12. The Return of the Glory of God to the House of God
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Scripture Reading: Ezek. 9:3; 10:19; 11:23; 43:1-7; Eph. 3:21; Rev. 21:10-11

Ezek 9:3        And the glory of the God of Israel went up from the cherub on which it had been to the threshold of the house. And He called out to the man clothed in linen, who had the scribe's inkhorn by his side.

Ezek 10:19    And the cherubim lifted their wings and rose up from the earth in my sight when they went forth, and the wheels were next to them. And they stood at the entrance of the east gate of the house of Jehovah, and the glory of the God of Israel was over them above.

Ezek 11:23    And the glory of Jehovah went up from the midst of the city and stood upon the mountain which is east of the city.

Ezek 43:1      Then He brought me to the gate, that is, the gate that faces toward the east.

Ezek 43:2      And the glory of the God of Israel was there, coming from the way of the east, and His voice was like the sound of many waters, and the earth was illuminated with His glory.

Ezek 43:3      And it was like the appearance of the vision which I saw, that is, like the vision that I had seen when I came to destroy the city; and the visions were like the vision that I had seen by the river Chebar. And I fell on my face.

Ezek 43:4      And the glory of Jehovah came into the house through the gate which faced toward the east.

Ezek 43:5      And the Spirit took me up and brought me into the inner court, and just then the glory of Jehovah filled the house.

Ezek 43:6      And I heard someone speaking to me out of the house, and a man stood beside me.

Ezek 43:7      And He said to me, Son of man, this is the place of My throne and the place of the soles of My feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel forever. And the house of Israel will no longer defile My holy name, neither they nor their kings, by their fornication and by their kings' dead bodies on their high places.

Eph 3:21       To Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus unto all the generations forever and ever. Amen.

Rev 21:10     And he carried me away in spirit onto a great and high mountain and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God,

Rev 21:11     Having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, as clear as crystal.

 

I.     God is the God of glory and the God of the house—Acts 7:2; Gen. 35:7:

Acts 7:2        And he said, Men, brothers and fathers, listen. The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham while he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Haran,

Gen 35:7       And he built an altar there and called the place El-bethel, because there God had revealed Himself to him when he fled from his brother.

A.     The God of glory appeared to Abraham and called him, attracted him, and enabled him to follow God; in the same principle, God calls the New Testament believers by His invisible glory—Acts 7:2; 2 Pet. 1:3.

Acts 7:2        And he said, Men, brothers and fathers, listen. The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham while he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Haran,

2 Pet 1:3        Seeing that His divine power has granted to us all things which relate to life and godliness, through the full knowledge of Him who has called us by His own glory and virtue,

B.     The Father of glory is God expressed through His many sons—Eph. 1:17; Heb. 2:10:

Eph 1:17       That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the full knowledge of Him,

Heb 2:10       For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and through whom are all things, in leading many sons into glory, to make the Author of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

1. The title Father implies regeneration, and the word glory implies expression.

2. The title Father of glory implies regeneration and expression; we have been regenerated by God, and we are His expression—John 1:12-13; 1 Thes. 2:12; 2 Thes. 1:10, 12.

John 1:12      But as many as received Him, to them He gave the authority to become children of God, to those who believe into His name,

John 1:13      Who were begotten not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

1 Thes 2:12   So that you might walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.

2 Thes 1:10   When He comes to be glorified in His saints and to be marveled at in all those who have believed (because our testimony to you was believed) in that day.

2 Thes 1:12   So that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

C.     In Genesis 35:7 we have a new divine title—El-bethel, “God of the house of God”:

Gen 35:7       And he built an altar there and called the place El-bethel, because there God had revealed Himself to him when he fled from his brother.

1. Before this chapter God was the God of individuals; here He is no longer just the God of individuals but is El-bethel, the God of a corporate body, the God of the house of God.

2. Bethel signifies the corporate life, which is the Body of Christ; thus, in calling God the God of Bethel, Jacob advanced from the individual experience to the corporate experience—1 Cor. 12:12.

1 Cor 12:12   For even as the body is one and has many members, yet all the members of the body, being many, are one body, so also is the Christ.

D.     Glory is the expression of God, and building is the corporate expression of the Triune God; thus, the glory of God and the building of God go together, for the church, as God’s building, is the corporate expression of God—Exo. 40:34-38; 1 Kings 8:10-11; Rev. 21:10-11; Eph. 3:19, 21; 1 Tim. 3:15-16.

Exo 40:34     Then the cloud covered the Tent of Meeting, and the glory of Jehovah filled the tabernacle.

Exo 40:35     And Moses was not able to enter the Tent of Meeting, because the cloud settled on it and the glory of Jehovah filled the tabernacle.

Exo 40:36     And whenever the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the children of Israel set out on all their journeys;

Exo 40:37     But if the cloud was not taken up, they did not set out until the day that it was taken up.

Exo 40:38     For the cloud of Jehovah was upon the tabernacle by day, and there was fire in it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel on all their journeys.

1 Kings 8:10  And when the priests came out of the Holy Place, the cloud filled the house of Jehovah;

1 Kings 8:11  And the priests were not able to stand and minister because of the cloud, for the glory of Jehovah filled the house of Jehovah.

Rev 21:10     And he carried me away in spirit onto a great and high mountain and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God,

Rev 21:11     Having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, as clear as crystal.

Eph 3:19       And to know the knowledge-surpassing love of Christ, that you may be filled unto all the fullness of God.

Eph 3:21       To Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus unto all the generations forever and ever. Amen.

1 Tim 3:15    But if I delay, I write that you may know how one ought to conduct himself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and base of the truth.

1 Tim 3:16    And confessedly, great is the mystery of godliness: He who was manifested in the flesh, / Justified in the Spirit, / Seen by angels, / Preached among the nations, / Believed on in the world, / Taken up in glory.

II.   In Ezekiel 43:1-7 the glory of God returned to the house:

Ezek 43:1      Then He brought me to the gate, that is, the gate that faces toward the east.

Ezek 43:2      And the glory of the God of Israel was there, coming from the way of the east, and His voice was like the sound of many waters, and the earth was illuminated with His glory.

Ezek 43:3      And it was like the appearance of the vision which I saw, that is, like the vision that I had seen when I came to destroy the city; and the visions were like the vision that I had seen by the river Chebar. And I fell on my face.

Ezek 43:4      And the glory of Jehovah came into the house through the gate which faced toward the east.

Ezek 43:5      And the Spirit took me up and brought me into the inner court, and just then the glory of Jehovah filled the house.

Ezek 43:6      And I heard someone speaking to me out of the house, and a man stood beside me.

Ezek 43:7      And He said to me, Son of man, this is the place of My throne and the place of the soles of My feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel forever. And the house of Israel will no longer defile My holy name, neither they nor their kings, by their fornication and by their kings' dead bodies on their high places.

A.     We need to see a vision of the dwelling place that God desires to have on earth and realize that God’s goal is the building—40:4; 43:10-11; Matt. 16:18; Eph. 2:21-22; 4:16; Rev. 21:2.

Ezek 40:4      And the man said to me, Son of man, look with your eyes, and hear with your ears, and set your heart on all that I show you, because for this purpose you have been brought here, that it may be shown to you. Tell all that you see to the house of Israel.

Ezek 43:10    You, O son of man, describe the house to the house of Israel, that they may feel humiliated because of their iniquities, and let them measure the pattern.

Ezek 43:11    And if they feel humiliated because of all that they have done, make known to them the design of the house, the arrangement, its exits, its entrances, its whole design, and all its statutes-indeed its whole design and all its laws; and write them down in their sight, that they may keep its whole design and all its statutes, and do them.

Matt 16:18    And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.

Eph 2:21       In whom all the building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord;

Eph 2:22       In whom you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in spirit.

Eph 4:16       Out from whom all the Body, being joined together and being knit together through every joint of the rich supply and through the operation in the measure of each one part, causes the growth of the Body unto the building up of itself in love.

Rev 21:2       And I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

B.     The desire of God’s heart is to have a dwelling place with man on earth; the goal of God’s salvation is the building of His dwelling place on earth—Exo. 25:8-9; 29:45-46; 40:1-2, 34-38:

Exo 25:8       And let them make a sanctuary for Me that I may dwell in their midst;

Exo 25:9       According to all that I show you, the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all its furnishings, even so shall you make it.

Exo 29:45     And I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel, and I will be their God.

Exo 29:46     And they shall know that I am Jehovah their God, who brought them out of the land of Egypt, that I might dwell in the midst of them; I am Jehovah their God.

Exo 40:1       Then Jehovah spoke to Moses, saying,

Exo 40:2       On the first day of the first month you shall raise up the tabernacle of the Tent of Meeting.

Exo 40:34     Then the cloud covered the Tent of Meeting, and the glory of Jehovah filled the tabernacle.

Exo 40:35     And Moses was not able to enter the Tent of Meeting, because the cloud settled on it and the glory of Jehovah filled the tabernacle.

Exo 40:36     And whenever the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the children of Israel set out on all their journeys;

Exo 40:37     But if the cloud was not taken up, they did not set out until the day that it was taken up.

Exo 40:38     For the cloud of Jehovah was upon the tabernacle by day, and there was fire in it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel on all their journeys.

1. God wants to have the church built up on earth because He desires to have a dwelling place on earth—Matt. 16:18; 6:10.

Matt 16:18    And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.

Matt 6:10      Your kingdom come; Your will be done, as in heaven, so also on earth.

2. He, the God of the heavens, wants to live on the earth; the place where He lives, His dwelling place, is the church—1 Tim. 3:15; 1 Pet. 2:5.

1 Tim 3:15    But if I delay, I write that you may know how one ought to conduct himself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and base of the truth.

1 Pet 2:5        You yourselves also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house into a holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

C.     “This is the place of My throne and the place of the soles of My feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel forever”—Ezek. 43:7:

Ezek 43:7      And He said to me, Son of man, this is the place of My throne and the place of the soles of My feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel forever. And the house of Israel will no longer defile My holy name, neither they nor their kings, by their fornication and by their kings' dead bodies on their high places.

1. The throne is for God’s government, administration, and kingdom, and the soles of His feet are for His move on earth.

2. Apart from the temple as the place of His throne and the place of the soles of His feet, the Lord has no base for His administration and His move on earth.

3. Only the built-up church gives the Lord the standing to administrate His government and to move on earth; furthermore, the church is the place where the Lord can dwell for His rest and satisfaction—Matt. 16:18-19; Acts 13:1-3; 1 Tim. 3:15.

Matt 16:18    And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.

Matt 16:19    I will give to you the keys of the kingdom of the heavens, and whatever you bind on the earth shall have been bound in the heavens, and whatever you loose on the earth shall have been loosed in the heavens.

Acts 13:1      Now there were in Antioch, in the local church, prophets and teachers: Barnabas and Simeon, who was called Niger, and Lucius the Cyrenian, and Manaen, the foster brother of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.

Acts 13:2      And as they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, Set apart for Me now Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.

Acts 13:3      Then, when they had fasted and prayed and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.

1 Tim 3:15    But if I delay, I write that you may know how one ought to conduct himself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and base of the truth.

D.     Because of the idols in the temple, the glory of God withdrew step by step, leaving first the temple, then the city, and finally the people—Ezek. 8:3; 9:3; 10:19; 11:23:

Ezek 8:3        And He stretched out the form of a hand and took me by a lock of my head; and the Spirit lifted me up between the earth and heaven and brought me to Jerusalem in the visions of God, to the entrance of the gate of the inner court that faces north, where the seat of the idol of jealousy was, which provokes to jealousy.

Ezek 9:3        And the glory of the God of Israel went up from the cherub on which it had been to the threshold of the house. And He called out to the man clothed in linen, who had the scribe's inkhorn by his side.

Ezek 10:19    And the cherubim lifted their wings and rose up from the earth in my sight when they went forth, and the wheels were next to them. And they stood at the entrance of the east gate of the house of Jehovah, and the glory of the God of Israel was over them above.

Ezek 11:23    And the glory of Jehovah went up from the midst of the city and stood upon the mountain which is east of the city.

1. The departing of the glory of the Lord signifies the departing of God’s manifestation from the church—Rev. 2:5; cf. 1 Tim. 3:15-16; 1 Cor. 14:25.

Rev 2:5         Remember therefore where you have fallen from and repent and do the first works; but if not, I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place, unless you repent.

1 Tim 3:15    But if I delay, I write that you may know how one ought to conduct himself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and base of the truth.

1 Tim 3:16    And confessedly, great is the mystery of godliness: He who was manifested in the flesh, / Justified in the Spirit, / Seen by angels, / Preached among the nations, / Believed on in the world, / Taken up in glory.

1 Cor 14:25   The secrets of his heart become manifest; and so falling on his face, he will worship God, declaring that indeed God is among you.

2. The departing of the glory of Jehovah from Israel was a result of God’s judgment—Ezek. 14:21:

Ezek 14:21    For thus says the Lord Jehovah, How much more then when I send My four severe judgments upon Jerusalem, sword and famine and wild beasts and pestilence, to cut off man and beast from it!

a. This is the second time in Israel’s history that this happened:

1) At Mount Sinai, when the tabernacle was erected, the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle—Exo. 40:34.

Exo 40:34     Then the cloud covered the Tent of Meeting, and the glory of Jehovah filled the tabernacle.

2) Later, the Ark was captured by the Philistines, and the glory of the Lord left the tabernacle; this means that God gave up the tabernacle—1 Sam. 4.

1 Sam 4:1      And the word of Samuel came to all Israel. And Israel went forth against the Philistines in battle; and they encamped near Eben-ezer, and the Philistines encamped in Aphek.

1 Sam 4:2      And the Philistines arrayed themselves against Israel; and when the battle spread, Israel was struck down before the Philistines. And they slew about four thousand men of the array in the field.

1 Sam 4:3      And when the people came to the camp, the elders of Israel said, Why has Jehovah struck us down today before the Philistines? Let us take for ourselves the Ark of the Covenant of Jehovah from Shiloh that it may come into our midst, and thus save us from the hand of our enemies.

1 Sam 4:4      So the people sent men to Shiloh, and they took up from there the Ark of the Covenant of Jehovah of hosts who is enthroned between the cherubim. And the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were there with the Ark of the Covenant of God.

1 Sam 4:5      And when the Ark of the Covenant of Jehovah came into the camp, all Israel shouted with a great shout, and the earth resounded.

1 Sam 4:6      And the Philistines heard the sound of the shout and said, What does the sound of this great shout in the camp of the Hebrews mean? Then they found out that the Ark of Jehovah had come into their camp.

1 Sam 4:7      And the Philistines were afraid, for they said, God has come into their camp. And they said, Woe to us! For there has never been such a thing as this before.

1 Sam 4:8      Woe to us! Who will deliver us from the hand of these mighty gods? These are the gods that struck the Egyptians with every kind of plague in the wilderness.

1 Sam 4:9      Be strong and be men, O Philistines, lest you become servants to the Hebrews as they have been servants to you. Be men then and fight.

1 Sam 4:10    And the Philistines fought, and they struck Israel; and every man fled to his tent. And there was a very great slaughter, for thirty thousand foot soldiers of Israel fell.

1 Sam 4:11    And the Ark of God was taken, and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, died.

1 Sam 4:12    And a man of Benjamin ran from the array and came to Shiloh on the same day, with his clothes torn and earth upon his head.

1 Sam 4:13    And when he came, there was Eli, sitting on his seat by the roadside watching; for his heart trembled for the Ark of God. And when the man came to tell the news to the city, the whole city cried out.

1 Sam 4:14    And when Eli heard the sound of the cry, he said, What does this sound of commotion mean? And the man hurried and came and told Eli.

1 Sam 4:15    Now Eli was ninety-eight years old; and his eyes were set, and he could not see.

1 Sam 4:16    And the man said to Eli, I am he who has come from the array, and I fled from the array today. And he said, How did the matter go, my son?

1 Sam 4:17    And he who brought the news answered and said, Israel fled before the Philistines, and there was a great slaughter among the people; and even your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, are dead; and the Ark of God has been taken.

1 Sam 4:18    And when he mentioned the Ark of God, Eli fell from off his seat backward by the side of the gate. And he broke his neck and died, for he was an old man and heavy. And he had judged Israel forty years.

1 Sam 4:19    And his daughter-in-law, the wife of Phinehas, was pregnant, about to deliver; and when she heard the report that the Ark of God had been taken and that her father-in-law and her husband had died, she bowed down and gave birth, for her pains came upon her.

1 Sam 4:20    And around the time that she died, the women who stood around her said, Do not fear, for you have borne a son. But she did not answer or pay attention.

1 Sam 4:21    And she named the child Ichabod, meaning, The glory has departed from Israel, because the Ark of God had been taken and because of her father-in-law and her husband.

1 Sam 4:22    And she said, The glory has departed from Israel, for the Ark of God has been taken.

b. When the temple was built at the time of Solomon, the glory of the Lord returned to fill the temple—1 Kings 8:10-11.

1 Kings 8:10  And when the priests came out of the Holy Place, the cloud filled the house of Jehovah;

1 Kings 8:11  And the priests were not able to stand and minister because of the cloud, for the glory of Jehovah filled the house of Jehovah.

c. The glory of the Lord remained in the temple until the time when Ezekiel saw it departing, leaving the temple and the city, resting on the Mount of Olives, and finally returning to the heavens; that was the departure of the glory of the Lord—Ezek. 9:3; 10:19; 11:23.

Ezek 9:3        And the glory of the God of Israel went up from the cherub on which it had been to the threshold of the house. And He called out to the man clothed in linen, who had the scribe's inkhorn by his side.

Ezek 10:19    And the cherubim lifted their wings and rose up from the earth in my sight when they went forth, and the wheels were next to them. And they stood at the entrance of the east gate of the house of Jehovah, and the glory of the God of Israel was over them above.

Ezek 11:23    And the glory of Jehovah went up from the midst of the city and stood upon the mountain which is east of the city.

E.      The return of God’s glory depends on the building of the house—43:1-12:

Ezek 43:1      Then He brought me to the gate, that is, the gate that faces toward the east.

Ezek 43:2      And the glory of the God of Israel was there, coming from the way of the east, and His voice was like the sound of many waters, and the earth was illuminated with His glory.

Ezek 43:3      And it was like the appearance of the vision which I saw, that is, like the vision that I had seen when I came to destroy the city; and the visions were like the vision that I had seen by the river Chebar. And I fell on my face.

Ezek 43:4      And the glory of Jehovah came into the house through the gate which faced toward the east.

Ezek 43:5      And the Spirit took me up and brought me into the inner court, and just then the glory of Jehovah filled the house.

Ezek 43:6      And I heard someone speaking to me out of the house, and a man stood beside me.

Ezek 43:7      And He said to me, Son of man, this is the place of My throne and the place of the soles of My feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel forever. And the house of Israel will no longer defile My holy name, neither they nor their kings, by their fornication and by their kings' dead bodies on their high places.

Ezek 43:8      When they placed their threshold by My threshold and their doorpost beside My doorpost, there was only the wall between Me and them, and they have defiled My holy name by their abominations which they have committed. Therefore I have consumed them in My anger.

Ezek 43:9      Now let them put away their fornication and the dead bodies of their kings far from Me, and I will dwell in their midst forever.

Ezek 43:10    You, O son of man, describe the house to the house of Israel, that they may feel humiliated because of their iniquities, and let them measure the pattern.

Ezek 43:11    And if they feel humiliated because of all that they have done, make known to them the design of the house, the arrangement, its exits, its entrances, its whole design, and all its statutes-indeed its whole design and all its laws; and write them down in their sight, that they may keep its whole design and all its statutes, and do them.

Ezek 43:12    This is the law of the house: Its entire area on the top of and all around the mountain shall be most holy. Indeed this is the law of the house.

1. In his earlier ministry Ezekiel saw the glory of the Lord leave the temple, but in his later ministry he saw the glory coming back to the house of the Lord—9:3; 10:19; 11:23; 43:7.

Ezek 9:3        And the glory of the God of Israel went up from the cherub on which it had been to the threshold of the house. And He called out to the man clothed in linen, who had the scribe's inkhorn by his side.

Ezek 10:19    And the cherubim lifted their wings and rose up from the earth in my sight when they went forth, and the wheels were next to them. And they stood at the entrance of the east gate of the house of Jehovah, and the glory of the God of Israel was over them above.

Ezek 11:23    And the glory of Jehovah went up from the midst of the city and stood upon the mountain which is east of the city.

Ezek 43:7      And He said to me, Son of man, this is the place of My throne and the place of the soles of My feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel forever. And the house of Israel will no longer defile My holy name, neither they nor their kings, by their fornication and by their kings' dead bodies on their high places.

2. The glory of the Lord returned because the building of God’s house was completed—v. 7; Hag. 2:7, 9:

Ezek 43:7      And He said to me, Son of man, this is the place of My throne and the place of the soles of My feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel forever. And the house of Israel will no longer defile My holy name, neither they nor their kings, by their fornication and by their kings' dead bodies on their high places.

Hag 2:7         And I will shake all the nations, and the Desire of all the nations will come; and I will fill this house with glory, says Jehovah of hosts.

Hag 2:9         The latter glory of this house will be greater than the former, says Jehovah of hosts; and in this place I will give peace, declares Jehovah of hosts.

a. The glory returned from the east—the direction of the sunrise, which signifies glory; the Lord came back from the glory—Ezek. 43:2; Num. 2:3.

Ezek 43:2      And the glory of the God of Israel was there, coming from the way of the east, and His voice was like the sound of many waters, and the earth was illuminated with His glory.

Num  2:3      And those who encamp on the east side toward the sunrise shall be of the standard of the camp of Judah, according to their companies; and the leader of the children of Judah: Nahshon the son of Amminadab;

b. The glory of the Lord came into the house by the east gate, which was for the glory of the Lord—Ezek. 43:4:

Ezek 43:4      And the glory of Jehovah came into the house through the gate which faced toward the east.

1) In the church life the most important gate is the east gate, the gate that is open to the glory of the Lord.

2) The first consideration we should have in the church life should be the Lord’s glory—Eph. 3:21; 1 Cor. 10:31.

Eph 3:21       To Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus unto all the generations forever and ever. Amen.

1 Cor 10:31   Therefore whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

3. The Lord desires to come back to the earth, but for His coming back He needs a dwelling place—a place for His throne and for the soles of His feet—Ezek. 43:7:

Ezek 43:7      And He said to me, Son of man, this is the place of My throne and the place of the soles of My feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel forever. And the house of Israel will no longer defile My holy name, neither they nor their kings, by their fornication and by their kings' dead bodies on their high places.

a. His dwelling place is the church, the base of His administration and move on earth—Eph. 2:21-22; 1 Tim. 3:15.

Eph 2:21       In whom all the building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord;

Eph 2:22       In whom you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in spirit.

1 Tim 3:15    But if I delay, I write that you may know how one ought to conduct himself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and base of the truth.

b. God’s concern is not merely with salvation or with spirituality but with the building—Eph. 4:12, 16; 1 Cor. 14:4, 26.

Eph 4:12       For the perfecting of the saints unto the work of the ministry, unto the building up of the Body of Christ,

Eph 4:16       Out from whom all the Body, being joined together and being knit together through every joint of the rich supply and through the operation in the measure of each one part, causes the growth of the Body unto the building up of itself in love.

1 Cor 14:4     He who speaks in a tongue builds up himself, but he who prophesies builds up the church.

1 Cor 14:26   What then, brothers? Whenever you come together, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up.

c. If the church today corresponds to all the details of the holy building of God covered in Ezekiel and thus is built up in every aspect, God will dwell in the church gloriously—Matt. 16:18; Eph. 3:21; 5:27.

Matt 16:18    And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.

Eph 3:21       To Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus unto all the generations forever and ever. Amen.

Eph 5:27       That He might present the church to Himself glorious, not having spot or wrinkle or any such things, but that she would be holy and without blemish.

d. In order for the glorious God to dwell in the church, the church must be built up to become the dwelling place of God—2:21-22.

Eph 2:21       In whom all the building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord;

Eph 2:22       In whom you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in spirit.

III.  In the Gospel of John we see the glory of God in the building of God:

A.     Christ, the incarnated Word, is the tabernacle and the temple filled with glory—1:14; 2:19; Matt. 17:1-2, 5; Luke 9:32; 2 Pet. 1:16-18.

Eph 1:14       Who is the pledge of our inheritance unto the redemption of the acquired possession, to the praise of His glory.

Eph 2:19       So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,

Matt 17:1      And after six days Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John his brother, and brought them up to a high mountain privately.

Matt 17:2      And He was transfigured before them, and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as the light.

Matt 17:5      While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is My Son, the Beloved, in whom I have found My delight. Hear Him!

Luke 9:32     Now Peter and those with him had been overcome with sleep, but when they had fully woken up, they saw His glory and the two men who were standing with Him.

2 Pet 1:16      For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we became eyewitnesses of that One's majesty.

2 Pet 1:17      For He received from God the Father honor and glory, a voice such as this being borne to Him by the magnificent glory: This is My Son, My Beloved, in whom I delight.

2 Pet 1:18      And this voice we heard being borne out of heaven while we were with Him in the holy mountain.

B.     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—John 12:23; 13:31-32; 17:1, 5; 14:2-3, 23.

John 12:23    And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.

John 13:31    Then when he went out, Jesus said, Now has the Son of Man been glorified, and God has been glorified in Him.

John 13:32    If God has been glorified in Him, God will also glorify Him in Himself, and He will glorify Him immediately.

John 17:1      These things Jesus spoke, and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son that the Son may glorify You;

John 17:5      And now, glorify Me along with Yourself, Father, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.

John 14:2      In My Father's house are many abodes; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.

John 14:3      And if I go and prepare a place for you, I am coming again and will receive you to Myself, so that where I am you also may be.

John 14:23    Jesus answered and said to him, If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word, and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make an abode with him.

C.     According to John 17:22, the oneness of the believers is the oneness in the divine glory for the corporate expression of God; in this aspect of oneness the believers enjoy the glory of the Father as the factor of their perfected oneness and thus express God in a corporate, built-up way.

John 17:22    And the glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, even as We are one;

IV.  Ephesians 3 reveals that God is glorified in the church:

Eph 3:1         For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus on behalf of you, the Gentiles—

Eph 3:2         If indeed you have heard of the stewardship of the grace of God which was given to me for you,

Eph 3:3         That by revelation the mystery was made known to me, as I have written previously in brief,

Eph 3:4         By which, in reading it, you can perceive my understanding in the mystery of Christ,

Eph 3:5         Which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in spirit,

Eph 3:6         That in Christ Jesus the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the Body and fellow partakers of the promise through the gospel,

Eph 3:7         Of which I became a minister according to the gift of the grace of God which was given to me according to the operation of His power.

Eph 3:8         To me, less than the least of all saints, was this grace given to announce to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ as the gospel

Eph 3:9         And to enlighten all that they may see what the economy of the mystery is, which throughout the ages has been hidden in God, who created all things,

Eph 3:10       In order that now to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenlies the multifarious wisdom of God might be made known through the church,

Eph 3:11       According to the eternal purpose which He made in Christ Jesus our Lord,

Eph 3:12       In whom we have boldness and access in confidence through faith in Him.

Eph 3:13       Therefore I ask you not to faint at my afflictions for your sake, since they are your glory.

Eph 3:14       For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father,

Eph 3:15       Of whom every family in the heavens and on earth is named,

Eph 3:16       That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit into the inner man,

Eph 3:17       That Christ may make His home in your hearts through faith, that you, being rooted and grounded in love,

Eph 3:18       May be full of strength to apprehend with all the saints what the breadth and length and height and depth are.

Eph 3:19       And to know the knowledge-surpassing love of Christ, that you may be filled unto all the fullness of God.

Eph 3:20       But to Him who is able to do superabundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power which operates in us,

Eph 3:21       To Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus unto all the generations forever and ever. Amen.

A.     Paul prayed that the Father would strengthen the saints according to the riches of His glory, implying that the glory of God can be wrought into the saints—vv. 14-16.

Eph 3:14       For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father,

Eph 3:15       Of whom every family in the heavens and on earth is named,

Eph 3:16       That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit into the inner man,

B.     In verse 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:

Eph 3:21       To Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus unto all the generations forever and ever. Amen.

1. This glory comes to us with God and, after being worked into us, will return to God with us.

2. God’s glory is wrought into the church, and He is expressed in the church.

3. To God is the glory in the church; that is, God is glorified in the church—v. 21.

Eph 3:21       To Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus unto all the generations forever and ever. Amen.

V.   An outstanding feature of the New Jerusalem is that it has the glory of God, His expression—Rev. 21:2, 10-11:

Rev 21:2       And I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

Rev 21:10     And he carried me away in spirit onto a great and high mountain and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God,

Rev 21:11     Having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, as clear as crystal.

A.     We have been predestinated for this glory and called to this glory—1 Cor. 2:7; 1 Pet. 5:10; 1 Thes. 2:12:

1 Cor 2:7       But we speak God's wisdom in a mystery, the wisdom which has been hidden, which God predestined before the ages for our glory,

1 Pet 5:10      But the God of all grace, He who has called you into His eternal glory in Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself perfect, establish, strengthen, and ground you.

1 Thes 2:12   So that you might walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.

1. We are being transformed into this glory and will be brought into it—2 Cor. 3:18; Heb. 2:10.

2 Cor 3:18     But 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, even as from the Lord Spirit.

Heb 2:10       For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and through whom are all things, in leading many sons into glory, to make the Author of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

2. 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.

Rom 8:17      And if children, heirs also; on the one hand, heirs of God; on the other, joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him that we may also be glorified with Him.

Rom 8:30      And those whom He predestinated, these He also called; and those whom He called, these He also justified; and those whom He justified, these He also glorified.

B.     The entire New Jerusalem will bear the glory of God, which is God Himself shining out through the city—Rev. 21:10-11, 23:

Rev 21:10     And he carried me away in spirit onto a great and high mountain and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God,

Rev 21:11     Having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, as clear as crystal.

Rev 21:23     And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon that they should shine in it, for the glory of God illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb.

1. Actually, the glory of God will be the content of the New Jerusalem, for this city is filled with His glory; this indicates that the city is a vessel to contain God and express Him in a corporate way.

2. The glory of God is God Himself being manifested; the fact that the New Jerusalem is full of God’s glory means that God is manifested in this city.

3. The church life today should also have God’s glory, manifesting and expressing Him corporately in this marvelous divine attribute—Eph. 3:21.

Eph 3:21       To Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus unto all the generations forever and ever. Amen.

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2017-07-15 23:01:42
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Kuann Hung
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