HIS COUNTENANCE WAS ALTERED
Luke 9:28 ¶ 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. 29 And as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glistering. 30 And, behold, there talked with him two men, which were Moses and Elias: 31 Who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem. 32 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. 33 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. 34 While he thus spake, there came a cloud, and overshadowed them: and they feared as they entered into the cloud. 35 And there came a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him. 36 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 central theme of the law and the prophets, and that of the entire scriptures is the revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ. Luke 24:44 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. 45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, John 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
And the very life and ministry of the Lord was to fulfill the law. Matthew 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. Romans 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: 4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
Therefore we have this ‘supreme council’ called together around the transcendent glory of the Head of the church to solidify the oneness of both the old and new covenants. Moses – representing the law, and Elijah – representing the prophets of the covenant of the law; then Peter, John and James representing the new covenant of grace, all gathered to view the glory of their one Sovereign Lord. Ephesians 4:3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
The first covenant of the law was taken away as it was fulfilled by the second covenant of grace. Hebrews 10:8 Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; 9 Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. 10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
And once redemption is complete, the identity of even Christ himself is changed from the physical to the spiritual! 2 Corinthians 5:14 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: 15 And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. 16 Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. 17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
The new heavens and new earth had already been given among men! John saw the new Jerusalem – the church – descending from heaven. And this was done on the day of Pentecost! Revelation 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. 2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. 4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. 5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.
God had come to dwell both with and in his believers by the presence of the Holy Spirit! And it is in the indwelling of the Holy spirit by which the believers are said to “see” Jesus! John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. 18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. 19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. 20 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.
Carefully take note of what was happening at the time of Christ’s countenance being changed. He was praying. And we do have the very wording of a prayer of our Lord. He prayed for the oneness of all believers! This was the pressing request of the Son to the Father.
John 17:20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; 21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. 22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: 23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.
And the one thing required for both those of the old and new covenants was to have the glory of God recovered! For that is the very essence and cause of sin – coming short of the glory! Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; And that glory could only be recovered by the Person of the Son of God! John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. 18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. 2:11 This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.
Therefore it was “as he prayed,” that “the fashion of his countenance was altered.” For a simple belief of the historic fact of Jesus dying on the cross has no redemptive value of itself. One must see the glory of God’s redemption in the sacrifice of Eternal Son! The devils in hell believe that Jesus died on the cross. There must be such a belief in Him as to rely upon, and spiritually cling to him for one’s person salvation! There must be a “pressing into the kingdom, taking it by force!” This urgency is the evidence of the new birth!
“Pass me not O gentle Savior!
Hear MY humble cry!
While on others thou art calling;
Do not pass ME by!”
For just what was the sole subject that these Old Testament souls sought as they used this one unique time to petition the only Savior of mankind? It clearly states that they spake of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem. They had only this one subject which they urgently pressed forth in this unique opportunity to stand before the only name given under heaven among men whereby we must be saved! Therefore they are recorded as only speaking to Him concern accomplished redemption for its application to the old covenant believers! We hear them in the opening of the fifth seal. They are the souls crying out to God “under the altar.” Those words present to us the redemption accomplished by “the Lamb of God who taketh away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29) For the redemption had been accomplished, but was yet to be applied to them.
Revelation 6:9 And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: 10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? 11 And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.
2 Corinthians 4:10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. 11 For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. 12 So then death worketh in us, but life in you.
“Dying with Jesus through death reckoned mine;
Living with Jesus a new life divine;
Looking to Jesus till glory doth shine;
Moment by moment, O Lord, I am thine.”
They are said to have been slain for the word of God. And we hear of them in the Psalmist’s words: Psalm 44:22 Yea, for thy sake are we killed all the day long; we are counted as sheep for the slaughter. We do not exclude physical martyrdom, but do not limit it exclusively to that alone.
Consider these verses: 1 Peter 1:11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. 12 Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.
Hebrews 8:6 ¶ But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. 9:15 ¶ And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.
Hebrews 10:1 ¶ For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. 4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.
Hebrews 11:13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: 40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without (or, ‘apart from us’) us should not be made perfect.
The revelation of the glorified face of Jesus Christ was of great signification to these five assembled believers. For it is the revelation of that glory which shall affect the change of all believers! For it is as we behold the glory of the Lord by which we are changed from one degree of glory unto a higher degree! 2 Corinthians 3:18 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. 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
Christ is presently reigning Lord. Hebrews 1:3 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; He must continue to reign as the mediator until all things are subdued under him. 1 Corinthians 15:25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.
But once all things are subdued under him, he shall be elevated to a higher degree of glory as “God all in all.” 1 Corinthians 15:28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all. And as we see him in that highest degree, we shall be eternally glorified. 1 John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
Ephesians 1:10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:
Pastor Gene Breed
October 7, 2022