Varieties and dimensions of God’s glory – Part 5
In our last series, we did say that Paul in 2 Corinthians 4:6 revealed that the knowledge of the glory of God is in the face of Jesus. This means that if we want to understand what the glory of God is, we can see it in the life of Jesus. Jesus embodies the totality of God’s glory. He is the glory of God in human flesh. The world beheld the glory of God in him. To experience the glory of God you must be in Jesus and look up to him. Jesus is the personification of the fullness of the glory of God.
Paul experienced the glory of God in a very unique and peculiar way. He describes this experience in 2 Corinthians 12:1-10. He was caught up to the third heaven and given a revelation of Paradise, where he heard inexpressible words, which is not easy to be uttered.
“I know a man in Christ who 14 years ago — whether in the body or out of the body, I do not know — that God knows. Such a person was caught up to the third heaven. And I know that such a man — whether in the body or out of the body, I do not know, but God knows — was caught up into Paradise and heard the inexpressible words, which is not lawful for a man to utter. Of such a man I will boast; yet of myself, I will not boast, except in my infirmities. For though I might desire to boast, I will not be a fool; for I will speak the truth. But I refrain, lest anyone should think of me above what he sees me to be or hears from me,” 2 Corinthians 12:2-6 (NKJV).
Paul’s admittance into this realm of glory was a unique experience. So overwhelming was this encounter that Paul said that he heard words, which are not lawful for a man to utter. What are those words? Did Paul conceal those words all through his lifetime or were they partly revealed in his writings. Eternity will tell.
Perhaps, we shall get to know when we get to heaven. Does that explain why Paul’s writings are so weighty, full of revelation and extraordinarily inspiring? He then added: “And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure,” 2 Corinthians 12:7 (NKJV).
We can see that the revelation of God’s glory is not limited to miracles and spectacular scenes, but includes unique encounters, instructions and lessons we learn from God as Paul did. Encounters with God bring about the unveiling of God’s glory to man.
God is still in the business of revealing his glory to those who seek him. In Revelation 4:1-2, John was invited to the throne room of God: “After this I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven! And the first voice, which I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet, said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” The invitation to “Come up here” is not only to John, but also to every one of us. Seekers of God’s glory who are willing to pay the price to “Come up here” will be treated by God. The revelation of the glory of God is a continuum open to all genuine seekers of God. May you encounter his glory!
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