At the end of this unit you will be able to do the following:
Take part in a discussion concerning the problem of death, explain two reasons why it was necessary for Christ to die, and, on the basis of Matthew 16:24, name three things which are necessary for a person to avoid eternal death.
Complete a Bible study of Matthew 17:1-8 and state at least two reasons why Mt. Hermon is the most probable location of the transfiguration of Jesus.
Identify the ways in which the Baptism and Transfiguration of Jesus were alike.
Take part in a discussion of the appearance of Moses and Elijah on the Mount of Transfiguration and the relationship of the Transfiguration to the Resurrection of Jesus.
Identify one wrong teaching about the nature of the Human body and tell what Christian Doctrine teaches about this. You will also be able to use your Bible to teach the Christian Doctrine of the Resurrection of the Dead.
Give one proof from the Bible that the transfiguration was not a Spiritist Seance, Identify three possible reasons why we should never try to contact spirits from the “Beyond”.
On the basis of Isaiah 8:19-20 and I John 4:1-12, write a rule which tells us where we are to go for advice and two rules which can be used to test any doctrine, teaching or revelation, regardless of its source.
Man and the Problem of Death
The Third Journey: In Caesarea Philippi
We are now coming to the end of the Semester of Withdrawal, and we are getting closer to the Semester of Surrender in the Year of Passion. It is at that time that Jesus sets His direction firmly toward the cross. Read Matthew 16:21. Jesus begins a very important part of His teaching at this point. He told His disciples that it was necessary for Him to go to Jerusalem where Three Things would happen to Him. At this time Jesus would:
This was the First Time that Jesus told His disciples clearly and frankly about His future and . Jesus made this First Prediction at .
Read Matthew 16:27 and 28. In these two verses Jesus says that Two things are going to come about because of the things which are to happen to Him in Jerusalem.
According to verse 27, the Son of Man is going to come in:
Verse 28 says that the Son of Man is also coming in:
Exercise: Underline the word “Kingdom” in Matthew 16:28 with your RED pencil/pen.
Read Matthew 16 carefully, especially verse 21 and 27. What is the third stage that the human body of Jesus the Son of Man would pass through is discussed here?
Read Matthew 16:22.
How did Peter react to this news of Christ’s coming death?
Are you generally pleased when someone you love is going to die?
Jesus said, in Matthew 16;21, that His suffering and death would be:
Now turn to Luke 24 and Read verses 26 and 46. Both of these verses say that it was for Christ to suffer.
It was so Necessary for the Christ to suffer and die that Jesus scolded Peter sharply when he opposed the idea. Jesus identified Peter with at that moment. (See Matthew 16:23.)
Read Matthew 26:53 and 54 and Matthew 27:39-43.
When Jesus was arrested, He could have asked His Father to send His to set Him free.
When the people tempted Jesus by suggesting that He should save Himself from on the cross, He could have done it.
Jesus did NOT ask for the help of the angels and He did NOT come down from the cross because it was that He die.
But, why was it necessary that Jesus Die? Well, there are Two reasons we are going to look at.
Jesus lived in this world as the Son of Man and as the Son of God. As the Son of He had the divine nature.
But, He was also the Son of Man. It was necessary for Him to Identify Himself with in every way. Only then could He save us.
As the Son of Man, Jesus was willing to experience in His body all that men normally experience and feel. Of course, every man who is Born into the world must also someday .
Death is the greatest problem mankind faces. This is true for many reasons:
Because all men die.
Because it brings much sadness.
Because (apart from God’s Word) nothing is known about what happens on the other side of death.
Hebrews 2:14 says: “Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death – that is, the devil.” This verse clearly states that Jesus, as the Son of Man, Identified Himself with us, sharing our and .
In verse 17 of Hebrews chapter 2 the writer says: “For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way…” So then, if Christ was to identify with mankind in all things, it was necessary that He .
So then, the first reason why it was necessary for Christ to experience death is that it is necessary for all of mankind to experience Death. In order to discover the reason for this necessity, we must go back once again into the Old Testament. In the past, we discovered that God had promised a Savior who would “crush” Satan’s “head.”
Read Genesis 2:15 to 17. Genesis chapter 2 tells the story of the creation of man. Where did God place man after He had created Him?
Genesis 2:16 and 17 contain a very important command which God gave to man, just after He created him. What was that command? Man was not to of the of the knowledge of good and evil.
What was the penalty for Disobeying the Command of God? Man would surely .
As you know from our study of Genesis 3, man did Disobey God and he Did Eat of the tree of the knowledge of Good and evil. Now turn to Romans 5:12 and read that verse. In Romans 5;12 the words “one man” refer to Adam. The whole verse is talking about Adam’s act of Disobedience in the garden of Eden. According to Romans 5:12, what happened to mankind as a result of Adam’s disobedience?
What had God said would happen to man if he disobeyed and ate from the forbidden tree?
What did happen to Adam?
What has happened to all men ever since this time? They have all
So then, we see that the Bible teaches that men and women die because of sin. Romans 6:23 says quite plainly: “For the wages of sin is .”
Because all men have sinned, it is necessary that all men experience death. That is why it was also Necessary that Christ, the of experience death, even though He did NOT sin.
Now we will consider the second reason why Christ had to die. Read Matthew 16:24-28. According to verse 26, what could a man possibly Forfeit (that is lose)?
In a past lesson, we learned that the real root of man’s problem is the fact that he is a sinner. It is our Sin which places the future of our soul in danger. We have already seen that Romans 6:23 states that the “wages of sin is .”
According to Romans 5:12, the future which faces all men is because, in fact, all men have .
Now read Hebrew 4:15. Complete the verse by filling in the blank spaces below. “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet was .”
Read I Peter 3:18 which is found below. “For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit.”
Read I Peter 2:24. What was Christ doing with our sins when He was crucified on the cross?
This, then is the second reason why it was necessary for Christ to die, it was to our .
It is true that all men must die physically. However, what kind of death do we NOT have to experience because Christ bore our sins on the cross?
However, there is another kind of death which is very necessary for us. Jesus talks about this kind of death in Matthew 16:24. What is a person to do if he wants his soul to be saved from eternal death and wants to follow Jesus? There are three things:
At the time of Christ, criminals were brought to justice on a cross. In order to get to the place of execution, the person was required to carry his own cross through the streets of the city to the place where crucifixion was to take place. So then, when Christ said: “take up his cross”< He meant being willing to die.
Read Luke 9:23. When are we to take up our cross to follow Jesus Christ?
Understand that Jesus is NOT talking about physical death in this verse. That can only happen to us once. He is talking about something that we must do .
Jesus is talking about a Death to which we must go Willingly. He says in Matthew 16:24, every person who wants to follow Christ must .
Here are several examples of the truth found in Matthew 16:24-26:
A person who quits his job to take a lesser one because he does not want to be involved in “shady deals”.
A poor woman who buys clothing for her children even though she does not have enough to wear herself.
One who drowns while trying to save the life of another.
Exercise: In the space below, write down some practical examples of what it means to lose your life for the sake of Jesus Christ, to take up your cross, and to deny one’s self.
According to Matthew 16:25, it is necessary for believers to lose their lives in service. We can do this if we are willing to ourselves daily.
Christ told His disciples that He would die in Jerusalem. But, He also told them that He would then again.
Read I Peter 1:3-4. What do these verses talk about?
So then, the believer should NOT fear death. Just as Jesus Christ was raised from the dead, believers also have the hope of being raised from the dead. And, this hope is:
Read 1 Corinthians 15:20-23. According to these verses, “those who belong to him” will ball be made , that is, just as “in Adam all ,” so also in Christ every one who believes will be from the dead.
So then, death is not the end for the Christian! We shall be raised again from the dead to live eternally with our Lord!
Why not take a moment right now to give thanks to God for delivering us from the curse of death.
Would have happened to humanity, if Jesus had returned to Heaven during the Transfiguration, instead of going up on Ascension day, after having died on the cross?
Read Matthew 17:1-8. Answer the following observation questions on the passage you have just read.
About how much time did Jesus spend in the region of Caesarea Philippi?
In what province was He?
What mountain did Jesus climb?
Was the mountain a high mountain or was it relatively low?
Which of the disciples went with Him?
What change took place in the body of Jesus?
With which two Old Testament men did Jesus talk?
What did Peter want to do?
What covered Jesus and hindered their sight?
Whose voice did they hear?
What did the voice say?
On what other occasion in Jesus’ life did the disciples hear this same voice from heaven?
The week that Jesus spent in the region of Caesarea Philippi and Mount Hermon was one of the most important weeks in His earthly life. We have learned that Caesarea Philippi was the place where:
One of the disciples made the confession that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God. Which disciple was that?
Jesus announced for the first time that he would go to Jerusalem to: , , and be .
We have seen the importance of Peter’s confession which took place days earlier near the city of . Now we shall see the even greater importance of the Transfiguration, high on the top of Mt. , which took place at the end of this same week.
Read Romans 6:23. In the first part of this lesson we saw that the Apostle Paul teaches us that death comes as the wages of . Read Romans 5:12. This verse states that death entered into the world as the result of .
We know however, that there is one exception to this rule. That is Jesus. Write the words from the following verses which say that Jesus did not sin.
II Corinthians 5:21.
I Peter 2:22.
Since death is the result of Sin, the only logical end to an earthly life which was free from sin would be to go directly to heaven without dying. For Jesus, the perfect Son of Man, who had no sin in His life, this moment arrived when He was on Mt. Hermon. What change did Jesus’ body go through there on Mt. Hermon, which would prepare Him to return to heaven?
The time had come, there on Mt. Hermon, when Jesus had the right, as thee perfect Son of Man without any sin, to go directly to without having to
This is the reason why His body was .
But, in the Transfiguration the perfect man Jesus gave up His right to go to heaven without dying. What was Jesus talking about on the Mount of Transfiguration? See Luke 9:31.
The Greek text of Luke literally says that they were talking about “His Exodus” in Jerusalem.
Which of the two men of the Old Testament who talked with Jesus in the Transfiguration was the one who let the people of God in the Exodus from Egypt into the Promised Land?
Remember that there is a link between the Exodus and the Feast of the Passover. What animal was sacrificed during the feast of the Passover?
Read Exodus 12:26 and 27. What great event did the Passover feast remember?
What was the only kind of lamb that was suitable for the sacrifice at the Passover, according to Exodus 12:5?
We know from Luke 9 that Jesus was talking about His coming death in Jerusalem when He talked with Moses and Elijah. He was about to offer Himself on the cross as the Passover because there was no one else among all mankind without . That is why Luke used the Greek word for the . Jesus compared His coming death to the first .
However, in order to qualify as the Lamb of God without defect, Jesus had to fulfill all of the and the . (See Matthew 5:17)
That is why Moses and Elijah appeared at the Transfiguration. They were the witnesses that Jesus had fulfilled both because they represent the law and the prophets. Which of the two, Moses or Elijah represents: The Law. The Prophets
The Transfiguration also adds something very special which was not a part of the baptism because on Mt. Hermon, Jesus gave up His right as perfect man to return to heaven without dying. There are two sides to this:
By Right, Jesus, as a man without sin, had reached the end of His earthly life and could return to heaven without
By Grace, Jesus gave up that right since it was necessary for Him to identify Himself once more with mankind in its sin with the purpose of for all men.
The very fact that Moses and Elijah could appear on the mountain in their bodies can only be justified on the basis of Jesus’ pledge to give up His own rights, do down from the mountain, and die in their place. Moses and Elijah appeared at the Transfiguration as an advance Payment and a Guarantee of the resurrection of all believers.
What would have been the fate of Moses and Elijah if Jesus had gone up into heaven at that time, leaving them without a Savior?
Moses and Elijah could only appear at the Transfiguration on the basis of Christ’s pledge to give up His right to and in their place.
But we should ask ourselves: “If the bodies of Moses and Elijah were an Advance Payment and Guarantee of the resurrection of all believers on the last day (on the basis of Christ’s pledge), what kind of bodies did they have?” In I Corinthians 15:44 Paul tells us about the resurrection of the human body when he says: “It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.” According to the Apostle Paul, how is the human body described:
before resurrection? body
after resurrection? body
It is important to notice that the Natural Body and the Spiritual Body are in reality the Same Body. The Spiritual Body has been adapted to different conditions. Proof of this can be found in the Bible.
Read John 20:27. Who recognized that the resurrected body of Christ was in reality the same body that He had since His birth?
How did Thomas know it was the same?
John 5:28-29 talks about the events of the last day. Does Christ teach that all men shall be raised with the Same bodies that are in the grave, or with Different bodies?
Exercise: Underline John 20:27 and John 5:28-29 in your Bible and remember them so that you can find them again later.
Christian doctrine teaches with absolute certainty that the SAME body of every human being will rise again from the dead on the last day, just as Jesus rose from the dead. However, even though it will be the same body, there will be great differences between the spiritual body, which is adapted to its new atmosphere, and the natural body. One of these significant differences is mentioned in Matthew 22:30. What is it?
We have seen that the Bible teaches that the bodies of all men will be raised from the dead. However, it also teaches that the future of those who belong to Jesus Christ will be different from the future of those who are unbelievers!
According to John 5:28-29, what is the future of those who believed in Jesus and did “good deeds”?
But, what is the future of those unbelievers who are resurrected?
The human body will be completely transformed after the resurrections. There will be no cycle of life as we now know it. With no marriages, there will be no births, and as Revelation 21:4 teaches, neither will there be any /
According to Revelation 21:4, what other conditions of the present life in the body will be gone?
Every believer should know the Christian doctrine of the resurrection and the teaching of the Bible about the nature and destiny of the Human Body. The Human Body is in itself good. God made Adam and Eve perfect. In spite of the presence of sin, the body of a believer will be resurrected in a perfect form on the last day. Read Philippians 3:21.
At thee very beginning of this unit, you were asked a question. In the space below, write your answer to this question.
Our Attitude Toward Work
Purpose: To look at our attitude toward work and its relationship to our calling.
Finding our calling is integrally related to our attitude toward work. For some people, work is a necessary evil. They dream of the day when they will win the lottery and won’t have to work anymore. Work done with that kind of attitude is particularly wearing and is often of poor quality.
To search for our calling is to believe there is a type of work we can do with pleasure and satisfaction, because we enjoy what we are contributing. It is to believe that when we follow God’s leading (in terms of life occupation), God will not lead us to work that makes us miserable. Instead, God will lead us to a job which makes us fulfilled and whole as persons. Thus having a positive attitude toward the work we do derives from believing we are called to do that work. And believing we are called to do our work requires faith in God, and God’s leading of our lives. Richard Nelson Bolles (author of the most popular job-search book in print, What Color is Your Parachute?) writes, “It is no accident that so many of the leaders in the job-hunting field over the years… have also been people of faith. If you would figure out your Mission in Life, you must be willing to think about God in connection with your job-hunt.”
In this session, we will look at our attitude toward wsork and its relation to our calling. We will look at a parable Jesus told about some tenants who were irresponsible with the work they were assigned to do, The following is one of the parables which Jesus told about our role as stewards in God’s kingdom.
Read Matthew 21:33-41.
Imagine that the events of this parable actually occurred and you were covering the event for the Jerusalem Herald. Write a headline you would give your story?
What is your reaction to the way the landowner responded to this crisis?
What caused the tenants to renege on the terms of their lease?
What phrase best describes the attitude these tenants showed toward work?
What did Jesus want to teach with this parable?
Who do you identify most within this parable?
How would you describe your situation at work right now?
How would you describe your attitude toward work right now?
What change of attitude might help you find more fulfillment in your work?
Submission to Our Task
We will consider what it means to submit to bosses as part of our calling. The following passage has had a controversial history because it was used to support slavery prior to our Civil War. But in it, Peter simply advises submission to the authorities who are (rightly or wrongly) placed over us.
Read 1 Peter 2:13-21.
If you did not know this was a passage of Scripture, what kind of communication do you think it might be?
What does it mean to “submit yourself to every authority instituted among men” (v.13)?
When you were a child, how did your parents expect you to respond to their authority?
How does your attitude toward authority relate to your work?
This passage states that part of our calling is a calling to suffer (v.21). What does this mean?
What is the relationship (if any) between Peter’s words about suffering and your attitude toward work?
To whom (or to what) do you need to submit in order to have more meaningful work?
From 1 (When you say “jump” I’ll just ask “how high?”) to 10 (I’m a rebel – don’t tell me what to do!), how would you score yourself in terms of how you respond to authority figures now?
Below are guidelines that Peter offers to help us relate to those who have power over us. Which one do you identify with the most?
submission: You don’t fight the power. You don’t rebel against it. You don’t resist it aggressively. You accept its reality.
voluntary submission: You choose to accept it. You do not let anyone force you to be under it, but take the power of choice into your hands.
submission for the Lord’s sake: You submit because you are a child of God, and this is his way of dealing with oppressive powers.
submission based on the Lord’s example: You try to do what Jesus did when he was arrested, tried, and crucified. Even though he suffered unjustly and was guiltless, he did not retaliate.
respect everyone: You treat all people with care and consideration. You honor those who are above you and those who are below you in standing. You choose to do this. Others do not force you to do so.
respect even those who mistreat you: Give honor even to those who by their behavior do not deserve it. In other words, your true identity is found in God, not in external circumstances. You are “conscious of God,” and this defines reality for you.
Peter speaks directly to the social situation in which these Asian Christians find themselves. In terms of civil authority (now that Christianity was an illegal religion), the government had begun to persecute them. To be a Christian was, by definition, to be a criminal. In terms of the slavery issue, many in the church were themselves slaves. And to be a slave was to be under the absolute control of your master.
The questions Peter deals with here are of enormous importance to those in our world today who are also weak and powerless. But we here Peter’s words in a different way from the people who originally heard him. We are privileged and powerful in comparison. However, there are countless Christians throughout the world who knows what it means to be in a position of subjection – be it secular powers, religious authorities, relational structures, or economic realities. In many countries, for instance, the economic structure is such that you are a virtual slave to your employer (who can treat you as he wants). Christians all over the world experience restricted rights.
We are not without our own difficulties, of course. We may have a job that saps us, leaves us exhausted, and without enough money to survive. We may know what it means to be discriminated against by the powers that be (because of our color, our ethnic background, or our lack of money).
Pray for the relationships you are concerned about. This week examine any way in which you might be “robbing” from your employer. Seek God’s guidance and strength on how you can be a better steward.
BIO:John Elward Brown 1879-1957
Evangelist, educator, broadcaster, and author. Dr. John E. Brown,
founder of the university that bears his name, will be remembered
throughout eternity as an evangelist who led more than 400,000 souls to
Christ through evangelistic campaigns, church crusades, personal work
and Christian education. In a day when in some circles evangelism was
subject, John Brown of Arkansas, as he was called so often, proved the
validity of evangelism by conducting city-wide meetings that were suc-
cessful in their spiritual response and above reproach in ev- ery
business transaction. Businessmen and children alike loved and
His crusades carried him to every part of the United States and
Canada, while his most successful campaigns were conducted in
California. Dr. Brown will be remembered for his messages on the Holy
Spirit. Many of those messages are com- piled in one of the more than
40 books he authored, this one titled, Will Pentecost Be Repeated?
John E. Brown, Sr., continues to be remembered by his broadcasts,
for “he, being dead, yet speaketh.” The broadcasts are aired today on
KUOA in Siloam Springs, Arkan- sas, and KGER, Long Beach, California.
The school that bears his name, John Brown University, is located in
Siloam Springs, Arkansas. It is a fully accredited, distinctly evan-
gelical university whose motto is, “Christ over all.” The unique
educational aspect of his school continues to empha- size threefold,
Christ-centered education–namely, head, heart, and hand. As Dr. Brown
has said so often, “The way to victory in a few words is…trust
God…go to work!”