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HIS COUNTENANCE WAS AS THE SUN SHINETH IN HIS STRENGTH

September 30, 2009
During the three and a half years of his earthly ministry, the physical presentation of Jesus was not one that would cause him to stand out in a crowd. He was, and is, God manifest in the flesh. He did, and still does, speak as one having authority. (The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us) He healed those with diverse infirmities, delivered those who were held captive by the devil, and fed thousands with only a few fishes and a few loaves of bread. He raised up a man who had been dead for four days. Word of him spread throughout the land; so much so that oftentimes there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat. Yet in all of this time, despite all of the miracles performed and words of life spoken, Jesus looked just like any of the contemporaries of that generation. For three of the disciples, however, this was about to change.
On the outset, it must have seemed a routine thing. Jesus called Peter, James, and John to accompany him up to a high mountain. They were not prepared for what they were about to witness on this mountain. Each of the three accounts concerning the transfiguration offer a unique insight into this event. Matthew reveals that not only was his rainment white as the light, his face did shine like the sun. (Matthew 17:2) Mark reveals that, upon seeing this, the disciples “really didn’t know what to say” and were fearful; even before the cloud overshadowed them. Mark 9:6) Luke reveals that the cloud not only overshadowed them; it engulfed them “and they feared as they entered into the cloud.” (Luke 9:34) Each telling of the account reveals a glimpse of Jesus as he truly is and for the first time, these three disciples were allowed to witness this. And how interesting is the verse that preceeds each of the three tellings of this event; even though it was spoken about a week prior to the moment of the transfiguration? Here’s the one from Matthew:
Matthew 16:28 “Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.”
One of the primary reasons for going into this is that each of us are going to stand before the Lord Jesus. We often talk of the day of his return and the moment that we look upon him, but oftentimes fail to grasp just how incredible this moment will be. This thought should cause both rejoicing and soberness in the heart of everyone who is born of the Spirit, and terror in the heart of all who choose to neglect this great salvation. When a person sees him as he is, (and everyone will)  it’s a moment like none other.
Matthew 17:1-3 “And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, james, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart,
And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his rainment was white as the light.
And behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him”
Luke 9:31 “Who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease which he should accomplish in Jerusalem.”
Suddenly the description from Isaiah 53:2 no longer seemed to apply. In a moment this became “no routine mountaintop experience” as Jesus was seen as he truly is while conversing with Moses and Elijah. (Since none of the disciples had ever seen Moses or Elijah, the knowledge of who these men were must have either came out in the discourse, or been dropped into their spirits) From this moment forward, none of the three disciples would ever view things in the same light as beforetime. They were “caught off guard” to say the least and fearful; not knowing exactly what could be said. When Peter speaks up; it must have seemed awkward.
Mark 9:5-6 “And Peter answered and said to Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.
For he wist not what to say; for they were sore afraid.”
I apolagize for bouncing between the accounts; it’s the only way to hit on the things that are on my heart concerning this incredible event. For the first time, Peter, James and John are seeing Jesus shine like the sun. For the first time ever, they have laid eyes on Moses and Elijah. And in what can only be classified as “vintage Peter” a seemingly awkward statement is made. As such, what transpires next must have been terrifying. (Sorry; I have to bounce again)
Luke 9:34 “While he thus spake, there came a cloud and overshadowed them: and they feared as they entered into the cloud.”
This is just speculation, but I wonder if this cloud was so thick that one couldn’t see their hand in front of their face. They probably couldn’t see Jesus, or Elijah, or Moses. And they couldn’t see each other! This would have initially caused a descent into sheer panic on the part of the disciples. And then to hear:
Luke 9:35 “And there came a voice out of the cloud, saying This is my beloved Son: hear ye him.”
As I was typing the verse above, the thought of timing came to mind. The Lord always does things at exactly the proper moment and exactly in the proper measure.  There was a reason for why these three disciples were granted this glimpse into things as they really are at this particular moment in time. It’s comforting to know that the Lord knows where we are; both physically and spiritually, knows exactly what we have need of, and in what measure. I now must bounce back to the account in Matthew:
Matthew 17:6-8″And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces, and were sore afraid.
And Jesus came and touched them, and said,
Arise, and be not afraid.
And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only.”
What a relief! The disciples must have been to a point of thinking “were done for” as they entered into the cloud. But this encounter was “in the proper measure” for the moment at hand and just as the Lord will not suffer us to be tempted above what we are able, he knew exactly when to bring reassurance to these men who had left all to follow him.  One more passage that reveals what may well have been the most difficult part of this entire encounter:
Matthew 17:9 “And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen from the dead.”
What these three disciples had witnessed on the mountain would have to be kept secret for now. They returned from the mountain; back into a world filled with those searching for answers and deliverance. The first encounter was with a man whose son is lunatick and sore vexed with a devil which the other disciples were unable to cast out. The kind that only comes out by prayer and fasting. The kind that only turns and runs from those who spend time upon the mountaintop with Jesus. Those who do know their God and do exploits in this dying world. The presence of the Lord is so incredible that, when one is there it seems that the rest of the world is somwhere in a far off galaxy. But one of the primary reasons for such encounters with the Lord is because of the inhabitants of that world which currently seems so very far removed. That world is inhabited by priceless eternal souls who are in need of a Savior. A world that doesn’t need more merchandisers and scribes; it needs those who carry truth and are continuously atuned to the Holy Spirit.
John 17:9-10 “I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.
And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them”
Well I have to go. There was another paragraph here, but the computer is acting nutty. The primary thrust of this post is to encourage the saints to draw ever closer to Jesus. last night, in the midst of a plethura of cogitations, I was thinking on how we must abide “very close” to Jesus and ensure that he is truly our first love above all that the world holds in high esteem. This is a common theme, and yet so very important. Lately I’ve found myself in the midst of much examination and inquiring of the Lord to reveal areas in which growth is needed and areas where I’m “not as spiritual as I may want to think.” One thing that has been more manifest over the past few days is the scope of the unfolding tragedy around us; that being souls who are lost. Time is short. If time permits, please check out a report that most will find too astonishing to believe: Here’s the link:
WE ARE OUT OF TIME (If anyone is familiar with this, or situations similar to the one mentioned in this report, I would be appreciative of any information pertaining to it)
Blessings always in Jesus name.
II Peter 1:16-18 “For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.
For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.”
Revelation 1:17 “And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me,
Fear not; I am the first and the last:
I am he that liveth, and was dead; and behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.”
Revelation 19:11-13 “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat uponhim was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.”
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18 comments

  1. Excellent treatment on this subject. You’re right–I seldom have thought so deeply on what it must have been like for Peter, James and John. And when John saw Him for the second time in His glory, he fell on his face–so the impact had apparently not lessened. 😉

    I STILL can’t wait to see Him, though, even if it is all rather more than I could possibly anticipate or be prepared for.

    As for the Hardin thing, Here’s a link. It’s very strange. From the comments, I’m guessing local people feel this is something to do with the brand new prison that Hardin has had sitting vacant for some time. Hardin has been trying to get someone to contract with them to use it, since the town has little in the way of profit generating industry and this would be a way to pull in some money for the town.

    I believe Hardin is on reservation territory, and so the laws there are a bit ambiguous. I would guess that if the government did want to use the prison, they would be justified in importing their own police force as the local one would certainly be inadequate.

    My hubby says that no, he does not want to drive out there and see what’s happening, thank you very much. 😉 He’s got no sense of adventure. (Well, it is kind of a long drive, too . . . ) I don’t know any more about it than what I saw in this link, and that it’s a wee, tiny town and 12 black SUV’s seems like serious over-kill. If I hear anything else, I’ll sure let you know.

    Love, Cindy


  2. Oh the Lord Jesus in His Glory! My heart beats faster (literally) as I read these scriptures and my emotions rise. It’s funny – such excitement and anticipation it brings.

    It also reminds me that there are many who will be unable to experience joy when he is revealed, but fear beyond imagination. As I was contemplating things last night, I was struck at the heart thinking of the lateness of the hour and what little time we have. May we always be ready through word and deed, to usher into the kingdom, those who are His.

    “15 For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. 16 To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life.” 2 Corinthians 2:15-16


  3. I’m sorry, but I still have not had the chance to write the e-mail. I will.

    About a week ago, I was thinking about your ventures into the streets and passing out tracts. Well, here in NYC, there are people passing out advertisements for everything imaginable to people on the streets. My normal behaviour is not to accept anything they are handing out.

    I thought what would be clever is to now accept whatever they are handing out in exchange for a tract. They can’t really refuse if they themselves are passing things out. It’s sort of a double standard, but maybe out of the few I pass out, someone might rethink their faith.

    What do you think?


  4. and the word became flesh…. ahhh… to merely speak things into existence!!!!


  5. I can’t seem to find your e-mail address. If you could e-mail me first. I included my “real” email this time.


  6. sorry – i found it and sent you an e-mail.


  7. Hi Timbob,

    As I was reading your post, a portion of Scripture came to my mind – and they took knowledge of them that they had been with Jesus. Thank God for e-sword! I looked up the phrase and found the verse.

    Acts 4:13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marveled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.

    I think it’s good to ask ourselves if people can really tell that we are Christians. If we really do spend time with the Lord and seek to follow God through His Word, people should be able to see a difference in us. May God help our lifestyle to match what we profess with our mouths. Thanks for this post.

    Blessings,
    Carol


  8. Hi Cindy. Thanks so much for taking time to stop by. I pray that we all would have the reverence for the Lord that he is deserving of. This is something that seems lacking these days, but we can determine to worship in spirit and truth.

    Thanks also for the info on the situation in hardin. Apparently Hardin is one of thirty “test communities” concerning this private police force with international components. Strange indeed, and yet these are strange times.

    Something happened today that I wasn;t expecting. Historically, whenever I have mentioned stuff like this to our pastor, he’ll give me the “I’m not buying it” look. When I mentioned this, he didn’t seem to be in denial, but rather took it as another indicator of the lateness of the hour. I think that he’s being awakened to some things. Much prayer is needed in this situation. As former blogger Peter Wittman once stated “If you want a better pastor, pray for your pastor.”

    Thanks so much for stopping by. Blessings always in Jesus name.


  9. Hi Five Peas. It’s a sobering thing; both to consider how late the hour is and to really grasp that we will stand before the Lord Jesus. It’s a moment that “will arrive” and we too often don’t fathom the seriousness of it. Ye this is our blessed hope; that to be absent from the body ios to be present with the Lord. Such cogitations cause us to, all the more, let go of that which is temporal and lay hold of that which is eternal.

    Thanks so much for stopping by. Blessings always in Jesus name.


  10. Hi Code. I think that it would be a great idea to give a tract to those handing out ads. We know that Gods truth never returns void.

    I just read the e-mail and will definately keep this situation in prayer. These are indeed the times in which those who know God shall “be strong and do exploits” as is mentioned in Daniel.

    Blessings always in Jesus name


  11. Hi Cindy. It’s incredible to think that the Lord merely spoke and things came to be. And yet while it defies explanation, it makes much more sense than believing that nothing created everything.

    Thanks for stopping by. We serve an awesome God. Blessings always in Jesus name


  12. Hi Carol. That verse tells so much. When we spend time with the Lord, it will show. I continual prayer of mine is that those around me will see Jesus and not timbob.

    Today Morgan and Dustin went to church with us. And while I was concerned that there were certain things which would cause scattering, those things seemed to have instead opened up avenues for dialogue. And Dustin wants to go back. OH IF WE WOULD JUST LEARN TO KEEP OUR HANDS OFF THE OX CART AND LET GOD BE GOD! When we stop trying to control the flow of things, the Lord can do an awesome work.

    It’s also amazing that the Lord has granted victory in areas where I wanted to just react in a selfish manner. When we begin to see souls hanging in the balance, all of the lesser items lose their significance. And these are two priceless souls.

    Thanks so much for stopping by. Blessings always in Jesus name.


  13. Thanks for your message and your prayers. That is so cool that you mention Daniel. I was reading that book yesterday.


  14. I never deeply considered what that experience must have been like for those 3 men. Thank you for taking me there. Lately I feel as I draw closer to Him my falleness becomes ever more apparent. I really resonated with your words “Lately I’ve found myself in the midst of much examination and inquiring of the Lord to reveal areas in which growth is needed and areas where I’m “not as spiritual as I may want to think.” He is revealing much of my own wicked heart to me and filling me with His love and truth – what a journey it is.

    Rachel


  15. I thank the Lord that you are able to post your thoughts with such eloquence and clarity. Each time I visit your site you have offered me a profound insight into the scripture. I pray the Lord will continue to bless you.


  16. Hi Code. Daniel is incredible and the third verse of chapter 12 causes much shouting.

    Blessings always in Jesus name.


  17. Hi Rachel. Without a doubt, we have to die daily. It can be painful; especially when we see things that we may not have given much thought to, as they really are. And yet each victory brings us more into the fulness of Christ and less like the person that we used to be. WOO HOO!

    Thanks so much for stopping by. Blessings always in Jesus name.


  18. Hi Darksculptures. Thanks so much for taking time to stop in. The contact with so many like-minded saints in this venue is a primary reason for continuing to blog; even as this computer gets nuttier by the day. (and I’m not a computer whiz by any stretch of the imagination)

    Blessings always in Jesus name.



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