Sunday, June 23, 2013

Mystery of Shekinah Glory as it relates to Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit today.



Question: "What is the Shekinah glory?"

The word Shekinah does not appear in the Bible, but the concept clearly does.  Jewish rabbis apparently coined this extra-biblical expression, as a form of a Hebrew word that literally means "he caused to dwell," signifying that it was a divine visitation of the presence or dwelling of God on this earth.

In the Old Testament we find The Shekinah was first evident when the Israelites left Egypt and we read of it in Exodus 13:20-22 where we find the words; “And they took their journey from Succoth, and encamped in Etham, in the edge of the wilderness.  And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night:  He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.”

Here, led by God day and night the Israelites were able to see the Shikinah glory or presence of the Lord as He led them onward, yet they did not see God Himself although Jesus appeared many times in the Old Testament in both bodily form and as a theophany.

Theophany: (a manifestation of a deity to man in a form that, though visible, is not necessarily material)

Interesting of course, is the fact that this “Pillar of light” went before them, until the time when they were threatened by the Egyptian armies coming up behind them. At this point it moved to their rear and stood between them and their adversaries. However, just like many Christians today who seeing the power of Satan in our world as it tumbles towards hell, tend to loose faith in the power of God to protect them,  these Israelites became, “sore afraid,” apparently losing their faith in God and Moses.  In chapter 14v10 in fear and sarcasm they angrily turned on Moses v11, 12, with the words, “Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? Wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt?  Is not this the word that we did tell thee in Egypt, saying, let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians?  For it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness.”

But Moses turned to them and said v13 “Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord which H will shew to you today: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen today, ye shall see them again no more forever. The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.”

I sometimes wonder what Moses would be saying to the nation of Israel today, which appears to be depending on their armies and weaponry for protection rather than on the Lord.

But back to my topic. 

The Shekinah glory, this visible symbol of God's presence also appeared in the Tabernacle, and afterwards in Solomon’s temple. Again, when God  spoke to Moses out of the burning bush, He did so through the Shekinah.
Another interesting thing about the Shekinah glory, in the Old testament and it’s relationship to Jesus in the New, is the fact that in the Old Testament when God appeared in the instances mentioned, only His Shekinah Glory was seen and not He in person.  In the New Testament however we find Jesus Christ seen as a man, but His Shekinah glory is not in view.  Yet it is there, for where God is we find the Shekinah glory.  Which simply means His presence, His power abiding.

What an incredible blessing it is to enjoy the presence of God (the Shekinah glory.)
This manifestation of the Shekinah is at the heart of our understanding regarding true communion with God. 

Without the Sekinah glory, God is not present, in that He is not abiding with us.  The word itself embodies the notion of dwelling or abiding. This emphasizes the single most important aspect concerning God’s localized presence: where is He abiding?” For wherever the Shekinah is, there is a relationship with God.

We find for example the simple statement in Genesis 5:24, “And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.”  He walked and lived intimately with God, in the Shekinah Glory until he went home with the Lord, for God abode with him. 

This same Shekinah glory is mentioned in Revelation 21:22, “And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it and the Lamb is the light thereof.”  

The essence of the promise made to the overcomer in the church of Philadelphia, was the fulfillment of that first love which did not appear in Ephesus, and which meant walking once again in full fellowship with God because the Shekinah Glory was there and denoted God’s presence.

When we look back to the Old Testament we find grave consequences when the Shekinah departs from the Temple, because it shows God is displeased with those with whom he had dwelt and his leaving left the temple, the house of Israel desolate and without protection.  We find also that on at least two occasions in history the result of this was the destruction of the temple.  

The Shekinah in the New Testament has  been considered to be related to the presence or indwelling of the Spirit of the Lord (generally referred to as the Holy Spirit or Spirit of Christ in the believer,) thus drawing  the parallel to the presence of God in Solomon’s temple. Once again we have to watch for parallels as I have mentioned before. See Luke 11:24-26 

In the Old Testament  the Holy of Holies signified the presence of God, whereas we find in the New, from the crucifixion forward and especially from the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit is related to the Shekinah Glory and confirms for us God's abiding presence. Furthermore, in the same manner that the Shekinah is linked to prophecy in Judaism, so it is in Christianity:  Since our body  is the temple of the Holy Spirit, it is in this temple that true Christians now find the power and presence of the Shekinah Glory, the presence of God.

1 Corinthians 6: 19 “What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own.”

2 Peter 1: 20, 21. “Knowing this first that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.  For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man; but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”

Some feel it is difficult to explain the indwelling of the believer by God during the Church age, since this they feel differs from the Shekinah, due to the fact that according to them there is no obvious outward manifestation of God’s presence upon the believer.  I would however, respectfully disagree, and say rather, if there is no obvious manifestation in the manner, living and look of the believer, and then one would need to seek to find out why.  I can honestly say I have felt the presence of God in many of my true Christian friends. 

It is important that everyone know this rich glorious fact regardless of their background, or religious standing.  The mystery then, is this.  When Christ promised to be with you and you sought forgiveness for your sin, and accepted His love and gift of eternal life, you received the Shekinah Glory inside you, in the temple of your body.  You therefore can expect and look forward to sharing in God’s glory. 

Manifested in us in the Shekinah glory is the Holy Spirit who now dwells in us and with us in power, and when you glorify God, and that glory is manifested and shines through, you are truly fulfilling the words of Matthew 5:14-16.  “Ye are the light of the world.  A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.  Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

Lastly then, in the Old Testament, they saw a theophany, a cloud and pillar of fire which showed God’s presence.  They could see both but couldn’t see God... Today, people cannot see the Christ in you, but they can see the glory of God being revealed through you.

They can see it in the fruit of the Spirit.  Galations 5:22, 23.  “Love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance.” This must shine for like a light in the darkness, for when it does the world will see the Shekinah Glory in you.  What happens when we live God's way with the Shekinah Glory or the manifestation of the Lord Jesus Christ being revealed?

God has one main way of revealing Himself today, it is Christ in you. He has no better way of showing Himself to men except as Christ lives in us. Not by the Shekinah glory in the temple built with hands of men, but in lives redeemed and freed and cleansed as they walk about in this dark world with Christ living in them.

May God bless you as you seek to come to know Him better and shine to His Glory!

All Scripture references are from the KJV of the Bible.
Don’t forget to leave your comments, questions, or suggestions you may have regarding other prophecies or mysteries in the Bible!

For a fun read, you may also wish to check out my other blog: http://autobiographyofanirishman.blogspot.ca/