"The Heavens Do Rule"(continued)
So many honestly think that all that matters is that you should be saved, and if you are saved you are done forever and you can get on with saving others. It is important to be saved, but the Word of the Lord makes it quite clear that to be saved from hell, saved from sin, to be saved from judgment, is only the beginning of things and that you may have that and miss the very great purpose for which you were saved. So that out of twenty-seven books in the New Testament, twenty-one are given up to leading believers into the fullness of Christ. A striking fact. There is this little parabolic element in the truth that we have just noted about Paul seeing Christ on the Damascus Road, when he saw the Lord Jesus in glory; in that moment he lost his natural sight and was blind and they led him by the hand into the City.
Beloved, that is a very good thing. Probably, it meant much infirmity to Paul for the rest of his life; we have traces that eye trouble followed him right through. But, spiritually, that is a very good thing; that we should get such a vision of the Lord Jesus in glory as to lose our natural sight. To have no eyes from that moment onward for anything but Him. To lose our eyes for things of the world, of the earth, for all that is less than Himself, and that you should gain spiritual vision which far transcends all the vision of the natural man, and those who have had a little bit of the revelation of the Christ glorified know how true this is, that they have no taste for anything else, that He fills their vision, and it is true that "things of earth have grown strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace." We need to get the object fixed then, immediately: Christ in glory, and Christ in glory as the pattern man according to God's heart.
That brings in another factor that while He is there as Very God in the Godhead, and having all the fullness of the Godhead dwelling in Him in bodily form, and while He occupies that place with the Name of Jehovah upon Him, it is equally true that He is there as man, He is the first born of many brethren. God has taken a man into the glory, and He is there consummated in the very person of the Lord Jesus man according to His own heart. We see what was God's thought before ever man was created, and before the world was; when He contemplated bringing man into being He had a thought, a conception, a mind for that Being and that mind is revealed in the Lord Jesus when you see Him in the glory. That is man according to the original thought and intention of God, and the Lord Jesus is there as the pattern man according to God's heart; and unto that pattern God is working in and with all those who have come into His Hands for His pattern. It is a tremendous thing, and were the Scripture not here to prove it, it is far too big a thing for a man to dare say: Here it is "whom He foreknew, them He foreordained to be conformed to the image of His Son." That is a positive statement; and then literally "we shall be like Him for we shall see Him" - not as He was but - "as He is." Not conformity to Jesus of Nazareth as on earth, it is conformity to Jesus in the glory glorified with the Father, as He is. God has glorified Jesus Christ and we are called into His eternal glory. What a prospect! And we who do groan in these bodies, and who know the burden of their weakness and infirmity, and who know so much of the awful havoc that sin and the curse has brought into the physical life of the creation, what a prospect for us when we read Philippians 3:21: "Who shall change, or fashion anew, the body of our humiliation that it might be conformed unto the body of His glory," not the body of His humiliation, the body of His glory - something to dwell upon with joyful anticipation if you know anything about groaning in the body. The body is only a part of this great work. God begins inside now and is going to finish outside later on. Blessed be His Name! In getting down to this thing more closely, we have to see that the Lord Jesus in His history from the Jordan to the Glory is the history of every believer. The Jordan for Him, His life here on earth, His death and burial and resurrection, His being received up into Glory and being anointed with the Holy Spirit, has a counterpart in the history of every child of God on one side.
(continued with # 3)