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Names of God: YHVH, part 3. The face of God to Moses and to the church.

length: 83:08 - taught on May, 28 2017
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Title: Names of God: YHVH, part 3. The face of God to Moses and to the church.



The name Yavah or Jehovah comes from the imperfect of the verb to be. At any given time, Jehovah was being that which He was being. This implies much more than the fact that He is eternal. It also reveals that God was, is, and always will be exactly what He is. He does not change. And so, Yavah, I am that which I am, leads us to the attributes that are associated with this name.


God reveals His attributes to us and sometimes He connects them with His name YHVH. Ex. YHVH roiy = The Lord my Shepherd.


In PSA 23:1 there isn’t actually a verb “is”. It’s not the Lord “is” my Shepherd, but “the Lord my Shepherd, I shall not want.”


We finished last week with the claim of Jesus to be "I am. He said, “Before Abraham was, I am.” Proper grammar would have required the aorist tense - “Before Abraham was, I was, or I had been,” which would have indicated only that He was older than Abraham, but He used the present tense - “I am.” By using “I am” with the conjunction “before” Jesus is referring to an imperfect, the tense of “I am that which I am”. I was (before), I am (now), and through the resurrection of Christ we easily see the “will be.”


No educated Jew during Jesus' time would have missed the implication of His naming Himself the "I am." Directly after announcing it, they picked up stones to stone Him. He made Himself out to be God and to them that was blasphemy.


The Great I AM, YHVH, became a man and invited all mankind, Jew and Gentile, into a covenant with Him; a new covenant in His blood.


Moses, along with the rest of the OT saints, was not in this new covenant. Because he was not, he could not see the face of YHVH.


Because Jesus, the great I am, had not yet paid for the sins of the world, Moses could not see the face of God, but only His back. Now, and forever more, believers behold His face.


EXO 33:17 And the Lord said to Moses, "I will also do this thing of which you have spoken; for you have found favor in My sight, and I have known you by name."


EXO 33:18 Then Moses said, "I pray Thee, show me Thy glory!"


As he said in the tent of meeting;

EXO 33:13 "Now therefore, I pray Thee, if I have found favor in Your sight, let me know Your ways, that I may know You, so that I may find favor in Your sight. Consider too, that this nation is Your people."


We can see that Moses truly loved God.


EXO 33:19 And He said, "I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the Lord before you; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion on whom I will show compassion."


Goodness, gracious, and compassion are YHVH. He will reveal His glory by revealing the attributes of this name, which will reach its apex in the Lord Jesus Christ.


EXO 33:20 But He said, "You cannot see My face, for no man can see Me and live!"


Before the finished work of Christ, seeing His face would be akin to being judged by Him. The Messiah had not yet come to be judged for the sins of the world, so even Moses would have been judged and condemned. Moses could not walk into the Holy of Holies without dying. Aaron was only allowed in once a year and if he didn't bring the blood of the burnt offering then he too would have died. That veil no longer exists.


[We will be going to Hebrews often]


When Christ died for you, the veil was torn asunder. When the veil was torn away, the Law was torn away. You may every day behold His face.


None is Israel could touch Mt. Sinai. The darkness and the tempest roared upon it. None dared touch it. But in Christ came Mt. Zion to which all may come and all may touch him, as Thomas touched His scars and declared, "My Lord and my God!"


HEB 12:18 For you have not come to a mountain that may be touched and to a blazing fire, and to darkness and gloom and whirlwind,


HEB 12:19 and to the blast of a trumpet and the sound of words which sound was such that those who heard begged that no further word should be spoken to them.


HEB 12:20 For they could not bear the command, "If even a beast touches the mountain, it will be stoned."


HEB 12:21 And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, "I am full of fear and trembling."


HEB 12:22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels,


HEB 12:23 to the general assembly and church of the first-born who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of righteous men made perfect,


HEB 12:24 and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel.


“speaks better than that of Abel” - refers to the animal blood of the sacrifice and Levitical offerings. The reality (Jesus Himself) speaks better than the shadow of the law.


EXO 33:20 But He said, "You cannot see My face, for no man can see Me and live!"


EXO 33:21 Then the Lord said, "Behold, there is a place by Me, and you shall stand there on the rock;


EXO 33:22 and it will come about, while My glory is passing by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock and cover you with My hand until I have passed by.


EXO 33:23 Then I will take My hand away and you shall see My back, but My face shall not be seen."


 It would be over a thousand years before the face of God will be seen by men in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ.  


As for Moses, to see the face of God would have been the same as being judged by God. The sins of the Old Testament saints were covered, reserved until Christ would pay for them, ROM 3:25.


By seeing God's back, Moses was seeing an outline or a shadow of God (the law). When Moses first saw Jesus, he finally got what he asked for. He saw the reality of God.


Moses first saw Jesus when Jesus went to Hades and freed all the OT saints from Paradise. They all beheld the face of God for the first time.


HEB 10:1 For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never by the same sacrifices year by year, which they offer continually, make perfect those who draw near.


HEB 10:2 Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, because the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have had consciousness of sins?


Consciousness - sunei,dhsij [suneidesis] = literally “to know with”. It means to know yourself or a co-knowledge with self. In our consciousness we define who we are in relation to God.


What does it mean to no longer have consciousness of sins? It doesn’t mean that I have forgotten that I am a sinner. It means in one respect that I no longer define myself as one who sins. I acknowledge my sins and move on the plan of God, which is perfect. It also means that I define myself as one cleansed from sin by the blood of Christ. Therefore, being conscious of sin is guilt. That might include the feelings of guilt, but more so it means that I can only see myself as one who is guilty. As we see in the next verse, this is what it was like for the OT saint.


To no longer have consciousness of sins = because of Christ I no longer define myself as guilty but fully cleansed. I know I still sin, but sin is no longer who I am in Christ. I am not condemned.


The believer sees himself in Christ. He beholds the face of Christ, of God. Others will define him differently. We must have the strength in faith to reject those definitions and to accept God’s definition.


HEB 10:2 Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, because the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have had consciousness of sins?


HEB 10:3 But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins year by year.


HEB 10:4 For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.


Offering after offering showed the OT saint his guilt. To have any happiness he had to truly put his faith in God’s ability to wash it away through the Messiah to come.


PSA 51:1 For the choir director. A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet came to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba.

Be gracious to me, O God, according to Thy lovingkindness;

According to the greatness of Thy compassion blot out my transgressions.


PSA 51:2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,

And cleanse me from my sin.


PSA 51:3 For I know my transgressions,

And my sin is ever before me.


PSA 51:4 Against Thee, Thee only, I have sinned,

And done what is evil in Thy sight,

So that Thou art justified when Thou dost speak,

And blameless when Thou dost judge.


What the law could not do, Christ did. Having the righteousness of Christ and being justified in Him, we can now see God face to face.


ROM 3:21 But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets,


What could not be produced by man is here seen as provided for man.

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