Matthew 17:1-13
After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. 2There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. 3Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.
4Peter 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.”
5While 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!”
6When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified. 7But Jesus came and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.” 8When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus.
9As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus instructed them, “Don’t tell anyone what you have seen, until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”
10The disciples asked him, “Why then do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first?”
11Jesus replied, “To be sure, Elijah comes and will restore all things. 12But I tell you, Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but have done to him everything they wished. In the same way the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands.” 13Then the disciples understood that he was talking to them about John the Baptist.

The Pattern of a Transfigured Life

Many are seeing this spiritual day that we are in as the seventh day or the day of the Lord. This is the day of both fearful and great things. It is no coincidence that the author states here in Matthew 17 that after six days Jesus took with Him his inner circle of Peter, James and John and led them up into a high mountain by themselves. This was a special time when Christ was transfigured before them and they saw Him in all His splendor and glory. This could well be seen as a first fruits unveiling of the Christ. In this glorious moment we see two other figures appear with Him, Moses and Elijah. These two speak to what Christ is, was and shall be, the fulfillment of the Law and the manifestation of the Spirit of God. They were like two witnesses of Christ, the Word and Spirit. Then the Father Himself speaks; the final and ultimate witness that, ” This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”
We get a context of the feast of Tabernacles by what Peter is inspired to ask Jesus, offering to build three booths or shelters, much as was used during the Feast of Tabernacles when the children of Israel were called to remembrance of their sojourning days when they lived in tents and temporary dwellings. “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!” Peter was thinking after the natural dwellings or shelter, but immediately God sheltered them in His cloud of glory and he gave witness of His Son.
The Lord is bringing His elect up into the mountain or the high places of the Spirit to reveal Himself in a way we haven’t known before. It is a picture of the glory that is hidden in His people. 2 Corinthians 4:7 says, “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” In verses 16-18 Paul goes on to tell us, “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” What the disciples were seeing was the eternal glory that awaits the believer in Christ. We are in effect already those tabernacles or dwellings that house the Christ and all that He is as seen in Jesus, Moses and Elijah. We are seeing all of the facets of what He represents to us, the fullness and completeness of Him in Word and Spirit. 2 Corinthians 5:1-5 really further defines this very truth of not who we are, but what we are looking into by faith, “Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. 2Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, 3because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. 4For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. 5Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.”
The Lord is giving us an insight into our heavenly dwelling that we have in Christ and into a transfigured or transformed man who has metamorphosed into his spirit man. Remember that Jesus is the prototype and the pattern for us. What He showed us of Himself, He is bringing us into. Jesus later goes on to reveal that the Elijah that was to come had come in John the Baptist. This day and this hour we stand again in this time of a John the Baptist or Elijah ministry where the voice of God’s Spirit is going out through His people to ‘make straight the way of the Lord. Repent and get your hearts right before Him, for the King is coming and His kingdom with Him’. 2 Thessalonians 1:6-10 tells of this day of the Lord, “God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you 7and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. 8He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power 10on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you.”
When we have this understanding of the Christ that is yearning to be revealed through us we know our time is short and our calling is great. It is a time for us to put the daily routines of life aside and press into God’s purpose through us in this hour. It is not in our efforts or righteousness, but in learning the REST of who we are in Christ. It is all about releasing the spirit man that is in us and following in obedience to the Spirit that is leading us into His fullness.

Blessings,
#kent

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Our Eyes Lifted Up

September 30, 2014

John 17:1
These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:

Our Eyes Lifted Up

When we lift up our spiritual eyes we see as Jesus sees. We see the Father, His will and purpose. In Luke 6: 20 it says, “And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed [be ye] poor: for yours is the kingdom of God.” When Jesus lifts up His eyes today upon His disciples and followers, again He sees kingdom in those who are poor in spirit, meaning they are emptied of all desire except for more of Him. When we lift our eyes we want to see the King of kings and the Lord of lords. When we lift up our eyes as Jesus lifted His eyes we see the will and purpose of God. We see His calling to glory and glorification.
When we come into the presence of the Father we may see many things through the Spirit’s eyes. In Matthew 17 Jesus took Peter, James and John with Him up into the mount where He was transfigured. They saw Moses and Elijah there with Jesus who had been transfigured into His glory. It is interesting that as they spoke together, Peter speaks up and says, “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.” These temporary booths called “Sukkah” by the Hebrew and were used to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles, the post harvest feast of rest, thanksgiving and remembrance of the time in the wilderness when the Lord’s temple or tabernacle was a temporary dwelling. This is a whole study in and of itself. In Christ Jesus was the fulfillment of the Law and the Spirit represented there in the person of Moses and Elijah. Then the voice of God intervenes, “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.” When they heard the voice of God, “they fell on their face, and were sore afraid.” Jesus then touches them and tells them not to be afraid. The next verse is significant in Matthew 17:8, “And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only.” When our eyes are lifted in the Spirit one thing should be certain we should be seeing no man, but only Jesus. In this passage of Jesus’ transfiguration and glorification I believe the Lord was giving us a glimpse of what He is bringing us into when we see the full redemption and full salvation of body, soul and spirit.
Whenever Jesus lifts up His eyes a significant spiritual thing happens. We see Him speaking the kingdom, feeding the multitude and speaking in John 17 of His glory as He lifts His eyes to heaven. When we truly lift our eyes toward heaven and see by the Spirit we see and comprehend the things of the Spirit. In Revelations 4:1-2 says, “After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” 2At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it.” When we lift up our eyes and see the glory we will know that we are passing from this life into His life. We will have His vision and His purpose burning within our hearts and we will be as Hebrews 12:2 speaks of Jesus, “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of [our] faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” When we lift our eyes we see the glory, but we also see that the way into the glory is through the cross, even as Paul reminds us in Romans 8:17, “Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.” We must be willing to glorify Him, that He may glorify us. Whatever the cost, may we with joy endure it gladly as we lift our eyes unto heaven and see only Jesus.

Blessings,
#kent

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