Two Mountains Two Glories 8th April 07
Ex 19:17-18 And Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. Now Mount Sinai was completely in smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire. Its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked greatly.
Ex 20:18-21 Now all the people witnessed the thunderings, the lightning flashes, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they trembled and stood afar off. Then they said to Moses, “You speak with us, and we will hear; but let not God speak with us, lest we die.” And Moses said to the people, “Do not fear; for God has come to test you, and that His fear may be before you, so that you may not sin.” So the people stood afar off, but Moses drew near the thick darkness where God was.
Moses at Mount Sinai with all Israel as God displayed His magnificence and glory! The Presence of God so real, so visible, so powerful that the ground trembled and the people trembled and cried out in fear. God in smoke and fire, flashes of lightning, thunder that could be felt and over it all the sound of a trumpet – piercing – dividing – a sound that sent chills down their spines.
Re 4:1 After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, “Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.”
Was this the fullness of God in all His glory – God who no man has seen at any time clothed in clouds and smoke, hidden and yet visible – the same voice described here in Revelation – the voice of Christ in His glory – the same glory He had with God before time was – a voice that communicated in away we cannot imagine – not just words but sounds of glory!!
Da 10:6 His body was like beryl, his face like the appearance of lightning, his eyes like torches of fire, his arms and feet like burnished bronze in color, and the sound of his words like the voice of a multitude.
What unimaginable glory – even these descriptions, though wonderful don’t seem to touch our hearts – we cannot form the image in our minds – and the Holy Spirit – moving and brooding and touching each individual person of Israel – they were trembling with the nearness of His Presence – the Holy Spirit who searches the deep things of God reaching out for them, searching them out, exploring them as it were to see if they would stand – testing them.
As a Christian of just a few months – naïve and without agenda I prayed for an alcoholic woman, addicted and desperate and sick – she had tried the Christian life but found no escape but as we prayed – the Holy Spirit came upon her – there were 5 of us standing in a circle just agreeing – we had no expectation other than that God is faithful and I had been delivered and set free so she could be too – there was no great move of the Spirit then –
this was real innocence – young simple, uncomplicated faith! But the Spirit of God came with such power that we were all thrown backwards – literally pushed away by a force that seemed to separate her to Himself. We were all shocked but she was radiant, really changed – the lines in her face were gone and the anxiety erased – she literally looked like another person. As I touched her I could feel her trembling – her whole body shook for 5 days – healed!!!
Imagine this power on a million people at once, the voice of Christ, the manifestation of God in cloud and fire – mountain shaking – thunder making the very atmosphere feel full of Presence. I was reading this and was sort of caught up asking Oh God please let me see Your Holiness – let me understand Your glory – Oh God that I might see You like this – please show me Your glory as You showed Moses and Elijah --- then in a flash – totally unbidden I saw another mountain, a hill silhouetted against a dark sky and there was Christ crucified. It went into my heart – God was showing me His glory – that glory is Christ crucified! In these days God has spoken to us by His Son.
Two mountains of His glory – one that separated the people from Him – the other that allows us to draw near again! But this second mountain is just as holy as the first – in fact this second mountain – this Calvary, saw the greatest moment of holiness there has ever been, or ever will be – the moment sin was removed on our behalf that we, the separated from that moment at the foot of Sinai, were made clean enough to approach God again!
Heb 12:18-24 For you have not come to the mountain that may be touched and that burned with fire, and to blackness and darkness and tempest, and the sound of a trumpet and the voice of words, so that those who heard it begged that the word should not be spoken to them anymore. (For they could not endure what was commanded: “And if so much as a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned or shot with an arrow.” And so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I am exceedingly afraid and trembling.”) But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.
That second mountain made a way for this truth – for life eternal and everlasting. The cross of Christ the great glory of God. He suffered for us on Calvary’s hill, the place of the skull – He took out place, our punishment. Our death – 3 hours of darkness His body racked with pain and there was the Divine exchange – we sometimes sing of it so lightly – but it was glorious for us – God said to Adam eat of this fruit and you will die! You will die spiritually and physically.
On that hill Jesus became death for us – He took our death with Him down into that tomb in which they laid Him later. But death could not hold Him bound – He was resurrected! Physical and spiritual death were defeated for us – and He became the first, born from the dead for many to follow after, as many as the Lord our God will call! This is the glory of God in Christ this is our faith, our belief – our God is ALIVE!!
Ac 1:1-3 The former account I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, until the day in which He was taken up, after He through the Holy Spirit had given commandments to the apostles whom He had chosen, to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.
Ac 1:9-11 Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.”
When Jesus ascended into heaven all the promises of God were complete and fulfilled in Him all the prophesies made concerning Him were accomplished to this point – and He Himself said It Is Finished –all that He came to do in His Fathers Name and He returned to the glory He had with the Father before time was – He returned to that place – and relationship, that unity that was so gloriously displayed at Sinai – and one day He will return as He left – in glory!
But He left us here and the work His Father had given Him to do was finished – really finished, complete – there is nothing to be added to the Cross! Jesus Lord and Christ, Saviour and Redeemer, Deliverer and Healer. – Do you know there is nothing pertaining to life that has not been made available to those who believe – all things are possible to those who believe. – As I saw this picture an understanding began to awaken deep in my heart.
Heb 1:1-3 God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,
The Bible reveals the heart of God in every single part of it – even those parts we find hard to understand – but when we read about Jesus it is more than historical fact, it is much more than parables and examples of how to live – I think we have often thought of this book as a manual for life and in some ways I suppose it is – I have heard people refer to it as the manufacturers guide book – but it is more – this W.O.G. is the eternal living essence of God.
I think we seriously underestimate it’s spiritual influence and power –
Is 55:11 So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.
Jn 12:48 He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him— the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.
Lk 21:33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.
2 Ti 3:16-17 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
So the Word of God is more than a story and a description, it is more than instruction and guidance – all though it is all of those things – but more, much more if we allow the Spirit to teach us there is a an application – or an appropriation of these words of God that enable us to truly grasp the significance of the glory of Calvary’s hill – bear with me for a minute – look at the things the Words describe --- before the Cross – as Jesus walked and talked to US!!!
In the physical realm we see Jesus demonstrating among the people of Israel what His Fathers heart is towards us – He healed the broken hearted, He was a comforter, He healed the rejected and broken, He healed the physically ill – from cancer to palsy, to mental illness, he all manner of sickness and disease – there was nothing to great or too small – He healed Peter’s mother in law of fever and raised the little girl from the dead!
Jesus challenged the religious and embraced all who were prepared to change – everything He did that is recorded for us in the gospels is a reflection, a demonstration of the heart of God towards us! Jesus never coerced or cajoled He gave choices, Jesus never turned one single person away – not one for any reason – there is nothing recorded! Jesus loved the unlovely and accepted the repentant no matter what their background was.
He never respected persons but did everything for the glory of His Father and our God – and He took no glory to Himself – everything Jesus did is the absolute and perfect expression of God – we don’t need a proof beyond this Word of God – because we receive it by FAITH.
Jn 14:12“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.
That glory of Calvary ushered in a new dispensation, a new age and a new covenant – when Jesus died rose and ascended He took the example of His Physical life – He took this demonstration of God speaking to us in these last days and made it available to all will believe on Him by faith. Through the Cross He paid the price for everything that might separate us from God – and by His resurrection He made that same freedom available to all forever.
We don’t have to earn it , be worthy in some way, we don’t have to make it happen, we receive it all by faith and in His Grace.
The resurrection ushered in new life, a new way, a new priesthood, the new dispensation a new everything when Jesus returned to the glory He had with His Father before time was.
Death could not hold Him down like in Adam and dying spiritually you would die naturally, when Jesus rose from the dead, He rose and both realms of death were defeated.
So the God we follow is alive, Five hundred or more witnesses saw Him and watched Him rise up into heaven. And it is upon this we base our faith that He is alive that He is seated on the right hand of the Father that He is a Great High Priest that He is ever making intercession that in Him we live and move and have our being.