1Kings 8:11: so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled the house of the LORD.
The cloud being described is the cloud of the glory of God. A clod carries the potential for rain. And what the cloud of the glory of God rain down are healing and prosperity. In the wilderness the children of Israel were constantly under the cloud of God’s glory, by day they were under the pillar of cloud and by night, under the pillar of fire, tangible manifestations of the presence of God (Exodus 13:21).
The result was felt in their body. They were able to make the journey through the wilderness without anyone among them in need of medical attention (Deuteronomy 29:1-6, Nehemiah 9:21, Psalm 105:37), God rained down manna for them which they ate for forty years. They were under God’s provision and physical preservation; even their cloths did not wear out all the years under the cloud of God’s glory.
When the glory comes in the tangible expression of God, it comes to change the order of things. In the focus verse an order got changed. Priests were unable to carry out their routine work in the temple. They were overwhelmed by the glory of God, because “flesh” can neither adequately serve God nor stand in his presence (Acts 17:24-25).
The prevalence of the glory of God in a special way in the church (also called the house of God) makes a major difference between the reality of the believers in the Old Testament and the new. In the old, the glory can only be viewed outside of man, while in the new the glory through Jesus is inside of us.
What we have in the focus verse was a foretaste of the New Testament where the glory of God resides in man (as the temple of God) and God will be doing his own work in us and through us. Paul said that he is an earthen vessel, but has in him the treasure of the glory of God (2Corinthians 4:6-7). We are the house of God and the glory of God is in us.
Jesus said that he has bestowed on us the glory that he has with the father at the beginning (John 17:22-23). The glory is the concentration of the presence and power of God in full essence. Moses asked God to show him his glory (Exodus 33:18-23), he wanted to experience his presence and power, but in the human condition such was impossible, that was why God said to him “no, you can’t see my full glory, it will kill you.”
It is said that no one can see God and live, but you ask: “what about those who say they are taken to heaven and see God. Are they all lairs?”
People can see God in his full glory (in this life) if that experience was not a bodily revelation, i.e. the experience is not physically (i.e. bodily) taken to heaven. But a revelation that involved their spirit being taken to the presence of God, you are see God, because your spirit has the perfection of God. But the body is still mortal.
Paul said that he had a revelation, in which he was taken to heaven, but he does not know whether it was in the body or out of it (2Corinthians 12:1-4), showing the two ways we can be taken to heaven. If he went to heaven and he could stand glory of God, then he went there in his spirit, otherwise he went there in his body and will need some form of protection from the full blaze of God’s glory there, as covered Moses with his hand.
But people can see Jesus either in body or out of body revelation experience, because after he became man, he had the eternal capacity to disguise his glory in the garb of human body, just like he did on earth. So don’t be quick to dismiss those who said they have seen Jesus in whatever form it is.
The cloud of glory brings the active presence of God to the people. Though we know that God is everywhere, his expression has been restricted since the sin of Adam in the Garden of Eden. But there is restoration in Jesus Christ. Jesus said that where two or three of us are gathered together in his name, there he is in our midst, to manifest his glory (Matthew 18:20).
When Philip told Jesus: “show us the father,” he wanted to experience Him, but Jesus was disappointed, saying: “don’t you know that if you see me you have seen the father, I am in the father and the father is in me (John 14:6-11).”
The writer of the book of Hebrews says that Jesus is the full expression of the father (Hebrews 1:1-3); Paul said that Jesus is the fullness of the Godhead bodily (Colossians 2:9); there is no greater experience of God and his glory than the experience of Jesus.
He brought the way of God to us, communicating his truth and introducing us to his life. Christ in us is the hope of the glory of God, i.e. He brings to us all the possibilities of the glory of God (Colossians 1:27). When we take him (Christ) in, he releases the glory of God in doses in us, transforming us from inside out. That is what Paul described as moving from glory to glory (2Corinthians 3:17-18). That is the empowerment within, which is the “treasure earthen vessels (2Corinthians 4:6-7).”
We are vessels of his glory, which he communicates through our lives as we shine as light in this world (Matthew 5:13-16). Jesus said that we are the light of the world; a city set on a hill cannot be hid. He said that we should let our light so shine before men so that when they see our good work, works that show forth the glory of God, they will give glory to God, they will be drawn to Him.
The focus verse shows that the ideal situation is for the house of God to be filled with the glory of God. That also means that sometimes the house of God is filled with some other things other than the glory of God.
In the time of Jesus, he complained that the house of God which was supposed to be the house of prayer for all nations has been turned to the den of robbers (Luke 19:46). It therefore seems that to get the house of God full of the glory of God, we need to take the route of prayer. This is because the house of God is to be both full of the glory of God and also be a house of prayer. Prayer is what we can do as humans and we can expect the glory of God to manifest as a result of that.
In the book of Acts, when the disciples were threatened by those who wanted them to stop preaching Jesus (Acts 4:1-33), they prayed, the power of the Holy Spirit shook the place where they were staying and they preached with more boldness in the name of Jesus, manifesting his glory. That means there is a relationship between prayer, the operation of the Holy Spirit and the manifestation of the power and presence of God, being the reality that the Holy Spirit brings, in the expression of the glory of God.
Jesus was not diplomatic when he made the whip and chased away those who do not have any business in the house of God. Jesus came with the mandate of heaven to clean the house of God; many are being called in the same way today, to restore the house of God to its glory.
- “What must I do to be saved?” (faithblum.wordpress.com)
- The problem with feel good Churches and Theology (pastormikesays.wordpress.com)
- Live to Glorify God! (wedim.wordpress.com)
- A Body Theology (newheavenonearth.wordpress.com)
- Psalm 95:6-7 NKJV – Let us worship and bow down (pagprayer.wordpress.com)
- Devotional 03.12.2013 (thelifeofastrangercalledme.wordpress.com)
- Glory to God. (peculiarbeat.com)