THE VOICE OF THE SON OF GOD
JORDAN -- THE DESCENDER
GALILEE -- CIRCUIT OF THE GENTILES
THE GADARENES -- GARDEN OF MAN
"And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart...and behold A voice out of the cloud, which said, this is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; HEAR YE HIM." (Mt. 17:1,5).
At His baptism in the Jordan came the inaugural announcement that Jesus was the Son of God. From the height of Mount Hermon the same voice was heard again, and this time by the ears of other's than His own. The voice from the cloud of the Father said, THIS IS MY SON -- HEAR HIM! Why? For what reason should anyone hear Him? To make one wise, perhaps? Or to learn of mysteries and build a ministry from such profound knowledge? Of course not! We desire to hear the voice of Jesus because He has life in Himself. It is as He spoke very clearly in John 5:25, "Whosoever heareth the Voice of the Son of God shall live." Interestingly simple, isn't it? TO HEAR IS TO LIVE! His Voice is the Way of Life, it is the Street of Life, it is the Wellspring and Issue of Life!
Jesus was declared no less than three times by the Living God that He was His Son; and if the Father has Life in Himself, then so does the Son. Except for the resurrection, His transfiguration upon the mountain was the last time His Sonship of Life in the Father was declared.
The transfiguration of Jesus was a foreshadowing testimony that He was "The dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore" (Psa. 133:3). Tremendous truths are hidden in Mount Hermon, the apparent place of the transfiguration of Jesus. (Mount Tabor is a traditional locale for the transfiguration, but at 1,843' it is not considered high.) There are things upon this high mountain, apart from the lower realms of the world, that await the time of our own transition. That momentary event with Jesus prefigured what is also in store for those who will be lifted from the plains of Jordan in their own lives and prepared for death.
Not only by looking into the mysteries of this mountain can we see what every Son will come to know, but from the time of His birth we can trace our own life; or perhaps I should say, our death. He indeed was the Lord of Life, but we can't help from noticing He was always dying. For instance, He first died to Heaven's glory as He descended from the Father, being born of a woman in the form of the first Adam. Secondly, at the Jordan river, and after forty days in the wilderness, He died to earth's glory. As the Son of God He had everything the earth had to offer. At His word there would be an unlimited supply of the finest foods (Mt. 4:3). He could rise to the highest pinnacle of the temple, never having to fear falling from that prestigious place of grandeur (Mt. 4:5). And all the kingdoms of the world were His for the taking (Mt. 4:8) -- but he refused them all.
He died to the glory He had with the Father before the world was, along with what the world had in store. And thirdly, He died to His own glory. His very Sonship as a walking, talking, breathing, living Son of God with flesh, blood, and bone had to be relinquished. In order for creation to live, He had to die to everything. He could not remain in the glory of the heavens and do us any good. That realm was too far removed from carnal man to be apprehended by the first Adam. He turned from the life and glory the world would heap upon Him. And finally, He laid down His own Sonship on Golgotha, the hill of the skull, the place humanity's mind and will forever dies. Great as He was, so long as He was a physical man He was bound outside of our own being. He could change our thinking but not our nature. He had to die and become spirit in order to inhabit us, His many mansions. Jesus obtained the ability to submit to such a thing came upon ascending from the lower plains of earth's glory to its highest -- unto Mount Hermon - and hearing the voice of Moses and Elijah. Before we look into this thought (later in the series), let us notice a few things today about this majestic mountain:
Mount Hermon sits on the northern border of Palestine and is the tallest mountain in Israel. It transcends all else in that region of the earth, reaching 9,232 feet in elevation. Like a glorious head, it towers over Israel, but not only Israel but also Syria; and Syria, of course, is very typical of the rest of the world concerning spiritual examples.
Mount Hermon was the farthest point north that Moses and Joshua conquered -- except for the northern half of the mountain, which remains to this day in the hands of Syria. We can see two worlds in this mountain -- the world in the scope of Israel and also of Syria; the world of the promised seed and that of the Gentiles. Both kingdoms, like the mountain, have stood in the earth, side by side in their grand height of glory.
This mountain, we can see, also speaks clearly of Jesus and His Kingdom; i.e. the name HERMON means -- LOFTY, HIGH (He is high and lifted up, Isa. 6:1). Smith's Bible dictionary says it is called the CHIEF MOUNTAIN (He is our Chief, "the Captain of our Salvation," Heb. 2:10)..."and the God of heaven shall set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever" Dan. 2:44). The Arabs call it Jebel Esh Sheikh, THE ANCIENT ONE, (He is the Everlasting Father, Isa. 9:6). It was known by the Amorites as Shenir (Duet. 3;9), THE SHINING ONE (His face did shine, Mt. 17:2; and He is the Light of the world, Jn. 8:12). And to the Sidonians, they knew it by the name of Sirion (Deut. 3:9), THE GLISTENING ONE, (and His countenance was white and glistened (Lk. 9:29). In another place the spirit of man is called the candle (the glistener, Heb.) of the Lord (Prov. 20:27). In many respects Hermon reflects the glory of Christ and His Kingdom, but it does the same with the nation of Israel as well as the Gentile kingdoms of the world.
The Samaritans (the northern ten tribes of Israel mingled with the Syrians) worshiped in that mountain (John 4:20), but without Christ they continually failed to bring the true glory of God to their nation or the world.
The Gentile nations, which are represented by the northern half of the mountain, also had an "ancient one" which was worshiped in the "high place" of Hermon, but his name was Baal. With all its shining beauty, this mountain signified the majesty of their god. It was so crucial to their worship that they built a stone wall around the top of the mountain, forming a crown for the head, not realizing that the crown would be worn one day in its entirety by Jesus Christ, when all the kingdoms of this world become the kingdom of the Lord and His anointed ones (Rev. 11:15).
Jesus, being the Son of God, rose to the highest place of power and authority in the world, and His transfiguration on that high mountain was a testimony to this fact. Every aspect of supreme rule was His for the taking, but He refused to lay hold of it. From there He descended, not to dethrone Caesar, Herod, or Pilate; though He could have, He chose not to sit in their place of reign. He, instead, went down and came under their tyrannical authority, even unto death, to die unjustly in the hands of the earthly rule which He knew was rightly His.
JORDAN -- THE DESCENDER
There are many very unique and interesting aspects concerning mount Hermon; among them is a river that is birthed from its base, the Jordan, which typifies for the most part, death. It was this river that, when Joshua and Caleb were ready to pass over, rolled back in a heap -- all the way back to the city of Adam. When the time comes, at the end of this age, for the Joshuas and the Calebs (meaning "dog," i.e. the Gentiles) to take the promise, no obstacle will be too great for them. Notice, for instance, the distance from which death ceases to flow -- all the way back to ADAM. In this one prefiguring demonstration alone, we can see how far reaching the Life of the Son of God is. Not only do the elect of God, Joshua, the Sons of God, pass beyond the boarders of death, but the "dogs" cross over as well, the Gentiles born of the same Seed by faith.
This grand display of Life over death is such a shock to that descending realm, it is cut off all the way to Adam. What an earthquake! -- One akin to the earthquake which rolled the stone from our Lord's tomb of death (Mt. 28:2), or the one that immediately opened the prison doors, loosening everyone's bands and freeing them (Acts 16:26). It is like the one John saw darkening the sun of man's glory (Rev. 6:12). And it is not unlike the great earthquake which was not seen since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great (Rev. 16:18). Brethren, as the common expression has it, "We ain't seen nothin' yet" -- but we will! "For it is for an appointed time, and at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry" (Hab. 2:3).
The Jordan river has varied aspects that lend itself to death, and its origin is one of them. At the very onset we see that two rivers merge to form the one. The first half of it is birthed north of Hermon in the eastern slopes of the Lebanon mountains of Syria. The other half comes from the southern side of Hermon in Israel. This world-renowned river is like the sons of Adam -- Cain and Abel, Ishmael and Isaac, Esau and Jacob -- which are tributaries to every citizen. They minister their own substance to everyone born in the world -- good and evil. Although bitter enemies, they are always mingled and flowing together in everyone born of Adam. Like the one tree in the garden which brought death, they are continually vying for dominion, and regardless of which fruit is eaten, the end is always the same -- death.
Both heads of this river are enormous and very promising -- gushing with cold, crystal-clear springs -- but like the sons of Adam, the water does not remain so pure. The springs of Hermon (Jacob) mix with that which comes out of Syria (Esau), and flowing through the earth the river soon picks up silt and debris in its descending journey to the plains of Jordan. It temporarily fills the sea of Galilee, where life and commerce abound in great abundance. From there it flows out and continues southward until it makes its way down to the plains of Moab, past Jericho, and finally to the Dead Sea where its end is found.
Most every aspect of the Jordan ministers greatly to mankind in that part of the world. It typifies man's natural life flowing into the world from the time of Adam's fall. It is a good thing for the man of the earth, but for the man from the heavens, the Spiritual man, like the letter of the word, there is no real life. Looking a little more closely at this river and the sea that it feeds, the Sea of Galilee, we can see why:
The name JORDAN comes from the Hebrew word, YARDEN, which means, TO FLOW DOWN, A DESCENDER. It comes from the root YARAD, meaning TO DESCEND (literally to go downwards; or conventionally to a lower region as to the enemy; figuratively, to fall) (Strong's). This river, like the death it represents, continually spirals downward, always picking up earthy minerals and waste, until reaching its lowest point in the earth. It is there that all the filth, carnality, and lifelessness of the world is deposited. In the lowest depression of the earths crust, 1,306 feet below sea level, the descender ceases to flow as it spills into the Dead Sea where no motion of life remains.
GALILEE -- CIRCUIT OF THE GENTILES
Between the origin and the end of that river stands the Sea of Galilee. Naturally speaking, there has been much activity and livelihood in this sea, but let us not ignore the spiritual realm of humanity that it must represent. We especially notice this when the meaning of the name of the sea is brought to light. GALILEE, the name means, "THE CIRCLE, or CIRCUIT OF THE GENTILES." (Strong's and other authorities.) Isaiah 9:1 also speaks of Galilee pertaining to the world: "Nevertheless the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation, when at the first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward did more grievously afflict her by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, IN GALILEE OF THE NATIONS." Like the Jordan river, Adam has flowed down from both sides of the high mountain of God, feeding every realm of humanity -- the mountains, valleys, plains, and the seas. There is a time when this river (of death) empties into a bed and temporarily swells, giving the appearance of a life-giving body in the form of THE SEA OF GALILEE; but as the name signifies, in reality, it is THE SEA OF THE GENTILE'S PERPETUAL CIRCLE OF DEATH. Until the Life of the Son of God drags people from that sea, there is a futile circuit they travel, which always brings them back to the lifeless place they started, yet continuing ever downward to the lowest level on the face of the earth -- THE DEAD SEA.
Jesus crossed the Sea of Galilee six times during His walk as a Son (Unger's Bible Dictionary, map). In the same manner He turned the water of the six waterpots of stone into wine, He crossed the wide gulf of the six dispensations of man. At the wedding each stone-hewn age of man was filled with the natural life-sustaining water, but when Jesus came, He in type reached all the way back to Adam and turned all that water into the Life-Quickening wine of His Spirit. He showed us at that time, at the wedding feast, that there would be a day, when all those consumed in death, all the way back to its origin, would be quickened with the wine of His Life.
Repeatedly, Jesus made an open show that death was coming to an end in the presence of the Son as He sailed back and forth across the sea of humanity performing miracles upon it and all along its coasts. In that region He healed the sick and lame, cast out demons, walked over boisterous waves, and raised the dead.
It was during one of those trips with His disciples, "...there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm" (Mark 4:37,39).
There are times of darkness when we also embark with Jesus across this foreboding sea of humanity's circuit, and it is common for troubling storms to blow without a moments notice; but there are other times that the wind which sweeps over our lives is unto death. The deluging waves pound relentlessly upon our breaking vessels. In the midst of its fury, it looks as if all will be lost; and with Jesus asleep in the back of the ship, we may think that He isn't even concerned about it. But like those of little faith that night, we forget that He always accomplishes what His Father sends Him to do. If He is sent to cross over the circuit of death to the other side, He will cross over and will lose none who travel with Him. In the course, as it was that dark night of death's storm, Jesus arises, rebukes the wind, says to the sea, "Peace, be still," the wind ceases, and there is a great calm -- all is quieted (Mark 4:39). When The Voice of the Son of God is heard, it is always obeyed. When the Spirit moved and God said, "Let there be light..." there was light. When the Spirit moved and God said, "Let the waters bring forth..." the waters brought forth. And when the Spirit moved and God said, "Let the earth bring forth..." the earth obeyed and brought forth.
At any given time or situation, when Jesus spoke, death obeyed and ceased to be. After calming death's threat in the midst of the sea, and upon His arrival to the other side, we again see Jesus dealing with things that pertain to that dark realm:
THE GADARENES -- GARDEN OF MAN
This was in the country of the Gadarenes where the man who lived among the tombs, and was possessed by a legion of demons, recognized Him as the Son of the most high God. He came running immediately to Him and begged for mercy. This man in all his ferocity (like humanity given over to the fullness of the spirit that energizes the carnal mind) could not be subdued, not even with shackles and chains. All human efforts failed to tame him, as it is written. There was no hope for this man who lived on the banks of the Galilee -- Man's Circuit of Death. The tombs of the Gadarenes were his perpetual habitation. They were his prevailing gates of hell, his impassible gulf; that is, until Jesus came with the keys of death & hell (Life) and released him from that pit of everlasting torment (ref. Mark 5:1-16).
Let us notice a couple of things about GADARA, the ruling city of the Gadarenes: First, it was the capital of Persia, which would apply to Adam as the head of humanity. Secondly, its meaning; Gadara is another form of the name GENNESARET (Mt. 14:34). This name comes from the Greek word GENNESIS which means, "a begetting, engendering; nativity, birth. Some related words are: GENNEMA; that which has been begotten or born, the offspring, progeny. GENNETOS; begotten, born. GENOS; offspring, family, stock, race; the aggregate of many individuals of the same nature, kind, sort, species, etc. (Thayer's).
The Gadarenes, Gadara, Gennesaret, Gennisis, Gennama, Gennetos, Geno, all speak of one thing: GENES, GENESIS, GENERATIONS, BEGINNINGS, HUMANITY. In simple terms -- it is ADAM, THE GARDEN OF MAN. In Eden, the Garden of God,the first Adam exerted his power over life and has reigned in that realm of death. In Gadara, the Garden of Man, the last Adam demonstrated His authority over the power of death in the first Adam, and He reigns in the sovereignty of Life. In the Gadarenes we see mankind who has fallen to its lowest state of depravity, and in a calm but sure word, Jesus sends all the demons into humanity's livelihood -- the swine -- and wrecks their "precious" economy.
The mind-set of religion sees some degrees of fallen man much too low and evil to be saved. The Church and State alike have chained the lusts of humanity with every law imaginable, only to be broken again and again. Such rebels cannot be fettered nor tamed, not by their own laws nor even by those of God. The world as a whole has consequently found itself living in that same deplorable conditions of the demoniac, in the tombed-garden of the Gadarenes. Where Adam once lived in the beautiful garden of Eden, he now resides (for the most part) in the tombed-garden of death.
From their pinnacle of self-righteous judgment, the religious rulers conclude that such savage people are incorrigible and cannot be salvaged; but Jesus showed us there was no problem to great for Him, that He is able to save to the utmost, as Hebrews 7:24-25 states. The prelates of religion have all the rogues, along with the majority of mankind, burning in the flames of everlasting hellfire; while Jesus walks into the tombs of death, destroys the sin, and saves the sinner. That, dear companions in life, is being the Captain of salvation, the Conqueror of death!
There were other times that Jesus ruled over death in or around the Sea of Galilee, which give us a glimpse of His authority as a Son. After being driven from the land of the Gadarenes by the angry mob of swine herders and others of that region, He crossed back over to the other side and raised the dead twelve year old daughter of one of the synagogue's rulers (Mark 5:35-42). On His way to her deathbed, the woman who had an issue of blood for twelve years was also healed (Mark 5:25-29). The stroke of death coursed its way through the very veins of life in the woman's body, i.e. the blood; but after twelve years, death met its death. Likewise with the damsel of twelve years, although dead, she was raised to life. And was it not at the age of twelve that Jesus was moved from the mother's and servant's side of the house to the other, which commenced His teaching by His Father? Brethren, after twelve (figuratively) years of death, the time comes to start hearing the Voice of your Father and Live. Nevertheless, let me say this: If you are not yet twelve years old (spiritually speaking), you hear mostly the voice of your mother, whether she is Babylon the mother of harlots, or she is New Jerusalem, the Heavenly City. When the Father does speak in tones other than loving kindness to a child, or as a sharp rebuke, and if you are not of age, His voice may be as the sound of thunder. You won't comprehend a word He says. The mysteries of His Kingdom will be as foreign to you as Christ is to the carnal mind.
Death flows as a vein of stricken blood into the Sea of Galilee (the Circuit of the Gentiles), making its mortal rounds in the world of humanity, and death swarms its shores as a perpetual pestilence -- Nevertheless, Jesus destroys every aspect of this noisome disease. He was, and still is, the Death to death. When He walked the shores of death, death relinquished its grip. He calmed its fury when He said, "Peace, be still;" He cast out the demons of death from the man in the tombs of Gadara, and the unclean swine were choked in the sea from whence death came. The issue of bad blood was healed; the dead girl was raised; He fed 5,000 the fishes and the loaves in the regions of death; He walked upon the boisterous waves of the circuit of the gentiles, the avenue of death, putting death under His feet. The unstable, vacillating, fluid world of mankind was not His foundation. His foundation was His Father, the anointed Spirit of the heavenly Dove. He didn't sink into the ever dispersing waters of death, for His abode was in the heavens. His foundation was not earthy but heavenly. That unstable world which pertained to the earth could neither support Him nor threaten Him.
From the first day of His inauguration in the Jordan river He began His triumphant journey and continuing victory over death. Of a truth to be understood -- as surely as the first Adam overcame life by killing it with death (becoming the first death), Jesus overcame death by killing it with Life (making Him the Second Death). Something worthy to think about....
While pondering this thought, consider also the overcomers who stand upon the sea of glass mingled with fire, and bringing into manifestation Life's judgment upon the sea of death (Rev. 15:2-4). In victory, every impure thing is gone in the sea-circuit of humanity, there is nothing left to hide. All that is seen in the transparent world is fire, the glory of God's Life mingled throughout. Jesus must have been speaking of this when He said, "For every one shall be salted with fire..." (Mark 9:49). What a glorious thing to behold -- the manifestation of the Sons of Fire walking upon the Sea of Humanity and Christ liberating and transforming its every inhabitant to the same glorious image as Himself (Rom. 8:19-21,29).
Since Jesus came to destroy all death, along with the one wielding its power, the devil, it was only fitting for Him to demonstrate His authority over it in the river and the sea which typifies the death-laced world of mankind. Before bringing the victory of Life to its fullness in humanity, He laid the foundation first in seed form. In type, He demonstrated in various ways His power over death, and with each case it was as a seed sown in the field of the world for an example of what He would harvest at the end of the age. Simple allegories, but many fail to see it; and they certainly can't imagine all these things being fulfilled in antitype in the Sons of promise. Nevertheless, the seed has been sown, and nothing can stop it from coming forth. It is like our dear friend Maxine Roby said, "All the unbelief in Israel could not stop Jesus from being born." And let us add, neither can all the unbelief in the Church today stop the majesty of the manifestation of the Sons of God in glory! Though it may tarry, we shall write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that they may Live who hear in it the Voice of the Son of God. In the day of its appointment it shall speak, and not lie. Wait for it, because it will come! (Hab. 2:2-3). Can you hear His Voice? Do you believe it? Then say AMEN!
To be continued...
Elwin R. Roach
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