FULL OF HIS GLORY
Copyright © 2006 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.
The Bible states that the whole earth is full of the Glory of the Lord. As the spiritual environment of the earth becomes increasingly dark, it will be very difficult to believe the whole earth is full of God’s Glory. It will seem as though the whole earth is full of Satan’s foulness and death.
The Christian who perseveres in faith in the Lord Jesus Christ will finally arrive at the place where his eyes are fixed on the Lord at all times. Then he will see and understand Christ always has been in control and the whole earth has been and will continue to be full of His Glory.
Table of Contents
Keeping Our Eyes on the Glory
Some Reasons Why We Suffer
FULL OF HIS GLORY
And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.” (Isaiah 6:3)
Sometimes I have the feeling I am writing for the generations to come. I think the young people and children of our day will soon be living in an utterly immoral and corrupt world. The tares of wickedness will come to maturity. The earth will be the suburbs of Hell.
Keeping Our Eyes on the Glory
It will be difficult but absolutely necessary that those who would be victorious saints keep their attention focused at all times, day and night, on the Lord Jesus and the promises of protection found in the Scriptures. Only by doing this will the saints be able to overcome the darkness. Only by doing this will the believers be able to realize the whole earth is full of His Glory.
Above the clouds the sun is always shining. No matter how grim things seem, the Glory of God stands sure. We must keep looking up, setting our affections and hopes on things above, not on things on the earth.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. (Philippians 4:8)
The temptation will be to fret about the evil, or to just succumb to the waves of spiritual darkness. However, there will be great rewards for those who stand in victory until the Lord returns. Many who are last in time will be of first rank in the Kingdom of God.
Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil. (Psalms 37:8)
But it will not be easy to keep the victory!
After having been a disciple of the Lord Jesus for sixty, I have learned a few lessons. One of the more important has been that of perseverance. Indeed, men ought always to pray and not to faint. No matter how bleak the future appears, if we just keep on trusting the Lord He brings us into the light. Every time!
The Bible is a record of God bringing to victory those who continue to trust Him in difficult and dangerous situations. According to the Bible account, no individual who trusted the Lord ever was put to shame. Do you know of any?
And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets, Who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, Quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. Women received back their dead, raised to life again. Others were tortured and refused to be released, so they might gain a better resurrection. (Heb 11:32-35)
Well then, God is not going to change His ways and fail you or me.
Also, if you have been a Christian for any length of time, as you look back you can see that God delivered you from that which you feared every time you put your trust in Him. We ought to learn from this that we can count on God to bring us safely through every problem and trial no matter how severe. Let us not insult God with our lack of faith in His faithfulness.
A verse that continues to be a favorite of mine is as follows:
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. (I Peter 5:10)
Are you going through many dangers and snares at this time? Keep yourself in the love of God. Your suffering will not last forever. The time will come when God Himself will restore you and make you strong and steadfast.
We can spend several years in our church and religion and learn all about the household of God. But learning about the God of the house of God is another matter. He is the Consuming Fire of Israel. To learn about God Himself we often are compelled to go through hard places, as did Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego; but when our testing has been completed we will emerge unscathed by the flames, only our bondages having been burned away.
Never, never, never quit! God will come on the scene when He has finished dealing with you.
Consider Job. Here was a righteous man. He knew all about God but he did not know God. Neither did Job’s friends.
Job went through a terrible trial. How could he understand the whole earth is full of the Glory of God when his wealth had disappeared and he himself was covered with painful boils? At that time Job might have resisted the idea that the whole earth is full of the Glory of the Lord.
But the day came when Job was completely, wonderfully restored. He lived 140 years after that and enjoyed his children and grandchildren to the fourth generation. Also, his wealth was restored.
But—best of all—Job now knew the Lord for himself. It is likely that Job’s friends, who were not afflicted as was Job, continued in their ignorance of God’s Person.
Perhaps as Daniel was being thrown into the lions’ den he would have had a problem with the concept that the whole earth is full of God’s Glory. But when he experienced the affection of the lions while living with them in their den, and saw how even the lions served God, Daniel could cry out, “The whole earth is full of His Glory!”
So will you if you remain steadfast.
Ours is a troubled day in America. During the last two or three weeks we have had two instances in the San Diego area of high school students shooting their classmates. How can the whole earth be full of the Glory of God? But it is!
So far this year in our area there have been many rapes, robberies, and murders. Little children have been brutalized. How can the whole earth be full of the Glory of God? But it is!
It depends on where you are looking.
Just as soon as King Uzziah died, Isaiah saw the Lord high and lifted up. Then Isaiah knew the whole earth is full of God’s Glory.
In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: with two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.” (Isaiah 6:1-3)
Uzziah represents our pride in our own accomplishments. When this dies we will see the Lord high and lifted up.
But after Uzziah became powerful, his pride led to his downfall. He was unfaithful to the LORD his God, and entered the temple of the LORD to burn incense on the altar of incense. (II Chronicles 26:16)
Because of recent tragedies, the high school shootings, the American people are crying Why? Why? Why?
But they don’t want to hear the true answer. They wish to continue with the filth coming from Hollywood, with their abortions, with their sexual perversions, with their films and electronic games that glorify violence. They do not wish to lose any of their “rights,” and so they turn to the psychologists, educators, and politicians for a pain-free answer. Because they will not turn from their wickedness, the United States of America will decline until it is a third-rate nation.
Our only hope is that the young people of today will turn in great numbers to Christ and begin to serve Him and keep His commandments. This is the only hope for our nation.
We need to keep the Throne of Christ before us at all times. We need to understand the totality of His authority and power. We need to realize Christ always sits as King of the flood; always is able to control every circumstance great and small.
Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life. (Revelation 2:10)
Think carefully about the above verse. Do you see the expression “for ten days”?
What does that tell us? It tells us that our affliction will end at a specific time. Satan cannot prolong it. Christ remains in control.
One of the most difficult aspects of the Lord’s testing of us is that we do not know when our suffering will end. Therefore we have to put our treasures in Heaven, knowing they are safe there. We have to accept the fact that we may not receive any of them during our lifetime on the earth.
We must place all of our treasures in Heaven. We must be willing to die in faith, being fully persuaded that if our intense longings are denied to us in the present life we will receive the desires of our heart when the Lord returns. Then we will make a success of the victorious Christian life. Otherwise Satan always will be able to defeat us because of some idol we refuse to surrender to the Lord.
All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. (Hebrews 11:13)
Keep your eyes on the Throne of Christ—high and lifted up—even when it seems all your hopes and dreams are being destroyed. Then you will see that the whole earth is full of His Glory. He has not forsaken you. He is seeking your good and is in control of every detail of your life. He yet will give you the desires of your heart. Have faith in God. Just don’t quit!
Some Reasons Why We Suffer
Let us turn our thought now to a related concept. Why do we have to suffer as we do?
It is because of our worldliness, the lusts and passions of our flesh and soul, and our stubborn self-will.
Each of us was sinful from the time he was conceived. Our heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked.
The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? (Jeremiah 17:9)
The fiery trials that come upon us are a judgment on the wickedness in our personality.
For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? (I Peter 4:17)
Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. (I Peter 4:12)
The reader may wonder why it is necessary for the sin in our life to be judged after we by faith have received the atonement made by the Lord Jesus. The reason is, the blood provides the authority for the forgiveness and removal of the sin in our personality. But the actual removal is performed by the Spirit of God with our cooperation; and suffering plays a role in this process.
The atoning blood of the Lord Jesus totally forgives our sins of the past, and our sins of the present and future if we are following the Holy Spirit each day.
The atoning blood of the Lord Jesus totally erases the record of our sins. They are cast behind God’s back when we turn away from them and resist the devil.
The atoning blood of the Lord Jesus protects us when judgment falls on the world.
The blood of the Lord Jesus nourishes our inner man as we choose to obey God and refuse the promptings of our flesh and soul.
The blood of the Lord Jesus authorizes us to put to death through the Holy Spirit the actions of our sinful nature.
The blood of the Lord Jesus makes it possible for the Lord Jesus to remove the residue of our sinful nature at His appearing, provided we have been faithful in putting to death the actions of our sinful nature as the Holy Spirit has directed us.
Even though our sins have been atoned for by the blood of the cross, it is necessary for God to bring us through fiery trials in order to get at the sin in our personality and to remove it.
Forgiveness of sins is one aspect of the atonement. The removal of the compulsion and presence of sin is a second aspect. We can be forgiven, but this is not the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God, the rule of God, comes into evidence when we no longer practice sin.
Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin. As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. (I Peter 4:1,2)
Our suffering is not an atonement for our sins. The perfect atonement for all mankind was wrought once and for all time on the cross of Calvary.
He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. (I John 2:2)
The purpose of our suffering is to provide us with a willingness to serve God, to confess and repent of our sins. When we are not suffering we are apt to continue in all sorts of sin and foolishness. But when we are brought into intense suffering we either will spend our time blaming people and God, or else we will humble ourselves and turn away from our sin.
Have you found this to be true?
As we stated, quoting from Jeremiah, “the heart is deceitful and desperately wicked.” Fierce, prolonged burnings are required if we are to be able to overcome the worldliness, lust, and self-will that reside so abundantly in our personality.
But after we have suffered for a period of time, God will restore us. This He promises and we can count on His faithfulness.
We must never lose faith in Christ and cease to follow Him.
All the saints of God of history have suffered under the hand of God. Yet God brought them through to victory.
Consider the Apostle Paul. After Paul was converted by the appearing of Christ, his entire life, it seems, was one problem after another. Paul went from one testing to another. It appears Paul had some sort of disease in his eyes in addition to his imprisonment.
Tradition tells us Paul was decapitated in Rome. It is not true that after a season of suffering Paul was allowed to spend the remainder of his days in comfort in Tarsus, surrounded by his relatives and their children.
But Paul’s letters to the churches, written during so much pain and perplexity, have had a tremendous impact on world history.
And can you imagine the reception Paul received when the axe severed his head from his body and his spirit was free to go home to be with Jesus?
The Bible tells us there is a period of time when the Lord is angry with us. After saving us He turns upon our personality and we suffer problem after problem; affliction after affliction.
In that day you will say: “I will praise you, O LORD. Although you were angry with me, your anger has turned away and you have comforted me. (Isaiah 12:1)
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for, that she has received from the LORD’s hand double for all her sins. (Isaiah 40:2)
“For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with deep compassion I will bring you back. In a surge of anger I hid my face from you for a moment, but with everlasting kindness I will have compassion on you,” says the LORD your Redeemer. (Isaiah 54:7,8)
Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. (Revelation 3:19)
Sometimes God permits Satan to put us in a prison of one sort or another. Will God ever cease dealing with us in this manner?
After this, Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth. He said: “May the day of my birth perish, and the night it was said, ‘A boy is born!’ That day—may it turn to darkness; may God above not care about it; may no light shine upon it. May darkness and deep shadow claim it once more; may a cloud settle over it; may blackness overwhelm its light. That night—may thick darkness seize it; may it not be included among the days of the year nor be entered in any of the months. (Job 3:1-6)
Have you been there? You may some day. If this occurs, remember the end of Job. Remember also that Job’s testimony has helped unnumbered multitudes of the faithful to stay true to God during their affliction.
Whom Jesus loves He rebukes and chastens.
Why is my pain perpetual, and my wound incurable, which refuseth to be healed? wilt thou be altogether unto me as a liar, and as waters that fail? (Jeremiah 15:18)
Have you been there?
Neither Job nor Jeremiah suffered because they were sinning but so they would be better witnesses of God.
The preachers in America on many occasions have left the believers with the impression Christ suffered so we do not have to suffer. Thus the believers in America tend to be soft spiritually. What are they going to do in the future when God begins to call the churches to account for not having informed the believers that they cannot be a Christian until they deny themselves, take up their cross, and follow the Lord Jesus?
What will these preachers and their followers do when the fire of judgment falls on our country and they are not “raptured”? They have not been prepared to stand in the evil day, in spite of the warning given by the Apostle Paul.
We may think the saints of the Old Testament were exposed to intense fiery trials but this never will be true of us. If such is the case, why does the “faith chapter” of the Book of Hebrews use the suffering saints of the Old Testament as the definition of “the just shall live by faith”? And how about the early Christians in the arena of Rome?
No, we have been deceived.
Some of us already have been through the fire and yet will pass through more fires. We have learned to keep our eyes on the Lord Jesus. We have found that the whole earth is full of His Glory, even when it appears Satan is prevailing.
The believers in America may be severely tested in the near future. When they are they will experience the blackness and oppression that accompany the actions of Satan. In order to stand in that hour they must look steadfastly toward the Lord Jesus, remembering that the whole earth is full of His Glory.
Another aspect of suffering and glory has to do with the weakening of our natural abilities so Christ may be magnified in our personality.
We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so his life may be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you. (II Corinthians 4:8-12)
To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. (II Corinthians 12:7)
Every Christian is called to be a witness of God. We differ in the gifts of the Spirit given to us, but we all have in common that we are to be witnesses of Christ.
But the witness is not in what we think we know about the Bible or about theology, or even about the way of salvation. The witness is what the Holy Spirit has created in us.
Evidently the Apostle Paul was energetic and eloquent. He knew Jesus Christ and He was prepared to tell others the way of salvation.
But the Lord wanted more than this. The Lord wanted to be the One to bear the true witness.
- Paul was hard pressed so every bit of enthusiasm in him would die.
- Paul was perplexed so he wouldn’t be able to figure out how to proceed with his ministry.
- Paul was persecuted so he would always be separate from the world.
- Paul was struck down so he would be helpless in the work of the ministry.
Does the above sound harsh and senseless? Is it what the Bible states?
- Jesus wanted Paul to minister at Jesus’ command, not through enthusiasm.
- Jesus wanted Paul to be perplexed so the wisdom of Jesus would prevail.
- Jesus wanted Paul persecuted so Paul would look to Jesus and not to the world.
- Jesus wanted Paul struck down so the wisdom and power of Jesus would shine forth.
Additional reasons for our suffering are as follows:
To learn obedience. If Christ has to learn obedience through suffering, how much more is this true of us?
Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered (Hebrews 5:8)
To be made perfect. All the sons of God are made perfect through suffering.
In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering. (Hebrews 2:10)
To be prepared to govern under Christ. Suffering destroys our self-will. If we are to govern under Christ we must be totally obedient to Him. There is to be no self-direction remaining in us.
If we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us; (II Timothy 2:12)
In order to receive the crown of life. This is the awesome power to govern by means of the incorruptible, indestructible power that raised Christ from the dead. Again, there must be no possibility of self-direction left in us.
Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.
So we may be counted worthy of the Kingdom. The concept of being worthy to inherit the Kingdom of God is absent from Christian teaching. But this idea appears several times in the New Testament.
All this is evidence that God’s judgment is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering. (II Thessalonians 1:5)
In order to save us. We are saved from sin as the fiery judgments of God come upon us. But this is a difficult process because our sinful nature resists the Spirit of God continually.
And, “If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?” (I Peter 4:18)
To bring us under discipline. Every true saint must be brought under the strict discipline of Christ. The Kingdom of God does not tolerate disobedient children.
Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. (Revelation 3:19)
So we may know the Lord. Job began as a righteous man. After he had suffered greatly he not only was righteous but in addition he had met God.
My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes. (Job 42:5,6)
To humble us. God is humble. So are little children. Adult pride is not acceptable in the Kingdom of God.
He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6:8)
To see if we will obey God in the future. The purpose of this present life is that God might determine how we are going to behave in the world to come. We are tested and taught continually.
Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. (Deuteronomy 8:2)
To find out if we fear God. Does God know our heart? Yes, after He tests us severely.
“Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.” (Genesis 22:12)
To attain the first resurrection from the dead. Christians are not always taught that the first resurrection, the resurrection that will take place when Christ returns, must be attained. This is the time when the royal priesthood receives glorified bodies and works alongside Jesus Christ in the work of establishing the Kingdom of God on the earth. The first resurrection must be developed internally before it can be applied externally. There may be no truth more needed in Christian preaching and teaching.
I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. (Philippians 3:10,11)
In order to gain a better resurrection. The saints of old times suffered greatly. Their goal was to obtain a resurrection to glory and honor.
Women received back their dead, raised to life again. Others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection. (Hebrews 11:35)
In order to fill up that which is lacking of Christ’s afflictions. From Paul’s words it appears that we who preach the Gospel must be willing to accept suffering in order to benefit the Church, the Body of Christ. It is certain that the Apostle Paul and numerous other preachers of the Gospel have endured every type of affliction that the Gospel of the Kingdom may be carried to the ends of the earth. And they did so with rejoicing.
Now I rejoice in what was suffered for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church. (Colossians 1:24)
To develop patience in us. Patience is the mark of perfection. It is developed in us as we experience repeated frustrations, pains, and perplexities.
Because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (James 1:3,4)
The Lord Jesus is the true and faithful Witness of God. That true and faithful Witness will come forth through us as we are brought down to nothing.
When we tell others that Christ has saved us or healed us, we are testifying about the testimony, about the witness. The testimony is the salvation itself. The testimony, the witness, is the healing itself. It is nothing we can do but the Divine Nature of God that brings eternal life to people.
We die, and then live; die, and then live; die, and then live. We are crucified with Christ, and yet we live. But it is not we who live but Christ who lives in us. Then we bear a true and faithful witness of the God of Heaven.
If we are to survive such pain and perplexity we must make every effort to keep our eyes on the Lord Jesus. His Throne is high and lifted up. His train fills the Temple. The powerful personages of Heaven cry, “Holy, holy, holy, the whole earth is full of His Glory.”
So while we are suffering affliction under the mighty hand of our God, we keep on looking up to the Divine Glory, to the Splendor of the Godhead. Then we understand the wicked never will prevail. Though they puff themselves up in their vanity their end is at hand.
How suddenly are they [the wicked] destroyed, completely swept away by terrors! As a dream when one awakes, so when you arise, O Lord, you will despise them as fantasies. When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you. Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. (Psalms 73:19-26)
No matter how dark the spiritual environment becomes, no matter how the wicked may boast themselves, no matter how bleak and hopeless the future appears, look up to the Lord Jesus. The whole earth is full of His glory. He laughs at the rebellious who attempt to cast off His constraints.
But the Word of the Lord is sure to those who fear and love Him. When darkness covers the earth, just remember that the sun is shining above the clouds. The Ruler of all is looking down to see who will love and serve Him even though He is invisible. When the saints have been tested and dealt with, if they remain faithful they one day will be lifted up to the meadows of Paradise where they may take their ease among the godly of all ages.
(“Full of His Glory”, 3124-1)