Moses and the Face of Glory
August 6-7, 2022
We've been recently looking at the presence of God as described as the glory of God, and oftentimes described as light, the brilliance of light. For example, as I mentioned last week, when Jesus took the three really inner disciples Peter, James, and John, went up to the high mountain, we know it as the Mount of Transfiguration because Jesus was transfigured before them. The glory of God was so amazingly revealed as Jesus was transformed in front of them.
It says that His face shone like the sun, His garments became bright as light. This is a description of glory. Then, when Moses was on Mount Sinai, and that's what we're looking at right here, he was on the mountain with the Lord receiving the law, the commandments, the pattern of the tabernacle, which, of course, is an image of the throne of God. He was there in that place, being so near to God that the glory of God was so brilliant that the glory was visible on his face when he came down the mountain.
Now, it's important to also know Moses was twice on the mountain for 40 days, 40 nights, twice, two times. The reason why two times is because the first time, if you remember, as he was coming down the mountain, his servant, Joshua, was with him and said, "There's a sound of war in the camp." Moses says, "That is not the sound of war. That's the sound of singing. What that is, they are having a party in the camp." He came down and they were dancing, this party what had happened, you remember the story.
Moses had been gone those 40 days, they didn't know what happened to him. They thought he had gone too long. They pressured Aaron into making that golden calf. "Here's your gods, oh Israel, that brought you from Egypt." Then they partied and that's when Moses came and saw the whole thing. He's so angry he smashed the law that he had on the tablet and purged the camp.
God then told him to bring two more tablets to the mountain, and that he would receive the law again, and restore the tablets that had been snapped. The second time he had been in the presence of God with glory. Oh, how beautiful the scene was. What's interesting is that when he came down from the mountain, the radiance of glory being visible on his face, he didn't realize until people reacted to it, that there was a brilliance and radiance of glory on his face.
By the way, sign up. I believe that that condition, glory emanating in such a manifest way, I believe that was the way that man was originally created. I submit that because Scripture tells us that it was only after Adam and Eve sinned did they realize they were naked. They were in God's presence. They were filled with the radiance of His glory, but when they sinned, then they became aware of their nakedness and were ashamed. You know the story.
At first, they tried to cover themselves with fig leaves, which could not have been comfortable, I'm just telling you. Then God brought to them the skin of an animal to cover their shame and their nakedness, which really indicated even from the earliest days of men, that it would require the giving and the shedding of blood to cover sin. Hebrews 9:22, says the same thing, "According to the law, one may say, all things are cleansed by blood, and without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness."
Of course, that's why we receive communion as a recognition that it was Christ's blood that bought forgiveness for us. Our sins have been paid, and they've been paid in full by that blood that Christ shed on the cross. Well, when the people saw the face of Moses radiant with glory, they were afraid to come near. They were afraid of the glory, so Moses put a veil over his face. This story that we're going to read, it's about the glory of God, but it's about this veil.
Whenever he was in the presence of God, let's say at the Tent of Meeting, he would remove the veil, nothing between him and God, to receive the glory of God. Whenever he was with the people, he wore a veil over his face. Now, Paul made a spiritual analogy about this veil. 2 Corinthians 3, saying that Moses wore that veil so the sons of Israel might not look at the glory that was fading. In other words, they did not want to see-- They were afraid of God's glory, but it became a picture of that which lies over the heart. In fact, he says that a veil lies over the heart of Israel even today. It is removed only in Christ. That's a powerful insight.
The veil is taken away. He says that it is a veil that lies over the heart and it represents the condition of the heart, where something is standing in the way. Something is separating you from the fullness of God in your life. A veil lies over the heart, something is standing in the way. "Whenever a man turns to the Lord," the Scripture says, "the veil is taken away so that we with unveiled face, beholding as in a near the glory of the Lord." Paul wrote. We are being transformed by that glory, from glory to glory. That's what we're going to read is filled with life lessons. We're in Exodus 34, and will begin reading in verse 27.
"Then the Lord said to Moses, write down these words for in accordance with these words, I made a covenant with you and with Israel." He was there with the Lord 40 days, 40 nights. This is the second time. He did not eat bread or drink water. He wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the 10 commandments. It came about that when Moses was coming down from Mount Sinai, and the two tablets of the testimony were in Moses' hand as he was coming down the mountain, that Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because of his speaking with Him, with God in the presence of God.
When Aaron and the sons of Israel saw Moses, behold the skin of his face shone, and they were afraid to draw near to him, but then Moses called to them and Aaron and the rulers in the congregation, they returned to Moses, and Moses spoke to them. Afterward, all the sons of Israel also came there and he commanded them to do everything that the Lord had spoken on Mount Sinai. When Moses had finished speaking with them, he put a veil over his face, but whenever Moses went in before the Lord to speak with Him, the Lord, he would take the veil off until he returned, until he came out."
All the time that he was in the presence of God in that Tent of Meeting, the veil was off. Nothing stood between him and the fullness of God, and the fullness of His glory, but whenever he came out and spoke to the sons of Israel, whenever he had been commanded, the sons of Israel would see the face of Moses that it shone, and so Moses would put the veil back over his face until he went in to be with God again.
I. God’s Glory is a Transforming Power
Oh, what a great story. What tremendous important lessons for us here in the story. Starting with this, we have to recognize God's glory is beautiful on the soul, but God's glory is a transforming power. He was in the presence of the Living God, that's why the glory was on his face. Now, God's glory was transforming Moses. It was transforming his face, imagine what it was doing to his soul, because God's glory is beautiful on the soul.
It was so beautiful on the soul that after Moses interceded for Israel, he asked God, show your glory, I want to see more of your glory. He wanted more. You're so beautiful. See, that same glory, the Scripture says, is in the heart of a believer. If you'd ask Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, the Holy Spirit has taken residence in your life, and the very presence of God and the glory of God is seen in you because the presence of God is in your soul and in your heart and resides within your very being.
A. Into the image of God’s Son
Now, you're not going to have a radiance of glory in that sense. When you turn off the lights, it will be dark, but the glory of your soul will be transformed because God's glory is a transforming power. Transformed into what? Into the image of His son. That is the very desire and intent of the Lord, to transform you by His glory into the image of His son. When you have your own personal spiritual devotional intimate meeting experiences with God, you will in fact be transformed.
When you have your own personal devotional intimate meetings with God, you will be transformed. You don't have to go outside the camp, as I mentioned, you don't have to go. Moses would set up this Tent of Meeting quite some distance outside the main camp. Anyone who wanted to meet with God could go out to the Tent of Meeting. Today you don't have to go outside the camp. You don't have to go to some high mountain. God is in this place. You can have a Tent of Meeting experience with God anytime you want.
I tell you, every meeting with God is beautiful on the soul. It's transforming into the image of His son, because it's a transforming power. Let me give you some verses 2 Corinthians 4:6-7, "God who said light shall shine out of darkness is the one who has shone into our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ." What a description is that.
We have this treasure is describing the glory of God manifest in the soul, we have this treasure in earthing vessels, that's our bodies. Our bodies are just earthing vessels. In other words, clay pots and the older we get, I suppose the more we look like a clay pot, but the whole point is God's glory is manifest in the soul. We have this treasure in the soul, manifest in the soul. Take hold of these words, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and none of ourselves.
I tell you, if you can only understand what He's saying here, this is a powerful understanding. It is a transforming understanding. The power of God resides in the soul of the one who wants to be transformed by the glory of God. We have this treasure in earthing vessels. Here's another one. Jesus said this in Luke 6:45, "The good man out of that good treasure will bring forth what is good, for the mouth speaks from that which fills the heart."
When the power, the glory of God is manifest in the soul, there's a treasure. He's describing the glory of God, out of that then you speak, out of that you move, out of that you bless. Now you know Romans 8:28, many people know Romans 8:28. We love Romans 8:28, but you got to see it in its context because He speaks to this. Notice, for example, let me just give you some of it in verse 29 and following, Romans 8, "We know that God causes all things to work together for good for those who love God."
There's 8:28, we love that phrase. It's so encouraging. For those who are called according to His purpose. God calls you with a purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He knew your name before there was even one day that you lived, before the foundations of the world He knew you. He also predestined that you would be conformed to the image of His son, because when you are conformed to the image of His son, it's beautiful. The glory of God is beautiful on the soul.
When you move into and grow into the image of His son is beautiful, so that He would be the first born among many brethren. God calls you brethren, brothers and sisters. He takes sinners and makes them sons. He thinks sinners and makes them daughters, and those whom He justified, He glorified. This is a deep understanding. He glorified, what do you mean He glorified? Because the glory of God is a transforming power. That move of God to transform He is glorifying His name in your life.
B. The Holy Spirit is the presence of God
He's transforming you. It's called being glorified. Then it adds what then shall we say to this? What shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? There's another verse we love, but you see the context of it. The transforming power of God is within the soul. God is for you. If He calls you a brethren, that means he's your Father. If God's your Father, you got favor on your life. If God is for us, who can be against us, because this is what I'm trying to say, the Holy Spirit is the presence of God.
The Holy Spirit, you ask Jesus into your heart, He's going to give you The Holy Spirit, that's a promise and you can ask for more, by the way, ask, seek, knock. God wants to give you. Be ye filled with the Spirit. If you want more, He'll give you more. You want more, God He'll give you, He'll transform. You ask, you seek, He'll give you more. God's intent is to transform your character because the character that we had when we were born wasn't so good. Anybody want to agree with me?
The character we were born with, wasn't so good. I could even describe it much worse than that. I could even say there's a lot of ugly in the nature of man. There's a lot to be transformed. All we have to do is be honest and we'll admit that, there's a lot that needs to be transformed, and that is His intent. The character, the heart, the actions to be like Christ, to change us from what we once were into what God wants us to be in Christ.
He gives The Holy Spirit, the presence of God to bring that transformation. Now, Moses' glory it says was fading when he was away from the presence of God, but we have the very presence of God with us and always with us. 2Corinthians 3:11, "If that which fades away was with glory," Moses' glory, "How much more of that which remains?" The Holy Spirit will never leave you. God will never forsake you. He gives you The Holy Spirit, The Holy Spirit is never going to leave you.
He is with you throughout the rest of your life. Now that's a promise you can stand on. You don't have to go up to the mountain. You don't have to go outside the camp. You have the very presence of God within you, but we must still make the opportunity and take the opportunity to draw near to God in your heart. The Holy Spirit is with you, always with you, but you must take the opportunity and make the opportunity to draw near to God in your heart.
Hebrew 10:19-22, "Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter The Holy Place by The Blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, let us draw near to it. He's made a way let's draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith." I'm going to tell you right now, those verses I just read to you are some of the deepest verses known to man. I would love for you to just meditate on those words. Those verses I just quoted to you right there are some of the deepest, most important and powerful verses known to man. They're that important. They are powerful.
We have confidence to enter into the holiest of holiest of holiest places, we're sinners. He says it's because of The Blood of Christ. He's made a way, a new and living way. Therefore, He's made a way, do it. Take the opportunity. Let us draw near then with a sincere heart and full assurance of faith, deep words. Another way He shows it, The Holy Spirit that He also describes is a well of life springing up within the soul. I'll give you the words of Jesus in John 4:14. He's speaking to this Samaritan woman who was a sinner. You want to talk about Jesus ministering to sinners, this Samaritan woman was a sinner that God, the Father sent Jesus, the Son to go and find that woman and to bring her to Himself.
That's the heart of the Lord. Jesus says whoever drinks of the water that I give shall never thirst, and the water that I give will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life, that He's speaking of is the life of God that will be given. You drink of this water, and it will become a well springing up that will bless the people. "My cup overflows," David says, that's a beautiful picture. The well of life overflows out of your life.
Transformation happens when there is that internal transformation that comes from the glory of God. Here's an illustration. The external shell of a kernel of popcorn is perfectly capable of holding back what's on the inside of that popcorn kernel. That is until that popcorn kernel is heated, and once that popcorn kernel is heated on the inside, that shell that was on the outside cannot contain it anymore. There is an outward transformation because of the inward heat of glory. That's an illustration of the fact that that which the Holy Spirit does is transforming the life.
The history of Calvary Chapel, Pastor Chuck Smith was reaching out to the hippies of the generation of the '60s. He knew that if God could do beautiful work on the inside, that the outside would follow. You know the hippies and it was a counterculture revolution and the long hair and the counterculture aspect of it and the dirty feet and just walking around barefoot all the time, and so he's ministering the word of God, and hippies are being transformed because there's something real, authentic, and genuine that's happening in the soul. Real, authentic, genuine is happening in the soul.
Well, one day Chuck gets to church early and sees that somebody put up a sign on the door of the church and sign says, no shoes, no service. He couldn't believe it. Who would put up a sign, no shoes, no service? He took it down, put it in his office called an elders meeting that week, and said who did this? One of the elders said, "Well, I did it." "Well, but why?" He said, "Because those hippies, they come in and they sit on the nice brand new carpet. We got brand new carpet and they-- oh, they got to sit on the floor with their dirty feed and they're making dirty stains all over the floor. I put up the sign."
I love pastor Chuck's reaction. It's famous now. His reaction was, "You're worried about the carpet, take the carpet out. I want all the carpet out, and someone has a problem with these brand new chairs too. Take them out. We'll put in steel benches. Nothing is going to stand in the way of what God is doing in the lives that are being transformed before our eyes." Amen.
C. The Spirit of God uses the Word of God
This elder, he was, he was thinking about, oh, look at the outside. Chuck Smith knew no, you work on the inside. If there's something real, genuine, and authentic, the outside will follow. It's a powerful story, but would you also notice this? Because it's very important. The Spirit of God uses the word of God. He puts the Spirit within us to transform us into the image of His son but the Holy Spirit uses the word of God to bring about that freedom, that transformation.
Notice 2 Corinthians 3:17. Now the Lord is the Spirit and where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom. Transformation is the freedom from lies. Oh, the enemy is a liar. He's the father of lies. There are so many people that are caught up in lies. Oh, I'm here to tell you, there are so many lies that the enemy wants to take and keep people held in bondage with. He's a liar. Where the Spirit of the Lord is there's freedom.
Set you free from his lies, set you free from the bondage of the world on the soul, for the things of the world will mess up the soul. They bring bondage, they'll bring oppression. They bring a soul that's messed up. Anybody who's done the world thing, the more you've done the world thing, the more you know that it messes up the soul. Anybody want to agree with me? I'm just telling you, anybody who's done the world thing, you can have it own testimony, it'll mess up the soul.
It sells us in Galatian 5:1 and 16, "It was for freedom that Christ set us free. Therefore keep standing firm and don't be subject again to a yoke of slavery." Don't go back to a yoke of slavery. "I say to you walk by the spirit and you will not carry out the desires of the flesh." When you walk by this spirit and God will do a beautiful work of transforming the soul. Once you've experienced the beautiful work of God and you want more of it, I want more of it, like Moses wanted more of the glory.
Once you've tasted of it, you want more see, but we must have the Spirit of God and the word of God because the Spirit of God uses the word of God to transform us into the image of the Son of God. We must have both, the Spirit of God and the word of God for true and lasting transformation. Back from John 4 when he was speaking of that Samaritan woman, he said this in John 4:24, "God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in Spirit and in truth for such my Father seeks to be His worshipers." In other words, the Spirit of God uses the word of God. You need both.
It's possible to study the word of God and not be changed at all. It's possible to study the word of God and not be changed by it, because the Holy Spirit is the one then who takes the words of God, lifts them from the page, and writes them on your heart. That's when you transformed. The Holy Spirit takes the word of God, lifts them from the page, you can say, and write them on your heart so that you experience the truth, so that you experience the one who is the word of God.
I was thinking of an illustration. Some time ago, some years ago someone gave Jordy, my wife, and me a gift certificate at a really nice restaurant, and so we were excited to experience this restaurant. When we arrived, it was quite busy. We took a menu and we sat on the bench and waited. We started reading through the menu and we just read through the entire menu. The more we read, the hungrier we became because, oh, the description of the food was amazing. A rich seafood soup, spiced with saffron, roasted garlic and tomatoes, finished with poached wild salmon, halibut, and shrimp, served with smoked paprika, rouille, and toasted garlic baguette.
Oh, sound so good. It's like, woah, wonder what they got for dessert. I'm glad you asked. French chocolate cake layered with vanilla, coffee and dark chocolate moose with a dark chocolate ganache. Oh, we loved reading that. We read that menu, closed the menus and gave them to the girl and said, "Thank you. We had a wonderful evening." It was so wonderful to read the menu. "We really had a wonderful evening. Thank you so much."
We gave you the menus and left. You can be sure that did not happen. After reading a menu like that, we're going to have some dinner. This is very important to understand. It wasn't enough just to read the menu, we got to taste it. We got to taste and see that the food is good. I'll tell you what, just to finish the story, yes, we left that night and we left satisfied because it was good.
Here's my point, please this is such an important point. You can read about how much God loves you. You can have a pastor describe how much God loves you, and I am here to tell you that the glory of God is beautiful on the soul but until you have experienced it, until you have tasted of it, you are not transformed by it. Taste and see that the Lord is good. There is nothing more beautiful on the soul than that.
II. Let There be No Veil Between You and God
There is no greater place to live than in the nearness of God. There is nothing that satisfies the soul more than that. Oh, there's so many people, they search the world over. They go the rest of their lives looking and searching. They're looking for that, what is that thing that would satisfy the soul? I'm just here to tell you right now, there is nothing more beautiful on the soul than the glory of God. Anybody want to agree with me? Let's give the Lord praise and glory.
Therefore, and let's bring it to this understanding. Let there be no veil between you and God. That's the picture of this veil. When Moses was in the presence of God, there will be no veil. I want everything. I want everything that God has got for me. There will be nothing standing in the way. There will be no veil. See when there's no veil, there's nothing standing in the way of that full and beautiful relationship. That's what God is saying.
It's a picture that Paul uses to illustrate a great point. All of us, let there be no veil. Let there be nothing that stands in the way for if there is, if there's anything standing in the way, if there's a veil covering your heart or anything standing in the way, God will show it to you. He'll show it to you. He'll reveal it to you because God wants a full and beautiful relationship and He doesn't want that veil.
He wants you to have everything that the glory of God can do in your life. I'm here to tell you that the glory of God is beautiful. Oh, I want you to experience it. The fullness of it. I want you to be transformed by it. There is nothing more beautiful in this world than the glory of God transforming the soul. God will show it to you. If there's anything in the way, He'll show it to you. For the word of God is like a mirror, He'll show it to you.
A. The Word of God is like a mirror
Interestingly, in Exodus 29, when they were instructed to make a laver of bronze in which the priests were to wash their hands, they were to wash their hands before they ministered in the temple. It tells us that they made this washing basin out of mirrors. Interesting. I'll give it to you. Exodus 38:8, "Moreover he made the laver of bronze with his base of bronze from the mirrors of the serving women who served at the doorway of Tent of Meeting," from the mirrors. He took the mirrors and he made this.
It's interesting because the Bible speaks about being washed by the word, the word washes. How appropriate then would that-- Before they ministered in the temple, they were washed in a basin of mirrors. How appropriate? Because the word of God is like a mirror. It shows you the condition of the soul. God will show you. Is anything standing in the way? Well, God wants the fullness of His glory, transforming the soul. If something is in the way, He'll show it to you.
James 1:22-24, "Prove yourselves to be doers of the word not merely hearers who delude themselves. If anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he's like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror and once he has looked at himself and gone away he's immediately forgotten what kind of person he is like." You don't do that. Then why do you look in the mirror? The reason you look in the mirror is to see if there's anything that needs to be fixed. That's why you look in the mirror, isn't that the whole point look in the mirror? You don't look in the mirror and say, "Wow." You look in the mirror to see what's wrong.
The veil, people put a veil over their lives when they don't want others to see what's really happening. That doesn't work with God. That does not work with God. God knows, God sees what needs to be changed. He loves you so much, He'll show it to you. He loves you so much because He wants you to experience the fullness of God's glory. This thing, this veil it's keeping you from the fullness of God's glorious transformation. Proverbs 27:6, "Faithful are the wounds of a friend." He's a friend. He loves you. He's also called the Spirit of Truth and He will transform when we willingly desire truth in the inner man because, take hold of this, truth is beautiful on the soul.
B. Look intently at the glory of God
Consider this, truth is beautiful. Truth is beautiful on the soul. Psalm 51:6, "Behold, you desire truth." He's speaking of God. "God, you desire truth in the innermost being." Now, we desire truth in the innermost being because truth is beautiful on the soul. Paul uses this veil. He says, "Beholding as in a mirror the glory of God." Look intently, that's what the word mean. Look intently, beholding as in a mirror. Look intently at the glory of God. 2 Corinthians 3:18, "But we all with unveiled face beholding us in a mirror the glory of the Lord are being transformed into that same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord to Spirit.
He's talking about here a process. Step by step from glory to glory. You will increase as you walk in it. You will increase as you walk in it. Step by step, from glory to glory. God, there's a lot to be changed. There's a lot to be transformed. If we behold as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, we are being transformed into that same image from glory to glory. He's referring to that step by step increase, increase, increase. Oh, let me just tell you right now, I wish I knew when I was 20 what I know today. I wish I knew when I was 20 what I know today about the glory of the Lord.
I wish I knew when I was 20 what I know today about the power of God. I want you to know it right now. I want you to be transformed by it. You say, "Well, I'm not 20 anymore." It's not too late. Start walking in the truth of it and you will see it. You will be transformed by it, because I'm here to tell you it is beautiful and God wants that in your life. Anybody want it? God wants to do it.
He says with unveiled face, he says, "Beholding in a mirror." That's an interesting word. Back in James 1, he said, "Don't be like a man beholding in a mirror." Interestingly, he uses the word male there, suggesting that a man and a woman look at a mirror differently. In other words, women appreciate the value of a mirror much more than a man. Man might glance at a mirror, okay, aha, a woman understands more.
Women may even have all series of mirrors. You get up in the morning and then the first mirror is the one that assesses the damage from the night before. Then you have the makeup mirror with all the special lights so you can do the work of the artwork of the thing. Then of course, you got a mirror in the closet to make sure everything is right. Then you got mirror by the door before you leave for the house. Then you got a mirror in the car. You got a mirror in the purse.
Women understand a lot, men don't understand. He's like, "No, look, let's learn something here from the women. You got to learn to look intently here. It will show you, the word of God will show it to you because we are moving from glory to glory here and if there's anything standing in the way, He'll show it to you." Don't be satisfied to stay where you are right now, increase, increase.
You can spend the rest of your life increasing in the things of God and you'll never be done increasing in the things of God. When you get old, may you have more glory than you ever had in the entirety of your life because you increased every day. Every day increasing, increasing. Oh, I want you to experience how beautiful God is, what He can do to your life, what He can do to the soul. There is nothing more beautiful on the soul.
He'll take that wretched sinner and He'll make you a son or a daughter that walks in the victory and the power step by step, increase by increase, He'll do it. Let's pray. Father, thank you so much. Oh Lord, if we could only have seen this when we were younger, oh Lord, how beautiful you are. How wonderful is your presence. Help us to increase step by step, glory by glory. Church, how many would say to the Lord today I want that, I want to increase and increase and increase and increase. I want more.
Is that you, would you just say that to the Lord? Just raise your hand to the Lord. Raise both hands if you want to. Just say it to the Lord by raising your hand, I want more. I want to increase. I want to increase, God. Pour your Spirit out. Pour the glory, the transforming power that moves. God, thank you so much. We honor you. We love you. We give you thanks for how beautiful you are in our lives. We ask that now in Jesus's powerful name and everyone said, amen.
Can we give the Lord praise and glory and honor. Amen.