Posts Tagged ‘Ps 8:5’

Clothed in Glory

It’s interesting to me that all of the creatures God made had coverings… except man. Animals had fur, birds had feathers and fish had scales or shells. But man did not have any outer covering, as he didn’t need it before the fall. Why? Because God clothed man in His Glory.

“You made him (man) a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him (or clothed him) with glory and honor.” (Ps 8:5)

God’s Original Intent:

The atmosphere of the Garden of Eden was permeated with the same splendor as heaven. There was no sin in the beginning and man walked with God everyday in a peace filled relationship in the “cool of the day”. This means they walked together in a spiritual dimension where they shared a oneness that was maintained by God’s Glory (a covering) and God’s Honor (atmosphere).

The Garden of Eden was Heaven on Earth:

The original Hebrew word for “crowned” means “to encircle”, “to surround’. In other words, Adam and his wife were surrounded by God’s Glory and Honor. They had been clothed with the Glory of God and didn’t need natural clothing and they were living in an atmosphere of perfect relationship and did not need natural knowledge. God was giving man a wonderful environment to rule, where God would truly be their provision and protection if this stewardship could be maintained.

Losing the Glory:

However, once they had been deceived by the serpent and sinned, they were no longer able to focus on spiritual reality as the Glory that once clothed them, seemed to lift. They found themselves naked. Notice that they immediately respond to their new condition by becoming afraid. They made coverings for themselves and hid from God. This is an interesting response since Adam and his wife felt no shame of being naked before they sinned (Gen 2:25).

“Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.” (Gen 3:7)

Why would they even consider making coverings for themselves? Weren’t they the only human beings in the Garden of Eden? Weren’t they surrounded by only animals, birds and fish?

Hearing God’s Voice:

The reason is given when Adam is answering God’s call “He answered, I heard You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid” (Gen 3:10). Adam and Eve were afraid, because they were naked before God. I understand being ashamed, but why would they be afraid? They were afraid, because they were naked and had lost their original God given Glory. Now they found themselves controlled by a deception, a satanic lie that they needed natural covering and natural knowledge to sustain their lives. This came as a fulfillment to what God said to them earlier, “…you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die” (Gen 2:17). The moment they were no longer in God’s Glory, they died spiritually and inner peace was replaced with fear.

Spiritual Death:

We are able to see a powerful expression of God’s Fathering love in the moments following the broken relationship. God, seemingly unaware of man’s location, calls out to man and asks him of his connection to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God says, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree I commanded you that you should not eat?” (Gen 3:11)

Spiritual Life:

Then God makes the first sacrifice, in order to clothe them properly.  ”The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them” (Gen 3:21). God would spill the blood of a lamb; one of His created beings, to provide a garment suitable to cover human shame. This would serve as humanity’s first revelation that spiritual life is in the Blood.

The Apostle Paul said it this way, “for all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God” (Rom 3:23)

Our spiritual death has its connection to sin by the loss of our covering (God’s Glory) and our relationship (God’s Honor) based on His Presence (Holy Spirit atmosphere). Yet the Apostle Paul goes on to tell us of the reality of God’s grace… God’s favorable actions toward us who trust in Christ Jesus. He  tells us that God has restored access to His Glory and Honor in the free gift of salvation. Access to all that was lost could be restored through the Blood of Jesus. 

“We have been freely justified through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Rom 3:24).

The Gospel of Restored Glory:

This good news cannot be overstated, because it is not accomplished by anything man can do (Rom 3:20)(2 Cor 5:21). God proved His love by sending Jesus to die for us, in our place and for the spiritual relationship to be restored that once was established in the Garden of Eden. The Bible says that when anyone turns to God in faith, a veil is lifted from their hearts and they are enabled to behold the Glory of God in the very face of Jesus Christ (2 Cor 3:16-4:6). As believers who continue to look into that Glory a transformation takes place, whereby we are being changed into the same image (God’s original intent) from glory to glory by the Spirit of the Lord (2 Cor 3:18).

Jesus Said – Be Clothed In Glory: Power from On High!

“And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city (Jerusalem) until you are clothed with power from on high.” (Lk 24:49)

Where Fear Began

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (2 Tim. 1:7)

The first thing we learn from this verse is that fear is a spirit… an atmosphere that is personified. This means a being with a spirit is occupying some space in our thoughts and imagination that is not from God. In other words, its a demonic stronghold… a house of thoughts ruled by a demonic spirit. We understand that this spirit is not from God, because of two realities. First, has to do with what God has given every believer… “power, love and soundness of mind, or peace. These are the greatest platforms to build a spiritual identity! Now the second reality is that what God gives has authority or dominion over fear… power dissolves fear, love casts out fear and soundness of mind breaks the power of fear. Well… that means there is just no place for the devil to hide in the believer’s identity, unless that believer allows squatters. The true believer can be clothed in the Glory of God!

Let Me Explain:

It’s interesting to me that all of the creatures God made had coverings… except man. Animals had fur, birds had feathers and fish had scales or shells. But man did not have any outer covering… as he didn’t need it before the fall. Why? Because God clothed man in His Glory.

“You made him (man) a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him (or clothed him) with glory and honor.” (Ps 8:5)

God’s Original Intent:

The atmosphere of the Garden of Eden was permeated with the same splendor as heaven… a fearless place full of worship and love. There was no sin in the beginning and man walked with God everyday in a peace filled relationship in the “cool of the day”. Even the term “cool of the day” is ruach in the Hebrew language and means spirit or glory. This means they walked together daily in a spiritual dimension where they shared a oneness that was maintained by God’s Glory (a heavenly covering) and God’s Honor (heaven’s atmosphere).

The Garden of Eden was Heaven on Earth:

The original Hebrew word for “crowned” means “to encircle”, “to surround’. In other words, Adam and his wife were surrounded by God’s Glory and Honor. They had been clothed with the Glory of God and didn’t need natural clothing. They were living in an atmosphere of perfect relationship and did not need natural knowledge. God was giving man a wonderful environment to rule, where God would truly be their provision and protection if this stewardship could be maintained.

Losing the Glory:

However, once they had been deceived by the serpent and sinned, they were no longer able to focus on spiritual reality as the Glory that once clothed them, seemed to lift. They found themselves naked. Notice that they immediately respond to their new condition by becoming afraid. They made coverings for themselves and hid from God. This is an interesting response since Adam and his wife felt no shame of being naked before they sinned (Gen 2:25).

“Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.” (Gen 3:7)

Why would they even consider making coverings for themselves? Weren’t they the only human beings in the Garden of Eden? Weren’t they surrounded by only animals, birds and fish? Yet an opening of their eyes also left an opening of the door to a spirit of fear.

Hearing God’s Voice:

The reason is given when Adam is answering God’s call “He answered, I heard You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid” (Gen 3:10). Adam and Eve were afraid, because they were naked before God. I understand being ashamed, but why would they be afraid? They were afraid, because they were naked and had lost their original God given Glory. Now they found themselves controlled by a deception, a satanic lie that they needed natural covering and natural knowledge to sustain their lives. This came as a fulfillment to what God said to them earlier, “…you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die” (Gen 2:17). The moment they were no longer in God’s Glory, they died spiritually and inner peace was replaced with fear and torment.

But – God has Restored the Glory!

“For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the Glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2 Cor 4:6) NO MORE FEAR!

“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us (or restore to us) all things?” (Rom. 8:31-32) HE HAS DELIVERED US!

“Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us.” (1 Jn. 4:17-19) LOVE HAS CONQUERED FEAR!

Evidence of Glory

What transpires as humanity moves toward the culmination of all things… is it disaster or restoration?

Scripture reveals that the Kingdom of God will come in all of its fullness… that the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Glory of the LORD and culminate in a great awareness of His Presence and Preeminence. Our God shall come enthroned saying, “Behold the tabernacle of God is with men, and He shall dwell with them and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”

And He who sits on the throne will say, “Behold, I will make all things new.” (Rev. 21:3-5)

The Bible reminds us that the great tragedy in the Garden of Eden was not just sin, but separation and the fact that man had “fallen short of the Glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). Although many, professing to be wise; have “exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made like corruptible man – and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things” (Rom. 1:22-23)… this tragic estrangement was never God’s intent. His delight is with man, sharing fellowship in the brilliance of His Glory (Gen. 3:8)(Ps. 8:5).

Man was created for experiences in God’s Glory (Isa. 43:7). The Children of Israel saw the Glory of God in the cloud (Ex. 16:10), and on the mountain (Ex. 24:17). The same Glory that shaped the hearts of Moses, David and Solomon; was seen filling the tabernacle (Ex. 33:7-11 & 40:34-35) (2 Sam. 6:2) (2 Chr. 5:13-14). Both Isaiah and Ezekiel saw visions of God’s Glory. From the earliest of days until now, the knowledge of God’s Glory has been a topic of prophetic importance (Hab. 2:14). The Hebrew prophets envisioned a day when God’s Glory would increase; impacting the nations and transforming the fabric of cultures and governments. For example, Isaiah prophesied the following decree of the Lord, “I will gather all nations and peoples together, and they will see My Glory” (Isa. 66:18). Ezekiel proclaimed, “The Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court, and behold, the Glory of the LORD filled the temple” (Ezek. 43:5). Each of these Old Testament people insisted that the same Glory they had experienced, would be manifest on the earth.

Just listen to these words: “The Glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.” (Isa. 40:5)

Overlooked by many, this reality began to emerge during the time of the New Testament. Jesus came as the Glory of the Father (Jn. 1:14), announcing the coming of the Kingdom of God (Mt. 4:17). Through the person and work of Jesus, a great shift took place. Strongholds of darkness were torn down. God’s Presence was increasingly experienced on a level that rivaled ancient encounters in the Garden. Reflecting on this wondrous reality, the Apostle Paul boldly declared: “We all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s Glory, are being transformed into His image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit” (2 Cor. 3:18).

It appears that many are looking for more… driven by concerns about darkness and fear. They’re not cognizant of the ever-increasing glory. They’re blind to the fact that they’re actually living in the age that the prophets longed for. Everybody keeps asking when we’re going to experience God’s Glory? Not realizing that the day of the Lord’s Presence has already begun. Jesus said, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe, you would see the Glory of God?” Therefore if we, who believe; would only open up our hearts, we would finally discover the desire of the ages.

Just look into the eyes of Jesus… and there you will find the knowledge of the Glory of God (2 Cor. 4:6).

An Apostolic Company

“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His Kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.” (Isaiah 9:6-7)

It is vital that God’s Kingdom Government gets established in the Earth today. That which was laid upon the shoulders of the Son of God must find its expression in the Children of God under Christ’s authority. The Church is a living organism, with a government established and advanced by the activity of God’s “brooding” Holy Spirit. When an Apostolic Company of believers; like Christ’s disciples, wait upon the Holy Spirit in an upper room, something amazing gets birthed in the natural… a dwelling place for God! The Church finds its birth and government in the Spirit and gets established upon a people who are willing to let God lay foundations. The history of the Bible continues to declare this one truth, wherever He is welcome, God will have a habitation among us in the spiritual realm (Eph. 2:22).

Jesus testified of the impact on the “gates of hell” when His Church finds its footing and its identity (Mt. 16:18).

The Called Out Ones:

This is the “ecclesia” (the called out ones) that God is after and will use in these last days, both spiritually and prophetically. It is the priority of Christ to establish the Church on this rock of revelation – “Christ, the Son of the Living God”. We are His offspring, the living stones huned from the original Rock and Chief Cornerstone (1 Pet. 2:4-5).

Foundation Stones:

We must begin by embracing the pattern God gives for establishing spiritual foundations. He has given gifts to the Church by “grace” (Eph. 4:7) and imparted a release of favor to chosen individuals. These divinely chosen roles or ”mantles” are identified by the Apostle Paul as the 5-fold ministry. The first mantles, in rank and order that are called to this duty are the apostle and prophet. God’s goal is to establish His government upon an Apostolic Company. This “company” simply represents a group of people, of any size that recognize the spiritual impact of their willing yieldedness to God’s divine order. An Apostolic Company is a network of individuals, who allow the free flow of God’s governing to rest upon them. They must be full of the Holy Spirit and graced by God to set the platform for the Kingdom of Heaven to rule among them.

Ordering the Living Stones:

God orders His Living Stones in line with His grace given to men (Eph. 2:19-22). This might seem unusual and difficult at first; but as a team begins to let God’s voice emerge, it will come. He will lead by His Holy Spirit. Living Stones are set into the foundation as we listen to the spirit of revelation flowing forth. It is important to remind ourselves that the anointing Jesus carried emerged out of a work of the Holy Spirit and released the authority to do the miraculous things we see Jesus doing (Lk. 4:19). Signs and wonders were not the achievements of man, but the evidence of God’s anointing (Acts 10:38). Jesus was the ”Messiah”, the “Christ” or “Anointed One”… and the “Christian” is to become “little anointed ones”, because of the government of Heaven in their midst.

Wait On God:

We must not become concerned if it is a little difficult at first to see the Apostolic Company emerge. God is working and He will do it! These times must be part of an overall waiting process and discovery of the Glory of God manifesting itself among a people. Seeking His purpose in our midst and allowing Him to inhabit our praise and worship times, will release an atmosphere of divine order. Pray and even fast for this emerging atmosphere. These are the most important moments in the birthing of God’s spiritual government. Yet its reward will be in the revelation of His heart and vision among the company.

New Testament Paradigm:

When the 120 believers in the upper room experienced the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, there was such a massive wave of God’s power that hit the Earth that the little company of followers were transformed into revolutionaries. The region was infiltrated, shaken and completely turned upside down by the Holy Spirit. This event represents the first apostolic revolution and at the end of the day 3,000 souls were saved and a New Church was birthed that looked nothing like the religion of the day. A unity of Spirit and community of faith were now shaping the future of how the world would see God (Acts 2:40-47). The Church would be supernatural and authentic, yet committed to one another and the teaching of the Apostles.

An Apostolic People:

An Apostolic People are a sent people and a sending people, knit from the same fabric as their Leader - Jesus. “As the Father has sent (apostello) Me into the world, I also have sent (apostello) them into the world” (Jn 17:18). Today, as in the days following Pentecost, there is an outpouring of the Holy Spirit that is making its way across the nations and reviving the apostolic mandate. The echo is felt in the heart of every apostle,  “therefore go and make disciples of all the nations” (Mt 28:19).

Vision & Unity:

It is very important to know that the vision is not primarily ”church building”, but Kingdom Advancement. Its more about the Glory of God, than the institution of man. Jesus will build His Church, but Apostolic Companies are driven by the call to disciple nations (Mt. 28:18-20). People are very tired of the competition that comes from our church growth activities. God wants to pull down religious perceptions and misguided agendas that work contrary to unity in the company.

Focus On the Glory of God!

Take ownership of the atmosphere of congregational gatherings and leadership meetings in an effort to release the power and purpose of God, as exibited in Psalm 133:1-3. Notice: Ps. 133:3 says – “There the Lord commanded the Blessing!” That is what you are after!!! Its the anointing oil that flowed as a Priestly Company is established in the Holy Spirit. Now you will get accostomed to the heaviness of God’s Glory… it is supposed to be this way. It is the atmosphere of God walking in the “cool” of the day with Adam. The word for “Cool” is Ruach, which means “Spirit” and is the expression of the Glory that was present in the Garden of Eden. Adam was naked and was not ashamed, because he was clothed in the Glory of God at Creation (Ps. 8:5). The word for crowned here is the same word for clothed. It is also noted as the goal in Colossians 1:27 – “Christ in you the hope of Glory”. Recognize that walking in the Glory will establish the training in righteousness and the authority of the Apostolic Company.

We are moving from Glory to Glory as by the Spirit of the Lord (2 Cor 3:18). God will do it!

A Holy Partnership

“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Heb. 4:16)

Have you ever experienced a need for breakthrough? The kind where you have done all you know to do, cried out for revelation and yet continued to face a wall of opposition? I have! I’ve seen situations that have lingered for years, though I had purposed to walk in complete obedience, sought God, and even received prophetic words promising the breakthrough… yet still nothing! The Holy Spirit dropped a key in my heart one day that helped me unpack a mystery, I heard Him whisper in my inner ear… “Mercy is at the heart of breakthrough!”

As I began to study mercy a wonderful partnership began to emerge… the partnership between mercy and providence. To understand breakthrough I needed to see how mercy is tied to providence. In essence God was showing me that providence is the “Throne of Grace”. Its the place where God’s plans become our reality. That’s why the author of the book of Hebrews says, “Come Boldly!”. When we realize there is access to grace ( favor with the King), we must begin to figure out how it works… and then we must run to Him in the time of need.

Explaining Providence: 4 Defining Truths

  1. Its God’s Knowledge in Advance. God exists outside of time, knowing the end before the beginning. Jesus was the Lamb slain before the foundations of the world (Rev. 12:8) and we were chosen in Him before that foundation was established (Eph. 1:4). Our God, knows the battles, roadblocks, and stumbling stones that we will face as we walk out our destiny. He has already prepared victories and breakthroughs for us. His plan is for good, to prosper us and give us a future and a hope… peace (Jer. 29:11).
  2. The Active Governing of God. Governing is the authority to control or manage a people or nation, in order to rule in their midst. Mercy deals directly with our position in Christ. His rule and reign in our lives is literally based upon the reality that we do not get what we deserve. Scripture tells us how Jesus carries out His Lordship by governing our lives through peace (Isa. 9:7). When we cry out for mercy, we are crying out for His rule and reign in our lives. The world system, the strategies of the enemy, the circumstances of life must not be allowed to rule over us. Problems will come, but God has already met the need when we arrive. When providence and mercy, God’s governing authority is allowed to grow in us, there will be peace and Kingdom breakthrough!
  3. It is God’s Protective Covering (Glory). Its the Glory of God that was originally design to crown or clothe man at creation in the Garden of Eden (Ps. 8:5). When we cry out for mercy it pulls us under God’s protection in our lives (Ps. 91:1-2), because it pulls us into fellowship, “walking in the cool of the day with the Father” (Gen. 3:8). Rather than hiding ourselves, we are relying upon His care for us and expressing our trust in Him. We may never know what God is doing in the midst of our struggle and there may be times of stretching our faith, but we must press into God. Fear and unbelief only alienate us from God’s Presence and distance us from seeing God’s plan for good (Rom. 8:28).
  4. The Love and Care of Our Heavenly Father. Fathers exercise a balance of honor and provision. They walk in authority only to the degree that their sons and daughters honor their leadership and delight in their wisdom. Just think about the Prodigal Son (Lk 15:11-14), who stepped away from his father’s providence and could not gain access to mercy. I like to remind myself that authority is established through intimacy… that my success is hinged to the tree of life, not the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Elijah’s Example:

Mercy reveals God’s care, but providence establishes our needed resources… long before we even feel our need. A good example of this is when God told Elijah that He would feed him at the Brook Cherith. Elijah would have to go to where the provision was, in order to receive it! When the Brook dried up, so did the provision, which meant Elijah would need to seek God for more mercy and providence… a fresh word of breakthrough (1 Kings 17:2-8). Whatever we need to accomplish in our lives has already been established in God’s providence, because of God’s mercy!

The Apostle Paul said it this way, “and my God shall supply all of your need according to His riches in Glory in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19).

God is Able:

I look back now and see that when I have cried out for mercy, for needed finances or help of any kind, that mercy and providence worked together for the promised breakthrough. I knew something about God; I know, He is faithful and just, He loves and cares for me, and He knows how to “take care” of that which concerns me. This is why I run to the Throne of Grace… to obtain mercy – to hold it as an abiding reality for breakthrough! You see I know that beyond any of my own efforts, God is able to do the extraordinary, the impossible and that which is exceedingly abundantly beyond all that I can ask or imagine. But I am also discovering that it is based upon the power that works in me (Eph. 3:20). This revelation is so powerful!

“Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground, for its time to seek the Lord, till He comes and rains righteousness on you.” (Hosea 10:12)

We see that we have our part, -the possible, to sow in righteousness, to break up the fallow ground and to seek the Lord. But mercy is God’s part of the equation, its what causes us to reap -the impossible! I can plant a seed, water it, but only God can bring the increase (1 Cor. 3:7). We know that it is not by our power or might, but it is by God’s Spirit… that we experience our breakthroughs (Zech. 4:6). So we will contend at the Throne of Grace with a boldness that proves we trust God’s providence and desire to obtain mercy to help in our time of need.

“…So that in all things at all times, having all you need, you will abound in every good work.” (2 Cor 9:8)

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