Life-Study of Hebrewsby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
We need to devote another message to the Captain of salvation. This is a great matter. The Captain of salvation is the One who leads us into glory. There is no problem with understanding the Captain; the difficulty is in understanding the meaning of glory. Although we spoke about glory in the previous message, because many of us are not clear about the true meaning of glory in the Bible, I am burdened to say something basic regarding glory in this message.
In the Bible, glory is God expressed. Whenever God is expressed, that is glory. But whenever God is hidden, concealed, there is no glory. When God is seen, there is glory. You can never see God without seeing His glory. While the unseen God is God, the seen God is glory. Glory was seen as the children of Israel journeyed from Egypt to the good land (Exo. 13:21). During the day God was seen as the cloud and during the night He was seen as the pillar of fire—that was glory. In the Gospel of John we read that the Word was God, that the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and that we all beheld His glory (John 1:1, 14). John 1:18 says, “No one has ever seen God; the only begotten Son, Who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him” (Recovery Version). There is glory in the declaration of God. When we see God, we see glory.
Based upon this understanding of glory, we may ask, What is God’s eternal purpose? God’s eternal purpose is to express Himself in a corporate way. If you read Revelation carefully, you will see that the entire city of New Jerusalem bears the glory of God (Rev. 21:10-11). This means that the whole city will be the corporate expression of God. In the New Jerusalem, God is in the Lamb, and the Lamb is the lamp with God shining in and through Him as the light (Rev. 21:23, Gk.). Eventually, this light will shine through the wall of the city, a wall that is made of jasper, is crystal clear, and expresses God’s image. If you were to ask me what glory is, I would say that that is glory. To be brought into glory simply means to be brought into that glorious expression of God.
Since many of the new ones might not be familiar with this matter, let us examine the verses in Revelation more carefully. Revelation 21:11, a description of the New Jerusalem, says, “Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal.” Verse 18 of the same chapter says, “And the building of the wall of it was of jasper.” The whole wall of the city is made of jasper, expressing the very image of God. If you read Revelation 4:3, you will see that God, the One sitting on the throne, has the appearance of jasper: “And He that sat was to look upon like a jasper.” God’s appearance is like jasper, and the city wall is made of jasper expressing the same appearance as God. This is the glory that the city bears. Such a glory is not an objective shining or brightness. The glory here is the divine reality expressed. The divine reality expressed through the corporate Body is glory. This is the glory that we are going to enter into. The glory into which we shall enter is not an objective shining or brightness; it is God Himself shining from, through, and out of us.
Where is the glory in the New Jerusalem? It is in the center, in the heart, of the city. God, the source of glory, is on the throne in the center of the New Jerusalem. God on the throne is the substance, essence, and element of glory. In Revelation 21 that glory is called the light (Rev. 21:23). That light is not a natural light, such as the sun, moon, and stars, nor a man-made light, such as a lamp. No, it is the divine light, God Himself. This is the source of glory. God as the light shines in and through the Lamb as the lamp, eventually shining through the entire city, causing the city to bear the appearance of God Himself. When we look at the New Jerusalem, we see the expression of God’s appearance, the light in the lamp shining through the jasper. This is glory. Glory is God expressed through His redeemed people. Oh, how we all need to see what this glory really is!
In these messages we have spoken much about crossing the river. We need to cross the river to the glory side, to the region of glory. But this does not mean that we shall enter glory in a physical sense and walk on golden streets. No, the things pertaining to God and to His eternal purpose are so mysterious, spiritual, and divine that no human words can illustrate them adequately and no human mind can comprehend them sufficiently. Because of this, the Bible uses symbols to represent the divine reality. When the Bible says that Christ is the Lamb, it does not mean, of course, that He is literally a lamb with four feet and a tail. When the Bible says that Christ is the Lamb of God (John 1:29), it is referring to the divine redemption.
As a whole, the Bible reveals that the Divine Being, the Almighty and mysterious God, wants to have a full expression through a corporate people. For this purpose, He created the universe, including the heavens and the earth. For this purpose, He specifically and especially created man as a corporate entity to contain Him, to be filled with Him, to live by Him, and to have his being by Him in order to express Him. Eventually, this corporate man will be the New Jerusalem as God’s corporate expression. God will be there as the center, essence, substance, content, life, and everything to this corporate man. God will be shining there. He will shine from within this corporate man and through this corporate man. God’s glory will be there, and all the members of this corporate man will be brought into that glory.
Now we are able to grasp the meaning of the glory into which we are being brought. This glory is not a mere objective shining; it is God Himself expressed. When God Himself comes into us, He is life; when He works in us, He is light; and when He is expressed in us, He is glory. This is God’s eternal goal into which He is leading us. God is now bringing us into the region of glory which is God Himself expressed.
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