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The body of Moses

First posted: November 14, 2004

 

This article deals with the spiritual meaning of the "body of Moses" mentioned in Jude 1:9 and how it explains the intense, unseen battle that is currently going on in the spirit realm before the latter-day Revival can be manifested.

 

Index

The passage

Blasphemous judgments

"Let the children pay"

"You shall not see My Glory"

The middleman ages

"I wish they were all prophets"

The end of the accusations

 

 

 

The passage

In Jude 1:9, the Spirit declares the following:

 

"Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee" (Jude 1:9)

 

This passage makes an obscure reference to a battle between Michael and the enemy for the "body of Moses". Why did the Lord add this passage in Scripture? Is this simply a piece of "historical" information? Of course not. As we have said before, every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God is full of purpose and meaning. Therefore, we can be certain that every word in Scripture, including the words in Jude 1:9, has a palpable and real significance for us, and that the power of each word in Scripture can be unleashed only if we are willing to understand His words prophetically.

 

Before studying the phrase "body of Moses", however, we must make a few clarifications concerning Jude 1:9, since some preachers have used it to reinforce a misguided belief prevalent in the Body of Christ.

 

Blasphemous judgments

To understand Jude 1:9 correctly, we must do some "retranslations" first:

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The word "contending" was translated from the Greek word diakrino, which is derived from the prefix dia, meaning "through", and the word krino, meaning "to judge". Therefore, diakrino refers to someone going through a list of items in order to make a judgment on which items should stay because they are "right" and which should be removed because they are "wrong". Since there is no English word that conveys this exact meaning, we will retranslate diakrino as "judging-through".

 

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The word "devil" was translated from the Greek word diabolos, which is derived from the prefix dia, meaning "through", and the verb ballo, meaning "to throw". Therefore, the word diabolos refers to someone going through a list of items in order to throw accusations at someone every time something bad is found. Notice that the difference between diakrino and diabolos is that diabolos focuses only on finding bad things in order to have something to hold against the other person, while diakrino speaks of making fair judgments that remove what is wrong and reinforce what is right. Because of the fall of man, satan was given the authority to act as our accuser, to condemn us before God for every bad thing that we have done:

 

"7And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, 8And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. 9And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the devil, and satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. 10And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night." (Revelation 12:7-10)

[The word "devil" in verse 9 was translated from the same word diabolos mentioned above. The phrase "cast down" in verse 10 was translated from the Greek word kataballo, which is derived from the same word ballo mentioned above; in other words, the thrower of accusations shall be thrown down.]

 

The only way to break the cycle of satan's accusations is by being "in Christ Jesus":

 

"There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." (Romans 8:1)

 

According to the verse above, being "in Christ Jesus" is to "walk after the Spirit", which means having a heart yielded to God's will and a repentant mind that seeks after God's laws and judgments. When you have the sincere disposition to pursue God's will and righteousness, no past sin can be held against you, even if you are still struggling to fully overcome that sin in your life.

 

Since the word diabolos used in Jude 1:9 has the connotation of throwing accusations, we will retranslate it as "accusation-thrower".

 

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The word "disputed" in Jude 1:9 was translated from the Greek word dialegomai, which is derived from the prefix dia meaning "through" and the word lego, which means "to speak words"; the word lego is the verb form of the word logos which literally means "word", and, as we have shared before, logos is always related in Scripture to right-handed concepts such as "law", "justice", and "judgment". Therefore, we could translate dialegomai as "to word-through" or "to apply the law throughout something". For lack of a better term, we will simply retranslate it as "to word-through".

 

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The word "about" in Jude 1:9 was translated from the Greek word peri, from which English words such as "perimeter" and "periphery" are derived. The word peri can also be translated as "around", so we will retranslate it as such.

 

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The phrase "bring against" was translated from the Greek word epiphero, which literally means "bring upon", so we will retranslate it as such.

 

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The word "railing" was translated from the Greek word blasphemia which literally means "blasphemy". The word blasphemia is the combination of the verb blapto, meaning "to harm, injure", and the word pheme, meaning "fame, reputation". In other words, "blasphemy" means to throw accusations that are essentially motivated by a desire to destroy the other person's reputation.

 

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The word "accusation" was translated from the Greek word krisis, which literally means "judgment", and is the noun form of the verb krino mentioned above. Therefore, we will retranslate it as such.

 

Combining all of the above, this is a better retranslation of Jude 1:9:

 

"Yet Michael the archangel, when judging-through the accusation-thrower, worded-through around the body of Moses, daring not to bring upon him a blasphemous judgment, but said, The Lord rebuke you" (Jude 1:9)

 

I have heard preachers use Jude 1:9 as Biblical "proof" that no one should ever pronounce a word of judgment against any authority figure, especially pastors, since Michael didn't even dare to pronounce judgment against satan himself. However, our retranslation based on the original Greek text reveals that Michael is in fact judging satan because he is "judging-through the accusation-thrower", meaning that Michael is going through (i.e.- reviewing) the accuser and making judgments against his wrong actions. Michael is also "wording-through", which, as we shared above, has the connotation in Greek of someone reviewing someone or something and applying laws and judgment as the review is being performed.

 

If Michael was making judgments against the accuser, what did Michael "dare not" do? If you read the retranslation above, you will see that Michael did not dare to make "blasphemous judgment" against the accuser. As we said above, the word "blasphemy" has the connotation of someone throwing accusations that are essentially motivated by a desire to injure another person's reputation. What God abhors is when you make judgments against a leader (or any other person) where your motivation is to injure the other person's reputation, instead of your motivation being a fervent desire to see God's justice manifested. If your judgments are birthed out of a zeal for righteousness and not out of a personal resentment or dislike, your judgments are not blasphemous. However, if your judgments against a leader (or any other person) are your way of "getting back" at that person because of personal reasons that are not motivated by impartial justice, then your judgments will be blasphemous in God's eyes. I know of congregations that have revolted against the preacher because he or she has dared to confront their sin and iniquity from the pulpit. Motivated by an attitude of "how dare he or she tell me how to live my life?", such congregations engage in vicious attacks against the leader based on earthly machinations, not on spiritual confrontation based on God's Word. Cursed be the Canaanite and Hivite blasphemers who impede God's truth on Earth:

 

"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness" (Romans 1:18)

[The word "hold" was translated from the Greek word katecho, which literally means, "to hold back, to restrain, to hinder"; in other words, the latter part of the verse should say, "who hinder the truth in unrighteousness"]

 

If you disagree with what the preacher is saying from the pulpit, and your disagreement is based on what you discern in the Spirit, you have the right (and the responsibility) to launch spiritual judgments that will confront that preacher so that he or she may repent and be restored. Those judgments may be launched through prayer (and through direct verbal confrontation, if the Lord tells you to do so), but your focus must remain on God's justice being executed through you. If you happen to be wrong in your assessment of the preacher, God will straighten you out if your focus remains on His righteousness (the one judged will have been you, instead of the preacher, but you will come out a new and restored person as a result of the judgment on you). If the preacher is the one who is wrong, God will pressure him or her to repent through your judgments. If the preacher refuses to repent, the countdown to his or her debacle will have started, because no man can oppose God's judgments and win, even if the judgments are being "released" through a person that is "small" or "insignificant" in the eyes of man.

 

One thing I have observed in "blasphemous judgers" is that they are like wolves that operate in packs. They are unable to stand alone against a multitude on the strength of their convictions in Christ, and they are unwilling to die alone (figuratively or literally) for the sake of their convictions. Blasphemous judgers work through human means, which implies a strong reliance on numbers.

 

"Let the children pay"

Now that we have retranslated Jude 1:9 and clarified what "blasphemous judgments" really are, we must go to the Old Testament to understand why Jude 1:9 makes a reference to the body of "Moses".

 

In Exodus chapter 32, the Lord declares that Moses was up at the mountaintop receiving the Law from Him, and the people below got tired of waiting, and decided to fashion a golden calf after the lust of their flesh. When God told Moses up at the mountaintop that the people had corrupted themselves, this is what happened:

 

"7And the LORD said unto Moses, Go, get thee down; for thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves: 8They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed thereunto, and said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. 9And the LORD said unto Moses, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people: 10Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation. 11And Moses besought the LORD his God, and said, LORD, why doth thy wrath wax hot against thy people, which thou hast brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power, and with a mighty hand? 12Wherefore should the Egyptians speak, and say, For mischief did he bring them out, to slay them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth? Turn from thy fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against thy people. 13Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, thy servants, to whom thou swarest by thine own self, and saidst unto them, I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have spoken of will I give unto your seed, and they shall inherit it for ever. 14And the LORD repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people." (Exodus 32:7-14)

 

This passage is taught by many pastors as one of the greatest example of "good intercessory prayer" in Scripture. However, pastors fail to discern some major problems with Moses' intercession. For starters, Moses was not asking God to save the people from an attack of the enemy; he was asking God to save the people from God Himself!!! He was so emotionally attached to those people that he could not bear to see them suffer or be killed off completely. When God told him that He would destroy those people and make a new nation come out of him, God was telling Moses that that generation was too perverse to be restored, and that it was better to destroy them right away and allow the next generation to receive an impartation of the spirit that was inside of Moses. However, Moses refused the offer; he chose to "save" that wicked generation from God's judgments. Since His judgments are inevitable (1 Peter 4:17), all that Moses did was to postpone them. This led to that wicked generation dying a slow, 38-year death in the desert. During this time, those people slowly wore out Moses' patience and eventually led to the incident in Numbers chapter 20 where Moses was barred, along with those people, from entering the Promised Land:

 

"1Then came the children of Israel, even the whole congregation, into the desert of Zin in the first month: and the people abode in Kadesh; and Miriam died there, and was buried there. 2And there was no water for the congregation: and they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron. 3And the people chode with Moses, and spake, saying, Would God that we had died when our brethren died before the LORD! 4And why have ye brought up the congregation of the LORD into this wilderness, that we and our cattle should die there? 5And wherefore have ye made us to come up out of Egypt, to bring us in unto this evil place? it is no place of seed, or of figs, or of vines, or of pomegranates; neither is there any water to drink. 6And Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and they fell upon their faces: and the glory of the LORD appeared unto them. 7And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 8Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock: so thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts drink. 9And Moses took the rod from before the LORD, as he commanded him. 10And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock, and he said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock? 11And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also. 12And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them. 13This is the water of Meribah; because the children of Israel strove with the LORD, and he was sanctified in them." (Numbers 20:1-13)

 

How can pastors who preach on the "kindness" and "mercy" of God turn around and congratulate Moses for his "merciful" intercession in Exodus chapter 32? If Moses did the right thing, wouldn't that imply that God is a mean, merciless, and impatient God who was willing to murder men, women, and children simply because they got on His "bad" side? Don't the pastors who congratulate Moses for his "merciful" intercession also preach on the following passage? ...

 

"8But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." (2 Peter 3:8-9)

 

If God saw a window of repentance in those rebellious Israelites, wouldn't He have been willing to wait the necessary amount of time so that they would all repent? Of course, He would have. God is a Righteous Judge who sees beyond appearances and emotionalism and can discern the inner core of people's hearts. When He said to Moses, "Allow Me to destroy them" (Exodus 32:10), He was saying to Moses,

"I have weighed these people's hearts, and I have found them to be irremediably rebellious towards Me. It is better that you allow Me to wipe off all those who will never change, and --- trust Me, Moses --- I know who will change and who will not. That will save us all time. Consider, Moses, the amount of time you will save the righteous, young Israelites who do seek My kingdom and righteousness if you allow Me to take care of this iniquity immediately, instead of forcing the judgment to drag on for years and years. I am a Just and Righteous God, and My judgment against this stiff-necked people is irrevocable. I am giving you the choice, Moses, to get this over with very quickly, but I am saddened to see that your emotional attachment to this people will drag you down with them." 

 

Why would our Holy and Almighty God request Moses' permission before killing off the unrighteous Israelites? The answer to this can be found in the following passages:

 

"The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORDíS: but the earth hath he given to the children of men" (Psalm 115:16)

 

"1God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods. 2How long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked? Selah." (Psalm 82:1-2)

[Notice that God sees us as "judges" and "gods" (John 10:34-35). Notice also that God's complaint against us is not that we are making judgments, but, instead, that we are making unjust judgments that condone the iniquity of the wicked.]

 

"For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son" (John 5:22)

 

From these passages, we can infer that God has given man the prerogative over what can and cannot happen on Earth. In other words, any redemptive judgment must be executed through a human agent on Earth. God will not execute any judgments on Earth unless there is a human being on Earth who is willing to pronounce those judgments. This explains why so many evils have gone on for centuries and centuries. An evil cannot be removed from the Earth unless there is at least one man or woman who is willing to pronounce spiritual judgments against it. When God was asking Moses for permission to destroy the unrighteous Israelites, He was asking Moses to act as His human agent for redemptive judgment on the people of Israel. Unfortunately, Moses declined God's request for justice, forcing God and the righteous, young Israelites to wait until every single rebellious Israelite perished in the desert over a period of 38 years:

 

"And the space in which we came from Kadeshbarnea, until we were come over the brook Zered, was thirty and eight years; until all the generation of the men of war were wasted out from among the host, as the LORD sware unto them" (Deuteronomy 2:14)

 

"31But your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, them will I bring in, and they shall know the land which ye have despised. 32But as for you, your carcases, they shall fall in this wilderness. 33And your children shall wander in the wilderness forty years, and bear your whoredoms, until your carcases be wasted in the wilderness. 34After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise. 35I the LORD have said, I will surely do it unto all this evil congregation, that are gathered together against me: in this wilderness they shall be consumed, and there they shall die." (Numbers 14:31-35)

[The word "wander" in verse 33 was mistranslated from the Hebrew word raah, which literally means "to pasture, to graze, to shepherd". In other words, the "little ones" were forced into an "aimless shepherding" because Moses' pastoral shield prevented God's justice from being executed. As we have said before, the words "pastor" and "shepherd" are synonymous in the Greek and the Hebrew, meaning that the righteous Israelites (along with the righteous Christians of today) have been forced to live under a pastoral matriarchy devoid of prophetic purpose, but, hallelujah!, that period is about to end, as it also ended with the Israelites in Joshua's days.]

 

God killed off a few groups of the unrighteous Israelites here and there as Moses' unrighteous indignation allowed it, but Moses denied God the opportunity for a "Noah-style", total wipeout and regeneration of the people of Israel. Whenever man selfishly postpones God's judgments, he always forces the next generation to pay for his selfishness.

 

"You shall not see My Glory"

Exodus 32:14 declares that God "repented of the evil which He had thought of doing to the people of Israel". Obviously, when this verse speaks of "evil", it is not referring to "moral evil", since God never does anything that is morally wrong; everything that God does is good and righteous, because God's nature is Holy, and He cannot deny Himself. The Hebrew word ra that is translated as "evil" here has the connotation of something that causes "troubles", "discomfort" or "pain", and does not refer to "moral evil" in and of itself. What God was about to do against the people was "good", not "bad", but Moses failed to understand that. As a result, God became displeased with Moses and with the wicked generation that he decided to "defend" through "intercession":

 

"30And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses said unto the people, Ye have sinned a great sin: and now I will go up unto the LORD; peradventure I shall make an atonement for your sin. 31And Moses returned unto the LORD, and said, Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods of gold. 32Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin--; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written. 33And the LORD said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book. 34Therefore now go, lead the people unto the place of which I have spoken unto thee: behold, mine Angel shall go before thee: nevertheless in the day when I visit I will visit their sin upon them. 35And the LORD plagued the people, because they made the calf, which Aaron made." (Exodus 32:30-35)

[Notice that the Lord was not too impressed with Moses' sacrificial request in verse 32]

 

Notice that, in verse 34 above, the Lord tells Moses that He spared the people of Israel "for now", so to speak, but would punish them on the day of His visitation, meaning that Moses' intercessory prayer was nothing but a foolish postponement of an inevitable judgment. This is reinforced by Numbers 14:35:

 

"35 I the LORD have said, I will surely do it unto all this evil congregation, that are gathered together against me: in this wilderness they shall be consumed, and there they shall die." (Numbers 14:35)

 

Notice also that Exodus 32:35 speaks of the Lord "plaguing the people", which shows that "all was not forgiven" between that wicked generation and God, even after God had already repented of executing the judgment that He had thought of doing to the people (Exodus 32:14).

 

At the beginning of Exodus chapter 33, the Lord's displeasure continues to show:

 

"1And the LORD said unto Moses, Depart, and go up hence, thou and the people which thou hast brought up out of the land of Egypt, unto the land which I sware unto Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, saying, Unto thy seed will I give it: 2And I will send an angel before thee; and I will drive out the Canaanite, the Amorite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite: 3Unto a land flowing with milk and honey: for I will not go up in the midst of thee; for thou art a stiffnecked people: lest I consume thee in the way." (Exodus 33:1-3)

 

Notice, from the passage above, that God tells that wicked generation the following:

"I will still give you earthly blessings despite your disobedience, but My presence shall not be with you, for I cannot abide in the midst of an unrighteousness, and no righteousness is possible where My judgments are denied".

 

Notice also that God speaks of sending an angel who would drive out 6 nations: the Canaanites, the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites (v2). However, if you compare this list against Deuteronomy 7:1, you will notice that there is one nation missing: the Girgashites. Why? Because, as we have studied before, the Girgashites represent the spirit of earthliness. Girgashite spirits make people focus solely on this earthly existence at the expense of the eternal weight of glory that God would have for them if they were only willing to pay the price. This explains why the Holy Spirit recorded the following, oft-misunderstood exchange between God and Moses at the end of Exodus chapter 33:

 

"18And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory. 19And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy. 20And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live. 21And the LORD said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock: 22And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by: 23And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen." (Exodus 33:18-23)

 

In verses 22 and 23 above, the Lord tells Moses that he could not see His Face. However, this seems to contradict what is written 11 verses earlier:

 

"And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he turned again into the camp: but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle." (Exodus 33:11)

 

The apparent contradiction is explained by the fact that verse 11 above is spoken in the context of Moses' personal relationship with God, while verses 22 and 23 are spoken in a different context:

 

"12And Moses said unto the LORD, See, thou sayest unto me, Bring up this people: and thou hast not let me know whom thou wilt send with me. Yet thou hast said, I know thee by name, and thou hast also found grace in my sight. 13Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight: and consider that this nation is thy people. 14And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest. 15And he said unto him, If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence. 16For wherein shall it be known here that I and thy people have found grace in thy sight? is it not in that thou goest with us? so shall we be separated, I and thy people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth. 17And the LORD said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name." (Exodus 33:12-17)

 

Notice how Moses is once again acting as an "intercessor" in favor of the people of Israel in this passage. He constantly identifies himself with the people, meaning that everything after verse 11 is spoken in the context of Moses as the leader and representative of the Israelites. This means that Moses could see the Face of God when he approached the Lord as an individual person, but not when he identified himself with the unrighteous people he defended.

 

I have heard preachers who explain Exodus 33:18-23 this way: 

"When Moses asked God to show him His glory, God proceeded to show Moses His goodness, meaning that God's glory is His goodness, and we are seeing God's glory when He is being 'good' to us."

 

On the surface, this seems like a reasonable argument. However, these Girgashite preachers are ignoring two important truths:

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The Lord did not allow Moses to see His Face (v22), and the Glory of God is in His Face, not His Back:

 

"For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." (2 Corinthians 4:6)

 

"But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away" (2 Corinthians 3:7)

 

"But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord." (2 Corinthians 3:18)

 

"And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength" (Revelation 1:16)

 

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The word "goodness" in Exodus 33:19 was translated from the Hebrew word tuwb, which, when associated with God, always has a connotation of righteousness and judgments (the words "good" and "better" that appear in the following passages were all translated from the word tuwb):

 

"39Turn away my reproach which I fear: for thy judgments are good. 40Behold, I have longed after thy precepts: quicken me in thy righteousness" (Psalm 119:39-40)

 

"The law of thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver." (Psalm 119:72)

 

"Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yea, every good path." (Proverbs 2:9)

 

"For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law" (Proverbs 4:2)

 

"Better is little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble therewith." (Proverbs 15:16)

 

"Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues without right" (Proverbs 16:8)

 

Notice how God's "goodness" in Scripture is not related to the acquisition of earthly blessings but rather to His judgments, law, and righteousness. In other words, God's "goodness" in Exodus 33:19 refers to His justice, not to a Santa-Claus-type of "kindness". 

 

Therefore, when God made His goodness pass before Moses, He was reminding Moses of His Righteousness, reminding Moses that He does not reveal His Glory to those who choose to live in unrighteousness by rejecting His judgments. This is why the Lord also tells Moses in Exodus 33:19 that He "would be gracious to whom He would be gracious", meaning that God maintains the prerogative of showing His Glory to whomever He chooses, and that no amount of intercession will ever convince God to reveal His Glory to those who hate His judgments and are only interested in His blessings. Such people only get to see His back and will never see His Face. They will receive blessings that will last them during this earthly life, at the expense of losing their eternal inheritance. They will not see the Glory of God.

 

The middleman ages

Moses' "merciful" intercession produced an unintended result:

 

"7And Moses took the tabernacle, and pitched it without the camp, afar off from the camp, and called it the Tabernacle of the congregation. And it came to pass, that every one which sought the LORD went out unto the tabernacle of the congregation, which was without the camp. 8And it came to pass, when Moses went out unto the tabernacle, that all the people rose up, and stood every man at his tent door, and looked after Moses, until he was gone into the tabernacle. 9And it came to pass, as Moses entered into the tabernacle, the cloudy pillar descended, and stood at the door of the tabernacle, and the LORD talked with Moses. 10And all the people saw the cloudy pillar stand at the tabernacle door: and all the people rose up and worshipped, every man in his tent door. 11And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he turned again into the camp: but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle." (Exodus 33:7-11)

 

Notice how the only one who entered into God's Shekinah presence was Moses, while everyone else could only watch from afar. This means that the only one who had direct and intimate communication with God was Moses, which turned Moses into a permanent intermediary between God and the rest of the people.

 

When Moses descended from the mountaintop and found the people worshipping the golden calf made by Aaron, he destroyed the tablets that contained the Law:

 

"And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf, and the dancing: and Mosesí anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out of his hands, and brake them beneath the mount" (Exodus 32:19)

 

These tablets had two special qualities: they were written on both sides, and they were written by God Himself:

 

"15And Moses turned, and went down from the mount, and the two tables of the testimony were in his hand: the tables were written on both their sides; on the one side and on the other were they written. 16And the tables were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, graven upon the tables." (Exodus 32:15-16)

 

The "top" side of the tablets represents the "literal words" of God that can be seen on the surface by the natural mind, while the "bottom" side represents the underlying meaning of those words, which can only be understood prophetically. The destruction of these tablets, therefore, means that the unrighteous people of Israel lost their ability to prophetically understand the underlying meaning of Scripture and were thereby limited to a literal understanding of the Law:

 

"Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life" (2 Corinthians 3:6)

 

The fact that the tablets were written by God Himself means that they represented a direct communication between God and man, with no intermediaries. When those tablets were destroyed, the unrighteous people of Israel lost their ability to have a direct channel of communication with the Most High God:

 

"31Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: 32Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: 33But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more." (Jeremiah 31:31-34)

 

We can therefore conclude that Moses' "merciful" intercession produced the following unintended result: it created a barrier of separation between God and the people. The people lost the grace to have prophetic intimacy with God; in other words, the "spirit of prophecy" (Revelation 19:10) was lost.

 

As you may discern from the two passages quoted above (Jeremiah 31:31-34 and 2 Corinthians 3:6), the loss of this prophetic grace is the essence behind what we call the "Old Covenant" or the "Old Testament". I know many preachers who mockingly speak of the Adventists because of their legalistic, Old-Testament belief in things such as not eating pork and not working on Saturdays. However, these preachers don't realize that they are also living in the Old Testament when they teach their respective congregations that they, as "ministers", have a closer relationship with God than the "regular folks", meaning that important spiritual judgments should be left up to them. When these preachers teach the congregation to use the Gospel to acquire material wealth while they take care of the "spiritual stuff", they are teaching the Old Covenant, and cursed be those who close the access to the Holy of Holies, for we all now have direct access to God, and that access is not in order to get money from Him but in order to have constant and life-changing encounters with His Glorious Face:

 

"But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in" (Matthew 23:13)

 

"Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets" (Matthew 23:31)

[Closing direct access to God is equivalent to "killing the prophets"]

 

"19Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; 21And having an high priest over the house of God; 22Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water." (Hebrews 10:19-22)

[Notice that this passage does not speak of entering the Holy of Holies to get things from God. We are to desire Him, not things from Him. As we behold His Glory, we receive an impartation of His Holy and Righteous nature, and we become more and more like Him (2 Corinthians 3:18).]

 

We can therefore conclude that leaders that emphasize God's mercy and belittle His judgments stunt their congregations' spiritual growth, and throw their congregations into "the middleman ages" where believers become spiritually lame and permanently dependent on "Moses" the leader. Instead of acting as part of the "Body of Christ", these congregations become part of the "body of Moses". Why? Because "Christ" literally means "Anointed One" in Greek, and those who are acting as members of the "Body of Christ" are aware of the prophetic anointing on their lives. They understand that they can have a direct and intimate relationship with God, with no "ministerial" intermediaries. They also understand that our spiritual interactions within the Body of Christ are for the purpose of supporting each other so that we may all grow in our direct intimacy with Him, not for the purpose of establishing religious hierarchies of superiority one over the other:

 

"11And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13Till 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: 14That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: 16From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love." (Ephesians 4:11-16)

 

Exodus 33:22-23 declares that God covered Moses with His hand while He passed by. Why? Because His hand represents the 5 ministries of Ephesians 4:11 (represented by the 5 fingers). In other words, God was telling Moses the following: 

"When you postponed My judgments against these people, you allowed the ministers to get in the way between Me and them. You created a ministerial layer that acts as a permanent source of accusation against My people, constantly reminding them that the 'ministers' have greater access to Me than the rest of the people. This is your doing, Moses, and you cannot deny it."

 

The Old Covenant was imparted through angels, but the New Covenant is imparted through sons of God who bear His Glory:

 

"1God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, 2Hath 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; 3Who 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 on the right hand of the Majesty on high; 4Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they." (Hebrews 1:1-4)

 

God is drawing His Church out of the Dark Ages of the middleman and into a direct, Father-son relationship with Him:

 

"But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name" (John 1:12)

 

"I wish they were all prophets"

In Numbers chapter 11, Moses complains to God that the same people he had interceded for in Exodus 32 were driving him crazy, even blaming his terrible situation on God (Numbers 11:11-15). The Lord then told Moses to gather 70 elders from the people in order to impart the prophetic spirit in Moses to those 70 so that they would help him with the burden of leading the people. As the prophetic spirit was being imparted to the 70, they began to prophesy; however, two men who were in the camp and were not part of the "chosen" 70 also began to prophesy:

 

"25And the LORD came down in a cloud, and spake unto him, and took of the spirit that was upon him, and gave it unto the seventy elders: and it came to pass, that, when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied, and did not cease. 26But there remained two of the men in the camp, the name of the one was Eldad, and the name of the other Medad: and the spirit rested upon them; and they were of them that were written, but went not out unto the tabernacle: and they prophesied in the camp. 27And there ran a young man, and told Moses, and said, Eldad and Medad do prophesy in the camp. 28And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of Moses, one of his young men, answered and said, My lord Moses, forbid them. 29And Moses said unto him, Enviest thou for my sake? would God that all the LORDíS people were prophets, and that the LORD would put his spirit upon them!" (Numbers 11:25-29)

 

Notice how the young man and Joshua acted as Jebusite bodyguards protecting the spiritual superiority of their "Amorite" master Moses. Brother Moses, however, would have none of that "ministerial veneration" and told Joshua that his desire was that all would be prophets. However, Moses never seemed to understand that this desire of his did not come to pass because of his human-mercy intercession in Exodus 32. God had said to Moses, "I will consume the unrighteous ones and make a great nation out of you" (Exodus 32:10). In other words, God would have killed off the unrighteous adults and made a "massive reproduction" of Moses' prophetic spirit in all the righteous young Israelites that would have remained. The incident in Numbers chapter 11 was a "small sample" of what God would have done on a massive scale if only Moses would have let him. By being "more merciful than God", Moses prevented the manifestation of the prophetic spirit in the very people he loved, and he ended up doing them more harm than good.

 

The end of the accusations

As we said above, the Church has been acting as the "body of Moses" instead of the "body of Christ" for centuries. Because of the mercy-oriented pastoral matriarchy, the Church has allowed satan to stand in the middle between God and us. From his position in the "second heaven" (i.e.- the spiritual atmosphere of the Earth), satan has been throwing accusations at believers, condemning them every time they claim to have direct, prophetic access to God. These accusations are thrown by satan through "ministers" who claim to be of a superior spiritual caste than the rest of believers and who thereby feel the right (and even the responsibility) to silence the "small" believers who claim to have an intimate, prophetic relationship with the Lord. Every time a "small" believer begins to declare apostolic judgments or prophetic rhema word that confronts human structures, he or she is figuratively slapped in the face and condemned with a big "Shame on you for questioning the status quo!!" shouted at his or her face.

 

The age of the accusations is about to end, however. The spiritual Michaels are fighting in the air, releasing judgment word against the accusers of the brethren, opening the heavens so that all of us, as believers, may have a powerful and direct access to the Father. The name "Michael" literally means, "Who is like God?". Those who are aware of God's awesome Glory and Greatness are the Michaels who will not be intimidated by the reproach of man. The spiritual Michaels fear God far more than they fear man:

 

"4And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. 5But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him. 6Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God?" (Luke 12:4-6)

[The word "hell" in verse 5 was translated from the Greek word gehenna, which refers to the valley of Hinnom, south of Jerusalem, where the trash and the dead animals of the city were burned. In other words, "hell" in verse 5 is not referring to Hades (i.e.- the literal hell) but rather to a spiritual place where believers' callings are cast away when they forsake God's prophetic purposes for their lives. The 5 sparrows in verse 6 are a prophetic reference to the 5 ministries under pastoral domination (when birds are associated with ministries in Scripture, they generally refer to the pastoral ministry).

 

The "2 farthings" refer to the body and the soul, without including the spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:23). The "2 farthings" also speak of the mind and the emotions, without including the other part of the soul: the heart. Without the "male" ministries, the 2 "female" ministries (i.e.- pastors and teachers) can do little to truly change the heart of people, and they are incapable of enabling the manifestation of the spirit nature in fellow believers.]

 

The spiritual Michaels are not afraid of the one who can cast accusations at them. Instead, they fear the One who can cast their prophetic calling into the fire of Gehenna. He is the One whom we must fear.

 

Are you willing to muzzle the unclean demon that has been accusing the brethren and preventing them from manifesting God's spirit of prophecy (Luke 4:31-36)? If you are, you are a spiritual Michael, and God will use you to snatch the "body of Moses" from the hands of the enemy so that it may finally be the Body of Christ that will shake the nations of the Earth in these latter days.