2 Pe 1:12 For this reason I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know and are established in the present truth.
We will look today at the experiences of Paul, Peter and John.
The full text of this message and supplementary study questions can be found on our website with the remaining parts of this study.
Sunday June 26th 2022
Passover to Tabernacles
1). Heb 2:1 Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. 2 For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, 3 how shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, 4 God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will?
The so great salvation spoken of here is the salvation, the deliverance, of the soul from the corruption of the sin nature. The corruption that came in the Garden to Adam and the Woman through Satan’s deception, along with separation from God, that passed to all men.
a). And we can see that, according to v3, the ‘so great salvation’, ‘at the first began to be spoken by the Lord’ and was confirmed to the writer of Hebrews and others, ‘by those who heard Him.’ And this so great salvation was borne witness to, ‘both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit.’
b). And we know what it was that Jesus began to preach, ‘Repent, for the Kingdom of the heavens is at hand’, the offer to a generation of eternally saved Jews of rulership from the heavenly realm of the Kingdom in place of Satan and his angels. Rulership that was re-offered to the same generation during the Acts period by the one new man in Christ.
c). And because of what has been set out in the first thirty-four verses of Genesis, this rulership could only take place in the Seventh Day. And we will remember that the miraculous signs presented to the Jews, because both they, and the Kingdom of the heavens, were in view, pointed to the spiritual healing, provision, and deliverance for the nation that would be theirs in the Seventh Day, following repentance and restoration.
d). All then, had to do with the Kingdom Age, and the Christ, whom God has chosen to be the Son to hold the scepter of rulership in that Day
Jn 20:30 And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.
And when the one new man in Christ was brought into existence, when the Day of Pentecost had fully come, so the so great salvation was then available to those who are new creations in Christ; the deliverance of their souls from the corruption of the sin nature, allowing them to be adopted as a firstborn son, providing for the redemption of their body, so that they would once again be in the image and likeness of God – Ro 8:23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.
And we have seen in previous weeks, that it was to Paul that the Lord entrusted the good news concerning the Kingdom of the heavens and Paul to whom He revealed the mystery showing the part eternally saved Gentiles, new creations in Christ, could have in it – 2 Co 4:3 But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4 whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.
Eph 3:4 by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ), 5 which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets: 6 that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel…….
Col 1:26 the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. 27 To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ proclaimed among you, the hope of glory.
And we will remember, that to be given this good news, which Paul then took to the Gentiles, the Lord moved him into the third heaven, took him from Man’s Day into the Lord’s Day.
e). For Paul then, he witnessed first-hand the presence of the risen and glorified Christ, the One God has chosen to rule in the Seventh Day; he had seen the Lord’s Day in heaven and was given the good news of that Day to come upon the earth, when the Lord’s will would be done on earth as it would be done in heaven – Ga 1:11 But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. 12 For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ.
This was an experience that made irrefutable the reality and certainty of that which Paul preached as it had been revealed directly to him by the One about whom the good news testified, and this alone would account for Paul’s zealousness and resolute determination to fulfill the ministry the Lord had given him even in the face of seemingly endless adversity – 2 Co 11:24 From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; 26 in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; 27 in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness— 28 besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches.
Acts 20:22 And see, now I go bound in the spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that will happen to me there, 23 except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that chains and tribulations await me. 24 But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. 25 “And indeed, now I know that you all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, will see my face no more.
And we know that every group of Gentiles to whom Paul came, would first hear the good news of Jesus Christ and Him crucified, the event completed and finished in past time with respect to their eternal salvation. An event that also set into motion the future fulfillment of the Jewish Passover. But Paul’s focus was always on preaching the Kingdom of God, the coming Seventh Day pictured through the seventh of the seven Jewish feasts, Tabernacles; the conclusion to the matter that the Christ had taught him, shown him, and commissioned him to proclaim.
f). And Paul was not the only one who bore witness to Christ’s coming Kingdom glory.
2). 2 Pe 1:12 For this reason I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know and are established in the present truth. 13 Yes, I think it is right, as long as I am in this tent, to stir you up by reminding you, 14 knowing that shortly I must put off my tent, just as our Lord Jesus Christ showed me. 15 Moreover I will be careful to ensure that you always have a reminder of these things after my decease. 16 For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty [greatest regal magnificence]. 17 For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” 18 And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain. 19 And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; 20 knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, 21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.
Prior to these verses Peter had been exhorting ‘those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ’ to make their call and election sure as both are founded on ‘exceedingly great and precious promises’.
a). The word translated ‘election’ would be better translated ‘called out’. In other words, then, those of like precious faith, faith to the saving of the soul, were to be diligent to make sure that their calling and their calling-out were certain. And both the calling and the calling-out refer to the same thing, an abundant entrance into the everlasting Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
b). And Peter had a resolute determination not to be negligent in reminding them of these things always.
c). Those to whom Peter wrote were ‘established in the present truth’, they had a firm and properly grounded foundation in the things of the Kingdom, but this didn’t matter to Peter.
d). Peter, along with James, and John had witnessed something so extraordinarily powerful that it drove Peter to not only constantly remind those to whom he ministered of the event’s veracity and the importance of them doing everything they could to be a part of it, but also to make sure that they would be constantly reminded of the same even after his death. And the event itself, we find recorded in Matthew – Mt 16:24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 25 For whoever desires to save his soul will lose it, but whoever loses his soul for My sake will find it. 26 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works. 28 Assuredly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.”
Just a short time before the Lord spoke the words recorded here, two significant, interrelated events had taken place. Firstly, Peter had made the declaration, brought forth from above, that ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ This was a statement that could not have been any truer.
e). Jesus is the Christ, the Son that God has chosen, to hold the scepter of rulership in the Seventh Day. Peter’s statement both revealed and confirmed the Lord’s identity and purpose. And then, secondly, just moments later Peter began to rebuke the Lord as Jesus shared with them the events that would transpire in Jerusalem and His resurrection that would follow on the Third Day.
f). Peter, having received and spoken the wisdom that came from above concerning the Lord’s identity, then received and spoke the wisdom that came from below, the wisdom of Man, from his own resources.
g). And this is what led Jesus to speak the familiar verses concerning saving and losing the soul in anticipation of the Day when ‘the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.’
h). There are then two types of wisdom that are diametrically opposed to one another which are described this way in James–
Jas 3:14 But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. 15 This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. 16 For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. 17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.
It is within the bounds of self-seeking, saving his soul in his present, that we find Peter’s rebuke of the Lord in Matthew Chapter 16. The wisdom brought forth from above has only one end in view, a future reward at the Judgment Seat when Christ is revealed in glory; whereas the wisdom from below focuses on the self, the corrupted soul, in the present, thereby casting doubt upon that which is to come. An action seen through Peter, to make an alignment with Satan of such a nature that the one doing so is seen to be no different from Satan himself.
i). And here we will find a tension that is probably common to most who look to Christ’s coming Kingdom. The tension between the certainty of what is known, being established in the present truth, and the seemingly endless sameness of everyday life that continues to go on and on as if the Kingdom will never come, providing enticement to view matters from the wisdom that is earthly and demonic rather than the wisdom from above.
j). But Peter had experienced something that his readers, and us, never have. And this experience made irrefutable the reality and certainty of that which is to come. We did not see the Christ coming in His Kingdom glory, but we know a man who did. We were not taken into the third heaven to be taught by the risen Savior, but we know a man who was. And we have not yet seen the resurrection/rapture, the Judgment Seat, the tribulation and beyond, but we know a man who has, the Apostle John, who also shared Peter’s experience on the mountain.
k). What we will realize then, is that what these men have presented to us through the Scriptures is not based on the possibility of what might happen but on first-hand experiential certainty, just as the Scriptures teach.
3). Mt 16:28 Assuredly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.” 17:1 Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves; 2 and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light. 3 And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. 4 Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, let us make here three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” 5 While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!”
That which Jesus stated at the end of Chapter 16 is exactly what is brought to pass at the beginning of Chapter 17. It happened ‘after six days’, which places it firmly in the Seventh Day, in complete accord with what is set out in the first thirty-four verses of Genesis and in John Chapters 1 and 2.
a). And on this Seventh Day Jesus had taken Peter, James, and John onto a ‘high mountain’. The word translated ‘high’ goes beyond just elevation to the idea of exalted. Not just any mountain then, but a mountain of supreme significance, a highly exalted mountain. A mountain we can know about by comparing Scripture with Scripture where a mountain is used metaphorically for a kingdom – Mic 4:1 Now it shall come to pass in the latter days That the mountain of the LORD'S house Shall be established on the top of the mountains, And shall be exalted above the hills; And peoples shall flow to it.
Da 2:35 Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were crushed together, and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; the wind carried them away so that no trace of them was found. And the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth………44 And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.
And that seen with respect to ‘mountains’ in Micah and Daniel is stated apart from the use of the metaphor in – Rev 11:15 Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of this world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!”
What Peter, James, and John saw that Day was Christ coming in His Kingdom. It wasn’t a representation, or a vision concerning that Day, it was the Day itself. And such a thing is possible because time is not a constant as we perceive it to be but relative. And God is able to move individuals both backwards in time, as He had done with Ezekiel, and forwards in time and space and even change time itself – Jos 10:2 Then Joshua spoke to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel: “Sun, stand still over Gibeon; And Moon, in the Valley of Aijalon.” 13 So the sun stood still, And the moon stopped, Till the people had revenge Upon their enemies. Is this not written in the Book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day. 14 And there has been no day like that, before it or after it, that the LORD heeded the voice of a man; for the LORD fought for Israel.
The same is true for John as he witnessed the events that he then recorded in the Book of the Revelation having been taken forward in time and moved to a different space – Re 1:10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord's Day………
Ec 3:15 That which is has already been, And what is to be has already been;
That which is prophetically revealed in Micah and Daniel, ‘what is to be’, the coming Kingdom of Christ, ‘has already been’, experienced by Peter, James, and John as recorded in Matthew Chapter 17. And because it has already been we could no more change what is soon to come than we could change the events of yesterday.
b). And here would be the point, 19 And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts
The prophetic word, in this case what we looked at in Micah and Daniel, has been confirmed because it has already happened, with Peter, James, and John bearing witness to it when it did, and what has already happened cannot be changed. The coming of Christ’s Kingdom is unchangeable. Just as the Lamb was slain from the foundation of the world and then manifested within our perception of time some four thousand years later, so Christ’s Kingdom has come and will be manifested in time as we perceive it some two thousand years on from the events on the mountain. After six days. It is at the door.
c). In the event on the holy mountain Christ was ‘transfigured’ in front of His three disciples, He was enswathed in the glory of God. Moses, and Elijah it seems, were also enswathed in glory. And although the three disciples were not enswathed in glory, they were within the bright cloud that overshadowed them all – Ps 72:18 Blessed be the LORD God, the God of Israel, Who only does wondrous things! 19 And blessed be His glorious name forever! And let the whole earth be filled with His glory. Amen and Amen.
And as we have seen before, Peter recognized what was happening, and drew the only conclusion it was possible to make - 4 Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, let us make here three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
The building of tabernacles, or booths, took place on the Feast of Tabernacles the seventh of the seven feasts of Israel, a Feast that will find its fulfillment during the thousand years of the Millennial Kingdom. And Peter had obviously understood this in what he saw.
4). And then John, who was also on the holy mountain, who had begun his Gospel with the same seven-day structure with which Moses began Genesis, was transported through time and space, from Man’s Day to the Lord’s Day where he witnessed first-hand the revealing of Jesus the Christ
Re 1:9 I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. 10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord's Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, 11 saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and, “What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.”…….. 19 Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after this.
And again, we will realize that what John saw and recorded, the complete revelation of Jesus the Christ, from the resurrection/rapture of the church, the tribulation, to the establishment of the Kingdom and a glimpse into the ages beyond, are events that have already happened and can no more be changed than the events on the holy mountain. And in the revelation of the Christ is the fulfillment of everything seen in the prophetic Scriptures, whose certainty, through John’s experience is irrefutable.
a). And that which has already taken place has been recorded and given to us that we might know absolutely what is soon to come and be properly prepared for when it does.
b). And we have not been given cunningly devised fables but the eye-witness accounts of those who have already experienced that which is yet to come in confirmation of what has already been laid out of the prophetic Scriptures from the beginning. And the veracity of their account is confirmed to us by the Holy Spirit - Eph 1:13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.
And if we have had eyes to see and ears to hear, even today, then we have had the prophetic Word confirmed to us, the Word that shines as a light in a dark place until the Day dawns and the Morning Star rises in our hearts
1 Jn 1:1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life— 2 the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us— 3 that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. 4 And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.
We will continue next time, if we remain and the Lord is willing, and we have prayed.