I love talking about God’s glory. So many Christians don’t understand it. Even if they know a little more about the Baptism in the Holy Spirit than the average believer, even if they’re operating in a measure of His power, they’ve barely scratched the surface of what He can do in and through us. We need a far greater understanding of what the Bible actually means when it says: “Ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate…” (2 Corinthians 6:16-17, KJV).
“Oh, Brother Copeland,” you might say, “I know what that passage means.”
Maybe so. But I can guarantee, there are some things in the Scriptures that would shock you if you really got a revelation of them. In fact, let’s look at a few examples of God’s glory in the Old Testament. This is a great opportunity for me to share with you how God revealed Himself to His people.
Ezekiel Described God’s Glory
The prophet Ezekiel got a firsthand look at the God who dwells in us and described Him as having “the likeness as the appearance of a man…. as the colour of amber, as the appearance of fire round about within it, from the appearance of his loins even upward, and from the appearance of his loins even downward…as it were the appearance of fire, and it had brightness round about” (Ezekiel 1:26-27, KJV).
Talk about a stunning picture! Ezekiel saw God as a “Man on Fire”! Just envision this for a moment: Ezekiel is seeing what looks like a Man ablaze from head to foot—a Man who glows like the hottest embers of a hardwood fire. A Man who’s a veritable furnace of power!
“This,” Ezekiel said, “was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of The LORD” (verse 28, KJV).
Israel Saw God’s Glory
The nation of Israel saw the same thing when God came down to meet them on Mount Sinai. Exodus 24:17 (KJV) says, “The sight of the glory of The LORD was like devouring fire on the top of the mount.”
To the Israelites, as to Ezekiel, God’s glory looked like fire and flames. That might sound to us like something scary or bad, but the truth is just the opposite. God’s glory is His goodness. There’s nothing bad in Him. His goodness is so absolute that when it comes in contact with anything bad, it wipes it out.
That’s why, when Moses asked to see God’s glory up close and unfiltered, God had to protect him (Exodus 33:19, 22-23). Under the Old Covenant, sin hadn’t been washed away by the blood of Jesus, so direct contact with God’s glory would have burned Moses up. His sin-contaminated human nature couldn’t have handled it. All he could stand was a glimpse.
Habakkuk Glimpsed God’s Glory
Like Moses, the prophet Habakkuk got a glimpse of that fiery glory, too. He described it as like the sun, blazing in the sky: “His brightness was as the light; he had horns [or shafts] coming out of his hand: and there was the hiding of his power” (Habakkuk 3:4, KJV). The Message says, “His cloud-brightness like dawn, exploding, spreading, forked-lightning shooting from his hand—what power hidden in that fist!”
Whoa! Imagine this God in the form of a Man, radiating like the sun with lightning flashing out of His hands in all directions. What a powerful image!
“Yeah, Brother Copeland,” you might say, “those stories would make exciting movies all right, but it’s all Old Testament. What does it have to do with us as New Testament believers?”
It has everything to do with us!
Jesus’ Crucifixion and God’s Glory
Romans 6:4 (KJV) says that Jesus “was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father.” That means the same lightning-like, Man-shaped furnace of power that Ezekiel, the Israelites and Habakkuk saw, came on the scene after the Crucifixion. It’s what split the curtain in the Temple from the top to the bottom when Jesus died. It’s what flashed into the pit of hell, raised Him up, and stripped satan and his demonic hosts of their dominion.
No wonder the Bible says that if satan and his bunch had known what was going to happen, “they would not have crucified The LORD of glory” (1 Corinthians 2:8, KJV)!
Pentecost and God’s Glory
Actually, the thrashing satan got in hell was just the beginning. Things got even worse for him on the day of Pentecost when 120 believers were praying in the upper room in Jerusalem (Acts 2:2-4).
It was the devil’s greatest nightmare! Those believers got baptized—totally immersed—in the Spirit of glory. The flaming God who appeared to Habakkuk, that column of fire that came down on Mount Sinai, came into that room, divided Himself and sat down on those believers.
But instead of being destroyed, because of their reborn nature, they absorbed Him—fire and all! They even began to speak His language! They didn’t just go back to living normal lives after it happened, either. They emerged from that place as separate from the rest of the world as light from darkness. They went out and started turning the world upside down for Jesus. They preached the gospel, worked miracles, signs and wonders, and the Lord added to the Church daily those who were being saved.
The Church and God’s Glory
This is what Habakkuk meant when he said, “The earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord” (Habakkuk 2:14, KJV). He wasn’t talking about a cloud coming down from heaven. He wasn’t saying fire would come down out of the sky like it did on Mount Sinai. Habakkuk was prophesying about the Church.
The fire of God’s glory coming out of us is what’s going to fill the earth!
It’s not just going to happen after the great resurrection when we get our glorified bodies, either. We can show forth God’s glory right here and now, so the lost can witness it and be swept into God’s kingdom by the millions.
“Why aren’t we seeing more of it?”
Because we haven’t taken hold of the revelation of it. We haven’t made enough of this glory that indwells us. The more we make of it, the more it will manifest and work in our lives.
These are days about which God said:
I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh…And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: And I will show wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath…before the great and notable day of The LORD come: And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of The LORD shall be saved (Acts 2:17-21, KJV).
That’s an end-time outpouring of God’s glory, and the time for it is here! Don’t live without understanding God’s glory and what it means to your life. Start saying by faith right now: “The glory is in me! I receive it! I’m walking in it!” Get more God-inside minded and start acting like a temple of The LORD of glory today!
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