Both in the gospel of John and in Ephesians we see that God is glorified in the church, and for eternity the New Jerusalem has the glory of God, His expression.
In the gospel of John we see the Lord Jesus coming as God incarnated, and those around Him saw the glory of God in Him. This Jesus did not speak His own words, neither did He sought His own glory; rather, He spoke the words He heard from the Father, and He sought the glory of the One who sent Him, God the Father.
In Him the glory of God was concealed, and the shell of His humanity did not allow the glory of God to radiate and be expressed in full.
Through His death, the shell of His humanity was broken and His divine life was released, and in His resurrection He imparted His divine life with the divine glory in millions of believers, regenerating them to make them the many sons of God (1 Pet. 1:3).
We all are the reproduction, continuation, and duplication of Christ, being born of God to be children of God (John 1:12-13) to express God. We therefore need to know Christ, enjoy Him, and experience Him in His resurrection, so that He may be manifested in us, and so that God is glorified in the church.
If we love the Lord and keep His word, the Father and the Son come to make an abode with us; by the constant visitation of the Father and the Son, we become a mutual abode of God and man, and God can be manifested in us and through us (John 14:23).
First it was only Christ who expressed God in glory, but now we, the many sons of God, are the house of the Father as the enlarged, universal, divine-human incorporation (John 14:2-3, 23; 13:31-32; 17:1, 5).
Christ prayed for this incorporation – He prayed that all His believers would be brought in the enlarged oneness of the Triune God, and He gave the believers the glory of God, the life of God, and the word of God, so that all the believers may be one and so that God would be glorified in the church.
Today we want to see more on how the book of Ephesians and also the book of Revelation reveal that God is glorified in the church and, for eternity, God is glorified in His people, who have been redeemed, regenerated, transformed, conformed, glorified, and built up to be the New Jerusalem, the glorious city of God and man!
God’s Glory is being Worked into the Saints until God is Glorified in the Church!
In Ephesians 3 we see that God is glorified in the church. First, in Eph. 1 we see the dispensing of the Father in choosing us and predestinating us, the dispensing of the Son in redeeming us, and the dispensing of the Spirit in sealing us; after each section there’s a word of praise – the praise of the glory of His grace.
Chapter 1 of Ephesians ends with the church, the consummation of all of God’s work, the Body, which is the fullness of the One who fills all in all; the church has built up a church shining out the glory of God, and the whole universe praises the glory of God.
In Ephesians 2 there’s the one new man being created, and there’s a universal temple growing and being built up; in ch. 4 there’s the putting on of the one new man for the building up of the Body.
In chapter 3 of Ephesians we see in an experiential way that there’s a connection between glory and building. Chapter 3 is the turning point, the subjective building going on day by day, in which we are strengthened with power into the inner man so that Christ may make His home into our heart.
Paul prays that the Father would strengthen us, according to the riches of His glory, into the inner man; the riches of the glory are in the Father, but then they are wrought into us, strengthening us so that Christ would make His home in all our heart – in our inward parts, our mind, our memory, our thinking, our imaginations, our emotions, our feelings, our will, and our intentions.
As the Father strengthens us into our inner man and works the glory into us, Christ is making His home in our heart and builds Himself into us, the glory saturates us and flows out through us in the church, and God is glorified in the church.
As we are inwardly strengthened according to the riches of the Father’s glory, we let Christ make His home in our heart, and God gains all the glory – unto Him is the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus!
In Eph. 3:21 Paul says, to Him be the glory in the church, implying that the glory of God, which has been wrought into the saints, returns to God. The glory comes to us with God and, after being worked into us, will return to God with us.
In a wonderful yet mysterious way, God works His glory into us, and we become glorified God-expressing believers, glorifying God. God’s glory is wrought into the church, and He is expressed in the church. The result is that to God is the glory in the church, that is, God is glorified in the church. Hallelujah!
Christ is gaining a glorious church by working Himself as the glory of God into each and every believer, and also by cleansing her by the washing of the water in the word. The Body of Christ, the church, becomes the bride of Christ, and in His heavenly ministry Christ is cleansing her, sanctifying her by the washing of the water in the word.
Through His inward washing and cleansing, any blemish, defect, and scar that we ever had is being removed, and the Lord gains a glorious church as His bride, His wife. Praise the Lord, God’s glory is wrought into the saints, and God is glorified in the church!
Father, strengthen us according to the riches of Your glory into our inner man so that Christ may make His home in our heart. We say Amen to the desire of Your heart, Your intention to work Your glory into us so that God may be glorified in the church. Lord Jesus, make Your home in all our inward parts – in our mind, emotion, thinking, will, and intentions. Amen, Lord, make You be at home in us, and may our inner man be strengthened so that You may work Yourself deep down in our being. To God be the glory in the church!
The New Jerusalem has the Glory of God, His expression – God is Manifested in this City!
An outstanding feature of the New Jerusalem is that this holy city has the glory of God, His expression (see Rev. 21:2, 10-11). The apostle John was told, Come see the bride, the wife of the Lamb; then John saw the New Jerusalem, having the glory of God.
What God gains as a result of all His work throughout the ages is a mature bride that matches Him an expresses His glory; her beauty, maturity, building, wedding garment, expertise in spiritual war, everything is just glory!
The fulfillment of God’s eternal economy is the city, the wife, the counterpart of the Lamb, filled with the glory of God, expressing nothing of the old creation or the self, but only the glory that has been wrought into her.
When the universe beholds the New Jerusalem, they praise God, and she takes the lead to praise Him. They are now the same in life, nature, expression, and constitution; the difference being that the Husband has the Godhead and the wife doesn’t have it.
And the New Jerusalem takes the lead to glorify the redeeming God, the Husband, and she shines out in all the new heaven and new earth the radiant glory of her Beloved.
We believers in Christ have been predestinated for this glory, and we have been called to this glory. God has called us into His glory (1 Pet. 5:10), and He has called us into His kingdom and glory (1 Cor. 2:7).
We are vessels of mercy unto glory (Rom. 9), but we have sinned and came short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23). But Christ came and fulfilled all the requirements of God’s righteousness, holiness, and glory, and He can now righteously forgive us and justify us; as a result, the gospel of the glory of God shining on the face of Jesus Christ shined in our heart, and we are born of God!
Now as regenerated people, we have Christ in us as the hope of glory, and this Christ is fighting the battle in us until He is leading many sons into glory. We all with unveiled face, beholding and reflecting like a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory (2 Cor. 3:18).
We are being transformed into this glory and we will be brought into it (Heb. 2:10), until God is glorified in the church. The glory of God is in the face of Jesus Christ, and whenever we turn our heart to the Lord, no matter what our situation is, the veil is taken away, and we behold and reflect the glory of the Lord.
When we look at the Lord Jesus’ face in our spirit, He infuses us with His glory, until we are transformed into the same image, so that God is glorified in the church, and we have the same corporate glorious expression!
Once we had no glory, but as we look to the Lord there’s a little glory, then there’s a little more glory, then a lot of glory, then mainly glory, and eventually we are all glory – we become the glorious expression of God! We will be glorified with Christ and bear the glory of God for God’s corporate expression in the New Jerusalem (Rom. 8:17, 30).
The entire New Jerusalem will bear the glory of God, which is God Himself shining out through the city (Rev. 21:10-11, 23). Actually, the glory of God will be the content of the New Jerusalem, for this city is filled with the glory of God; this indicates that the city is a vessel to contain God and express Him in a corporate way.
The glory of God is nothing else but God Himself being manifested; the fact that the New Jerusalem is full of God’s glory means that God is manifested in this city. Hallelujah!
The church life today should also have God’s glory, so that God is glorified in the church; the church life should be manifesting and expressing God corporately in this marvelous divine attribute of glory (Eph. 3:21).
Lord Jesus, we turn our heart to You to behold You face to face and be infused with You, so that we may be transformed into Your image from glory to glory. Amen Lord, infuse us with Your glory until God is glorified in the church. May we all, with unveiled face, behold You and reflect You in Your glorious image, so that the church life today would be filled with the glory of God, the manifestation of God. May all the saints behold the Lord, love Him, keep His word, turn their heart to Him, and become the same as Christ little by little, day by day, until God is glorified in the church and eventually through the New Jerusalem!
References and Hymns on this Topic
- Inspiration: the Word of God, my enjoyment in the ministry, the message by Ron Kangas for this week, and portions from, Conclusion of the New Testament, msgs. 13, 73, 338 (by Witness Lee), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, Crystallization-study of Ezekiel (2), msg. 12 (week 24 in the HWMR), The Return of the Glory of God to the House of God.
- Hymns on this topic:
# With faces open, / The Lord Spirit see; / As glass reflecting, / His likeness bear we; / Glory to glory— / We’re being transformed; / To the same image / We’ll soon be conformed. (Song on the gospel of glory)
# ’Tis th’ eternal golden lampstand, / Holding Christ, the lamp of light; / God in Christ the light of glory / As the Spirit shineth bright! / ’Tis the ultimate expression – / Man in God and God in man; / ’Tis their mutual habitation, / Goal of God’s eternal plan. (Hymns #976)
# How glorious, how bright it shines, / The holy, new Jerusalem; / It is God’s dwelling place with man, / The spotless bride of Christ, the Lamb. (Hymns #979)
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