Glory of God the Father
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:9-11 (NIV)
Although Paul talked about this in his letter to the Philippians, the foundation of Philippians 2:9-11 comes from Isaiah.
I have sworn by Myself; The word has gone out of My mouth in righteousness, And shall not return, That to Me every knee shall bow, Every tongue shall take an oath. Isaiah 45:23 (NKJV)
The near, literal application (meaning its immediate, possibly symbolic, relevance at the time of its writing) of this scripture is to the Israelites in captivity in Babylon and to King Cyrus who would lead them back to their ancestral homeland to the glory of God. Although Cyrus was a pagan king, God used him to accomplish His work, showing that God can do whatever He chooses, and work through whomever He desires. Proverbs 21:1 says:
The king’s heart is like a stream of water directed by the LORD; he guides it wherever he pleases. Proverbs 21:2 (NLT)
It Shall Come to Pass
There is a principle that is applied to certain Biblical prophesies called “double fulfillment,” meaning it has a first fulfillment, often immediate, and a second, or even multiple, fulfillment(s) later on. All prophesies point to Jesus in some way to the glory of God. In some cases prophesies can even be split between current and future fulfillments with no specific designation as to what or when they refer to, such as in Matthew 24:2-3. Jesus prophesied that the temple in Jerusalem would be destroyed and spoke of the signs of the second coming. In verse 2 He speaks of the literal destruction of the temple in 70 A.D., and in verse 3 speaks to the final judgment, and yet, they appear side-by-side. They are not in succession chronologically, yet they are conceptually associated.
Some believers abstain from reading the Old Testament for various reasons. They think is too hard to understand, they think it is obsolete, or they think it is not important; nevertheless, the whole Bible is God’s Word. If the Old Testament were obsolete, or unimportant God would not supernaturally, as He does for the whole Bible, shield it from extinction. It is the foundation for the New Testament, which is why reading the whole Bible is important.
Paul refers to the aforementioned passage in Isaiah in his letter to the Romans regarding the Good News of salvation:
Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God; for it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” So then each of us will give an account of himself to God. Romans 14:10-12 (ESV)
The Second Coming of the Lord
Someday the Lord Jesus Christ will return to the Earth to take His children home, the committed, submitted, and sanctified, in the blink of an eye, and those left behind will try, out of fear, to strike a bargain to save themselves, unfortunately, it will be much too late in the game. If you have not accepted Jesus as your Savior, it is not too late now to turn to God; He is calling even now.
Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 1 Corinthians 15:51-52(NIV) Glory to God in the highest; forever, He reigns!
It is notable that our opening scripture from Philippians, is similar to Isaiah 45, and Romans 14 as quoted from Isaiah, in that it contains the same foundational reference of bending the knee and confessing, declaring, or taking an oath (to God), but there is a new and wider meaning added in Philippians to encompass not just believers, but also non-believers; essentially every person on earth will partake in “bending the knee” before Jesus.
In the Isaiah passage, echoed by Paul in Romans, God says every knee will bow to Him but in Philippians Paul said God gives Jesus a name above all names and every knee will bow at its utterance to the glory of God the Father. God takes the highest place, even in the Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; therefore, even as the text refers to knees bowing at the name of Jesus, it is still for the glory of God the Father.
When Paul in Philippians says every knee will bow, it is clear that He is referring to believers, because the passage in Isaiah refers to the Jewish exiles, and the quote from Romans is also to believers because Paul calls them “brothers and sisters,” but the Philippians passage refers to all people, and, based on the verbiage, includes both believers and non-believers, meaning every knee will bow willingly or will be forced to bow. In the end, no one will be able to resist Him.
When Jesus comes on the scene to the glory of God, His brilliance, ten thousand times brighter than the noon-day sun, will blaze across the sky and we know “every eye will see Him.” I posit that everyone will fall to their knees, either out of pure joy for those who love His appearing, out of shock, or out of fear and a sense of self-preservation such as begging for their lives.
Every Eye Will See Him
In that day, when Jesus Christ the Lord comes on the clouds of Heaven with fire and every eye sees Him, those who ridicule Him now, who curse His holy name, will have to bow when it is spoken in their hearing (glory to God!), much the same as all were made to bow towards the statue of King Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel Chapter 3; however, no one will be able to resist as Daniel did, because God, and His Son, rule supreme. And the tragic end for those who refuse to believe and be saved is that the Lord will delay as long as He can to allow as many as will come, to come before this age comes to a close, and yet, some will never yield.