GRACE BIBLE CHURCH
Robert R. McLaughlin Bible Ministries
The Tree of Life is a weekly teaching summary.
The Tree of Life from the week ending 04/10/05
What it means to be initiated into the secret of the mystery. Part 11.
The mystery of the Shekinah glory in you.
In our study of the mystery doctrine of the Church-age we have come to the doctrine of the indwelling of Jesus Christ. Our main passage JOH 14:20 b states, "In that day you shall know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you."
COL 1:25 tells us how the indwelling of Christ relates to God's purpose for our life, Of this church I was made a minister according to the dispensation from God bestowed on me for your benefit, that I might fully carry out the preaching of the word of God, that is the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations; but has now been manifested to his saints, to whom [Church-age believers] God willed [and this is the sovereignty of God] to make known [or to reveal or manifest] the glorious riches [or the riches of the Shekinah glory] of this mystery among the Gentiles,
The Holy Spirit, at the moment of salvation, takes our body and makes it a temple for the indwelling of Jesus Christ as the guarantee of blessing in both time and eternity. With the Shekinah glory now living in us we are told to walk as Jesus walked, 1JO 2:6, the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked. This means: we are to love our enemies, Mat 5:44; forgive as Jesus forgave, COL 3:13; be kind towards those who hate us, Mat 5:44; be overcomers, more than conquerors, ROM 8:37; give thanks in all things, believing that all things, even those which shatter our hopes and dreams, are working together for our good, ROM 8:28; Eph 5:20; be anxious for nothing, PHI 4:6; rejoice in the Lord always PHI 4:4.
We are to think like PHI 4:8 says, From now on, members of the Royal family of God, whatever is true [doctrinal],whatever is honorable [noble or worthy of respect], whatever is just [fair or right], whatever is pure [of proper motivation], whatever personal loves exist, whatever is commendable, if there is any virtue [and there is for the mature believer says the first class condition] and if anything worthy of praise [and there is for the mature believer says the first class condition], be concentrating on these things.
You are to have a hope or confidence of glory, knowing that He will do all these things through you while you do whatPSA 46:10 says, Cease striving and know that He is God. There is a conflict between the Holy Spirit and the old sin nature for control of the soul, GAL 5:13, For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. God has called you to a life of freedom, but this freedom is not to be used as an excuse to do whatever you want to, that kind of attitude only destroys your freedom. Rather, use your freedom to serve one another in love, that's how freedom grows.
We don't have the ability to destroy the temple which God the Holy Spirit has built in our body. He built the temple, He maintains the temple. 1CO 6:15-16, Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take away the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? May it never be! Or do you not know that the one who joins himself to a harlot is one body with her? For He says, "The two will become one flesh." But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him.
An example of how we can damage our temple and destroy our fellowship with TLJC is the pursuit of sex outside of marriage. This distracts us from our commitment and intimacy with Him, and inevitably leaves us lonelier than ever. Many times when a woman gives in to the male sexually, out of the divine design, she is discarded and rejected by the male afterwards. In fact, this is a Biblical principle. Read about Absalom, Tamar, and Amnon in 2Sa 13 and see this principle in action.
1CO 6:18, Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?
In a sense, sexual sins are different from all others because in sexual sins, we violate the sacredness of our body, which is the Temple for the indwelling of TLJC. We must realize that our body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit and the indwelling of the Shekinah glory. Therefore, we are not to live however we please, wasting away what God purchased for such a high price. The physical part of us is a property belonging to the spiritual part of us (Rom 6:12-16). 1CO 6:20, For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body. We glorify God by having the Shekinah glory in us; being manifested and shining through us.
2CO 6:16 was a warning for the Corinthians to stop going to the heathen temples and fornicating with the temple prostitutes in the name of religion and grace, for they were destroying their temples. In COL 1:27 we have a description of the glorious riches of Christ, to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. The word for riches is the Greek noun ploutos which refers to wealth and abundance. The apostle Paul defines these riches in Eph 3:8, To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ.
In EPH 1:7 these riches have to do with understanding God's grace, In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace.
In EPH 1:18 these riches are related to escrow blessings, I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance [escrow blessings, the greatest blessings] in the saints.
Categories of escrow blessings for time include the following:
1) Spiritual Blessings resulting in a maximum awareness of life. This is when you can savor every moment of life, in adversity or prosperity. 2) Establishment prosperity which includes blessings of privacy and freedom. The enjoyment of both life and property; protection from crime, reprisal, violence, and vindictiveness. 3) War and national emergency prosperity includes the blessings of efficiency, success, promotion, and for some, leadership, whether soldier or civilian. 4) Professional prosperity is maximum success or efficiency in a profession. 5) Business prosperity. 6) Social prosperity where you have loving, faithful, reliable, and stable friends, and maximum enjoyment of your relationships with them. 7) Romantic prosperity which can mean a wonderful relationship with a member of the opposite sex where happiness replaces sinfulness. 8) Mental prosperity is the ability to concentrate. This is when you are organized, both in your thinking and in your life. You also have freedom from the mental sins of fear, worry, and anxiety. 9) Cultural prosperity is maximum capacity for good entertainment. 10) Health prosperity is given to some mature believers, and though violations of too many principles of health may cause bad health, you will have the ability to cope with it. 11) Leadership dynamics, though not for everyone, is the ability to take any assigned responsibility and do it efficiently and effectively. It is the ability to assume authority and responsibility without loss of virtue and integrity, and without tyranny.
COL 1:24-27, Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of His body, which is the church, in filling up that which is lacking in Christ's afflictions. Of this church I was made a minister according to the dispensation from God bestowed on me for your benefit, that I might fully carry out the preaching of the word of God, that is the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations; but has now been manifested to his saints, to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
This is a reference to the riches of the God of glory, which are incorruptible and indestructible. They are glorious riches; God's fantastic blessings for time and eternity. We not only have access to the most fantastic riches that have ever existed, but we also have the source of the riches within us. Jesus Christ indwells every believer as He indwelt the Old Testament Tabernacle, as a guarantee of security and prosperity and blessing. This hope of glory is the mature believer's confidence, that at the point of maturity he will receive his escrow blessings which will glorify God both in time and eternity. This word hope is used technically as the confidence or future expectation of the adult believer who recognizes that the indwelling of Jesus Christ as the Shekinah glory is the guarantee of escrow blessings.
The first major characteristic of spiritual maturity is occupation with Christ. Knowing that He indwells us gives us powerful motivation to advance through each stage of spiritual adulthood, along with the accompanying undeserved suffering. It all begins with us having the knowledge of His indwelling and the reasons for it. We have to have faith,ROM 10:17, So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. This faith will cause us to believe God's word and please God, which will result in being blessed by Him.
HEB 11:6 says, And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. So, you have to learn, perceive and believe it.
COL 2:1-2, For I want you to know how great a struggle I have on your behalf, and for those who are at Laodicea, and for all those who have not personally seen my face, that their hearts [right lobes] may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth [ploutos-riches] that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a [epignosis] knowledge of God's mystery, that is, Christ Himself.
As we crack the maturity barrier, the indwelling of Jesus Christ becomes a personal reality; motivation to continue our momentum. The reversionist does not know the effects of the indwelling of Christ.
Jesus Christ, as the escrow officer, is the One who conveys those escrow blessings to us in time when we reach spiritual maturity. He conveys those blessings to His own righteousness in us, which we share by positional sanctification. If we understand the doctrine of the indwelling of Christ, we will have the capacity to enjoy our logistical grace. So, this doctrine of the indwelling of Christ is vital for our security, motivation, and capacity. COL 1:27, to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. The word hope is the Greek noun elpis.
Hope is the correct interpretation if the Bible is understood. Elpis refers to absolute confidence regarding the future. A believer who understands the purpose of the Shekinah glory will have the confidence that when he stands at the judgment seat of Christ in a resurrection body he will receive greater blessings and rewards for the eternal state. This is the hope or the confidence of the mature believer.
We're beginning to study some very important reasons for the indwelling of Jesus Christ: 1) The prophecy of the indwelling of Christ in JOH 14:19-20. 2) The verification of that prophecy in the Lord's prayer for the church, JOH 17:22-26. 3) The indwelling of Christ relates to the mystery doctrine of the Church-age only, COL 1:25-29.
In LEV 26:11, there are two important verses. LEV 26:11-12, "Moreover, I will make My dwelling among you, and My soul will not reject you, [this is Jesus Christ as the God of Israel talking to Moses and to the people through Moses]. I will also walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people. This verse is quoted several times in the N.T. but always with a slight change. The location of our Lord's glory in the dispensation of Israel was in the tabernacle. Exo 25:21 lists the plans for the furniture in the holy of holies, "And you shall put the mercy seat on top of the ark, and in the ark you shall put the testimony which I shall give to you."
The mercy seat was a solid gold throne. The ark, which is a box made of acacia wood speaks of the humanity of Christ. It is overlaid with gold, which speaks of the deity of Christ. Therefore, the ark represents the hypostatic union and inside were three articles which were a testimony to man's sin: 1) The tables of the Law, the Ten commandments, which the Jews disobeyed. 2) Aaron's rod that budded, which was a testimony to all of the sins that come from rejecting authority. 3) A golden pot of manna, which represented logistical grace and the Jews' rejection of it.
There was a solid gold throne over the top of the ark and on each corner there was a cherub made out of gold. One cherub represents the righteousness of God and the other represents the justice of God; together, the two cherubs represent divine integrity. The high priest on the day of atonement, would bring in the blood of the animal sacrifice and sprinkle it over the top of the mercy seat. The righteousness of God the Father, symbolized by one cherub, would look at that sacrifice and be satisfied. The other cherub, which represented the justice of God the Father, looked down and also would be satisfied. This represents the doctrine of propitiation. Between the cherubs is the point where Jesus Christ as the Shekinah glory literally dwelt.
EXO 25:21-22, "And you shall put the mercy seat on top of the ark, and in the ark you shall put the testimony which I shall give to you. And there I will meet with you; and from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are upon the ark of the testimony, I will speak to you about all that I will give you in commandment for the sons of Israel."
The Shekinah or Christ indwelling the holy of holies was invisible to Israel because the Jews could not enter the holy of holies. They were to learn about Christ as the God of Israel from their doctrine. However, the word glory relates also to a Theophany, a visible manifestation of Jesus Christ as the God of Israel. The cloud is one of the most prominent of these visible manifestations which the people of Israel could see. EXO 40:34, Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. This is the visible manifestation of Jesus Christ.EXO 25:21-22 is the invisible Shekinah glory, and here we have His visible manifestation. Our body is indwelt by TLJC as Shekinah, but He's invisible. The glory or the outward manifestation of the Shekinah comes when a believer executes God's plan for his life. Though invisible, Jesus Christ motivates us when we become aware of His indwelling. When we come to love TLJC under the concept of occupation with the person of Christ, then something wonderful will begin to happen, the glory will become visible. EXO 40:34 uses the phrase kabodh adonai which we translate, the glory of the Lord. This glory was manifest under certain conditions in Israel and under greater conditions in the Church-age.
EXO 40:35, And Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud had settled on it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. This cloud is the visible part of the Shekinah glory. Church age believers have the indwelling of Shekinah today. The holy of holies at the present time is our body. One of the reasons that the Holy Spirit indwells us is to make our body a holy of holies. That's invisible, and the only way the glory will ever be visible in our life is for us to execute the PPOG. EXO 40:36-37, Whenever the cloud got up and moved, Moses would give the command to move out and they would follow the cloud. EXO 40:37, but if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not set out until the day when it was taken up.
They followed the directions of the Lord precisely. In your life, God says to you at certain times to move out or stand fast. The trouble with most Christians today, and the reason for many of the heartaches, difficulties and tragedies, is that they are moving out when they should be standing fast or they are standing fast when they should be moving out.
EXO 40:38, For throughout all their journeys, the cloud of the Lord was on the tabernacle by day, and there was fire in it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel.
In all of their travels they were guided by the cloud; the overt manifestation of the Lord. Everything depended upon the fact that Jesus Christ was living and dwelling between the cherubs. The invisible Shekinah was with them and they could be guided by the visible manifestation of God through the Theophany. In the day time it was the cloud, and in the night time it was the fire. They knew that everything was in the Lord's hands. They knew that they had security and blessing. We can do the same thing today by simply reminding ourselves of the indwelling of TLJC and all that He and God the Father did for us. We have the God of Israel, the King of kings and the Lord of Lords, the prince ruler of the church, TLJC, actually indwelling our body.
There is an important difference between two passages found in the word of God, LEV 26:11-12 and 2CO 6:16. They seem alike, but are not. Both of them deal with the indwelling of TLJC as the Shekinah glory. In LEV 26:11-12 we read, "Moreover, I will make My dwelling among you, and My soul will not reject you. I will also walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people." This quotation is found in the N.T. but with a great change. The word among changes to within. In 2CO 6:16 we read, Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, "I will dwell in [within] them and walk among them; And I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
Our objective in studying this particular doctrine is to verify the indwelling of Christ and to explain it's purpose as taught in the Scriptures. The Shekinah glory was related to different manifestations as found in the O.T. In EXO 33:9the pillar of cloud was related to the tent or the tabernacle. In EXO 33:10, the Shekinah glory was related to the worship of Israel. The Shekinah glory was in the tent and when the people realized the presence of the Shekinah glory it motivated them to worship. The Shekinah glory was also identified with the cloud Theophany in EXO 13:21-22 and Exo 16:10, as well as the fire Theophany in LEV 9:23-24.
This miracle of our Lord Jesus Christ dwelling in Israel was the greatest miracle in the O.T. It was the absolute uniqueness of Israel to have the indwelling of Jesus Christ manifested in Theophany. He also indwelt sacred buildings. This occurred only at that time; there are no sacred buildings any longer except your body. In 1KI 8:10-13the temple of Solomon is mentioned When the temple of Solomon was dedicated the glory of the Lord or "kabodh adonai" was also present. The only sacred buildings of the Old Testament were the tabernacle and two temples (Solomon's and Zerubbabel's). Never before in history was one nation protected in such a phenomenal way as Israel. The presence of the Shekinah glory was their security and their blessing. It was everything that was significant to them. How much more important and meaningful is the fact that the Shekinah glory is actually indwelling your body.
Christ is in you as your hope of glory. The indwelling of Christ is going to protect you from a trend to emphasize relationship with people over your relationship with God. Your relationship with God begins with you understanding your relationship with the person of Jesus Christ which is for the purpose of fellowship. Your relationship with God must take precedent over your relationship with people.