As we open John’s Gospel, we are introduced to something so powerful, yet we pass over it.
“There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His Name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”
John 1: 6-13
John introduces us to the wonderful Word of God, which was not a book or thing, but the very person of Jesus. In times past, He had come and visited and dealt with men such as Abraham or David. But now He was dwelling amongst us, actually walking in the flesh such that we could touch and behold Him. The Word was the glory of the Lord hidden in the Holy of Holies such that we could not see His face and life. But now He was there walking in our midst.
John G Lake preached:
“I feel somehow this morning that as a representative body of men and women whose business it is in life to proclaim and exemplify the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the presentation of the Son of God as the Savior of the world is the greatest thing we have before us.”
We are to reveal Him in and through these earthen vessels. Unfortunately, we have lost sight of the wondrous glory and His abiding Presence. But His Presence demands holiness and purity, and yet we take it so casually. Lake explained:
“God is looking upon us and expecting us to give that satisfactory demonstration of the Christ-life to other men so that the world may desire Jesus as the Son of God, and that men may look forward and long for the day when Christ shall come and when He will establish the Kingdom of Jesus Christ in the earth.”
We are called to manifest Him, and the only way is when the earthen jars are broken. In Second Corinthians chapter four, Paul talks about the glory in earthen vessels, pulling from Judges chapter seven. Here we see God’s battle strategy to defeat the Midianites, who were severely oppressing the Children of Israel. In the natural, one would imagine the need of a mighty army, skillfully trained and powerfully equipped. But what was the mighty plan of the Lord? Well, go back to chapter six for one moment and in the Aramaic, it says:
“And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him, and he said to him: ‘The Word of the Lord is at your aid, O mighty warrior.’ And Gideon said to him: ‘Please, my master, if the Shekinah of the Lord is at our aid, why have all these happened to us?”
Judges 6: 12-13
Here we see the Lord declares that the Word was with him, and Gideon’s response was to state that the Word was the Shekinah’s glory. This is confirmed by other verses in the Aramaic, and we can understand why, as Jesus is the Glory of the Father.
“Our God, this morning, calls your heart and mine from an ordinary understanding and consciousness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to a Holy Ghost quickening consciousness, to that especially illuminated, blessedly glorified, spiritual understanding of the Word and the mind of God.”
Do we have a revelation of Jesus as the Living Word? Look at these words of John:
“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life…”
1 John 1: 1
If we truly know who the Word was and how we have been invited through His blood to know Him. Listen to this verse and selah…
And they heard the voice of the Word of the Lord God walking in the garden in the evening of the day; and Adam and his wife hid themselves from before the Lord God among the trees of the garden.
Genesis 3: 6 Targum Onkelos
Who was in the Garden, God the Word, pre-incarnate Jesus. Listen to this verse
The Word of the Lord, who leadeth on before you, will fight for you, according to all that He did for you in Mizraim in your sight;
Deuteronomy 1: 30 Targum Onkelos
And listen to this verse that Moses said of Mount Sinai:
(I stood between the Word of the Lord and you, to announce to you at that time the word of the Lord; for you were afraid in presence of the fire, and went not up to the mountain,)
Deuteronomy 5: 5 Targum Onkelos
Now it was the Word that abided in the Holy Place, above the Mercy Seat. Listen to this verse:
And you said, Behold, the Lord our God hath showed to us His glory and His greatness, and we have heard the voice of His Word out of the midst of the fire; this day have we seen that the Lord speaketh with a man, and he liveth.
Deuteronomy 5: 21 Targum Onkelos
If we see Him as He really is, which at the Transfiguration we got a glimpse of, we would appreciate that we stand on holy ground. Talking about the Lord God, lake explained:
“And (He) cannot look with any degree of toleration upon sin and selfishness, but looks with the eye of pity, sacrifice, and holiness upon man, discovering in the very depth of our nature that which is unlike the living, precious holiness of God. And desires that our nature shall be changed, our hearts shall be lifted up to Him in the joy and praise and gladness of those who know and understand and realize the sanctity of being permitted to be the children of God, washed in His precious blood, crowned with His Spirit, looking for His glory.”
Today, holiness means nothing and cares no value or place in the Church. Then we wonder why we have no power. All the works we do are done by us and in our strength. We seek to accommodate sinners and we should be manifested His glory in holiness.
Jesus is our perfect Role Model manifesting the glory of God in perfect holiness and love. He never comprised holiness, and he never comprise love. They operated perfectly and worked together harmoniously.
We must understand that as new creations, we are heavenly beings and not earthly. We are citizens of Heaven, passing through on this earth. We are to assimilate ourselves into the world but walk as citizens and as ambassadors of Heaven. As representatives of Heaven, we are to reveal Him and His character in His holiness and love. Lake explained:
“Let, therefore, our hearts faint not, but with a new hope and a new determination yield ourselves to God that we too may be lifted up indeed, out of insecurity f the present hour and moment into the life triumphant and Heavenly and holy, For our dwelling place is not on earth, but our dwelling is in Heaven.”
In these Last few Days, it is becoming darker and darker and, as a believer, increasingly challenging. But we are to look up and get our eyes on things above. As we recognize who He is and the abiding Presence and glory inside of us, how we walk, talk and think must change. There must be no comprising to fit into this world but to always seek to live at the higher standards of Heaven. We want His glory manifested in our lives.
“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”
2 Corinthians 3: 18
In our lives, there should be a going from one level of glory to another, and not a growing more and more like the world. We look at the Church today, and in order to be accepted and to accommodate the world, we sound more like and look more like the world.
The Children of Israel said this to Moses regarding the Word and the glory:
For who is there of all flesh who can hear the voice of the Word of the Living God speaking from the midst of fire (in the manner) that we have, and can live?
Deuteronomy 5: 23 Targum Onkelos
The Word must be an all-consuming fire in us. Lake explained:
“O God, apply the precious blood of Jesus Christ that we may be so purified and so illuminated by the Holy Ghost and the glory of God, that we shall give forth that real reflection of the Lord Jesus Christ in the Holy Ghost, for Jesus’s sake.”
May a spirit of repentance fall on the Church as we recognize His true holiness and our need of Him, for it is us that must change and not Him. When we understand the glory, we understand the glory can’t change, for He is from everlasting and to everlasting always the same. Lake said:
“O God, we ask Thee then that You will sweep from our soul and wash from our nature and cleanse from our hear every unholy thing, every deceitful thing, Lord Jesus, this devilish spiritual pride that is so subtle. O God, sweep them away. Let us stand, O God our Christ, guileless before our God for Jesus’ sake.”
It is time for us to arise and shine, and we do so by simply revealing His glory unadulterated in our lives. Lake explained:
“And our God we pray Thee that Thou wilt lift up each one into the Presence of God, and that Thou wilt put upon us such a consciousness of God, of His love, of His purity, of His holiness, of His power, that, O God, our Christ, our praise to Thee and our worship of God shall be in the beauty of holiness. O God, that we shall worship Thee in Spirit and truth for Jesus’ sake. O we ask, our God, that every hidden thing, everything that would not bear the glory-light of God, shall be driven from our nature. That, O God, our Christ, once again we can stand before Jesus even as Nathaniel, an Is