Man has no knowledge at all except that which has been given to HIM by HIS CREATOR. Most especially HE has no knowledge or understanding, of that ONE true and LIVING GOD, which arises out of his own nature and ability. Yet he is clearly accountable for having disregarded the knowledge of HIM that HE has been given. “Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.” (Rom 1:19-21)
The LORD first appeared unto Moses in a burning bush. There is no evidence that Moses was seeking GOD or that he was a worshipper of GOD, but the LORD was pleased to reveal HIMSELF to Moses as HE stirred his curiosity by this burning bush. “And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.” (Exo 3:3) Imagine how startled Moses was when the voice of the LORD spoke to him from this bush, calling him by name. In this I am reminded of the same scenario that took place on the road to Damascus with the apostle Paul. Moses as well as Paul were struck with fear at this beckoning.
Ultimately the LORD revealed who HE was by NAME as Moses in his natural ignorance inquired, “And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.” (Exo 3:14) HE called HIMSELF in the Hebrew tongue, “HAWYAW” or the SELF EXISTENT ONE. Moses had no doubt heard tell of this ONE who now spoke to him even as the apostle Paul had heard of and even claimed to be a worshipper of the GOD of Israel.
While the LORD revealed HIMSELF to Moses in a revelation of HIS eternal existence, HE was pleased to reveal HIMSELF in even more glory to the Apostle Paul. HE called HIMSELF “the SELF EXISTENT ONE” to Moses yet HE revealed HIMSELF to the Apostle Paul by the NAME which is above every NAME, before whom every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess as Paul cried out “who art Thou Lord (i.e.; supreme controller).” HE replied, “I am Jesus” (Acts 9:5) Imagine the consternation that gripped Paul’s heart when he heard that NAME and discovered that this same JESUS (whom he has persecuted) is the ETERNAL GOD who both knows his name and all of his deeds. All the while Paul thought HE was serving the “SELF EXISTENT ONE”, he now finds out that he had actually been fighting against HIM.
Many false prophets tell us that all religions are seeking the same god, they just call him by a different name. This cannot be true since HE has now revealed HIMSELF most clearly by the NAME which is above every NAME. All supposed knowledge of who GOD is, that men claim to have, which does not spring from the revelation of JESUS CHRIST as the eternal GOD cannot possibly be a revelation of HIM who is the SELF EXISTENT ONE. HE said with HIS own lips, “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father? (John 14:9) “For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” (Col 2:9)
We are not yet waiting for a new revelation of who GOD is nor can any man claim to know HIM who does not confess that JESUS CHRIST is LORD of lords and KING of kings. HE has clearly revealed HIMSELF in the person of the LORD JESUS CHRIST, the SAVIOR of sinners and LORD of all. There will be no unfolding of a greater understanding of who HE is for HE has demonstrated HIS purpose (redemption), HIS power (by the resurrection); and HIS PERSON in the earth as the “Everlasting FATHER” which HIS name shall be called. (see Isa. 9:6)
Each attribute of GOD and HIS provision for HIS people were gradually made known to his people down through the ages but HE has now set forth the fullness of the knowledge of HIMSELF in JESUS CHRIST. “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath 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; 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 on the right hand of the Majesty on high.” (Heb 1:1-3)
As we go back and look at how the LORD unfolded the knowledge of HIMSELF to HIS people, we are blessed and reminded that each of these revelations were given for the purpose of setting forth the glory which was to be revealed in JESUS CHRIST. Thus we read and study the Old Testament to see those signs of testimony and to rejoice in the pictures set forth therein, even though they were incomplete compared to that which we are now enabled to see. “And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.” (Heb 11:39-40) “Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels (i.e.; those messengers) desire to look into.” (1Pet 1:10-12)
We see one of those “revelations” when the children of Israel (led by Joshua, whose name means “Jehovah is SALVATION”) did battle with the Amalekites in Rephidim. The LORD fought for them as Joshua prevailed and wrought a victory over these persistent enemies. Therefore the LORD told Moses to make a memorial which would cause Joshua’s victory to be remembered. So Moses built an altar upon that spot which served as both a place of worship and thanksgiving and a monument whereby the victory of Joshua might be documented.
In this victory by the hand of Joshua we see by type and foreshadow the victory which has been wrought by our LORD JESUS CHRIST when HE entered in once into that holy place having obtained eternal redemption for us. Moses named that altar “JEHOVAH-Nissi”, which means “The LORD is my BANNER”.
The word “Banner” has reference to a flag or a standard which was carried at the front of an army. Its purpose was two fold. One was to strike fear in the opposing army as they saw these visible signs of an army marching towards them to do battle. Even as CHRIST describes HIS bride, “Thou art beautiful, O my love, as Tirzah, comely as Jerusalem, terrible as an army with banners.” (Song 6:4) “Who is she that looketh forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners?” (Song 6:10)
The other purpose was to give the soldiers of the marching army an ENSIGN which they could easily follow even in the fog and confusion of war. “Lift up a standard for the people. Behold, the LORD hath proclaimed unto the end of the world, Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold.---- And they shall call them, The holy people, The redeemed of the LORD: and thou shalt be called, Sought out, A city not forsaken. (Isa 62:10-12)mam