There is a fixation about the Skekinah Glory in the Pentecostal movement today. We are consumed with experiencing the manifest glory of the Lord. It is not a bad thing to desire; it is just misplaced.
The first thing that is important is the word is no where in the bible but neither is rapture or revival but all of them are present in the scripture. The first place we know that the word appears is in rabbinical literature.
The concept of Skekinah Glory is the reality of tabernacle with Jesus.
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.Revelation 21:3
Simply put, it is God dwelling with us. We know this is our vocation in Heaven. Many believe that is the call of God for us here and now. They misunderstand the Lord’s prayer and as a result spend all their lives trying to “bring Heaven down.”
I can find one place in the Book of Acts that tells us to seek for the
Skekinah Glory. There is no real mention of the glory between Acts 1 and the events surrounding the catching up of the saints. This is not to say there won’t be any glory manifestations but they are not the focus.
Ascension of Jesus is a rebuke.
When we read about what we call the ascension, we see that there was the last mention of glory mentioned. It is agreed upon by scholars that this was the Skekiah glory.
After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.Acts 1:9
As the Lord was taken up from them, a cloud came under Him and the glory of the Lord was manifest in the area. This was not a room, or a house but a whole area in the middle of the field was full of God’s glory.
They stood there and glazed upon the glory that was saw in the sky. The interesting thing is that David was encouraged by glazing into the glory but this was different. The cross has changed the rules of engagement about the glory and the people around the Apostles did not really understand this.
They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come backin the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”Acts 1:10-11
The angels (normally men in white are angels) show up and ask them why they are just standing there looking at the glory cloud in the sky. They were told that Jesus would come back in the same way that He left.
It is worth pointing out that the angels said “This Jesus.” This is because there were many people claiming to Jesus in the first century. This is why we are told to be careful of “another Jesus.”
The Mission at hand changed things
The message from the angels was very clear. Why are they looking at the glory cloud when they have to get to the Upper Room to contend for the promise of the Father which is the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.
The baptism of the Holy Spirit is much more important than any manifestation of the Skekinah Glory. The manifestations come and go but the infilling of the Holy Spirit is for us daily. They needed to get focused on what mattered.
Jesus has just told them right before He left that when the Holy Spirit comes on them, (the Baptism of the Holy Spirit) that they would receive power to be witnesses. (Acts 1:8) They simply did not understand the importance of this commission yet. They still want to focus on the glory.
How these people did not understand that everything the glory brings was included in the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, I do not know. All of the things we love about the manifest presence of God happens when we pray in tongues!
In light of what we see in Acts 1:9-11 and other places, it seems clear the glory was minor compared to the need for the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and the great commission to be witnesses.
Skekiah Glory in revival?
I hear a lot of people think having the manifest glory is going to be the “revival that never ends.” This is in heaven,(Revelation 21) not in the here and now.
We will see later that revival is meant to be season of ingathering and the presence of God. The Apostle Peter called it “times of refreshing.” (Acts 3:19) It was always for a time or a season. The early church never saw revival that never ended. We would be foolish to believe we can.
The presence of the Lord is very real. It is important, especially in times of revival. I was convicted of sin in the weight presence of the Holy Spirit at the Brownsville Revival. There is nothing that can replace it. However, it will not last forever. It is the goal of the faithful but a mere benefit. We have to keep that in perspective.
Note from Peter:
It is my custom to read the Book of Acts regularly. I read a chapter a day every day. However, God has challenged me to study the book from original languages and ask one question : How did the early church in the apostolic age live?