We started these series of messages with the wilderness journey of the children of Israel. We saw that the wilderness is a place of proving, overcoming, and maturity for sons. But it is also where man is brought to his lowest as carnality and religion find expression there. This was demonstrated among the children of Israel who worshiped the golden calf. Today too, many golden calves have been erected among the Lord’s people. This was the condition seen by John as he was carried in the Spirit to the wilderness to witness a woman sitting on scarlet beast who had the name “Mystery Babylon”.
Although the wilderness exposed the rebellion of the people, it was also where God had manifested Himself through various illuminations. The lightnings on Mount Sinai, the pillar of fire by night, and the cloud which descended over the tabernacle were all manifestations of the glory of God unto the children of Israel. For the people, these externals were needed because men could not see or know God and needed to be assured that God was in their midst. It demonstrates the graciousness of God in manifesting Himself at the level where people can understand and receive Him.
But now, praise His name, He has sent the Spirit of His Son who is daily speaking to us that we may put on the Lord Jesus Christ and be clothed with the light of His glory. Therefore, we no longer have any need for the external confirmations of the glory of God outside of us. If you are not experiencing the illuminating glory of God and all that it entails within you, then you will not experience it out there.
This great truth, that God would both manifest His glory in man and illuminate the earth through man, was demonstrated through one of the most stirring events that took place in the wilderness:
“When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the covenant law in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the Lord” (Exo. 34:29).
Moses was so overshadowed by the light of God’s glory that he had become the very conduit of God’s glory. The radiating glory exhibited on Moses was an effect of His prolonged encounter with the Lord atop the mount. He had been in the presence of God. And as a result, God who covers Himself with light, who dwells in light and who is Himself light had enveloped him with His glory. It was a glowing imprint of the presence of God on mortal man.
The King James reads that the “skin of his face shone”. This radiance in Moses’ face was a sight that was distinct from any previous illuminations God had used to manifest His glory. In this instance, God had chosen man as a vessel to reveal His glory on the earth. Despite the inferiority of the glory of that dispensation, the glory demonstrated in Moses has relevant spiritual truths to us. We see that the radiance of that glory in Moses’ countenance had an impact or influence on others. First, we read that it caused the people to be afraid. I believe this was a reverential fear of God’s presence that had been produced in the people because of the glory manifested in Moses.
Moses not only spoke on behalf of God but in his countenance the children of Israel were brought into a measure of God’s presence. We read that the people were afraid to come close to him just as they were afraid to come close to the Mount that that burned with fire, even refusing to hear the voice that spoke with them. However, we see that the manifestation of God’s glory in man produced different results: “Moses called unto them; and Aaron and all the rulers of the congregation returned unto him: and Moses talked with them…and afterwards all the children of Israel came nigh and he gave them in commandment all that the Lord had spoken” (Exo. 34:31-32).
Glory to God! This is the effect of the glory of God manifested in a people. It has the authority and power to draw all people unto the Lord. None can refuse it. None can turn away from it. None can reject it. Consequently, we see that people were receptive to Moses, listening and obeying the council of the Lord as he established the law among the children of Israel. It was the abiding presence of God that equipped Moses with authority to speak on behalf God. For we notice that, unlike Aaron, Moses was able to maintain the people’s respect, obedience, and attention, especially after the incident of the golden calf. Thus, Moses ministered with divine authority.
This truth is further established by the Hebrew word ‘qaran’ used for ‘shine’ in Exodus 34:29. The word is a verb meaning ‘to shine’, but it also means ‘to display or grow horns’. In fact, the word ‘qaran’ comes from the noun ‘qeren’ which means ‘horn’. This word ‘qaran’ is only used on four occasions in scripture, three of them referring to Moses. I trust none will conclude from this that Moses grew horns. However, it is possible that the rays coming from Moses’ glow could have been seen as spike-like extensions, much like a horn. Ironically, the most common Hebrew word for ‘shine’, which is ‘ore’ was not used in reference to Moses’ face. I believe the usage of the particular word has a deeper message to convey.
So why was the word ‘qaran’ (to grow horns) used? Throughout the book of Revelation horns appear on numerous occasions including the horns of the Lamb, dragon and beast. Horns represent dominion, power, authority or kingship in scripture. When David said: “The Lord is the horn of my salvation!” (Psa. 18:2), he was simply saying the Lord is the King or authority of my salvation. Thus, the radiance of the glory, as horns, on Moses’ countenance was the demonstration of the authority of the Lord that equipped Moses to lead that stiff-necked and rebellious people. This authority was an effect of the glory of God. Notice also, that one of the qualities that most astonished people about Jesus’ ministry was the great authority with which He ministered.
Yet the authority which Moses exercised was an authority befitting the dispensation of the law under which he lived. But there is an authority befitting the dispensation of the Kingdom. This is an authority that overcomes all flesh. It is an authority the makes old the passing church age. It is an authority that quickens men to encounter the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ. It is an authority the convicts and corrects and encourages all men. It is an authority that draws all men in heaven and under earth into Christ. It is an authority that ministers the full gospel of the kingdom unto perfection. It is an authority that destroys the walls of Babylon to establish the walls of the New Jerusalem. It is an authority that ushers in the restitution of all things and the liberty of creation.
I have no doubt that facets of this authority have already been bestowed on those apprehended to sonship. The authority to discern, judge and see the truth in all things and the authority to speak is now being demonstrated in His sons. No wonder then many ask, by what authority do you say these things? Who are you to question the doctrines of the church that have been established for centuries? Who are you to challenge all the educated theologians who have dedicated their life to the study of the book? Who are you to challenge all the ministers and denominations of Pentecost? Was this not the question the chief priests and the elders asked Jesus: “by what authority are you doing these things?”
Praise God! It is by the authority of Christ that is arising within us. It is by the light of the knowledge of the glory of God imparted unto us in face of Jesus Christ that we are able to walk in the authority of kingly priesthood. As Moses ushered in the dispensation of the law, we are now ushering in the dispensation of the Kingdom. Yet there is much more of His glory to be unveiled unto creation that all may be gathered to the Lord.
Dear saints, our beloved Father is now imparting to us His glory in the lonely place in the heights of the mountain top. To those who have yet to experience it, we bid you in the Spirit to ‘come up’ to the heights of Zion. For it is there that we are beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord and we are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory that we may illuminate the earth with the wonderful light of His glory. For everyone who has been quickened to ‘come up’ to partake in all the glory atop Zion must continuously descend to the multitudes in the authority of His glory.
Praise be to His name!