The Glorious Mount

Date: 10/08/2015 
Jesus led the apostles Peter, James and John up a remote mountain to pray and they watched as Jesus experienced the most spectacular transformation and spoke with visitors from Heaven
When you post, you agree to the terms and conditions of our comments policy.
If you have a Bible question for Pastor Doug Batchelor or the Amazing Facts Bible answer team, please submit it by clicking here. Due to staff size, we are unable to answer Bible questions posted in the comments.
To help maintain a Christian environment, we closely moderate all comments.

  1. Please be patient. We strive to approve comments the day they are made, but please allow at least 24 hours for your comment to appear. Comments made on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday may not be approved until the following Monday.

  2. Comments that include name-calling, profanity, harassment, ridicule, etc. will be automatically deleted and the invitation to participate revoked.

  3. Comments containing URLs outside the family of Amazing Facts websites will not be approved.

  4. Comments containing telephone numbers or email addresses will not be approved.

  5. Comments off topic may be deleted.

  6. Please do not comment in languages other than English.

Please note: Approved comments do not constitute an endorsement by the ministry of Amazing Facts or by Pastor Doug Batchelor. This website allows dissenting comments and beliefs, but our comment sections are not a forum for ongoing debate.

I'm excited about this series because, I was just sharing with some of our producers in the back, I wanted to put together a series - I've been preaching for 35 years now and I wanted to put together a series where I took my favorite sermons that help illustrate Jesus and the plan of salvation and that's what this is all about. And tonight's presentation is called the glorious mount and it's based on a story of something that happened and you find it in the new testament in several places. You can find it in Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Maybe I should start by giving you those references. We're going to be going to Mark chapter 9, verse 1 and we're - it's also found in Matthew 17:1-13, and it's found in Luke chapter 9.

This experience was so important to the apostles that the gospel writers - Matthew, Mark, Luke - they all thought this was a pivotal moment in the ministry of Jesus. And so we're going to look at that together. First I'll read it to you and then we'll break it down. It's only ten verses in the gospel of Mark. So we go to Mark chapter 9 and Jesus begins by making this mysterious cryptic statement - he says in verse 1, "assuredly, I say to you that there are some standing here who will not taste death till they see the Kingdom of God present (or come) with power.

" Everyone wondered, 'what did he mean by that?' 'Some of you here will not die until you see the kingdom of God come with power.' Well the answer is what it says in the following verses - in all these gospels - "now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John, and led them up on a high mountain apart by themselves; and he was transfigured before them. His clothes became shining, exceedingly white, like snow, such as no launderer on earth can whiten them. And Elijah appeared to them with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus. Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, 'rabbi, it is good for us to be here; and let us make three tabernacles: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah' - because he did not know what to say, for they were greatly afraid. And a cloud came and overshadowed them; and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, 'this is my beloved son.

Hear him!' Suddenly, when they had looked around, they saw no one anymore, but only Jesus with themselves." I should add - it says, "now as they came down from the mountain, he commanded them that they should tell no one the things they had seen, till The Son of man had risen from the dead." So they kept tHis Word to themselves but they were wondering what the rising from the dead meant. They still had not grasped what Jesus was going to do and how he was going to die. So that's the story we're going to be talking about. Now can you imagine what it must have been like for the disciples? Jesus said, 'come with me Peter, James, and John.' He takes, sort of, that little inner trinity of the apostles - he often took Peter, James, and John and he addressed them alone and they were like the early leadership of the church. And he says, 'follow me.

We're going to go climb this mountain.' And they figure, 'well, we're going to go up the mountain and pray.' So they don't ask too many questions, but it's a long trip and it's a high mountain - it says, 'a very high mountain' - and they get to the top and they're tired and they fall asleep and all of a sudden they are surrounded by this just blazing light. You ever had a light so bright it wakes you up? And they look and they try to adjust to it and they hear voices and the heavens have split and Christ has gone through this divine metamorphosis where all of a sudden he is deified and he's wearing glorious robes and he's being addressed in a divine way by these great old testament characters and then they hear the voice of God and - would you ever forget an experience like that? Well that's why it's in the Bible. They wrote about it because they couldn't forget it either. So let's ask a few practical questions about what we can learn from this story. First of all, why did Jesus take them up the mountain? Well, you keep reading - if you look in Luke it gives a little more insight.

I'll be giving you references from all three. In Luke chapter 9, verse 28 it says he took James, Peter, and John and he went up to pray. What is Jesus praying about? You know, there's a reference from a famous book on the life of Christ that I really believe is inspired; it says, "he's up the mountain and he pleads" - the book's called Desire of Ages - "he pleads that the disciples might witness a manifestation of his divinity that will comfort them in the hour of his supreme agony, with the knowledge that he is of assurety The Son of God and that his shameful death is part of the plan of redemption." Short translation: they were about to go through calvary. They were going to doubt that Jesus was The Son of God. Jesus wanted to give them an experience before that, that would prepare them to sustain them.

And so he's praying 'Lord, reveal to them a vision of who I really am. They need an endorsement that I am who I am. That I am the Messiah that was coming to redeem Israel, because they're going to doubt when they see me on another mountain' - he was going to be on mount calvary and he wasn't going to look divine at that time and that was going to really challenge their faith. So what were the disciples doing when they got to the top of the mountain and Jesus started to pray? You can read here - it says in Luke 9, "but Peter and those who were with him" - Peter, James, and John - "were heavy with sleep." So when this crucial moment comes and the heavens are opened and Moses and Elijah appear, what are they doing? Sleeping. Is this the first time the disciples were sleeping during a critical moment? No.

In the garden of gethsemane, Jesus takes with him Peter, James, and John and he says, 'can you please come and pray with me?' Well they walked a little ways with him, they knelt down and while they were praying, they fell asleep. I mean, this is the moment when Jesus is making the decision that the destiny of the world is in the balance. Jesus is going to be tempted to throw his hands in the air and say, 'it's just not worth it.' He is praying in such agony that he is perspiring blood and he's saying, 'pray with me.' Can you imagine God wanted their encouragement? The Son of God needed human encouragement to go through with his sacrifice. And what did the disciples do at that critical moment? They fell asleep. And when Jesus came to wake them up, what did he say? 'Pray.

Wake up and pray that you do not enter into temptation.' After the third time he said, 'i know the Spirit's willing, but the flesh is weak.' You notice that at critical times the devil tries to put us to sleep? When we ought to be praying - you ever fall asleep while you're praying? Come on, 'fess up. Don't any of you, like, say your prayers before you go to sleep at night? Yeah, and then it'd be real easy to just - next thing you know it's morning and you never even got to say 'amen.' Fell asleep in the midst of your prayers. If you read in Matthew chapter 25 - after Jesus talks about the second coming - the signs of his coming - he tells a parable about ten virgins. They represent the church. What do those virgins do? Now some of you remember, five of them were what? Fifty percent were wise and fifty percent were foolish and what percent were sleeping? A hundred percent.

Hundred percent. They were all sleeping just before the cry 'behold the bridegroom comes'. We're going to be talking about the second coming tonight and the devil wants to put people to sleep at that critical moment when we ought to be warning the world to prepare to meet thy God, the devil tries to put everyone to sleep. He tries to get us to sleep at these critical moments. We'll be talking about Jonah later this week, and when everybody ought to be praying, Jonah's sleeping.

You know the dangerous thing about sleep? It creeps up on you and it's hard to Mark the moment when you go to sleep. Try that sometime. Get yourself a piece of paper and a pen and after you get comfortable in bed or on your couch or your chair - you know, when you're going to take your nap or go to sleep - just get the pen all ready in your hand, put the piece of paper there and right when you fall asleep, make an 'x'. (Laughter) see if you can do that. Have you noticed that you're not always aware of when it's going to finally creep up on you.

Any of you ever fall asleep while you're driving? No one raised their hand but I heard a moan of recognition. It's kind of frightening. I won't ask what happened but more than once I've dozed. It's only happened a couple of times in my life and it scared me so much. Once I drove all night and all day and I was just in a hurry to get somewhere and I thought, 'oh, I'm almost there.

Just a little farther. I don't want to stop now.' And I didn't realize how tired I was and then the sun came up and then boy, you know, you can stay awake at night, but when the sun comes up, it just hits you. All of a sudden you realize, 'i haven't slept all night.' And next thing I knew I heard thump thump thump thump thump thump thump thump and that woke me up and I swerved and I realized I could have killed myself and my family in the car. Happened another time about a year and a half - two years ago, with Karen and the kids. We were driving on a long road through New Mexico and I thought, 'I'm almost there.

' I was tired but I think I'm awake and it snuck up on me and the next thing I knew - it just was - it only took half a second. I never left the road, I just swerved a little bit and then I - I woke up and corrected like that and Karen said, 'are you okay?' She said, 'are you awake?' I said, 'I'm awake now.' (Laughter) I said, 'that scared me half to death.' I said, 'i just risked my whole family's life because I didn't know the moment it was going to sneak up on me.' Temptation does that. It catches us while we're weak and while we're tired. Sleep is dangerous. There was a famous actor that - he really - he wasn't that famous, actually, he was kind of an off-broadway actor and he wanted to get the opinion of the famous playwright, carl sandburg, of his performance.

And so he finally talked sandburg into coming to his off-broadway performance in New York city. And this play - and while the man was doing his acting he looked out and he saw the famous playwright was sleeping during his performance. And after the show he went up to sandburg and said, 'you know, I asked you to come because I so much wanted your opinion of my performance.' And sandburg said, 'young man, sleep is an opinion.' Based on what I see happening in congregations from week to week, some people don't have a very high opinion of God. Now I don't want to give you too hard a time because I have fallen asleep in the pews before. And I have put many people to sleep while - and sometimes it was my fault but if we realize that eternal things are at stake, it would wake us up, I think.

So they go to sleep at this critical moment when they ought to be praying. And then Moses appears and Elijah appears. You know what the last prophecy is in the old testament? Malachi chapter 4, "remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments. Behold, I send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: and he shall turn the hearts of The Fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse." Remember Moses; behold I send you Elijah - why Moses and Elijah? Because Moses and Elijah represent the law and the prophets. The law and the prophets is the Word of God.

You know, you and I think of it now as the new and the old testaments and, if I can - I'll find - yeah, this is close enough - here's the division between the old and the new testaments. Three-quarters of your Bible is the old testament, but the Bible is kind of dual in nature. It's called a sword with two edges. You know, you think in Revelation it talks about there are two witnesses. And many have said, 'those two witnesses, they're Moses and Elijah.

' Well, they may represent Moses and Elijah, but they aren't literally Moses and Elijah. They're the writings of the law and the prophets. Now let me give you a few verses to help illustrate that, because Moses and Elijah, appearing on the mountain, represent the endorsement of God's word that Jesus is the Messiah. I just rushed into that statement without setting it up. Let me set it up better.

What I'm about to say is the summary of what's happening in this whole story. Moses represents the law. Elijah represents the prophets. There standing on the mountain with Jesus, looking at him in the middle is, basically, representing the law and the prophets - the word of God was saying 'Jesus is the one we have been talking about - that we have been pointing to.' It represented sort of the ultimate endorsement in that respect. But let's go back to the law and the prophets.

Matthew chapter 5:17, Jesus said, "do not think that I came to destroy the law or the prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill." Luke 16:31, he said, "if they do not hear Moses and the prophets," - the Word of God - "neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead." And Jesus did raise someone from the dead, by the name of Lazarus, and the religious leaders still didn't believe. Luke 24:27, Jesus said, "and beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded to them in all the Scriptures" - there you have it. Who wrote the first book in the Bible? Moses - and all the prophets. Now when this story happens in Mark chapter 9, was the new testament written yet? No.

So they had the Word of God then, but the word of God was - they called it the law and the prophets. It was the writings of Moses and the minor prophets and the Psalms - matter of fact, sometimes it says, 'the law and the prophets and the Psalms' - "he expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself." All the Scriptures - the law and the prophets - the things concerning himself. It's one of my favorite things, friends, is you read the Bible from cover to cover, it's all talking about Jesus. From Genesis chapter 1 to Revelation chapter 22, the whole Bible is a portrait of Jesus. It's telling us about him.

It's a Revelation of God in The Son of God. You can read in Revelation 12 - who is the devil especially infuriated with in the last days? Revelation 12:17, "and the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God," - that's the law - "and have the testimony of Jesus." That's the prophets. The Bible says later - Revelation 19:10, it says that the testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of prophecy. So it's the law and the prophets. Isaiah chapter 8, "bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples.

" And then you read in verse 20, according "to the law and to the testimony:" - the law and the prophets - "if they speak not according to tHis Word, it is because there is no light in them." All through the Bible it's saying you're to measure all truth by this book of books. And when you get the testimony of Moses and Elijah saying Jesus is the one, that's what you call a slam dunk. What better endorsement could you have? Romans chapter 3:21, "but now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the law and the prophets." Now something interesting about the characters that were up on the mountain there. Moses and Elijah - did Moses have a mountaintop experience with God and fire? Ten Commandments? Did Elijah go up mount carmel and have fire come down and have a mountaintop experience with God? Does Jesus have a mountaintop experience when the sun went dark and God said 'this is my beloved son' when he was on the cross? You know, he says the same thing on the cross. And so, this is, I think, a very important message that's telling us it's the ultimate endorsement that Christ is the one they were looking for.

When you look in Revelation chapter 11 it talks about two witnesses. These two witnesses are endorsing that Jesus is the Messiah. You read in Revelation 11, verse 3, "and I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth." Do you know that during the time of Elijah there was a famine lasting one thousand two hundred and sixty days and he had to flee into the wilderness? The law and the prophets are the two witnesses in Revelation. Now if you want to say the new and the old testaments, that works for us today. When this happened, they didn't have a new testament yet.

It defines the two witnesses. It says these are the two olive trees and the two lampstands standing before the God of all the earth. Because the olive trees produced oil and the oil kept the lamps burning and it says these two witnesses have the power to pronounce plagues and to bring fire down from heaven. Does fire come down from heaven in the story of Moses during his life? Yes. Does fire come down from heaven in the story of Elijah? Yes.

It says they have power to shut up the heavens that it doesn't rain during the time of their prophecies. Does Elijah pray and prophesy and rain does not come down? So you look at the definition of the two witnesses and it sounds like Moses and Elijah because they are the Word of God. Last prophets in the old testament? Moses and Elijah. Turn the page into the new testament, Moses and Elijah appear to Jesus and they say he is the one. Which brings up the next important question: what exactly were they talking about? You know, along with that, I might throw this in: how did the disciples know it was Moses and Elijah? Did they have video? Did they have photographs? Youtube? I mean, how do they - no pictures? I think they heard what they were talking about and they heard Jesus address them by name.

It says they were talking together. What were they talking about? You can read in Luke 9:31, it says "who appeared in glory and spoke of his decease which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem." They're talking about the sacrifice Jesus was about to make. So God has sent Moses and Elijah to talk to Jesus about his sacrifice. I can't think of two better individuals, you know why? Alright, follow me. You've got to stay with me now.

How does anybody go to heaven? Is anybody saved by their works? Now we all agree, Moses was a holy man. Elijah was a holy man, but all sinned, including them. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God except Jesus, right? But they're in heaven. How'd they get to heaven? Well, Moses, he died and the Lord resurrected him. You can find reference to that in the book of Jude, verse 9.

It says that the devil came to stop the resurrection of Moses. And how did Elijah get to heaven? Well, Elijah went to heaven in a fiery chariot. And we've talked about that - last night. What right did they have to go to heaven? Jesus hasn't died on the cross yet. I mean, does anybody get to heaven without the sacrifice of Jesus? The people in the old testament, they're saved by faith looking forward to the cross.

Am I right? Amen. Abraham was made righteous by faith in Christ. They were saved by faith looking forward. When they were sacrificing lambs, they weren't saved by the blood of lambs, those lambs represented Jesus. They were saved by faith in the lamb of God that would come.

We're saved now by looking back in faith to the cross. Everybody is saved by the cross. So Jesus hasn't died on the cross yet. Moses and Elijah are in heaven. What happens to them if Jesus doesn't go through with it? It's an interesting hypothetical question, isn't it? Can you think of any two individuals that would be better motivated to encourage Jesus than Moses and Elijah? Can you imagine what that conversation might have sounded like? Moses says, 'lord, we know these people are difficult and we know that sometimes it seems like very few will believe, but we really hope that you won't get discouraged and you'll go through with your mission.

And, by the way, we really like it up here, with our glorified bodies, and we would really like to stay and I've been here a thousand years now.' And Elijah jumps in, 'I've been here six hundred years and I've visited all kinds of unfallen worlds. It's so cool. Oh, please Jesus, don't quit now.' They would have been the best people - can you think of any better motivational speakers than Moses and Elijah to come and encourage Jesus? They talked to him about his death. He was going to - the big mission in the plan of salvation to save man - that's why they came. To encourage him and to encourage the apostles so they would know.

And then Peter, he says something interesting. You know, Peter, he's just got to talk and he's scared and he doesn't know what to say and so he starts to stammer and blab and he says, 'oh lord, it's good for us to be here and we'll make three tabernacles and we don't want to leave anyone out so we'll make one for Moses and one for Elijah and one for you.' And I thought that was interesting that Peter would say that because, even though he maybe didn't what he was saying, what he said was divine - it's in the Bible. How many temples were there in the Bible? There was a temple, during the time of Moses, in the wilderness, right? There was a temple - Solomon's temple - during the time of Elijah, and then that was destroyed and they built the third temple during the time of Jesus - it was existing during the time of Jesus. How many parts of salvation are there? Three principle areas of salvation - it's called justification - that means you come to the Lord just like you are - then there's sanctification - that means God teaches you to live a holy life, and then there's glorification when you get your glorified body and all sin and temptation is removed and you're in the presence of God's glory. Three parts - Moses represents justification - when they sacrificed that passover lamb, they were justified by the lamb.

Elijah came to revive the people and teach sanctification. Jesus is when God becomes a man - that's called glorification. How many people in the Bible fasted 40 days and 40 nights? Three. You know what their names were? You get three guesses. Moses, Elijah, and Jesus.

They were all on the mountain that day. Isn't that interesting? The strange combination of people that were together there - that represents our salvation. That represents the Word of God. And Peter said, 'lord, rabbi, it's good for us to be here always. Let's just stay here on the mountain.

' No, it wasn't God's plan that they just stay on the mountain. And then you read on and it tells about how they were so terrified. They're awed by their glory. They were greatly afraid. You know, you and I could not sustain the presence of God by ourselves.

It's just - that's why God had to come through Jesus, for us to endure it. You know, right now, at the time of this recording, I realize these tapes, sometimes, air for years after, but at the time of this recording it's an election cycle and it's ramping up and different people are running for public office and president soon and that's in the news a lot - a lot of different candidates. And you know what candidates do when they try to get the votes of people? They try to get endorsements. I heard today that some people were endorsing their favorite candidates and they'll get famous people or well-respected people and they might be movie stars - sometimes even a rock musician and all kinds of celebrities. And they'll endorse their favorite candidate.

And the more positive and the more popular your celebrity is, the better your endorsement. And it was interesting, a couple of weeks ago, when pope francis visited the united states, how many of the candidates were jostling for an endorsement from the pope. I mean, because, can you do better than the pope? At least in some people's minds. I heard a story one time. Pope John Paul ii - one of his trips to the united states, he went to the west coast to napa, California - at least part of his trip took him up there - and while he was there he woke up real early because of the time change and he thought, you know, I want to just get out.

I'm wide awake. Everyone in my entourage is sleeping and I'd like to go look at the beautiful vineyards and watch the sun rise there in Napa valley. It was in the fall and he said, 'it reminds me of some of the beautiful places in Italy where the vineyards are.' And he woke up the chauffeur and he said, 'let's go for a drive.' The chauffeur was very nervous, you know, 'this is a strange country and we need to follow the schedule. Stick with protocol. We don't have a full security detail ready and he said, 'look, I'm the pope.

' He said, 'let's go for a drive. I just want to look at the grape vines.' He said, 'come on.' 'Oh, okay senior father.' So he takes him for the big, you know, the limousine - this is before he had the popemobile - before the assassination attempt - and he has these blacked out windows in the back and they're driving up the silverado trail - it's kind of a windy road going through the vineyards in napa and the pope can't see anything - the windows are all blacked out. And so he said, 'roll down the windows, I can't see.' 'Oh, no, no your holiness. People see you. That's no good.

No, no, no.' And he said, 'pull over.' And he obeys - he pulls over - the chauffeur - and he said, 'look, I've driven all my life until I became pope. I know how to drive. And here in the u.s. They drive on the same side as we drive in poland.' He said, 'let me drive.' 'Oh no, no, no your holiness. No, no, no' - you know, he's an italian chauffeur, he gets very upset.

And he said, 'can't - no, no - can't permit.' He said, 'look, I'm the pope. You want to be excommunicated?' 'Oh no, no, no, no.' He said, 'look, get in the back. That's an order.' 'Oh no, no!' He said, 'right now! I command you.' So he gets in the back and he's just carrying on, 'oh mama mia! What a - no, no!' He's worried about his job and so the pope finds the buttons and he closes off the window so he doesn't have to listen to the chauffeur back there. And then he gets out on the road and he starts driving. He's just starting to enjoy himself - the sun's coming up - he's looking at the grapevines and he's enjoying it so much he misses a stop sign.

Well, there weren't any cars around - it was very early - except for the policeman, of course, who was watching on a side road and saw him just go right on through. The policeman pulls in behind the pope's limo and starts to follow him - turns on his blinking lights. The pope knows what that means. He pulls over to the shoulder. The policeman gets out, you know, his ticket pack and he walks over to the window and taps on the window - pulls down the window - looks up and he looks down and he sees the pope and he's in his pope regalia.

He says, 'just a moment sir.' He goes back to his car and he gets on the radio, calls back to dispatch and he says, 'patch me in to the captain.' He talks to the captain and says, 'captain, we've got a situation here. I just pulled someone over. They ran through a stop sign. But they're pretty important. I want to make sure I'm following protocol.

And he said, 'what'd you do? Did you pull over the mayor of Napa?' He said, 'no, I think they're more important than the mayor of Napa.' 'More important? What? No, you didn't pull over the governor, did you - Schwarzenegger?' He said, 'no. No, I think they're maybe more important than the governor.' 'What happened?' He said, 'what'd you do, pull over the president of the united states?' He said, 'no, he might even be more important than the president.' He said, 'well who in the world did you pull over?' He said, 'i don't know who I pulled over. All I know is the pope is his driver.' (Laughter) now the authenticity of that story is suspect, but I share it with you because it does have a point. If you were going to get the most important endorsement for Jesus - and you're a Jew - that He is the Messiah, who could you call on more important than bringing Moses and Elijah from heaven and the voice of God The Father that says 'this is the one. This is my son.

' That's why I'm always surprised that so few pastors preach on this story, because to me it is the crescendo of the ministry of Jesus. After everything he's done from the time that he's anointed until the cross, he reaches this mountaintop where, if the disciples have any doubt now about who he is - you know, Peter - Jesus said to the disciples once, 'who do you think that I am?' 'Well, some say you're Jeremiah, some say you're John the baptist or Elijah, one of the prophets risen from the dead.' And he said, 'but who do you say that I am?' Peter said, 'you are the Christ The Son of God.' But there was still some ambiguity back then, even among the apostles, about who Jesus was. But finally he said, 'Peter, James, and John, you come with me.' They go up that mountain and Moses appears and says, 'this is The Son of God.' And Elijah appears and says, 'this is the Messiah.' And then God The Father says, 'this is the one.' It's like if you don't accept that, then what will you accept? Now, do we have a faithful witness that Jesus is the Messiah? Do you and I have the testimony of Moses - that Jesus is the Messiah? Moses said - "the Lord your God" - Deuteronomy 18 - "the Lord your God will raise up a prophet unto you like me. Him you shall hear." He was talking about Jesus. And Jesus came in the Spirit and the power of Elijah even more than elisha or John the baptist, with that power of God anointing him.

And so, all of the Bible testifies that he is the one. And then the voice of God says, 'this is my beloved son, hear him' - hear him - he that has an ear let him hear what the Spirit says.' Now I'd like to talk to you about what Jesus said at the beginning: "verily I say unto you there are some standing here who will not taste of death till you see the Kingdom of God come with power." You know, that prophecy could be true in your ears today. There's a good chance there's some of you who are sitting here - who are watching - that will not die before you see the literal coming of Christ. I personally believe that it's going to happen in my lifetime. Amen.

I believe we're - the prophecies are being fulfilled. Jesus said, 'the gospel of the Kingdom will go into all the world for a witness, then the end will come." That's Matthew 24:14. Right now, through television and satellite and the internet and missionaries and a thousand other means and technologies, the gospel is going all over the world. Karen and i, in a couple of weeks, we're going to be - there she is - she switched sides on me - we're going to be in fiji and then we'll be in new zealand and we've been to china and I've gone to india and korea and japan and russia and middle east and we've been all over the world and people are hearing the gospel all over the world. We get e-mail from some very restrictive countries in the inner - in the middle east and they say 'if our families knew that we're writing you and telling you that we've accepted Jesus, it would cost us our lives.

' But they've been listening to the youtube so they've been watching the videos or they've got a satellite dish. The gospel is going everywhere. Jesus didn't say everyone would believe. He said it'll go for a witness to all nations, then the end will come. This is certainly a generation where that could be fulfilled.

But there's some other reasons. This is a miniature picture of the second coming. He goes up the mountain - what direction do we go when Jesus comes? The dead in Christ will rise and we will be caught up to meet them in the air. Isn't that right? Christ is glorified. Will he be glorified when he comes? No doubt there were angels that surrounded them at that meeting on the mountain that day.

Then you've got Moses - who does Moses represent? Moses died but he was resurrected. There's one group who are resurrected when Jesus comes. Who does Elijah represent? Elijah, he is translated - that means he is taken off to heaven without dying. So that's the two classes of people that will be there when Jesus comes. And so this is like a microcosm of the second coming.

Jesus is going to come back in the glory of the father, the Bible says. Something else I thought was interesting: it says he makes the statement in Matthew and in Mark and it says after six days he took them up. Now I don't want to build too much into it, but I thought that was interesting. After six days he took them up. Have you ever read that verse in 2 Peter 3, "beloved, don't forget this one thing: that one day with the Lord is as a thousand years and a thousand years as a day.

" And then you can read in psalm 90, verse 4, "for a thousand years in your sight is like yesterday." There's a principle that a day could be like a thousand years. Follow me. God told adam and eve, 'when you eat the forbidden fruit - 'in the day that you eat thereof you will surely die.' Did they fall over and die the day they ate the forbidden fruit? Did they fall over and die before the first millennial day went by - before a thousand years went by? Nobody made it to a thousand years. How - who was the oldest man? Methuselah methuselah is the oldest man who ever died. The oldest man who ever lived is enoch.

Enoch was The Father of methuselah - he went to heaven. He hasn't died yet, right? It was a trick question. But - so methuselah - 969 years; adam - 930 years - but they died before the millennium went by. 'In the day you eat thereof you will die.' God made them to live forever so a thousand years - they were devastated. And you and I get threescore and ten and we think we're, you know, we're lucky if we make that, right? They were supposed to live forever so being told you can only live a thousand years - 'a day with the lord is like a thousand years and a thousand years like a day.

' After six days he took them up. Do you know if you add up the dates in the Bible - and most Bible chronologists agree because the ages of adam and his posterity is all given in the Bible. Abraham, Moses, it goes on down - tells their ages and then how old their sons were. It's very careful, in the Bible, the chronology is - there's a few little gaps but they're not that big and when you add it all up, you can guess that the world is roughly six thousand years old right about now. Matter of fact, the Bible is divided into three great epochs of time.

The first two thousand years from creation, which they figure was around 4004 bc. We don't know that exactly, but that's bishop usher's chronology. 4004 Bc - 2000 years - Abraham's born. From Abraham - 2000 years - Christ is born. From Christ - 2000 years - reaches to our day and age.

Matter of fact, right now you and I are living between - we are right now living between 2000 years after the birth and before the death of Jesus. Do you understand what I'm saying? You could go back exactly 2000 years right now - you would be alive during the time of Christ. He would be alive. So you've got 2000 years - the age of the patriarchs - Abraham. Years - the age of Israel.

Years - the age of spiritual Israel. And then in Revelation it says we are going to spend a thousand years living and reigning with Christ during the millennium - milli annum - means thousand years. A total of how many? Years. Two, four, six, plus one is? Seven. Seven thousand years.

And that seven thousand years is like a Sabbath. After six days he took them up. And I started reading some other things - now I'm not setting dates - don't be set - we don't know when the Lord's coming. Anyone tells you they know the day or the hour or the years the Lord's coming - go the other direction because Jesus said - he settled that - nobody knows. Is that clear? Yes.

But he said, 'I've written these things that you could know when it is near.' He wants us to be awake. You know they had a law in the Bible - Exodus 21:2 - "if you buy a hebrew servant, he shall serve six years; and in the seventh he shall go out free and pay nothing." After six there's a liberation. The Bible says that there's a jubilee when Jesus comes - a liberation. Furthermore - Exodus 23:10, "six years thou shalt sow thy land and shalt gather the fruits thereof: but the seventh year thou shalt let it rest" - it was like a Sabbath every seventh year - six years you sow the seed and you harvest at the end of that six years and then you leave it fallow. Now with that in mind, does Jesus compare the Word of God to seed, in the parable? For six thousand years God has been spreading the gospel seed.

How does Revelation picture Jesus coming? With a sickle. Anyone remember what those are for? Harvesting. Here, you know in Michigan, probably. California people don't even know what a sickle is anymore - in the cities. It's for harvesting.

So Jesus is pictured in Revelation coming for the harvest. From the gospel seed that has been sown by Patriarchs and Prophets and in person and through the apostles over the ages. It's a harvest. And what's the condition of the world during the one thousand years? It's desolate as it keeps Sabbath. You know, when the children of Israel were carried off to Babylon, it says while they were in Babylon the land kept Sabbath - Israel was desolate.

Uses the very same language. After six days he took them up. Have you read this verse? When Moses got the ten commandments, how long was he on the mountain? Forty days and forty nights, right? Like the rain of Noah. But do you remember the verse that talks - Exodus 24:16 - "now the glory of the Lord rested on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days. And on the seventh day he called to Moses out of the midst of the cloud.

" And Moses went up the mountain. After six days he went up. There's another story in the Bible - there's a lot of them - jericho - they Marched around the city six times, once. On the seventh day they took the city - they took the promised land, right? We're living in that scenario of time that is the culmination of all things. And, you know, another reason I think Jesus is coming soon? If he doesn't come, what will be left? I mean look at how the population has exploded in one generation.

We went from - the beginning of the 19th century there were one billion people in the world - now we're pushing eight. And you look at what's happening with the forests - I just read in the news today they've got fires in indonesia - they're calling for other countries to put out the fires. They can't get them out. Any of you read that? And I'm a pilot and I fly around. I just look at places I used to fly over - just - forests are disappearing.

Do you know Revelation says God'll destroy those that destroy the earth? Little by little - Christ said, 'except those days be shortened there would be no flesh; but for the elect's sake those days will be shortened.' So I don't know if the Lord's coming a little later than we think - a little sooner than we think - I think that he's coming when we don't think because he said, 'in such an hour as you think not The Son of man comes.' So, again, nobody knows exactly when it's going to be, but we can tell just from - he said you can look at the weather - you can look at the sky and kind of tell what the weather's going to be. He says, 'how come you can't see the signs of the times?' When there's a proliferation of nuclear weapons still in the world today and, matter of fact, in the news last night, they said they caught these people selling radioactive material for making bombs and they're worried about one of these rogue nations getting nuclear weapons and what would happen if there is a final - tensions are growing again between russia and the u.s. And - I'm not trying to scare you. Maybe a little bit - but I just want you to know that let's not go to sleep. Now's when we ought to be praying.

Amen. Jesus said, in Matthew chapter 13, when he talks about the second coming, Christ says four times, 'watch, watch, watch, watch lest he come and find you sleeping.' He wants us to be awake. At these crucial moments we do the same thing that Peter, James, and John did. We get anesthetized by the enemy and we go to sleep. Another story in the Bible, talking about six - if you look in 2 Kings chapter 11 - let me tell you the story real quick because we don't have time to read the whole thing.

There was a wicked queen, her name was athaliah. She was the daughter of jezebel. When her son died, instead of allowing her grandson to rule, she was so power hungry, she killed her grandchildren. You've got to be pretty brutal, I mean, because the strongest love in the world, I used to think was a parent for their child, but it could be a grandparent for their grandchild. That's pretty strong too.

And she went and tried to wipe out the seed of David and kill all of her grandchildren - except one escaped. He was taken off by his nurse and hid in the temple of the Lord for six years. How long? Six years. For six years athaliah ruled over the land and joash was hidden in the temple. And at the end of six years - at the beginning of the seventh year - he was brought out of the house of the Lord and, matter of fact, it says, 'as the Sabbath began' when everybody was relaxed, they came out, they blew the trumpets, the people shouted, young joash was coronated, athaliah was slain - she's sort of a type of that wicked woman in Revelation 17 called the mother of harlots - in Revelation 17 - Babylon.

That whole story is sort of a little microcosm of what's going to happen. Where is - joash was a son of David - he was a descendant of David. What's another name for Jesus? Son of David. The Son of David also, isn't it? Jesus, the son of David. Where is our son of David now? Isn't he in the heavenly temple? And after 6000 years is he someday going to be sent by The Father? Will Michael stand up and will he come? Yes.

And judgment - his intercession for man will cease. There'll be a time of trouble such as there never has been. And it says The Father will send Jesus. Will the trumpets blow? Will the people shout? Will he be coronated? Will the wicked be slain? All of this - and it says she reigned over the land six years. I just looked through the Bible.

It's not just there. There's even a verse in job, 'he will deliver you in six troubles' - you know, we need his deliverance during the six troubles - 'yes, in seven no evil will touch you.' Because you're separated from it at that point. There are so many verses that have this kind of built into it. And, again, does everyone understand? I'm not talking about setting a time here, I'm just trying to help you understand the times in which we're living, not a date. I think we're living in the times.

I think that this is the generation that can see all of these things fulfilled. That ought to excite us. I want the Lord to come, don't you? Amen. Well, I have mixed feelings. You're probably surprised to hear me say that.

I want the Lord to come because I'm, as they say, sick and tired of being sick and tired. I - i, you know, I'm looking forward to my glorified body and being able to sing like an angel and - but don't we all have people we love that if Jesus came right now they might not be ready? So you have - you say, 'lord, I want you to come because I want to get out of this world, but if you came right now, I'm still praying for this person and this person and this person - that you'll save them.' And the Lord, you know why he's waiting? Because 'the Lord is longsuffering to usward, not willing that any should perish but all should come to repentance.' the Lord is waiting as long as he can possibly wait. But then it goes on to say in 2 Peter chapter 3, 'but the day of the Lord will come and the heavens will dissolve with fervent heat and the earth and the things that are in it will be burned up. Seeing then that all these things will be dissolved, what kind of people should we be? You know, this is a tremendous story. Jesus takes them up the mountain and there you have Moses and Elijah - it's the ultimate endorsement in the Bible.

There you've got seven witnesses. You've got three in heaven - Moses, Elijah, and Jesus. You've got three humans - Peter, James, and John. Then you've got one individual that becomes the link - he goes from human to divine to human - Jesus is the ladder that connects heaven and earth, amen? Amen. It says after, the voice of God spoke and said, 'this is my beloved son.

Hear him.' They were all cowering and they covered their faces and then finally, when the light went dim, and they got the courage to look around, then they saw only Jesus with them. Jesus would not leave them. You know, I can't - I can't share this story without telling you something that, to me, was one of the most amazing things - is that last little note that I shared with you in the story. On the way down the mountain Jesus says to the apostles, 'don't say anything about this until The Son of man is risen from the dead.' Can you imagine how hard that was for them? I mean, you know, it would be like me just having a secret meeting an hour ago, with president obama and the prime minister of england and the prime minister of australia - pick your favorite three world leaders - and they all say 'doug, we need to talk to you about prophecy. We've been watching your programs.

' - I can dream can't i? (Laughter) one time Karen and I were actually at the white house on a white house tour - we didn't see the president but we were on a tour and one of our kids was misbehaving and, you know, you think 'all this expensive artwork and statutes and everything' and Nathan was a little younger then - it was 'get over here' - and one of the secret service said, 'sir, can you please come here?' I thought, 'oh no, what did he do?' You know? And I came over and he said, 'i just want you to know we enjoy your programs.' Honest. And I said, 'wow, I'm thrilled to hear that someone in the white house is watching.' He said, 'i don't know why you're surprised. There's probably more than you think.' So that's when I invented that dream. So if I (laughter) had just been talking with the president, you know? And after he asks me about Bible prophecy, I come in and he says, 'now Doug, you can't tell anybody about this.' Oh man! You know how hard that would be? See, I just told you and it wasn't even true! (Laughter) I couldn't keep from telling you and it hasn't even happened yet. Maybe one of these days.

Can you imagine being a fisherman - they love to tell stories. You've just seen Moses and Elijah and you heard the voice of God and then Jesus said, 'don't tell the other guys.' They were all fighting for the highest place. They've got an experience - they couldn't wait to tell the other guys. Jesus said, 'don't tell them until The Son of man is risen from the dead.' And they're going, "what does that mean?' And, you know, it probably wasn't until Peter had gone out and wept bitterly - and he had denied Christ - that all of it began to gel in his mind when the women said, 'he's alive.' Then he remembered Jesus on the mountain. Then Peter never forgot that experience again.

In fact, you can look in the Bible. Peter talks about it very explicitly in his writings. Peter said, 'we have a more sure word' - you look in 2 Peter chapter 1, verse 17, "for he" - Jesus - "received from God The Father honor and glory when such a voice came to him from the excEllent glory:" - he is looking for words - glory, excEllent glory - "'this is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased.' And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with him on the holy mountain." Now you would think, if you had that experience, you'd think, 'why nothing could ever top that.' But you know how Peter follows up? After Peter says 'we heard the voice of God. We saw Moses. We saw Elijah.

We heard their voices.' He says, 'we have a more sure word of prophecy that we do well that we take heed to as a light that shines in a dark place until the day dawn and the daystar arise in your heart.' He said, 'we have a more sure word.' Peter said, 'even more dependable than the experience that we had on the mountain is what you can have in the Bible.' Amen. Quick translation, friends, Jesus wanted them to have that experience on the mountain to prepare them for a very dark trial on mount calvary. Is there a trial coming to God's people? How do we prepare? Right now is our opportunity. We need to spend time with Moses and Elijah. Who do they represent? The Word of God.

The law and the prophets. The new and the old testament. Now is when you need to be storing away the promises of God - (soft piano music) - so that you're prepared for the trial that comes. The disciples were sleeping when they should have been praying and they were devastated when they saw the cross. Now is our opportunity.

Jesus is coming soon and there's a trial coming upon the earth. Christ said if it were possible, even the very elect would be deceived. What is going to prevent us from that deception? Spending time on the mountain with Jesus and Moses and Elijah. How's your devotional life? Are you spending time in the word? There's so many voices in the world today, it is blurring the image of Jesus. They saw Jesus only with them.

Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus? You'll get that through spending time in His Word. Would you like to ask him to help you tonight? Father, lord, we're always thrilled as we consider this wonderful experience. Help us to share in spending time with Jesus on the mountain in His Word that we might really know him and love him and be ready for his return. We pray in thy holy name, amen.

Share a Prayer Request
Ask a Bible Question



Prayer Request:

Share a Prayer Request


Bible Question:

Ask a Bible Question