BEHOLDING THE GLORY OF CHRIST Print E-mail

 

 BEHOLDING THE GLORY OF CHRIST

Tuesday Morning Bible Study

October 23, 2017, the Year of Our Lord

 

In Jesus’ prayer for the church, the greatest desire that Christ expressed was that his people might be with him to behold his glory.  In His glorious prayer as our great High Priest, He entered the Holy of Holies, not made with hands.  His prayer filled the heavens above with a cloud of incense, which is the sweet smell of his blessed intercession. 

 

When in this life we have glorious views of Christ, it makes us desire to come to a more perfect, abiding and infinitely unchanging sight of Christ’s glory in heaven.  My greatest delight is to preach on the “Glory.”

 

Col. 3:2: Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.

 

Beholding the glory of Christ is one of the greatest privileges that believers are capable of in this world.  Indeed, it is by beholding the glory of Christ that believers are gradually transformed into his image, and then brought into the eternal enjoyment of it, because we shall be forever like him, for we shall see him as he is.

 

2 Cor. 3:18: But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

 

The enjoyment of God by sight is commonly called the “Beatific Vision,” and it is the only motive for everything we do in that state of blessedness.  The sight we shall have of God will always be in the face of Jesus Christ.

 

2 Cor. 4:6: For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, has shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

 

In Christ’s face we shall see the glory of God in his infinite perfections.  These things will shine into our souls filling us for ever with peace, rest, and glory.

 

The Holy Spirit who has been given to us is the nature of the everlasting God.  Today there is a great hunger in those that want to go on into greater things in the Spirit of God.”

 

 I hunger and thirst for more of Christ.

 

The up-reach is what the Spirit is all about.  Reaching for those things that are far above the earthly realm of this life is why God has poured out of His spirit upon all who will receive.  From the realm of the world/kosmos, Jesus brought us forth through the new birth of the Spirit. 

 

The Word of God becomes our looking glass or mirror.  When we look into the Word, we see the image of what the Spirit is molding in us.  That is the wonderful image of our Lord Jesus.  God is bringing forth sons after His own likeness. 

 

Once we set our heart to go forward in the Lord, then there is an intensification of battles.  There are many things that war against us as we go forward.  I have had believers say to me they will not go on because they do not want to face the battle.  However, there are those, and it is to those I am sent, who continue to rise up in the Spirit of the Lord and win victory after victory as they move ever forward in the things of the Spirit. 

 

I can truthfully say until I was 43 years old, I lived in a rose-covered garden of my own making escaping from battles.  Through denial, I kept out of my “world,” everything that was wicked, unpleasant to deal with, not nice, or difficulties that would complicate my life.  I hid from anything unsavory.  I had discerning of spirits, so I stayed away from those spirits.  Then, the LORD took me through multiple breakings and trouble.  It was through the trouble, that I faced life’s battles and discovered the victory of faith that overcomes the world.

 

The Lord was calling me to account for the call on my life.  “Going on to mature Sonship in God is not easy.  In fact, this is the step of faith that the enemy fights the hardest.  The battle really begins when we set out to win a victory in the Spirit.  Many never reach the place of living a Spirit-led life because they are not willing to allow Christ to reveal Himself to them in the battles of life.”  We cannot lead a Holy Spirit-led life and minister by the Spirit, until we engage in the realm of the spirit in spiritual warfare.

 

“None of us will ever become like Christ by trying to imitate his behavior and life if we know nothing of the transforming power of the Holy Spirit in the realm of the Spirit.    When we regularly behold the glory of Christ, our Christian walk with God becomes sweeter and sweeter.  Our spiritual light and strength grows daily stronger.”  Our faith to overcome trouble, obstacles, set backs, and disappointments becomes animated with the zeal of a warrior rushing into battle; rather than running away from the battles of life; the battles of the Kingdom of God on earth; and our part to contend with Satanic forces on earth in alignment with the armies of heaven.

 

One of the chief, fundamental mysteries and truths of the gospel after our Salvation, being born again, and receiving the Holy Spirit is when we behold the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

 

As we have born the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. (1 Cor. 15:49) The image of the heavenly is the heavenly host; those saints who are in that celestial form of being touched of God.  We are being changed by the Spirit of God and are being brought forth as a New Creation in Jesus Christ.  In the New Jerusalem we are like him, because we have seen him as he is.  The sanctification of believers consists in our being progressively conformed to the likeness of God by the power of the Spirit as we reflect the divine glory revealed to us in the face of Christ.

 

2 Cor. 3: 15-18:  Even unto this day when Moses is read, the veil is upon their heart.  Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away.  Now the Lord is that Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.  But we all with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

 

As we behold the glory of the Lord, there is a daily change taking place in our lives.  It is not a matter of what God can do for us to help us cope with life, but it is a matter of this change being allowed to take place in our lives so that we are living in the heavenlies and not in the world/kosmos.  Most of the problems we have are because we are not seeking the full heights of the spiritual life in the Father.  In the Spirit is where our strength is.  Our strength is not in the hours we rest, exercise, relationships, education, or bank accounts.  Our strength is in the spiritual.  It is in the heavenlies in the presence of the Lord Jesus.

 

Col. 3:10: And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him.

 

Throughout the Word of God it speaks about being brought to, or bearing the image of things.  In the physical birth, we were birthed into an earthly image not because we wanted to be, but because it happened through the fall of Adam and Eve.  Until we are Born Again from Above, we have born the image of the earthly.  When we receive Jesus, He begins to launch us out into something more precious.  We begin to see not only the earthly, but the spiritual, heavenly things of God.

 

One of the lessons we learned very early after we were saved is when dealing with earthly people, we must deal with them concerning salvation.  We must get them saved before we can start telling them about heavenly things.

 

Sadly many churches do not teach about heavenly things because they feel their congregation cannot understand those things.  The natural man cannot understand the things of God because sin has blinded his understanding.  The same is true of speaking in tongues.  Tongues are a heavenly language and cannot be received by those walking in an earthly realm.

 

When we are in the Spirit, the Christ life takes over in both the natural things and the spiritual things.  When we are in the Spirit, we must be cautious to not allow carnal things to irritate us.  We must “change gears,” speak with those who are carnal with courtesy and good will without becoming irritable.  This is all part of letting that overcoming life of the Spirit come forth in us.

 

When we have compassion on others, this is the image of the heavenly.  Compassion will not let you stay upset and angry with people, but it will cause us to share the Word of God in a compassionate way.  It is in this divine, heavenly realm that love begins to flow through us to others.

Eph. 1:3: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.

Eph. 2:6: And has raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.

Col. 3:1: If you then are risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God.

We have already been made to sit together with Him in heavenly places, and today, we are in heavenly places with the Lord Jesus.  The heaven of heavens is a realm in which we receive heavenly manna from the Lord.

2 Co. 5:1: For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

It is interesting to think about the dissolving process of God. When I look up dissolve in Strong’s it means, loose, break, unloose, destroy, put off, melt, break up, and break down.  I think I took the dissolving to mean death of the earthly flesh.  I think it means dissolve. 

“He is not erasing us.  He is not doing away with us, but we are being dissolved into something greater.  We are being dissolved into a greater stream of the rivers of life.  If you take an ice cube and drop it into a hot glass of water, once it melts, you can’t get the ice cub out of the water again.  This is how impossible it is becoming for people to separate us from the heavenly.  It may be hard to understand, but we are becoming so much a part of the heavenly that it is going to be impossible for people to know us after the earthly any longer.”

I want more of Jesus and less of me.  Yes LORD dissolve my earthly house of this tabernacle that I become a building of God not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

God is creating the image of the heavenly in us.  The heavenly does not look anything like the earthly, but it is a heavenly realm with God in high places.  We fight principalities and powers in high places because we live in high places.  We do not fight the earthly things; everybody else does that day after day.  Our battle is won in the heavenlies.

The nation of Israel that lived before Christ was but a type of the spiritual Israel that would be birthed forth through Jesus in the new creation of the new man.  The first creation was glorious, but everything depended on God under a covenant of obedience and sacrifices.  The glory of Christ as the once-for-all sacrifice (Heb. 10:10) is seen in the stability and security that is given to the whole new creation.

Eph. 2:15-16: Having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace.  That he might reconcile them both (Jew and Gentile) to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.

In heaven there is no need of instituted forms of worship, nor ordinances of divine service (Rev. 21:22).  Neither has it any need of the sun or moon to shine it in.  for the glory of God and of the Lamb are it’s light.  On the earth, the gospel shines as gloriously as the sun and at other times as the light of the moon.  But in heaven the perpetual presence of Christ with his saints makes it always as glorious as the sun shining in all its might.

The power of the Holy Ghost could only be given to a people that would be able to rise into the heavenlies and receive the true anointing of God.  The earthly nation could not come into the presence of the perfect God.  The high priest alone could go in but once a year.  He was a type and shadow of Jesus who entered in once for us all.  Sin was the thing standing in the way of natural Israel’s divine and complete fellowship with a holy God.

The Apostle Paul in the book of Romans and Galatians explains the truth of the natural and spiritual Israel of God.  For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek; for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. (Ro. 10:12).  In Jesus, it is the heavenly Israel, of which we all are a part, both Jew and Gentile through Jesus Christ that God is molding into His heavenly image.

For those walking in the heavenlies, earthly things only get in the way unless they are a part of God’s divine plan.  The things of the Spirit are things that are most precious to the sons of god.  The Father is the way of true and total happiness.  Christian do not settle for a realm that is far below God’s best---a realm that has both earthly and heavenly things controlling your way of thinking.

God willing let us go on unto perfection (Heb. 6:1).  Bearing the image of the heavenly means giving up your will, understanding, and your life to God’s will, His purposes, His mind, and His life. 

Most Christians’ warfare and strife is because they do not understand the things of the Spirit.  When things are not working out on an earthly realm, many make judgments based on their understanding.  If we are seeking the Lord and His will, then we have this confidence that the LORD is working out something for us far greater in the heavenly realm.  His ways are always for our good and for our best. The molding that is going on within our lives is for our good---that we may rise in the Spirit, above the earthly, into the heavenlies beholding the glory of Christ Jesus.

The day after the flood, I spoke with my friend and intercessor, Sue Avery.  She said, the Lord spoke to her, “Carolyn is glad today that she doesn’t have a church building.”  I don’t know if “glad” was the right word; but we were spared the cost of rebuilding.  Three properties which we rented for services in the past 17 years flooded in the Harvey flood.  I am not saying those who did flood were not protected.  I would never imply that, nor do I think that.  It rains on the just and unjust (Mt. 5:45).   However, I do believe according to the LORD’s sovereign plan, we are in His will, on time, where we are supposed to be until He speaks and gives us new direction. 

The cloud is moving.  The church is moving.  Blessed be the name of the LORD!

The joy and blessedness of eternal life in heaven is beholding the glory of Christ.  We are always with the Lord, not limited by time and with no interruption of our enjoyment of God in Christ.  No doubts or fears or disturbing thoughts have any place in heaven, but only that which will strengthen us and lead us to behold the glory of Christ with satisfied delight.  Beholding the glory of Christ in heaven will always be the same, always new, never growing old,.  The mind will never be disturbed by, or diverted from, or bored with the sight.  We will not become lazy and drift because we have taken Christ for granted.  All the faculties of our soul will be fixed on Christ’s glory forever.

Eph 4:24: That we put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.

Carolyn Sissom, Pastor

Eastgate Ministries Church

www.eastgateministries.com

Scripture from K.J.V. and N.K.J.V. – I entered into the labors of Prophet Stanley Rankin, (1940-2014)The Hidden Wisdom, P. O. Box 17255, San Antonio, Texas 78217.  Comments and conclusions are my own and not meant to reflect the views of Brother Rankin.

 
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