“…glorify thou me with thine own self…” (John 17:5).
No man can rightly define glory, any more than he can define God.
Glory is the fullness of God, and that is a subject too high for our finite
minds. Yet, we do know in part.
When God gives His glory, He gives Himself. He cannot parcel Himself out in
pieces – no man receives a portion, but all. The one who receives His love
also gets His mercy, His holiness, and His strength. The one who receives
His mercy also gets His love and all else that is the fullness of God.
That is the glory of God – that He gives Himself in fullness and never
partially. And those who seek the glory of God must learn that God truly
desires to give Himself to us, which means He wants us to enjoy fullness.
Jesus, before He left the earth to return to His heavenly Father, prayed, “O
Father, glorify thou me with thine own self, with the glory which I had with
thee before the world was…” (John 17:5).
Jesus was not seeking more power, or honor, or might, or majesty! He yearned
for the Father Himself. It was as though He prayed, “My Father, I cannot
exist without Your intimacy any longer. I hunger for oneness, closeness!
That there be no distance, though You fill all.”
Jesus was in the bosom of the Father before the world was. He was one
with the Father, and that was glory. It was union with Him that was the
delight and glory of His being. He had INTIMACY, UNION, and ONENESS.
We know so little of His glory. We think only in terms of cosmic power and
splendor. We are such strangers to the real meaning of God’s glory, we don’t
even understand what Jesus meant when He said, “I am glorified in them” (v.
Did you not know that Jesus Christ is glorified in His saints – now? Meaning
that He acknowledges He abides in us in all His divine fullness. We do not
have but a slice of His fullness – we are complete in Him. We have in us all
He is! When He comes to abide, He comes in all His glory, might, majesty,
holiness, grace, and love. We have received the glory of a full and complete
Christ. A Lord in all His glorious attributes.
Do We Want the Glory of Him?
How many of God’s people today can pray such a prayer as our Savior prayed?
Can we sincerely cry out to our blessed Lord, “Glorify me with Thyself!
Bring me into oneness. I yearn to be closer, more Intimate. Master, it Is
You that I want. More than love, or mercy, power, signs or wonders–I must
have the glory of You. I must have Your presence!”
The glory Jesus is talking about has to do with a very intimate kind of
love – a love that permits no distance or separation from the object of its
affection. It desires a complete oneness, an eternal union. This divine love
between our Lord and the Father was so all-important to Him, He eagerly
longed for the day all His children could behold it with their own eyes.
Hear His exalted plea: “Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given
me, be with me where I am, that they may behold my glory, which thou hast
given me; for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world…” (John
Glory be to the hallowed name of Jesus Christ for such a glorious thought!
Christ is so overjoyed with the glory of His intimate relationship with His
Father, He yearns to bring all God’s children to heaven to behold it.
Actually, our Lord was praying, “Father, they must see this glorious love We
have. They must see for themselves how fully You give yourself to Me. I
want them to know how greatly I am loved – from before the world was created.”
Won’t that be something when we, the redeemed, are brought into God’s great
banquet hall, to the heavenly feast, and we are permitted to behold the love
of the Father for His dear Son and our blessed Savior? I see on that
glorious day our Lord’s prayer answered, when He looks to His blood.
purchased children and joyfully proclaims, “See, children, is it not so? Did
I not tell you the truth? Does He not love Me so? Have you ever beheld such
great love? Is it not truly perfect love? You now see My glory, My Father’s
love for Me and My love for Him.”
Do you not see, saints of God, that beholding the glory of Christ on that
day will be the revealing to us of God’s love for His Son? What a joy to
know we serve a Savior who is loved. And is it not terrifying to contemplate
that Lucifer cut himself off from such glory? He is without love. He has no
father. Surely, this was his greatest loss. It is the great loss of all
Satan’s children, to exist without a witness or sense of a heavenly Father’s
He Gives Us Glory
by Giving Us Himself
I can scarce take it all in when I read these words – “And the glory which
thou gavest me, I have given them, that they may be one, even as we are
one…”(John 17:22). Think of it We have our Lord’s word, confessed before
His own Father, that He has given Himself to us as fully and completely as
His Father gave Himself to Him. He has given us the same intimate love His
Father gave Him, and that is His glory manifested in us. We have been
brought into the same kind of special love relationship He shares with the
Father. More than that, He opens up the circle of love between Him and His
Father, and brings us into it. We are made partakers of a glory beyond
comprehension. That Christ should bring us to the Father and plead, “That
they may be one with us!” How incredible! We share completely in the
fullness of God’s love for His Son by being in Christ.
In a true sense, it may be said that God so loved His Son, He gave Him the
world. We know He gave Him those who are in the world, because the Lord
said, “I have manifested thy name unto the men thou gavest me out of the
world: thine they were, and thou gavest them to me…” (v. 6).
Did you not know we are God’s gift to His Son – a gift of love? “They were
Yours; You gave them all to Me.” Yet Christ was so in oneness with the
Father, He brings the gift back to Him and says, “All mine are thine, and
thine are mine…” (v. 10). This kind of love can take nothing to itself – but
gives its all.
Is it not comforting to know we are the object of such a love between Father
and Son? What honor, to have Christ place us in the palm of His great and
loving hand, and present us to the Father and say – “Behold, Father! They are
Ours! They all belong to Us! They are the object of Our love! I will love
them, Father! You will love them! And We Will make Our abode in them and
show them how much they are loved.”
How can our minds grasp it all? Here is our Lord saying to His Father, “I am
going to make known to them your love to me, that the love you have for me
may be in them” (v.26).
Jesus, speaking to the Father, said, “…I am glorified in them…” (v.10).
This is a great revelation, and, we need to pray that the Holy Spirit will
guide us into its full truth. This represents more than a prayer – it is a
commitment the Lord told the Father He made to us. In other words, “I have
given Myself to them completely! I have committed all that I am to them. As
surely as Your fullness is in Me, I have given them all the fullness that is
in Me. They have the right to appropriate Me as I have appropriated You!
They can be as close to Me as I am to You!”
That is what it means to have Christ glorified in us. He is as much
to us as the Father is to Him. As surely as God was glorified in the Son,
Christ is glorified in us. That means fullness! That means we really are
complete in Him.
Jesus told the Father, “In the same manner and glory you sent me into the
world, I send them out into the world…” (v.18). In this way, He “shows us
plainly of the father.” The thought is glorious, that we are to be as
totally dependent on Christ, as He was dependent on the Father. We are to do
nothing outside of Christ, as He did nothing but as led by the Father.
I find it to be one of the most comforting joys to know that God so loved me
He sent His own Son as man to show me the glory of it in practical ways.
God’s love for us is not mystical. All you have to do is keep your eyes on
Christ and witness how that great love works. You have before you a visible,
practical example of what intimate love is all about. Depend on Christ in
the same way He depended on His Father, and you will get the same results.
The Glory Must Be Appropriated
If Christ is glorified in the believer, what effect should it have?
How is it demonstrated in everyday life? Surely, such glory in the soul will
have an impact on lifestyle!
The outworkings of this glory has to do with living up to what
Christ says He is to us. We are to live according to the power that worketh
in us. Few of us who profess we love Christ ever appropriate the fullness of
who He is in us. He tells us He is committed to us, with all the fullness of
the Godhead that is in Him, so that we may have all we need to live joyfully
and victoriously – and we go about our ways either ignorant of this truth or
unwilling to use what we have been given.
It is as if our lord is saying to us, “You have seen how My
dependence on My Father wrought such miracles and usefulness – you know He
never failed me – you saw how My confidence in My Father’s faithfulness to Me
brought about constant victory – why will you not depend wholly upon Me and
trust My faithfulness to meet your every need?”
The glory of God is more than His fullness – it is His fullness
offered! It is His fullness placed at our disposal. It is an all-powerful
God giving His fullness to His Son, who brought it to man as a Man, who in
turn showed us how to appropriate it.
This is a very sacred thing, to enter into our Lord’s private and
intimate prayer to the Father. I will forever be grateful to the Lord that
He permitted us to eavesdrop during this most intimate conversation with the
Father in John 17. We hear the intense unburdening of a loving Son’s heart
to His loving Father. We hear Him remind His Father that He had given Him
power to give eternal life to “as many as thou has given me.” Then we hear
these powerful words, “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee
the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent…” (v. 3).
What is eternal life? IT IS KNOWING GOD – KNOWING JESUS CHRIST THE
LORD! No wonder He strove so mightily to “show them plainly of the Father.”
It was the secret of eternal life. How simply this explains what eternal
life is and how one enters into it. When we discover the glory of God’s
loving presence through Jesus Christ, we are given the very resurrection
life that is in Him. We enter into eternal life, here and now, by way of
glorious truth. Get hold of this truth, and you are in. You are possessor of
resurrection life, while still in the flesh.
And here it is further expounded: “I have glorified thee on earth.”
Meaning, Christ has shown us God’s great love and invited us to sit with Him
in His heavenly place. That takes us right past the grave, without even a
sting from death, and permits us to breathe divine, spiritual air right now.
If I am led by the Holy Spirit to pursue the knowledge of who Jesus
Christ is, and have been given my heart’s desire to know God in all His
fullness – I become a heavenly man seated in high places in Christ Jesus. I am
no more a man of this earth. I die to the world long before I leave it. I
live by the glory of who my Lord is. I seek not His ways or His miracles; I
seek only Him. He is glorified in me by giving Himself to me. He gives
Himself to me, and since He is resurrection life – I already have it.
My spirit is already with Him, and this earth holds no attraction. I
labor here to proclaim His love for all mankind, but my heart is with Him. I
can go about witnessing to others of His everlasting love, but at the same
time, I can stand outside of it all and say, “I AM NOT HERE – I AM RISEN! I am
a heavenly man already enjoying my heavenly place.” The old-timers called it
“a taste of glory to go to glory in.”
Praise God forever – if Christ is glorified in me, that means
He has given Himself to me, and that includes resurrection life now. It can
become painful to have such a treasure in an earthen vessel, but one day
soon I’ll gladly discard this corrupt one for an incorruptible one, made in
His likeness. Still, it will be but a vessel to be filled with what I
already possess. It will be poured from a human vessel into a glorified
vessel, without missing a single divine breath.
When you come into the fullness and beauty of the Lord, you become
overwhelmed by His great love, and once you feel His mighty arm around you,
the world loses its hold. You are gone to the world from that moment on. You
have experienced true glory – ONENESS WITH CHRIST WHERE HE IS!
Saints of God – He is not here. He was rejected down here. Why should
we hold so tenaciously to a place that cast Him out? Shouldn’t we be
yearning to claim our inheritance, which is a place in Zion, where He is? It
is not, “Someday I hope to see Him face to face” but rather, “He has invited
me to be with Him now where He is – I can stand no distance between us, I
choose to see His face every day now, and be changed into His image, one
glimpse of glory after another.”
Did our Lord not say, “They are not of this world, even as I am not
of this world” (v.14)? What does He mean? Simply this – Even as Christ walked
this earth as a heavenly man, so may we. With Abraham, we have our
citizenship in Zion, the city whose builder and maker is God. We are not
eating from the fleshpots of Egypt, but are already feasting on heavenly
bread. Day by day, we die a little more to everything down here, until like
Paul, there is a greater pull in us to depart and be where He is, than to
stay. By becoming attached to Him in glory, we become detached to the world.
No wonder our forefathers’ favorite song was, “Take this whole world, but
give me Jesus.”
If Christ is preparing me a mansion in heaven, I don’t read anywhere
that I am to seek that, rather than Himself. No, the glory is not a mansion,
not gold-plated streets, not fellowship with redeemed patriarchs. The glory
is that whether in heaven or on earth, He gives Himself to us as fully as
the Father gives Himself to the Son. And the tragedy of all ages is that no
one in earth’s history but Christ has appropriated what was freely given. We
will all die in some form of spiritual poverty, while all the while the
fullness of His glory was available. Some will appropriate a bit of that
glory, but sadly, the inheritance that was meant for us will still go
unclaimed. Where we ought to be pulling down satanic strongholds, we merely
cope. When we should be experiencing victory upon victory, as being more
than conquerors through Him who loves us – we go on in our weariness and
faithlessness. We are like the lepers of Samaria, who nearly died of hunger
while wagonloads of provisions lay unclaimed within a stone’s throw.
We must once and for all grasp the truth that Christ abides in us and He
begs us to appropriate His fullness. Could He be saying to us, “Why am I
here? Why am I needed – if you won’t depend on My fullness? Use Me!”
May the Holy Spirit remind us constantly that “of his fullness have we all
received” (John 1:16).
“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that
we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto him be
glory in the church by Jesus Christ, throughout all ages, world without
end… (Eph. 3:20-21).
WHO WEEPS ANYMORE?
by Leonard Ravenhill
The church as we know it today seems a million miles from the New Testament
church. That may be a great generalization, but I’ll stand on it. There is a
gulf between our average Christianity and the church of the New Testament
that makes the Grand Canyon look like a cavity in someone’s tooth.
What is it that is missing from our churches? To use an Old
Testament term, it is the burden of the Lord. One of the tragedies of the
hour is that the voice of the prophet is no longer heard in the land. Where
is the lamenting for the lost? Isaiah was a man heavily burdened for his
people and their sin. So was Jeremiah; his concern for the people caused him
to weep day and night.
The last revival mentioned in the Old Testament is found in the book
of the prophet Joel. He proclaimed a solemn fast and said, “Let the priests,
the ministers of the Lord, weep between the porch and the altar.” Well,
let’s face it, who weeps anymore?
We need a revival in the church, but we make a big mistake in placing the
burden for revival on the pew. As I read the Scripture, God puts it on the
pulpit. We need preachers who are eternity-conscious, who come to the pulpit
bowed with the sin of the world, yes, and perhaps the sin of the
congregation. Instead, we have someone coming along saying, “Look, just
kneel here for five minutes and this is what you’ll get: your name in the
Lamb’s Book of Life, a mansion on Main Street, a five-decker crown, rule
over five cities, and a free ticket to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.”
I yearn to hear a voice that declares God’s judgment on the
godlessness he sees around him. Where is the denominational leader who has
the gospel boiling in his veins as Jeremiah did in chapter 20? Many of our
preachers seem incapable of being volcanic. Many sermons have become
religious entertainment and move no one to tears of repentance.
The true prophet of God 18 not concerned first of all about the nation, or
even about the church. He is concerned that God 15 Insulted openly; that
God’s laws are broken; that God’s Son is rejected, and this in a land that
is seemingly saturated with the gospel. Yet every day millions of sins are
committed; the name of Jesus is taken in vain a million times; and all the
while the country is inundated with religious messages.
Remember, Sodom had no preachers; Sodom had no gospel broadcasters. America
has over seven thousand radio stations and almost every one of them, at some
time in the day, carries a gospel program. But, how many listen to it? The
lights are flashing in the world around us; our civilization is on the edge
of disaster and only a heartbeat from judgment; but who is warning us?
When Alexander Maclaren was called to the pulpit of a great Baptist church
in Manchester, England, he sat down with his deacons and said. “Gentlemen,
there is one matter to settle before I take this position. Do you want my
head or my feet? You can have one or the other, not both. I can run around
doing this and that and drinking tea, if you wish me to; but don’t expect me
to bring you something that will shake this city.” God does not call men
into the pulpit to become jacks-of-all-trades to run errands. He calls them
to get on their faces before Him. Dr. Maclaren’s deacons got the message;
but who gets on his face before God today?
When I speak to preachers, as I have done frequently in recent years, I tell
them, “You have nothing to do biblically except to fulfill Acts 6 by giving
yourselves continually to the ministry of the Word and to prayer.” In
writing to the Thessalonians, the Apostle Paul said, “I am praying night and
day.” What was he praying for? Not for a lost world or for the overthrow of
the Roman Empire. He said, “I am praying night and day that I may see your
face and supply that which is lacking in your faith.” They had faith but it
was deficient. It is the pastor’s task to supply that lack.
The burden of the Lord in the Old Testament was not for the
Amalekites, Hittites, Perizzites or Jebusites; God’s chief concern was
Israel. In the same way, not a single epistle in the New Testament was
addressed to the lost; every letter was addressed to Christians. Dr. Orton
Wiley points out that the Epistle to the Hebrews contains not one word for
lost men and women. Why’!? Because only a church strong in faith, a revived
church, can be used of God to reach the lost.
The sickness of the church, I believe, is twofold. First, we have
taught people to witness and to work but we have not taught them to worship.
Christians will not take the time before God to see Him in glory and majesty
and holiness. I know preachers who think nothing of taking three days for
elk or duck hunting, but who do not care enough about human souls to get
down and fast and pray and seek the face of God. I know deacons who begin to
fidget if the Sunday service runs five minutes overtime because they want to
hurry home to watch the Bucks play the Goats. How do they think they will
stand it in eternity?
The second cause of the church’s sickness is that the prayer meeting has
become almost obsolete. I have visited some of the famous churches of the
world and have discovered a curious thing about the mid-week service.
Two-thirds of the average “prayer meeting” (if it is held at all) is
actually a Bible study. A prayer or two is added at the end, and that’s it.
Paul said that he travailed in prayer. Are we greater than Paul? He said, “I
travail in birth.” I don’t believe a man has a right to preach on the text
“You must be born again” unless he has first “travailed in birth” that
people can be born again.
Some pastors tell me that theirs is a New Testament church. Let me describe
a New Testament church from Acts 4. The people went to church every day;
they prayed every day; they broke bread every day; they brought souls to the
Lord every day. Every deacon in the New Testament church was separated and
tested to see if he was full of faith and the Holy Spirit.
What, then, is the burden of the Lord for today? He is concerned for sinners
who are rebels, who have their fists up against God. He is concerned for
preachers, that they should preach His judgment. And He is concerned for His
church, the bride for whom He is coming. People ask me sometimes, “Are these
the last days?” and I tell them “No.” I think we’re in the last minutes of
this dispensation, or maybe in the last seconds as God counts time.
And yet – if I could, I would like to call together thousands of preachers in
different countries of the world to spend a week in prayer for renewal. I
would like to see them given instruction in prayer; not seminars on prayer,
mind you, but exhortation to pray. We would spend the whole week praying,
with periodic breaks.! believe this could be a detergent in the life of the
church. It would be a cleansing process. We could go back to our churches
and perhaps stave off judgment, and God would usher in the revival that must
come. Before Jesus comes, I am convinced that we will see a great, sweeping
Pentecost that will out-Pentecost Pentecost. God will pour out His Spirit on
all flesh, as Joel said. Our sons and daughters will prophesy. God will
produce a race of spiritual giants for the last mighty ingathering. Today
God has these leaders hidden, but in the great Pay of the Lord He will bring
them to light, and the last shall be first. I pray that day will come soon.
Reprinted by permission from:
AMERICA IS TOO YOUNG TO DIE
By Leonard Ravenhill.
Used with permission granted by World Challenge, P. O. Box 260, Lindale, TX 75771 USA.
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