Glory: An All-Governing Object and End of God (continued)
Glory is Progressive. Progressive in this sense, that it is an increasing matter. The Christian finds that from time to time he or she is taken into a deeper, deeper experience of trial, affliction, sorrow, something deeper and more difficult than anything before. And it is a time when there does not seem to be very much Glory. The Glory seems to be veiled. There is nothing necessarily wrong about that, dear friends. We will come to that again in a minute. That is the common experience, and that is recognized as being true to Christian experience. But, you see, God is the God of Glory. And we are called into His Eternal Glory. The deeper the trial, the greater the suffering, the greater the Glory presently. It is only to bring about the Glory in fuller measure. It is progressive like that. And, so, there seems to be no end to these going-down experiences, but equally there is no end to the coming-up experiences. If there seems to be no end to the dark experiences, be assured that there is no end to the light ones.
Sometimes I have been in the lift or elevator and tried to make a contact with the operator, and I have said like this, "Well, you know a great deal about the ups and downs in life don't you?" "Oh yes," he said. Of course, he said it with a grumble. But I say, "Make sure the last one is up and not down, won't you? And a questioning look comes onto his face. "What do you mean by that?" Well, you see, that is just what we do mean. And with the Lord's people, the last one is going to be up, and not down, simply because this is An All-Governing Object and End of God. Do you believe it, that the End is not going to be down, it is going to be up? The Lord is intending Glory: "Who called you unto His Eternal Glory" (1 Peter 5:10). And so what is initial, occasional, progressive, is final. The Bible reveals that to be so for the people of God. That is a statement of general truth, of truth in general.
Glory is Essential
Now if you look at your New Testament, you will find that Glory is a central and a governing factor in the foundation of this particular dispensation in a particular way. This dispensation, as you know, in a special way is built upon, as the Word says, "The foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the Chief Corner Stone" (Ephesians 2:20). The faith of believers for this dispensation is thereby declared to rest upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets. Of course, they are the New Testament apostles and prophets. The apostles, the prophets, and Jesus Himself being the Chief Corner Stone: that is the full foundation.
Now when you look to the foundation of the apostles and prophets upon which all faith in this dispensation rests, you find that it is the foundation of Glory. John, who was one of them, and not one of the lest of them said: "We beheld His Glory" (John 1:14). And you look at his Gospel, and you find that the word "Glory" has a very large place in the Gospel by John. It is Glory. And so John, long years afterward said, summing it all up, their apprehension of Christ, what Christ had meant to them, and it is in the plural "we", the apostles: "We beheld His Glory." And everything rests upon that.
(continued with # 4)