"And after (1)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 raiment was white as the light. And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with Him...A bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, this is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him" (Mat 17:1-3,5).
Men born of Adam have taken the words from the Bible, gathered them into cisterns, and poured them over the earth like a mighty flood. These torrents are commonly called "the word of God," but they are far from it. These muddied waters sweep through the channels of carnal minds, carrying with them every kindred thing that lies in their descending path.
This may be a great mystery to some, but the simple fact is, it matters not what "word" out of the Bible a man propagates; if it is not joined to the Spirit, it is not the Word of God, and if it is not the Word of God, the Voice of the Son of God is not heard.
Each scripture was certainly the Word of God when it was given to the anointed prophets and apostles to write; but once it rested upon the parchments and scrolls of earth it became the letter that kills, as Paul wrote: "Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life" (2 Cor 3:6).
The Voice of the Son of God is not a profusion of words taken from scripture and energized by the carnal minds of men. His Voice is Living! It is the celestial waters that make the dead trees to bud and the forests of the earth to live. It is the Word and Spirit coming together as One. It is not, and never will be, the letter void of the Spirit.
A word lacking the Spirit of life binds people by its cruel legalism, not unlike the chains of the demoniac in the tombs of the Gadarenes. And the spirit without the Word is just as binding. When there is not an equal balance of substance it can produce fanaticism. There is an overabundance of the "word" taking the form of legalistic laws in the church. In other areas there is nothing but the "spirit," of some sort, and it lacks a solid word. Therefore, very seldom is the Voice of the Son of God heard.
The church has an outward testimony of adorning herself with the dying fig leaves of religion; but praise God, this is not the end of the matter! The assuring hope which will find its mark in all mankind, and spans the vast expanse of the ages, was demonstrated by the Lord of Life in His victory over all areas of death. He conquered that realm of darkness and rendered idle and completely helpless he who had the power of death, even the devil (Heb 2:14). He healed the sick, cast out demons, and gave sight to the blind. In His presence the lame walked, the maimed were healed, lepers were cleansed, deaf ears opened, and the dead were raised again to life. After six days of dealing with those ravaging afflictions due to Adam's death, Jesus went upon the mountain and was transfigured.
In this, the Kingdom of God was momentarily seen in its full glory; and for those who may have forgotten, the expanse of that kingdom is tremendous. For example, in one of the Psalms of David it is written: "The earth is the LORD'S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein" (Psa. 24:1). When His face shown as the sun and His raiment as white as light, we can see in type His Kingdom as it shall ultimately be. Rather than it being ruled by the carnal wit of the first Adam who covered himself with the self-righteousness and rituals, i.e, fig leaves, the Lord of glory shall be clothed by light and reign in his stead. In this reign, His face, the many sons of God, shall radiate with the very nature of His person, and His raiment of glistering righteousness shall cover every member of his glorious body.
We could write volumes on the countless miracles Jesus performed that symbolized His authority in the Kingdom, and how they relate to His absolute victory over all sorrow, tears, and death; but let us notice for a moment Mount Hermon from which THE larger portion of the Jordan (Grk. descending) river is birthed and flows through Israel where it waters the inhabitants with its death before emptying itself into the Dead Sea. Hermon, means "high, lofty, exalted, forbidden," and according to the Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, it also carries the thought of "UTTER DESTRUCTION." It was here that Jesus took "...Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an HIGH MOUNTAIN apart" (Mat 17:1). It was here that they witnessed the utter destruction of Jesus.
Utter destruction? What is meant by utter destruction? Destruction simply means the changing from one form to another. The word is usually used in reference to being changed from a greater state of being to a lesser; but in truth, a thing is just as surely destroyed when it is changed from a lesser to a greater; such as, when water is changed to the higher form of vapor, or when wood is changed to smoke, gases, and flame by the fire. In both cases the lesser is destroyed when the greater comes to be.
On the negative side of the scale, the word of God is destroyed when one hears and understands the word by the carnal mind -- which is always inspired by the (2)devil. The devil is the spirit which inspires the carnal mind, while Christ inspires the spiritual mind.
On the positive side, the letter that kills is destroyed when one hears and understands it by the spiritual mind, as it is inspired by Christ.
Mount Hermon easily represents the high, lofty, exalted Kingdom of God with Jesus as its Head; but this would be more in the light of His Kingdom when it is manifested in its final glory. What may not be so evident is how it also speaks of the same kingdom, but with Adam as its head.
Prior to the opening of Adam's eyes, the Kingdom of God stood like that great mountain on the northernmost border of Palestine. Glistening brightly, it crested high above the lower regions of the earth. It had living waters rushing from its heart which watered all the Garden, even as the Jordan quenched the thirst of the hills, the plains, and the deserts through which it flowed.
That reigning king (Adam) and his kingdom, however, did not remain the shining testimony of God in the earth. Upon eating the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil he died, as did the kingdom under his rule -- the whole earth. At that fateful moment Adam, the federal head, became the prince of death. Towering with majestic pride over the ever-dying realms below, the kingdom that was once the standard of life in the earth became the standard of death. All that was in Adam, and had been made subject to him, died. Humanity was no longer permitted to drink from the waters in the Garden that were sweetened with life. To insure this deadly stroke touched every living soul until Jesus came, they were driven from that place of fresh water and became dependent on the muddy river of death -- the Descender, the Jordan River. Death reigned in victory upon the earth without much check until Moses and Joshua began to conquer. Like Jesus Christ, the Word and the Anointing together put their enemies under foot everywhere they trod.
After Moses was gone, Joshua and Caleb continued in the conquest of life over death. They crossed the Jordan at the mouth of the Dead Sea near Jericho and conquered every aspect that represented that carnal kingdom of death. Their first step was a prelude in type of what the end result would eventually be. Every facet of death was cut off, so much so that it spans the ages: "That the waters which came down from above stood and rose up upon an heap very far from the city Adam, that is beside (3)Zaretan: and those that came down toward the sea of the plain, even the salt sea, failed, and were cut off: and the people passed over right against Jericho" (Josh 3:16).
With the living God among them (Josh 3:10), Joshua demonstrated His power over the enemy of life. With him being a type of Jesus, it is no wonder our Lord was baptized in the same region of the Jordan as Joshua crossed, near the entrance of the Dead Sea. Beginning there He tread under foot the scourge of humanity.
Like frightened scorpions, death scurried when Jesus appeared, but to no avail. Wherever the Word of Life was heard, death rolled back and ceased its flowing down. For three and a half years He manifested the Kingdom of God and showed the world who He was, but that was not all. Everything He did was a prefigured pattern of promise to those with an ear to hear the resounding Voice of the Son of God.
Jesus traversed every realm of death, proving He came from above, and His origin was that of God; yet the final thrust and victory of Life over death came with His rising from the grave. He could raise others from the dead, but what about Himself? Did He truly have the power to lay down His life and to take it up again, as He had said was a commandment from His Father? (John 10:18). Indeed He did, and it was proven; but we first see in type the UTTER DESTRUCTION of Adam and his lowered kingdom -- we see the TRANSFIGURATION!
Before this monumental event, however, we see Mount Hermon under man's rule, a kingdom that has been the utter destruction of creation. Out of the belly of that kingdom is the birthing ground of the Jordan, the river of ruin, the river which has descended down through the ages and ministered death to every realm of life. In his lowering, Adam brought death to all, but not forever. From where Adam descended, our Lord of Life ascended, high upon that mountain, and finished in Himself what Moses and Joshua began. JESUS UTTERLY DESTROYED that great kingdom wherein Adam walked in utter failure. He destroyed it by swallowing it up in the brilliant Light and Life of Himself. It was a grand display of Life over death, and the power to do so was by the joining of the Word and the Spirit. Moses and Elijah were seen talking with Him! Moses and Elijah came together. Word and Spirit merged. Substance and Life met and sparked a mighty change. Your life can be transformed from godlessness to godliness by the renewing of your minds; but to be transfigured -- it takes the fusion of Word and Spirit in the man!
The Word alone, as holy and good as it is, could not make the change. Paul wrote this about the law: "And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death. For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me. Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good." (Rom. 7:10-12). Even though it is holy, Jesus made it very clear concerning the law's limitations: "(You) Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of Me, yet you refuse to come to Me to have life" (John 5:39-40). The Scriptures, the Law, the Word -- it is good -- but without the flaming Spirit of Life, they who hear it still die.
Moreover, the Spirit, as tremendous and moving as it is, was not what transfigured the body of Jesus either. The Spirit of the prophets had the power of life, in a measure, but not the ability to transfigure one from the lower state of the earthy to the higher, and thereby destroy the lower.
The prophets of old had a portion of God's power, even to raising the dead. But there was never a record of a transfiguration until Jesus. For example, Ezekiel spoke to a valley of dry bones, and they lived: "He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. He asked me, 'Son of man, can these bones live?' I said, 'O Sovereign LORD, you alone know.' Then he said to me, 'Prophesy to these bones and say to them, Dry bones, hear the word of the LORD!' This is what the Sovereign LORD says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.
"So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them. Then he said to me, 'Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe into these slain, that they may live.' So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet -- a vast army" (Ezek 37:2-5,7-10, NIV).
The magnitude of power contained in the vision of rattling bones is breath taking. The four winds sweeping across the plains of the earth, and finding their mark as they surged into the waiting lungs of the dead, had to be unparalleled in the history of man. Most witnesses of such a vision would think nothing could be more grand, but there is.
Everything that happened in the vision concerning the bones was in the physical realm of natural man: bone to bone, tendons, flesh, and skin upon the bones, and the breath of the four winds. Although the slain lived again in the prophetic vision of Israel, they were not transfigured.
At another time there was also a dead soldier who was lowered into the sepulcher of Elisha, and when his body touched the bones of the prophet, the soldier was raised to life. "And it came to pass, as they were burying a man, that, behold, they spied a band of men; and they cast the man into the sepulcher of Elisha: and when the man was let down, and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived, and stood up on his feet" (2 Kings 13:21). Revived, yes. Transfigured? No!
The prophets had life, but not the transfiguring, glorifying Life of the heavens. They could only revive adamic men to the earthy state of being from which they were born. The law of Moses was holy and just and good, but it was also lacking in the greater power to change one from the earthly to the heavenly. Notwithstanding when the two merge as One, as they did upon that high mountain apart -- a glistering transfiguration!
Oh, the wonder of this mystery! In the fire of His glory we see the Second Death coming in the form of the Last Adam. We see Him coming in a figure of His ultimate glory and absolute destruction of the first death, and death and hell were cast into the lake of fire, which is the Second Death (Rev 20:14). In the twinkle of an eye we are shown the end of the first king and his dark kingdom. The kingdom of death which is seen as a figure in Mount Hermon is utterly destroyed in the manifestation of the Word and the Spirit.
From the crest of this mountain, since the lowering of mankind, a towering tree stands and overshadows the earth with its fruit-laden boughs of good and evil. It is here that both the good of man and the evil of him rise together as one kingdom. This kingdom under the rule of the double-minded Adam reaches high into the heavens, while it fosters its deadly fruit for the world below; and as humanity sates her wanton appetite, the grave opens wide and receives a bountiful harvest.
It is also seen as a dual mountain, with the "good" of Israel possessing the southern half, and the evil of Syria claiming the north. Dark clouds ascend from its proud summit, and like the tree, it drops its deadly dew upon mankind. It is this kingdom of death we see being utterly destroyed at the transfiguration of Jesus. And will He not finish the work with the same glorious victory in His body of many members? Romans 8:19-21 says yes.
When the Law of Moses, the substance of God's nature, and the Spirit of the prophets, the life of that substance, united as the Voice of God, the clay of Christ's body took on a different form. Everything of the physical realm met its end, down to the last cell and atom of that body. The glistering Light of Life radiated from every facet of His being, utterly destroying them in transfiguration, transforming the earth of His body to that heavenly realm from whence He came. That great kingdom which had been ruled by man got a glimpse of its end that monumental day, and its sealing deathblow came the morning of the resurrection.
From the crest of that mountain He went to Jerusalem to be crucified and finish the work; a work that not only began the removing of Adam from the seat of God, but in the changing of the kings, the muddy Jordan was replaced with the crystal-clear River of Life. Instead of death descending down from that mountain to creation and destroying it, Life began its journey from that throne of God in a mission of destroying the plague of death; and from that day until now and beyond, everything in its path is healed (Ezek 47:1-12, Rev 22:1-3). His flowing, thundering word has a way of having an impact on people.
When the Voice of God is truly heard, many will Live, yet very often His Voice is not perceived as a Living Word, but only as thunder. The thundering voice of God is powerful, as it rolls through the clouds of His people. It comes as the promise of rain to the thirsty, but to those whose lives have been overflowing with Jordan's flood waters, those with impaired hearing, it is like the shockwaves of doom. Being void of understanding, and not willing to surrender their religious kingdoms, the souls of the untrained ear are sometimes struck with fear. In their spiritual deafness and confusion they flee to their religious dens and caves of human reasoning for supposed safety. The heavens of the carnal mind tremble at the sound of His Voice, but with those of understanding, it should not be; for Paul wrote the following concerning the end of Adam as he stands in the presence of God's glory:
"Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, [Adam] the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity [Adam and his traduced mind] doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked [Adam] be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the SPIRIT of His MOUTH [SPIRIT & WORD], and shall [UTTERLY] DESTROY with THE BRIGHTNESS OF HIS COMING. Even him [Adam], whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders" (2 Thes 2:1-9). [Brackets supplied for clarity].
When any person ascends with Christ upon Mount Hermon, their ears do not hear the roar of thunder but the clear Voice of the Son of God. In transfiguration, the Word and the Spirit together shall utterly destroy the outer shell of flesh which lingers, that with which they have been clothed all their lives. The enemy, called death, will be swallowed up in victory. The Sons shall hear the Transfiguring Voice and live! They shall be raised together with the many membered body of Christ, joined as One Mountain, as One Kingdom. From the height of that summit they shall be sent, not as death, but as life, as the blessings of their Lord over the earth -- even "As 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). The mountain which was once the root of death shall no longer issue forth the fruit of the tree of death -- but LIFE!
If we ever forget one thing, let it not be these words of our sovereign God: "So shall My word be that goeth forth out of My mouth: it shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it" (Isa. 55:11). If God commands Life, Life shall be. If He pleases to have all saved and come to the knowledge of truth (I Tim. 2:4), all shall be saved and come to the knowledge of truth (Eph. 1:10-11). And likewise, if God commands and sends His Word, whether in the form of His first begotten Son, His many sons, or Word in the form of the Voice of that Son -- it shall not return void! By mandate, it has to accomplish what it was sent to accomplish.
The rocky soil could not withhold its hidden fruit when the Spirit of God moved and He said, "Let the earth bring forth." Neither can the stony heart of the carnal mind say, "No," at the Voice of the Son of God, in Whom all power in heaven and earth is given. Believe it or not, dear reader, the truth remains; and all the unbelief in the world cannot stop it. The compelling Voice of the Son of God is proceeding from the throne with crystal clear, Life-giving water to all who thirst. Stop for a moment and drink deeply. It is refreshing, it is life-giving, it is ever-Living, as God commanded it to be from the height of Hermon, the transfiguring Mountain of utter destruction!
Elwin R. Roach
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1. After the six days of man comes transfiguration.
2. devil: diabolos, a traducer (Strong's).
Traduce: to transfer from one order of reasoning to another, i.e., to translate from one language to another. The devil, the traducer, translates the word of God into the language of the carnal mind. The word is, therefore, transferred from heavenly to earthly, thus destroying it.
(THE TRADUCER, free upon request)
3. Zaretan: to pierce; puncture (Strong's)