his heavy and long-continued trials light, and but for a moment, what must our trifling difficulties be! Faith enables to make this right judgment of things. There are unseen things, as well as things that are seen. And there is this vast difference between them; unseen things are eternal, seen things but temporal, or temporary only. Let us then look off from the things which are seen; let us cease to seek for worldly advantages, or to fear present distresses. Let us give diligence to make our future happiness sure.


Conversely, here are some of the experiential manifestations of Third Wavers who believe that the “weight of glory” is evidenced in a physical way via the laying on of hands.


"In April of 1989, (Rodney Howard-) Browne's traveling ministry had him in Albany, New York, when an unusual manifestation occurred. As he was preaching, he and others in the service felt a 'sensation like a heavy blanket coming over him. . . .' People began falling out of their seats; some were laughing and others were crying. The noise got so loud that Browne had to interrupt his sermon. 'Lord, you're ruining my meeting,' the evangelist complained. He says God replied, 'The way your meetings have been lately, they deserve to be ruined. I will move all the time if you will allow me to move.' From that time on, Browne increased in demand as a speaker. The greatest turning point occurred in the Spring of 1993. Browne held a four week meeting in Lakeland, Florida at Carpenter's Home Church. The 10,000 seat auditorium was filled almost every night. People were reported to have been drawn from as far away as Africa, Great Britain, and Argentina. What were they drawn to? The unusual phenomena of laughter. As Charisma Magazine reports, 'No matter what Howard-Browne did or said, hundreds who attended the daily sessions always ended up on the sanctuary floor in helpless laughter. When the services were broadcast on the radio, more curious seekers showed up to join the fun'. ) (Pastor Bill Randles, “Making War in the Heavenlies: A Different Look At Spiritual Warfare,” p. 92-93 citing Charisma, p. 24.)

It took four men to carry off his limp form, partly because of the weight of God’s glory emanated from him and made their own bodies seem heavier. (Another Veil Is Torn In Two by James H. Rutz (End-Times News Digest, P.O. Box 1788, Medford, OR 97501 [541]826-9877, April 1997, issue #223)

The sheer weight of the glory of the Lord being revealed (see Isaiah 60:1-3) will totally replace the Church's lens through which we have so long seen Church (in how we view it). A Kingdom lens will become our new primary lens. Our focus and ways will be that of a Kingdom that cannot be shaken, through seeing and being a city of living stones that God is building. (Colin Brown, ElijahList, 12/8/13)

“I am convinced there is a point in your relationship with the Spirit when the anointing becomes so heavy on you - His presence so close to you-that you can look up and see a vision of God. That's how real He can become. “ (Benny Hinn, Good Morning Holy Spirit, p.119).

People experience the glory of God as a kind of weight. (Honouring the Written Word of God by J. Packer)

The Heavy Drunken Glory (YouTube video,

God's glory was manifest in such power that the priests could not function or enter the temple because of God's glory (2 Chr. 7:1-2). At times the presence of God is “heavy” and can be felt as weight. People fall under it or gradually bend over until they eventually fall. The Hebrew word for glory is kavod, which means the “weight or heaviness” of God. (The Manifestations of the Spirit in Scripture, PeopleGetReady,

The weight of glory on me was heavy. It took a bunch of those high school students, to lift me up and stuff me in the van. I was stiff as a board and couldn’t bend. And I was heavy, very heavy.  (Chasing The Glory Of God by Sue Iviead,

These are just a few examples I could cite.  There are videos all over the web showing people getting heavy and falling to the floor under the effects of a false anointing.  These are clearly not manifestations from God but from the enemy.  God does not work by negating our wills but with our wills submitted to Him.  It is the enemy who must attempt to take over the will of men to accomplish his plans.  In addition to this, the few places where the priests in the Old Testament were overwhelmed by the Glory Cloud in the Tabernacle were extraordinary circumstances that are not to be sought out and repeated by Christians today.  That is because the Holy Spirit now dwells IN believers.  He works from the inside out, not the outside in.  The priests in 2 Chr. 7:1-2 could not enter the Temple because of the glory of God there, but they did not get heavy and fall down.  John fell down when seeing Jesus Christ in His glorified body, but he was not slain in the spirit or became so heavy he could not stand.  He fell down in worship and awe of Jesus Christ whom he had known when He was on earth.  There are other cases where people fell down in the Bible but anytime they fell backwards it was always a judgment from God because of their sin, such as the time when they came to arrest Jesus in the garden.  Slain in the spirit is an occult technique taken from false religions such as Hinduism, namely Yoga (Kundalini), and was not done by Jesus or the Apostles.  I have long posited, though have yet to find irrefutable proof, that William Branham on his trips to India saw this practice, learn to do it, and brought it back in his crusades to the West.  I am still investigating the background of this citation from Occult ABC by Kurt Koch:

"The most remarkable "messiah" at (the time of the writing of this book) ... is to be found at camp Manujothi Ashram in the desert in South India. It is the extreme American evangelist, William Branham, whom Christians have to thank for this false messiah. His name is Paluser Lawrie Mathukrishna. When Branham was on (a) tour of India, Brother Lawrie became a disciple of his, and Branham described him as the "Son of God" and "Christ returned." (Kurt Koch, Occult ABC, 1978, p. 66)

In any case, the manifestations of Kundalini Shaktipat are identical to slain in the spirit manifestations including feeling heavy, falling down into trances, speaking in tongues, uncontrollable laughter, drunkenness, and all manner of manifestations which show a person’s will has been overwhelmed and they are doing things they would not normally do if they were in control of their faculties.  The Bible tells us that the fruit of the Spirit, among other things, is peace and self-control.  We were not given our wills to hand them over to some external force but to exercise self-control and discernment.  That is the mark of a Spirit-filled Christian.

This article is yet another example of the danger of yanking Scripture out of context and making a cult out of the misinterpretation of the written Word.