24 February 1957 at Taichung, Taiwan.
Reading: 2 Cor. 4:1-12.
From what our brother has
just said, it sounds as though he is doing me a great favour in
letting me talk... those people who know me best know that when I
really do get going the clock ought to be stopped, because it
does not matter how much time I have, I still go on!
Well now, if I am going to add a little word this evening, it
really does require all that I have said earlier today in order to
understand it, but I will try to give you just a little word
without going over all the ground I have just covered. I think
that the word which sums up all that the Apostle was saying to the
Corinthians in his second letter is this: "God has shined into our
hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in
the face of Jesus Christ". Into those words can be gathered
everything that the Apostle was trying to say. Those words were
really the heart and the sum of this message, "God has shined into
What is the result of God having shined into our hearts? The
Apostle said that it is to give the light of the knowledge of the
glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. Now, what does that
mean, "the knowledge of the glory of God"? If a writer uses one
word many times, you have a good idea of what he is talking about.
And in these two chapters (chapters 3 and 4), the Apostle referred
to one thing fourteen times, and that one thing to which he
referred so many times is "glory". You may like to read these two
chapters sometime and put a mark over the word "glory". You will
find out that the word fills the whole chapter. So we ask, what is
the glory of God? I will give you four illustrations from the
You remember that God gave to Moses on the Mount the pattern of
the tabernacle, and He said to Moses, "See that you make all
things according to the pattern shown here on the Mount". And
Moses made everything according to the pattern God gave him. With
all the details, God left nothing to Moses to think of how he
would do it, or would need to plan for it. God was very particular
in giving him every detail. And so Moses made it according to the
pattern and when the tabernacle was set up completely according to
God's pattern, then we are told that the glory of the Lord filled
the tabernacle. That is our first illustration.
Just keep that in mind and pass on to later in the Bible, to the
great desire in David's life to build a house for the Lord. And
the Lord gave him the pattern of the house in every detail. The
Lord showed David how the temple was to be made, then when the
temple was finished according to the pattern, the glory of the
Lord filled it.
Now, much later, Peter, James, and John are going up to a high
mountain and Jesus is being transformed before them. He suddenly
became glorious in His appearance; He became a glorified Man, and
the voice out of heaven said, "This is My beloved Son". That is
our third illustration.
Keep that in mind and pass on to the end of the Bible. In the last
two chapters of the Bible you have this: the angel of the Lord
carried John away to an exceeding great and high mountain and
showed him the Holy City, the New Jerusalem coming down from God
out of heaven, having the glory of God.
Now we have got four things: the tabernacle, the temple, the Lord
Jesus and the City, New Jerusalem and in every case the glory of
the Lord filled them. Why would the glory of the Lord fill them,
every one? Because they wholly and entirely answered to the mind
of God. God had said, "This is My mind, this is what I want, this
is the thing that will satisfy Me," and then when God had that
which wholly satisfied Him, He filled it with glory.
Now you see the meaning of these words, "God has shined into our
hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in
the face of Jesus Christ." This is glory in our hearts; God's
glory in our heart. Why? Because He is satisfied with us, because
His Son is in us and He is perfectly satisfied with Him. God's
glory is in His Son because His Son wholly satisfied Him. If the
Lord Jesus is in us, then God is satisfied with us and that is the
glory of God in our hearts, but we have got to understand that in
I said this afternoon that if we are occupied with ourselves,
there will be no glory. If we are occupied with other people,
there will be no glory. If we are occupied with this world, there
will be no glory. But when we look on the Lord Jesus and see that
God is perfectly satisfied with Him, and I make room for the Lord
Jesus in my heart, and I see that Jesus in my heart satisfies God,
then I at once come to rest, I come to joy, I come to peace. And
this joy, and this rest, and this peace, is the glory of God in my
heart. It is the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of
Here the "face of Jesus Christ" simply means Jesus Christ Himself.
You don't know who a person is until you look them in the face.
You may think you know who they are as they are walking away from
you, but to know surely that that is such and such a person, you
must see their face. The face is the person. Well, that is what it
means here. The face of Jesus Christ means the Person of Jesus
Christ and God's glory is in the Person of Jesus Christ. If His
Son is in us, then the glory of God is in us. We come to rest when
we behold Jesus as our satisfaction to God.
There can never be any joy in life until we know that God is
perfectly satisfied. Well, God is not satisfied with us, but there
is One with whom God is satisfied and God has given that
One to us and has said, "Look here, if you will accept My Son,
then I will be perfectly satisfied with you. I make My Son to be
what I want you to be." And when we realise what the Lord Jesus is
to us as the satisfaction of God, that is glory.
I wonder if you understand what I am trying to say. You see all
through the Bible, God is looking for that which will satisfy Him.
In the Old Testament it was a sacrifice without blemish; it was a
type of the Lord Jesus that had to be offered for God's
satisfaction, but God puts it into the hands of man to offer to
Him. So as man offered that sacrifice, that was just offering that
which satisfied God. When we lay our hand on the head of the Lord
Jesus and say, "He represents us" then God is satisfied and we
have peace and joy and rest in our hearts.
Well, if you have not understood what I have said, do think about
it. God has shined into our hearts to give the light of the
knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, and you
see that becomes the testimony; that it is that joy, and that
rest, and that peace that has got to be seen in us. So the Apostle
goes on to say, "See, we have this ministry." What is this
ministry? It is the shining out of what God has shined in.
It is the showing forth of the glory of the Lord Jesus. May we all
have that ministry.