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All that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit had planned for resurrection morning never eventuated because of a simple lack of absolutes – repentance, belief, faith and trust – so that what we have in place of what would have been revealed to the disciples on top of the Mount of Transfiguration is an encounter on the road to Emmaus, a piece of broiled fish eaten in the room where they were hiding, an unbelieving apostle putting his fingers into the wounds of Jesus, a breakfast by the shores of Galilee, and an outpouring by the disciples into a waiting crowd that was mocking them for being drunk.  Some of these post resurrection events certainly do not seem much anymore in the light of what we now know did not happen.

Our study of what did not happen is not a condemnation against the early disciples, for we would have certainly done no better ourselves, but to learn the lesson… which is precisely why what is written in Scripture has been inspired by the Holy Spirit to correct, rebuke and train in righteousness, that is, to do that which is right by God.

In order for Peter and John to go to Galilee after they had seen the empty tomb and the clothes for themselves required repentance… that is, for them to remember that Jesus said, “But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee,” which would have explained why He said, You know the way to the place where I am going,” for He had taken Peter and John there before – the top of the mountain.  Had they remembered what happened on the lake when they chose to go to Capernaum instead of Bethsaida… maybe instead of going home, they could have gone to Galilee first, without the other nine even.  That way, at least they were there in part.  However, their actions were such that there was no change, they went home from the tomb… not where Jesus had told them He would be, and not where Mary had told them they needed to go.  They did not believe Mary enough to believe her, and certainly they still did not have the faith to consider that perhaps, just perhaps… the empty tomb meant that He had risen.  That maybe, just maybe, they should at least go to Galilee themselves and check it out themselves.  At least there might be the story of the two disciples meeting with Jesus on the road to Galilee, instead of Him meeting two disciples on the road to Emmaus.  For indeed, if John and Peter did set out first to Galilee without the other nine, Jesus would have met them as He did Mary and the women, and told them to get the others whilst He went on ahead.  No, their ways had not changed, and they still did not believe what they heard nor had faith in the person who brought the message… the one who first saw the tomb was empty… the one whom Jesus gave the honour that wherever and whenever His Gospel is preached, that which she had done would be made mention of.

Finally, they did not trust themselves.  They did not trust what their eyes were telling them – the tomb is empty!  They did not trust what they were feeling or concluding… could the impossible happen?  Could the empty tomb really mean He is risen?  All that He said was true?  Could it be possible?  It is not as if they were not familiar with the impossible.  They had seen the blind see, the lame walk, food multiplied, the dead raised, and they had been able to do as He said, heal the sick and drive out demons themselves.  And all that He told them about Himself being handed over to the Gentiles to be crucified had come to pass.  With such a weight of evidence within them, such a store of knowledge, they still could not trust themselves, and worse still, they did not trust Jesus, that the empty tomb really meant He had risen.

What did they have to lose that morning?  Their Rabbi was dead, they were hiding in a room, afraid, scared of their own kind and the Romans, and they had wasted three years, left their businesses and homes – for what?  What did they have left to lose?  It certainly was not their life if they went to Galilee, for at least that would remove them from the proximity of the Sanhedrin and the Romans in Jerusalem.  They had nothing to lose but all to gain if only they first set out for Galilee.  Who knows, they might even have run into Jesus as He was on the way back from Galilee to see why no one had come.

As such, that which would have been revealed on the Mount of Transfiguration cannot be accessed without absolute repentance, belief, faith and trust, and to put all these four into action, an absolute obedience to that which has been commanded.  As such, if anyone is wondering why that which is being revealed and is about to be revealed has never been done so before, the answer is simple – because to see what God was going to show the eleven on the Mount of Transfiguration on resurrection morning requires absolute obedience.

Absolute obedience means to do that which is commanded in the exact detail of that which was commanded.  Something that even Moses was not able to do when he struck the rock twice instead of speaking to the rock the second time.  If Moses, the most humble of men, he who was able to write down all that God told him and instructed the Israelites so that they did exactly what God had commanded concerning the tabernacle, yet disobeyed just once… and if God had not made it easy for the disciples of Jesus with only one command and these words… “Listen to Him,” then no one would be able to be absolute in their obedience.  However, the truth and reality is that anyone who absolutely obeys these three words, “Listen to Him,” has in effect also absolutely obeyed the Son and the Spirit, for They are One.  And anyone who has heard the words and put them into practice as proof that he has listened, is living in that obedience already.  It is the manifestation of the signs, wonders and miracles that inevitably accompany the practice of His words that generates the belief and the faith that begins with His words and then in His Person until the disciple is actually living in Him.  The realisation that you are in Him is when the practice of His words so accompanies you that your life consists entirely of the practice of His words, and that which happens in your life consists entirely of all that His words promise.  It is the testimonial reality of the truth of His words constantly present in your life that you realise that you can and you should trust Him, and when you trust Him, you have placed your faith and trust in God, for it is God who said, “Listen to Him.”

But listening to Jesus was never a strong point amongst His disciples… and if that was the case with those who ate with Him, walked with Him, talked with Him and watched Him do the impossible, then it would be impossible for those who have never seen Him, much less done anything that the eleven did, to likewise listen to Him.  However, with God nothing is impossible, as Jesus said, and so now God is making that very point that with God, for God, nothing is impossible.  And to show us that it is not by power nor by might, and certainly not by the theological traditions and doctrines… but by the Spirit, so the Lord has reserved for Himself one and ones who have never seen Him but have believed, ones who are truly blessed even though they have not lived with Him as the eleven did.

Ones who from the moment they met His love and grace in their lives, as they made the confession of faith, had already fallen in love with Him.  Ones who took the definition of ‘first love’ to a level not commanded by the letter, but inspired by the Spirit.  Ones who, like Mary, loved Him the moment they heard of Him.  These are the elect of the Holy Spirit who, by the Spirit, through the Spirit and in the Spirit, are able to obey absolutely that which has been commanded so that which was reserved for those who would not come to Galilee would now be revealed.

For the repentance by those who repented at the preaching by persons other than Jesus Himself have a repentance greater than those who did repent at the preaching by Jesus.  Those who would believe in the message as it came through mouths and books that held less conviction of truth and authority than when it came from Jesus’ own mouth, surely have greater belief than Nicodemus who heard John 3.16-18 personally, yet did not believe at that moment, for there is no record of it.  Those who would put into practice the words of Jesus that no one else is preaching, even when there is no one to teach them how, and certainly, they would appear to be foolish, have confirmed that greater faith.  And when you are able to live that life of miracles without the Master’s personal tuition, just through your trials and errors, that greater faith and belief are confirmed. 

Now, even after 2000 years of morass and useless religious preoccupation, and without a shred of evidence that He did intend to come back soon as He promised… when history shouts aloud that Jesus was lying when He said, “Behold, I am coming soon!” you are able to hold on to that as truth so that you would do whatever it takes to remain alive until He arrives, even if it means you would be the false prophet himself… then that is absolute trust.  For the failure of Jesus to return as He promised… 1900 years after He told John, means that there is no reason whatsoever to trust Jesus or to trust John… at all.  The evidence speaks for itself… and it is more compelling than the empty tomb and the carefully folded linen.  For at least at the empty tomb you could excuse the evidence as concocted by the Sanhedrin and Romans in an effort to steal His body, and so not trust what you see and hear.

But the evidence of the failure of His return on clouds of glory so that every eye shall see Him in 1900 years with a worldwide religion made up of people who use His Name yet cannot do anything He said they would be able to do, is enough to stop anyone today from trusting Him.  1900 years of recorded church history testifies that far from doing what Jesus said His disciples could do or should do, the evidence shows that those who claim to be His disciples have often done the exact opposite.  The evidence of history requires that the only logical conclusion is that Jesus Christ cannot and is not to be trusted.

Thus, anyone who fights against this torrent of evidence and facts to believe, to have faith and to trust in Jesus Christ still today and to do what He commanded, has the absolute trust needed to be entrusted with the absolutes of God.  When you dare believe that you will live and never die when all have died, you have absolute belief.  When you dare practise what He has been doing so that you too will do what He has been doing and even greater things, you have absolute faith.  And when in the face of all contradictory evidence, you trust Him to come back three and a half days after the most powerful men of modern times are also killed in Jerusalem, you have absolute trust.

That is why it is no wonder that Jesus said, “It is for your good that I am going away.  Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.”  For indeed, it is not by power nor by might and certainly not by wisdom, but by the Spirit, that a group of disciples are now emerging by the election of the Holy Spirit.  Disciples, not believers, because they have paid the price of discipleship rather than enjoyed the benefits of fellowship.  Disciples who are of one mind, heart, spirit, soul, faith, flesh and motive to see all that is prepared and made ready so that Jesus can arrive.  Disciples whose first words to Him and whose constant repentance before Him are not, “Lord, Lord, we drove out demons in Your Name, prophesied in Your Name, and did miracles in Your Name, and look at the fine monuments we built for You and the morality of our lives.  See how we have kept ourselves pure for You…”  But rather… with a broken spirit and contrite heart, like a man hanging on a cross because of his crimes, they can only say, “Forgive us for our slowness of hearing, our hardness of heart, our stiffness of necks and our laziness, that you have not been able to return sooner.”

Disciples whose chorus is not songs of how they have blessed God, but a chorus of weeping and repentance that drowns out the Holy Spirit’s words to Jesus… as He hands over the church and the world to Christ for His millennial reign as He goes to prepare New Jerusalem for the wedding supper of the Lamb.

Disciples who have lived the consequences of the absence of absolute repentance, belief, faith and trust in a world filled with ever increasing evil from all quarters, who can see through the façade of manmade religiosities to see the truth of God in Jesus Christ.  Disciples who would risk their very eternity in order to see Christ lifted up and proved true… much less their lives.

When you have laid down your eternity for the sake of proving Christ to be the Truth, then even the second death is not a punishment for you, it is your just reward.  You will not need to be thrown there, you would go there willingly.  For the first disciple to see Christ alive riding on His white horse, leading the armies of Heaven, is the false prophet.  He is the first witness of Christ’s return in glory.  For he will ride out to battle with Jesus and be overthrown by Jesus Himself.  Those who dare to be raised to be the false prophet for the sole purpose that Jesus can come back have passed over from absolute trust to absolute love.  And if love is the greatest, then absolute love is the greatest of the greatest.  It is the disciple who raises himself to be the false prophet to deny Christ’s return, he is the one who will have to be thrown alive into the Lake of Fire, for the lake is not his reward but his absolute punishment.

So then, we had disciples who would not go to Galilee in the face of compelling evidence and testimony, and now we have disciples who would go to the Lake of Burning Sulphur in the hope that Christ is glorified… do you think God will put off any longer getting the justice His Son deserves and has been denied for so long because of our disobedience?  Certainly not.  He will see that He gets justice and quickly.

If Moses’ face was so radiant that he had to cover his face with a veil so that Aaron and the Israelites would not be afraid, then what would the church and the world see on the faces of disciples who have gone up to the Mount of Transfiguration and were shown things that are not lawful for men to speak of?  As surely as Noah’s faith condemned the world to the flood of God for destruction, so now the trust of knowers will condemn this world to God’s salvation through Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son.  Amen. 

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