"We see, in many a land, the proudest dynasties and tyrannies still crushing, with their mountain weight, every free motion of the Consciences and hearts of men. We see, on the other hand, the truest heroism for the right and the greatest devotion to the Truth in hearts that God has touched. We have a work to do, as great as our forefathers and, perhaps, far greater. The enemies of Truth are more numerous and subtle than ever and the needs of the Church are greater than at any preceding time. If we are not debtors to the present, then men were never debtors to their age and their time. Brethren, we are debtors to the hour in which we live. Oh, that we might stamp it with Truth and that God might help us to impress upon its wings some proof that it has not flown by neglected and unheeded." -- C.H. Spurgeon . . . "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:31, 32 . . . . .


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Sunday, December 10, 2017


~ By James Fire

HEBREWS 12:18-29
18 For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest,
19 And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more: 20 (For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart: 21 And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:) 22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, 

24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel. 25 See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven: 26 Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet, once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. 27 And this word, Yet, once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Wherefore, receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: 29 For our God is a consuming fire.

In this second part of the article THE SEVEN MOUNTAINS IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD, we will consider more mountains representative of the kingdom of God - and of Israel. In the first half we already looked at four of them, so we will turn our attention to the other three.

1) Mount Moriah where Abraham offered Isaac up as a sacrifice to God. At this mountain we learned that the Kingdom of God is about sacrifice, dedication, devotion and atonement.

2) Mount Sinai where Moses delivered the Law of God. At this mountain we learned that the Kingdom of God is about the Holy Law and Authority, which in it's letter can kill, but the very Spirit of God, that reveals the holiness of the Law, gives life.

3) Mount Carmel where Elijah, God’s representative challenged the false gods that were at that time worshiped in Israel. At this mountain we learned that the Kingdom of God is about the power of God, His omnipotence and assured victory over the kingdom of darkness.

4) The Sermon on the Mount – where the Servant-King, the LORD Jesus Christ teaches on the principles of His Kingdom. At this mountain we learned that the Kingdom of God is about acknowledgment of the truth regarding ourselves, repentance, redemption and godly conduct.

And so we pick up where we left off the last time, and visit the Mountain of Transfiguration:

5) MOUNT of TRANSFIGURATIONMATTHEW 17: The LORD Jesus was transformed into His glorious state, appearing with Moses and Elijah and witnessed by Peter, James and John.

The LORD leads three of the apostles up to “a high mountain”, which may well have been Mount Hermon, the tallest mountain in Israel at 7,336’, which makes sense because it’s nearby to the previous event that took place in Caesarea Philippi (MATT 16:13). Perhaps a physical demonstration of what the angels declared in LUKE’s Gospel, announcing the birth of the Messiah the King, “Glory to God in the Highest”! 

Hermon in Hebrew is based on the root word charam which is “a devotion or dedication to destroy or to sanctify some object – be it someone or something – it can refer to the doom and destruction of the nations under Divine judgment for their rejection of God, it can refer to idols, false gods, false religion that is to be destroyed, as well as the sanctification, preservation and exaltation of the saints of God”.

What took place here is the “transfiguration” of Jesus: metamorphoo in the Greek, the same word used in:

Be transformed by the renewing of your mind

18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

Metamorphoo can refer to an outward or inward change, depending on the context. In these references in ROMANS and 2 CORINTHIANS, it is an inward change; in the Mount where we see our LORD it is an outward change that expresses the glory that already existed inwardly in the Person of the Messiah.

In the previous chapter, MATTHEW 16:24-28 the LORD said to His disciples,

If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. 26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. 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.

The world has the expression, No Guts, No Glory – in the church we can say, No Cross, No Crown! 

If we as the disciples of the LORD will carry our crosses, die to self, serve the King Who loves us supremely, turn our backs on the god/ruler of this world (Satan) and his promises of temporary pleasure and prosperity in the here and now, in exchange for the Eternal Kingdom that God promises us when He returns, then we will have a steadfast hope and a secured peace knowing that we are investing in a Kingdom that cannot be shaken, having rejected this temporary world that is a sinking ship destined for the Lake of Fire!

The LORD tells His followers that there will be those who shall “see” the Son of Man coming into His kingdom. Note that word, see – because in MATT 17:9, the LORD tells them that what they saw was “a vision”! And what did this vision represent?

It took place on a mountain, so it has to do with the Kingdom of God – there the LORD appeared in His glorified state, which we know doesn’t actually happen until after He was crucified, buried and rose from the dead in His resurrection – and just as He ascended into heaven in that glorified body, He will return to Earth in that same glorified body (ACTS 1:11), to establish the Millennium – His 1000 year reign from the throne of His father David who was the king of Israel 3000 years ago. The angel Gabriel told Mary, the mother of Jesus exactly that (LUKE 1:30-32).

In this vision we see that Moses and Elijah appeared – now, why these two? Why not David and Abraham? They were the ones that were given the most prominent covenants to in all of Israel. Or Isaiah and Daniel; these two prophets were given the most significant Messianic prophecies ever (you could include Zechariah as well)? Because Moses represented the Law and Elijah the Prophets of God: “the Law and the Prophets” is recognized by the Jews as the canon of the entire Old Testament, and this vision represents ALL of the promises fulfilled to Israel as recorded in the Old Testament Scriptures! Moses and Elijah appear in their glorified state as well and spoke to the LORD about His coming crucifixion (LUKE 9:30-31) – and they represent the glorified saints that will enter into the Millennial Kingdom; Peter, James and John are there as well, but in their natural bodies – and they represent the saints who will enter the Millennial Kingdom in bodies as we have now.

So let’s have a closer look at the first nine verses:

MATTHEW 17:1-9
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 raiment was white as the light. And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him. Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. While he yet spake, behold, 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. And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, 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. 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 again from the dead

There are those who address the verse that a 1000 years is as a day to the LORD (and a day is as a 1000 years). In keeping with the view that the Millenium is 1000 years long, preceding that time is about 6000 years of history (from the time of Adam until today), so one could attribute significance to the mention of "after six days" came this vision about the Millennial reign of Christ.
In verse 4, Peter talks about building three tabernacles – one for the LORD, one for Moses and one for Elijah (I wonder how the apostles recognized these two? Did they have a photo of them in their wallets?). 
What is he talking about with these ‘tabernacles’?
It was one of the Feasts of Israel that God through Moses commanded Israel to observe; from GOT QUESTIONS.com, we have the following article:

“The Feast of Tabernacles, like all the feasts, was instituted by God as a way of reminding Israelites in every generation of their deliverance by God from Egypt. Of course, the feasts are also significant in that they foreshadow the work and actions of the coming Messiah. Much of Jesus’ public ministry took place in conjunction with the Holy Feasts set forth by God.

“The three pilgrim feasts where all Jewish males were commanded to “appear before the Lord in the place he chooses” are each very important in regard to the life of Christ and His work of redemption. We know with certainty that the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread are symbolic of Christ’s atoning sacrifice on the cross. Likewise, we know that Pentecost, which marked the beginning of the Feast of Weeks, was the time of Jesus’ bodily ascension. And most scholars would agree that the Feast of Tabernacles is symbolic of Christ’s Second Coming when He will establish His earthly kingdom (the Millennial Reign).”

How fitting, that the LORD would give His disciples a vision concerning the coming Kingdom on a Feast day that prophetically speaking, represented the very coming reign of the Messiah in Israel!

Notice that Peter wants to build tabernacles for all three of these men, placing them all on an equal level of honor. Then what happens?

vs. 5 While he yet spake, behold, 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.

The Father gave Peter a better understanding and a clearer perspective of where the LORD Jesus rated in rank of importance: “THIS is My beloved Son . . . hear HIM”! He is, by far, the greatest in the Kingdom. The Samaritan woman asked Jesus if He was greater than our father Jacob? (JOHN 4:12); and the religious leaders of Israel asked Him if He was greater than Abraham (JOHN 8:53).
The answer, according to the Father, is “YUP!” Again, why is Jesus the greatest in the Kingdom?

MATTHEW 20:27-28
27 And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: 28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many

We must remember that this is a kingdom principle and the holy standard by which everything will be done when its established – and how everything needs to be done here in the church, saints! Amen?

Now let’s hear the words of the apostle Peter in:

2 PETER 1:16-21
16 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. 17 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. 18 And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. 19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: 20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

Peter was an “eyewitness” along with James and John who could corroborate his testimony (“in the mouth of two or three witnesses let every word be established (DEUT 19:15)” is an Old Testament directive of legal protocol in any court of law to determine the truth). So we have three witnesses of the majesty and “excellent glory” of the LORD Jesus and the voice of the Father.

If anyone would ask Peter, “Are you sure you saw what you think you saw?” Peter would be able to answer in the absolute affirmative! Beyond any doubt, he was sure that what he saw was real!

Yet in his epistle here, he says that we have something that you and I can be even more sure about, than what he regarded in the vision at the Mount of Transfiguration:

The prophecy of God’s Word and His promises revealed to us as something absolutely certain: the coming of God’s Kingdom, of which we shall take part in!

Then when all the glory and excitement and wonder was revealed to these three disciples, and the “mountain top experience” was completed, what happened then? They came down from the mountain, into the valley and encountered a bereaved father and his demon-possessed son! 

A reminder to us that while we have every Rock-Solid Hope for God’s Soon Arriving Kingdom, we are still here in this fallen world, dealing with the enemy of the church and engaged in a great struggle against evil and for the glory of God in JESUS Name!

Which brings us to the next mountain!

6) The MOUNT of OLIVES: PHASE IACTS 1: Where the King departs this fallen world, commissioning His disciples to their mission of the GOSPEL!
G.O.S.P.E.L. - God's Omnipotent Salvation Proclaiming Eternal Love/Life.

The cross at this point is behind the LORD, His Holy Work of atonement is finished (JOHN 19:30) tetelestai, “paid in full” – in that culture, when a prisoner completed his term of incarceration, when he ‘paid his debt to society’ as its been said, he would receive a document with a word stamped on it, Tetelestai – paid in full, with no debt remaining. He could never be condemned or imprisoned for that crime again. If anyone tried to, he would show them his certificate, and they couldn't touch him!

The LORD paid ALL of our debt – we cannot be condemned, punished or imprisoned for our sins by the Holy God, the Judge of all the Earth, because we have placed our faith in His Son, Christ Who paid that debt for us!

He was buried and on the third day rose again – and met the disciples for a period of 40 days; there was no doubt that Christ conquered sin, death and hell and the anguished despair and hopelessness of the disciples during those three darkest days of their lives suddenly exploded with blessed joy and hope! Y’shua ha Meschiach, the KING of ISRAEL LIVES! And so, when they next encounter the LORD they asked Him:

ACTS 1:6-10
. . . Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. 10 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel

We spoke of Dominion theology before, that unbiblical belief and doctrine that supposes that the church must dominate and rule the world, and then the Messiah can return, and we hand over the ruler-ship to Him. There is another false doctrine that is very prominent in the church today known as Replacement theology – it’s very strong among some Protestant denominations. That is the idea that because Israel rejected her Messiah, all of the promises of blessings God made to Israel (what about God’s curses for disobedience??) are transferred to the church. That there will be no Millennial Reign where Israel rules under the Messiah; that such rule will be granted only to the church.

Yet if we read carefully ACTS 1:7, the LORD doesn’t say, “Do you not yet understand, neither do you perceive that because Israel has rejected Me, that the promises of the kingdom are of no effect? Therefore, the church shall reign in her stead.” 

NO! He simply says that the time for that Kingdom are in the Father’s hands – not His own nail-pierced hands – and the Father will decide the proper time and season for the commencement of that Kingdom, the Kingdom of Israel!

So, what is on the agenda then if the Kingdom is delayed for a later time? 
It's the preaching of the Gospel! You will read about “the Gospel of the Kingdom” throughout the Gospel of Matthew, which is a Gospel written to the Jews revealing the person of the Messiah Who is Jesus (MATT 4:23; 9:35; 24:14) and this Kingdom of Israel would have become a reality had she received her King – if they had received the atonement of Christ’s death and by faith believed on Him. But they didn’t – so the Gospel then went out “to the uttermost part of the Earth” (ACTS 1:8), unto “all nations” (MATT 28:19), not just Israel – but Gentile nations and proclaim the coming Kingdom of God and the Kingdom from heaven!

The Gospel is all about the forgiveness of sin, the granting of Christ’s own righteousness to the repentant sinner, the establishment of a love relationship between the Holy God and the born-again child, adopted by the Creator Who becomes our Father, our loving Abba; it’s all about the indwelling Spirit of God that instills in the yielded believer more and more of Christ’s holy character and spiritual integrity. It’s all about becoming a devoted servant of God, serving the LORD, His saints, and all souls in the name of Christ. 

As well as all of these things, it’s about living our lives in such a way, to prepare ourselves and others for that coming Kingdom where Christ will actually, visibly, physically and literally rule and reign from Jerusalem over all the world. 

To the degree that we live in the love of the Father and respond in kind, expressing our love by following His Word, obeying the Truth that is there; to the degree that we let our lives become transformed into His likeness as well as a blessed service to the LORD, to that same degree we will be exalted to greater honor in that coming Kingdom!

Wherefore, receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:

We have the promise of these two angelic messengers who spoke to the disciples as the LORD ascended from the Mount of Olives, where He issued His command to us, to spread the Gospel:

ACTS 1:11
Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven

If you could have used your smart phone and recorded the event of the LORD’s ascension into heaven from Mt. of Olives, and then played that video in reverse, you will have the picture of the LORD’s Second Coming, because when He returns, “ground zero” where His feet land, will be Mt. of Olives – and that leads us to the ‘seventh’ mountain – it’s the same location, but more than two thousand years later!

7) The MOUNT of OLIVES: PHASE IIZECHARIAH 14: Where the King returns and finally inaugurates His Kingdom.

Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark: But it shall be one day which shall be known to the Lord, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light. And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be. And the Lord shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Lord, and his name one.

We know what prophecy indicates, that the kingdom of darkness will have its day – where Lucifer will be openly worshiped in a global religion, where his representative, the Beast will be the supreme ruler as a false Messiah/Christ and the false prophet as his very own ‘John the Baptist’ type (REV 11, 13, 17, 18; 2 THESS 2).

We understand that Israel will initially receive the Beast as their Messiah, that he will in some form, grant them their Temple; but he will place his own image in the Temple and demand Israel’s worship – what the LORD Jesus Christ referred to as the “abomination that makes desolate” (MATT 24:15), and that is when they will realize that he is not their Messiah, refuse to worship him, and incur his wrath.

From that point, he becomes their persecutor and sworn enemy and will eventually rally all the nations together in the greatest, most powerful army the world has ever seen – they will descend into the area of Israel that surrounds Jerusalem and prepare to destroy God’s people and that is when the LORD Jesus Christ will arrive and destroy the Beast (and the false prophet; 2 THESS 2:8; REV 19:20), casting them into the lake of fire where Satan himself will eventually end up (REV 20:10).

And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.

Mount of Olives will split in half when the LORD touches down, and rivers of water will gush out (vs. 8) and bring the Dead Sea back to life. In the great valley that is then formed, “the valley of decision” (JOEL 3:14) there will be the Judgment of Nations, the Sheep and Goats that we read about (MATT 25:32-34). And once that is completed, the MILLENNIAL REIGN OF CHRIST SHALL BEGIN OFFICIALLY!!

ISAIAH 61:1-7
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord
. . .

Note: From verse 1-2a the LORD JESUS fulfilled during His First Advent, and from 2b and onward, He will fulfill this at His Second Advent:

. . . and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified. And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations. And strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and the sons of the alien shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers. But ye shall be named the Priests of the Lord: men shall call you the Ministers of our God: ye shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory shall ye boast yourselves. For your shame ye shall have double; and for confusion they shall rejoice in their portion: therefore in their land they shall possess the double: everlasting joy shall be unto them.

And we who are the bride of Christ, who shall rule and reign with Him over all the Earth, will rejoice to see Israel so blessed and prosperous under the benevolent and Almighty hand of JESUS our LORD and SAVIOR!

15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. 16 And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God.

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