“No man has seen God at any time,” John writes. “We beheld His Glory as an only begotten of a father,” John writes. “Some of you standing here will see the Son of Man arriving in the Glory of His Kingdom,” John records Jesus saying.
An extremely popular writer says that Glory reveals the fullness of God. He couldn’t be more mistaken. Such an error reveals a fundamental misunderstanding of Glory that leads to expanded errors.
The Glory of Jesus reveals the Father in an incarnate human body, explaining God in a new way that previous revelations about God, of God, and from God could not. In Him is the fullness of the Godhead. Still, the fullness was not manifested because He was living behind a human, physical body veil.
No, You Didn’t Exhaust God by a Glimpse
Glory is an intentional, strategic manifestation of one or more aspects of God’s character at a given moment and time. That manifestation has a message for the people and place where it occurs. The message has layers that include a revealing of the people and place.
When God manifests some aspects of His character, He activates a response in the people and place that answers His eternal intention: that “people and place” were designed to manifest that aspect of His Glory forever.
No man has seen God at any time. However, everyone can see all that Jesus manifested of the Father by looking at Jesus, being transformed, expanding the capacity to see more of God’s character by increasing revelation.
2 Corinthians 3 is not a discussion of levels of glory, so we can go from glory to glory in the sense that “glory as a something” moves from realm to realm or some such misconception of how things really work in the spirit.
“But to this day, whenever Moses is read, a veil [of blindness] lies over their heart. Still, whenever a person turns [in repentance and faith] to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty [emancipation from bondage, true freedom]. And we all, with unveiled face, continually seeing as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are progressively being transformed into His image from [one degree of] glory to [even more] glory, which comes from the Lord, [who is] the Spirit.2 Corinthians 3:15-18 AMP
Note that the Scripture does not say, “We all move up levels of glory to greater glory experiences.” That “we are moving into greater glory” idea isn’t wholly wrong, but it isn’t what Paul communicates here. So don’t miss what Paul says in these verses.
We are transformed from one degree of our own glory to gaze at even more of His Glory. We are changed by Glory and therefore see more Glory because our glory is transformed. This is a process with progression focused upon a capacity to experience Glory by personal character maturity.
Paul says, Whenever they read Moses–a man who gazed upon Glory for eighty days and nights, then asked God to reveal Himself–they see nothing of what Moses saw in the writings that revealed Glory.
Not so with us who turn to God in repentance! The veil of limiting flesh no longer limits us from seeing Glory because we can see God’s kingdom when we are born of the spirit.
Where the Lord’s Spirit is the limitations lift in spiritual liberty, that is, the veil that blinds. Holy Spirit at work in our spirits, with open eyes of the spirit, see Glory with our own glory. We can then choose to gaze upon Glory as one looking into a mirror–but the mirror we look into is His Glory.
We seek and find a reflection of Glory in a Glorified Human available because He has a glorified body. We see Him glorified in the Spirit by the Spirit with our own spirits.
Just as John saw His Glory, we see His Glory. In Him, we see the Father. We see as much of the Father as we are capable of seeing through this transformational process. The levels of glory have to do with our transformed capacities to see what can only be seen by the spirit.
We do not exhaust God’s Glory by a glimpse. We must be changed by gazing upon what we can see through the liberated spirit to experience Glory and know Father by an increasing revelation of glorified Jesus.
Experience Glory as Jesus Revealing Father
If you experience Glory as “I finally know God loves me,” you ain’t experiencing Glory at all. So, don’t say you are experiencing Glory if that is your experience. That is not the liberty of which Paul speaks, nor the transformation spiritual gazing produces.
Let’s get this right by following the Bible’s revelation of how things really work in the spirit. Then, let’s mature in our understanding of Glory.
The revelation of the Father is in Him, the glorified Man. As Eden was the Creator’s design for normal man, Jesus is now God’s normal for glorified Man.
Jesus in Glory revealing and representing Father without diminishing Himself shows us the glory of man revealing and representing Jesus without diminishing man.
Jesus is more Jesus by revealing His Father. We are more ourselves by revealing Jesus. Glorified someday, Paul says, “Now I know in part [just in fragments], but then I will know fully, just as I have been fully known [by God].”
That is the revelation of Glory to glory that reaches eternal ultimate in the future but continues as a process as I gaze upon Glory now.
Glory Reveals God’s Original Intentions
When we experience Glory, we are revealed as much as God. The place where Glory manifests is revealed for its original intended purposes.
Isaiah records these “how things really work in the spirit” principles, processes, and protocols.
Glory manifests at the Temple in Jerusalem, Israel. The one nation, city, and building where Glory should be manifesting encounters Glory again. Glory reveals the original purpose, the cubits or dimensions of the Temple shake. Fire angels manifest, shout, and reveal, releasing a thunderous sound.
Isaiah says, “I am revealed. Israel is revealed. Jerusalem is revealed. The Temple’s original purpose is revealed. We are all gonna die! That sound of Glory is not in any of us.”
Seraphim shout, “The whole Earth is filled with His Glory!” They shout original intentions, God’s normal, to clarify that Glory is everywhere but only manifests by strategic intentions to reveal and accomplish God’s eternal purposes. Glory fills the Earth. Glory does not manifest everywhere.
The knowledge of the Glory of the Lord covers the Earth as waters cover the sea is real, constant, and intended. Knowing God’s intentions, therefore, is a powerful revelation.
God says, “Here’s what I intend to have” when He does not have it at all. But the revealing empowers us to seek that while redemption empowers Jesus to restore that.
Glory in Worship
It would be suitable for contemporary worshipers to limit the use of the word “Glory” to something far beyond what they find entertaining, emotional, energetic, and edifying.
If you are not transformed, it ain’t Glory. If you are not revealed, it ain’t Glory. You can exercise haughty professionalism, verbally slap everyone around you five minutes before the opening of your worship set, then do the “here’s what I do when Glory comes” thing when the emotional response starts. You are an unrevealed fraud. You are a Temple dressed up with gold empty of Glory.
If Glory arrived, you would be a blubbering puddle of brokenness revealed by the panic you feel that Glory ain’t in you. But, unfortunately, most modern Christianized entertainment has the power of Broadway musical genius that excites the soul with the idea that “I am experiencing worship.”
Watch the video of genre-based music without sound: one is pagan as a goat offering; the other is videoed on a sound platform. The gestures are the same. The head shake is the same. The mic approach and jump back are the same. The music is the same.
Music appreciation sessions occurring with reference points to Jesus like “Lord, Lord, look what great things we are doing in Your Name. Aren’t you impressed?”
Glory? Nope. Could there ever be Glory in such a setting? Yes!
I can watch Aretha Franklin sing “You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman” and feel more emotion than what is pumped up by the musical volume, pacing, and entertainment performance intensity.
Passion for the song is not the passion of God. Worship never occurs on our terms but God’s. Worship does not happen on our time “given and dedicated to You, Lord,” but God’s. We tend to think we can “pencil God in” for an appearance Sunday at 10:12 AM because we have a cool church name. But, we do worship “as if God will be there too” most of the time.
Then, we sing songs that say, “Jesus loves me so much that He can’t wait to get through the drive-thru at McDonald’s and get here Sunday morning coffee and watch me emote to my favorite worship hits.”
To sum it up, if Glory manifests enough that you recognize the character of God in some way, you will need help standing, lose all sense of time, forget about the professionalism of performance because the backdrop of heavenly, spiritual sound makes you sound like a transistor radio.
When Glory comes, you will be revealed. The place will be revealed by a comparison of its present condition of God’s eternal intentions. The people will be revealed so that frauds and bandwagon riders will want to find another ministry.
Glory will claim you, the place and time, the ministry, and every person present with the Creator, Redeemer, Restorer claim that cancels out the claims of hell, the person, and the ministry. God will throw the pieces into the air, so they land in places you never thought about, exposing patterns and models you never saw before, confusing your mind about “what in the wide world have we been doing all this time?”