Mar 9:3 And his raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller on earth can white them.
Mar 9:4 And there appeared unto them Elias with Moses: and they were talking with Jesus.
TRANSFIGURED: G3339, metamorphoō, met-am-or-fo'-o
From G3326 and G3445; to transform (literally or figuratively “metamorphose”): - change, transfigure, transform.
The word “transfigured” in the Greek language is where we get the English word “Metamorphosis”. The English word is most often used to describe the transformation of an animal from the embryonic stage of life to the adult stage of life. The word is also often used to describe the leap from one stage of existence to an entirely different stage of existence.
The most obvious examples of metamorphosis are the tadpole turning into a frog and a caterpillar turning into a butterfly. The first stage of life is often times severely limited when it is compared to the final stage of life. The tadpole is limited to living and experiencing only water, while the frog is able to experiencing living in water and on land. The caterpillar is often times limited to a single branch on a single tree, while the butterfly is able to experience flying over hundreds of miles and landing on many branches of many trees.
I believe humanity also has two stages of existence. The first stage is simply the “flesh”. The “flesh” severely limits our life and our experiences. The final stage is the “spirit”, when we reach full maturity, and we actually become unlimited. We become “exactly” like Jesus Christ. We will be re-created into the very “image” of God. I do not mean we grow beards, dress in a robe, and wear huarache sandals, I mean that we become the WORD incarnate. Simply put, the WORD of God becomes our final authority and it overrides the input of our “physical” senses. There are many definitions of the spirit and the flesh, but let us look at the New Testament’s definition:
Joh 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
Jesus said that the WORDS that HE SPOKE were SPIRIT, and LIFE. I think we can make a simple definition from this statement:
SPIRIT = THE WORD GOD SPEAKS!
Here is the Greek definition of SPIRIT:
SPIRIT: G4151, pneuma, pnyoo'-mah
From G4154; a current of air, that is, breath (blast) or a breeze; by analogy or figuratively a spirit, that is, (human) the rational soul, (by implication) vital principle, mental disposition, etc., or (superhuman) an angel, daemon, or (divine) God, Christ’s spirit, the Holy spirit: - ghost, life, spirit (-ual, -ually), mind. Compare G5590.
I believe the Apostle Paul gives us the best definition of the “flesh” in his letter to the Galatians.
Gal 5:16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
Gal 5:17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
Gal 5:18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.
Gal 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
Gal 5:20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
Gal 5:21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Gal 5:23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Gal 5:24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
Gal 5:25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
It appears to me that the “flesh” is simply anything that opposes or contradicts the “spirit”. Here is my simplified definition of FLESH:
FLESH = ANY WORD, THOUGHT, ACTION, OR EVIDENCE THAT OPPOSES THE SPOKEN WORD (SPIRIT) OF GOD.
FLESH: G4561, sarx, sarx
Probably from the base of G4563; flesh (as stripped of the skin), that is, (strictly) the meat of an animal (as food), or (by extension) the body (as opposed to the soul (or spirit), or as the symbol of what is external, or as the means of kindred, or (by implication) human nature (with its frailties (physically or morally) and passions), or (specifically) a human being (as such): - carnal (-ly, + -ly minded), flesh ([-ly]).
Why does the flesh oppose God? The flesh is our fallen nature’s inclination to allow demonic spirits to oppose and contradict God by word, thought, action, or “false” evidence. How can we discern whether something is from the flesh or from the spirit? We MUST become familiar with the WORD of God and begin to understand how God works.
Heb 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
In order for God to TRANSFORM us, He uses a two-step process: First God must mortify (kill) the flesh, He must eliminate anything that contradicts or opposes His WORD. Second, God must build up the NEW MAN.
God will constantly allow circumstances to stretch and grow our FAITH. The Holy Spirit is mortifying our flesh (reliance on our senses) by allowing us to experience circumstances that REQUIRE us to trust in God and His WORD.
Rom 8:12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.
Rom 8:13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
Rom 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
When we experience any problem or conflict, we must immediately go to God’s WORD and determine what God says about it. A good example of the “stretching” process is King David’s testimony just before he goes out to fight Goliath.
1Sa 17:33 And Saul said to David, Thou art not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him: for thou art but a youth, and he a man of war from his youth.
1Sa 17:34 And David said unto Saul, Thy servant kept his father's sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock:
1Sa 17:35 And I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth: and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him.
1Sa 17:36 Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God.
I believe that King David killed the lion, and the bear, under the power and anointing of the Holy Spirit, and I believe he KNEW that it was God who delivered these wild beasts into his hand. Therefore, he EXPECTED God would deliver Goliath into his hand…and he was right. King Saul was walking in the “flesh”, he only saw a young man that did not have a chance against a giant with years of experience killing men of war. King David was walking in the “spirit” because he relied ONLY on God’s promise to deliver him, no matter how hopeless the circumstances appeared in the “flesh”.
1Sa 17:45 Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.
1Sa 17:46 This day will the LORD deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.
1Sa 17:47 And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the LORD'S, and he will give you into our hands.
How wonderful it is to read about the heroes of the FAITH. The Apostle Paul gives a roll call of the heroes of faith in Chapter 11 of the Book of Hebrews. They were all just normal people, who were willing to face what appeared to be impossible odds because they KNEW that God was with them and His WORD is, and always will be, true.
Heb 11:32 And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets:
Heb 11:33 Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,
Heb 11:34 Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.
Heb 11:35 Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:
I believe that in the near future there will be a whole lot more people added to this roll call of FAITH.
I believe the metamorphosis of a butterfly is an allegory of the metamorphosis of a Christian. After a caterpillar wraps itself in a cocoon, it produces digestive enzymes that completely dissolve the caterpillar. If you were to open up a cocoon at the right time, all you would find is a sticky, gooey substance oozing out. Next, specialized cells, similar to stem cells, called “imaginal discs”, begin multiplying and forming the adult butterfly. Do you see the similarity? First, the old man must die, then the new man can be born again.
Rom 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Rom 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye TRANSFORMED (metamorphoo) by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
The Greek word for TRANSFORMED in Romans 12:2 is the exact same Greek word used for TRANSFIGURED in Mark 9:2. Therefore, Romans 12:2 can also read:
Rom 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye TRANSFIGURED (metamorphoo) by the renewing of your mind, that ye may DISCERN (G1381) what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
We need to stop simply interacting with the world based on the evidence of our senses (sight, sound, touch, smell, and hearing) and begin interacting with the world by FAITH in God’s WORD. Jesus is our perfect example, he put zero confidence in “physical” evidence and He ONLY relied on FAITH in the WORD! That is how God works and that is how WE need to work. The WORD of God will change the “physical” but the physical will never change the WORD of God.
2Co 3:7 But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away:
2Co 3:8 How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious?
2Co 3:9 For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory.
2Co 3:10 For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth.
2Co 3:11 For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious.
I believe EVERY Christian goes through the same process (some take longer than others, myself included). After we are initially saved, we TRY and be good people, we TRY to keep the law, and we ALL FAIL MISERABLY! Everybody has at least one besetting sin that they cannot overcome no matter how hard they try. Most of us have many sins, and assorted problems, that need to be dealt with. Eventually, we can deal with this conundrum in three different ways: 1) We can give up and go back to our old way of doing things (go back to Egypt). 2) We can become hypocrites and “pretend” that we have it all together (die in the wilderness). Or 3) We can repent, go to God and His Word, and ask Him to deal with the problems (enter God’s rest).
The Holy Spirit is mortifying the flesh with the law. He is showing us that our flesh is incapable of dealing with the sin problem. The sooner we turn to God’s Word in FAITH, the sooner we can enter God’s rest. The Holy Spirit mortifies our flesh with the law and then He builds up the NEW MAN with His WORD and SPEAKING IN TONGUES.
1Co 14:4 He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.
EDIFIETH: G3618, oikodomeō, oy-kod-om-eh'-o
From the same as G3619; to be a house builder, that is, construct or (figuratively) confirm: - (be in) build (-er, -ing, up), edify, embolden.
I can find nowhere in the New Testament where God ever stopped the Baptism in the Holy Spirit and Speaking in Tongues or that He ever stopped healing people, or that He ever stopped casting out devils. As a matter of fact, Jesus said that people who believe would speak with new tongues.
Mar 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
Mar 16:16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
Mar 16:17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
Mar 16:18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
Some churches are adamant that speaking in tongues was only for the Apostle’s generation but they still anoint the sick with oil and pray over them. Why did “speaking in tongues” stop and “laying hands on the sick” continue? Why do some churches believe in “exorcism” but not “speaking in tongues”? If someone can explain it, I would love to hear it.
Maybe it is because “they” do not speak with new tongues. Maybe it is because “they” would rather believe and follow the traditions of men rather than the express instruction of Jesus Christ and the Apostles. Frankly, if somebody is not baptized in the Holy Spirit, I automatically question their understanding of theology. How can you receive revelation without the Holy Spirit guiding you?
Exo 34:29 And it came to pass, when Moses came down from mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony in Moses' hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with him.
Exo 34:30 And when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone; and they were afraid to come nigh him.
We see that not only was Jesus Christ transfigured but Moses’ face shone with a supernatural light. The Apostle Paul said it was a temporary GLORY but we, who are in Christ, will experience an everlasting glory.
2Co 3:11 For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious.
2Co 3:12 Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech:
2Co 3:13 And not as Moses, which put a vail over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished:
I believe that this EVERLASTING GLORY will begin to be manifested more and more when the sons of God are revealed in these last days. Many of the saints of God will be TRANSFIGURED as our LORD and His two witnesses draw nearer.
Dan 12:2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
Dan 12:3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.
Fortunately, I have had forty years of many trials and tribulations. I was allowed to experience much failure and I slowly turned to God for my help. New Christians do not have that amount of time. This is the “true” reason why the Church MUST go through the tribulation. It will FORCE the saints of God to turn to Jesus Christ with all of their hearts. When Jesus Christ returns, He WILL have a bride without spot or wrinkle, shining bright as the stars forever and ever.