He Appeared in Another Form

Posted in: 2008
By Tom L. Ballinger
Dec 6, 2008 - 6:27:13 PM

September 30, 2008


Part I

The Appearance of Jesus Christ on the Mount of Transfiguration

Two millenniums ago, Jesus Christ showed up in Palestine, and He was in “the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men” (Phil. 2:7). During His earthly life, He appeared as an ordinary man. He looked like a servant. He didn’t have the trappings of a dignitary, or an aristocrat, but His “form” would change from time-to-time as we shall see.

“Verily I say unto you,” Jesus said to His disciples, “There be some of you standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in His Kingdom” (Matt. 16:28). With this said, He took three of His disciples with him and went up to the top of a high mountain. On the mountain top, HE APPEARED IN ANOTHER FORM to Peter, James, and John: “And He was TRANSFORMED before them; and His face did shine as the sun, and His raiment was white as the light” (Matt. 17:2). Describing this same event, Mark stated that Jesus was TRANSFIGURED (Mark 9:2); whereas, Luke’s account of this said, “And He [Jesus] prayed, the fashion of His countenance WAS ALTERED, and His raiment was white and glistering [glistening]” (Luke 9:28).

In each instance, the three writers stated that the APPEARANCE of Jesus Christ changed—that is to say, they saw Christ in His future Kingdom glory. In each instance, the three wrote that Moses and Elijah appeared with Him.

When the Lord Jesus said that some who were “standing here” should not die before they would see Him “COMING” in His Kingdom, this was not a reference to His Second Coming. The “COMING” is ERCHOMAI, not PAROUSIA. This “coming” is not the Parousia which will usher in the one-thousand-year Presence of Christ on earth.

The Lord Jesus’ very countenance and His whole Person changed. He was clothed with a quality and degree of glory they had never seen before in all of the days previous to that hour. Peter, James, and John beheld ANOTHER GLORY, but the same Person. It was the same Jesus Christ but another GLORY! THE GLORY OF THE DAY OF JESUS CHRIST. They saw the magnificent preview of Isaiah 40:5, “And the GLORY of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.”

Christ APEARED IN ANOTHER FORM on the Mount of Transfiguration!

His Tomb Appearance

It was in the early morning on a most historic day of the world. Jesus had died three days before and was placed in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea. The Lord Jesus knew He would only use the tomb for seventy-two hours. Mary Magdalene went to the tomb, early, on the morning after the Sabbath. She stood outside of the tomb, weeping, and as she wept, she stooped down and looked inside. She saw two angels in brilliant white, sitting where Jesus had laid, one at the head and the other at the feet: “And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him”

Mary backed out of the tomb and saw a man standing by; she did not recognize the man as Jesus. She may have thought it was a gardener. “Woman why are you crying? Who are you looking for?” He asked.

Mary looked at Him and said, “Sir, are you the one who has carried him away, please tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take him away.” Suddenly, she must have recognized the tone of His voice with which she was very familiar. He, now, spoke to her, simply saying, “Mary!” The voice was unmistakable—it was Jesus!

“Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master” (John 20:16).

She tried to take His hand. The Lord Jesus withdrew His hand and said, “No, don’t touch Me! I have not yet ascended to My Father, but go and tell My brethren, that I ascend to My Father and your Father, and to My God and to your God.” Mary knew she had seen Jesus, but she knew, also, that now, he was DIFFERENT. She hurried down the walk-way and went back into the city. Mary went to where the disciples were hiding-out. And she told them that she had seen the Lord and what He had said to her.

Christ Appeared in a Different Form Near Emmaus

Later, the same day, two of Jesus’ disciples were walking to Emmaus which was about seven miles from Jerusalem. As they walked along the road, Jesus came up behind them, having appeared from the spirit world and assumed the body of flesh and bone. He looked totally different, so much so, that the two did not recognize Him. They talked about the terrible events of the last several days. They didn’t “have a clue” who the stranger was, walking along with them. Jesus entered into their conversation. The two disciples were amazed that the stranger could have been in, and around, Jerusalem and not to have known the events which had taken place. He said unto them, “What kind of things?”

They answered Him, “…And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people: And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him. But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done. Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre; And when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive. And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said: but him they saw not” (Luke 24:19-24).

After they spoke about their hopes having been dashed by the death, burial, and the puzzling empty tomb, the Lord Jesus reprimanded them by saying, “…, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further. But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them. And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them. And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he VANISHED out of their sight. And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?” (Luke 24:25-32).

These two disciples, perhaps, were not as perceptive as was Mary Magdalene—she recognized the voice of Jesus; whereas, these two did not. It was not until the Lord OPENED their eyes, did they know Him. Christ had the ability to appear and disappear, at will.

It was after the fact that the two disciples acknowledged that their hearts did burn within them as He spoke to them as they walked along the road to Emmaus. They, finally, did recognize Him, but He was IN A DIFFERENT FORM. Had He appeared unto His Heavenly Father between the time He had seen Mary and the time He, miraculously, appeared to the two disciples?

The Lord Appeared to the Ten in Their Hiding Place

The two disciples, excitedly, returned to Jerusalem and found where the Apostles and others were in-hiding. They related “how the Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon” (Luke 24:34). Evidently, the Lord Jesus told the two disciples that He had appeared to Simon Peter. How else would they have known? I can find nowhere in the Bible in which there is an account of the Lord Jesus appearing to Peter. Probably, the Lord appeared to Peter in the afternoon, before He materialized, on the road to Emmaus. The only other reference to this is found in 1 Corinthians 15:5: “And that He was seen of Cephas (Peter), then of the twelve.”

(We will interrupt this commentary in order to point out that no mention is made to the women to whom Jesus appeared in the “Resurrection Chapter” of First Corinthians 15: “And that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that He was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, He was seen of above five-hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, He was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all He was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time” (1 Cor. 15:4-8). Perhaps, the reason is that women were not to be witnesses in legal testimonies, or proceedings. 1 Corinthians 15 set forth who, in that day, were qualified to be legal witnesses to the resurrection of Jesus Christ).

While the two disciples related their experience to the disciples in Jerusalem, with the Stranger they met along “the way,” Jesus miraculously appeared in their midst. They were all terrified—believing they had seen a spirit—HE APPEARED IN A DIFFERENT FORM—A GLORIFIED BODY! They knew the doors were locked in their hide-out because they were fearful of being discovered by the Roman soldiers, or the chief Jews of the city.

Jesus said, quietly, “Peace be unto to you.” Evidently, they were astonished. Jesus, knowing their thoughts, we read, “And He said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself: handle Me (He had already ascended to the Father), and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see Me have. And when He had thus spoken, He shewed them His hands and His feet. And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, He said unto them, Have ye here any meat? And they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. And He took it, and did eat before them. 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. Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures” (Luke 24:38-44).

They recognized Jesus. He must have APPEARED IN A DIFFERENT FORM because He had to show them the nail prints in His hands and feet. He appeared unto them in another form—not another Person..

Following this brief encounter, Jesus led them out as far as Bethany, “And it came to pass, while He blessed them, He was parted from them, and carried up into heaven” (Luke 24:51). This was not the same ascension as the one in Acts 1:8-11, for the Acts One ascension occurred forty days after His resurrection.

The resurrected Lord Jesus Christ was very busy the day of His Resurrection. He was appearing, in a different form, briefly, in many different places.

Eight Days Later

Thomas had not been present when the Lord Jesus had appeared to the ten apostles. “And after eight days again his disciples were within (their hide-out), and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you” (John 20:26).

Jesus entered their hide-out without going through the doors. He just materialized in their midst. (When we, as members of the Church over Which Christ Jesus is the Head, are in resurrection, or “change,” will we be able to “appear” and “disappear” at will, as Christ? Our bodies will be fashioned likened to His glorious body [Phil. 3:29]. Because of this fact, I believe we will have this ability). Then, He told Thomas who doubted His Resurrection, to stick his finger into the wounds in His hands, and to thrust his hand into the wound on His side, “…and be not faithless, but believing” (John 20:27).

It was as if Thomas hung his head, in shame, and confessed that Jesus Christ was “my Lord and my God” (V. 28). The Apostle John further stated, in Verse 30, “And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book.” The “signs” He performed, in their presence, were done while He was in ANOTHER FORM. In resurrection, we find that the form of Jesus Christ had changed from the days of His flesh. He had to “open eyes” in order for those “in the flesh” to recognize Him.

On the Shore of the Sea of Tiberias

Following this event, in which Thomas rightly acknowledged that Jesus was Lord and God, Simon Peter and others went fishing on the Sea of Tiberias. At nightfall, they hadn’t caught a single fish. But, when morning came, they saw a man standing on the sea shore; they did not realize it was Jesus (John 21:4).

“Then Jesus saith unto them, Children, have ye any meat? They answered him, No. And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes” (John 21:5-6).

It was then that John told Peter, “It is the Lord.” The Apostle John, evidently, was divinely enlightened in order to recognize His Lord. The others were not so quick to know it was the Lord Jesus Christ. The narrative continues:

7 …As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, "It is the Lord," he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. 8 The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards. 9 When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread (John 21:7-9) NIV

We see a beautiful snap-shot of the Lord Jesus standing on the shore in front of a fire which He didn’t kindle, and fish cooking on a fire which He had not caught. He spoke, and the fire with fish on it appeared, as well as, fresh baked bread which He hadn’t kneaded —just another sign He showed.

10 Jesus said to them, "Bring some of the fish you have just caught."

11 Simon Peter climbed aboard and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn. 12 Jesus said to them, "Come and have breakfast." None of the disciples dared ask him, "Who are you?" They knew it was the Lord. 13 Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. 14 This was now THE THIRD TIME JESUS APPEARED TO HIS DISCIPLES after he was raised from the dead. (John 21:10-14). NIV

These Manifestations Of Christ

“He appeared in another form (Mark 16:12).” It was the same Christ revealing Himself to His men in another form between His resurrection and Ascension. His appearance was altered after He arose from the dead. His Resurrection Appearance was possibly changed after He presented Himself to the Father. But, in all of His manifestations (apokalupsis),
He never appeared, or revealed Himself to any of the unsaved! He was not another Person. After His resurrection, He was, to His disciples, Jesus Christ with a difference. He was the same—yet not the same! There was something about Him which we are not, now, privileged to know, that differentiated Him from the Christ in the Garden-tomb area, and the hillside, and the country road, and the seashore. His disciples, once they had “their eyes opened,” never doubted that He was the same Jesus whom they had passed through the corn-fields with, and walked the dusty highways and by-ways with, and sailed the Sea of Galilee with.

He was the Resurrected and Glorified Lord Jesus Christ. Between His resurrection and Ascension, He had been seen of them for forty days, speaking OF THINGS PERTAINING TO THE KINGDOM OF GOD (Acts 1:3).

His Other Manifestations (Apoklupsis)

They happened, repeatedly—in many parts of the area, with different groups, and at different times. On one major occasion, in Acts Nine, He manifested Himself to Saul of Tarsus on the road to Damascus. We are told in Acts 9:3 that a light from heaven “shined round about him.” We are further told, in Acts 26:13, what Saul (aka Paul) experienced on the Damascus Road,: “At midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, ABOVE THE BRIGHTNESS OF THE SUN, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me.”

Paul didn’t explain what Jesus Christ looked like, other than, there was a light shining so brightly, it blinded Paul for three days.

On another occasion, attested to by the Apostle Paul, later, more than FIVE-HUNDRED of those who had known Jesus were gathering, together, in a special meeting when He made Himself manifest (apokalupsis), and THEY ALL SAW HIM!

After Acts 28

We are not told in what FORM Christ was when He appeared to the Apostle Paul in a Roman prison. “How that by revelation He made known unto me the mystery …”
(Eph. 3:3), Christ was in Paul’s Roman prison unveiling the Mystery to him (Eph. 4:9-10). Not only that, but just before Paul “had finished his course,” he stood before Nero and:

16 At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them. 17 But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion's mouth (2 Tim. 4:16-17) NIV.

The metaphor, here, “the mouth of the lion,” is probably a reference to Nero. Paul was to appear before the court of Nero. Most dictators are ruthless and fierce as a “lion.” Could Paul have had 1 Samuel 17:37 in mind when he wrote 2 Timothy 4:17?

“David said moreover, The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the LORD be with thee.”

Or, could Paul have had in mind Psalm 22:21? “Save me from the lion's mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns.”

The deliverance of the Apostle Paul from the court of Nero was, indeed, spectacular. “The Lord stood at Paul’s side” as he stood before Nero. The actual presence of Christ—IN ANOTHER FORM—stood with the Apostle and strengthened him. Christ was invisible to Nero and his court, but I would venture to say they sensed a foreboding PRESENCE in the court room which was filled to capacity as Paul defended himself.

Many of us, at times, have spoken these words of Paul, saying, “Yes, the Lord stood with me in my time of trouble.” This is “Christian-speak” for “I felt as though I was being strengthened by the Lord.” When the Apostle wrote these words, I think, he was referring to the literal Presence of the Lord Jesus Christ standing beside him. Yes, I believe that Paul was the most unique of all of the ministers of Christ. And, yes, unique enough that our Lord Jesus Christ did, indeed, stand at the side of the Apostle Paul, although invisible to others, during his trial before the Roman Lion.

How will our Lord Jesus Christ appear to us, to wit, in what FORM WILL HE APPEAR when we SEE HIM?

November 12, 2008


Part II

There are three accounts in the Bible of the event experienced by Peter, James, and John on the Mount of Transfiguration. They are found in Matthew 17:1-9, Mark 9:2-10, and Luke 9:28-36.

It was previously pointed out that Jesus Christ, “after the flesh,” appeared in another form on a high mountain to three of His disciples. That is to say, He was TRANSFORMED, or TRANSFIGURED in their very presence.

In Matthew’s account of the Mount of Transfiguration incident, He used the word, “metamorphoo,” as did Mark. “Metamorphoo” is translated in both accounts as “transfigured.” It is from this Greek word, “metamorphoo,” that we get our English word, “metamorphous.” The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines the word as; “change of physical form, structure, or substance especially by supernatural means.”

On the “high mountain apart,” the Lord Jesus Christ METAMORPHOSED before Peter, James, and John.

“And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, And was transfigured [metamorphosed] before them: and His face did shine as the sun, and His raiment was white as the light” (Matt. 17:1-2).

The words selected by the Holy Spirit take on a very graphic meaning. Christ, “after the flesh,” was significantly CHANGED. We should reflect on the idea of His taking on another form. The meaning is more profound than just the idea that “His face did shine as the sun,” and His raiment was “white as the light.” His transfiguration (metamorphoo) was PROFOUND!

Perhaps, a simple illustration of a metamorphosis is in order to exemplify the change of “the physical form, or substance” of Christ. Fairy tales, if you remember, are full of creatures which undergo metamorphosis; such as, a frog turns into a prince, ogres turn into dragons, or princes turn into swans. But, in the real world, a tadpole is a primary example. It has a rounded body with a long tail, bordered by fins and external gills which are soon replaced by internal gills, and that undergoes a metamorphosis to the adult—it becomes a frog. The caterpillar becomes a butterfly by means of “metamorphosis.” The whole process of metamorphosis is controlled by hormones secreted by the larva. Inside the cocoon, the caterpillar's organs and other structures are disassembled and completely re-modeled—the result is the butterfly. These two examples are dramatic changes, indeed! Did our Lord Jesus undergo as dramatic a change as our two illustrations? Maybe, or maybe not; you be the judge as His different forms are presented. Continuing, the use of the Greek word, METAMORPHOO, certainly indicates that a supernatural change in the appearance of Jesus Christ took place on the mountain top.

“His face did SHINE” (Matt. 17:2). “Shine” is the word, “lampo,” which means, to beam; or make manifest by rays, or radiate brilliancy. The metamorphic face of our Lord Jesus Christ was likened to the sun. It radiated brilliance. It shone. It gave off rays like rays of the sunshine. AMAZING! It is important to note that His Face did not reflect light, or rays of light—It radiated rays of light like those of the sun. And that’s not all. Matthew 17:2 even states that, “His raiment was white as the light.” “Light” is the Greek word, “PHOS,” which means, “to shine or make manifest, especially by rays; luminousness (i.e., a shining by its own light).” What a spectacle this sight must have been!

Mark, according to the King James Version, made no mention of “His Face;” however, “The Amplified New Testament” does say that, “…And He was transfigured before them and became resplendent with divine brightness” (Mark 9:2).

We should point out a very poignant rendering of Mark 9:2, as found in Kenneth Wuest’s translation, “And the manner of His outward expression was changed before them, that OUTWARD EXPRESSION coming from and being truly representative of HIS INNER NATURE.”

“And his raiment became shining , exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller on earth can white them” (Mark 9:3).

In Mark 9:3, we note that the word, “shining,” is “stilbo” which is, by definition, “to flash intensely.” (See Strong’s definition, Number 4744).

In Luke’s account, we read, “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. And as He prayed, the fashion of His countenance was altered, and His raiment was white and GLISTERING” (Luke 9:28-29).

Luke’s account seems to focus more on His clothing instead of His Face, other than saying, “His countenance was altered [different].” Luke says that the “raiment was white and GLISTERING.” The word, “glistering,” is the Greek word, “exastrapto;” which means, to lighten forth, i.e., (figuratively) to be radiant (of very white garments), radiant splendor. The note in the “Companion Bible” is most instructive. It says about “glistering;” “EXASTRAPTO = EFFULGENT, or to lightening forth (AS THOUGH FROM INTERNAL LIGHT).” There was a quality that His raiment radiated dazzling light from within. This would indicate that the body of our Lord was emanating light and was, therefore, shining through His clothing. Thayer agrees, and, additionally, adds to the definition as, “to flash-out like lightning.”

The “Amplified New Testament” translates Luke 9:29 as follows; “And as He was praying, the appearance of His countenance became altered (different), and His raiment became dazzling white [ R13 flashing with the brilliance of lightning].” R13 Refers to Marvin Vincent’s “Word Studies.”

Based upon the above, it can be said that the Person of Christ, i.e., His earthly body in its entirety, metamorphosed into One which was luminous and radiated dazzling white light as flashes of lightning, or rays of sunshine, as though coming from internal light. The dazzling white light was not REFLECTED.

Peter, James, and John witnessed the metamorphosing of Jesus of Nazareth with their naked eyes. He APPEARED IN ANOTHER FORM, inasmuch as, He manifested the majesty, power, and glory which will be His at two future times—His EPIPHANEIA and His PAROUSIA (2 Peter. 1:16).

We have collected and cataloged the multi-shaded meaning of the words employed by the Holy Spirit to portray how Christ appeared in another form on the Mount of Transfiguration.

WHEN HIS FACE METAMORPHOSED ─ It did shine, It radiated brilliance, It beamed (threw off ) rays of light—like rays of sunshine, His expression was that of His Inner Being, His outward expression was coming from His Inner Nature.

WHEN HIS BODY METAMORPHOSED ─ It caused His clothing to appear white as snow, as if an internal light flashed like lightning through His garments. His clothes radiated dazzling white light from within—the light flashed-out like lightning—flashing intensely, like rays of light: they appeared to be luminous—a shining by its own light, to wit, radiant splendor. These descriptive words were the result of His glorified body radiating brilliance.

These are the many “splendored” and amplified descriptions of the appearance of the Lord Jesus Christ as He metamorphosed in front of Peter, James, and John. These descriptions were set forth, disclosed, and uncovered for us so we could grasp what the Scripture means when it refers to the “appearing of the GLORY of the Great God, and our Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13).We see a written commentary of how Christ will look in His Glory. We can better understand what Colossians 3:4 really means when it says, “When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in GLORY.”

Moses and Elijah Appeared With Christ

While the three disciples were staring, in awe, as the Lord Jesus transfigured in front of their very eyes, lo and behold, Moses and Elijah appeared on the scene, and they were engaged in conversation with the Lord Jesus.

“And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias [Elijah] talking with Him” (Matt.17:3).

Here, in Matthew, Moses is mentioned before Elijah; in Mark, however, Elijah is mentioned first.

“And there appeared unto them Elias [Elijah] with Moses: and they were talking with Jesus” (Mk. 9:4).

More detail is given by Luke.

“And, behold, there talked with Him two men, which were Moses and Elias [Elijah]: 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” (Luke 9:30-31).

Thrice, the Scripture mentions that the two OT worthies were conversing with Jesus, thus, indicating they were talking about rather weighty matters. We can only surmise what the subject of their conversation concerned. Later, in this column, we will surmise.

As we have considered Luke’s account of the Mount of Transfiguration event, the conclusions we have ascertained is that the word, “decease,” in its context, does not refer to the death of the Lord Jesus Christ. An examination of the word, “decease,” does not, necessarily, suggest that it means “death.” The Greek word is “exodos” which means, “an exit, i.e. (figuratively) death,” as noted in Strong’s definition. Thayer simply states, “exit, i. e., departure: Heb 11:22.”

A concordance study of the word, “exodos,” shows that it is Strong’s Number 1841. “Exodos,” literally, means “a way out:” (ex, out, hodos, a way). The second Book in the Bible gets its name from this word—Exodus; that is to say, a way out of Egypt. “Decease” is only found twice in the Bible. However, “exodos” is found three times. Twice, it is translated as “decease,” and, once, it is rendered as “departing.”

Luke 9:31; “… Who appeared in glory, and spake of His DECEASE [exodos] which He should accomplish at Jerusalem.”

Does this refer to His death, circa A.D. 29, and His exit of human life? Or, does it refer to His being carried into heaven as described in Acts 1:9-10? Or, does it refer to a future Kingdom exit from Jerusalem? I believe it refers to the latter.

The second reference to “exodos,” translated as “departing,” is found in Hebrews 11:22.

“By faith Joseph, when he died, made mention of the DEPARTING [exodos] of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones.”

Here, the use of “exodos” refers, not to the death of Israel, but rather, to her departure, a way out from Egypt—her exodus.

“Moreover I will endeavour that ye may be able after my DECEASE [exodos] to have these things always in remembrance.” This passage is 2 Peter 1:15 and is the third reference to the use of the word, “exodos.” The context here, in 2 Peter, is obvious. “Exodos” is Peter’s reference to his death.

The three uses of “exodos” can be summarized by saying that Luke 9:31 refers to a departure of Christ from Jerusalem at a far, distant, future time during the Kingdom of God. Hebrews 11:22 is a reference to the departure of the children of Israel from Egypt as they carry the bones of Joseph with them (he wanted to be buried with his fathers, as well as, being resurrected in the “Land of Promise”). Peter’s use of “decease,” in 2 Peter 1:15, is a reference to his death.

November 25, 2008


Part III

The Departure of Christ in Its Context

The context of Luke 9:27-36 compels us to have a different interpretation from what Christendom embraces. The reason for the dramatic difference is the fact that we, in our effort to rightly divide the Word of Truth, recognize that there will be a Pre-Millennial Kingdom of God.

The context is OBVIOUS. It is THE KINGDOM OF GOD. “But I tell you of a truth, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the KINGDOM OF GOD. 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” (Luke 9:27-28).

There it is—the context—THE KINGDOM OF GOD. This explains what Peter, James, and John saw on the Mount of Transfiguration—Jesus Christ METAMORPHOSED into His Pre-Millennial Kingdom Glory! And not only that, but they, also, saw Moses and Elijah as they “appeared in GLORY” (Luke 9:31) [to wit, their Pre-Millennial Kingdom bodies of glory]. In plainer words, Moses and Elijah appeared with Christ in GLORY. The whole scene on the “high mountain apart” was that of a FUTURE time. The three disciples saw all of this in a “vision” (Matt. 17:9) which was a preview of a yet-to-come event.

After gathering all of the facts, it is concluded that since the disciples saw Christ in all of His Pre-Millennial Epiphaneia and Parousia GLORY, on the Mount of Transfiguration, it would be a significant misinterpretation to suggest that the object of their sight was of a pre-crucifixion scene. Peter and the other two disciples witnessed Elijah and Moses appearing with Jesus Christ in the Glory associated with the Kingdom of God. Wouldn’t it be foolish to assume that they saw Christ and the three discussing His death, burial, resurrection, and ascension when they APPEARED in GLORIFIED bodies? The scene which the disciples witnessed was that of the future Kingdom Glory. It was not that of His humiliation. The Lord Jesus, Moses, and Elijah were speaking of a “departure” from Jerusalem which Christ was to make after a certain event was to take place during the Kingdom. Notice the NIV rendering of Luke 9:30-31:

“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” (NIV).

So, here, we have the disclosure of the fact that a certain event is to take place, then, He would DEPART. The event would be a fulfillment of something that is to take place in Jerusalem. What was “about to be a fulfillment at Jerusalem?” Certainly, not His death on the Cross! Because He APPEARED IN ANOTHER FORM, the Resurrection form—the SPLENDOR of His Light-Bearing Person during the Pre-Millennial Kingdom of God.

This, of necessity, brings to mind the perplexing words of the Lord Jesus Christ on the night He instituted the “Lord’s Supper” [the Last Supper]. The perplexing passages are found in Matthew 26:29, and its parallel passage in Mark:

“But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's Kingdom” (Matt. 26:29).

“Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, UNTIL THAT DAY [the Day of Christ] that I drink it new in the Kingdom of God” (Mark 14:25).

The two passages, quoted, are wrongly used as “proof-texts” to re-enforce the mistaken idea that the “Kingdom of God” is the Millennial Reign of Christ on earth. He would have to be present on the earth in order for Him to drink the wine with the Apostles “in the Kingdom of God.” Likewise, these two passages are very perplexing to those who are obliged to confine Christ to Heaven during the Pre-Millennium Kingdom of God. We cannot do that. Otherwise, He will not be able to celebrate the Passover with them during the Kingdom of God. Ah! But let’s not make Christ a liar because of our faulty understanding.

The Temple Complex will be built during the early years, perhaps, during the first 49 years of the Kingdom. After its completion, we note that the East Gate of the Complex will be reserved for the ingress and egress of Jesus (Yahweh) Christ. When He arrives from heaven and enters through the East Gate, then, it is shut. No-one else uses this gate, but, maybe, the resurrected David. Christ Jesus will celebrate the Passover with the Twelve Apostles in the new Temple. Very likely, Moses and Elijah will, also, celebrate it with them.

The scene on the Mount of Transfiguration unfolds as Moses and Elijah are discussing, with their Lord Jesus Christ, His fulfillment of the Kingdom Passover Celebration, and His exodus [departure] from Jerusalem, and His subsequent return to the Heavenly Throne. It would be great to have been privy to the conversation between Moses, Elijah, and the Lord Jesus. Perhaps, they discussed the Last Supper and how it pointed to Christ’s presence in the Pre-Millennial Sanctuary during His Kingdom Reign. They, most assuredly, rejoiced in the Temple surroundings. We are not told where the Lord and His two saints were as they conversed, in the vision, with one another. Perhaps, it was in the very “Separate Place” in front of the Alter.

Appendix 88 in the “Companion Bible” has a very beneficial study, titled, “THE MILLENNIAL ‘SANCTUARY’ AND ‘OBLATION’ OF EZEKIEL, 40-48.” The only problem with it is that it is really concerning the PRE-MILLENNIAL SANCTUARY. The CB makes the same mistake Christendom makes. They find no place in their theology for a Pre-Millennial Kingdom of God. Now, consider Ezekiel’s writing:

“Then said the LORD unto me; This gate [the East Gate] shall be shut, it shall not be opened, and no man shall enter in by it; because the LORD [Jesus Christ], the God of Israel, hath entered in by it, therefore it shall be shut. It is for the prince [David]; the prince, he shall sit in it to eat bread before the LORD [Jesus Christ]; He shall enter by the way of the porch of that gate, and shall go out by the way of the same. Then brought He me the way of the north gate before the house: and I looked, and, behold, the glory of the LORD filled the house of the LORD: and I fell upon my face. And the LORD said unto me, Son of man, mark well, and behold with thine eyes, and hear with thine ears all that I say unto thee concerning ALL THE ORDINANCES OF THE HOUSE OF THE LORD, and all the laws thereof; and mark well the entering in of the house, with every going forth of the sanctuary. And thou shalt say to the rebellious, even to the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; O ye house of Israel, let it suffice you of all your abominations” (Ezek. 44:2-6).

Do This for a Remembrance of Me

“For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which He was betrayed took bread: And when He had given thanks, He brake it, and said, ‘Take, eat: this is My body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of Me.’ After the same manner also He took the cup, when He had supped, saying, ‘This cup is the new testament in My blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of Me.’ For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come” (1 Cor. 11:23-26).

One of the “ordinances of the House of the LORD” will, more than likely, be that of the Passover [the Lord’s Supper]. Thus, Christ will drink the wine, new, during the Kingdom of God. The Twelve Apostles, along with Moses and Elijah, will observe this ordinance of the House of the LORD with their special Guest—the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Lord Jesus “will from time to time visit His earthly metropolis. At the glorious ‘Dedication’ of the Sanctuary, of which a brief mention is made in Ezekiel in 43: 2-6, Jehovah’s Glory enters the ‘House’ by way of ‘the gate of the Outward Sanctuary which looketh toward the East’ (43:4; 44:1). This will then be closed for all purposes of general ingress and egress; and is reserved strictly for the use of the ‘Prince,’ (the risen David?),” or Christ Himself, upon His visits. The East Gate will be His, and only David, the King, will have access to it. (See the Companion Bible, Appendix Page 126, Number 88).

An Unprecedented Vision Of Three At Once

The amazing thing is that all three of them saw the same “vision” at the very same time. This fact causes me to wonder; was their “vision” not a vision which they saw in their mind, but an actual portrayal of what will take place in Jerusalem at some point during the Kingdom of God.

Let’s consider that, a “vision” is, sometimes, something that is seen in the mind, or imagination. It can, also, mean the power of seeing with the eyes—a sight—something seen, an object of sight. An example would be found in Acts 7:30-31: “And when forty years were expired, there appeared to him [Moses] in the wilderness of mount Sina an angel of the Lord in a flame of fire in a bush. When Moses saw it, he wondered at the SIGHT [horama]: and as he drew near to behold it, the voice of the Lord came unto him.”

Here, “horama” is what Moses saw with his natural eyes—a sight—a burning bush. What Moses saw was not a vision implanted in Moses’ mind, by God, but a supernatural spectacle, seen with his naked eye. It was a phenomenal SIGHT!

“Horama” is used in the Greek New Testament, thirteen times. It is rendered, “vision,” twelve times and, “sight,” once. However, just because it is translated, thirteen times, as “vision” doesn’t mean that it is always a supernatural vision implanted by God in the mind of someone. It can mean, “that which is seen, a sight, a spectacle.” Or, as Thayer defines “horama; something gazed at, or a spectacle as something supernatural.”

The “horama” which Peter, James, and John saw, they saw with their own eyes. It wasn’t a “vision” planted by God in their minds, or imaginations for them to “see.” It was a SIGHT.

Moses and Elijah Appeared On The Mount Talking With Jesus

The Lord Jesus APPEARED IN ANOTHER FORM while the three disciples watched. And, Moses and Elijah appeared with Him in glorified bodies, in the blink of an eye. The Lord Jesus enlightened the disciples in order for them to know who the two men were─ Moses and Elijah.

The three disciples did not have a dream-vision; they were not asleep, nor were they in a trance. They were not just awake, but “fully awake” when they saw and heard a deviation from the known laws of nature; a supernatural event, or, said another way, they witnessed an event which transcended the ordinary laws by which the universe is governed. It was a miracle on “a high mountain apart by themselves” (Mark 9:2).

“Peter and his companions were very sleepy, but when they became FULLY AWAKE, they saw His glory and the two men standing with Him. 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). (Luke 9:32-33) NIV.

Then a cloud came and enveloped them. They became afraid as they entered the cloud (V. 34); “A voice came from the cloud, saying, ‘This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to Him’” (Luke 9:35). NIV.

This was not a Cornelius, the centurion, type-of-vision which he had while in prayer (Acts 10:3), nor was it a Peter on-the-roof-top type-of-vision as found in Acts 10:9-16. No, the three disciples were EYE-WITNESSES TO A SUPERNATURAL OCCURRENCE.


“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).

All three of them (Peter, James, and John) saw and heard, exactly, the same thing—most unusual for a “vision.” The fact that all three were eyewitnesses to the mountain-top-scene establishes that what they saw was a Scriptural fact. It met the requirement of the Scripture to establish A TRUTH, “at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established” (Deut. 19:15). The Apostle Paul even uses the OT formula to settle a matter.

“This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established” (2 Cor. 13:1).

These three witnesses could testify in order to establish that they, indeed, SAW THE POWER AND COMING OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST. They saw the event as EYEWITNESSES! According to “Webster’s Dictionary of American English of 1828,” an “EYEWITNESS: (1). a person who actually sees some act, occurrence, or thing and can give a firsthand account of it: (2). One who sees a thing done; one who has ocular view of anything. We . . . were eyewitnesses of his majesty. --2 Pet. 1:16.”

“Vines Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words” says that “EYE-WITNESS is the Greek word ‘EPOPTES’ – primarily an over seer (epi, over), then, a spectator, an eye-witness of anything, is used in 2 Pet. 1:16 of those who were present at the Transfiguration of Christ.” Truly, Peter, James and John were SPECTATORS, as if they were watching the scene, in real time, an event which will happen in the far-distant-FUTURE.

The scene materialized, preternaturally, and it will be played-out in real time at least two-thousand-plus-years from the date of its preview on the Mount of Transfiguration. God transported the future back to them as they sat upon the Holy Mount.

They saw Jesus Christ in His Kingdom Glory, along with Moses and Elijah, as a miraculous phenomenon. This would have been two millennia after His enduring the shame of the Cross. Moses and Elijah were not discussing His crucifixion; it was long since past. His “departure” was not that of His dying. They were talking about something that related to His appearance in Jerusalem, during the Kingdom, and his departure [exodus] back to heaven. He will make visits to Jerusalem and the Temple complex, in particular, during His Kingdom reign from heaven. But, in the context of what we have read is a reference to His visit to drink a new and better wine with His close associates in the Kingdom of God—celebrating the first Passover in the new Sanctuary of the Temple Complex.

The three disciples were eyewitnesses; in plainer words, they were SPECTATORS to a future episode which will take place after the Dispensation of Grace ends, and the Kingdom of God is ushered in. But, not only that, they, also, HEARD a Voice coming out of a CLOUD, saying; “This is My Beloved Son: hear Him. And when the Voice was past, Jesus was found alone.” (Luke 9:35b-36a).

The Apostle Peter, on the Mount of Transfiguration, HEARD THE WORDS OF GOD in the presence of earthly and heavenly witnesses! But, later, he proclaimed in 2 Peter 1:16-21 that the SCRIPTURES ARE MORE SURE! And, he exhorted his readers to do well by taking heed to the more glorious words recorded in the written Word. What he had been an eye-witness to, and what he had heard on the Mount cannot be compared to the MORE SURE WORD OF PROPHECY—THE WRITTEN WORD OF GOD.

December 4, 2008


Part IV

It should be pointed out that when the man, Jesus of Nazareth, walked among men over two-thousand years ago, He was not revealed; rather, He was concealed.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God [Himself]” (John 1:1). According to Charles B. William’s translation of the N.T., “God” is emphatic, so, the meaning is “God Himself.”

It becomes an emphatic truth that Jesus Christ was God Himself, manifest in the flesh. Therefore, God was concealed because we learn that, “The Word [God Himself] was made flesh” (John 1:14), taking upon Himself the tabernacle, or tent of flesh. Just as God manifested Himself during Israel’s wilderness sojourn through the tabernacle, with different sorts of coverings and curtains which shut the Hebrews out from Him, so, He came as Jesus of Nazareth. He came, concealed, in a tabernacle of flesh and blood. He was in the concealing wraps of a human body. God was not revealed when Christ came. Jesus explained and interpreted Him. He showed men the heart of God. But, God Himself was not unveiled.

A part of the route Jesus walked on earth was the route of “concealment.” He did not burst upon the world-scene in unbridled power, might, and glory in order to silence His enemies. Rather, He chose to withdraw Himself from their midst, to walk in solitude, to be humbled, despised, and esteemed as nothing, mocked and ridiculed, and rejected by men. He appeared as an ordinary man. But, looks are deceiving; or they not?

However, the Man of sorrows Who was acquainted with grief, and oppressed, and afflicted; yet, He opened not His mouth. He was, even, brought as a lamb to the slaughter—in spite of all of these things, He performed so many marvels that the Apostle John was compelled to write:

“And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen” John 21:25).

Indeed, Jesus of Nazareth was an extra-ordinary, ordinary Man.

In the three previous essays, we went through the various times Jesus Christ appeared in another form. After His resurrection, it happened repeatedly – in many parts of the country, with different groups and at different times.

Mary had seen a “gardener.” Two of His disciples walked and conversed with a “stranger.” The eleven in the upper room saw their Master as He formerly appeared. Later, a group of them saw Him on the lakeshore and thought He was a fisherman. Thomas saw Him as He appeared in another form, and Jesus spoke to the doubting Thomas, saying, “Reach hither thy finger, and behold My hands; and thrust it into My side: and be not faithless, but believing” (John 2:27).

Thomas, undoubtedly, recognized the Voice of Jesus for He did not need to check the marks of the Lord’s wounds because Thomas answered and said to Him, “my Lord and my God” (John 20:28).

The post-resurrection appearances of the Lord Jesus Christ were many. However, the most significant appearance was the pre-resurrection one on the Mount of Transfiguration.

His three closest associates, Peter, James, and John, saw Jesus Christ transfigured. They were eyewitnesses to His metamorphous in which He changed into the Majestic Being Who will be revealed, or made manifest to the world when the Day of Jesus Christ becomes a reality.

We will re-cap the descriptive amplified words, used by the Holy Spirit, to describe His Pre-Millennial Kingdom of God appearance as He looked on the Mount: did shine, white as light, shined as the sun, flashed intensely, dazzling bright, flashed as lightning, the brilliance of lightning, beamed, radiated light, manifested rays, shine-out, sending-out rays, out-raying, and lighten forth.

The Brightness of His Glory

The Spirit of Truth chose one word from the koine Greek Language to sum up all of the superlatives expressing the Majesty of Jesus Christ. The word is “APAUGASMA.” It is significant, inasmuch as, it is used only one time in Scripture. The Spirit reserved this word to emphasize its uniqueness. By so doing, it should oblige the student to explore the essence of the meaning of “APAUGASMA.” It is Strong’s Number 541 “apaugasma (ap-ow'-gas-mah); from a compound of NT: 575 and NT: 826; an off-flash, i.e. effulgence.” The word is only used in Hebrews 1:3, and it is translated as “brightness.”

“Brightness” synonyms would be splendor, luster, radiance, resplendence, brilliance, EFFULGENCE, glory, and clearness. It certainly seems that EFFULGENCE is the one word which sums-up all of the various shades of the meaning of “APAUGASMA.”

“Who being the BRIGHTNESS [APAUGASMA] 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;” (Heb. 1:3) KJV.

The key English word, in the definition of “apaugasma,” is EFFULGENCE which means “to send forth brilliantly. From the Latin effulgere {ex – out + fulgere shine}” from which we get “out-shining,” or “out-raying.” Indicating that the Person of Christ Who Peter, James, and John saw was that of a Person radiating light; One who was sending out rays of light—thus, OUT-RAYING the glory of God. Consider the following renderings of Hebrews 1:3.

“He is the sole expression of the glory of God ─ the Light-being, the OUT-RAYING or radiance of the divine, ─ and He is the perfect imprint and very image of [God’s] nature, upholding and maintaining and guiding and propelling the universe by His mighty word of power. When He had by offering Himself accomplished our cleansing of sins and riddance of guilt, He sat down at the right hand of the divine Majesty on high,” (Amplified Bible).

Here, the Son is said to be a Light-Being, or the OUT-RAYING of the Divine.

“Who being the EFFULGENCE of His glory, and the very image of his substance, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when He had made purification of sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;” (American Standard Version).

“Effulgence” is not an everyday word. Some Wordsmiths have suggested that “effulgent,” or “effulgence” is best understood by the word, “out-raying,” which can be used, either, as a noun, or an adjective. The three disciples saw Christ talking with Moses and Elijah. The Christ they saw was emanating rays of dazzling white light—the OUT-RAYING of Himself.

“Who being the EFFULGENCE of His glory, and the very image of His substance, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had made purification of sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;” (English Revised Version)

“Who, being an ERADIATED BRIGHTNESS of His glory, and an exact representation of His very being, also bearing up all things by the utterance of His power, purification of sins, having achieved, sat down on the right hand of the majesty in high places:” (Rotherham’s Emphasized Bible).

“The Son is the RADIANCE of God’s glory and the exact representation of His being, sustaining all things by His powerful word. After He had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven” (NIV).

“Who being the SHINING SPLENDOR of His glory, and the express image of His essence, and upholding all things by the Word of His power, having made purification of our sins through Himself, He sat down on the right of the Majesty on high” (J. P. Green’s Literal Translation).

“Who being [the] EFFULGENCE of His glory and [the] expression of his substance, and upholding all things by the word of His power, having made [by Himself] the purification of sins, set Himself down on the right hand of the greatness on high,” (The Darby Translation).

“Who, being the OUT-RAYING [effulgence] of His glory and the exact reproduction of His essence, and sustaining, guiding, and propelling all things by the Word of His power, having made purification of sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;” (Kenneth S. Wuest’s “The New Testament”).

The meaning, then, is that Jesus Christ is the OUT-RAYING of the divine glory, exhibiting in Himself the glory and majesty of the divine Being. “God lets His glory issue from Himself, so that there arises thereby a Light-Being like Himself” (Wuest).

Because of what happened on the mountain-top on the day of His Transfiguration, the Scripture refers to it as a “high mountain.” A look at the Concordance informs us that “high” is the word, “hupselos.” It means, “lofty in place or character; high, or highly esteemed.” It is reasonable to assume that the mount is “highly esteemed” because of what Peter, James, and John were eyewitnesses to, that day. They saw the METAMORPHOSED Jesus Christ—sending out rays of light, i.e., the OUT-RAYING of Himself. They saw Christ in ANOTHER FORM, as He will be revealed to the world at His Epiphany (2 Tim. 4:1, Titus 2:13). What transpired on the Holy Mount was a fleeting view of “A Brief History of Tomorrow.”

We conclude that this was a description of the Lord Jesus Christ as He now is. Neither Moses, nor Elijah were effulgent on the mount. They were in a measure of glory but nothing, compared to the EFFULGENCE of Christ.
This brings up the following question. “But, how about us, the members of the Church, which is His body?”

“When Christ, Who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory” (Col. 3:4).

We will be manifested with Him, but, in what measure will our glory be? Remember, there are differences in glory—one glory may differ from another glory.
“There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory” (1 Cor. 15:40).

If I read my Bible, correctly, and if my understanding is not faulty, He will transform and fashion, anew, the dying bodies of our humiliation so that they will be like the Body of His Glory and Majesty when we are, either, changed, or made alive.

“Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body, according to the working whereby He is able even to subdue all things unto Himself” (Phil. 3:21).

In plainer words, our future life will be one in which our bodies will be out-raying the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. There will be the glory for those like Peter, James, and John. Then, there will be the glory of those of the Church of the Mystery ─ the glory of EFFULGENCE.

The Church, which is His Body will, very definitely, be “the High Calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:14).