Gleans from Monday Bible Study with Pastor (Dr) W.F Kumuyi.
DLBC Old Gbagada
18th November 2019
Study 33 – THE TRANSFIGURATION: THE PREVIEW OF CHRIST’S COMING GLORY
Text – Mark 9:1-8; 2 Peter 1:16-19
This is an account of the transfiguration of the Lord Jesus Christ as He went to the Mount with His disciples, Peter, James and John, and those disciples saw the glory of the coming Kingdom; they saw the glory of God coming upon Him, His resplendent glory. The glory splendour of the Transfiguration was a great encouragement to them. What then is the significance of the transfiguration, and what are we to get out of this experience? Christ had told His disciples of His death and they were sorrowful, but He wanted to assure them that that death will not be the final end of their Master and the Saviour. So, He predicted that His glory was going to come and there were people standing there that would see the manifestation of that glory even before they saw death; and as He predicted so they saw it fulfilled. We know that whatever He had said, promised, prophesied and predicted will surely come to pass. Also, He had spoken about His death on the Cross, and that they will be sorrowful because of His shameful and painful death, but that was not going to be the end; there will be a crown after the cross, and dominion after death. Also, they had seen Him humiliated by sinful and wicked men, but that humiliation will not be the end of their Master, Lord and Saviour, they will see His honour and glory. As Elijah and Moses came to talk and fellowship with Christ, the disciples saw and believed in the Lord more and more. Also, they had seen the miracles that He performed that transformed other people, but this transfiguration was the manifestation of the majesty of God upon Him to transform Christ. At this transfiguration, they saw Moses who died and Elijah who was translated into Heaven as a foreshadow of the Rapture. This tells us that when a saint dies, that is not the end of his life; we are going to enter into glory, after we leave this earth. The disciples also heard the voice of God as the cloud surrounded them, “And there was a cloud that overshadowed them: and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him” (Mark 9:7). The voice was a confirmation of their faith in Christ as the Son of God. God’s declaration banished all fears and doubts in their hearts as they witnessed the transfiguration. Peter later wrote about this eye-witness experience to confirm it in his Epistles (2 Peter 1:16-19). What we are learning today will be an encouragement to everyone, that whatever Christ has promised, predicted and prophesied will surely come to pass. Whatever cross you are bearing today will pass and the crown will come; and whatever is the problem and persecution, that you think death will come, dominion will overtake that death in Jesus’ name. Maybe you feel humiliated today, but your honour will come, and the abased will be exalted in Jesus’ Name. Lastly, He worked miracles on other people but now is the majesty, manifestation and transformation of the Lord Jesus Christ. As we follow Christ, whatever good or miracle we do to others, a greater manifestation will come upon us as believers in Jesus’ Name. They saw Moses and Elijah at this transfiguration; so also we will see again those who have died and gone to heaven, for they have not died in vain. Moses represents the saints who have died, while Elijah represents the saints who have not died but will be raptured as Elijah was taken up into heaven. At this coming glory, all the saints who have died in Christ and those of us who are alive will be raptured to be with Christ forever and ever. You will not miss that opportunity. The declaration by God gives us assurance, and as we believe that Jesus is the Son of God, there is going to be a confirmation and we shall partake of His glory eventually. That confirmation banished all the fears and doubts in their hearts. All doubts and fears are banished in your life and heart in Jesus’ Name. As we hear the word of God and follow Him, we will not go astray. Everything Christ says, teaches, instructs, and commands we shall hear Him, follow and obey without picking and choosing, in Jesus’ Name. “……blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it” (Luke 11:28). We will keep the Word of God and the blessing of keeping will be with us in Jesus’ name. And when anyone challenges us, we are going to tell them that we are not follow cunningly devised fables but we are sure and certain that this is the very word of God, and we have confirmation in our hearts and this word will be with us until we get to heaven in Jesus’ name. We know that Christ is going to have great glory that has never been seen before, and what we are studying tonight is a preview of that coming glory.
Point 1. THE VALIDATION OF THE TESTIMONY OF HIS GLORY
Mark 9:1; Matthew 16:26-28; 24:30; 25:31; John 12:38-41; 1 Corinthians 2:7-8; James 2:1; Mark 13:24-27; Luke 21:24-27; 2 Peter 1:16-18; 1 Peter 4:14-18; Colossians 3:1-4
He had already said it that those who were standing there, some of them will not see death until they see the Son of Man coming in His Kingdom and glory. This transfiguration is a validation of that coming glory as predicted by Christ. “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” (Mark 9:1). Anytime He uses that word, ‘verily’ He means ‘certainly, with no shadow of doubt’. So, He was saying certainly some of them would not taste death until they see the preview, manifestation of the Kingdom of God coming with power, majesty and glory. “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” (Matthew 16:27). This refers to Christ’s future glory, after His suffering, death for our sins, burial, resurrection and ascension to heaven, but a time will come when He will return in His glory and reward all men according to their works. But then the transfiguration was a preview of the testimony Christ had given of His future glory and that some will have the privilege of having a preview of that coming glory (Matthew 16:28). “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory” (Matthew 25:31). Neither death, humiliation nor the Cross was the final thing, there is the coming glory. Our Lord Jesus Christ is the Lord of Glory. So, whatever we see the world do today to humiliate Jesus, that is not the final end, His glory will come. And for us as believers, whatever the world does against us to humiliate or persecute us, that is not the end, our glory will come. You will be with Him and share in His glory if you are born again, sanctified and living in expectation of the Lord’s coming. Prophet Isaiah saw the glory of the Son of God even before He came to this world (John 12:38-41). And what we are looking at today is the confirmation and affirmation of the glory of the Son of God. Those Israelites who persecuted the Lord Jesus Christ did not understand His coming glory. Likewise, the people who persecute believers today do not understand our coming glory. So never mind, just be patient, your own time of glory will come. “Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory” (1 Corinthians 2:8). You cannot mistake this, that Jesus Christ is the Lord of Glory, and that He is coming in the glory of the Father, “And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. (Mark 13:26). This world will go through a time of untold suffering, tribulation, pressure and terrible devastation, but that would not be the end. At the end of that period Jesus Christ will come with great power from heaven and glory with His angels. “And then shall he send his angels and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.” (Mark 13:27) We need to be ready for this glorious day. Christ was teaching the disciples that His crucifixion, death, burial, resurrection and ascension back to Heaven are not the end. At the real end of the history of the world Christ is going to come in His glory and majesty, and He wants us to be ready for that time (Luke 21:24-27). All the Gospels and the apostles talked about the coming glory of the Son of God, Jesus Christ. At the Transfiguration some of the disciples had a preview of the coming glory. Peter when writing later about this experience said that they are very sure of the coming glory of the Lord, “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” (2 Peter 1:16-18). We should live our life knowing that Jesus is coming again to reward and recompense everyone according to their works. For us now, persecution, opposition and rejection may come, but that is not our end; glory is coming. “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified” (1 Peter 4:12-14). As we live our lives honestly and godly in this present world, let nobody catch you doing evil at any time, otherwise that glory will not come. There is punishment for evil doers on the final day. (1 Peter 4:15-18). If you have the expectation of glory set your affection on things above and not on the earth (Colossians 3:1-4). The preview of the coming glory at the transfiguration strengthened the apostles, confirmed their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and made them to look forward that: (i) betrayal will not be the tragic ending of our life but glory awaits us; (ii) Judas Iscariot, Herod and Pilate with the Jews will not have the final say, the glory will still come; (iii) death will not be a dead end, we will see the people who have died in the Lord as we remain faithful to the end; (iv) all those saints in the Old Testament are still alive in Heaven; (v) The glory that shall be revealed will far exceed the present day sufferings, so, don’t give up before the glory comes; “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18); (vi) the destiny of all men is determined by the Son of God; and (vii) Christ is God’s Final Word