Our God is the God of glory, and He has called us by His glory (Acts 7:2; 2 Pet. 1:3). “Glory is God expressed” (Matthew 5:16, note 2 in the Holy Bible Recovery Version). Whereas the creation testifies concerning God’s eternal power and divine characteristics, it is only in Christ and the church that God’s person and attributes may be fully expressed (Rom. 1:20; Eph. 3:20). In order to gain His full expression, God passed through a process, and He is bringing us, His believers, through a process so that we may become His corporate expression.
God’s expression begins with Christ. Christ as the Word of God is the definition, explanation, and expression of God (John 1:1, 18). From eternity past, Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, expressed the Father. Then in time Christ as the Word of God became flesh by putting off the outward expression of the eternal God and taking the form of a man through His incarnation (v. 14; Phil. 2:6-8). In The Issue of Christ Being Glorified by the Father with the Divine Glory, Witness Lee describes incarnation in relation to God’s glory in the following way: “Christ’s humanity through His incarnation became a shell to conceal the glory of His divinity.” Even though Christ as a man in the flesh declared the Father and expressed the divine attributes of God—primarily love, light, holiness, and righteousness—the glory of God was concealed in His humanity; that is, this glory was not seen by those around Him. Only on the mount of transfiguration did God’s glory peek through Christ’s humanity momentarily. This glimpse of God’s glory, along with the Father’s speaking, was so overwhelming that the three disciples who were with the Lord fell on their faces (Matt. 17:2, 6).
In John 12:23-24, Christ anticipated and likened His coming glorification by the Father to a grain of wheat falling into the ground and dying in order to release its life and produce many grains. Christ longed for such a release and prayed to the Father for His glorification (Luke 12:49-50; John 17:1, 5). In other words, God allowed His glory to be hidden in Christ through incarnation in order that He may later gain His eternal glorification in a corporate Body constituted by the many grains. This eventual release of God’s glory, and how God produces His corporate expression in the church will be discussed in subsequent posts.
Witness Lee, The Issue of Christ Being Glorified by the Father with the Divine Glory, Chapter 1 (Print).
Witness Lee, Incarnation, Inclusion, Intensification Chapter 1 (Print).
(Most references in the Further Reading can also be viewed on www.ministrybooks.org.)