Posts Tagged ‘New Covenant’

Access to Glory

Lake Victoria

Our access to God’s Glory is through entering into His Presence. We enter the gates of God’s Presence with thanksgiving and step into the courts of His Glory with praise (Ps 100:4-5). The Psalmist tells us that in doing this we will experience God’s goodness, mercy and truth in ways that both transform and increase from generation to generation.

The Glory Realm:

When we spend time in God’s Presence, we are accessing the Glory Realm. Its an atmosphere that revives the heart and renews the mind of the believer. I remind folks often that we enter the Glory Realm through the Presence, because Scripture clearly tells us that Jesus is the only Door into the Father’s heart. Through activities like praying, meditating on the Words of Christ, praise and worship, and looking into His eyes, our faces reflect His influence in our hearts. At the same time, we are being changed on the inside so that our lives begin to reflect His character. As we are transformed in this way the supernatural light that radiates within us illumines our path and increases with even greater splendor.

Moses Our Example:

“When Moses came down from Mt. Sinai with the two tablets of the Testimony in his hands he was not aware that his face was radiant, because he had spoken with the Lord. When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, his face was radiant, and they were afraid to come near him. When Moses was finished speaking to them, he put a veil over his face. But whenever he entered the Lord’s presence to speak with Him, he removed the veil until he came out. And when he came out and told the Israelites what he had been commanded, they saw that his face was radiant. Then Moses would put the veil back over his face until he went in to speak with the Lord.” (Ex 34:29-35).

Glory is Visible:

From this passage, it is abundantly clear that the Glory of God on Moses was visible; it was not merely a spiritual or moral characteristic. His face was radiant. This means that there was a shining or a glow about it. We also observe a cause and effect relationship here. Whenever Moses would spend time in the Lord’s presence and speak with the Lord, this glory would appear on his face. We also know that this was limited to Moses at that time, as it did not happen to all the Israelites. It was so unusual that everyone else who saw him was afraid of the splendor radiating from his face. That’s why he covered up his face with a veil.

New Covenant Access:

Now under the New Covenant, the Glory Realm is not limited to one man. All believers have access to God’s Presence and the Glory that radiated from the face of Moses is available to all who know Him. In fact, this glory is even more glorious than what Moses experienced. Notice how the Apostle Paul spoke of the ministry of the Spirit to the Corinthians:

“Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with Glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its Glory, fading though it was, will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious? If the ministry that condemns men is glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness?” (2 Cor 3:7-9)

The Ministry of the Spirit comes with even more Glory!

“Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to keep the Israelites from gazing at it while the radiance was fading away…But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Cor 3:12-13 & 16-18).

Set Free By Christ!

“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.” (Gal. 2:20-21)

Almost all denominations of Christianity have valued portions of the Laws of Moses (Mosaic Covenant) and added them to the New Covenant established by Christ. Without being aware of it, this has made most Christians guilty of the whole Mosaic Law… which says it all must be kept. At the same time, there becomes a growing hypocrisy in our understanding of the New Covenant. We teach about grace, and want the guidance of the Holy Spirit; but keep mixing it with Laws that no longer serve the same purpose for the Christian Believer as they did for the Jew. This is not to say that we cannot learn many wonderful truths from the Mosaic Law. We are just no longer bound relationally with God through that “spiritual agreement”. We are in covenant relationship with God through a New Covenant ratified by Jesus Christ, not by Moses!

The Issue is Spiritual Freedom:

The fact that most churches have not understood this vital point, has caused us to loose sight of ”grace through faith” and minimize the very power of the New Covenant itself. Most denominations have become very good at mixing the Old Covenant instituted by Moses with the New Covenant. They have forgotten that the Old Covenant has become obsolete while the New Covenant is the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus. It is our freedom. The problem is that there are consequences to stepping away from grace… a loss of freedom.

The Issue of Life or Death:

It all has to do with what you “behold” or set as your standard of relational truth! One covenant brought death (and always will); the other brings Life (Rom. 8:2). If you believe any of the Old Covenant is still binding to a believer in Christ, then it will become the basis of your perception of obedience. We must, however; read what the Apostle Paul has to say about the cornerstone of the Old Covenant, the Ten Commandments (2 Cor 3:4-18). The central goal of the Old Covenant is to behold our sin and make sacrifices according to how we have fallen from glory (Rom. 3:23), but the goal of the New Covenant is to behold the Glory of God as it reveals itself in the face of Jesus (2 Cor. 4:6) and is manifesting itself in our personal transformation (2 Cor 3:17-18). We are moving from one level of glory to another level of glory by the Spirit of the Lord… its our freedom in Christ.

Again… “We are moving from one level of glory to another level of glory by the Spirit of the Lord.” That’s our freedom in Christ!

How Jesus has Set Us Free:

The Holy Spirit is changing us… and it effects our behavior, our attitudes and our giving. Yet, to live under the law of obligation (like the tithe or circumcision) actually releases two deceptive realities… shame or pride. Both of these problems are “religious spirits” that aim to rule our behavior and limit our relationship with the Lord Jesus and those in the Body of Christ. When we find ourselves unable to live up to the standards set by those more mature than us, it releases a false sense of guilt, shame and condemnation. When we live according to some arbitrary religious standard and find ourselves successful without the need of faith, we become vulnerable to personal pride and boasting.

Jesus came to do away with the “measurements” on all levels and substitute His life for any standard – perceived or real… we become the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus (2 Cor. 5:21). He became our standard bearer so that we could walk in freedom, being led by the Holy Spirit and feeling the joy of a living relationship with the Father. Its a freedom to live, grow and serve as God would have us serve. Its not a license to sin any longer, but a freedom to live by faith and relationship with Christ, through the Holy Spirit… and where the Spirit of the Lord is – there is liberty!

Whom the Son sets free – is free indeed! (Jn. 8:36)

Lovers of the Glory

One of the most incredible stories in the Bible is about God’s Glory touching a uniquely chosen servant, Moses. All could see the impact on Moses! All could watch the incredible sight of supernatural activity as God met daily for conversation with His friend. To experience God’s Glory takes only a surrendered heart. Yet with any encounter comes the risk of being captured and falling in love with Him… That is the essence of revival!

Consider the moment: “…when Moses entered the tabernacle, the pillar of cloud descended and stood at the door of the tabernacle and the Lord talked with Moses.” (Exod. 33:9)

God Talks With Moses:

Moses came into the actual Presence of God and experienced His Glory. God talked with Moses “as a man speaks to a friend” (Exod. 33:11)… exposing His heart and explaining His motives. These were not idle conversations, but intimate opportunities for expression. You might call it “fellowship” and I would call it fellowship in the Glory Zone. It’s important to remember that Moses wasn’t even “born again”… at least not in a New Covenant way.

If dwelling in the Glory of God was available to him, how much more by the blood of Jesus would God make this available to us?

The Soul is Thirsty:

The psalmist says, “as the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, oh God. My soul thirsts for God, for the Living God. When shall I come an appear before God?” (Ps. 42:1) There is a soul hunger and a soul thirst that can only be satisfied in the Glory Zone.

Every man must appear before God, but some; those who love His Glory, will long for the experience… because it brings renewal and revives our “spiritual man”. It replenishes the soul as no natural experience can and unlocks the hope of true revival. Face to face encounters with God are “life” to the man who loves the Glory. In fact, the Apostle Paul encourages us to go to God, who will meet all of our needs by soaking in the rich atmosphere of the Glory in Christ (Phil. 4:19).

Christ Inside is the Glory Zone:

Moses was a lover of the Glory and no matter how we view his experience it is veiled compared to the relationship we have in Christ. The Apostle Paul says, “Christ inside you is the hope of Glory” (Col. 1:27). Your heart is a throne of authority where you choose who or what is seated inside. You will become what you worship and when your eyes are fixed upon the Glory revealed in Christ, then He illumines your soul. Light is released when you and I become lovers of the Glory.

Today – you can release revival and shift the atmosphere that has surrounded you… simply stop and look into the eyes of Christ and ask for a taste of His Glory! (2 Cor. 4:6).

Glory that Increases

‘…indeed it came to pass, when the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the Lord, and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and praised the Lord, saying: “For He is good, For His mercy endures forever”, that the house, the house of the Lord, was filled with a cloud, so that the priests could not continue ministering because of the cloud; for the glory of the Lord filled the house of God.’ (2 Chron. 5:13-14)

God’s Glory is supernatural – unmanageable, unpredictable, and frequently controversial… especially when it violates our religious traditions about God. Yet the Glory of God still remains the most influential and powerful expression of our Christian experience. Throughout Scripture, God calls His people to know Him, to glorify Him and to reflect His Glory. The more intimately we know God, the more His Glory will be revealed to us and in us… from glory to glory (2 Cor 3:17-18). After all we are the Temple of the Holy Spirit!

Increasing Evidence of Glory:

In the Exodus from Egypt, God’s Glory was seen in the cloud that lead His People by day and the fire that lead them by night. In the days of King David and King Solomon, there were Tabernacle and Temple experiences that overwhelmed the leaders and challenged every religious idea of the day. As New Testament Believers, we recognize that same Glory now resides within us as the New Covenant Promise – written upon our hearts. It is the shekinah Presence of the Holy Spirit living within us that increases as we embrace it and hunger for more. The Apostle Paul said that although this Glory would be mysterious, it would be revealed to the Saints and increase in the Believer who puts their trust in Christ. We were made to know the riches, and to drink in the river of God’s Glory.

  • “The mystery that has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the Glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of Glory.” (Col. 1:26-27)
  • “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body… and have all been made to drink into one Spirit” (1 Cor. 12:13)

How Much is Enough?

Three truths I try to remember – 1st There is always more! – 2nd You can have as much of God as you want! and 3rd Your hunger will dictate your capacity to receive. The Apostle James tells us to draw near to God and He will draw near to us (Jms 4:8). There are several ways we can “go after more” of God’s Glory in our lives.

  1. Worship: Gives God the worth He is due and increases our awareness of His Glory.
  2. Thanksgiving: Offers appreciation for all He has done and will do and creates room for His Glory to be manifest in our lives.
  3. Meditating upon The Word of God: Releases revelation and an awareness of how God’s Glory was seen in the past.
  4. Fellowship: Recognizing our relationship with the Holy Spirit and soaking in His Presence shapes our hearts as places of intimacy and habitation for greater Glory.
  5. Prayer: Intercession and offering our petitions to God in faith draws His attention, His love and Glory encounters.

We were born to manifest God’s Glory… to embrace the challenge of carrying something so wonderful that were we to truly comprehend its power…

WE COULD CHANGE THE WORLD!

The Glory Zone

One of the most incredible stories in the Bible is about God’s Glory touching a uniquely chosen servant, Moses. All could see the impact on Moses! All could watch the incredible sight of supernatural activity as God met daily for conversation with His friend. To experience God’s Glory takes only a surrendered heart. Yet with any encounter comes the risk of being captured and falling in love with Him. Consider the moment…

“…when Moses entered the tabernacle, the pillar of cloud descended and stood at the door of the tabernacle and the Lord talked with Moses.” (Exod. 33:9)

God Talks With Moses:

Moses came into the actual Presence of God and experienced His Glory. God talked with Moses “as a man speaks to a friend” (Exod. 33:11)… exposing His heart and explaining His motives. These were not idle conversations, but intimate opportunities for expression. You might call it “fellowship” and I would call it fellowship in the Glory Zone. It’s important to remember that Moses wasn’t even “born again”… at least not in a New Covenant way.

If dwelling in the Glory of God was available to him, how much more by the blood of Jesus would God make this available to us?

Thirst:

The psalmist says, “as the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, oh God. My soul thirsts for God, for the Living God. When shall I come an appear before God?” (Ps. 42:1) There is a soul hunger and a soul thirst that can only be satisfied in the Glory Zone.

Every man must appear before God, but some; those who love His Glory, will long for the experience… because it brings renewal. It replenishes the soul as no natural experience can and unlocks the hope of true revival. Face to face encounters with God are “life” to the man who loves the Glory. In fact, the Apostle Paul encourages us to go to God, who will meet all of our needs by soaking in the rich atmosphere of the Glory in Christ (Phil. 4:19).

Christ Inside is the Glory Zone:

Moses was a lover of the Glory and no matter how we view his experience it is veiled compared to the relationship we have in Christ. The Apostle Paul says, “Christ inside you is the hope of Glory” (Col. 1:27). Your heart is a throne of authority where you choose who or what is seated inside. You will become what you worship and when your eyes are fixed upon the Glory revealed in Christ, then He illumines your soul. Light is released when you and I become lovers of the Glory.

Today – you can shift the atmosphere that has surrounded you… simply stop and look into the eyes of Christ and ask for a taste of His Glory! You will find the Glory Zone (2 Cor. 4:6).

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