The Law-giver, the Prophet and the Savior by Eudora

Mark 9:1-13 / Matthew 17:1-8 and Luke 9:28-36

Psalm 24: 3-5 ¶ Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of His salvation.

Yahwey’s “PRESENCE” is seen in the physical change of the body of Messiah while in prayer. This glorious radiance was not caused by a falling light from the heavens, but by the flashing forth of the radiance and splendor within. ~ Luke 9:29 And as He prayed, the fashion of His countenance was altered, and His raiment was white and glistering.

First read Mark’s written account:

Mark 9:1-13 ¶ And He said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power.

Regarding the first sentence in Mark’s account, Yahushua had been talking to a crowd of folks back in chapter eight and I think that this should have tied up the chapter but it was carried over into nine so I will touch on it briefly, and then move on. He told this crowd a week ago or less, that some of them standing there would not taste death until they would see the Kingdom of God come in power. This story of the transfiguration is told right after coming from Caesarea Phillipi, which is on the northern border.

We all know that the folks that He was talking to that day have long since died. However, His words still ring true today in that where ever God’s children are; is where His dominion is and those who believe in Him now and hold true and cleave unto Him; will live on into eternity after they are resurrected. If there are still some of His called or chosen followers still alive when He returns, they will still see Him coming in great power.

The bright transformation that embodied with-in Messiah had manifested into what His body would look like in the kingdom. These three fella’s were witnessing a preview of the glory of God’s Kingdom, shining ‘out’ of Yahushua; the Kingdom of God come in power. Since what Yahushua said in the past week regarding that some right there would not taste death until they had seen the kingdom of God come, It suggests to me that He wasn’t talking about a later time, perhaps the end of the world. He may very well have been talking about this event; right here, right now.

Keeping with the law that a matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses, Peter, James and John, were selected to ascend to the Mount of Transfiguration with Yahushua. A short time before these fellas had been selected to go with Yahushua up to the mountain, Yahushua had said the following:

“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. 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.”

At the end of time we shall all see Him come in His Father’s glory. But for now, these fella’s would see a glimpse of what that might look like.

Continuing on through Mark’s account – And after six days Jesus taketh with him Peter, and James, and John, and leadeth them up into an high mountain apart by themselves: and he was transfigured before them. And his raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller on earth can white them. And there appeared unto them Elias with Moses: and they were talking with Jesus. And Peter answered and said to Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. For he wist not what to say; for they were sore afraid. And there was a cloud that overshadowed them: and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him. And suddenly, when they had looked round about, they saw no man any more, save Jesus only with themselves. And as they came down from the mountain, he charged them that they should tell no man what things they had seen, till the Son of man were risen from the dead. And they kept that saying with themselves, questioning one with another what the rising from the dead should mean. And they asked him, saying, Why say the scribes that Elias must first come? And he answered and told them, Elias verily cometh first, and restoreth all things; and how it is written of the Son of man, that he must suffer many things, and be set at nought. But I say unto you, That Elias is indeed come, and they have done unto him whatsoever they listed, as it is written of him.

There are three different written accounts of what transpired on what is called the Mount of Transfiguration. Mark, Matthew and Luke all wrote about this but were not actually there. Peter, James and John were there but were told not to talk about what they witnessed until after Yahushua (Jesus) died and was resurrected. In order to understand what happened, we must read what was written.

Yahushua had begun to let His disciples know of His impending death and sufferings. To prevent them from being offended, He takes them up to the this mountain to give them a glimpse of what His glory will look like when He returns in the glory of His Father. In this vision, they were allowed to see beyond the sufferings and death that would occur in just a short while ahead of them. I believe that later on they would remember and understand that He had voluntarily given Himself over to be taken into custody and later hung on the stake so that eventually they would not be offended by the dignity and virtue of the cross. I fully believe that this vision helped to strengthen their faith in anticipation of what would occur at Jerusalem when Yahushua’s blood would be poured out on the altar of the earth.

This trek up the mountain is reminiscent of the time when Moses made his way up Mt Sanai to meet with Yahwey. The word Sanai means sin and once we climb over this mountain and are risen from the dead, we will all be transfigured to prepare us for kingdom living.

An interesting note in the three of these men is that James was the first martyr among the apostles to die when he was killed with the sword by King Herod Agrippa [Acts 12:2] and John was the last to die who would have been the last to testify of seeing Yahushua in this transformed state of glory.

While on this mountain we also see an example of one of the first fathers of our faith in Moses who joined all these men as well as the prophet Elijah who had come much later in time. Two of ancient Israel’s greatest figures are Moses who represents the Law and Elijah who was the great prophet. These two men had no known grave, and both of them had spoken with Yahwey on a high mountain. Moses was buried where as Elijah was taken away in a chariot of glory. Is it possible that Moses represents the dead in Christ and Elijah represents the living?

But for now, in this journey, we read that they have gathered together with Yahushua on a high mountain, both of them appearing ‘in glory’ [vs 31 of Luke]. This shows us that there is no great distance of time according to Yahwey’s plan of eternity. Even though a cloud would come to overshadow them, the cloud would also serve as a shelter that would one day unite us all; for this is the tabernacle not made with hands but a shadow of His excellent glory.

MOVING ON: There first appears to be a discrepancy between Mark & Matthew compared to what Luke gives as an account of how many days.

The only thing that I can conclude is that Luke kinda says it this way: “And it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, he took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray”. The two other fellas are saying ‘after six days’ rather than eight. In the preceding chapters where Yahushua has been conversing with the people, Matthew and Mark are going off a six day reference of listening to Jesus talk between the days of His public speaking and the transfiguration when they were with Yahushua. A note of interest to me is that Yahushua took all three of these fellas who were once fishing partners before they began to follow Yahushua. [Luke 5:10] John the beloved who was the younger brother to James (Sons of Thunder) and Peter.

Also these same three were with Yahushua at the raising of the daughter of Jairus. I am of the opinion that these three were chosen more than once to gather evidence of His powerful ministry so that they would eventually testify of them in their writings.

Mark 5:37-38 And he suffered no man to follow him, save Peter, and James, and John the brother of James.

38 And he cometh to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and seeth the tumult, and them that wept and wailed greatly. (Jairus, was the ruler of the synagogue)

Another time Yahushua took these three with Him was at the agony in the garden of Gethsemane when He went to pray in the garden. He took with Him Peter, James and John. This account is also recorded in Matthew 26:36-46.

Mark 14:33-34 And he taketh with him Peter and James and John, and began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy; And saith unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death: tarry ye here, and watch.

There is another time when these four fellas were alone and having a private discussion when the three had asked Yahushua about the latter days.

Mark 13:3-4 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives over against the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately,Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled?

Luke may have included how many days it took to climb the mountain since he was a doctor and doctors always pay more attention to detail. Luke is also the only one who mentions the subject that Yahushua will die soon in Jerusalem where the two other authors do not. According to Luke’s account, this is what the conversation between Yahushua, Elijah and Moses was about.

Matthew mentions that Yahushua’s face shined like the sun which might cause one to think that this all took place in the evening of the day. Luke also says that when they left the mountain that they came down the ‘next day, which may also suggest an evening encounter.

If it took a day to come down then it had to at least take one day or possibly two days going up. If it were Mount Hermon that they climbed, it is approximately 9,000 feet in elevation, so it could take two days to go up, IF they traveled to the top of the mountain. And who knows, it could be that they prayed for two days before the vision was shown to them and not everyone remembered to record that.

By the way, Luke is also the only one who mentions that the transfiguration took place while Yahushua was praying. As long as I have studied Luke and his writings, I have noticed that he writes more in detail for instance he is the only one of the disciples that wrote of Yahushua being speared in his side while on the cross. So to have this discrepancy doesn’t mean that he is incorrect or that anyone is not telling the same truth, is a far stretch since we know that the scriptures are ordained by Elohim, the God of Israel.

Matthew 17:1-13 ¶ 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. And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.

Yahushua did tell them not to mention it until after His resurrection. However since Mark, Matthew and then Luke did write about this about a hundred years later, we know that one of the three did tell the others at some point. John later wrote of this account saying, “We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only” ~John 1:14.

Peter also later wrote of this encounter saying, “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. 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. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with Him in the holy mount” ~2nd Peter 1:16-18  

And what an honor it was. The fact that Peter now refers to the mountain as holy causes me to think that he never forgot what he heard and saw that day. And to think that one day, we will see what this transformation looks like too when our bodies are transformed.

In Mark’s account he tells us that Jesus led them up the mountain. When I am out walking I often think about cougars coming along behind me and then I speak out the verse from Psalm 23 ~ “Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.” Most often I begin to smile knowing that He is walking in front of me as I follow along in His path. This is what I think about in this mountain top journey, that Yahushua is leading them as they begin to ascend this great mountain. He goes before them. Can you even imagine being one of those fella’s who were chosen to go up on a mountain and spend the day alone with Yahushua? WOW!

Like I mentioned, Mark and Matthew say that Yahushua transfigured before them while Luke says that this occurred while He was praying. Many times it has been written that Yahushua went off alone to pray. I know how I like to go off somewhere and pray or just converse with God while I am alone. I remember getting so excited after I was first filled with the Spirit and my husband and I went to the coast. I couldn’t wait to be all alone to go out on the beach and sing a song with my arms all stretched out to the LORD. I sang a song asking Him to enlarge my territory from the prayer of Jabez. After I finished, I remember thinking for the very first time that I was actually standing on top of the world. You just don’t get that same effect when you are walking in the city, but you do when you look out as far as the eyes can see from the lowest point or to the highest, like on top of a mountain.

If you have never spent much time alone in the presence of the LORD then you may not understand how a person’s countenance could physically change. I know that some do and they appear to have an ‘oil like appearance’ if they have been with Him for a long space of time. I have even looked into eyes that look as if they are glowing like a hot ember in a fire. They just have a fiery glow to them. Anyway… when these fella’s describe what Yahushua looked like, it is simply amazing.

Mark says that His raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller on earth can white them. The word fuller in the Greek is gnapheus, pronounced gnaf-yuce’ by variation for a derivative from knapto (to tease cloth); a cloth-dresser:–fuller.

Matthew wrote that His face did shine as the sun, and His raiment was white as the light. Luke wrote that the fashion of His countenance was altered, and His raiment was white and glistering. They all three mention His ‘raiment’ which is His garment that He wore that day. If one looks at the Greek it can be described as intensely radiant and luminousness. I don’t think that it was His clothes as much as it was the light from with-in Him that began to radiate bright white and glistening because they also mention His face, His countenance shining as the sun. A similar appearance is described regarding the time when Moses went up to spend forty days in the presence of Yahwey. Moses had to wear a veil over his face after that because it freaked the people out. After all, aren’t we all changing from glory to glory?

This visual alteration of Yahushua demonstrated that He was more than merely human. It was the same Son of Yahwey, but now with a brightness ‘like the sun’ and ‘like light’. His appearance changed and became glorious and that is what transformation means. The word “transfiguration” comes from the Latin roots trans- (“across”) and figura (“form, shape”). It signifies a change of form or appearance. However, it wasn’t just Yahushua that these three witnesses saw. They saw both of the ancient saints in this vision as if they too had been resurrected into glory.

Daniel describes the vision of Yahwey that he saw: “I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of His head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and His wheels as burning fire.” ~ Daniel 7:9

Here is what the author of Hebrews wrote: Hebrews 1:1-4 ¶ God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.

Let’s look at Luke’s account: Luke 9:28-36 ¶ And it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, he took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray. {sayings: or, things} And as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glistering. And, behold, there talked with him two men, which were Moses and Elias: Who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem. But Peter and they that were with him were heavy with sleep: and when they were awake, they saw his glory, and the two men that stood with him. And it came to pass, as they departed from him, Peter said unto Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias: not knowing what he said. While he thus spake, there came a cloud, and overshadowed them: and they feared as they entered into the cloud. And there came a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him. And when the voice was past, Jesus was found alone. And they kept it close, and told no man in those days any of those things which they had seen.

The next account mentioned by all three authors is that Moses and Elijah appeared and began talking with Yahushua. My personal opinion is that the reason these two fellas showed up is for two reasons. Both of these men fasted for forty days just like Yahushua and both of these fella’s represent a very important part of history. Elijah represents the prophets and Moses represents the Law, the Torah; not very often positively referred to as Yahwey’s instructions for our daily life.

Remember I mentioned earlier that Yahushua told these fellas that they were not to mention anything about this encounter until after the resurrection? Mark writes the following: “And they kept that saying with themselves, questioning one with another what the rising from the dead should mean.” According to Matthew’s account, [17:9]

Yahushua had told them not to tell of this vision to no man until after His resurrection. These fella’s were perplexed after they had heard the conversation between Yahushua, Moses and Elijah because they had no idea what the rising from the dead should mean. Matthew is the only one who makes a point of saying that Yahushua touched them. This teaches us and them that once His countenance was back to normal, they knew that they had been touched by the real Yahushua and that they had not witnessed an illusion. However, Christ makes it very clear that this was not reality. This was a vision.

This description of a glorious body, this vision, this kind of peek into the future seems to make sense then with the overall plan of God, that Moses and Elijah because their bodies were either buried or taken. Elijah and Moses could not yet fully be glorified with Yahushua Who was still in the flesh and not yet the first fruit. This was a promise kept that they would not taste death until they had seen the Kingdom of God.

God bless Peter… He is always piping off saying things right off the cuff. After he hears the three of them discussing what must be done before the crucifixion, he 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.” I certainly can’t blame Peter. If I had the chance to be in the physical presence of Yahushua all alone on a mountain with Moses and Elijah meeting for a conversation, I wouldn’t want to leave that mountain either. I’d want to stay forever and never come down.

But what was it they were discussing? In Mark’s account he mentions that Peter spoke these words not really knowing what to say because they were ‘sore afraid’. Why were there three witnesses who appeared in glory sore afraid? Luke’s account says that Peter, James (Yacob) and John were heavy with sleep: and when they were awake, they saw His glory, and the two men that stood with Him. Luke wrote that these men in this glorified state were discussing Yahushua’s decease which He should accomplish at Jerusalem. Perhaps they were ticking off what must still be done to fulfil both the law and what was prophesied by the major and minor prophets regarding His death and resurrection. Maybe hearing the conversation about Yahushua’s impending death made them afraid.

Did Peter miss the point by wanting to stay on the mountain? I think it may be possible but like I said, I sure can’t blame him. But at the same time, if Yahushua had not fulfilled His duty at the cross, where would we all be? We would not know that the law could be fulfilled in a human body. We would not know that we are no longer subject to die when we transgress the laws, those laws that required death. We know that real faith is built on three cornerstones, the law, the prophets and Yahushua and it was here on this mountain that the three did meet in this vision. However Peter would later identify Yahushua was the chosen cornerstone mentioned by the prophet Isaiah. [Isaiah 28:16]

What I find most interesting is that these two fella’s from the deep past, Moses and Elijah; these glorified saints who had never ever met themselves were recognized by all three of the earthly companions. I tend to find this is even more proof that we will recognize our loved ones and each other when we are all united in the kingdom. Peter is right… “It is good to be here” The fact that Peter felt free to say these words is exciting too because this tells me that he felt he could speak to Yahushua about anything, even if He is deep in a conversation with others about something so important as His death and resurrection.

PERSONAL  APPLICATION:

I am sure that at times I have been mindless of others around me when I speak of what I study in the scriptures. I can actually compare how I have felt, to what Peter may have experienced that day. Sometimes I get really excited about what I read and just can’t keep it to myself. What an awesome moment of grace that these men were chosen for this special experience.

While Peter was saying that he wanted to make three tabernacles, a voice was heard from a cloud that overshadowed them saying; “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased, hear him.” When this happens and they hear this voice, the disciples fell on their face. If we follow out the rest of the life of Yahushua after this pivotal moment on top of this mountain, His public ministry of teaching, healing and preaching had concluded. Now Yahushua would focus on fulfilling Yahwey’s perfect will to the cross and beyond, yet He never loses site of that mission no matter how difficult that it may seem to us. We can certainly understand why Yahwey is pleased with Yahushua and expected the disciples to ‘hear Him’.

Yahwey Himself had spoken from heaven declaring Yahushua to be His Son. This had to have been a powerful confirmation to the disciples just as it is to us. Even if they had forgotten it, Yahushua had told the disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and die and now here were Moses and Elijah discussing His impending death. It was extremely important from here on out that they listen to Him and “hear Him”.

Romans 13:7 ¶ Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.

While we can appreciate Moses and Elijah and all that they stand for and have taught us, our allegiance is to Yahushua Who has shown us the way, the truth and the life.

Deuteronomy 18:15 ¶ The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto Me; unto Him ye shall hearken;

Isaiah 42:1 ¶ Behold my servant, whom I uphold; Mine elect, in whom My soul delighteth; I have put My spirit upon Him: He shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.

Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? Like Peter, I may have wanted to stay on top of the mountain too but then perhaps I would never be able to share my testimony if I stayed on top of the mountain. We cannot stay on the mountain top any more than we can linger in the valley of decision. The vision that they all witnessed was a mighty one, being able to see Yahushua in glory like that. But even though these three got to see it before they died, their testimony would not have been heard if they had stayed up on the mountain.

When Yah reveals Himself to us in what we believe to be a super natural way, we might consider ourselves fortunate that He would do so, but we should not expect that this occurrence would be a continual occurrence. It was Habakkuk who first said that the just shall live by his faith. We can put our trust in Yahwey by having faith in His word. Our faith is supposed to be in who He is and the power that He has and that what He says that He will do, He will accomplish in His own timing. When we are convinced that this is the purpose and vision for our lives, we will see the growth of fruit in our lives that is expected of us.

We know that without faith it is impossible to please Yahwey and that we must go to Him believing that He is Who He claims to be and that He will reward those who diligently seek Him. Faith in God alone will supply the answer to every question we will ever ask because His grace is sufficient. We are to apprehend His Son; by faith.

So many times we often forget that the power of Yahwey lives with-in us. Our daily needs and routine seem to trump our spirituality and we are often perplexed by relatively minor things. Yahushua wanted to change their way of thinking just as He wants to change ours. When we stop to consider Yah’s presence in our lives, His resources, His promises, His provision and His pledge to never leave us, knowing that we are never separated from Him, shouldn’t we automatically seek Him in order to have a successful supernatural and spiritual life? We have the ability to see heavenly or spiritual things in this earthly or natural life. We have ears to hear and eyes to see. Why do we settle for the mundane?

Faith is the instrument that Yah is using to build His church. We can only be fruitful and productive if our faith is constantly growing. This mountain top experience was a revelation to Peter James and John and it should be a revelation to us as well. Our vision cannot be limited to our own time or experience when there is so much more ahead of us.. We need to both apply and share what we learn with others, of the differences that God makes in our lives so that others will take hold of the same vision and begin their own walk of faith.

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About eudoranachand

A Spirit filled disciple who continually seeks His kingdom and His righteousness.
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