Joseph Prince - How To Be Transformed From Glory to Glory
2 Corinthians 3, we started from verse 6. So, let me just give you again a good overview. It starts off by telling us there is a difference between the old covenant and the new covenant. When God gave the law, the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai. Say, "Sinai". Okay what happened? Three thousand people died. When God... and that was the feast, the very first feast of Pentecost ever, okay? Then in the New Testament, when God gave the, not the law, but God gave the Spirit on a different mountain, what mountain? Zion. What happened? Three thousand people were saved, all right? Which goes to show, the letter kills but the Spirit gives life. The Word of God is Spirit and life.
The letter that kills only refers to the Ten Commandments. The context here refers clearly to that which is the ministry of condemnation. The next verse tells you, ministry of death as well. It's called ministry of death written and engraved on stones, and we have established that the only part of the law that was established, etched on stone, written with the finger of God himself are the Ten Commandments and that's what kills, okay? So, moving right along, after that we saw that Moses, when he came down the mountain, we established that the first time Moses received the Ten Commandments in two tablet forms, it never made it to the bottom because Moses destroyed all ten. And rightly so because if the tablets made its way down there where they were worshiping the golden calf, they would have all been killed.
All right, so on another day God invited Moses up, and this is the time, the first time it never happened but this was the time when he came down again, his face shone, all right? So, it's the second giving of the law that his face shone. What's the difference? The first giving is pure law. Second giving was tempered with grace and mercy. In other words, God revealed himself as a gracious God, yet, God gave him the law. Now, this is what is happening all over the world today. They think that we're not preaching pure law. We are preaching grace, but we tell you, you need the law, amen? That's a mixture that Bible calls the ministry of death. Mixture is the ministry of death because the context here talks about Moses's face shining. And Moses's face only shone in the second giving of the law. Are you with me?
So, the Bible says, what did Moses do when his face shone? Because when he came down the mountain, you can find this in exodus 34, when he came down the mountain, the people ran away from him. He had to call them back. Even his brother, Aaron ran away from him. He had to call them back, why? Because the glory of Moses's face was the glory of the law. It was a ministry of condemnation. Every ray of God's holiness on Moses's face tells them that they have fallen short. It proclaims that they've all sinned, all right? Therefore you cannot just say, "You know I sin a bit". No, God says you sin in one area, you are guilty of all. So, that's the reason why they ran away from Moses. So, Moses did a wise thing. He took a veil. Say, "veil". And he covered his face.
All right, whenever he talked to the people, what God said, he will put a veil on his face and then the Bible says when he turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. He will talk to God face to face. Isn't it beautiful, amen? Okay, let's go to verse 14, the last part of verse 14". "Their minds were blinded. For until day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the old testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ". Their minds were blinded. We showed you last week in the very next chapter of the same book, the Bible says the God of this world, the small G-O-D, the devil, has blinded the minds of the people. Lest, they should see the glorious gospel of Christ.
And I told you last week, if our Jesus and our gospel is not attractive, why should the devil blind people's minds? Let them see Jesus. No, the idea of going out there and trying to shove the gospel down people's throat, all right, the whole thing repulse me because it's as if our Jesus is not attractive. No, the whole thing is that let people see Jesus. Pray in the name of Jesus that veil will be lifted. Once people see Jesus, they will rush to find him. Can I have a good amen, amen? "Their minds were blinded. For until this day, the same veil remains unlifted". When the Jewish people read the Old Testament, when they read the Old Testament, there's a veil on their heart, on their mind because the veil is taken away in Christ, but they don't see Christ, therefore they still see the veil.
The first purpose of Scripture is to testify of Christ. Romans 10:17 does not say faith comes by hearing the Word of God. It does not say that. It is faith comes by hearing the word of Christ. It's preaching of Christ, revelation of Christ that imparts faith. Can I have a good amen? The Pharisees had the Word of God and had no faith. It's important you go to the Old Testament and bring Christ out from the shadows. That's when faith exploded in our hearts. Can I have a good amen? All right, so we come now, after the veil, next verse. Verse 15, "Even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart. Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away".
So, how do you get revelation with God's Word? When one turns to the Lord, all right? So, when we turn to the Lord, say, "Lord," you know we admit, we see. We turn to the Lord because we say we cannot see unless God opens, all right? So, everybody right now say, "Lord". See him in front of you, say, "Lord, open my eyes to see you, amen". Okay, that is really good because, you know why? You are depending on the Lord to make himself seen. So, next verse says, "Now the Lord is the spirit; and where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty". Notice that there's a parentheses from the part where it says, "Letter kills the spirit gives life". So, if you jump from there, where the parenthesis begin to down here, you find that the spirit that gives life is Jesus in the Scriptures. When you see Jesus, he is the Lord, that spirit of liberty. For where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom, amen? But finally we all come to it.
Hey, we came to it, the last verse. Are you ready? "But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord". Now, how many of you want to be transformed from glory to glory? Okay, you don't like everything in your life, okay? Rather, some things in your life that you don't like, okay, right, you want transformation in that area. And don't limit God. Don't say, transformation is only character. All right, this has been put my men. When Jesus walked by the shores of Galilee, the transformation were not just women who were once upon a time a prostitute, now loving Jesus with all her heart.
All right, yes, that is also a character transformation, but there was so many people transformed from sickness they cannot walk. They cannot see, they cannot hear, and they began to see and hear and began to walk and run. All right, so the transformation is also physical. Do not limit God. I said do not limit God. So, how do we get transformed, amen? How do we get transformed. So, the very first thing I want to tell you is this, if you look carefully at this word, "Beholding as in a mirror," please understand this word, even though it's a few words, beholding as in a mirror, it's actually one Greek word, only one Greek word. Keep that in mind, "Beholding as in a mirror" is one Greek word, and the writers assume the word "mirror" is there. But the Greek word for mirror is not there.
So, from there they say it is beholding, or reflecting, as in a mirror. So, it brought a lot of confusion to people who are studying the Bible. They say that "How do I behold a mirror"? You know some some people had this revelation when you look in a mirror, you see yourself. But honestly, when you see yourself, you're not transformed, okay? All right, you are transformed when you behold the glory of the Lord. Can I have a good amen? So, what is this? So, let me just tell you this, I've studied this verse and I looked at all the different arguments the theologians have and this is my conclusion because of other verses that confirm the whole thing. We are transformed by beholding the glory of the Lord. In other words, beholding alone, there is no mirror. It is true that the Greek word sometimes can be used as reflecting your face in a mirror. It can be used.
All right, I read one Greek scholar, all right, a great man of God who say that it can be used, okay, for that application. But it is not true that in every application, that word is beholding as in a mirror. Are you listening? All right, so I got no big problem about that, okay? To me you call it the mirror of God's word, fine, but don't go around saying, "This beholding is actually looking at yourself, you know, that you must see God's glory". No, no, no, no trust me, the more you look at yourself, you will see gory. So, if you can just remove the word "mirror" and in the Greek structure of this verse, the word "unveiled face" is not just for us. It Is also on Jesus's face. Jesus's face has no veil.
Again, if you read this in the English it seems to apply only to us, we all with unveiled face. But actually in the Greek structure, unveiled face can come last. It can come even after the glory of the Lord. We see the glory of the Lord in an unveiled face. Moses has a face that's veiled. Jesus has a face that has no veil. Are you listening? Now, why is the glory of Jesus so far superior, more excellent than the glory on Moses's face? Y'all know the story of Jesus was transfigured, remember that? Then he came down the mountain. When he came down the mountain, what happened? The people ran towards Jesus. Powerful.
This is found in all the synoptic gospels which is Matthew, Mark and Luke. All three gospels tells us about the mount of transfiguration. When he came down, the people, sinners ran towards Jesus. Why were they not afraid? When in the Old Testament, Moses came down the mountain his face shone, people ran away, why? Because the shine on Jesus's face a different shine. It's a more excellent shine. And why is Jesus, you know, right now at the Father's right hand, Jesus face is shining glorious. You know why? Because the glory on Jesus's face, people, is the proof that all our sins are put away. The reason why there's a shine on his face is because God has glorified him because he first glorified God at the cross. And how did he glorify God at the cross? He put away our sins.
So, beholding Jesus gives you that glory face. How do we go about receiving that? Okay, look at this. "We all with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror". So, forget about mirror just for a while. Don't worry about all that thing that throw you off. Just know that beholding the glory of the Lord, beholding the face of Jesus is where you find the glory you are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory. So, where do you find the glory of Jesus? Where do you find that this is revealed to us? Only one place, church, in the written word. The living Word, Jesus, is unveiled in the written Word, in the Bible. So, be it you're beholding, as I'm preaching right now, you're beholding Jesus or you are reading for yourself and you behold the Lord. But it all comes through the written Word.
Some people think beholding is close your eyes, you know, and just go into this form of, a certain form of asceticism, and visualization, and mysticism, and try to imagine Jesus. All right, this is not about imagination. When you read your Bible, there's a lot of imagination, yes. Some of it is inspired by the Holy Spirit, but you must go to the written Word to find the glory of the Lord. Are you with me? All right, how did the people... or rather, how did the writer talk about beholding the glory of the Lord in Moses's face? Look at verse 15. Even to this day, when Moses is read, huh, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart. The entire topic here is very consistent. It's talking about reading the Bible. Today when they read the Bible, when they read the Pentateuch, the five books of Moses, that's why it says when Moses is read. Can you see that? I submit to you, when Jesus is read, you are transformed, okay? When Jesus is read, you are transformed.
See the word "transformed"? It is the Greek word "metamorphoo". Does that remind you of something? Transformed is metamorphoo. All right, what is that? You get the word, what? Metamorphosize. All right, metamorphosize literally a transformation. It's not just a gradual change. It's really a transformation from one state to another state. So, if you're a nervous person today or you're like me, stammering and stuttering, doesn't mean the very area of your problem God cannot transform to become the area of blessing. I'm literally metamorphosized in this area of my speech. My bane has become my boon, a blessing, so can you. Your nervousness can be transformed. Your constant falling sick can be transformed, but you cannot transform yourself. It's only by the Spirit as you are beholding. Are you with me?
All right, metamorphoo, metamorphosize like a cocoon, all right? The little caterpillar breaks open and then becomes a butterfly. Literally, they use the word "metamorphosized" into a butterfly, okay? And this word "metamorphosize" appear only in three places, here, one time. The other one is when Jesus was transfigured in the Mount of transfiguration. You know the word: "He was transfigured before them. His name shone like the sun, his clothes became as white as the light. So, the disciples had a sampling of the glory of Jesus, all right, beyond human flesh. See the word "transfigure"? Metamorphoo in Greek, amen. And Romans 12, this is the last one, "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God".
Now, be transformed by the renewing of your mind. We hear people saying, "Renew your mind, renew your mind, renew your mind," but we forget, we are transformed by the renewing of our mind. Okay, and the transformation here is the word metamorphoo, same word. Only in 2 Corinthians 3:18 finally it tells us how to be metamorphosized, by beholding the glory of the Lord. Are you with me, church? All right, look up here. I close with this. There are two mountains, okay? Jesus brought Peter, James and John, say, "Peter, James and John". All right, they went up the mountain, all right, and that was when his face was metamorphoo. His whole being was metamorphoo, metamorphosized. He shone, all right? And the best of them appeared, isn't it with Jesus, he's the best of all, all right? Moses appeared, Elijah appeared, praise God, the law and the prophet talking to Jesus.
Notice the Bible says they were talking with Jesus, not Jesus talking with them. See who's the greater one. They were talking with Jesus. And then they woke up, Peter, James, and John, and Peter spoke up and said, "Let us build three tabernacles". In essence, put Jesus on the same level as law and the prophets. The Bible says, let's follow the story here. "While he was still speaking, while he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and suddenly a voice came out the clouds saying, 'This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear him'".
Now, I want to ask you something, is this a correction? Not hear them, Moses and Elijah, hear him. It this a correction? Is this a rebuke to Peter? And yet you see how gentle God does it. God overwhelms them with a bright cloud and then God says the way God corrects you when you are wrong is to unveil more of Jesus. "This is my beloved Son". The best way to correct people is to unveil Jesus to them. The way the Father corrected Peter was to say, "This is my beloved Son, listen to him". Not listen to the law and the prophet, not listen to them. Notice the word "bright cloud". I have it underlined. You know why bright cloud is the first place to appear here? Bright cloud, because when Moses came down Mount Sinai, do you remember the people? They all said, "All that God can command us, we are well able to perform". Remember that? Man presumed on his own self-righteousness. The very next line in Exodus 19, after man said that, the very next line God said, "Behold, I come to you in a thick cloud," in your Old King James.
All right, look up the Hebrew word, "I come to you in a dark cloud". Mount Sinai, dark cloud. Mount of transfiguration, bright cloud. It's the cloud of the new covenant. It's not a cloud of gloom and condemnation, lightning and thunder that strikes terror and fear in every conscience-stricken heart. It's a revelation of, "This is my beloved Son, listen to him". Even God's rebuke and reproof is so precious. It unveils Jesus. "And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces and were greatly afraid". They were afraid. You'll be afraid also if God the Father spoke all of a sudden when you are talking and talking and talking. But I love this, Jesus came and touched them. They're all flat on their faces and Jesus came and touched them. Watch this, he touched them and what did he say? "Arise and don't be afraid". The Father just said, "This is my beloved Son in whom I'm well pleased. Listen to him. Listen to him". And what's the next words if you listen to him? "Arise, don't be afraid". That's our Jesus, the glory.
You know, when I see this kind of thing, I end up being kind to people effortlessly. When I don't read things like this for some time, I end up very short with people because his kindness has made me great, David said. His kindness is better than life. He's so kind. He says, "Then arise. Peter, you can stay down". No, he didn't do that, isn't it? He didn't do that, right or not? "You know, you will stay down for three months". No, he didn't do that. He's so kind. Verse 8, "When they had lifted up their eyes," I love this, "they saw no Moses, they saw no Elijah, but Jesus only". Jesus only. And for those of you who are able to receive this, look up here. Peter, James and John, Peter, Cephas in Hebrew, his name means stone. Peter is Greek, stone. James, Yaakov means supplant, replace. John, Yochanan his name means God's grace. All right, so in other words, Jesus brought Peter, James and John. The stone has been supplanted, replaced by God's grace. And then when Jesus came down with three of them, the Bible says all the people ran towards Jesus. Church, he's altogether lovely. Let's behold him more and more.
You know, it's okay to watch a movie once in a while. It's okay to get into all this, you know, Korean dramas and get angry and scolding people. But honestly at the end, at the end, all these things, listen, if you are spending too much time in them, if you're spending too much time in your novels and all that and not relishing the Word of God, you are missing out on your transformation. Nobody else will suffer but you, and we need to be transformed every single day from glory to glory. And the Father loves to say to you, "Hey, this is my beloved Son, hmm? Beautiful, isn't he"? And the more you see him, the Holy Spirit transforms you. Like Peter saw Jesus above the floods, and he was like Jesus walking on the water. Only when he took his eyes off Jesus's glory, he sank. Do not be distracted, keep your eyes on Jesus.