If the journey of the children of Israel from Egypt to the promise land is properly decoded, it will reveal the roadmap which is laid out for mankind; Following His Glory aims to provide the key to this biblical cipher.
I have been very reluctant to write a book. A solicitor who visited our church said to me, ‘Write a book about what you are teaching, and I will help you to edit it.’
I said, ‘No!’
Some other members of my church approached me and said, ‘Pastor, why don’t you put these messages into a book?’
I said, ‘No.’
There are millions of Christian books on the market. Some are excellent and are inspired by the Holy Spirit. The moment you begin to read them you feel the imprint of the Holy Spirit. Unfortunately, there are millions of other Christian books, the motives of which are obscure. Some are written for fame, some for prestige, some for money, and some to add the word ‘author’ to the names of the writers. These books make sense and have Bible quotations, may seem correct theologically, give good advice and have laudable conclusions, but they do not have the life of the Spirit of God. What you get from them is only in the mental realm. They are of the flesh, and what comes of the flesh is flesh, however much they are polished, presented and applauded. They do not work to advance the kingdom of God. The reason why I was reluctant to write a book was because I did not want to birth or add to these millions of flesh books. If it was not in my destiny to write a book, I was not going to force it.
There are also other books, which are released from the kingdom of darkness or empowered from the forces of darkness. They also quote the Holy Bible, and may seem doctrinally correct on the surface, but what they offer is spiritual death. The object of these demonic books is to bring people into darkness, bring confusion, cause people to doubt the Lord and to introduce a different image of Jesus Christ. The moment you begin to read such books, you also begin to lose your zeal and fervour for the Lord. Some of these books unknowingly introduce you to demons and witchcraft. Every Christian needs the help of the Holy Spirit to perceive such crafty counterfeits and choose what to read, especially in the time and age we live in.
Later the Lord suddenly began instructing me to write in dreams and visions. I was still not enthusiastic about it. The Lord sent some other prophets to confirm His word and to tell me to begin to write. I dragged my feet for a long time. OK, what am I going to write? Then the Lord told me in a flash of inspiration that the spirit is the pen. I began then to sense what was in my spirit, and when I put it on paper I was shocked myself at what I began to write; about the glory of the Lord God.
When it comes to anybody writing about the glory or the manifest presence of God, one has to humbly acknowledge his or her complete inadequacy and utter dependence on the Holy Spirit. Even those mighty prophets in the Bible who saw the glory of God found it very difficult to describe it in human language. As I continued to write I felt the Lord’s leading to follow the patterns of His glory He had already set in the Old Testament.
When the children of Israel came out of Egypt at the first Passover, the Bible says, ‘And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so as to go by day and night. He did not take away the pillar of cloud by day or the pillar of fire by night from before the people.’ (Ex 13.21-22). The pillar of cloud and the pillar of fire together was the physical manifestation of God’s presence. So, the children of Israel followed the manifest presence of God, which would lead the way and also search out a place for them to camp.
‘Whenever the cloud was taken up from above the tabernacle, the children of Israel would go onward in all their journeys. But if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not journey till the day that it was taken up. For the cloud of the Lord was above the tabernacle by day, and fire was over it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys.’
The manifest presence of God led them through the Red Sea, through dry and desolate lands, through the wilderness of Sin until they came to the wilderness of Sinai. On Mount Sinai God descended in His glory and spoke to the children of Israel audibly. The children of Israel later said the glory of the Lord was like a consuming fire. God gave them the law and instructed Moses to build a sanctuary so that He could dwell among them. The children of Israel built the tabernacle of the Lord, the centre of which was the Ark of the Covenant located in the most holy place of the tabernacle. On top of the Ark of the Covenant was the mercy seat. It was on the mercy seat the glory of God would appear to speak to the High Priest.
When the children of Israel left Mount Sinai, they followed the glory of the Lord by following the tabernacle. It took them through one camp after another for 40 years, until they reached their destination. In the Moabite plains the children of Israel had to cross the waters of Jordan into their promise. By that time Moses, Aaron and Miriam had died. A new commander and leader, Joshua, was in charge. He instructed the children of Israel:
‘When you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, and the priests, the Levites, bearing it, then you shall set out from your place and go after it. Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure.
Do not come near it that you may know the way by which you must go, for you have not passed this way before.’
The children of Israel followed the Ark of the Covenant through the waters of Jordan into Canaan; the land of their promise. The land of Canaan ‘flowing with milk and honey’ was really a symbol of God’s dwelling place in heaven which was a place of endless riches and delight. The Israelites had to go through the wilderness for 40 years before crossing over the Jordan into the Promised Land. Had anyone been left behind in the wilderness, he/she would not have survived the heat of the day, the cold in the night, the drought, the famine, and the perils of dangerous animals in the wilderness. ‘Following the Glory’ was crucial for their journey, their survival and for their promise.
What happened to the children of Israel throughout their journeys until they reached the promise land was a pattern to us. ‘Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.’ (1 Corinthians 10.11). All that happened to the children of Israel in the wilderness was a pattern for our time and generation. We too must follow the glory of God if we have to reach our inheritance and destiny. We are going to pass through some difficult, rough, and hard times, persecutions and tribulations. We must also identify and follow the glory of God if we
are to survive.
In the end time, the activities of the antichrist system and the corresponding judgement of God will make things impossible in the natural world. The Bible says, ‘He who endures to the end shall be saved.’ It also says, ‘Whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’ We need to follow the glory of God more in the times we live in. Coming very soon are times when we cannot afford to walk in error and ignorance. We shall need the hand of the Omnipotent, the mind of the Omnipresence and the word of the Omniscience to survive, otherwise we shall lose our promise and even be destroyed.
Yet today, believers know more about gifts of the Holy Spirit and the anointing but know very little about the glory of God. The world has seen the Pentecostal Revival, Evangelical Revival, and the Charismatic Revival. In all of them, there was a measure of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. We have read books about the glory of God and heard preachers preach about it, but we have come to the point where we need to experience it for ourselves.
I started as an Anglican priest. While praying the heavens opened and I saw a mighty building, like a church. It stayed in my view for about one minute and slowly dissipated. I was not prepared for that. As a normal Anglican priest, I was not quite conversant with such visions then. What is the meaning of this? I began a search for understanding. Perhaps the search for God had begun earlier than I thought, I don’t know. But the search for God still continues in my heart. How does one look for and search for an invisible God who is infinitely bigger and greater? How does one begin to search for the Creator who is omniscience, omnipresent and omnipotent? Where does one begin? The search, I realised, must begin within our own hearts. Therefore, our ideas and concepts about God must be true and not only depend on what we have been told or what we have read from books. We should allow the Holy Spirit, who is Spirit of truth, to guide and lead us to our destination, for we don’t know the way.
Some Christians speak as though it were easy to enter into God’s manifest presence and parley with Him. No! To put the rhetoric aside, the search for God is arduous and requires too much diligence to encourage any casual seeker. It is not for those with the wrong motives; it is for those who are truly serious and prepared to pay any price for an encounter with God. ‘And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart,’ says God through the prophet Jeremiah. The pattern of the journey of the children of Israel gives us clues.
God has guided my hands in many ways. He has led me back to the Old Testament shadows, copies, and patterns and shown me how they relate to the time in which we live. God is holy, not only in the Old Testament but also in the New Testament. He is the same God. Holiness is His nature, His essential self. He cannot do anything without His holiness. In the same way, God is love and He cannot do anything that is not love. So even God’s judgements are part of His loving nature and holiness.
God has chosen to guide man to fulfil His original intent. Man, through the first, Adam, decided to declare independence from God, walk away from Him and hide in fear. The Spirit of God therefore left the earth, but God promised to re-send His Spirit through Jesus Christ to guide us back to Him and to our inheritance. Without the Spirit of God, no man can find Him. Religion blossoms because of man’s attempt to find God without His help. We must come out of our religious beliefs in order to find God.
The Bible is much deeper than any theologian, any denomination, and any commentator. No one in the flesh has the full understanding and complete answers to all it has to offer mankind. Until we are transformed into Christ’s image we shall continue to see only in part and have different views and interpretations of the same thing. Whatever theological bias you hold, and whatever denomination or persuasion you belong to, does not matter to God if you are truly searching for Him. If you are truly seeking and searching for God, then we might be on the same side or in the same boat despite our theological differences.
You are perhaps going to read about something that you won’t like; something that would even seem to offend you and your doctrinal viewpoint. You may not like the style and language in which this book has been written. I would not be surprised. Sometimes I go back to what I had written earlier and wonder, ‘Did I really write that?’ Yes, the spirit is the pen. I am not writing to satisfy any doctrinal viewpoint; not even my own. If you are looking for something to disagree with or criticise you will find plenty in this book. I don’t hold any superior knowledge than what is written in the Holy Scriptures and perhaps what other inspired men of God have written and said. God is still speaking. He has never stopped speaking to those who can hear. Just because it is different from yours does not make it false.
If this book helps you to get a little glimpse of the Lord or helps you to get a little closer to His presence, then its purpose is served. All the glory goes to the Lord, for He only is worthy.
If, on the other hand, I have misinterpreted or misrepresented what the Holy Spirit is saying to me and to the church, I ask you to forgive me. I pray the Holy Spirit to impart to you Himself a true picture of what He wants to say to His church in the unique time in which we find ourselves.
The time in which we live is crucial. There has never been a time like this and there will never be. It is possible we might be the last generation to witness the second coming of the Lord, Jesus Christ. If this is the case, then we have a special and unique assignment to fulfil and we need to prepare ourselves. May God guide your steps to discover and follow His glory in the time in which we live.
Solomon S. Aggrey
It is of paramount importance, right from the beginning of this book, to believe and understand that the whole Bible is the word of God. The word of God is not only the New Testament but also the Old Testament. The God of the Old Testament and the God of the New Testament are one and the same. It is a complete lack of understanding of the plan and purpose of God to try to show that the God of the New Testament is better or different from the God of the Old Testament, ‘For I am the LORD. I do not change.’ (Malachi 3.6).
The Old Testament conceals the will and plans of God, and the New Testament reveals the will and the plans of the same God.
‘Remember the former things of old, for I am God and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from the ancient times things that are not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure.’’
It is like God’s signature tune, to declare the end from the beginning. There is no other god like Him. If by God’s grace the blindness which came over the eyes of nation of Israel in the wilderness is removed from the eyes of many Christians, we will realise that the first few books of the Bible encode the whole message, the gospel of Jesus Christ, the plan and the will of God. It was delivered to the Old Testament saints in shadows, types, and copies. To decode these prophetic messages one need to have an idea about the true meaning of these shadows,
types and copies.
Everything God made and did in the world had to conform to the already existing realities and precedents in eternity. An example is the building of the Ark of the Covenant. ‘And see to it that you make them according to the pattern which was shown you on the mountain.’ The true Ark of the Covenant was revealed when the Word become flesh and dwelt amongst us. In the New Testament one will find a lot of references to the Old Testament because the Old Testament forms the basis for the proper understanding of the New Testament. If one throws away the Old Testament, one has thrown away the foundation and disfigured the complete understanding of the message of God.
Moses, as the mediator and the redeemer of the children of Israel, was a type of Jesus Christ, the true Mediator and Redeemer. The nation of Israel can also be seen as the first nation, a type of New Testament nation, called ecclesia, church. Many of the things that happened to the first nation are reflected more fully in the New Testament.
‘So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or Sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come but the substance is of Christ.’
The Old Testament was the shadow. What a powerful shadow! But what is a shadow? The Greek word for shadow is ‘skia,’ which means an imperfect copy or a reflection of the true substance. A shadow is an image cast by an object, making a form, a sketch, or an outline of the primary or the original object. The Bible says, ‘the substance is of Christ.’ Jesus Christ existed before the foundation of the world (Revelations 13.8), and He cast shadows in the Old Testament.
It means the laws, ordinances, statutes, times, seasons and feasts in the Old Testament, as powerful as they were, only presented shadows of the life and ministry of Christ, the anointed one. In other words, the laws, ordinances, statutes, times, seasons and feasts were images of the Lord Jesus Christ concealed, which became revealed in the New Testament. ‘And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.’
In the time of the Old Testament, Jesus Christ had not physically come to the earth, and the New Testament was in the future. So how can someone or an object which is not present cast a shadow? The substance or the original substance was already existing in eternity. When the light of God fell on Him, who was already existing in eternity, it cast a shadow in the Old Testament. The Old Testament, then, was pointing to the original intent of God, which was fully revealed by Jesus Christ in the New Testament.
‘Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.’
1 Corinthians 10.11
The reference points of these ‘examples’ were the experiences the children of Israel went through, especially in their journey to the promised land; the cloud, the glory of God, the wilderness experiences, the signs and the miracles. The Greek word for ‘example’ is tupos. Tupos means a type, a constituent element of some reality which is yet to come; a prototype or a preview; that which is yet to be evolved, developed and perfected. So, the events which occurred in the Old Testament, especially to the children of Israel, were types, prototypes and previews of what was to happen to the children of God in the New Testament, the ecclesia (the church).
God also used copies in the Old Testament to point to the heavenly realm and what was to come in the New Testament.