Matthew 17: 1-8

Acts 9: 3-4

Acts 26:12-13

2 Corinthians 3: 18, 12: 2-4

Revelation 21: 23

MJK  I was touched this morning, when we sang hymn number 181 -

         Glory, Lord, is Thine forever.

Then it says -

         But thy glory, all transcending,

         Is the light that shines in heav’n.

         Thou art greater, glorious Saviour,

         Than the glory Thou hast won.

Then that we just sang hymn 371 -

         Brightness of th’ eternal glory. 

The brethren can help, but I was touched by the thought of the glory of the Lord.  I think we get in Matthew God’s view of the glory of His beloved Son.  I suppose we can say that the disciples did not enter into it to its fullness, nor can we enter into the fullness of the glory of God, but we get touches of the glory of God; and there in Matthew “a bright cloud overshadowed them, and lo, a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I have found my delight”.  Then, in the Acts, we see in Saul a man on a course opposed to God but the light, a light out of heaven, comes in.  I wondered if the apostle had some sense of the glory of God here.  I do not know if this light would have meant as much to him if he had not seen Stephen at the stoning because certainly Stephen had a sense of the glory.  He says, “I behold the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing at the right hand of God”, Acts 7: 56.  There must have been some sense of the glory of God with Stephen certainly.  Seeing that glory, the apostle Paul comes away as blind, but as the Spirit of God comes in his eyes are opened up that he might be enlightened in relation to this.  As he gives the account we read - Acts 26 is the last recorded account that he gives of this occasion - the light gets brighter, and I suppose as we go on in our lives here as committed to the things of God, the light would grow brighter and brighter.  Paul says, “a light above the brightness of the sun, shining from heaven round about me”.

         Then I thought maybe we could get some touches here in Corinthians with this thought of the unveiled face.  I suppose it is a very different sense of the glory of God than what would have been there for Israel.  Moses had to come down, and his face had to be veiled, but for us it is an unveiled face; so we can see the greatness of the glory.  Although as I mentioned I do not think we can see it in its fullness, we get a sense of it and we can apprehend it.  I think that Ephesians maybe helps with apprehending it "with all the saints".  Then what we have in 2 Corinthians 12, I think, is probably the greatest sense that the apostle ever had of the glory of God.  But then it was not seen here, it was heard, was it not? - ”he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable things”.  So I suppose that the hearing of the glory of God would tie in with what he had seen in relation to the glory of God with the Son coming in.  I thought it would all culminate in Revelation: as we see, it is the glory of God and “the lamp thereof is the Lamb”, the One who finished the work.  Does that commend itself?

DAB  Yes.  I am interested in what you say, that what we see in Matthew 17 is the glory of the Father.  The Lord says there in relation to the coming day that He would appear in the glory of His Father.  I noticed in Luke 9: 26 He also says that He will appear in His own glory, but that is future, is it not?  I suppose it links with what you were quoting out of the hymn, that the light shines in heaven; and, while the glory of the Lord will be seen, it will cover the earth and will also cover the sea.  It is a very blessed element or phase of the glory of Christ that it is seen first in heaven.  It has not been seen on earth yet.

MJK  Well, I wondered that.  It says in Revelation “for the glory of God has enlightened it”.  Would that be the culmination?  You spoke of the Father’s glory and the Son’s glory; I suppose the Spirit also has a glory that is revealed in a certain sense.

DAB  The Father’s glory has been seen in testimony, has it not, in the life of Jesus - “I have glorified thee on the earth”, John 17: 4.  Of course, not many people saw or understood that testimony but the Father was glorified in the life of Jesus, and the Father in turn reciprocates at the resurrection; He was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, Rom 6: 4.  But that was not public, was it?  I think it is very fine to see that, when the Lord appears in His own glory, He will come in the glory of His Father, Matt 16: 27.

MJK  So what is the glory that the saints see at the present time?

DJH  I have always enjoyed that reference “the lamp thereof is the Lamb”.  It seems as though there is that which is beyond us which we will never see, even in eternity, but it is a great comfort I think that that glory will be seen in such a One, a blessed Man.  It is affecting that He will be referred to there as the Lamb, is it not?  It is the One who suffered.  He could speak Himself of the glories and of the sufferings of the Christ, Luke 24: 26.  Peter refers to “the glories after these”, 1 Pet 1: 11.  Do you think that has some connection with "the lamp thereof is the Lamb"?

MJK  It seems that all the glory comes from heaven; it is not glory associated with the earth but glory brought down in relation to that One.  Is that fair to say?

DAB  It is very precious; it is like a candle, in the sense that the colour of the glory tells you something about the moral character of the One in whom it shines.  It is not just a blaze of brilliant white light, but there is a moral character to the lamp, is there not, that tells us that the glory is seen in One who suffered?

MJK  We can see that there is that which can be brought into that, as with Moses and Elias and so on, but they were not the ones that the glory was coming from.  There is that which we have, there is a certain glory in the moon and the stars and so on in themselves, but what we have is absorbed glory; so it still has its source in the Son of God, does it not?

PMW  I was thinking as you read this scripture that “The heavens declare the glory of God”, Ps 19: 1.  That is something that is there universally for men generally to take account of, if they care to do so.  But for the believer it is the glory of the One who created them.  Intrinsically that is opened up through Christ, is that right?

MJK  That is interesting because there is a certain glory of God in creation even.  As you say, it is that men might believe.  It says they will be without excuse (Rom 1: 20), even just because of creation itself.  Does it not teach you? There is a certain glory in that I suppose too.

DAB  Of course, in Idaho you can see the stars like David could; the sky is full of them.  We only see the brightest ones here, but you can imagine the stars you can see as a stage curtain; and then Christ in glory appears you might say in front of that glory - the One who made them all.  In a sense, glorious as the heavens are, they are eclipsed when the Son of Man appears in His glory.  As has been said, the Son of Man is the One who entered into His glory by suffering.  The creation has not really done that, but the One who is the Creator has. 

MJK  That is what adds to the whole area of glory, is it not?  The Person of Christ and what He has brought in. 

PMW  That was particularly Paul’s testimony, was it not?  He says His glory was above the sun.  That is part of what He created and His own glory eclipsed that, did it not?

MJK  It is interesting what was mentioned about the stars because, when the sun comes out, regardless of where you are, you do not see the stars.  That is the glory that you behold.  But then He gives a moment for the saints, so to speak, to display some of the glory of God; some of that which He has won.  I think that is what is encouraging in the service of God: there is a time when the glory of Christ can shine through the saints.

DJH  The stars shine in the night time, do they not?  That is in a sense the time where we are.  There should be something of the glory that is shining here in the saints before the public manifestation of glory when Christ appears.

MJK  That is helpful.  You might say that the time in which we live is dark, but there are many lights, there is the encouraging side; "there were many lights in the upper room", Acts 20: 8.

DAB  It has been said that the transfiguration was at night: I think you could see that from the reference to “the following day” in Luke 9: 37.  But nothing is said about the night, is it?  It is just the glory.  It is very fine, and it seems to be that there is a kind of foreshadowing of what the Christian’s privilege would be.  As we have said, the testimony is in the night.  But these disciples had a secret which carried them through the night.  They had seen the bright cloud and heard the Father’s voice.  They had seen the Lord as no one else had seen Him.

MJK  That is interesting.  It says, ”And the disciples hearing”, v 6.  Here there is the thought of beholding, which would be seeing, and then there is the thought of hearing.  I think both connect with the glory of God.  I had not thought about it much before, but the glory that is mentioned in 2 Corinthians is in relation to the hearing of it.  I suppose it would attach itself in a special way to the glad tidings.

FSP  The scripture in 2 Peter 1: 17, which is referred to in the note in Matthew 17, says “uttered ... by the excellent glory”.  "Excellent" means it excels every other glory but it is uttered by the glory.  I am interested about being in the body or out of the body; and that Paul talks of hearing unspeakable things; I have not noticed that before.

MJK  The excellence of the glory refers to the Person, does it not?  That is where the excellence is.  You see that the excellency of that Person had to be brought forth in Matthew 17, did it not?  It could not be left.  The other two are removed from sight when Peter tries to draw them in.  The excellency was in Christ.

DAB  As to Psalm 19, I remember a brother commenting that the first section is the unspoken glory of God.  "There is no speech", it says, no word, no sound is heard, v 3.  Then it says, “The law of Jehovah is perfect” (v 7), which is the spoken glory of God.  There is the unspoken glory of God and the spoken glory of God.  I am interested in this that there is a glory of God in what He says.  Say some more about that.

MJK  Well, I do not know if I can say much; I was just struck by the thought of it being spoken.  We have been given five senses, and I suppose that associates itself with the weakness of the human capacity; but then I think God would affect everything with His glory.  There would not be a faculty that we have that would not be affected by the glory of God.  We learn much through reading but we learn much through hearing as well.  Those things would affect the inner man; it has to come in through one of those faculties. 

DJH  "Such a voice ... by the excellent glory" has been referred to.  It seems that the glory is heard in that instance, does it not?  “Such a voice being uttered to him by the excellent glory”, 2 Pet 1: 17It is the glory coming into expression in the way the hearing sense is affected. 

MJK  It seems in Acts 9 that those who were with Saul only heard, but he saw and heard; and there was a development of one who was going to carry forth the testimony of the assembly in one who saw and heard.

PFE  I was wondering about the first scripture you read, that the cloud overshadowed them.  In Acts 9 the light shone round about him; so it is completely encompassing, is it not?

MJK  I think that is an excellent word for it; if I understand the glory of God there would not be any shadows connected with it, would there?  The only shadow was that it overshadowed the Son of God because the capacity is not there for us to encompass the whole thing.  But really there is no shadow in relation to the glory of God, is there?

PFE  I have always been struck by the fact that it shone round about him, “a light out of heaven”.  That was a person who at this juncture was completely against the assembly of God, and it just shows how God can work.  He can work like this today, can He not?

MJK  It does not say who these others were with Saul, or whether they were ever affected by the voice that they heard, but what is interesting is that the apostle is blind.  He sees it, he knows it is there; God had made the initial work, you might say, in the soul but then Saul does not get a hold of it and his eyes are not opened until the Spirit of God comes in.  That is the way in which the glory of God is opened up to us, is it not?

JSH  I was thinking that the glory of the Lord was seen outwardly, but is it known by His saints inwardly?  Is that where the healing comes into it; it is known in the heart?  I think that is what Paul would have had; he had some sense of it in his heart.  He had seen it outwardly and yet he had some sense of it in his heart.

MJK  The Spirit of God has to come into that matter to know it inwardly.  I think that there must have been some impression left upon the young man who was holding the clothes at the stoning of Stephen, because there was a man there full of the Holy Spirit.  At least to my knowledge, there is no other man spoken of so much as Stephen in relation to being filled with the Holy Spirit, and he sees the heavens opened up, Acts 7.  I suppose that is what would have some real effect on our hearts.  But then we have to be hearers and doers.

PMW  I just want to link on with your reference to the senses - touch, taste and smell are the other three of the senses.  I was just thinking of the reference to the woman who touched the hem of his garment.  She knew the power that was there and I suppose had a sense too of the glory of the Lord in that way.  The odour of the ointment filled the house (John 12: 3), the smell of that which is really an act of glorifying the Lord on behalf of that woman.  There is also a reference, "Taste and see that Jehovah is good", Ps 34: 8.  There is an ability there, and I suppose divine Persons would use all of our senses to impress us with the greatness of their Person. 

MJK  I think that is helpful because the old man could not take any of these things on, could he?  But the power of the new man is available in every sense to be able to apprehend the glory of God.  I think with the woman that when she touched the hem of his garment it speaks of virtue, Luke 8: 46 AV. I suppose that would be associated with the glory that was in the Person.  It comes in but it is all associated with what can take it up now, and the new man.

DAB  This account of the transfiguration in Matthew is especially affecting because it says that He touched them.  They saw and they heard, and then He touched them in verse 7, and it stilled their fears.  What stilled their fears was the proof in His touch that this was real.  The children do that: you present something to them and they want to touch it, and by that they assure themselves that it is real.  It stilled their fears, did it not?  It was their introduction into what is spiritual, and the Lord was showing them that what was spiritual was just as real as what was physical.

MJK  That is helpful, because in relation to healing in scripture they touched them and it is a great matter to be healed, so to speak, in relation to what can be apprehended of the glory of God.  It is a personal matter then, is it not?

DAB  It is affecting in that connection that the man of faith said “say by a word and my servant shall be healed”, Luke 7: 7.  He saw an equivalence between the touch and the word of Jesus.

MJK  Now you are speaking of faith that comes into it; yes, very good.

DAB  Faith and the Spirit.

PFE  It is affecting that Paul’s first words after this are “Who art thou, Lord?”.  There is immediate recognition there. 

MJK  I suppose that new birth had come in, had it not? Otherwise I do not think he could have said “Who art thou, Lord?”  The Spirit of God had not come in until later in the chapter but it was not very long, was it?  I think three days, maybe.  But the work had begun and it had begun with the brightest of flashes - the glory of God that would go on to affect him for his whole life.  I wonder if we sometimes get glimpses of that which help us to press forward. 

RMF  I was wondering whether you could say something about the voice that came: ”This is my beloved Son, in whom I have found my delight”.

MJK  I wonder if that would attach itself to what we mentioned at the beginning, the thought of the Father?  It is the same glory; that is what is so affecting.  It is the same glory, but it is confirmed in the voice of the Father.  What do you say yourself?

RMF  I think what you say is good.  It is probably one of the most beautiful touches in the scripture, is it not?  We get the Father’s thoughts directly concerning His Son; the One in whom He has found His delight.  I was just thinking of that Psalm that speaks of the saints and the excellent on the earth, “In them is all my delight”, Ps 16: 3.  That glory is reflected in the saints as well, is it not?

MJK  That is good because where I once was the thought was presented, ‘this is my beloved Son in whom I have found all my delight’, but that is not true.  There is delight in the saints as well, is there not?  So the glory of God spreads out that it might grow in our souls. 

DAB  Mr Raven speaks somewhere of three stages; mystery and testimony and display, vol 4 p113.  I am thinking that, at the Lord’s baptism, we get the disclosure of what had been in mystery.  We are not told about the life of Jesus up until then: all we know is that the Father found His delight in it.  Now this is a comment on His testimony, is it not?  And they were not to speak of it until He was risen from the dead; in other words, until it became a matter of display.  In a sense we are in the same position, are we not, because they held this in mystery and then it was to govern their testimony; and then they will have a part, as just quoted, in the display?

MJK  So much of the glory of God comes out in the saints today, does it not? 

DAB  That is where the testimony is.  We know that Christ is in heaven.  It is not clear in the world but the testimony to it should be in His people.

DJH  So as to persecuting the saints He says, “why dost thou persecutest me”, does He not?  He is here.  I was thinking that it says, “I am Jesus”.  Saul asks, “Who art thou, Lord” but the answer is, “I am Jesus”.  It is very affecting that such an attractive name is used, that attracts us from our youngest days, does it not?  He says, ”I am Jesus”, and yet in such a glorious position!

MJK  I wonder if what you said would bear out the side of the touch.  He comes in personally, if I understand it.  "Jesus" brings in the Man personally, and it would be in that setting that would bring in His touch.

DJH  And yet He says, “whom thou persecutest”.  So that it was that Man who was being reflected in the saints.  It was like the stars we were speaking of earlier, was it not?

DAB  Paul says, “I have persecuted the assembly of God”, 1 Cor 15: 9.  He had come to it, had he not, that there was something about that vessel that maybe he had never really valued?  It was that in which the glory of Christ could be seen. 

MJK  A thought just came to me as you said that, that the apostle is the one who really sets out the order of the breaking of bread.  He brings in the thought of the loaf and I wonder if, as was mentioned, we have the thought there of “whom thou persecutest”.  It speaks of Him personally, but then you mentioned the assembly of God - He attaches the body of the saints to the Person whom he had persecuted.  So then he could lay out a beautiful setting in which we might call the Lord to mind.  It is a great picture of the glory of God coming in.

DAB  He speaks of it, does He not, in a way that guards the uniqueness of the loaf? “This is my body which is given for you”, Luke 22: 19.  But then Paul speaks of the saints as a loaf as well?  One answers to the other so closely that the same language can be used.  It is not to take away from the distinctiveness of what belongs to Christ alone, but to see how fully and gloriously His own answer to that.  It is something we learn at the Supper, is it not? 

MJK  That is what touched me about what you mentioned in relation to “I have persecuted the assembly of God”; he was touched by how closely that whole matter was linked.

DAB  He speaks of it as a body; “we…are one loaf, one body”, 1 Cor 10: 17.  That is where feelings are, not only felt but also expressed. 

MJK  I wondered if in Acts 26 we could get some sense of “a light above the brightness of the sun, shining from heaven round about me”.  We get some sense of the greatness of this light; the greatness of the glory that belongs to that area.

PMW  You get a sense here of the light being specifically on Paul; it was not a light that was flooding the earth.  “Round about me” gives a sense of a pocket of light.  That was concentrating on Paul in terms of bringing light into his soul, as well as impressing him with the glory.  I think it is important to get a sense that we have individually had that light for ourselves. 

MJK  I think that is good because, if I understand it correctly, I do not think the others around saw the light; they only heard the voice.  So there has to be a work going on in the soul already that can absorb the greatness of that light.  There are certain materials that are almost unaffected, but there are other things that absorb light, and other things that reflect it.  I suppose we want to be that which absorbs the glory of God.  Then, as was mentioned, there is the testimonial side which would be the reflecting of that glory, would it not?

FSP  I wondered about Acts 26: 18, “to open their eyes, that they may turn from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God”, whether the intensity of the light which we have been talking about, the excellent glory, was here or whether this was a bit of a lesser thing; or whether we all have to meet the same light as Paul did.

MJK  I suppose, in principle, we would have to meet the same light.  What do you say yourself?

FSP  I think so.

MJK  That same light; the light has not changed; “the same yesterday, and to-day, and to the ages to come”, Heb 13: 8.  The light of God has not changed.

FSP  If that is the case then it accentuates the difference between the power of Satan and God, and between darkness and light.

MJK  I suppose that in relation to Satan there is a complete absence of light.  He would even seek to obstruct that which is the light.  The glory of God overcomes all that.

DJH  You get that in 2 Corinthians 4, do you not?  “It is the God who spoke that out of darkness light should shine who has shone in our hearts for the shining forth of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ”, v 6.  The darkness is otherwise there in our hearts but it speaks of the light shining - the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 

MJK  It is helpful that you mention that; we had a little of that in the week-night reading here.  In Genesis you see light is the first thing that must come in, in relation to the dark and that which was void.  “The earth was waste and empty, and darkness was on the face of the deep” (Gen 1: 2); then God says, “Let there be light”, v 3.  It is the beginning of what was going to open up.

DAB  It is interesting that the creation was responsive to the voice of God.  My understanding of Paul’s companions was that they heard a sound but did not realise it was words, and they certainly did not hear the words.  They were less responsive than the creation.  That is what our brother is speaking of, is it not, that Satan darkens the heart?  But I like what you are saying, that the glory of God in His voice brings light and then life and manhood.  All these things follow where God’s glory is admitted. 

MJK  The absence of light brings in the absence of life, does it not?  There is no response from plant or animal creation with the absence of light.

DAB  The light was the life of men, and you can see in John’s gospel how that life begins to appear.  It is not on natural or religious lines but directly through His word.

MJK  That is helpful because it is after an entirely new order.  That is the order which we have to come under to come into the good of the light, because the flesh and that which is after the order of the first man answers to the darkness that has come in in relation to Satan.  Then in 2 Corinthians 3 it says “But we all” - I suppose it must be the saints - “looking on the glory of the Lord, with unveiled face, are transformed according to the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Lord the Spirit”.  So the Spirit of God is what makes this real to our souls.  That is why you get Moses having to veil his face: there was no power there with the children of Israel to be able to answer to the glory of the light that was being shown; but now I suppose this would be associated even with the veil of the temple being opened up and God having come out.  There is a transformation but again it is that which answers to the second order of man.  It is really Christ.

PMW  We read this chapter on Thursday night at our reading in Plumstead and it was commented that, in this last verse - the emphatic “we” - Paul embraces the Corinthian saints with himself in having an appreciation of the glory to which they had been called; and Paul was endeavouring to rekindle their affections following this epistle. 

MJK  That is helpful because even the saints can grow cold, but you mention the rekindling of it, the glory of God being kindled in the hearts of the saints. 

DAB  There is a very close connection here with what was quoted in Acts 9, ‘Who art thou, Lord?’.  That Lord is the Spirit of the new covenant, is He not?  The Spirit of God quickens, but the Lord Jesus and His glory are what underlie this wholly new relationship with God.  Paul may not have been very intelligent on the Damascus road, but he now knew what he saw on the road as the kernel for a wholly new spiritual relationship with God that eclipsed and transcended the first covenant. 

MJK  He was really able to start unfolding what he had seen.  I suppose that is normal for us each one.  We might get light that we do not understand at first - that will happen but we are not to despair.  Three accounts in relation to the glory end up with a glory above the brightness of the sun and, as you come into the good of it in the power of the Spirit of God, these things open up.  Say a little bit more about it attaching to the new covenant though. 

DAB  Well, we were speaking in the house about the blood, and it changes everything.  The shedding of the blood of Jesus is the foundation of something entirely new.  So we have always to remember how much we owe to the blood of Jesus.

MJK  So the blood is what goes into the holy of holies, is it not?  It is what is sprinkled there, witnessed before God, that we might be accepted.

RMF  It says here that we are “transformed according to the same image from glory to glory”.  Could you help us as to what it means to be transformed?  I have just noticed that the note speaks of ‘transfigured’ as in the scripture we read in Matthew 17.

MJK  I am not sure that I can say much; it is that which has come in which has been changed.  I suppose in a sense it is an entirely new form. 

DAB  We are sometimes content with ‘impressions’, as we speak of them, are we not? An impression may be received but by the time I get home it may be gone.  What we are speaking of in transformation remains; is that the difference?  It is not just words, but the affect of the glory is abiding?

MJK  That is helpful, and I suppose that is why we can go back to what was said in relation to the ”we”.  There had been an impression left on the saints, and that is what he was going to come back to.

DJH  I was noticing the word, ”we all, looking on the glory of the Lord”.  That is something to be seen, but then it says, ”according to the same image” - that is something substantial, is it not?  An image is something concrete, something substantial.  So there is to be a real effect on us as we are ”transformed according to the same image from glory to glory”.  That would be something that would be seen in the saints?

MJK  That is helpful, because the ‘transformed’ and the ‘image’ must be two things that go together.  An image is generally something that takes its looks or its being from another.  We speak of an image of something; this would be being transformed into the same image from glory to glory.  I think it would be fair to say the image of Christ is to be the impression that is left upon us. 

DAB  In 1 Corinthians 15 it says, “as we have borne the image of the one made of dust, we shall bear also the image of the heavenly one”, v 49.  That is the transformation wrought by resurrection, is it not?  What Paul seems to be speaking about here is that there is something intermediate, that that heavenly character should come out in testimony.  The heavenly One should be represented here.

MJK  Say more about that.

DAB  Well, we do not know what we shall be, we do not know what the body of glory will be, but we bear the image now in some sense, do we not?  We are not angels; we are in a condition that is still suited to earth; but morally and spiritually we should bear the image of that heavenly One.

MJK  So it takes on the features of the heavenly One.  It may not be the thing itself exactly, but the features of it.

DJH  The final position will be that when we see Him we shall be like Him.  "We shall see Him as He is" (1 John 3: 2): that is finality in relation to this; that is the final change. 

MJK  Then it is no longer just the features, but it is the matter itself.

RMF  This intermediate stage was seen in Paul, was it not?  It says in Acts 9, “And straightway in the synagogue he preached Jesus that he is the Son of God.  And all who heard were astonished and said, Is this not he who destroyed in Jerusalem”, v 20-21.  There was an immediate transforming effect on the life of Paul. 

MJK  That is the thought of transformation; the very One whom he had rejected and had sought to stamp out was now the One whom he was preaching. 

JSH  This brightness and the glory remained with Paul.  I was thinking of what you were saying earlier, that there is the need of the Spirit; that brightness never changes, does it?  It might seem to dim because of what I am in myself but it is only from my side; from His side the brightness is always there, and always will be there.  That is where we need the Spirit now to keep us occupied with that One and keep that brightness before us.

MJK  I suppose we ought not to despair if we do not quite feel the same even every Lord’s day.  We get impressions of the glory of God but we go out into the workplace, or different things in the week, and it might fade in our souls.  The resource that you mentioned is always there; the resource is always there in the Spirit that we might be brought back to the brightest point.  Mr Stoney says The Lord never forgets your brightest day, although you may; and you are sure sooner or later to go back to it’, vol 6 p267.  That is quite a place. 

DAB  “I remember for thee” - God says about Israel - “the kindness of thy youth…when thou wentest after me in the wilderness, in a land not sown”, Jer 2: 2.  God never forgot the day when Israel packed up and followed in the wilderness.  He never forgot the day when they gathered the materials for the sanctuary, did He?  He never forgot the day when they entered into David’s praise.

MJK  Once they came into the land, every time they had a battle they had to come back to Gilgal.   The thought was to come back to the highest point, that the flesh was gone, completely removed and now you are going to be in the enjoyment of the brightness of the glory of God.

DAB  They never went back to Egypt.  A lot of sorrows entered into the history of Israel but they never went back.  Paul never went back down the road, did he?  In a sense there is a full stop; God will always keep us to what He has brought us into. 

MJK  That is an excellent way to put it; He will always keep us in what He has brought us into.  You might say you slip back a little but then come back to the point of departure, and then His desire is that we may move forward.  They had to stop sometimes in the wilderness, but then the cloud and the pillar of fire moved again.  Sometimes they had to wait on the people. 

DAB  Are we to understand from Revelation that it will always be in Christ that we see the glory of God?  He is the Lamp. 

DJH  That is what I thought.  It is very wonderful that we shall not be lost in that sense.  There will always be an object for our affections and our occupation; it will all be seen in that blessed One, One who has suffered in order to bring such a position about.

MJK  It is interesting what you mention.  We talked a bit in the home about the thought of our occupation in glory or in heaven, and I wondered if 2 Corinthians 12 would actually help in relation to that because it says ”which it is not allowed to man to utter”; and you are to hear once you take up with the glory of God.  I suppose you are so fascinated with the glory of God that we can leave any utterance to Him.  There is not going to be any glory to another in that scene.  We are not going to be occupied with any other man; it is going to be occupation with Christ.  He is the Lamp; there is no other light.  He is the Lamp, and there the glory of God shines in all its brightness.  I suppose there are indications in Scripture of a continual outflowing of praises, but it is praises for that blessed One.  That is what should affect our hearts now. 

DAB  There is a kind of closed loop here.  Paul obviously understood what he was hearing, but he was not to take it away to utter.  It did not belong to earth, and you are suggesting that that is what heaven is like really.  There is a fulfilment and satisfaction from being engrossed in what is heavenly.  It does not allow us to dip back into history and the vicissitudes of the way. 

MJK  If Paul had been allowed to utter it, it might have become idolatry to us but, as to a coming day, I think that is helpful.  The thing is made complete; there is no room, the vessel is completely full.  With what?  The glory of the Lord.

DAB  God is very final: He rolls things up, He wipes things away, and so on.  But He is able to enclose His people in their occupation of what is heavenly.

RMF  Mr Stoney pointed out that this revelation that Paul had was not unique to Paul, vol 1 p4.  It is "a man in Christ", and open to any one of us, is it not?  He does not claim an apostleship or anything; he just says, "I know a man in Christ, fourteen years ago".  We are all "in Christ"; this revelation is open to any one of us.

MJK  So we can each have impressions of Christ that would stay with us.  I do not know about other people’s experiences, and I cannot say that I have had them often, but there have been times, particularly in the service of God but not limited to that, when I have had those kinds of impressions that I could not say what it was but that it was sweet.


28th November 2010