March 29, 2013
Well.......yawn......Guess it's my turn to get told, "Wake up, Sleepy!" I went to bed early last night and then woke up at 3:15 in the morning absolutely wired! Got up for a couple of hours to do some work on the computer and then went back to bed for a bit. Now I need toothpicks under my eyelids......
Just re-reading some of what I wrote last week and realized that I made a rather inconsistent statement. Detailing the characteristics of the operation of the Spirit of Truth I wrote, "For those who walk in love – AND in the Spirit – Jesus’ promise is that the Spirit of Truth will dwell IN us."
That's funny, actually. We ARE talking about walking in agape are we not? Duhhhh.... Last time I looked, you couldn't walk in agape and NOT be in the Spirit! Agape can't operate in the realm of the soul or the flesh, no matter how you slice it! Agape superintends the soul and flesh because it is strictly Spirit-based! Anyway, sometimes I get to writing so fast the words come out and I don't realize how I've expressed myself. Oh well! On with today's discussion.
And, by the way, my thanks to all those of you who've helped to push A Tale of Two Brides to its presence on Amazon.com's best-seller lists for the past few weeks, reaching as high as #8. It's a blessing to know that the prophetic message in that book is reaching into the hearts of many tens of thousands of readers.
In the midst of a discourse on the subject of trials and persecution, Peter wrote, "Rejoice according to the share you have in the sufferings of Christ, that in the revelation of His glory, you may also rejoice with extreme joy. If you are reviled and belittled in the name of Christ, blessed are you, because the Spirit of Glory and the Spirit of God rest upon you." (I Peter 4:13-14 -- my translation)
The phrase, "the glory of God," or variations thereof, appears something like 300 times throughout Scripture. David mentions it approximately 50 times in the Psalms, and Isaiah refers to it 50 times in his prophecies. David refers to the Lord five times (Psalm 24) as "The King of Glory."
In Psalm 72:19, he prophesies, "And blessed be His glorious shem [onoma] for ever: and let the whole earth be filled with His glory."
"In the year that King Uzziah died," Isaiah was taken up in the Spirit and given a vision of the Lord sitting upon a throne. He saw and heard the seraphims (the Hebrew word for them is, sar.aph), winged creatures ablaze with a brilliant light -- who appeared as if they were on fire -- saying one to another, "Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of Hosts: the whole earth is filled with His Glory!"
Some forty-six years later, the Lord again allowed Isaiah to see into the distant future and to prophesy, "The Glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together." (Isaiah 40:5 KJV)
The word used primarily in the Greek text for "Glory" is, doxa. (We are familiar with a contemporary usage of this word in a very old hymn, "The Doxology.") In the Hebrew text, it is ka.bod (pronounced, kah.bode'). Both words parallel one another in usage and translation. Doxa and ka.bod both mean: splendor, majesty, honor, glory, abundance, riches.
Ka.bod is derived from kabad, which means: to be heavy; it is used of weight, being weighty: hence in a figurative sense, ka.bod represents: to increase with honor; to render illustrious; to show one's self great, glorious, plentiful, abundant, numerous, etc.
Doxa, on the other hand, takes its weight of meaning from: estimate, view, good opinion; hence, it represents magnificence, excellence, preeminence, dignity and grace. Bishop Wescott defines it as: a most glorious condition, the most exalted state, and translates it (in the case of the Spirit of Glory) as the absolutely perfect inner being, and the personal excellence of Christ.
The Septuagint translators translated doxa for ka.bod, rendering it heavenly brightness, a brilliant splendor surrounding the Lord. They used doxa to define the Shekinah, the brilliant light which surrounded Moses following his two 40-day periods in the presence of the Lord on the mountain top. This word occurs in the New Testament to describe the appearance of Jesus as He was transfigured.
The Jewish historian, Josephus, used doxa to describe the glorious form and appearance of those who were raised from the dead, having seen the remarkable change and transformation which took place in their countenance and being.
Obviously, we could use page after page to describe the ways in which these words have been applied, but I believe that Bishop Wescott captured the essence of it with his picture of absolute perfection and personal excellence. Thus we can grasp some sense of the Spirit of Glory by seeing it as visible perfection or exalted majesty. All that we know as "majestic" in earthly terms, all that we know as "magnificence" and "splendor," can scarcely begin to convey the reality of The Spirit of Glory.
Many of you have heard me share the experience many years ago of being in Heaven, and being ushered into the Throne Room. The Glory of the Lord was so powerful that I fell prostrate. I literally felt the "weight of Glory." The brilliant light about the Father far exceeded that of the sun, and I was unable to look at Him. I had been walking and talking with Jesus for quite some time prior to being ushered into the Throne Room, and while He radiated this same light, for some reason I was able to look at Him -- at least for short periods. The light was less intense and/or piercing. Nevertheless, I was unable to gaze into His face for any period of time without everything else blanking out around Him.
In the years since, much change has taken place in me. While the experience of being in Heaven has not been repeated -- at least in a literal sense -- I have experienced being carried in the Spirit into the presence of Jesus Christ on numerous occasions, and have seen Father at a distance. With the transformation which has been being worked by Holy Spirit, I have found the experience less shocking, and in fact, very normal. It has helped me to understand the change of onoma which is taking place.
David wrote, "Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness; to the end that my glory may sing praise unto thee, and not be silent." (Psalm 30:11-12 KJV)
We are being brought to a place where that which we have previously seen as supernatural now becomes natural. He is working His Glory in us. The Spirit of Glory is being given to His Bride for her completion and perfection. Glory is integral to the onoma of Jesus Christ. If we are to be like Him when we see Him, it must be integral to our onoma.
Hear the promise of the Lord. "I the Lord have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thy hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the nations..........I am the Lord: that is my shem [onoma]: and my Glory will I not give to another (god), neither my praise to graven images. Behold the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them." (Isaiah 42:6-8)
Notice that He says, "I am the Lord: that is my onoma." Then in the very same breath, He says, "My Glory will I not give to another (god), nor my tehillah to graven images." He therefore makes it clear that His Glory is a part of His onoma, that he will not under any circumstances allow it to be given or used for the sake of any other god. The word, tehillah, while generally translated "praise," is a variant word also translated, "Glory." Tehillah, in this instance, is: glory attested to; hence, laudation.
Let me pause momentarily to comment on the significance of this statement.
True "Glory" is the exclusive domain of the Lord. It is elemental to His makeup and intrinsic to His character. The Spirit of Glory is that constituent of His onoma which perfects and completes us. Nevertheless, there are many woefully ignorant believers who casually and carelessly attribute the working and the works of Holy Spirit to the works of their hands, or the works of the hands of others: graven images, if you will.
The Lord performs some wonderful work in their lives; perhaps they are healed; possibly they receive some wonderful opportunity; maybe they receive some kind of promotion on the job; there are any one of hundreds of possible scenarios. Yet when it comes time to give credit where credit is due, do you think the Lord gets the Glory?
Riiiighht! Suure He does! It is given to your talents and abilities, the doctor, the pills, your friends, your employer, or a myriad of other things -- all of which may have played a part in your blessing. Nevertheless, the real credit -- the real glory -- belongs to the Lord, without whose intervention and orchestration of affairs those things could not have happened.
"Well, I owe it all to Dr. Jones. He knew just the right medication for my condition. If it hadn't been for his medical skills and training, I probably wouldn't be here today." "Yes, it was a wonderful promotion! But I owe it all to Richard. If he hadn't put in a good word for me, this never would have happened."
I understand that you have wanted to visit Egypt and Israel all of your life, and that you've just been given some airline tickets. This travel opportunity is a real gift from the Lord. "Yes, but I just happened to be in the right place at the right time. I happened to see this advertisement, and mentioned it to one of my kids, and they decided to do this for my wife and I."
Funny, isn't it, how "yes, but.." gets the credit instead of the Lord. Who is getting the glory? The doctor? The medication? Your associate on the job? Your kids? Excuse me for saying so, but aren't you in danger of making them into graven images? Maybe it doesn't seem like a big deal to you, but if the Lord has to share the credit with all these other people or things in your life, there is an enormous gap in your relationship with Him. It's OK to be grateful for the involvement of others in your life. Crediting them with the praise, honor and glory which belong to the Lord is quite another thing.
I'm not here to make attacks on anyone or anything. It is important that we get our priorities straight. Every event in our lives, no matter how great or small, plays a role in that which Holy Spirit does, in order to bring about the necessary change, to conform us to the image and character of Jesus Christ.
"Glory" plays an ever-increasing importance in our onoma as we are molded and shaped. It is literally a part of our perfecting and completion. The more that Spirit of Glory begins to dwell in us, the greater the degree of the supernatural which functions in and through us. We are, as previously stated, becoming "naturally supernatural," and "supernaturally natural." His glory becomes an innate part of our existence.
Throughout past generations spanning the centuries, as Holy Spirit has been bringing Truth to the Bride leading her ever closer to the fulfillment Jesus Christ has waited for, Satan has contaminated things by making God's people believe that it was wrong for the glory of the Lord -- in them -- to receive the proper acclaim. Where else is the glory of the Lord to be manifested, pray tell? In outer space? In the clouds? In some building which has the words engraved on a cornerstone, "ERECTED TO THE GLORY OF GOD?"
The Spirit of Glory is not something inanimate! He is a living being, a functioning divine personality who is part of the corporate existence and onoma of the Godhead. When He comes to dwell in us and manifest Himself through us, that which is manifested is still to His credit, praise, and glory! Its O.K. to bless the doctor, the lawyer, the breadmaker or the candlestick maker for their efforts, but the true credit and praise and glory belongs to Holy Spirit, to the Lord Jesus Christ, to Father God.
There's still more to share on the Spirit of Glory, and I'd like to take a slightly different approach than we've shared thus far, but I think I'll hold that for next week.
Over the months I have shared various prophetic words from people whose integrity in God we trust implicitly -- those whose prophetic utterances come straight from the heart of the Lord. Paul Keith Davis is one such brother in the Lord, and it isn't simply just Paul Keith as a single individual. His wife, Wanda, and daughter, Natalie Victoria, and son, Caleb, all have similar prophetic gifting. Natalie shared an excellent word a few days ago, and I would like to excerpt a portion of that to pass along today. You can read her entire word at ElijahList.com.
yearns for our attention, our focus, and our company. It is His desire to spend
extensive time with us as any bridegroom would want with his bride. He longs
for relationships with us that are so real and so deep that we hear His
heartbeat. That is what I hear the Holy Spirit calling us to.
God is yearning for an intimacy with us that is more than just Sunday morning service. He desires a place in our lives that involves every second of the day devoted to Him. He longs to give us a Revelation 4:1-2 encounter, saying:
"After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in Heaven, and the first voice which I had heard, like the sound of a trumpet speaking with me, said, 'Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after these things.' Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne was standing in Heaven, and One sitting on the throne."
His Bride will be a remnant of people that will
open their hearts to Him and allow His secret desires to be imparted. Our
hearts must be broken for the things that break His. His Bride is to be a
reflection of Him and the embodiment of His character. But we must first deny
ourselves as it says in Matthew 16:24. Denying ourselves is not done weekly, or
when we feel motivated or desperate; but this denying must be done on a daily
basis with every waking moment surrendered to His will.
Wade Taylor explained it well when he said, "This taking up of our cross means that we 'die' to the right to do as we please, and surrender 'unconditionally' to the Lordship of Jesus. For us to do this, requires a specific act on our part in which we vocally take this right to do as we please that we gained through the transgression of Adam, and give it back to the Lord."
We were created for a great purpose that makes life truly worth living. Part of that is to help bring in the fullness of His reward and to be restored back into God's original plan. We must abide in Him and He in us as verified in John 15:4:
"Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me."
When we fully yield our will to Him, He is then able to occupy us and provide the strength we need. In that place we will find His promised rest. Then we are transformed into His image and ask for great things from God. We will receive them because we are so like Him that what we request is from His heart, not our human desires and aspirations.
Blessings on you!
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