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Wednesday, March 16 2016
Matthew 17: The Mountain Vision
"And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead"
The true Gospel is about the coming Kingdom of God. That is solely what the Messiah taught and prophesied (see What Gospel Did Jesus Preach?).
The Messiah often prophesied of the coming of God's Kingdom to Earth (see What Was The Lesson Of John 3:16?). One of the most direct visions of it was the "transfiguration" in which the Messiah appeared, with Moses and Elijah, at that future time (see Moses And Elijah At The Feast Of Tabernacles). The vision was witnessed by the apostles Peter, James and John.
Mount Hermon, from the Hebrew word pronounced ker-mone, meaning abrupt, is the eastern extension of the Lebanon mountain range. Running as a ridge about 32 kilometers / 20 miles long, with three peaks rising up to 2,800 meters / 9,200 feet above the Mediterranean Sea, it marked the early northern boundary of Israel. Mount Hermon's majestic snow-covered peaks (Mount Hermon was a source of ice for the Israelites, as indicated by another name of it, ice mountain, where people also go skiing on its slopes today - did the Messiah go tobogganing there as a child from nearby Galilee?) can be seen from far south into Israel, to the west in Lebanon, and to the east in Syria. It would have been a well-known sight for the Messiah all of His life in Galilee.
Many believe that Mount Hermon was where the famous "transfiguration" prophetic vision of the Kingdom of God occurred.
"17:1 And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, 17:2 And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. 17:3 And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.
While the Kingdom of God is yet future (see the Fact Finder question below), God's Word is timeless. As such, the role and Biblically-recorded mission of John the Baptist "prepared the Way" (see The John The Baptist Prophecies and How Did The Messiah Free John The Baptist From Prison?).
"17:10 And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come?
Those who had faith in the time of the Messiah's first coming were actually demonstrating their faith in His return. That is what the true Gospel is all about.
"17:14 And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him, and saying, 17:15 Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatick, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water. 17:16 And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him.
In the time of the Messiah's first coming, the land of Israel was under Roman occupation and oppression. While subject to that Roman regime of that time, the Messiah's followers understood that they were "strangers" in it and that their nation was yet to come (see The Patriotism Prophecy and the Fact Finder question below).
"17:24 And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute?
Fact Finder: The "transfiguration" vision of the coming Kingdom of God was deliberately done on a mountain. What does a mountain have to do with the coming Kingdom of God?
This Day In History, March 16
597 BC: An estimated Roman date equivalent (from Adar 2) when the Babylonians captured Jerusalem and replaced Jehoiachin with Zedekiah as king of Judah (see Jehoiachin Of Judah and Zedekiah Of Judah; also A History Of Jerusalem: The Capital Of Judah and A History Of Jerusalem: Ezra And Nehemiah).
37: Roman Emperor Tiberius died. He was the Emperor (see Pax Romana: The Birth Of The Roman Empire and The Politics Of Rome) at the time of Jesus Christ's crucifixion (see A History Of Jerusalem: The Coming Of The Messiah, A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars and Whatever Happened To Those Romans?). Tiberius was succeeded by Caligula.
1190: "Christian" Crusaders massacred Jews in York, England (see Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy).
1521: Ferdinand Magellan sighted the Philippines (it wasn't a "discovery" to the people who lived there).
1660: The British "Long Parliament of the Puritans" ended after 20 years. The new Convention Parliament followed.
1815: Willem I was proclaimed king of the Netherlands.
1851: Spanish authorities concluded a concordat with the Vatican under which Roman Catholicism became the only authorized faith in Spain. It also gave control of education and the press to the Catholic Church.
1889: Off Samoa in the Southern Pacific, a severe hurricane destroyed 6 warships (3 U.S., 3 German); only the British Calliope escaped.
1907: The British Invincible, then the world's largest cruiser, was completed at the Glasgow shipyards.
1917: Russian Czar Nicholas II abdicated.
1919: Benito Mussolini founded his Fascist political movement in Milan, Italy (see Is Iniquity Liberal Or Conservative?).
1935: Adolf Hitler renounced the disarmament clauses in the Versailles Treaty and introduced conscription in Germany (see Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion).
1945: Most of Wurzburg, Germany was destroyed in only 20 minutes by British bombers; 5,000 people were killed.
1968: The "My Lai Massacre" of about 500 civilians, mostly women, old men, and children (the younger men had left to work in the fields or at sea), by U.S. troops in Vietnam. The atrocity was not discovered in the U.S. until 18 months later, when it set off a firestorm of disgust and outrage around the world. In 1971, to appease public protest, Lt. William Calley, one of the officers who oversaw the murders, was found guilty of murder and sentenced to life in prison, but very little time was actually served before the "hero" was quietly released.
1969: Golda Meir became the Prime Minister of Israel (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Israel Of Judah).
1978: Former Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro was kidnapped and later killed by "Red Brigade" terrorists.
1978: The oil tanker Amoco Cadiz split in two after running aground on the Portsall Rocks, three miles off the coast of Brittany. It resulted in the 5th-largest oil spill in history.
1988: The Kurdish town of Halabjah in Iraq was attacked with poison gas and nerve agents on the orders of Saddam Hussein. 5,000 people died and 10,000 people were sickened.
2000: Thomas Ferebee died at age 81. He was the bombardier of the Enola Gay when it dropped the U.S. atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan on August 6 1945, killing over 130,000 men, women, children and babies - and horribly burning tens of thousands more. For the remainder of his life, Ferebee publicly maintained that the bombing was "the right thing to do," while also stating "I think we should realize that this can't happen again."
2005: Israel officially surrendered Jericho to "Palestinian" control (see Where Is Palestine?).