In the gospel of John we see the glory of God in the building of God – first, the glory of God was manifested in Christ, the tabernacle of God with man, and then we were included in the divine-human incorporation in Christ’s resurrection!
The governing vision in this book is life and building; life and building is the central thought in the Bible and also in the gospel of John. The divine life is for God’s building, and the building is the expression of the Triune God as life.
In John 2 we see the first sign – changing water into wine, showing that the principle of life is changing death into life. The Lord may allow an element of death in us or in our environment so that He could come in and mysteriously change death into life.
In chapter 2 we also see that the goal of life is the building; at the heart of the gospel of John is life and building.
In this gospel, however, there’s another strong life of truth concerning glory, glorification, and the issue of Christ being glorified by the Father with the divine glory. In John 1:14 it says that we have beheld His glory – Christ as the Word incarnated is the tabernacle and temple of God, and the glory of God is within Him; His humanity was a shell confining the glory of His divinity.
In Luke 12 He said that He longed to experience the baptism of His death, the life-releasing aspect of His death, so that the divine life with the glory of His divinity would be released from within Him.
In John 12:23 the Lord said, Now is the time for the Son of Man to be glorified…and then later He spoke of Himself as being like a grain of wheat. The Lord Jesus was the tabernacle and temple of God filled with glory, but He didn’t save His soul life neither did He love His own life; rather, He was willing to die so that the shell of His humanity would be broken to release the divine life with the glory of His divinity.
The Lord Jesus prayed for this in John 17, Father, glorify Your Son with the glory I had with You before the world was…and the Father answered His prayer by giving Him the cup to drink for us.
In Acts 3:13 it says that God glorified the Lord Jesus in resurrection, and in Luke 24:26 it says that Christ entered into His glory through resurrection. The glory of God was in Jesus personally as the tabernacle and the temple, but God’s intention was to release this glory and impart it into millions of believers who would be regenerated by Him in His resurrection.
Christ was resurrected by the glory of the Father; He was glorified in resurrection, and one of the aspects of His glorification was the enlargement of the temple of the Lord’s Body (mentioned in John 2) to be the Father’s house (see John 14) with a place prepared for every one of us.
This is a mutual dwelling place for the Father, the Son, and us, the believers in Christ; here we have our abode, and here the glory is increasingly manifested.
Loving the Lord, Experiencing Him in Resurrection, and Seeking His Glory
As we seek to experience Christ so that we may see the glory of God in the building of God, we first need to be disciplined to NOT seek our own glory, speak our own words, or seek glory from others, but seek the Lord’s glory in everything.
In John 7:18 the Lord said, He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory. We are not here to know a lot about God and the word of God, and then preach to others, so that we may have glory from them.
What is practiced in the Bible seminaries today is an abomination to the Lord, for there they give glory to the one who can preach the best, and those who have the best sermon and preaching are being given glory.
We need to learn to speak in such a way that we don’t speak from ourselves but, as the Lord did, listen to Him and speak His words so that He may gain all the glory. The Lord Jesus never spoke from Himself: what He heard the Father saying and what the Father led Him to say, that’s what He spoke.
How can you believe when you receive glory from one another and not receive glory from the only God (John 5:44)? It is one thing to encourage one another through speaking the word of God, but it is something else to receive glory from others or give others the glory.
We need to give all the glory to the Lord, and we should never seek glory from men. The Pharisees loved the glory of men more than the glory of God, and that’s why many of them didn’t believe into the Lord or follow Him openly (John 12:42-43).
When we come into the church life, we lose all our glory, and no one can glory in us. In the church life there’s no glory except for God Himself – He gets all the glory, and He is the God of glory.
On the positive side, we are the many grains produced by Christ in His resurrection (John 12:24), and we need to follow Him by experiencing Him in His life-releasing aspect of His death. We cannot participate in the sufferings of Christ for redemption, but we can fall into the earth, die to the self, sow ourselves, and allow the divine life to be released from within us.
We need to know and experience the Lord as, I am the resurrection (John 11:25). To experience Him in resurrection and as resurrection, our opinions need to stop and be subdued. What holds off the manifestation of the resurrection life is our opinions.
Also, to have God’s fresh visitation and the manifestation of His glory in His house, we need to love the Lord and keep His word (John 14:23).
Every morning we need to begin by loving the Lord and keeping His word, and the Father will love us, and the Father and the Son will come with us and make an abode with us, building Themselves into us and us into them, and there will be much glory there!
Lord Jesus, we love You and we want to keep Your word so that we may have Your fresh visitation and indwelling. We simply want to experience You and enjoy You today, and we want to seek Your glory. Save us, Lord, from desiring to gain glory from others, or from glorifying other people. May we learn to speak what we hear from You so that we may give You all the glory. Lord, be our enjoyment and experience today. May we all experience the glory of God in the building of God!
The Christ who is God’s Temple filled with Glory was Enlarged to Include us!
The apostle John testified of the Lord Jesus, We beheld His glory, glory as of the Only Begotten of the Father (John 1:14).
Christ, the incarnated Word of God, was the tabernacle of God and the temple of God; just as the glory of God filled the tabernacle of God in the wilderness, so God’s glory was manifested through Jesus Christ.
Through Christ God was expressed and could be received by men as grace and reality; He manifested God’s glory, and this glory was not outward but inward, seen with the inner eyes of faith.
According to the gospel of John, glory is a person; glory is God in the flesh being expressed.
Jesus looked like an ordinary man, but people couldn’t help but realize that God was manifested through Him. His physical appearance was not pleasant – He didn’t have any attracting form or majesty, and His visage was marred more than that of any man (see Isa. 53:2; 52:14), yet those who contacted Him couldn’t help but realize that there was an expression of God as glory in Him (John 1:41, 49).
He was a lowly man yet God tabernacled in Him. Through His death and resurrection, He was enlarged to include us, those who believe into Him. Everyone who believes into the Lord Jesus has the reality of the incarnation and is a part of the tabernacle of God with man, and now people can see the glory of God in the building of God.
Incarnation brought God into man and mingled God with man so that God would live out and be expressed through man. Whenever we live in the mingling of God with man, allowing Christ to be expressed through us as we enjoy Him and experience Him, we become the enlarged tabernacle of God with man for the manifestation of God in man.
Hallelujah, Christ came into us as life and has mingled Himself with us, and now He wants to be manifested through us so that others may see the glory of God in the building of God!
As we experience the mingling of God with man, we will have wisdom and discernment that others lack, and we are able to endure sufferings that others cannot bear. When we live in the mingling of God with man, we will have a situation that surpasses mere human goodness and virtue, because God Himself is expressed through us.
The more we contact the Lord, enjoy Him in His word, pray over the Bible, and fellowship with Him and with the saints, the more we are being inwardly changed, transformed, and God’s glory is being manifested through us.
Lord Jesus, thank You for coming as God incarnated to manifest God in the flesh. Hallelujah, in Christ as the Word incarnated God was manifested in the flesh, and there was much glory in Him! Thank You Lord for dying to release Your divine life, and then being resurrected to regenerate us all to be the many sons of God! Amen! Now we are God-men, men born of God and mingled with God. May we live in the mingling of God with man today so that we may manifest God in glory so that all may see the glory of God in the building of God!
The Issue of Christ being Glorified by the Father is the Father’s House, the Universal Divine-Human Incorporation
The Gospel of John is indeed very mysterious, and the matter of the glory of God is something we see from the beginning to the end. The issue of Christ being glorified by the Father with the divine glory is the Father’s house as the enlarged, universal divine-human incorporation (see John 12:23; 13:31-32; 17:1, 5; 14:2-3, 23).
Christ expressed God’s glory as He lived on earth, then through resurrection He was enlarged to include us; He was joined and united with us in life, He mingled Himself with us in nature, and even more, He lives in us and we live in Him – we dwell in one another.
The Triune God is a divine incorporation (referring to persons dwelling in one another); the Three of the Godhead coexist and coinhere together.
The issue of Christ being glorified is that the divine incorporation was enlarged to become the divine-human incorporation, and we are part of this incorporation – we are in the Father by being in the Son (who is in the Father), and the Father is in us by being in the Son (who is in the Father); this is the building, and this is where the glory is.
Christ prayed for His glorification in John 17, and the Father today wants to glorify His sons so that His sons may glorify Him! According to John 1&:22, the oneness of the believers is the oneness in the divine glory for the corporate expression of God.
In this aspect of oneness – the oneness in the divine glory – the believers enjoy the Father as the factor of their perfected oneness, and thus they express God in a corporate, built-up way. This is the highest level of oneness because finally, at last, the self is gone.
In order for us to enter into the oneness in the divine glory, the glory the Father and the Son gave to us, involves that we deny the self. No one can deny your self but you, so you first need to know what the self is by being enlightened by the Lord, and then apply the cross.
When the Lord shines on us and exposes what the self is, we may think we’re getting worse instead of improving…but we’ve always been this bad, only that now the Lord shined on us. So we need to take the cross, apply the cross, and be released from the self.
When the Lord gains a group of saints in a church who deny the self and experience the enlarged oneness of the Triune God, they enter into the oneness in the divine glory, and there’s the glory of God in the building of God.
Here there’s no more self being expressed – only Christ as the Lord of glory from within our spirit. We need to receive grace from the Lord that, when the time comes, we would take this way for the church; we should take the way of denying the self for God’s building, the Body, and the bride.
Lord Jesus, grant us the grace that we would take the way of denying the self for God’s building for there to be the glory of God in the building of God. Gain what You are after in the church, Lord! Gain the practical expression of the enlarged oneness of the Triune God, the oneness in the divine glory! May we experience being joined, mingled, and incorporated with the Triune God, having no self, and manifesting God in glory in the oneness! Amen, Lord, gain the practical expression of the oneness in the divine glory You prayed for in John 17!
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, Life and Building in the Gospel of John, ch. 11 (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:
# God with man completely blended, / Mystery of godliness. / God in glory, full, resplendent, / Man, His dwelling, doth express. / ’Tis a vessel universal / All God’s fulness to express; / All His beauty manifesting, / Mingled with His holiness. (Hymns #976)
# Fulness, increase, duplication, / His expression full, / Growth and spread, continuation, / Surplus plentiful, / Is the Church to Christ, and thereby / God in Christ may be / Glorified thru His redeemed ones / To eternity. (Hymns #819)
# Christ’s divinity’s glorious indeed; / ’Twas concealed in Him as in a grain of wheat. / While incarnated, He was pressed, constrained / For the release of His glory within. / Incorporation! Incorporation— / The issue of Christ’s glorification. / In our daily walk, we must join to Him / And must live in Him, and work as one with Him. (Song on, The Issue of Christ being Glorified by the Father with the Divine Glory)
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