The Hope of Glory ~ Ray E Horton
There was a great mystery, hidden from all the prophets throughout the ages. No man nor angel nor devil knew this secret, the great and mighty truth that has restored humankind.
“The mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints… which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col 1:26-27).
A Feast of Spiritual Insight
Sometimes it can be just a few inspired words, shared even unwittingly, that can inspire revelation. Brother Rich, in an e-mail last night, said that we would talk about God’s glory at Men to Men fellowship meeting this morning. As I meditated on God’s glory in the shower, Holy Spirit downloaded a feast of spiritual insight. I finished my shower and ran half dressed to my desk to write it down, and was excited to share with the guys at the meeting what I’m now sharing here.
The prophets of old knew of the crucifixion and the forgiveness of sins, with a prime example being Isaiah 52:13-15 and chapter 53. But they didn’t know the great secret, which we see revealed when Jesus rose again, was glorified, and breathed on His disciples and said “Receive the Holy Spirit,” and they were Born Again, recreated, becoming the very “righteousness of God in Christ” (2 Cor 5:17, 21. And that transformation of spirit, being united with Christ, is available to all men today, all who will receive.
The devil was shocked. He had no way to know. He figured even if Jesus died and rose to take men’s sins, he could still lie and deceive and talk them out of it
And the devil was shocked. He had no way to know. He figured even if Jesus died and rose to take men’s sins, he could still lie and deceive and talk them out of it. But little did he know that we’d be united with Christ in spirit, restored to an even better state than before the creation of mankind. John 15:5, “…He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit.” John 15:11, “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.” Jesus foretold it, and it happened.
All glory is His, and He dwells within our spirits and we in Him, so spiritually, united with Him, we are already glorified in our inner man. And that knowledge is transforming to our souls, that secret “revealed to His saints.” As we renew our minds to that truth from His Word, as we see and believe the great mystery revealed to our hearts, we are changed in the outworking of our lives.
“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Cor. 3:18). What is a mirror but an instrument in which we see ourselves? With the new birth our faces have been unveiled and we can look at God’s glory, and behold, when we look in the Word we see the Lord’s glory as within a mirror, for that glory is in our spirits. It’s not yet in our bodies, so we can’t experience it with our senses, but we can see into the spirit realm through the revelation of God’s Word.
Looking into the Mirror
And what happens as we do that? We are “transformed” – what is transformed – not our spirits for they have already been perfected – but our souls. As we look into the mirror of God’s Word and see who we have been made to be spiritually, our minds are gradually renewed and grow from “glory to glory” as our awareness becomes more and more in line with our recreated spirits. What joy, what motivation there is in that to live the life of faith, and to let Him live through us, to stop doing our own thing and rest in Him, as He works out in us His perfect plan for our lives.
It is then, recognizing our communion with the One who loves us, that we hunger for and seek and experience His presence in our lives which leads to the fullness of Joy, which leads to supernatural strength. Psalm 16:11, “…In Your presence is fullness of joy…” Psalm 26:6, “You make him joyful with gladness in Your presence..” Acts 2:28, “You will make me full of joy in Your presence.” And, that joy is our strength! Neh. 8:10, “…for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”
So we have God’s glory in our spirits, our minds are being transformed from glory to glory, yet, here we are stuck with the same old flesh – our bodies surely haven’t been transformed.
Now it is true that as our minds are renewed in the Word, we are led to wiser decisions for the care of our bodies, and we can experience by faith more and more of God’s healing power and wholeness in our lives. We have indeed been redeemed from the curse (Gal. 3:13). We do have the Holy Spirit living in our lives and can manifest the spiritual gifts to edify ourselves and serve others. Yet, in a way, we are still imprisoned in our bodies.
But, does not the Word say that we shall be like Him, fully restored and whole, spirit, soil and body? “Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is” (1 John 3:2). “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us (Rom. 8:18). We shall be like Him – that’s future – someday when we become, spirit, soul and even body, the fullness of who we were made to be, in His image.
The Holy Spirit is a down payment, and through Him we can experience some of that glory now
And that’s the great Hope of Glory! Yes, even as Jesus was glorified, so will be our bodies. But that must wait until we are on the other side. The Holy Spirit is a down payment, and through Him we can experience some of that glory now. Rom 8:23, “…we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us.”
Yes, we have indeed been given a tantalizing taste of what living in the fullness of God’s glory will be like through the Holy Spirit. We are told when we step out in our Great Commission to “…Go into all the world and preach the gospel…” (Mark 16:15), that “these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues…they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover” (vs. 16).
Jesus, once glorified, walked through walls and just appeared to the disciples. So that was the glorified Jesus, you say, but who else could do that. Well, let me whet your appetite for moving in the spirit:
Beam me up Lord!
Philip, after prayed with the Ethiopian eunuch, was translated/teleported to another place: “Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so that the eunuch saw him no more; and he went on his way rejoicing. But Philip was found at Azotus…”Acts 8:39-40). Wow, beam me up. Lord! And I have heard of this happening to people today. This is but a foretaste, supernatural happenings for the advancement of His Kingdom.
We are told in 1 Cor. 13 that all these gifts will pass away. Why? Well, we won’t need them anymore, for in the new life, we will be fully glorified, like Jesus, even with glorified bodies. We will no longer have the limitations of space and time, but will rule with Him over the universe. We are told in 1 Cor. 13:8-12: ” … But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away … For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.”
So, when life seems to be getting old, remember that “His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue” (2 Peter 1:3). So we can indeed put up with the trials of life, submitting to God and resisting the devil. We have all we need within us in Him, so we can be settled in Him. “But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you” (1 Peter 5:10).
So let us be patient, and do the work of the Lord in the power of the Spirit while we are still here, and remember, “our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (2 Cor. 4:17).
Yes, “…Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory” (Rom. 5:2). “For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us” (2 Cor. 1:20).
Limitless Living in Him
Complete wholeness, limitless living, in Him; that’s the Hope of Glory that we have in Jesus. So we arise out of complacency. This is but a moment in eternity. While we are waiting, we do have a great calling and purpose. So let us awaken to the calling, resume growing from glory to glory, expect the gifts to manifest in our lives, and use that love that was placed within us to love Him and the world enough to be used in advancing the Kingdom and bringing in the harvest so that none who would receive will be lost.