No human will ever witness God’s full glory and live to tell about it. Those who were privileged to witness it did so in the spirit. God’s glory overpowers even the light of the sun! Speaking of God’s glory, 1 Timothy 6:16 says ‘who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see.’ Try to imagine the brightness of the sun in the Middle East at noon. Listen to Saul’s experience as told in Acts 26:13. ‘About noon, O king, as I was on the road, I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, blazing around me and my companions.’ Hebrews 1:3 says ‘The Son is the radiance of God’s glory, and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.’
Typically, our human perception and understanding of God’s glory is about as different as night and day from the real thing. It has been a long time since the world really experienced God’s glory as it existed in the Old Testament. When the word speaks of His glory, people trembled. Smoke blocked people’s eyes from His brightness.
In the scriptures, we see a distinct pattern that is relevant to His glory. Before God’s glory is revealed, divine order is always established first. God first lays out His divine order and, in the process, a place of habitation is created for Him. Second, His glory then fills the place of habitation. Third, after the glory falls, man always seems to drift away from the Lord at which time judgement occurs and the glory is taken away or diminished.
The first time we see this pattern in God’s word is in the story of the Garden of Eden. First, God exercises His perfect order, creating the heavens, the earth, the garden and man. Second, Psalms 8:5 says ‘You made him a little lower than the heavenly and crowned him with glory and honor.’ God is with His creation, walking with man and woman in the garden. Step three, we see the man and woman sin. The glory is removed and judgement occurs. In Exodus we see the same pattern. Moses is given the Lord’s instructions for the Tabernacle. As soon as the work is completed as God instructed, He inhabits the tabernacle in His glory. He creates a place of habitation and a way to visit and be among His people. But the Israelites eventually turn away from God resulting in judgement.
Later, the temple is constructed according to instructions from the Lord. When it has been completed, He inhabits it in His glory. Again, because of sin and falling away, the glory disappears and judgement results. Later in time, the temple is destroyed in its entirety.
Then God establishes a new and unique divine order and a new covenant through His one and only Son, Jesus Christ and His Church. He now inhabits His individual children who make up the bride of Christ. Coming full circle back to the Garden of Eden and the creation of man, His glory is established in us, His creation, through the seed of the Holy Spirit. We are supposed to be the vehicle by which He visits His people, including the lost. Unfortunately, just like the Israelites, the individual believers within the Church, God’s own children, have turned their backs on Him to serve themselves. There is no light in us. There is no glory for the lost to see. I write this as a prophet would. This is an urgent plea to the Church. Serve the Lord, not yourselves. Fear the Lord, not man. As I’ve said before, everything you say, everything you do serves the kingdom of God or the kingdom of Satan. It’s your choice. Prayer and the Holy Spirit will give you the wisdom necessary to know the difference.
Just as in the Garden of Eden, the tent of meeting, the temple, and now the Church, unless something changes, the next step is judgement. It may not be spiritual death but there will be judgement.