For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, As the waters cover the sea (Habakkuk 2:14 KJV)
There is an ever-increasing interest in the glory of God across the entire Body of Christ. Believers everywhere are crying out to God to “show us Your glory,” reveal Your glory,” manifest Your glory,” etc. The reason for this trend is simple: it is God’s eternal plan for this age, and His Spirit is stirring the Church powerfully to accomplish this divine will.
The glory of God is a prominent truth in the New Testament closely knit to our calling in Christ. Therefore, it is crucial to understand what that glory is. I have written several devotionals describing different facets of the glory in Christ. In essence, the glory of God is God Himself, and our calling into the glory in Christ is our partaking, expressing, and experiencing of God’s nature and life in Christ . In the Old Testament, the glory was revealed in a shadow. Israel saw or perceived God in different manifestations—cloud, fire, smoke, and voice. However, God finally became fully manifested in human form: Christ, as the Person of God, is the glory of God( Heb. 1:2, John 1:14, Isa. 40:5).
But God’s will is to fill the earth with His glory. Although His omnipresence already fills heaven and earth, His visible, palpable, or manifest presence does not. God desires that people and the earth’s atmosphere will be saturated with His Person. If you thought Eden was outstanding, wait until God fills the world with His glory in Christ! And His plan to fill the earth is in three steps: individuals, the Church, and the entire earth.
The first step of the glory of God filling the earth begins in people’s hearts. This truth is crucial, although challenging to embrace fully. Because of the Old Testament background, we are all tempted to think that the glory of God today will be some physical manifestation like the cloud, fire, light, etc., or strange supernatural manifestations. Please remember that these were only shadows of the “real thing” to come. He still uses these physical manifestations today as He chooses, but we have something better in Christ. God, whose presence was revealed as a cloud or fire over the Tabernacle in the Old Testament, came as a human being and lived amongst people( John 1:14). Jesus is the real glory—what the light, fire, shadow, cloud, etc., represented in the Old Testament. Jesus was God Himself on the earth, not some physical representation of Him such as fire!
The glory of God is the full fellowship of the divine nature, God’s presence, and the saturation of our hearts with an overwhelming weight of His presence and power. Imagine living 24/7 with a whole experience of the fullness of God’s Person, presence, and power! When a sinner becomes saved, the glory of the Lord, Shekina, the Cloud of His presence, comes into that Person as the Holy Spirit. This glory fills the house of that Person’s life just as the Glory filled the Tabernacle when it was completed, except that it is just one life.
Then the Lord works in our hearts to bring us to behold or experience that glory as He reveals Jesus in our hearts:
“For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2 Corinthians 4:6 KJV)
Please note two critical points from this verse. First, the light of the glory in the New Testament is in the hearts of people! Second, that light is the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ—the knowledge of God that comes from a revelation of the Person of Christ! God will fill the earth with His glory from inside out. As more sinners are saved and grow up as believers into the fullness of Christlikeness all over the world, His glory will be spreading on the earth! Imagine believers, in every city in the world, manifesting the character of Christ, His love, His wisdom and power, and the life of God. That will be nothing short of heaven on earth!
The next step of filing the earth with the glory is filling the assembly and the entire Body of Christ. When the last sinner will be saved and the House of God completed, what happened when the Tabernacle was completed will be fulfilled in reality:
“So that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud: for the glory of the Lord had filled the house of God.” (2 Chronicles 5:14 KJV)
The third step will be the glory taking over the earth’s entire atmosphere when God again will reclaim and permeate every portion of it with His presence, better than the days of Eden.
The Father is fulfilling this promise in our days:
“But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord.” (Numbers 14:21 KJV)