THE SATISFACTION OF GOD
". . . and behold, a voice out of the heavens, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased."
T. Austin-Sparks once said that the definition of "Glory was the outward expression of the full and deep satisfaction of God's heart. However, in all of the scriptures there are only three times when we see that glory of God manifested here on earth. The first time was when Moses had completed the construction of the tabernacle in the wilderness and the glory of God filled the tent. The last time is when the New Jerusalem descends out of heaven and there is no need for the sun there because the glory of God gives all the light needed.
Of course, the tabernacle in the wilderness is a picture of the New Jerusalem. The tabernacle contained the Ark of the Covenant, which represents the presence of God. This shows us how much God wants to dwell in and among His people. But why did the glory of God descend upon a mere tent in the desert? What was it about this tent that triggered the satisfaction of God's heart? Well, you need to understand that it wasn't so much the actual tent itself that triggered God's satisfaction, but rather what the tent stood for or fore-shadowed.
Whenever I see a photograph of one of my grandchildren, I smile. Why? It's not because of the photo itself, but rather what (who) the photo represents. The picture reminds me of someone who is very special to me. The picture points to the reality. However, the picture only satisfies partially and temporarily.
The glory of the Lord only came upon the tabernacle at certain times and only temporarily; just as the glory upon the face of Moses eventually faded. The glory can only permanently be realized when the picture becomes reality.
The New Jerusalem
In the book of Revelation we see the fulfillment of God's purpose finally being realized and experienced here on earth. God and man become one. God is the light, life, and source of everything for man. God becomes man's environment and everything man needs is contained within this environment.
There is no need for a temple within this city because the Lord is that temple! Man lives in God and God lives in man. Talk about the full satisfaction of God's heart! This whole city has no other light than the glory of God. This is full satisfaction. This is permanence of God's glory.
Out of Heaven
There is something about this passage in Revelation that I want you to notice. It says that the New Jerusalem came "out of heaven". You see, it already existed in the heavenlies! This city was built in the other realm and then came into this realm when the time had come. But my point here is that the city already exists in the heavenlies and is being built right now! The full fruition of the satisfaction of God's heart is now coming to pass and will one day be fully manifested here on the earth. The full and complete union of God with man has already been fulfilled! But how can this be?
"He Tabernacled Among Us"
The other time that God showed His glory was sandwiched in between the tabernacle and the New Jerusalem. In fact, this instance is what made the transformation all possible. It's what opened the door for the picture of the tabernacle to become the reality of the New Jerusalem.
God, the Father, could only realize the full satisfaction of His heart and purpose through one means. The full glory of God was expressed through one man! In that one man all of God's desires and intentions were fulfilled. In that one man God brought together the heavenly realm and the earthly realm. In that one man God achieved complete oneness with Himself and man. In that one man God was able to build His dream of the New Jerusalem by constructing the city using precious stones, living stones. In that one man God was able to reconcile all things to Himself. In that one man God was and is able to completely and permanently express the full satisfaction of His heart.
These things are all possible because we are now in Christ!