The Glory of God Vs. The Nature of Godís Glory

 

First of all what is the difference between the Glory of God and the Nature of Godís Glory.Godís Glory encompasses all that He is.Godís Glory is basically God himself.His Nature is a distinct aspect of that Glory (not commonly shared with man) which is most commonly revealed through His specific attributes.Let me give you an example.Michael Jordan the professional basketball player would be described as a tall, athletic, competitive, aggressive and fast.This is who Michael Jordan is, this is his glory.But what is his nature?His nature is fallen, like all of us; he is a rebellious sinner by nature.Can you see the difference?Now letís take a look at God.God could be described as merciful, gracious, longsuffering and abounding in goodness and truthÖ these are just mentioning a few (Exodus 34:6).This is Godís Glory.So what do you think Godís Nature would be, wouldnít it be the same thing?No, Godís nature is that He is a perfect (Infallible and Holy) (2 Samuel 22:31, Leviticus 11:44-45).Gods Glory is mostly who we need Him to be because of our sin and His Nature is who He is despite our sin.With this in mind, letís get on with the interpretation.†††

 

To seek more of God should be the desire of every Christian.We should live to please Him.Jesus said that we should worship the Father in spirit and in truth, and that the Father is looking for such to worship Him.

 

John 4:19-24

 

The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet.Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship; for salvation is of the Jews.But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.God is spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

 

Jesus is clearly stating that we must be honest and real regarding our service to a Holy GodÖ but there is a question.How is it possible to serve God in truth if part of our understanding of God is void of that truth?God clearly wants us honest and real toward Him but He also wants us wise in Him.The objective of this interpretation is to reveal the clear difference between the Glory of God and the Nature of God so the believer might worship God more accurately.

 

The Glory of God

 

When the Israelites were delivered from the hand of pharaoh, God wrought many signs and wonders to bring them out of Egypt.The people not only beheld these signs and wonders, but they also partook of them.After repeated signs and wonders from the Lord, the Israelites eventually became impartial to them and even to God Himself.

 

Numbers 14:11

 

And the Lord said unto Moses, How long will this people provoke me?And how long will it be ere they believe me, for all the signs which I have shewed among them?

 

Deuteronomy 4:34

 

Of hath God assayed to go and take him a nation from the midst of another nation, by temptations, by signs, and by wonders, and by war, and by a mighty hand, and by a stretched out arm, and by great terrors, according to all that the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes?Unto thee was it shewed, that thou mightest know that the Lord he is God; there is none else beside him.

 

The Israelites partook of the water poured forth from the rock (Exodus 17:6).They walked in the mists of the dry land of the Red Sea (Exodus 14:29-30).They even ate of the bread from heaven (manna) (Exodus 16:4-35, Psalms 78:25).

 

It is clear the Israelites had no problem receiving the miracles of God.The abode in them, they complained in them and they even corrupted themselves in them (Exodus 20:19-23, 32:1).They were a loose people.In all that the Lord did through signs and wonders, the Israelites simply sucked up these miracles like a camel sucks up water and went about their business.

 

I want to demonstrate the Israelites had no problem receiving Godís Glory, which was graciously and mercifully demonstrated through His signs and wonders.The Israelites abode in that Glory, they complained in that GloryÖ and they corrupted themselves in that Glory.

 

The Nature of Godís Glory

 

Now letís take a look at Godís distinct Nature.The Israelites had been in the desert wilderness awhile now; they had experienced the Glory of God through His merciful signs and wonders and through His direct intercession for their lives.They were now about to experience something they had never experienced before.Godís Nature.Below Moses was getting ready to receive the 10 commandments from the Lord, and the Lord was giving Moses careful instructions for the people.

 

Exodus 19:1-24

In the third month, when the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the same day came they into the wilderness of Sinai.For they were departed from Rephidim, and were come to the desert of Sinai, and had pitched in the wilderness; and there Israel camped before the mount.And Moses went up unto God, and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel;Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto myself.Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel. And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the LORD commanded him.And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the LORD.And the LORD said unto Moses, Lo, I come unto thee in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with thee, and believe thee for ever. And Moses told the words of the people unto the LORD.And the LORD said unto Moses, Go unto the people, and sanctify them to day and to morrow, and let them wash their clothes,And be ready against the third day: for the third day the LORD will come down in the sight of all the people upon mount Sinai.And thou shalt set bounds unto the people round about, saying, Take heed to yourselves, that ye go not up into the mount, or touch the border of it: whosoever toucheth the mount shall be surely put to death:There shall not an hand touch it, but he shall surely be stoned, or shot through; whether it be beast or man, it shall not live: when the trumpet soundeth long, they shall come up to the mount.And Moses went down from the mount unto the people, and sanctified the people; and they washed their clothes.And he said unto the people, Be ready against the third day: come not at your wives.And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled.And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God; and they stood at the nether part of the mount.And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly.And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice.And the LORD came down upon mount Sinai, on the top of the mount: and the LORD called Moses up to the top of the mount; and Moses went up.And the LORD said unto Moses, Go down, charge the people, lest they break through unto the LORD to gaze, and many of them perish. And let the priests also, which come near to the LORD, sanctify themselves, lest the LORD break forth upon them.

Exodus 20:18-22

And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off.And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die.

 

The results of God revealing His Holy Nature were obvious.The same people who could abide in the Glory of God could not abide in the Nature of God.You see, God is one God but there are different attributes of this one God.The Father represents the eternal Judgment of God.The Son represents the eternal Mercy, (Forgiveness and Intercession) of God.The Holy Ghost represents the eternal Revelation, (Communion) of God.When God showed Himself among the people through signs and wonders this was Godís Glory (Numbers 14:10-11, 21), an aspect of God the children of Israel could receive.When God showed Himself upon Mount Sinai through His NatureÖ the people became terrified and did not have permission to stand in His Nature.Below is the same event explained later in the book of Deuteronomy.I am including this passage for reference and because it offers a more distinct example of the peoples reaction towards Godís Nature.

 

Deuteronomy 5:22-29

 

These words the LORD spake unto all your assembly in the mount out of the midst of the fire, of the cloud, and of the thick darkness, with a great voice: and he added no more. And he wrote them in two tables of stone, and delivered them unto me. And it came to pass, when ye heard the voice out of the midst of the darkness, (for the mountain did burn with fire,) that ye came near unto me, even all the heads of your tribes, and your elders; And ye said, Behold, the LORD our God hath shewed us his glory and his greatness, and we have heard his voice out of the midst of the fire: we have seen this day that God doth talk with man, and he liveth. Now therefore why should we die? for this great fire will consume us: if we hear the voice of the LORD our God any more, then we shall die.For who is there of all flesh, that hath heard the voice of the living God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as we have, and lived?  Go thou near, and hear all that the LORD our God shall say: and speak thou unto us all that the LORD our God shall speak unto thee; and we will hear it, and do it.And the LORD heard the voice of your words, when ye spake unto me; and the LORD said unto me, I have heard the voice of the words of this people, which they have spoken unto thee: they have well said all that they have spoken.O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever!

 

This intimidating reaction from the people was what the Lord wanted to get out of the Children of Israel.God is not some insecure God or a God that always needs to have us fearing Him.God knows if we have a reverent fear for Him, of His awesomeness in our consciousness, that we in turn will become humble and end up doing good.It is almost like when you know your boss is looking over your shoulder, it is at that time you are very diligent.God knows by default man focuses on himself, and is extremely is fickleÖ but when man has a healthy fear of God and esteems God, that man is humbled and becomes desirous to serve.God basically wanted His people to focus on Him, and in the process, not focus on themselves (leading them into sin).We need to remember, when God revealed Himself to the people through signs and wonders and by great acts among them, the people would appreciate it for a time, but then would always revert back to their pride and complain.Godís Nature had a different and lasting affect on the people.Godís Nature, whom God revealed Himself to be even before He created man (Godís voice, thick clouds, smoke and fire Ė Genesis 1), put a fear in the people that was so deep and so astounding that the people even asked not to deal directly with God any more.They asked a prophet (Moses) to talk with God in their stead, and then to relay the message back to them.This understanding right here is why I am writing this interpretation.This understanding is huge for our understanding!This really shows the context of the God we serve and how God has ordained (in our hearing and in our understanding) that man should discern God.Notice that the people of Israel could not take Godís Nature but that the prophet Moses, though afraid (Deuteronomy 9:19), could.Why?Why was Moses singled out and, according to our understanding, was this a good thing?The answer is simple.After 40 years in the desert (alone with God) Moses became the most humble and meek man in all the earth (Numbers 12:3).God called Moses ďhigher than a prophetĒ (Numbers 12:1), and their relationship became so close that God would speak to Moses as a friend (Exodus 33:11).The bible also clearly states that it is God who separates and sanctifies ministers specifically for His purposes (Exodus 3:5, Leviticus 10:3, Numbers 16:5-7).Moses had been called and sanctified by God as a deliverer (leader prophet Ė Old Testament apostle) for His peculiar people (Acts 7:35).†††

 

Deuteronomy 5:30-33 (God is addressing Moses)

 

Go say to them, Get you into your tents again.But as for thee, stand thou here by me, and I will speak unto thee all the commandments, and the statutes, and the judgments, which thou shalt teach them, that they may do them in the land which I give them to possess it.Ye shall observe to do therefore as the LORD your God hath commanded you: ye shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left. Ye shall walk in all the ways which the LORD your God hath commanded you, that ye may live, and that it may be well with you, and that ye may prolong your days in the land which ye shall possess.

 

Deuteronomy 18:15-19 (This is Moses speaking)

 

The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;  According to all that thou desiredst of the LORD thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not.And the LORD said unto me, They have well spoken that which they have spoken.I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.

 

Prophets and Apostles in the Church

 

God had sanctified the office of the prophet as the office that would hear from God and relay the message to His people.This prophet chosen from God was called not only to abide in the Glory of God, but was also required to dwell among Godís Nature.Moses was the first among these prophets and God was faithful to raise up other prophets who would stand before Him and intercede for His people (1 Samuel 12:23).Now it is clear that since Jesus came and died for our sins that the office of the prophet has taken on a new meaning.Even the book of Hebrews gives reference to this:

 

Hebrews 1:1-2

 

God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in times past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;†††

 

The Bible also says ďfor the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy (Revelation 19:10).It is clear that we, Jesusí Church (His Body), are established within His ministry.He is the head and we are the body.We are joined with Jesus by the Holy Spirit and as His church, we become a partaker of all that Jesus Himself did (John 14:12).Paul the apostle, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, offers knowledge about the ministry of the apostle and the prophet:

 

Ephesians 2:16-22


And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:  And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.For through him (Jesus) we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;  And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

 

It is clear Paul is testifying that other believers would come in under the protection and foundation of the apostles and the prophets of whom Jesus was the chief cornerstone.There were no apostles before Jesus came, only after (Moses was only a figure).SoÖ the above Biblical reference mentioning a built foundation of the apostles and prophets could only imply the foundation of the early church (the Old Testament prophets testifying of these things Ė 1 Peter 1:10).This verse describes the early apostles and prophets carrying on Jesusí work of intimate fellowship with the Spirit (Acts 6:2-5).Below Paul relays that it is through the revelation of the Spirit that the apostles and the prophets today have the ammunition to build any kind of solid foundation of knowledge about who God is, thus bringing Spirit led edification to the church.I want to add the below scripture explaining the role of the prophet and apostle, which is to faithfully abide in the revelation of the mystery of Christ, becomes the equivalent of an old testament prophet abiding in Godís Nature.As we learned above, during Old Testament times, this action was only required of the prophet (and now the apostleÖ who is a prophet whoís calling is to glorify Jesus in the church).

 

Ephesians 3:1-7


For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.

 

To abide in the revelation of the mystery of Christ is a prophetic unction which becomes the life burden of the prophet and apostle.This is the equivalent to a teacherís study or a pastor disciplining himself regarding people skills.It is as real and as burdensome as any office in the church, although harder to fully understand.The Bible says the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets (1 Corinthians 14:29-33).In other words, a prophetís discipline is under his own hand, or his own spirit if you will.The prophet is in control (The entire back section of 1 Corinthians 14 is talking about order and attempts to emphasize the prophet is in full control Ė kind of like I am in control of my own spirit as I write this interpretation).Furthermore, itís not like during Old Testament times where the Spirit of the Lord would suddenly come upon someone and the person would shout, ďThus saith the LordÖ (2 Chronicles 20:14-15).ĒProphets (by way of their spirits) are faithfully called to abide in the revelation of Jesus Christ at all times.Just like pastors might be required to always have their cell phones on and located in their pocket (because of the burden of the congregation)Ö prophets are always expected (by way of their spirit) to abide in the mystery of Christ.This abiding is a lot like meditating accept prophets are called by God, empowered with gifts and faith to abide in Godís revelation (Acts 10:9-48) (for the edification of His church).This basically means when a pastor abides in Christ, and meditates, heíll perhaps receive some knowledge and maybe a sermon.When a prophet does the same thing, they dutifully receive Godís answers regarding the mysteries of Christ so the church can become edified therein.Itís the same processÖ just utilizing different gifts.A teacher grabs a bible and teaches.A prophet grabs a bible and prophesizesÖ and the whole process is subject to him (his spirit, or his abiding).Paul the apostle explains in the book of Galatians that the gospel he preached was not taught to him by manÖ nor did he receive it from man, but it came by way of the revelation of Jesus Christ (Galatians 1:12).Paul then goes on to say that when Jesus Christ first revealed Himself, that Paul conferred not with flesh and blood.Why would Paul emphasize this?Because Paul wanted people to know his understanding of the gospel did not come from man at all (not the first apostles, not anyone) but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.Paulís emphasis regarding this mater is quite extreme.He was taught it by way of the revelation of the Spirit (1 John 2:27, Ephesians 3:5).Almost all of Paulís letters contain solid knowledge and wisdom which he received as he, day in and day out, faithfully abode in the revelation of the mystery of Christ (Ephesians 3:1-7).People can attempt to downgrade this truth because they might not fully understand it.Myself and these interpretations are living proof that abiding in the revelation of the mystery of Christ is possible and there is absolutely nothing weird, super-spiritual or confusing about it.No man has ever taught me anything regarding the core of these interpretations because God wouldnít allow it.I have no Bible school experience.I have faithfully abode in the revelation of the mystery of Christ for the past fourteen years and these Bible Interpretations I write are proof that this process is very human, very real and very subject to my spirit and the gifts/faith God has entrusted to meÖ (The reason God would not allow man to teach me is because, just like a bird must learn to fly, one who abides in the revelation of the mystery of Christ must do so by faith Ė and man will only get in the way of that kind of process).Almost every interesting thing you will read in these interpretations came by way of direct revelation into the Spirit as I abode in the revelation of the mystery of Christ by my spirit.Simply put, I am living proof.(For more on the ministry of the apostle and prophet abiding in the revelation of the mystery of Christ, please read Great Expectations and Apostle Milkshake located in Volume 2).

 

Later in the same letter, Paul defines the ministries of the church.Prophets and apostles are vital:

 

Ephesians 4:11-13


And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;   For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

 

As you can see, this verse specifies that apostles and prophets were given till: ďwe all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:Do you believe this was accomplished by the time the first apostles and prophets died out in the first century?It is clear the five-fold ministry was given for the perfecting of the saints.As long as the saints of God need perfecting, we still need apostles and prophets.

 

In short, the ministry of the prophet and apostle is greatly needed.I have demonstrated in the first part of this interpretation that Godís Glory is a lot easier to receive than his Nature (Godís Nature, via Jesusí sacrifice, now translates into Godís revelation for the church).Most people can do fine with Godís Glory but when His Nature comes upon them they are left in disarray.Many churches have received the Glory of God.They have been ďin SpiritedĒ by God and have felt and experienced the supernatural presence of God.But it never lasts (not like it did with the early church).I am sure many are wondering why.It is because if we covet Godís power, then for true edification to come, His Nature needs to be received.If the church receives Godís Glory they will receive a touch and it will be real.But if the church receives the Nature of God, brought about by way of revelation coming through the current apostles and prophets, then that very Nature of God (His Revelation) will become influential and will flow over into all sorts of edification and empowerment for the church.If the church of God wants lasting results instead of touches, then there is only one way to bring this to pass.The establishment of the office of the apostles and prophets.These ministers will allow the Nature of God (the revelation into the mystery of Christ) to be present among the Body.Without these offices at liberty (Galatians 5:1, 2 Corinthians 3:17), Christís Body will remain lukewarm and will go nowhere.We as a church have quenched the Spirit.We as a church have despised prophesy (1 Thessalonians 5:19-20).And weíre suffering for it.The apostle and the prophet have the ability to meet with God in a unique way in order to receive important revelation for the church.Paul speaks of this in the above passages.This revelation is the meat of the Word and when ministered properly brings edification, exhortation and comfort (1 Corinthians 14:3, Acts 9:31).God truly wants the church to fire on all pistons but we desperately need the meat of the revelation of God.Once Godís Nature (His revelation) is at work in the peopleís hearts, Christís body will be free to fulfill itís commission.With Godís revelation written in our hearts (Christ in us) the church will be Christís witnesses to the world (Acts 1:8).†††

 

I understand there is a lot of fear.Pastors and teachers donít know whom to trust.Some are put off because a prophet in the past has done things that raised some doubts.I understand and sympathize will all of these things.But lets make one thing clear.The Bible states that the ministries of the apostles and the prophets are vital to a solid church (Ephesians 2:16-22).With that understood, the apostles and prophets just need to be refined so that instead of embarrassing the churchÖ they can edify the church.I believe this refining process is going on right now (2002).You can tell what type of prophecy I believe in.All these interpretations I write are propheticÖ and I do not believe any of them grieve or garner any kind of mistrust.There is nothing magical or deceptive about prophecy.Look at the writings of Paul and Peter.Their letters bring comfort and they enlighten and challenge you via Godly edification.That is what prophecy doesÖ it edifies, exhorts and comforts (1 Corinthians 14:3, Acts 9:31).I believe there will be a final acceptance, in the end times, of the offices of the apostles and prophets.When this happens, the church will finally begin the consummation of her destiny.