In the theme of study for this gathering titled, “THE GLORY DEPARTED, BUT THE GLORY RETURNED”, it will be shown from the above texts and other relevant Scriptures, (i) what man was originally at creation; (ii) what happened after creation; (iii) the consequences of what happened, till date; (iv) the remedy to the consequences.
WHAT MAN WAS AT CREATION
At creation, man (Adam) was made in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:26-27; 2:7; 5:1; 9:6; 1Corinthians 11:7 James 3:9). This means that he was made, HAVING THE FULL MEASURE OF THE NATURE OF GOD HE WAS DESIGNED TO POSSESS.
Some aspects of the said nature of God that were in Adam are:- God’s love (Romans 5:8 1John 4:9,16), purity (Exodus 15:11 Habakkuk 1:12-13), truth and truthfulness (Exodus 34:6 Deuteronomy 32:4 Hebrews 6:18), faith and faithfulness (Deuterononomy 7:9 1Corinthians 1:9), patience (Exodus 34:6 Isaiah 48:9 2Peter 3:9), mercy, kindness and compassion (2Samuel 24:14 Luke 6:35 Psalm 86:15), Godly knowledge, understanding and wisdom (1Samuel 2:3 Isaiah 40:28 Daniel 2:22 Job 12:13 Dan. 2:20 Rom. 11:33 16:27). Besides, Adam also had the full measure of the Spirit of God and dominion over the animals that he was designed to have. All these were invested in Adam at the instance of God breathing into his nostrils the breath of life, immediately after he was formed from the dust of the earth (Genesis 2:7).
WHAT HAPPENED AFTER CREATION
This happened through the machination and manouvres of Satan, who was later called, “the thief and the robber” by Jesus Christ (John 10:10). He had earlier been cast out of heaven for rebellion (consider Isaiah 14:12-15 Ezekiel 28:1-19). How exactly did it happen?
To enhance understanding of how the nature of God (THE GLORY) was knocked out of man originally, there is need to consider this.
Satan, having ability to transform into anything, or to enter man or beast (2Corinthians 11:14 Mark 5:2 Matthew 8:31-32), entered into the serpent. Subsequently, he opened-up a poisonous and deadly conversation with Eve (Genesis 3:5). In the course of Eve’s conversation with a Spirit-being whose entire nature is evil, evils were planted in her. The result is obvious.
(a) THE EVILS , UNBELIEF AND DISREGARD FOR GOD’S WORD: Genesis 3:4
As she disbelieved it, she also disregarded it and lost fear for the commandment of God and went for the next evil that was introduced.
(b) SELF-EXALTATION (PRIDE): Genesis 3:6
Satan presented this evil as though it was a very good and thrilling thing (Genesis 3:5). As soon as self-exaltation to the position of gods was introduced, it was also bought by Eve and this led her to the next evil:-
(c) DESIRE FOR THE PROHIBITED (LUST): Genesis 3:6
The evil of LUST was planted in the heart of Eve as she considered the apparent pleasantness of the fruits and the “high position of the gods”, which the eating of those fruits was supposed to yield. This led her to the final evil.
(d) DISOBEDIENCE: Genesis 3:6
This is the ultimate evil which Satan aimed at. He had used the above preliminary evils to achieve it. No sooner had Adam and Eve finished the sin than THE GLORY DEPARTED and THE CONSEQUENCES came upon them, and then to mankind (compare James 1:15).
THE CONSEQUENCES TO DATE KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL: Genesis 3:7
As soon as the nature of God (THE GLORY) in Adam and Eve disappeared, they began to know evil as well, instead of good alone. Like in the issue of “being as gods”, satan had introduced knowledge of good and evil as though it was a very good thing (Genesis 3:5). He knew that, at the instance of the nature of God departing from Adam & Eve through disobedience, they would begin to know evil and be overcome by it, seeing that the nature of God that kept them from knowing evil has departed. This is as it was with Satan himself when he was stripped of his own glory and was overcome by evil (Ezekiel 28:15-16).
Today, not long after one is born, one begins to know good and evil and to be overcome by evil (Romans 7:14-23).
Let us now consider some of the evils which Adam and Eve came to know and by which they were overcome, and which they passed on to mankind.
UNBELIEF IN THE HEART: Genesis 3:4
We have already seen the evil of unbelief as one of the preliminary evils that Satan used in knocking-out the nature of God from Adam and Eve. As the nature of God departed, this evil cleaved to them. With hearts infested with UNBELIEF, they had their children (Genesis 5:3).
Apart from this initial way through which UNBELIEF entered mankind, the evil has increased in the hearts of men through the following other ways:-
(i) As people interact with others whose hearts have been badly infested with UNBELIEF (Exodus 34:12 1Corinthians 15:33). The Lord Jesus knew this, hence He seriously rebuked Thomas Didymus before the rest of His disciples, thereby stopping Thomas’ evil of UNBELIEF from affecting the hearts of the rest (John 20:26-27).
(ii) As devils use their dream-machinations to transfer UNBELIEF into the hearts of human beings. They do this by acting poisoned plays and incidents and projecting these actions and words (as in movies) to the minds of human beings while the later are in their sleep. When such people wake – up from their sleep and dreams, they find it difficult believing what the Scriptures have revealed about God or about Christ because their minds have been infested with UNBELIEF.
(iii) As men read materials that speak things contrary to Scriptures and godliness and then become infested with and succumb to UNBELIEF
(iv) As Satan uses scientific discovers to plant it in the hearts of people. For example, the fact that maggots can evolve from a heap of garbage (or the like) has led men to erroneously conclude that man evolved from animal (contrast Genesis 1:26-27; 2:7; 5:1 1Corinthians 11:7 James 3:9).
Today, there are multitudes who want to have faith in God, but find it difficult to believe (consider Mark 9:17-19, 21-24 Matthew 17:19-20 Luke 17:5). There are many like Pharoah of old, to whom the cherished truth of God means “vain words” (Exodus 5:1-2,5,9). To the perishing, it is foolishness (1Corinhians 1:18). For those like religious, but murderous Jews, the Word that generates faith has no place in their hearts (John 8:37 contrast Psalm 119:11). Yet to those like Eve of old, the truth of God has been turned into a lie because of the lies of Satan they have received (Romans 1:25). Over and above these, there are many who will not believe that God exists, whom His Word has called fools (Psalm 14:1).
UNBELIEF is a deadly sin. By it Adam and Eve disregarded God’s word, lost fear for God’s judgment, went into disobedience and lost THE GLORY. Through it also, multitudes today have no regard for God’s infallible word, lost the fear of judgment and continued in various forms and magnitudes of evil (consider 2Thessalonians 3:2).
SELF-EXALTATION-PRIDE: Genesis 3:6
It has been shown that it is the SELF-EXALTATION of wanting to be as gods that led Eve into desiring the prohibited. This is an aspect of what the Lord later called “the pride of life” through apostle John (1John 2:16).
PRIDE OF LIFE has diversified into many forms since then. Many like Nebuchadnezzar are so full of themselves because of their intelligence, achievements, positions and possessions that they cannot see how they can yield their lives to Christ, read or sit to listen to His words, live for Him, pray to God earnestly and seek the kingdom of God (consider Daniel 4:29-30). Others like Felix, the Roman governor, must postpone their salvation indefinitely and be lost eventually because, it must not be heard that such people as they are have now turned to Christ and are now talking about heaven (consider Acts 24:25). There are many, who would have turned to the Lord, but for pride of the social classes to which they being as youths or adults. There are also those who would have turned to the Lord, having been convicted about salvation in Christ, but for the non-life-giving religious or non-religious norms they have held to all along. This sub-section will be incomplete if mention is not made of those who have been hindered from coming to the cross of Christ in repentance and for forgiveness of sins and the resultant new and modest life by the pride of their hearts due to high, worldly and matching apparel and other things they put on (but consider Isaiah 3:16-26).
LUST (DESIRE FOR THE PROHIBITED): Genesis 3:6
It has been shown that Satan planted lust in the eyes and mind of Eve to achieve disobedience in that day (Genesis 3:6). When THE GLORY DEPARTED, what cost them the glory remained with them, being also one of the evils they came to know.
The LUST in the eyes and minds of people till date are as transferred by Adam and Eve. Consider the following:- the evil desire to have another man’s wife, defile another man’s daughter, or even own daughter/relative; to meet another woman’s husband; for the free women; for pre-marital sinful relationship among youths; for pornography; to defraud others in time, money and materials to enrich oneself; to get what one wants by any available means, good or bad; to rob others of their money or property; to make money at the expense of other people’s interest, well-being or lives; to spoil other people’s efforts; to use one’s position against others for whatever reasons, to pervert the course of justice through bribe and gifts, and what have you.
Satan, being the originator of LUSTS is the father of all lusting people (John 8:44). In these days, he has AGGRAVATED LUST in the hearts of numberless multitudes by closing their eyes to the VANITY of fashion, dainties, beauty, money, position, possessions, and indeed everything that the world can offer (consider Ecclesiastes 2:1-26 Psalm 39:5 Mark 8:36).
Because of LUST, God has given-up many to worship gods, other creatures (including themselves) and to homo-sexuality (Romans 1:22-27). Through LUST, God’s PURPOSE of placing man on earth has either been unknown, forgotten or abandoned (but consider Revelation 4:11).
DISOBEDIENCE: Genesis 3:6
As shown before, DISOBEDIENCE is the climax of the evils with which Satan knocked-out the nature of God from man. Like the other evils, when the GLORY DEPARTED, DISOBEDIENCE, having been known cleaved to fallen Adam and Eve.
Till date, DISOBEDIENCE TO GOD in various spheres of life —— husband-and-wife relationship, man-and-neighbor relationship, master-and-servant relationship, parents-and-children relationship, the ruler-and-the ruled relationship and man-and-God relationship had persisted, having been inherited from the fore-parents (Genesis 5:3 Ephesians 2:2; 5:6 Colossians 3:6).
Though this be the situation, yet disobedience to God in any way by anybody—the prophet, the priest, the preacher, the king, the elite or the peasant carries the wages of eternal fire ( Proverbs 11:21; 16:5 1Kings 13:20-24,26 Nehemiah 9:25-27 2Corinthians 10:6 Ephesians 2:2-3, 5:6 Colossians 3:6 Hebrews 2:2).
So far in this issue of the CONSEQUENCES OF LOSING THE GLORY, we have dealt mainly with those preliminary evils that led to the colossal Loss, apart from the consequence of knowing good and evil. Now, let us now go forward to consider the other consequences:
REALIZATION OF NAKEDNESS: Genesis 3:7
When THE GLORY DEPARTED, Adam and Eve realized that they were physically naked and became ashamed about it (Genesis 3:7). Consequently, they made effort to cover their nakedness (Genesis 3:7). On seeing their predicament, the Lord slew some animal and made them clothing with the skin of the animal (Genesis 3:21).
From this, mankind inherited this phenomenon of realizing nakedness (as evil and good begin to be known), being ashamed and covering-up. The situation need not change since man cannot return exactly to what Adam and Eve were before the glory departed.
It follows therefore that all those in this present human nature, who expose their nakedness in whatever way have rather become too un-natural and perverse, no matter what inform their actions. (consider Job 24:2, 7,10 Matthew 25:36,43 Genesis 9:22-25).
EXCUSE-MAKING AND BLAME-SHIFTING: Genesis 3:11-13
The evil of EXCUSE-MAKING AND BLAME-SHIFTING is another one that Adam and Eve knew shortly after the GLORY DEPARTED.
On the part of Adam, he could not realize and own-up his sin. He had heard God’s express command, but set it aside to be convinced by his wife to eat the forbidden fruit (consider Genesis 2:16-17 & 3:6).
For Eve, she also could not realize and own-up her sin. She too had heard the word of God on the issue, but cast it aside to take that of Satan through the serpent (Genesis 3:1-6).
This is how the evil of EXCUSE-MAKING AND BLAME-SHIFTING became operational in mankind till today. The crisis in families, schools, workplaces and in other relationships are the result of men not judging themselves, owning-up their sins and repenting of same (but see Lam. 3:40 Matt. 7:3-5 1Cor. 11:28). The worst of the results of excuse-making and blame-shifting is the loss of forgiveness from God as it was with Adam and Eve.
ESTRANGEMENT, or “being separated from God” is in two forms:- (i) being separated from God spiritually, (ii) being separated from God physically. Adam and Eve suffered both.
When the nature and Spirit of God in them departed, they became separated from God spiritually. Subsequently, when they were driven out of the garden and from the presence of God, they became physically separated from God (consider Genesis 3:23-24). This is as it earlier happened to Satan who now caused their own estrangement (consider Ezekiel 28:12, 14, 16-17).
This is how ESTRANGEMENT FROM GOD naturally passed to mankind. Through the nature that Adam & Eve passed on, every person born into the world is born without the nature of God within and cannot have fellowship with God and therefore is separated from God naturally (Psalm 58:3 Ephesians 2:12; 4:18). This is the reason all they that are yet in their natural states know from experience that God is not living within them and that they do not they enjoy fellowship with him, their religious observances notwithstanding.
SUFFERINGS AND EXPOSURE TO SATAN’S AFFLICTIONS
There is yet this consequence of the GLORY DEPARTING from Adam and Eve. From the Lord God of justice, sufferings were ordained as part of the punishment for their sin (Genesis 3:16-19). But that was not all. Through their disobedience, the Lord’s hedge around them was broken, exposing them to Satan’s further wickedness (consider Ecclesiastes 10:8 Job 1:6,8-10).
This is how SUFFERINGS AND SATAN’S WICKEDNESS came to be part of human life till today. All peoples who are living without God’s hedge around them can testify to the truth of Satan’s wickedness on people whose hedges are broken down. All that he did to Job when God purposely removed His hedge around Job are an information on what Satan can do to unprotected human-beings (consider Job 1:7-19; 2:3-9).
This exposure includes the exposure to his further lies- innumerable. This is the reason there have been so many things in the world that people believe, though they be contrary to the truth of God (consider Jeremiah 28:15 2Thessalonians 2:10-11 1Timothy 4:1-2).
EVENTUAL PHYSICAL DEATH
Originally, man was not created to die, either spiritually or physically. The Lord’s original intention was for Adam and Eve to eat the fruit of the tree of life in the course of their stay in the garden, and live forever in their original glorious nature ( Genesis 3:22).
But when man sinned, the machinery for fulfilling the physical death-sentence was set in motion. The immediate was to cut them off from the tree of life, lest they should eat and live forever (Genesis 3:22).
By Adam’s sin, physical death also came upon him eventually as did spiritual death immediately, the thing Satan had refuted and deceived them with. Through Adam and Eve it passed on to all mankind Romans 5:12). So physical death is also the consequence of THE GLORY DEPARTING.
LOSS OF SOUL ETERNALLY
This is the climax of the consequences of Adam’s disobedience, which was passed-on to his descendants. Every human being stands the danger of losing his/her soul if that person does nothing about the sinful nature inherited from the fore-most parents (consider Ephesians 2:3, 11-12). Lucifer (now Satan), who was the arch-angel of God is already in this state of being eternally lost (Ezekiel 28:12-16 Isaiah 14:12-14), hence his schemes from the very beginning to bring all mankind (if possible) into the same state.
Through the ages, multitudes have lost their souls eternally for the following reason:-
(i) There was enough conviction on them from God of the presence of their INGLORIOUS NATURE AND IT’S WORKS
(ii) The convicted remained negligent of the promptings of God that pointed them to THE REMEDY.
The following few examples are enough proof of this fact:-
Before the law, there was the Lord’s Spirit’s continual striving with men (conviction) (Genesis 6:1-3). Hence, such people as Abel, Enos’ generation, Enoch and Noah responded to God’s convictions and promptings that pointed them to faith and righteousness (Genesis 4:3-7; 4:26; 5:22-24; 6:7-9). At the time of Noah within this period, there was God’s conviction through the sermons of Noah (2Peter 2:5). But the promptings of God, pointing them to that then remedy were neglected by them that were destroyed (eg Genesis 6:3).
Following this period, God raised Israel and manifested Himself in and through that nation to challenge the idolatrous nations as well as Israel to the REMEDY OF REPENTANCE, FAITH AND OBEDIENCE (consider Romans 1:20; 2:14-15).
From the time of Jesus till now, the whole world has been under conviction of sin, righteousness and coming judgment through genuine Gospel activities, the Holy Spirit and numerous other circumstances, pointing men to THE REMEDY FOR THE DEPARTED GLORY (consider John 16:8 Acts 14:17). So, all that were lost eternally during the periods referred to, and those of this age that will yet lose their souls eternally are because of NEGLECT OF GOD’S CONVICTIONS AND PROMPTINGS, POINTING THEM TO THE REMEDY.
So far in this Bible teaching, we have considered, (i) what man was originally at creation, (ii) what happened after and (iii) the consequences. We now proceed to THE REMEDY.
What has the Lord God provided as a cure for the evils that followed the departure of the glory? Below are the details:-
THE GLORY RETURNED IN CHRIST JESUS
It is interesting to realize that, the Lord God is such that, even before an evil is hatched against His programme, He has already known what to do to recover the situation. Before Israel went into Egypt and multiplied, and before the Egyptian bondage and their deliverance, the Lord had known the details of what He would do to effect the said deliverance (Genesis 15:12-14).
Therefore, no sooner had Satan knocked-out the nature of God from mankind through Eve than the Lord announced THE REMEDY — THE RETURN OF THE GLORY THROUGH ANOTHER MAN. “And the Lord God said unto the serpent, because thou hast done this, thou art cursed —- ; and I will put enmity between thee and the woman and between thy seed and her seed, it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel” (Genesis 3:14-15).
Literally, these statements concerned the physical serpent, Eve, the off-spring of the serpent and the offspring of Eve. But on the other hand (spiritually), “the seed of the woman, bruising the head of the serpent and the serpent bruising his heel” applied to Christ Jesus (the seed of the woman— Isaiah 7:14 Matthew 1:20-23) KNOCKING-OUT Satan’s eternal purpose against mankind, even through the sufferings Satan would cause him. So, all that God invested in Adam originally (called “the glory”) and even much more were returned in Jesus Christ, the second Adam.
The following infallible Scriptures prove that the GLORY RETURNED IN CHRIST JESUS:- “And so it is written, the first man Adam was made a living soul (Genesis 2:7), the last Adam (Jesus Christ) was made a quickening Spirit” (1Corinthians 15:45 compare John 5:23,25-26; 6:63). “The first man is of the earth, earthly (Genesis 2:7), the second man is the Lord from heaven” (1Corinthians 15:47 compare John 3:30-31; 6:38,42). “Of His fullness (the fullness of God’s nature in Christ) have all we received, and grace for grace” (John 1:16) . “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, to kill and to destroy; I (Christ) am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). “And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us……… full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). “God has in these last days spoken to us by His Son…. who, being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person” (i.e. filled with God’s nature and Spirit) (Hebrews 1;2-3). “Believest thou not that I am in the Father and the Father in me?” (John 14:10). That THE GLORY RETURNED IN CHRIST JESUS is also conclusive for the fact that forgiveness and cleansing of sin (the beginning of glory for fallen man) is only through His (Ephesians 1:7 Galatians 3:13 Romans 3:24 Colossians 1:14).
THE GLORY REGAINED THROUGH CHRIST JESUS
The following sublime truths prove that the lost glory will also only be regained through Christ Jesus, who brought it. “Therefore, as by the offence of one (Adam), judgment came upon all men to condemnation, even so, by the righteousness of One (Christ Jesus), the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life (Romans 5:18). “For as by one man’s disobedience (Adam’s), many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one (Jesus Christ), shall many be made righteous (Romans 5:19). “For since by man came death (spiritual and physical), by man also came the resurrection from the dead” (spiritual and physical) (1Corinthians 15:21). “For as in Adam all die (spiritually and physically), even so in Christ shall all be made alive (spiritually and physically) (1Corinthians 15:22).
REGAINING THE LOST GLORY
As already shown, the LOST GLORY incorporates God’s love, purity, truth and truthfulness, faith and faithfulness, patience, mercy, kindness and compassion, Godly knowledge, understanding and wisdom. Others are self-abasement, obedience, desire for the good, regard for God’s word, the indwelling Spirit of God and whatever else that makes for Godliness.
We have also seen that Christ Jesus is the EMBODIMENT of all these things (consider Colossians 2:9 John 1:14, 16; 14:9-10 Hebrews 1:3), and that through Him they are regained. Therefore, regaining the glory means having the fullness of Christ (consider Ephesians 4:11-13). Also, the measure of the glory that one has is the same as the measure of the fullness of Christ in the one.
The following is the procedure for bringing back the lost glory into man.
FORMATION OF CHRIST IN MAN: Galatians 4:19
The first experience in the issue of regaining the lost glory is “a definite experience of Christ having been formed in the man”, as a child is initially formed in the womb (Galatians 4:19). This is the experience that destroys the ESTRANGEMENT, for by it, the “Earnest of the Spirit of Christ” is granted to the recipient, enabling him to call God, “Abba Father” (Galatians 4:6 Romans 8:9).
This is the experience that has been variously refered to as follows:- “being born-again” (John 3:3,7); “being in Christ” (2Corinthians 5:17); “being born of God” (John 1:13 1John 3:9; 4:7); “being regenerated” (Titus 3:5), or “being quickened” (John 5:21 Ephesians 2:1,6 Colossians 2:13).
The way to this experience is the way of owning-up sins, repentance and confession of sins to God, faith in God’s word and in the Lord Jesus, and then the resultant forgiveness of sins and granting of the Spirit of Christ (Ephesians 4:32 Colossians 2:13 Galatians 4:6). Remember, THE GLORY WAS LOST through disbelieving God’s word (Genesis 3:4), and when they had opportunity to regain it, they made excuses instead of owning-up and repenting (Genesis 3:9-13).
- THE ROLE OF FAITH in this matter must be re-considered, seeing that many know much of religious formalities, but little or nothing about FAITH FOR SALVATION.
FULNESS OF CHRIST IN THE MAN: Ephesians 4:13
Christ having been formed in the man as the child is formed in the womb, the fullness of Christ is then embarked on.
The first aspect of the FULNESS OF CHRIST in the man in whom Christ has been formed is rather a duty which the man owes himself. This is the duty of SELF-ABASEMENT.
SELF-ABASEMENT entails, “one putting oneself in one’s proper position of being nothing but grass, dust and ashes (eg Genesis 18:27 Psalm 39:5 Isaiah 40:6-7; 51:12). It also involves appropriating God’s word on the relationship between heaven and humility—- “except ye are converted and become as little children, ye shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of God” (Matthew 18:3-4).
Following this is YIELDING to the under listed ministries which the Lord has provided in the places where He has placed His name for RESTORING THE LOST GLORY (the fullness of Christ) to man (Ephesians 4:11-15).
- THE APOSTOLIC MINISTRIES: Ephesians 4:11
These are the ministries of Christ’s delegates in other words, having the calling and backing of Christ (eg. Romans 1:1 Galatians 2:7-8 1Peter 1:1-2). They are those ministries that can compare favorably to those of the apostles of old in truth, purity, faithfulness and verity (1Timothy 2:7; 1Peter 1:16 Malachi 2:6).
They are distinct from the “ministries” of those whose apostleship is by name-tags and garments only, who have no evidence of having met Christ, or of being His true representatives. The later are rather ‘false apostolic ministries’ (2Corinthians 11:13-15).
- THE PROPHETIC MINISTRIES: Ephesians 4:11
Part of the procedure for restoring the fullness of Christ (the glory) is “being under the prophetic ministries”. This means being under the ministries of those who speak for Christ (consider Hebrews 1:1 Acts 3:3:21). They are primarily preachers of righteousness (Acts 15:32 1Corinthians 14:3).
These also are distinguished from the diabolical “ministries” of professional sinner-prophets, who never dish-out the truth of the word, for they know it not. Rather, they see visions of enemies, do “spiritual work” of protection for their followers predict the future for them and get their approval and money. Such ministries have also been termed false (2Peter 2:1-3; Eze. 22:25-26,28).
- THE EVANGELICAL MINISTRIES: Ephesians 4:11
Apart from the apostolic and prophetic ministries, there are the evangelical ministries also. Under these ministries, the glad tidings about Jesus (by whom the glory returned) is disseminated (Acts 21:8 2Timothy 4:5), leading sinners and backsliders to repentance and believers to faithfulness, zeal, purity and all other aspect of Godliness.
These ministries are distinct from those of the false sinner-evangelist, that have nothing of eternal value for the people (eg. Ezekiel 22:28).
- THE PASTORAL MINISTRIES: Ephesians 4:11
There are also the pastoral ministries in the issue of returning the lost glory to man. These are the shepherds’ ministries of ‘leading the sheep to green pastures of God’s word and the still waters of His Spirit’, of ‘restoring their souls and leading them in the parts of righteousness’ (Psalm 23:1-3 John 10:2-4). By these ministries, the sheep are set free from fear of the enemy, cared for and comforted (Psalm 23:4).
In turn, the pastoral ministries are distinguished from the “ministries” of sinner-pastors, who have no light in them (Ezekiel 34:2-4,8. Isaiah 56:10-12). Therefore, they cannot do the work of shepherds.
- THE TEACHING MINISTRIES: Ephesians 4:11
The fifth in the series in the issue of bringing-in the fullness of Christ (returning the glory) are the sound teaching ministries of sound teachers of the word. By such ministries the hearts of the people are enriched with the truth of the doctrines of the Lord and of the word of God generally (eg. Acts 13:1; 20: ).
These too are distinct from the false teaching ministries abounding today, by whom innumerable things that contradict the gospel message itself and the doctrines of the Lord are disseminated everywhere. They are termed false, seeing they teach doctrines of the devils and damnable heresies (1Timothy 4:1-2 2Timothy 4:3).
This Bible teaching has revealed what man was at creation and what happened to him after creation. It has also shown the numerous evils that came upon mankind and the effects of such evils, as a result of the LOSS OF GOD’S NATURE.
From all that has been shown, it is evident that, HAD THE GLORY NOT DEPARTED, mankind would not have known evil and it’s effects as it has been through the ages. So then, it is ABSURD to think of removing the effects of unbelief, disregard and lack of fear for God’s judgment, pride, lust, etc; from individuals or the society without thinking of restoring the lost nature of God to man.
The study has also shown that ESTRANGEMENT (spiritually and physically) came upon man through the loss of the glory. It is therefore also useless to think of being acceptable before God here and hereafter without thinking of regaining the glory.
Besides, we have seen that THE GLORY RETURNED, BY WHOM IT RETURNED AND THE PROCEDURE FOR REGAINING IT. Again, from this it is absurd to think of another procedure, seeing that the truth of God on any issue is settled forever (Psalm 119:89, 152 Matthew 5:18; 24:35 1Peter 1:25).
Now, seeing that what one is depends on where one is and what one yields oneself to, the Lord is asking everyone that has heard these truths, or that has read them, “WHERE ART THOU?”