Author: Nikola Dimitrov
Let’s look at 2 Corinthians 3:18
“But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”
This Scripture is revealing to us the fact that there is a progressive image of the glory the Lord is leading us to. That means that the Lord is constantly revealing more and more of His Glorious image to His Church and we all, beholding that image and responding to it, are being changed (transformed) into that respective image. That image is being revealed to us directly from the Lord, by the ones that have first received it directly from the Lord, by their spiritual sons and daughters, or by somebody else down the line, depending on where on the spiritual ladder we are standing.
Somebody will say: “Can’t everybody receive their image directly from the Lord?” It depends. There are segments of God’s image which every one of us is responsible personally to acquire from the Lord. Those are connected with our calling, our gifts, graces, anointings the Lord has placed on the inside of us and the things the Lord wants us to develop as fruit of the Spirit, moral character and the like in our own life – e.g. our individuality.
We are indeed responsible to seek the Lord ourselves in all these areas and acquire God’s image that will make us distinctive, set aside for His purposes, personalities.
That is our responsibility and the Lord will hold us accountable for all this.
There’s another area of responsibility that I am talking about here though, and it’s ours as well. This is the responsibility to see, hear, perceive, respond to, and accept God’s Global image, coming from the people He has revealed it to. You see, there’s only one Martin Luther, yet, there are millions of Lutheran followers. There’s only one Moses, Joshua, Samuel, David, Elijah, Jesus, Apostle Paul, Wesley, Finney, etc, yet, there were millions called to receive God’s image from them and continue to spread it to the ones after them.
I am talking about those millions that are being classified into the pattern categories we’ve just seen – spiritual sons and daughters, sons and daughters of the initial sons and daughters, and a company of believers (generation), carrying the same spiritual image and anointing as the father.
Now remember, the image of God is a progressive one and the Lord is all the time moving forward, revealing more and more of His Glory. Now we have a responsibility to respond to and accept every new image of God’s Glory that the Lord is revealing. If we don’t, we stop God’s image to our level and respectively, for the next generation. Thus, we become kind of Gehazi type of people, that settle for anything less than God’s best.
Now, the 2 Corinthians 3:18 Scripture is placed in a context where Apostle Paul is explaining God’s progressive moving from Old to New Testament image. There’s an interesting verse in that same context, which is saying:
“For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory” (3:9)
The expression: “ministration of righteousness” in connection to God’s progressive image, got my attention. That’s because there’s another Scripture in Matthew 6:33 that I believe everybody knows, and it says:
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
When we combine the whole passage of 2 Corinthians 3 and Matthew 6:33, we find out that the way we acquire God’s progressive image in each generation is when we seek God’s Kingdom and God’s righteousness (God’s way of being and doing right).
Let’s just mention about the Kingdom of God here briefly:
“All thy works shall praise thee, O Lord; and thy saints shall bless thee. They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and talk of thy power”
When John the Baptist came, he preached like this: “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand” (Matthew 3:2). When Jesus came, He preached like this: “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17). When Jesus sent the apostles to preach, He told them to preach the same thing (Luke 9:1-6; 10:1-9).
Well, the Lord is a King. That’s His image – King of kings and Lord of lords. So, He wants to establish His Kingdom first in our hearts:
“Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you”
Then, He wants to establish His Kingdom in our families, our neighborhoods, our churches, our work places, our cities and our nations.
“The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.”
“And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.”
So, the progressive image of God’s Kingdom in our generation is the image we must build in ourselves and our Churches, so we can establish God’s Kingdom in every area of existence:
Ø Spiritually – Bring God’s salvation to the ends of the Earth by flooding the Earth with the image of God’s Glory (Psalm 85:9).
Ø Naturally – Bring God’s government in the market place. That means affecting our communities, cities and nations spiritually, morally, economically, politically and financially.
If you don’t believe in the natural aspect of God’s image, look at Joseph (the Prime Minister of Egypt, a worldly Empire), and at Daniel (the second ruler of Babylon (the greatest most occultist Empire of all times). The Lord placed His image on the inside of these two servants of His and they brought that image to the governments they were in, to the point that both Pharaoh and the Babylonian rulers (Nebuchadnezzar and Darius) admitted that the God of Joseph and Daniel ruled above the affairs of men. (Daniel 4:34-37; 6:25-27).
Now, what does all this practically mean to us and how can we apply it today?
Well, the Lord has progressively been moving from Martin Luther and the time of the Protestant Reformation to fully restore God’s Image in His Church.
With each new progressive image being restored (each new move of God coming), there’s a challenge set before the people of God – to respond to and accept the new image or stay in the old. Staying in the old means blocking and limiting God’s image, grace and anointing to the level of your individual, denominational, ethnic, cultural, economic or whatever else understanding.
Please know that there is always more. The Lord is always moving progressively. His revelation is always increasing. Jesus told His disciples: “There are things that I can not reveal to you right now, because you will not understand them, but when the Holy Spirit comes, He will move you progressively forward in My truth” (John 16:12, paraphrased).
So, Martin Luther brought to us the truth of being born again by grace and not by works. Some followers (spiritual sons and daughters of his) took that truth and distributed it abroad, until it reached a company of people, a whole generation and ultimately, that became the foundation of every believer in the world today. That was called The Protestant Movement.
When the Evangelical / Holiness Movement came though, it added new truth to God’s Image. Not that is had not been a part of God’s initial image, but that particular part (that revelation truth) had been lost somewhere along the way and now the Lord restored it back. Now the Lutheran people (The people from the Protestant Movement) had a challenge before them – to accept the new truth and thus acquire the progressive image of God for them, or to reject it and continue in the old one. Well, that’s a challenge, don’t you think?
The same challenge was placed:
Ø Before the Evangelical / Holiness people, when the Baptist Movement came about;
Ø Before the Baptist people when the Pentecostal Movement came about;
Ø Before Pentecostal people when the Latter Rain and Deliverance Evangelism Movements came about;
Ø Before the Latter Rain and Deliverance Evangelism people when the Charismatic Movement came about;
Ø Before the Charismatic people when the Faith Movement came about;
Ø Before the people from the faith Movement when the Prophetic Movement came about; and
Ø Before the prophetic people when the Apostolic Movement (also called The New Apostolic Reformation) came about.
The Lord had been restoring truth upon truth, laying the foundation according to Hebrews 6:1-2. The Bible says that Jesus can not return until the wholeness of God’s image (God’s revelation truths) is not restored to the Body of Christ, so it can become a Bride without spot or wrinkle:
“And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.” Acts 3:20-21
“That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” Ephesians 5:27
Nikola Dimitrov is a Pastor and Bible teacher and is also part of Life in Glory Church in Bulgaria. Dimitrov is also the director of In depthMedia ministry, editor-in-chief of Roma Destiny National Media, and the owner of the Metamorphu publishing company which focuses on the publication of Christian children material. More info at: Life of Jesus