Sunday, April 6, 2008

Jesus is Transfigured

The Great Commission

Part 13 – Jesus is Transfigured

Pastor Bruce A. Shields

House of Faith – www.PS127.org | www.TruthDigest.org


WHERE WE ARE AT

Peter confesses Jesus is God

Jesus foretells His death

Jesus is Transfigured

INTRODUCTION

Peter had confessed that Jesus was Lord. And the Lord let Him know how important that statement was.

The confession that Jesus IS God is what Salvation is hinged upon.

Jesus then foretells His death, and Peter, forgetting who the shepherd was, forgot his place and grabbed Jesus by the arm and led Him aside and said to Him, “No, you can not die!”

Sometimes when things are good in our lives, we forget who is leading, and who we are to follow.

Sometimes we try to lead God where we think we should go.

SCRIPTURE READING

Matthew 17:1-8

1 After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. 2 There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. 3 Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.

4 Peter said to Jesus, "Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah."

5 While he was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!"

6 When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified. 7 But Jesus came and touched them. "Get up," he said. "Don't be afraid." 8 When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus.

I. JESUS SHOWS THE PLAN OF GOD FOR REDEMPTION

a. Jesus takes Peter, James and John his brother to a high place in the mountains apart from the other Disciples.

i. Many times Jesus goes off to pray and be alone in the Spirit.

ii. We see Jesus do this after hard times, and before hard times.

1. John the Baptist killed

2. Before the Crucifixion

b. The Glory of the Lord shined from Jesus.

i. His face shined as the sun and His clothes were white from the light.

1. Jesus revealed He is God by showing His glory!

Revelation 1:16

In his right hand he held seven stars, and out of his mouth came a sharp double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.

The Glory that only God can shine.

We can sometimes see this in other people, but it’s in internal glow, which comes from the Holy Spirit. This is the presence of God and His Glory shining outwardly.

So bright, it made the clothes appear to turn white.

As Jesus reveals Himself, two more figures appear.

c. Moses and Elijah appear.

i. Moses represents the Old Covenant of the Law and Prophets.

1. Many places in scripture, it is called The Law of Moses, or Books of Moses. The Jews associated Moses with the Law.

ii. Elijah represents the New Covenant and raptured Saints.

1. He represents the New Covenant and the Raptured saints because;

a. The biblical story of Elijah's departure is unique. Elijah, in company with Elisha, approaches the Jordan. He rolls up his mantle and strikes the water (2 Kings 2:8). The water immediately divides and Elijah and Elisha cross on dry land. Suddenly, a chariot of fire and horses of fire appear and Elijah is lifted up to heaven in a whirlwind. As Elijah is lifted up, his mantle falls to the ground and Elisha picks it up.

Elijah was ushered up into heaven. He did not die.

b. Based on a prophecy in Malachi, many Jews still await his return as precursor to the coming of the Messiah.

The Pessach tradition places a chair and place setting at the table for Elijah, showing they expect his return before the Messiah.

Elijah will return just before the Messiah comes.

I believe scripture points to Elijah being one of the Two Saints in Tribulation that comes before the Second Coming of Christ.

So Elijah, because he was raptured, and will return shortly after we are raptured to be with the Lord for 7 years during Tribulation, he represents the New Covenant.

iii. These two men represent all the followers of God throughout time.

We see this in heaven as well.

In revelation you read of the 24 Elders, 12 on each side of the Throne of God, one side representing the Old Covenant and the other side representing the New Covenant, 12 tribes, 12 apostles.

d. They spoke with Jesus about His atoning death.

Luke 9:30 - 31

Two men, Moses and Elijah, 31 appeared in glorious splendor, talking with Jesus. They spoke about his departure, which he was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem.

We see here a teaching taking place. Jesus is revealing the plan of God and Salvation to Moses and Elijah.

This Doctrine of speaking of the Work of the Cross is a great theme of Heaven!

Revelation 1:5, 6 – Speaking of the Work of the Cross

“and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead (His resurrection, the First fruits – took place on the Feast of the First fruits), and the ruler of the kings of the earth.

To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, 6 and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father—to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.”

Revelation 5:6, 9 & 10

“Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders.”

9 And they sang a new song:
"You are worthy to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
because you were slain,
and with your blood you purchased men for God
from every tribe and language and people and nation.
10 You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God,
and they will reign on the earth."

Revelation 7:14

And he (one of the 24 Elders) said, "These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

The Cross and the Work done there by Christ will remain forever!

II. Temptation to do other than Christ Commands

Temptation is not the sin…Jesus was tempted.

But when you go beyond that thought, that moment of weakness or confusion.

Sin lies in the realm of imaginations of your heart.

Outward expressions are a mere reflection of what has already taken place within your heart.

Romans 1

a. Man’s understanding is at odds with God’s plans.

i. Just as when Peter’s plans were for Jesus to be an earthly ruler and not die on the Cross. Without Christ and the Cross, we are all lost!! Man’s understanding at odds with God’s plans.

b. Peter wants to build 3 tabernacles…to worship Jesus, Moses & Elijah!

i. God will NOT have even the greatest of saints associated with Jesus and the Cross in worship, teaching or prayer!

c. While Peter was speaking a bright cloud overshadowed them.

d. This was the presence of the Most High, which had previously appeared over the Tabernacle, led the Israelites from the wilderness, and appeared on Mount Sinai.

e. This is the foreshadowing of Pentecost and the coming of the Holy Spirit down on man.

John 16:14-15

He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you.

We receive the Spirit of God, which is God, and God allows it to be known to us through Jesus Christ.

III. CORRECTION FROM HEAVEN

a. We see God in all three forms here. Not three persons.

i. God the Father – Voice from Heaven.

ii. God the Son – Jesus shining in Glory

iii. God the Holy Spirit – The cloud of light

b. Not three God’s, but one.

i. God has three forms to perform three unique functions.

1. God the Father – Is a Spirit and must be worshipped in Spirit & in Truth (John 4:24)

2. God the Son (TRUTH) – God took the form of man to dwell among us. REMEMBER God is a SPIRIT. We would be destroyed if God the Father who is perfect was in our presence. Therefore, God in the form of the Son walked among us. He is the Truth we NEED from John 4:24 to worship the Father in Heaven!

3. God the Holy Spirit (SPIRIT) – The Holy Spirit is God’s Spirit dwelling IN us, which is the only obtained through the Truth, JESUS, this is the Spirit we NEED to worship the Father in Heaven in John 4:24.

ii. 3 forms, 3 unique purposes, 1 GOD

c. The Voice from Heaven speaks correction

i. This is my Son in whom I am well pleased.

1. Just as in Jesus’ baptism.

ii. Hear Him Alone!

Romans 8:2

“Because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.”

iii. Everything comes through Christ and what He did at the Cross.

d. When they heard this, they fell on their faces and thought they would die

e. Jesus touched them and said, “Do not be afraid”

i. This is the same voice from the savior we can hear today when we do what is wrong.

ii. If we will recognize we were wrong, and fall on our face before the Lord.

iii. He will touch us and forgive us, and raise us up to our feet again! If we are sincere.

CONCLUSION

There are those here today, who have made poor judgment calls, just as Peter did in the scripture today.

Perhaps you have let your will move you in a direction other than God’s Will?

Perhaps, like Peter, you have taken hold of Christ’s are and directed Him of what He should do?

Have you ever prayed, “God, if you would just…” or, “God, what you should do…” or, “God, what you need to do…”

We need to repent of our poor choices.

We need to fall on our faces before God, and sincerely ask for forgiveness.

If you humble yourselves before the Lord,

Acknowledge your sin,

It is then, and ONLY THEN, Jesus will lift you up to your feet and say to you, “Do not be afraid”.

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock, if anyone hear me AND open it, I will come in…”

Jesus it standing at your heart today.

He is knocking, do you hear Him?

How long will you ignore His calling?

How long will you drown out the voice of God with the things of this world?

How long will you hold on to your sin, instead of trading it for your crown?

How long will God’s grace allow, how many more days do you have?

Don’t wait, answer God’s voice today!

Fall on your face today!

Hear His voice say, “Do not be afraid” TODAY!

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