The Glory of God
The Hebrew word for “glory” is Kabod;It is the substance of a person or thing. For God, it is who He is, His character and power. We know that God is love, (1stJohn 4:16); love is God’s character and power. God’s glory manifests and reveals His love.
Moses asked God to see His glory. This was God’s reply, “I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion” (Exodus 33:19).
God told Moses to stand on a rock that was near Him. This symbolizes Jesus the Christ, our rock. And the Lord said, “Here is a place by Me, and you shall stand on the rock. 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. (Exodus 33:21 – 22) To stand upon the rock is symbolic of coming to Christ and putting your trust in Him, your weight upon Him. As God’s glory passed by He put Moses in the cleft of the rock, symbolizing to be in Christ. It is God the Father who positions you in Christ, adopting you as His child. This is the place where God’s glory is revealed and received, the place we receive manifestations and revelations of the Father’s love and power.
And the Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth” (Exodus 34:6). The word merciful is the Hebrew word rachum, it means to be full of compassion. This is the first word that God used to describe His glory. It reveals much about God’s glory and character. I believe it reveals the highest form of love, the kind of love God is. Rachum is only used in reference to God. I believe that this compassion, which only comes from God, is the agape–love which is described in the New Testament. Because of the New Covenant, purchased by the blood of Jesus, we can now experience this holy love of God through the Holy Spirit, (Romans 5:1-5). This love from God is fruit from the tree of life, (Revelation 2:4-7).
The word gracious in Exodus 34:6 means to show favor, mercy, kindness, and forgiveness; longsuffering means to be patient; goodness means to show loving kindness; truth means to be faithful and trustworthy. All of these characteristics are seen as characteristics of love in 1st Corinthians 13. They are also seen in the fruit of the Spirit mentioned in (Galatians 5:22) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness. The word fruit in Galatians 5:22 is singular, there is only one fruit of the Spirit, which is love. All the other traits mentioned are characteristics of love. Likewise, in Exodus 34:6 the first thing that God reveals about His character is that He is rachum-“full of compassion”. All of the other characteristics of Exodus 34:6 are contained in this compassionate love of God.
In Exodus 34:7 God reveals that He is just, even justice is a characteristic of love, love must be fair. God is the great equalizer. Every valley shall be exalted And every mountain and hill brought low; The crooked places shall be made straight And the rough places smooth; The glory of the Lord shall be revealed, And all flesh shall see it together; For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” (Isaiah 40:4 – 5)
When we look to Jesus the knowledge of the glory of God is revealed. For it is God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (2ndCorinthians 4:6) The signs, wonders, and miracles that Jesus did were manifestations of the glory of God, manifestations of His love and power. This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him. (John 2:11)
The needs of people are an opportunity to reveal and manifest God’s glory, His compassion.
When Jesus heard that, He said, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” (John 11:4) As Jesus moved with compassion the power and love of God was revealed. And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick. (Matthew 14:14)
Jesus promised that He would continue the works He did on earth, and even greater works, through those who believe in Him. “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. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. (John 14:12 – 13) If we stay focused on Jesus’ commands and move with His compassion we will manifest and reveal the glory of God on the earth, and in greater ways, so that God will be glorified. And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give. (Matthew 10:7–8)
As ministers of the New Covenant we are to reveal God’s glory, His compassionate and powerful love to a world in need. “Is this not the fast that I have chosen: To loose the bonds of wickedness, To undo the heavy burdens, To let the oppressed go free, And that you break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out; When you see the naked, that you cover him, And not hide yourself from your own flesh? Then your light shall break forth like the morning, Your healing shall spring forth speedily, And your righteousness shall go before you; The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. (Isaiah 58:6-8)
And one cried to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; The whole earth is full of His glory!” (Isaiah 6:3) The whole earth is filled with the glory of the Lord now, but most people do not know it yet. However, the time is coming when the knowledge of the glory of God will cover the earth. For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, As the waters cover the sea. (Habakkuk 2:14)
Most of the known universe is made up of unknown substances that scientists call “dark matter” and “dark energy”. They call it dark because they can not see it or detect it with any scientific instruments but they know it is there, and it has mass, because they can see the affects of it. It is interesting that this invisible substance in the universe makes up most of the mass (weight) in the universe. It holds celestial bodies of the universe in place and it also causes the motion of stars, planets, and galaxies.
Jesus is called the brightness of God’s glory. 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 (Hebrews 1:3) The word upholding means to carry or move, it is Jesus that holds together and moves all things in the universe. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. (Colossians 1:17) The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork. (Psalms 19:1)
The unknown substance that holds the universe together is the brightness of God’s glory. Man’s natural tendency is to label the unknown and the supernatural as “dark”. When Jesus walked the earth many people thought that His power to heal people, and the signs and wonders He did, were accomplished by Satan’s power. It is still true today, as God’s glory is being revealed in the earth through His servants, many people are fearful of it. People are being healed, set free, and demons are being cast out; signs and wonders of God’s love are happening. However, many are quick to judge that these miracles are the power of evil, not manifestations of God’s love.
It is true that we are in a time of increasing darkness on the earth. However, at the same time there is an increase in God’s glory being revealed through His servants. Arise, shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, And deep darkness the people; But the Lord will arise over you, And His glory will be seen upon you. (Isaiah 60:1–2)
Because of increasing darkness and increasing revelations of God’s glory it is critical to have spiritual discernment to avoid deception. If we remain in Jesus and keep the eyes of our heart focused on Him the Holy Spirit will give us the discernment we need. It is important not to judge manifestations of God’s love as being from Satan. Such deception is rooted in unholy fear, which is actually faith in the power of evil. Faith in God means to trust Him.
When supernatural manifestations of God’s presence happen there are two types of fear that a person can have, depending upon what is in the heart of the person. 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. (Exodus 20:18 – 21)
Unholy fear causes you to distance yourself from God, holy fear causes you to purify yourself and come near to God. Those who know God, through experiencing His love, will press in past their fear into the glory of God’s presence. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. (1stJohn 4:18)
God’s love is a consuming fire. The sight of the glory of the Lord was like a consuming fire on the top of the mountain in the eyes of the children of Israel. (Exodus 24:17) There is something else that happens when we behold God’s glory; transformation. Transformation can be both painful and wonderful. There are things in us that are consumed as we behold God’s glory. The things that remain are refined and purified. People will sometimes turn away from the glory of God because they are afraid to let go of things that can not survive the glory. People are also sometimes afraid of letting go of their identity and becoming a new creation. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. (2ndCorinthians 4:16) To be transformed by God’s glory is sacrifice.
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies (compassion) of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (Romans 12:1–2) The word transformed is the Greek word metamorphoō it is where we get the word metamorphosis from. This is the word we use to describe a caterpillar being changed into a butterfly. It means to be changed into something new. It is the same word which is used to describe what happened to Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration in Mark chapter 9.
When we are focused on Jesus the veil of our heart is removed so that we can behold the transforming glory of God. Nevertheless when one 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 liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy (compassion), we do not lose heart. (2nd Corinthians 3:16-4:1) We are transformed from glory to glory, from one manifestation and revelation of God’s love to the next.
Notice that we behold the glory of God through a mirror. That is because the glory we see is what is reflected from our own heart. That is why man can look into the heavens, which declare the glory of God, and only see “dark matter and dark energy” controlling the universe. The moon is like a mirror. One night I stepped out of my house and looked at the horizon the moon was very large and I could see the whole outline but only a tiny slice of the moon was reflecting the glory of the sun’s light. The Lord instantly spoke to my heart and said that is how much of my glory you reflect. I understood that I had only tasted a tiny amount of God’s glory but there was so much more He wanted to reveal to me.
The moon reflects the light of the sun; however, when the earth is blocking the suns light from shinning on the moon there is a shadow instead of light. The things of the physical world can block our perspective of God’s glory. Only when we focus on Jesus can we look at the glory with an unveiled face. For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (2nd Corinthians 4:6)
We are called God’s vessels of compassion who were created to receive revelation of His glory. That He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy (compassion), which He had prepared beforehand for glory, even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles (Romans 9:23–24)
Jesus has given us the same glory, the same love, which the Father gave Him. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me. “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. (John 17:22-24) The glory of God and the Father’s love is now within us because of the New Covenant. This glory unifies Christ body of believers and sanctifies us to be God’s holy habitation.
For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:14–19)
In the passage above we can see that it is according to the wealth of God’s glory that we are strengthened with power through the Holy Spirit, receive Christ living in our heart by faith, and we become joined to the source of true love. We then go on to attain what all the saints have attained, that is knowing God through experiencing His love, so that we may be may be filled with all the fullness of God.