The manifestation of sons is a deep cry of every son of God and an unveiling which creation longs for. The Spirit of God declares that: “the earnest expectation of the creation waits for the manifestation of the sons of God” (Rom. 8:19). This manifestation is principally an unveiling of Jesus Christ in a people. It is the unveiling of His nature, His mind, and His life from the deep recesses of man’s spirit. Manifestation (Greek: apokalupsis) means: laying bear, a disclosure of truth, an appearance. The verb is ‘apokalupto’ which means “to uncover, lay open what has been veiled or covered up”. The process of this revelation involves the removal of the outer covering of flesh, corruption and self that obstructs the expression of the glory of God. To those who are hearing what the Spirit is saying in this new Day, there is an inward witness that the hour of the unveiling of God’s Christ is drawing near.
In light of this truth, we turn to the events in Sinai where Moses was used to unveil God’s glory. “Now it was so, when Moses came down from Mount Sinai…that Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone” (Exo. 34:29). Although Moses had previously encountered the Lord atop the mountain, there is no indication that his face shone from his first meeting with God. This was no coincidence. So, why did Moses’s face shine only after the second meeting?
We should establish first that this man Moses had come a long way with God. Through all his hardship and solitude he had experienced the power of God unlike any man of his time. Yet despite all his encounters with the Lord, there was still something missing in his relationship with God. Moses’ question: “Who should I say sent me” indicates the extent to which Moses knew God prior to the exodus. Yet despite all that happened, I believe it was still a lingering question in Moses. He still didn’t fully know who the “I Am” was. Though he knew of Him, he had no union with the glory and nature of God. Though he had tasted God’s goodness and power, worshiped and obeyed Him, he did not know His ways.
It is in light of this predicament that Moses expresses his desire to know the Lord right before his second ascent up the mount. He asked the Lord: “show me now Your way, that I may know You and that I may find grace in Your sight… Please, show me Your glory” (Exo. 33:13-18). This was an appeal and a deep cry. The King James reads “I beseech thee, show me thy glory” (Exo. 33:18). This was a prayer birthed out of a deep desire to know the Lord and to enter into union with Him. This fervent plea is a glimpse into the heart of Moses. Beloved, this is the same cry deep within the heart of every son of God. The sons of God are not satisfied with the outward manifestations of miracles and wonders. More than anything, knowing Him and partaking of His glory (nature) is the deep groaning of every son of God.
Moses’ yearning pleased the Father for He acknowledged Moses’ request saying: “So it shall be, while My glory passes by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock, and will cover you with My hand while I pass by.” (Exo. 33:22). We read that Moses met with the Lord and encountered God’s glory. But, I believe this was more than a supernatural encounter, a burst of flashing light or a mere feeling. Moses entered into a deep spiritual union with God. As God placed this man in the cleft of the rock, he wasn’t merely sticking him in a cave to protect him, He was placing him in Christ, in the very bosom of the Father.
The rock in Horeb is a symbol of Christ the Rock; the Rock of salvation and strength. And it was at Calvary that there was a cleft (i.e hole or opening) made in His side, to open up the way for us into His bosom. To be in the cleft of the Rock is a state of being where we abide in the consciousness of His presence and dwell in the secret place of the Most High.
It was there in the cleft of the Rock, that the Lord also covered Moses with His hands. The word ‘cover’ in the Hebrew (sakak sakak) means “to hedge, shut in, overshadow”. Strong’s also defines it as joining together. It was in Christ that Moses was being hedged in and overshadowed by the glory of the Lord. It was this same glory that overshadowed Moses that also radiated his countenance.
Beloved, rest assured that those who have been pressing into Christ, those who dwell in the secret place of the Most High, under the shadow of the Almighty, covered over in the cleft of the Rock, overshadowed by His glory will be sent forth as the brightness and expression of His glory. Like Moses, the elect sons of God will descend from Zion manifesting the glory of the Lord unto creation.
Being in the cleft of the Rock is a spiritual position of being IN CHRIST. This is a lofty attainment experienced in the heights of the mountain peak. Paul states: “I press toward the goal for the prize of the UPWARD call of God IN CHRIST” (Phil. 3:14). Christ in you and being in Christ are terms we often consider synonymously. But ‘CHRIST IN YOU’ and being ‘IN CHRIST’ represent different degrees of progressions in our spiritual journey with the Lord. Paul declares: “That I may gain Christ and be found in Him” (Phil. 3:8). CHRIST IN YOU is the redemptive experience of coming into union with the Lord. Paul refers to this as gaining Christ. But being IN CHRIST or being found in Him is where one becomes fully possessed by the nature and life of the indwelling Christ. Contrary to popular belief, not everyone who has received Christ has attained to this stature of being in Christ. This is why Paul goes on to say: “Him we preach… that we present every man perfect IN CHRIST JESUS.” What a glorious hope: every man perfect IN CHRIST. But this perfection is only attained in that state of being in Him.
Notice also that the veil is taken away IN CHRIST (2 Cor. 3:14). It is in that position of being in Him that we are overshadowed by His glory to put off the veil of flesh to manifest His life. Was it not also after Mary was overshadowed by the Holy Spirit that she birthed our Lord Jesus? Any man who attains to this spiritual stature of being IN CHRIST is a new creation, old things (flesh) have passed away and all thing have become new (2 Cor. 5:17). For those who are IN CHRIST there is no more a veil of flesh that covers. Many preachers have used 2 Corinthians 5:17 for saints who have just experienced the new birth. But, let me ask, do we see old things (Adamic nature, carnality, self) as having passed away and all things having been made new in our initial salvation experience? Indeed a progress remains of pressing into the indwelling life of Christ.
It is there, in the inward man of the spirit of Christ, that we encounter the Lord and speak with Him face to face. Having been joined to the Lord and having become one Spirit, there in the secret place, positioned in the cleft of the Rock, we communion and fellowship in unrestricted union with Father. Outwardly though, we may not yet see the brightness of the Lord’s glory in our countenance or its expression to our fellow man in its full radiance. Yet there remains an abiding in the Rock until He brings forth the fulfillment of the finished work. This may take our lifetime, but He calls us to stillness and a patient waiting in Him.
Along this line, I share the following encouraging words by Preston Eby: “To all who treasure the beautiful hope of sonship to God, who hunger to see the fullness of God revealed in His elect; to all who yearn to see the leaders of Babylon repent, to see the slaves of Babylon come out of her with great rejoicing, and to see the end of God’s fiery dealings with all His people until His bride has made herself ready; to all who long to see creation set free from the bondage of corruption, and all peoples and all nations marching up to Zion to learn the ways of the Lord and to walk in His paths; to all who hope in Christ for the perfection, completion, and fulfillment of all He has promised those who follow on to know Him in the Day; to one and all I say “wait!” “Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him” (Ps. 37:7).”
Beloved, we have a sure witness that God is drawing us deeper into the cleft of the Rock to abide in Him. But in abiding, there is much waiting and enduring. So I say to you brother/sister abide in the Rock. Even though there may be nothing visible, abide in the Rock. Though friends and family may turn away, abide in the Rock. Though the storms may rage, abide in the Rock. Though it may be solitary, stay the course and abide in the Rock. Abide trusting in the Rock of ages. For the sons of God, dwelling in the secret place of the Most High, overshadowed by the glory of the Almighty, covered over in the cleft of the Rock, will come forth in their appointed hour manifesting the radiance of God’s glory unto creation. Amen.