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Matthew 28
posted August 9, 2012

Revelation 13
posted August 16, 2012

                                             THE MEETING AT THE SUMMIT


Sermon Of The Week #200831 - AUGUST 3, 2008

The gospel according to Matthew, Mark, and Luke record the account of a summit meeting that took place on a high mountain. It was a full dress affair as far as four of the participants were concerned, and three of them were dressed as fishermen. In fact the three may have wondered why they were invited in the first place. The following is an account of the meeting.   

Jesus took Peter, James and John into a high mountain apart by themselves to pray. It was at that time while in prayer the Lord was transfigured before them. His face did shine as the sun, the fashion of His countenance was altered, and His garment became white as the light, bright, and dazzling and there appeared unto them Moses and Elijah speaking of His decease He would accomplish at Jerusalem. It must have been an awesome sight. The three apostles must have remembered the face of Jesus shining with the glory of God brighter than the midday sun several months later when they saw that same face glorious besmirched with the shame of spit, and the bloody crown of thorns on His brow.

 Now Jesus may have taken the three apostles with Him for this great event because He said in Matthew 18:16, “By the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.” Then many years later Peter gave his testimony of the Transfiguration in 2nd Peter 1:16-18: “For we did not follow cunningly devised fables, when we made known to you the power of the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eye witnesses of His majesty. For He received from God, the Father, honor and glory, when there was borne such a voice to Him by the Majestic Glory, ‘This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased:’ And this voice we ourselves heard borne out of heaven when we were with Him in the holy mount.” And that was their personal eyewitness of the transfiguration.

The appearance of Moses and Elijah is suggestive of the Second Coming of Jesus. The appearance of Moses who died, reminds us that the dead in Christ shall rise first. And Elijah of whom it was said in 2nd Kings 2:11, “Behold there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.”  Elijah reminds us that we who are left alive unto his coming shall together with them be caught in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

Then too we are reminded of a similar occasion in Exodus 33:18 when Moses said to the Lord, “I beseech thee, show me thy glory.” Moses was permitted to see the departing glory of God, but when he stood before the people they were afraid, because his face shown with glory. Moses put a veil over his face and the veil hid the glory of God. But on the Mount of Transfiguration the glory of God, shown through the body of Jesus, and His garments could not hide the glory. The veil hid the glory of God on the face of Moses, but with Jesus the garments could not hide the glory of God when He was transfigured. The glory of the gospel is greater than the glory of the law.   

However the three apostles had seen a more astounding sight before the transfiguration. Before the transfiguration they had seen the Lord of glory walking around encased in the body of a human being. Paul reminds us in the second chapter of Philippians; “He took upon himself the form of a servant, made in the likeness of man, found in fashion as a man.” And this is an example of how the Christian shall appear in glory when the Lord returns. Jesus said in Mathew 13, “Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the Kingdom of their Father, he that hath ears to hear let him hear.” Are you listening?

However it is good for us to remember while Jesus lived among us in flesh; at every event where His deity was manifested, there was a sign from heaven to underscore the event. At his birth, angels appeared to the shepherds with the announcement: “There is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior who is Christ the Lord.”

At his baptism as he came up out of the water, the Holy Spirit descended in the form of a dove, and coming upon Him; and lo, a voice out of heaven, saying, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.”

At Jesus’ great temptation after fasting forty days and nights, the tempter came, and at the final temptation, an angel came from heaven strengthening Him.

What a great demonstration at his death at the crucifixion; behold, the veil of the temple was rent from top to bottom, the earth did quake, the rocks were rent, and many bodies of the saints that had fallen asleep were raised up after His resurrection and appeared unto many.

At His resurrection there was a great earthquake and an angel from heaven came and rolled away the stone. And then even at His ascension two heavenly visitors came and prophesied His second coming. Now listen to the voices at the summit meeting.


Peter was the first to speak and he said, "Lord it is good for us to be here. I will make three tabernacles one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah." This is an indication of how the Christian will feel when they die? Paul said in 2nd Corinthians 5:8, “To be absent from the body is to be at home with the Lord.”  At the moment we leave this world we are surrounded by the glory of the Lord's presence and we will not want to return. Like Peter we will say, "Lord it is good for us to be here."

I know not the form of my mansion so fair

I know not the form that I will then shall wear;

But I know that my Savior shall welcome me there,

And that will be glory for me.

But there may be more on Peter’s mind by his mention of those three tabernacles than at first glance. Remember a week before this Jesus had told the apostles that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the chief priest, elders and scribes, and be killed, and the third day be raised up.

Peter had rebuked the Lord and said this shall never be unto thee. Then Jesus rebuked Peter. He said, "Get thee behind me Satan for thou mindest not the things of God but the things of men." Jesus called Peter the Devil for telling him to bypass the cross. Now Peter hears Moses and Elijah bring up the cross again, and he is not going to make the same mistake again and be rebuked. But he sees a way out of going to Jerusalem to the cross. "Lord, let us just stay here, and I will make three tabernacles, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah."

It was a foolish thing to say; for one thing spiritual beings would not need a tabernacle, and what is more they were on a high mountain, it would have been too cold for the three apostles to sleep on the ground in the snow, if it was Mount Herman as many suppose, and Peter said nothing about tabernacles for the three apostles. That may be why Luke says that Peter knew not what he said.  

However Peter was on a spiritual high. Some times we feel the same. But for now they cannot stay on the mountaintop. At the bottom of the mountain was a boy who had a dumb spirit, who fell into the fire, and then into the water, he was dashed down and ground his teeth and foamed at the mouth. He needed help, so they cannot stay on the mountaintop when people are throwing fits in the valley.

As Christians we cannot afford to stay on the mountaintops of our own spiritual satisfaction when we live in a world where people are throwing fits, having spasms, and headed for hell.

Think of the national fit and spasm that the USA had when prayer was voted out of the school. Our beloved land was frothing at the mouth. As a result people are being shot in the classroom, some are being bombed, and others are being bushwhacked in Church services. Is there any reason to think that these things could not happen in your school or your Church in your area? The mission field is not necessarily in a far away jungle. There is a Jungle in suburbia where some of you live. Right here in America when you leave the Church service you are entering a mission field. We cannot stay on the mountaintop when they are throwing fits in the valley. Peter was right; it was good to be there, but it would not be right to stay there. This is the message that comes from the Holy Mount.


Now listen to the voices of Moses and Elijah. What did they say? What do people talk about when they come down from outer space? In science fiction when the flying saucer lands and the little green men with spindle legs and bugged out eyes approach an earthling what do they say? They say, "Take me to your leader." Moses and Elijah did not say take me to your leader, because they knew Jesus was their leader. What did they say to their leader? They talked about the most important thing that ever happened on this planet. They spoke of His decease that He would accomplish at Jerusalem. In fact it appears the only question laid on the table of this summit meeting was the decease of Jesus and how he accomplishes it at Jerusalem. There is very little doubt that the chief topic of conversation among the saints in glory will be the decease that our Lord Jesus Christ accomplished at Jerusalem.


Now it is time for God to speak and He spoke from the cloud. He said, "This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased, hear ye Him." The amazing thing about the message of God is that He did not say anything that He had not said before. He said, "This is my Beloved Son in whom I am well pleased," at the baptism of Jesus. He said, "Hear ye Him," through Moses when He said, "A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you to whom ye shall hearken in all things, whatsoever He shall speak unto you.” Note also it may have sounded to some that Peter was making  Moses and Elijah equal to Jesus when he said, “I will make here three tabernacles, one for thee, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” But when God said, “Hear ye him,” there was no question as to what He meant. Moses and Elijah are not equal with Jesus, and neither is any one else. Hear ye Him. Hear Jesus only, Jesus also saves only.

Now if it were announced today that the Almighty was going to speak in an audible voice at nine o'clock tomorrow morning, all the network news would tune in to hear what God has to say. At the end of the program all the scholars would be poised and ready. They would dissect what God said, and the Democrats would tell us that God  did not say what we thought He said, and then the Republicans would tell us what we thought He said was something else.

Actually if God did speak from Heaven in an audible voice, the first thing that would happen is every Christ rejecter would run for cover; just as Adam and Eve did in the Garden of Eden when they heard the voice of God after their sin. When Peter, James, and John heard the voice of God on the mountain they fell on their faces and were sore afraid. A great cry of dismay will arise from all the Christ rejecters when they hear Him shout as He descends.

The voice of God coming from the cloud does remind us of the appearance of the cloud on other occasions. At the trial of Jesus before the high priest in Matthew 26:63; Caiaphas put Jesus under oath and said, “I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou art the Christ the Son of God.” Jesus said, “Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, henceforth you shall see the Son of man sitting at the right hand of power and coming on the clouds of heaven.” And that reminds us of Revelations 1:7: ”Behold He cometh with the clouds, and every eye shall see Him, yea and they that pierced Him and all the tribes of the earth shall mourn over Him.” In Matthew 24:30 Jesus flatly stated that they shall see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

Contrast the cloud the bright cloud of Mathew 17:5 with the cloud of Mount Sinia in Hebrews 12:18,  “For ye are not come unto a mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, unto blackness, and trumpets and words; which they that heard entreated that no more word should be spoken unto them; for they could not endure that which was enjoined, for even if a beast touch the mountain it should be stones.” So fearful was the appearance that Moses said, “I exceedingly fear and quake: but ye are come unto mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable host of angels, to the general assembly and church of the first born who are enrolled in heaven, and to God the judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect.” It is no wonder that Paul tells us in Romans 13, “Put on the armor of light.” And it is good to remember also what he said in 1st Timothy 6:16, “Jesus Christ the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of Lords, who dwells in light unapproachable.”     

 So Jesus ascended and a cloud received him out of their sight. The two angels said He would return in the clouds. God still speaks to us today, not though a cloud, but through His word, the Bible. Many think that we need a new message for a new age. When we started on the radio over forty years ago there was a small Church that started to help us on this broadcast. In the process of about thirty years they increased in size to several hundred members. One day they dropped their support to us, and a nearby preacher went and asked them why they stopped supporting this broadcast. He was told, “Now Ed is a good preacher, and what he preached was good thirty years ago. But today we need something different.”

Efforts are made today to use marketing techniques to build the Church, and it is true you can market the Church like soap, but there is no way to soft soap people into repentance. You cannot soft soap people into conviction. You cannot soft soap people in to being obedient to the gospel terms of pardon.

When the vision was over, the three Apostles lifted up their eyes, and saw no man save Jesus only. Many today, had they been there, and heard the gospel story of the cross—the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, and the terms of pardon; “Repent ye and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit,”  would have lifted up their eyes and seen nothing at all. So it is written, so let it be done.