Six Men on a Mountain PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Harold R. Carpenter   


Harold and Myrna Carpenter
Dr. Harold & Myrna Carpenter

TEXT: Luke 9:28-36
28 About eight days after Jesus said this, he took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray. 29 As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning. 30 Two men, Moses and Elijah, 31 appeared in glorious splendor, talking with Jesus. They spoke about his departure, which he was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem. 32 Peter and his companions were very sleepy, but when they became fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing with him. 33 As the men were leaving Jesus, Peter said to him, "Master, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters--one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah." (He did not know what he was saying.) 34 While he was speaking, a cloud appeared and enveloped them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. 35 A voice came from the cloud, saying, "This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him." 36 When the voice had spoken, they found that Jesus was alone. The disciples kept this to themselves, and told no one at that time what they had seen (Luke 9:28-36).

Summit Conferences have occurred at critical times in human history for the purpose of solving problems of an overwhelming nature. Probably the most important summit conference held in your lifetime or mine was the one conducted at Yalta in the Crimea from February 4th through the 11th of 1945 to discuss post-war geopolitical arrangements.

Though Iwo Jima had not yet been invaded, nor was there any assurance that the secret weapon called the Atom bomb being developed by the United States would really work, there was a growing sense that the tide of the War had changed. Franklin Delano Roosevelt of the United States, Winston Churchill of Great Britain, and Joseph Stalin of the USSR met to look beyond the War and to establishing a new world order.

FDR expressed the hope that the Yalta conference would last no more than five or six days. "I do not see any way of realizing our hopes about world organization in five or six days," Churchill replied. "Even the Almighty took seven!" The outcome of that summit meeting was the partition of Germany, the concession of all of Eastern Europe to the dominance of the USSR, and 44 years of what came to be known as the "Cold War."

This morning I would like to speak to you about a summit meeting of far more importance than that of Yalta. In fact, I believe it to be the most important summit meeting in all of human history. It is known as "The Summit on the Mount of Transfiguration." Six men attended that summit. Two men from the past, three men from the present, and a "Man Who Is, Who Was, and Who Is To Come." So this morning I invite you to come with me to the Mount of Transfiguration and to consider the significance of the Summit which took place there just a little over two millennia ago.

A. Luke records strange happenings in Bethlehem.
1. An elderly priest becomes speechless in the Temple at Jerusalem.
2. A speechless priest prophesies of a soon-coming Messiah:
67 His father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied: 68 "Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come and has redeemed his people. 69 He has raised up a horn {[69] Horn here symbolizes strength.} of salvation for us in the house of his servant David 70 (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago), 71 salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us-- 72 to show mercy to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant, 73 the oath he swore to our father Abraham: 74 to rescue us from the hand of our enemies, and to enable us to serve him without fear. 75 in holiness and righteousness before him all our days. 76 And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, 77 to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, 78 because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven 79 to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace" (Luke 1:67-79)
3. A virgin gives birth to a Son.
4. Angels, shepherds, and wisemen from afar herald the birth of a King.
B. John the Baptist preaches a strange message on the banks of the Jordan:
2 during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the desert. 3 He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 4 As is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet: "A voice of one calling in the desert, 'Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him. 5 Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth. 6 And all mankind will see God's salvation'"(Luke 3:2-6).
C. A carpenter's son from Nazareth preaches a strange message:
14 Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. 15 He taught in their synagogues, and everyone praised him. 16 He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read. 17 The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: 18 "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor" (Luke 4:14-19).

27 "But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you (Luke 6:27-31).
D. The carpenter's son performs great miracles:
1. Legion, the demoniac of Gadara, is delivered.
26 Then they sailed to the country of the Gerasenes, which is opposite Galilee. 27 And when He came out onto the land, He was met by a man from the city who was possessed with demons; and who had not put on any clothing for a long time, and was not living in a house, but in the tombs. 28 Seeing Jesus, he cried out and fell before Him, and said in a loud voice, "What business do we have with each other, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg You, do not torment me." 29 For He had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For it had seized him many times; and he was bound with chains and shackles and kept under guard, and {yet} he would break his bonds and be driven by the demon into the desert. 30 And Jesus asked him, "What is your name?" And he said, "Legion"; for many demons had entered him. 31 They were imploring Him not to command them to go away into the abyss. 32 Now there was a herd of many swine feeding there on the mountain; and {the demons} implored Him to permit them to enter the swine. And He gave them permission. 33 And the demons came out of the man and entered the swine; and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned. 34 When the herdsmen saw what had happened, they ran away and reported it in the city and {out} in the country. 35 {The people} went out to see what had happened; and they came to Jesus, and found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting down at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind; and they became frightened. 36 Those who had seen it reported to them how the man who was demon-possessed had been made well. 37 And all the people of the country of the Gerasenes and the surrounding district asked Him to leave them, for they were gripped with great fear; and He got into a boat and returned. 38 But the man from whom the demons had gone out was begging Him that he might accompany Him; but He sent him away, saying, 39 "Return to your house and describe what great things God has done for you." So he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole city what great things Jesus had done for him (Luke 8:26-39, NASB)
2. The (only begotten) daughter of Jairus, an offical of the synagogue, is healed:
40 And as Jesus returned, the people welcomed Him, for they had all been waiting for Him. 41 And there came a man named Jairus, and he was an official of the synagogue; and he fell at Jesus' feet, and {began} to implore Him to come to his house; 42 for he had an only daughter, about twelve years old, and she was dying. But as He went, the crowds were pressing against Him. 43 And a woman who had a hemorrhage for twelve years, and could not be healed by anyone, 44 came up behind Him and touched the fringe of His cloak, and immediately her hemorrhage stopped. 45 And Jesus said, "Who is the one who touched Me?" And while they were all denying it, Peter said, "Master, the people are crowding and pressing in on You." 46 But Jesus said, "Someone did touch Me, for I was aware that power had gone out of Me." 47 When the woman saw that she had not escaped notice, she came trembling and fell down before Him, and declared in the presence of all the people the reason why she had touched Him, and how she had been immediately healed. 48 And He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace." 49 While He was still speaking, someone came from {the house of} the synagogue official, saying, "Your daughter has died; do not trouble the Teacher anymore." 50 But when Jesus heard {this,} He answered him, "Do not be afraid {any longer;} only believe, and she will be made well." 51 When He came to the house, He did not allow anyone to enter with Him, except Peter and John and James, and the girl's father and mother. 52 Now they were all weeping and lamenting for her; but He said, "Stop weeping, for she has not died, but is asleep." 53 And they {began} laughing at Him, knowing that she had died. 54 He, however, took her by the hand and called, saying, "Child, arise!" 55 And her spirit returned, and she got up immediately; and He gave orders for {something} to be given her to eat. 56 Her parents were amazed; but He instructed them to tell no one what had happened (Luke 8:40-56, NASB)
3. The multitude of 5000 men plus women and children are fed:
12 Now the day was ending, and the twelve came and said to Him, "Send the crowd away, that they may go into the surrounding villages and countryside and find lodging and get something to eat; for here we are in a desolate place." 13 But He said to them, "You give them {something} to eat!" And they said, "We have no more than five loaves and two fish, unless perhaps we go and buy food for all these people." 14 (For there were about five thousand men.) And He said to His disciples, "Have them sit down {to eat} in groups of about fifty each." 15 They did so, and had them all sit down. 16 Then He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed them, and broke {them,} and kept giving {them} to the disciples to set before the people. 17 And they all ate and were satisfied; and the broken pieces which they had left over were picked up, twelve baskets {full.} 18 And it happened that while He was praying alone, the disciples were with Him, and He questioned them, saying, "Who do the people say that I am?" 19 They answered and said, "John the Baptist, and others {say} Elijah; but others, that one of the prophets of old has risen again." 20 And He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" And Peter answered and said, "The Christ of God." 21 But He warned them and instructed {them} not to tell this to anyone, 22 saying, "The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed and be raised up on the third day." 23 And He was saying to {them} all, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. 24 For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it. 25 For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself? 26 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory, and {the glory} of the Father and of the holy angels. 27 But I say to you truthfully, there are some of those standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God" (Luke 9:12-27, NASB)
E. The carpenter's son calls a summit meeting on the mountain.
1. Jesus goes to pray.
2. Peter, James, and John go to sleep.
3. Moses and Elijah go to give witness.
A. A single item on the agenda:
30 Two men, Moses and Elijah, 31 appeared in glorious splendor, talking with Jesus. They spoke about his departure, which he was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem (Luke 9:30-31).
1. His death.
2. Which He would accomplish in Jerusalem.
B. Mosesshares his thoughts (Representing the Patriarchs and the Law):
1. "The problem of sin--'In Adam's fall, sinned we all.'"
2. "The problem of suffering and bondage (the products of sin)."
3. "I remember the summit you called on Mount Sinai.
a. "You promised us a Redeemer.
b. "You gave us a system of Law until the Redeemer should come.
c. "You ordered the sacrifice of a Lamb, symbolic of the Lamb of God."
4. "We kept the Law, offered the sacrifices, and observed the feasts by faith."
5. "Now it is time for THE LAMB OF GOD to be offered."
6. "I come on behalf of all those who struggled by Faith under the Law to:
a. "To be a witness of all that I wrote and taught.
b. "Give thanks to God for His faithfulness.
c. "To encourage you in your humanity to fulfill your destiny."
C. Elijahshares his thoughts (Representing the Prophets):
1. "I come representing an unfaithful nation:
a. "Our people sinned.
b. "Our kings led the people astray.
c. "We played the role of the harlot with pagan idols."
2. "I remember the summit which you called on Mount Carmel:
a. "Ahab built temples and altars to pagan gods.
b. "Jezebel led the people into idolatry.
c. "You shut the heavens to shame Baal.
d. "The fire from heaven and the rain on the land assured us of your faithfulness and your promises."
3. "It is time for THE LAMB OF GOD to be slain:
a. "I come on behalf of backsliding man to thank you for your mercy and faithfulness.
b. "I come to be a witness of all that I proclaimed by faith.
c. "I come to encourage you in your humanity to fulfill your mission of salvation."
A. Peter, James, and John came as witnesses:
1. "8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth" (Acts 1:8).

2. "16 But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that `every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses' (Matthew 18:16).
B. The witnesses went to sleep:
1. Be a little understanding and forgiving:
20 Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat (Mark 3:20).

31 Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, "Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest" (Mark 6:31).
2. They had just completed an exhausting ministry tour:
6 So they set out and went from village to village, preaching the gospel and healing people everywhere (Luke 9:6).
3. They had just served as waiters for a banquet for about 20,000 to 25,000 people:
14 (About five thousand men were there.) But he said to his disciples, "Have them sit down in groups of about fifty each." 15 The disciples did so, and everybody sat down. 16 Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke them. Then he gave them to the disciples to set before the people. 17 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over (Luke 9:14-17).
C. The witness beheld the Glory of God:
1. They saw the Glory of God:
32 Peter and his companions were very sleepy, but when they became fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing with him (Luke 9:32).
2. They entered into the Glory of God:
34 While he was speaking, a cloud appeared and enveloped them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud (Luke 9:34). (Perhaps symbolic of Hebrews 11)
3. They heard the voice of God:
35 A voice came from the cloud, saying, "This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him" (Luke 9:35).
D. The witness give testimony of the things which they had seen and heard:
1. 19 After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. 20 Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it (Mark 16:19-20).

2. 14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:14).

3. 20 For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard" (Acts 4:20).
1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God (Romans 5:1-2).
We can have a mountain top experience with God.

We must be prepared to witness for God.

Chorus:"Shut In With God In A Secret Place"

This is the outline of the sermon Dr. Harold Carpenter preached 09 March 2003 in the morning service. Dr. Carpenter and his wife served as missionaries for twenty years. Dr. Carpenter also taught missions for twenty years at Central Bible College. He has studied biblical prophecy for fifty years. He now serves as Pastor of Fair Grove Assembly of God, Fair Grove MO.

© Harold Carpenter 2003. Published by permission.
In Essentials: Unity; In non-essentials: Liberty; In all things: Charity—Peter Meiderlin 1626.

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