The Glory of the Lord (continued)
Some Examples From the New Testament (continued)
And so we could go on. We think of the individual instruments of God's new movement. We will agree that a new movement was in hand through Peter. There is no doubt about it. It is a real new movement. Though Paul was the apostle to the Gentiles, we must remember that Peter opened the door for the new dispensation both to Jew and to Gentile, in Jerusalem, and in Caesarea. It is a mighty new movement. But Peter had his ministry set in this glory. He tells us that he was with Jesus in the Holy Mount, and beheld His glory (2 Peter 1:16-18). That ad undoubtedly been a tremendously dynamic thing in Peter's life. The Holy Spirit interpreted everything to him on the Day of Pentecost. He got a new Bible, because he had got a new Lord, and an opened Heaven! It was this great principle of glory which accounted for Peter's ministry, and Peter's work, and Peter's endurance to the end.
That is clear, too, in the case of John, who was with him for so long as his co-worker and fellow-apostle, in Jerusalem at least. When we come to the beginning of the Book of Revelation, we once again recognize that we are in the presence of a new movement - a new movement for the recovery of the glory, which has become so limited and obscured in the churches. The Lord comes to John in vision in Patmos; but it is such a glorious thing, and the visions are so glorious, that more than once John is down in utter prostration before the Lord, and has to be lifted up, helped to rise, because of the overwhelming impact of the vision of the glory (1:17; 19:10; 22:8).
And what shall we say of Paul? That wonderful ministry, so full, so rich, so glorious, was all born in the day when he saw the glory on the Damascus road (Acts 9).
The point is this. The Lord displayed the glory upon every occasion when He was going to move again with some new step in His purpose. All these things that I have mentioned were steps onward of God in His age-long purpose, and every one of them was based upon a new apprehension of the glory of the Lord by those who were concerned. So that, in the case of the prophets and apostles, their ministry was a ministry of the greatness and the glory of the Lord; and as those to whom they ministered saw that, they became a people with a very great significance in this world. It was this apprehension of the glory of Christ that gave character and meaning and power and value to their being here in this world. All this, then, has but one meaning: God's end and God's object is glory, and everything that He does is governed by that.
This is something that must really take hold of us, and of which we must take hold: that God intends that all things - all things, to the minutest detail of our life, should out, under His hand, for glory; that God, in everything; is working with glory in view. Do you believe that? No doubt you believe it as a statement and a truth; perhaps you believe it in your heart; but it is not always easy to believe that, because we just do not see how it can be. Indeed, what we do see convinces us that anything but glory will come out of this! Oh that the Lord would just grip us with this - grip me, grip you - individually, and as companies of His people where we are: that what He is doing, what He is allowing, is under the control of this one law and principle - He intends it to be for His glory. That is what He has in mind, and what He will do, for He will not be finally thwarted in His purpose.
(continued with # 40 - "Ezekiel and the Glory")