From Whence the Glory?

Two in the sunset

Paul said, “ For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwells no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. ” Jesus made it clear that no one is good, not even Him, but only His Father in heaven. He also said that all the works He did and the words He spoke came out from His Father. The sooner we understand and believe this is also true of us, the better. This is when we give up our religious games and pray for His truth and grace to be manifest in our inward parts.

So many people have natural gifts in and of themselves, so they set out to do great things out from themselves, separate from the leading and working of God. Whether we use our natural talents for good or for evil, we are STILL in rebellion against God! We are still eating and feeding others (as Eve did to Adam) from the wrong tree, the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Only the Tree of Life–the Ascended Christ–can add to the spiritual health of others. And where does that come from? I love these two quotes from T. Austin-Sparks:

“This ministry [from God] is only possible in the power and fruit of His [Christ’s] resurrection.”

“The ministry of the House of God is spontaneous, when there is union with Christ in risen life; the fruit is there at once.”

http://www.austin-sparks.net/english/books/004485.html

As Jesus put it, “If you abide IN me and I abide IN you, you will bring forth much fruit.” Our part is to abide IN Jesus Christ. His part is to bring forth His fruit in us.

There is another aspect of ministry that is most often overlooked, the number “two.” Jesus said, “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” Without a minimum of two, there can be no unity among believers. We are to abide in the same unity as that of the Father and the Son, not only with them, but with one another. Jesus prayed,

“That they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. (John 17:21, ESV2011)

This simple abiding together in the unity of the Father and the Son is where our witness to the world comes from, not our clever writings and speech or our one-man-band gospel shows. Jesus sent out the disciples in pairs. John and Peter were together the day of Pentecost, preached a simple sermon and thousands came to Christ. Paul and Silas were a pair as they ministered the gospel to the Gentiles and turned the Roman world upside down.

Have you ever wondered about the glory of God? Did you know that it is possible for ordinary saints of God to abide in His glory? I am talking about life changing glory where the presence of God is so strong that even your outward countenance is changed! Moses knew that glory and so did Stephen, the first martyr. Let’s look at what else Jesus prayed for us in that final hour.

 That they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.  The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one,  I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.  O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me.  I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.” (John 17:21-26, ESV2011)

Moses saw the glory of God on the Mercy Seat in the tent of meeting. It so changed him that his face shone with God’s light! Stephen saw Jesus (God’s Mercy) standing at the right side of the Father and his face shone like that of an angel. He witnessed the unity of the Father and the Son and became part of that unity and glory. Saul (Paul) saw the glory of Christ on the road to Damascus and it changed him forever.

“That they may be one even as we are one…” Dear saints, I am here to tell you that I have known such unity with few believers in my lifetime, but I have experienced it, and there is nothing like it. When God puts you in His unity with another believer and you become members one of another as members of Christ’s wonderful body, glory soon starts to happen. His presence comes down and you can feel it! His presence is so powerful that just the slightest bit of His light upon something that is out of order in your life brings you to your knees and the tears of repentance start to flow. You can’t wait to make it right so that the lovely unity comes back to life in you once again. This is what the early church walked in, my beloved friends! They truly had all things in common. Not just material things, but all things in the Spirit as well. Their common-union “communion” in the Father and the Son made for days of His glory upon the earth.

Jesus prayed, “Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.” When you have seen Christ’s glory, you want the unity of the Father and the Son and nothing less. You cannot get enough fellowship with others you share the glory with. The love and unity of the Father and the Son that you share compels you to be where they are, and I don’t mean on Sundays only! You can’t get enough of the love and the glory as you abide together where Jesus is.

What a fellowship,

What a joy divine,

Leaning on the Everlasting Arms!

During WW1 there was a song that went, “How ya gonna keep ’em down on the farm after they’ve seen Paree’?” It’s the same thing IN Christ. Once you have experienced the unity of the Father and the Son with another saint of God, you are ruined for the mundane things of this world. Sitting in a pew for an hour a week and calling it “doing church” just will not do. No, dear saints, I am here to tell you that once God has done away with that old Adam in us and we have known the unity and love of the Father and the Last Adam, only the purifying glory of God’s presence will do. May you each find it together by His leading.

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14 comments on “From Whence the Glory?

  1. Thank you for this wonderful blog. You are right. “Doing Church” just isn’t enough! And once you do experience that Chapter 17 of John you just cannot deny it. You are right on many counts of my own personal walk. Yes indeed there are very few compared to the many and what a glorious moment to be in fellowship with another true believer. We are few and rare. And I am ever so grateful you found me. Yes you have corrected me a few times and I am grateful to that. I personally think it is amazing how we have been able to connect. It is like whew! Finally another true believer that I can relate too. In the flesh it is hard to find. But there is comfort in the knowing of truth. I’m not the only one in this mundane world.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Michael says:

      You are welcome, Stacey. The depth of fellowship that two saints have that approaches the same level as that of the Father and the Son is a true gift from the Father. We can not choose the person or persons with whom that happens on our own. He has to do this. The Spirit spoke to the saints in Antioch and put Paul and Barnabas together and they went out from Antioch to do the work of the gospel that He desired of them and John Mark went with them. But later there arose a dispute between Paul and Barnabas over John Mark who the Spirit said nothing about. It finally cause a problem between Paul and Barnabas that divided them.

      We must be careful to listen to the voice of the Lord if we are to walk in the same fellowship that Jesus has with the Father. This level of unity is a very delicate thing. When our fellow saints see the depth of love and unity that the Father has granted between those whom He has chosen, they rarely see the depth of the death that these unified ones have had to go through for this to happen. The early church was protected for a season from those who would add themselves to their number by the deaths of two people that lied to the Holy Spirit who were among them. And from then on no one dared to add themselves to their number. But as time went on many came in to spy out their liberty that they had in Christ and the rest is history, the horrendous schism that exists today between Christians all over the world and the shallowness of their commitments to one another. David said, “Unless God builds the house, they who build it labor in vain.” Keep seeking the Lord as to whom He would have you be joined with and that He would prepare you as a choice building block in His temple that fits where He would place you.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Excellent article, my brother! ⭐ I love your seemingly simple observation, Michael, yet it is deep truth, I believe. You said,

    “Without a minimum of two, there can be no unity among believers. We are to abide in the same unity as that of the Father and the Son, not only with them, but with one another.”

    I have been a loner for almost two decades and I worked in my old self, wanting to be(come) ‘someone’ in order to impress others. But my plan was not His plan… thank God! Since God rather wanted to see the humility of His Son manifested in me as the apostle Paul described it here.

    “So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” (Phil 2:1-8 ESV)

    We, too, need the cross to kill our old Adam and Eve nature. It is a narrow path that leads to life and we both know that not many like to read what we have to share. Only those who have been drawn by God will be able to accept these hard truths which spring from our own experiences. Regarding the utter depravity of our old nature, I have realized most recently that as soon as we can sit down and give up every own effort to look as if we had been transformed already by accepting this hard fact of being evil, God begins to give us a new heart of divine origin. However, as long as we try to be somehow ‘better’ in our old selves, we still have to wait for our personal resurrection. And it’s really a long wait until God has us where we need to be, that is, until we have realized that we are truly completely helpless without Him. But then, finally, the truth and promise of the following verse can be experienced by us. Jesus said,

    “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Mt 5:3 ESV)

    Entering the kingdom of heaven let’s us taste the glory of God more and more every day. What a joy to be able to share these supernatural experiences with another believer with whom we have been walking in the unity of the Father and Son by sharing the fellowship of Christ’s sufferings and now the power of His resurrection, too! 🙂

    Every blessing to you, Michael!
    Susanne 🐱

    Liked by 4 people

    • Michael says:

      Susanne, thank you for the wonderful and clear comment on what goes on in us when we set our sights on the high calling of Jesus Christ. Yes, it is HIS high calling that we are called to, not the high calling of Michael Clark or the high calling of Susanne Schuberth. The Father is after many sons unto HIS glory, not their own glory and Jesus is the glory of the Father. That high calling means that we have to travel the same path that Jesus did when He said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him.” (John 13:31, ESV2011) He spoke this to the disciples the night before He was to be crucified. We all want “the power of His resurrection,” but few want “the fellowship of His sufferings and to be conformed unto His death” that we might reach that glory. Yet Jesus prayed, that same evening,

      I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.”(John 17:9-11, ESV2011)

      “I am glorified IN THEM.” How, by the cross of Christ that kills our flesh so the His glory might shine forth. I am afraid that much of this dying process must be passed through alone, cut off from those who love us for their love is not great enough to follow us through such a death. Remember that Jesus told the disciples, “Where I am going you can not follow, but you will follow afterwards.” Peter insisted that he would follow Jesus before His death and we saw just how far his fleshly resolve got him complete with denying Jesus three times to save his own self from such a death. The “afterwards” could only come after the release of the His Spirit at Pentecost, then the deep work of the cross could begin in His disciples.

      But, dear sister, what a glorious “afterwards” is ours once the cross has done its work in us! This is when the mind of Christ becomes our mind as well and it becomes natural to empty ourselves as He did and become total servants of our Father as He is, thus having the same unity of the Father and the Son. It is here that we can live out Paul’s words as you pointed out, “If there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.”

      Dear sister, your final words above are worth repeating…

      “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Mt 5:3 ESV)

      Entering the kingdom of heaven let’s us taste the glory of God more and more every day. What a joy to be able to share these supernatural experiences with another believer with whom we have been walking in the unity of the Father and Son by sharing the fellowship of Christ’s sufferings and now the power of His resurrection, too!

      What a joy it is to know such a fellowship with you by our Father’s sovereign design.

      YOU are such a blessing IN Christ! 🐻

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Cie says:

    Michael wrote: “When you have seen Christ’s glory, you want the unity of the Father and the Son and nothing less.”

    Amen and amen, Michael! The Father has been so gracious in allowing me to enter into this glory in a small way during the last 3 months, and is allowing me to see small glimmers of that coming out of me. You know how Jesus told us to “follow Him”? Well, He did take 3 of his disciples with Him on the mount of transfiguration. What was He doing there? I believe He was showing them a preview of what we too can enter into, since we follow Him wherever He goes, right? Translation is something we should set our eye on and desire with all our heart.

    At the moment, I am not able to do the “two or three” unity with other saints, as He has taken everyone away from me, but I am learning that there is another aspect to this “two or three” thing.

    (Matt 18:20 [KJV]) For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

    (John 14:23 [KJV]) Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and *we* will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

    Now look at that, how many is *we* in the verse above? One is the Father, and one is Jesus and the third one is already IN us. And this is where it all begins, the unity with the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit IN us… and HE is in the midst of that. And this is the glory, like seen in the burning bush and on the mount of transfiguration… the three as One in the midst of us! This we must strengthen and nurture FIRST through fellowship with Him in the secret place, and He will award us in the open… His glory will shine forth!

    Blessings to you.
    Cie

    Liked by 2 people

    • Michael says:

      Dear Elli,

      Jesus said,

      “Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth concerning anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father who is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Matt 18:19-20, KJ2000)

      As you can see here, the context of the “two or three” is about we who are “on earth” and Father according to Jesus is “in heaven.”

      Liked by 2 people

  4. David Murry says:

    Michael I think this was one of the most amazing ones I have been blessed to mediate on… this was such a deep deep spiritual watering to my soul and spirit man.

    Thank you so much for sharing these deep and simple truths to us. Wonderful breath of life… 🙂 !!

    David

    Liked by 2 people

    • Michael says:

      You are welcome, David. It seems that with much revelation comes much suffering. Please pray for my back if you think of me. I have had much back pain and mussel spasms over the last month or so and will be going in to see a specialist tomorrow.

      God bless you my brother. I am glad your were touched and felt life in what I shared.

      Your brother, Michael

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Pat Orr says:

    My brother, I praise God that I am privileged to read this blog. I, too, pray for your healing.

    Of kindred spirit,

    Pat Orr

    Liked by 2 people

  6. KENNETH DAWSON says:

    There is joy in believing the written words BUT there is exhilaration in the experience of God’s life flowing into you and being expressed out of you in your participation with His working in all circumstances!

    Liked by 2 people

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