In Exodus 24:1-18, after Moses has been in the glory of God for forty days being infused with God, receiving words and instructions from Him, God opened His heart to him to reveal to him what was hidden in His heart from eternity – the desire of His heart, the tabernacle, the building of God.
In this chapter there is a threshold to the heavenly visions contained in the following chapters; unless we come to this threshold, we will not be able to see the heavenly vision of God’s dwelling place. If Moses would not have crossed this threshold and would not have entered into the Holy of Holies in reality in God’s presence on the mountain, there’s no way he could have received the revelation concerning the desire of God’s heart.
It is the same with us: we may doctrinally know that God’s building is the goal of God’s salvation, and we may mentally understand that Exodus begins with slavery in Egypt and ends with the tabernacle filled with glory; we my get the points and understand the doctrine, and there’s nothing wrong with that – but we need to see a vision!
When we see a vision of what is on God’s heart, we are revolutionised, restricted, directed, governed, and energised. When we see a vision, we cannot forget it – it is wrought into our being, and those who have gone before us and have seen the vision can tell we have seen the vision.
We should not assume that, because we know the teaching and the doctrine concerning the dwelling place of God as the desire of His heart – that we have the vision of God’s dwelling place. This vision can be seen only after we spend significant time being infused with the God of glory until it pleases the Lord to change the doctrine into vision.
Vision involves revelation (the removing of the veil), light (the shining of the divine light), and sight (having eyes to see the vision). When we see a vision of what is in God’s heart regarding His dwelling place, His heart’s desire is reproduced in us, His heart becomes our heart, and we are intrinsically changed.
Today we need to see what it means in our experience to arrive at this threshold of the heavenly vision of the desire of God’s heart.
Having a Clear Sky to See the Vision of God in a Transparent and Clear Heaven
In Exo. 24:1-2, 9-18 Moses and the leaders of Israel were called to come up on the mountain to God to worship Him; there, on the mountain, they saw a vision of God. Beneath God’s feet Moses and the leaders of Israel saw something that had the appearance of a large, transparent stone; Moses could only liken what he saw under God’s feet to a transparent sapphire stone, which was like heaven itself in its clearness.
When it comes to this matter of seeing God we need to forget about doctrinal understanding, deny our natural mentality, and not try to systematize biblical doctrine.
On the one hand the Bible says that no one has ever seen God at any time (John 1:18), and on the other hand in Exo. 24 the seventy elders with Moses saw God and ate and drank – they even saw God’s feet. Paul speaks of the invisible God (Col. 1:15), but in another place he says that we can behold Him and reflect Him like a mirror (2 Cor. 3:18). How can the invisible God be seen, and how can the unapproachable glorious God be seen by fallen man face to face?
Such questions show us that the Bible is not according to our natural mentality but it is divine, spiritual, and mysterious, and cannot be “systematized” by our natural mind. We simply need to apply to our experience what the Bible says.
Like Moses and the elders of Israel, we need to have a clear sky in our fellowship with the Lord so that we may see a work of transparent sapphire underneath Him. We need to come to the Lord, fellowship with Him, and remove any clouds or spots that would darken the sky between us and Him.
When there’s nothing between us and the Lord, we have no cloud, shadow, or obscurity, we can see the vision of God in a transparent and clear heaven. It is only when we are in such a clear atmosphere that we can receive a vision of the building of God’s dwelling place.
Only after applying the Lord’s precious blood and dealing with anything that would hinder us from seeing Him can we see the Lord clearly and can He reveal to us what is in His heart. In order for Moses to receive a revelation of God’s building, the desire of God’s heart, there had to be a clear sky and a vision of the Lord; in order for us to really see the vision of God’s building, we need to have a vision of the Lord under a transparent and clear sky.
The experience of seeing the Lord under a clear sky cannot compare with anything else; here we are at peace, we can eat and drink, and God can unveil His heart to us.
May the Lord save us from focusing on doctrines and mental understanding of “seeing God” and bring us into an experience of having a vision of God under a clear and transparent sky, with nothing between us and Him, so that we may be qualified to see the desire of God’s heart – a vision of God’s dwelling place.
We need to be poor in spirit, humble ourselves, and allow the Lord to enlighten us that merely knowing something or being impressed with something is not a vision; a vision of the Lord revolutionizes us and causes us to be energised and governed by it.
Lord Jesus, grant us to have a clear sky between us and You. Lord, we want to see You in a transparent and clear heaven, having a clear atmosphere between us and You. We love You, Lord, and we open to You; wash us with Your precious blood, and remove any obstacle or spot between us and You. Cause us to advance in our spiritual experience and remain in fellowship with You under a clear and transparent sky, so that we may have the heavenly vision of the desire of God’s heart to have a dwelling place on earth!
Advancing in our Experience to have a Clear Sky and a Vision of God’s Heart Desire
The goal of God delivering His people Israel from Egypt, leading them through the wilderness, and providing for them in their travel was so that they would come to the mountain of God and receive a revelation of God and of His heart’s desire.
The goal of our being saved by God, being supplied by Him, and being led by Him in our daily life is that we would enter into a deeper fellowship with Him to have a revelation of who He is and have a vision of His heart’s desire, the building of God.
However, many believers did not arrive to the experience of seeing God and His heart’s desire. In the story of Moses and the people of Israel, it was only Moses and the elders of Israel that went up on the mountain to see God (the rest of the people stayed at the bottom of the mountain), and it was only Moses that saw the vision of God’s dwelling place.
If you have not had the kind of spiritual vision described here, it may indicate that you have not yet come to Mount Sinai in your experience with the Lord. You need to come to Mount Sinai and stay there with the altar, the sacrifices, and the blood. Then in your fellowship with the Lord, the sky will eventually become clear and transparent. It will seem that in front of your eyes there is something which resembles the body of heaven in its clearness. Then, in such an environment, you will see God and the heavenly vision concerning the desire of His heart to have a dwelling place on earth. The reason there is virtually nothing said among Christians today concerning God’s dwelling place is that many believers have never come to Mount Sinai to receive the vision of God’s dwelling place. Many of those who are truly saved have not yet come up the mountain to behold the Lord in a transparent and clear heaven. (Witness Lee, Life-Study of Exodus, p. 941)
We all are at different stages of growth in life and experience of the Lord, but we need to advance in our experience until we have a clear sky between us and God and we can clearly see God and have the vision of His heart’s desire, God’s building. It is in such an environment – the clear sky between us and God, a clear vision of God – that we can see God and receive the heavenly vision concerning the desire of His heart to have a dwelling place with man on earth (Exo. 25:8; 29:45-46).
We need to advance in our experience of the Lord and go from “the bottom of the mountain” to the “middle”, where we can see God under a clear sky, and then we need to still advance until we are in God receiving the vision of His building.
If we never had even for a brief time the experience of being under a clear and transparent heaven, we have to admit – no matter how much we know about the Bible, we are still in the stage of knowing the doctrine. We must be willing to advance, and we need to pray to advance.
We need to be on the top of the mountain, dwelling with God under His glory and receiving the vision of His dwelling place as Moses did (Exo. 25:8; 24:15-18).
It took Moses forty days and forty nights to see the revelation of God’s dwelling place; this indicates that receiving revelation from God requires a long period of time – it is not overnight that we receive a vision of God’s heart desire – which is a trial and test to us.
In this age when everything is taken for granted and has to be right away, we need to spend time with God until it pleases Him to reveal His heart to us. Little by little and throughout the years the Lord shows us an increased measure of revelation; we cannot arrive at this vision in a hasty way, because precious spiritual things take time.
Lord Jesus, we want to advance in our experience of You until we have a clear and transparent sky and we can see You face to face. Lord, bring us on with You in our daily life. We want to go up to the mountain to be with You, dwelling with You under Your glory and receiving the vision of Your dwelling place. Lord, may we be the ones who pay the price of spending adequate and thorough time with You so that we may receive revelation upon revelation of what is in Your heart.
References and Hymns on this Topic
- Inspiration: the Word of God, my Christian experience, brother Ron Kangas’ sharing in the message for this week, and Life-study of Exodus, pp. 936-943 (by Witness Lee), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, Crystallization-Study of Exodus (2), week 12 / msg 12, The Vision of God in a Transparent and Clear Heaven and the Heavenly Vision concerning the Desire of God’s Heart to Have a Dwelling Place with Man on Earth.
- All Bible verses are taken from, Holy Bible Recovery Version.
- Hymns on this topic to strengthen this burden:
# Under a clear sky, / On the mountain, / Beholding the glory of the / Vision of His building, / That He may have His dwelling place, / That He may have His dwelling place. (Song on Having a Clear Sky)
# Shining One—how clear the sky above me! / Son of Man, I see Thee on the throne! / Holy One, the flames of God consume me, / Till my being glows with Thee alone. (Hymns #1159)
# Nothing between, Lord, nothing between; / Thus may I walk with Thee, / Thee only may I see, / Thine only let me be — Nothing between. (Hymns #373)