Prophetic Events of Matthew 17
Jan 27, 2010
The story of Peter's revelatory confession in Matthew 16:16 is packed with prophetic significance for us today.
Last summer we drove from Minnesota west to Washington, then south to California, then east to Colorado in order to conduct spiritual warfare against the two "beasts" of Revelation 13. We dealt with the beast from the sea while in Washington, and then we came against the beast from the earth from California to Colorado.
We identified these two beasts also with the two golden calves in ancient Israel. The first was set up in Bethel (the House of God; that is, the Church), and the second was set up in the north of the country in the city of Dan (1 Kings 12:29). The city of Dan was located near the "Grotto of Pan," where the NT city of Caesarea Philippi stood in Jesus' day.
This is where Peter made his confession of faith, and Jesus called this Grotto by its common name among the Judeans: "the gates of hell." It was known as the home of Pan, the half-goat, half-man figure that Lev. 16:8 calls Azazel, its Hebrew name. Azazel literally means "goat-god," not "scapegoat" as the KJV renders it.
Our warfare last June against Pan took more than a week to accomplish. It really began June 18 at a grotto (cavern) in Mount Shasta and ended the night of June 24 just outside of Colorado Springs on Mount Shasta Rd. We claimed that area for the Kingdom of God and cast out Pan.
The next morning, Michael Jackson died unexpectedly. He had been obsessed with Peter Pan, even calling his mansion the "Neverland Ranch." Since Pan was also the "god of music," Michael Jackson tended to identify with him as a musician.
Anyway, the story of "Peter Pan" was written to combine the two ideas of Peter and Pan at the gates of hell (the grotto at Caesarea Philippi). Peter was identifying with Christ in his confession of faith, but a few verses later, when he wanted to prevent Jesus' death on the cross, Jesus called him "satan," (i.e., Pan). That is, he was an "adversary" to the divine plan.
So our confession determines which side of the fence we are on. There is a positive side to this story as well as the negative. In Matthew 16 most of the focus is upon the positive side. The progression of revelation shows that the revelation of truth in Peter's confession is what ultimately leads to the next event in Matthew 17--the transfiguration of Christ.
From Caesarea Philippi, Jesus took three of His disciples to the top of Mount Herman (i.e., Liban, Lebanon, "white"). It was a snow-capped White Mountain, somewhat pyramid shaped. In fact, it resembled the Great Pyramid of Gizeh in Egypt, if the white limestone Capstone had been placed upon it. But the capstone had been rejected by the builders and was never placed, yet it was to become the "head of the corner" (that is the top of a pyramid). See Psa. 118:22.
When Jesus went to the top of the White Mountain, He became the Head of the Corner. Though He was about to be "rejected" and crucified, He was yet prophesying of another day (feast of Tabernacles) when the transfiguration of His Body would take place. This would involve Moses and Elijah in some way, for that is the purpose of their presence on the mount. We now see this as also involving Joshua and Elisha, as I explain in my FFI for February that will be posted shortly.
For you sports fans, take note that Last Sunday's football game between the Saints and the Vikings was won by an overtime field goal kicked by Garret Hartley, who lives at 1827 Peter Pan in Norman, OK.
Being from Minnesota, I am tempted to interpret this negatively, but the revelation from New Year's is Rev. 11:15, "The kingdoms (VI Kings) of this world have become the Kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ." The Vikings quarterback was wearing #4 ("the earth"), and that the Saints' quarterback was wearing #9 ("Visitation" by the Holy Spirit), so it was plain that this was going to play out as a parable of the Kingdom. The Saints of the Most High were going to have a visitation and empowerment by the 9 fruit and 9 gifts of the Spirit, and that they would overcome the kingdoms of this world.
So as I settled down to watch the game, my friend Phil asked me which team would win. I told him, "It's not looking too good for the Vikings."
But just wait until next year.
Meanwhile, Peter is overcoming Pan, learning to apply the revelation of Christ's identity in accordance with the divine plan--that is, without denying the purpose of the first work of Christ. Many search for immortality in Neverland, but deny Jesus' sacrificial work on the cross. But the Bible clearly teaches that the second work of Christ (giving us transfiguration and immortality) is based upon the first work (death and resurrection). That is why the second dove had to be dipped in the blood of the first dove in Leviticus 14.
So we are seeing the resurrection of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina killed the city and turned its stadium into a tomb for refugees. The saints of the Most High are being visited and empowered by the Holy Spirit (fruit and gifts). Ultimately, this leads to the transfiguration of the Body of Christ.
Dr. Stephen Jones