It happens all the time. People get born again and baptized in the Holy Spirit. Then they go back to living what the world might call a “normal” life. They have no idea of the magnitude of what’s happened to them.
About all they know is they can speak in tongues (which they’re sure is wonderful, even if they’re not certain what good it does) and they now qualify as Pentecostals or charismatics. But since that doesn’t seem to make much difference except on Sundays when they go to church, the rest of the week they don’t think much about it. They walk around from day to day carrying within them a power so mighty, so devastating to the works of darkness, it totally terrifies the devil-and they’re doing almost nothing with it.
To one degree or another, that’s true about almost all of us. Even if we know a little more about the Baptism in the Holy Spirit than the average believer, even if we’re operating in a measure of His power, we’ve barely scratched the surface of what He can do. We need a far greater understanding of what the Bible actually means when it says: “Ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate…” (2 Corinthians 6:16-17).
“Oh, Brother Copeland,” you might say, “I know what that passage means.”
Maybe so. But I can guarantee, there are some things in the Scriptures that would shock you if you really got a revelation of them.
Take what the prophet Ezekiel said, for instance. He got a firsthand look at the God who dwells in us and described Him as having “the likeness as the appearance of a man…as the colour of amber, as the appearance of fire round about within it, from the appearance of his loins even upward, and from the appearance of his loins even downward…as it were the appearance of fire, and it had brightness round about” (Ezekiel 1:26-27).
Talk about a stunning revelation! Ezekiel saw God as a “Man on Fire!” That’s not the only time he saw Him that way, either. In Ezekiel 8, he said it again, “The hand of the Lord God fell…upon me. Then I beheld, and lo a likeness as the appearance of fire: from the appearance of his loins even downward, fire; and from his loins even upward, as the appearance of brightness, as the colour of amber. And he put forth the form of an hand…” (Ezekiel 8:1-3).
Just envision this for a moment. Ezekiel is seeing what looks like a Man ablaze from head to foot-a Man who glows like the hottest embers of a hardwood fire. A Man who’s a veritable furnace of power.
“This,” Ezekiel said, “was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord” (Ezekiel 1:28).
The nation of Israel saw the same thing when God came down to meet them on Mount Sinai. Exodus 24:17 says, “The sight of the glory of the Lord was like devouring fire on the top of the mount.”
To the Israelites, as to Ezekiel, God’s glory looked like fire and flames. That might sound to us like something scary or bad, but the truth is just the opposite. God’s glory is His goodness. There’s nothing bad in Him. His goodness is so absolute that when it comes in contact with anything bad, it wipes it out.
That’s why, when Moses asked to see God’s glory up close and unfiltered, God responded by saying, “I will make all my goodness pass before thee…. And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by…and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen” (Exodus 33:19, 22-23).
Under the Old Covenant, sin hadn’t been washed away by the blood of Jesus, so direct contact with God’s glory would have burned Moses up. His sin-contaminated human nature couldn’t have handled it. All he could stand was a glimpse.
Like Moses, the prophet Habakkuk got a glimpse of that fiery glory, too. He described it as like the sun, blazing in the sky: “His brightness was as the light; he had horns [or shafts] coming out of his hand: and there was the hiding of his power” (Habakkuk 3:4). The Message translation says, “His cloud-brightness like dawn, exploding, spreading, forked-lightning shooting from his hand-what power hidden in that fist!”
Whoa! Can’t you just see Him-this God in the form of a Man, radiating like the sun with lightning flashing out of His hands in all directions? Imagine what a good film producer could do with that!
“Yeah, Brother Copeland, it would make an exciting movie all right, but it’s all Old Testament. What does it have to do with us as New Testament believers?”
It has everything to do with us!
Romans 6:4 says that Jesus “was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father.” That means the same lightning-like, man-shaped furnace of power that Ezekiel, the Israelites and Habakkuk saw, came on the scene after the Crucifixion. It’s what split the curtain in the Temple from the top to the bottom when Jesus died. It’s what flashed into the pit of hell, raised Him up, and stripped Satan and his demonic hosts of their dominion.
They couldn’t believe it was happening! No one had ever gotten out of hell before. Satan had that place locked up. But when the Man of Glory came storming in there with lightning flashing from His fists, the devil knew he was in trouble. He knew that Man on fire from the loins up and the loins down was going to give him a whipping from which he could never, ever recover.
No wonder the Bible says that if Satan and his bunch had known what was going to happen, “they would not have crucified the Lord of glory” (1 Corinthians 2:8)!
Satan’s Worst Nightmare
Actually, the thrashing Satan got in hell was just the beginning. Things got even worse for him on the Day of Pentecost when 120 believers were praying in the upper room in Jerusalem: “Suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2:2-4).
That was the devil’s greatest nightmare! Those believers got baptized-totally immersed-in the Spirit of Glory. The flaming God who appeared to Habakkuk, that column of fire that came down on Mount Sinai, came into that room, divided Himself and sat down on those believers.
But instead of being destroyed, because of their reborn nature, they absorbed Him-fire and all! They even began to speak His language! They didn’t just go back to living normal lives after it happened, either. They emerged from that place as separate from the rest of the world as light from darkness. They went out and started turning the world upside down for Jesus. They preached the gospel, worked miracles, signs and wonders, and The LORD added to the Church daily those who were being saved.
“But that was the early Church!” you might say. “Things were different back then.”
No, they weren’t! Those first believers received the same Spirit you and I did when we got saved and baptized with the Holy Ghost. We are carriers of God’s glory just as surely as they were!
That’s why Romans 6:4 says to us, “As Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” We’ve been born again by and baptized with the very same glory that resurrected Jesus. As Ephesians 5:8 says, “You were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light” (New King James Version).
What light? The light of the glory of The LORD!
Just before Jesus went to the cross, He explained it to the disciples this way: “I am in the Father, and the Father in me…the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him” (John 14:10, 12, 23).
Can you see what Jesus was telling us?
He was saying that the same Father of glory who lived in Him and did supernatural works on earth would, after the Crucifixion and Resurrection, dwell in and do supernatural works through us who believe. Once-ordinary people like you and me would become mobile temples filled with the lightning-like, white-hot, fiery-furnace power of Almighty God. We’d do the works of Jesus and even greater; we’d lay hands on the sick and they would recover because shafts of divine power would be made available through our hands!
Keep Going in the Glory and Be the Light
This is what Habakkuk meant when he said, “The earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord” (Habakkuk 2:14). He wasn’t talking about a cloud coming down from heaven. He wasn’t saying fire would come down out of the sky like it did on Mount Sinai. Habakkuk was prophesying about the Church.
The fire of God’s glory coming out of us is what’s going to fill the earth!
It’s not just going to happen after the great resurrection when we get our glorified bodies, either. We can show forth God’s glory right here and now, so the lost can witness it and be swept into God’s kingdom by the millions.
“Well, if that’s supposed to happen, why aren’t we seeing more of it?”
Because we haven’t taken hold of the revelation of it. We haven’t made enough of this glory that indwells us. The more we make of it, the more it will manifest and work in our lives.
We must become more God-inside minded! We need to develop our awareness of the fact that God is living in us all the time. Instead of being sin-conscious, we ought to be making much of our righteousness in Him. We should be continually reminding ourselves, I’ve been made the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. In God’s eyes, I’m right with Him. I walk in His rightness. I can fellowship with Him all day long, all the time.
“But Brother Copeland, what if I miss it and sin?”
Then repent. God has already provided forgiveness for you. Just receive it, spit the sin out of your life and keep going in the glory.
While you’re at it, try reading the Bible with a new perspective. Rather than searching it all the time for what Jesus can do for you, start focusing on what He can do through you. Put yourself in Jesus’ place when you read Gospel accounts like the one about the sick woman who got healed by touching the hem of Jesus’ garment. Begin to realize the same power that flowed from Him will flow out of you if you’ll esteem that power with great honor and expect it to manifest.
I’ve seen it happen many times-in my own life and in the lives of others. It happened to Jerry Savelle one time when he was at the mall, shopping with his wife. He was just following her through a store, walking up and down the aisles, when a woman he didn’t know ran up to him and cried, “Pray for me! Pray for me! I need help!”
Brother Jerry ministered to her. The power of God flowed and the woman received what she needed. Before she went on her way, Jerry asked her how she’d known he was the one who should pray for her.
“The LORD told me to come to this shopping center because there would be a person here who could minister to me,” she said. “When I arrived, I saw a light bobbing up and down the aisles of this store and it caught my attention. So I followed the light and found you. When I saw your face the power of God came on me.”
According to the New Testament, such things should be happening to us all the time. After all, we’re living in the last days. These are days about which God said: “I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh…. And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: And I will show wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath…before the great and notable day of the Lord come: And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Acts 2:17-21).
That’s an end time outpouring of God’s glory, and the time for it is here! So start saying it by faith right now, “The glory is in me! I receive it! I’m walking in it!” Get more God-inside minded and start acting like a temple of The LORD of glory.
Make up your mind never to settle for normal again.