The Glory Are We


“Then all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid. But many of the priests and Levites and heads of the fathers’ houses, old men who had seen the first temple, wept with a loud voice when the foundation of this temple was laid before their eyes.” Ezra 3:11-12

Doug Wilson writes (Less Glory Is More):

The Bible teaches us that the times of the new covenant are attended with a greater glory than the old covenant, as well as with a greater simplicity. In effect, that simplicity is part of the glory.

The arrival of Jesus the Messiah was not a signal for us to lapse into some kind of second-rate old covenant observance. The old covenant was glorious, in its time, but when we try to imitate the types and shadows, we are dragging the lesser glory into something inglorious.

This applies to many things—the sacrificial system, the practice of tithing, our observance of the Lord’s Day, and so on. In place of the entire Mosaic economy, we have two sacraments. In place of a year of calendar obligations, we have one day of obligation, recurring every seven days, and that recurrence is for the sake of our relief and rest. In place of bloody sacrifices, we have a cup of wine. In place of meat on the altar, we have a simple piece of bread.

The glory of the new covenant is simpler, but this simplicity is not to be understood as a downgrade. This simplicity is a relief, and an ornament of grace. It is not that we are barred from the glory that our old covenant brothers enjoyed, but rather that we are taught the meaning of a deeper glory. It is not as though God thinks that extra embroidery on Aaron’s robe would be more glorious, but He doesn’t want us to have that. Rather, God is teaching us that in the realm of glory, as with other forms of aesthetic experience, less is more.

I kind of agree, but kind of not. It’s more like the fact that the simpler and more graceful something appears, the more work has gone into designing it. [1]

As we follow the patterns through the Bible, we find Word becoming Flesh. Every glorious element of the Tabernacle was a symbol to be fulfilled in, and constructed out of, people. [2] The Restoration era is interesting because it was kind of a halfway house between the Old and New Covenants.

When the second Temple was built, the young people shouted and the old people wept. The young people got it right. Solomon’s Temple was made of stone and wood. Ezekiel’s Temple was made out of people. All New Jerusalems are.

What’s on the table is not what’s glorious. It’s just a memorial, the foundation plaque on the living house.

The Old and New Covenants, like everything else God seems to do, are a head and body. Adam builds the house and Eve fills it. Man is structure, woman is glory.

Building the house took blood, sweat and tears. Since the marriage supper (AD70!), it’s now about raising the kids. This is the glory. [3] It’s still messy because it’s still a process of building. But it’s a different kind of messy, and a different kind of glory. It is the content from the Tablets of Stone being written on Tablets of Flesh.

[1] This was the message in those Mac vs. PC ads. heh.
[2] This explains why dispensationalists fail to see the words of the prophets being fulfilled in history. They are still waiting for a temple of stone. On the evil of holding onto shadows, see The End of Shadows.
[3] For how this age was prefigured, see Vile Bodies or Bright Young Things. For background on Satan’s constant attempts to counterfeit the process, see There Can Only Be One.

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2 Responses to “The Glory Are We”

  • Todd McPhail Says:

    I just wanted to drop a quick note to you Mike. I have never read anything you have written. I have been aware of your site for a year or two but did not take the time to read anything there as I had already read many of the .pdfs.

    Today I felt a prompting to go to your site and found Totus Christus and Bible Matrix. I read the intro to Totus and I can say with confidence, God has been saying the same things to me. Even though I have come down a different road, I am appear to be arriving at the same or very similar desitnation!

    I look forward to reading your books.

  • Mike Bull Says:

    Thanks Todd – read Matrix first. It’s a primer for the big one. Hope it’s a blessing.