Bearing the Glory of Christ

As men, we are made in the image of God. The Bible tells us,

"And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them." [Gen 1:26-27]

What exactly that means, being made in the image of God, is still a mystery, which I do not fully comprehend. However, just as we are fashioned in the image of God, the tabernacle was fashioned in the image of heaven. We read in Hebrews and Exodus that Moses made the tabernacle after the pattern God showed him of heaven.

"Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, see, saith He, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount." [Heb 8:5]

"And look that thou make them after their pattern, which was shewed thee in the mount." [Ex 25:40]

And from the New Testament, we are told that our bodies are the temple of The Holy Spirit. This is shown to us by Jesus and by Paul.

"Jesus answered and said unto them, 'destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up…But He spake of the temple of His body." [John 2:19; 21]

"What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?" [1 Cor 6:19]

Let me suggest, that along with the tabernacle patterning heaven, it also symbolizes our bodies. And look with me at just one aspect of the tabernacle found in numbers.

"And on the day that the tabernacle was reared up the cloud covered the tabernacle, namely, the tent of the testimony: and at even there was upon the tabernacle as it were the appearance of fire, until the morning. So it was alway: the cloud covered it by day, and the appearance of fire by night." [Num 9:15-16]

This cloud is explained further in Exodus. It is shown that this cloud is God’s glory,

"Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of The LORD filled the tabernacle. And Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation, because the cloud abode Theron, and the glory of The LORD filled the tabernacle. And when the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the children of Israel went onward in all their journeys: but if the cloud were not taken up, then they journeyed not till the day it was taken up. For the cloud of The LORD was upon the tabernacle by day, and fire was on it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys." [Ex 40:34-38]

The glory of The LORD abode upon the tabernacle and filled the tabernacle, much like the Holy Spirit fills us at salvation, but we can also experience fresh new fillings, or baptizing, of The Holy Spirit.

I think what The Lord has shown me here is this: the more we are conformed to Jesus’ image, the more we are patterned after Jesus, the more glory/splendor/beauty of The LORD will rest upon us and fill us. And that is a major part of our sojourning here on earth: being conformed to Jesus’ image. “For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son.” [Rom 8:29] and, “as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.” [1 Cor 15:49] and, “we all, having been unveiled in face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of The LORD, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of The Lord.” [2 Cor 3:18]

And so the more we are like Jesus, the more our temple/tabernacle resembles the heavenly image of Christ, the greater amount of glory we are clothed with/covered with/filled with – the more beauty of The LORD will be visible to others around us, and thus, the more glory God will get. And this is proved in Isaiah 4:5, which states, in context of the millennium,

"And The LORD will create upon every dwelling place of mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night: for upon all the glory shall be a defense."

So when we are perfected, having fully put on the heavenly, as Paul says, then we will be covered in the glory of God continually. And we see this in The New Testament as well, which tells us, “when Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory.” [Col 3:4]

CONCLUSION

We should be striving to become more like Christ. That is one of our greatest duties, and should be one of our greatest desires to be made more like Jesus. For “every one that is perfect shall be as his master.” [Lk 6:40] Fulfilling our goal to be like Jesus will ultimately give Him more glory, and will be most rewarding. Let us, along with Paul, “press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus[!]”

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