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Vol.  10  No. 6 June 2008  Page 20
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Since You Asked By Louis Rushmore

Names may be included at the discretion of the Editor unless querists request their names be withheld. Please check our Archive for the answer to your question before submitting it; there are over 1,000 articles in the Archive addressing numerous biblical topics. Submit a Question to GGO.

Louis Rushmore

Secrecy of the Transfiguration

Why did Jesus tell the disciples not to tell anyone of the experience they had on the mountain at His transfiguration? Nancy Trimble

    Jesus Christ told his apostles to refrain from disclosing to others about the Transfiguration before his death, burial and resurrection. “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” (Matthew 17:9; Mark 9:9). Evidently, the Transfiguration initially provided needed reassurance to the Lord’s closest disciples respecting his Messiahship. Secondarily, the Transfiguration through those apostles who witnessed it later would provide evidence of our Lord’s Messiahship to others as well.

    This vision was designed particularly to confirm them in the truth that he was the Messiah. While he was with them it was unnecessary that they should relate what they had seen. When he was crucified they would need this evidence that he was the Christ. Then they were to use it. There were three witnesses of it as many as the law required (Deut 17:6; Heb 10:28), and the proof that he was the Messiah was clear. Besides, if they had told it then, it would have provoked the Jews and endangered his life. His time was not yet come. (Barnes)

    Thought provoking and probably accurate, Wycliffe noted: “Apparently not even the other apostles were to be informed at this time.” Another commentator provides another reason that Jesus may have delayed the announcement to others by the witnesses of His Transfiguration. “Even they themselves did not yet understand what they had seen. Still less could they, in present circumstances, make others understand. All was plainer after Christ had died, risen, and had ascended to glory. The time had not come to proclaim the mystery of the Sonship to the world” (Johnson).

Works Cited

Barnes, Albert. Barnes’ Notes. CD-ROM. Seattle: Biblesoft, 1997.

Johnson, B.W. People’s New Testament. St. Louis: Christian Board of Publications, 1891. CD-ROM. Austin: Wordsearch, 2004.

Wycliffe Bible Commentary. CD-ROM. Chicago: Moody P., 1962.

Second Coming or Third Coming?

Will the Second Coming going to be in 2 phases? ~ Femi Temilola

    No, the second coming of Jesus Christ will not occur in two phases as the false, denominational doctrine of premillennialism teaches. One passage of Scripture by itself dispels the notion of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ occurring in two phases. “Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation” (John 5:28-29). At the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, all will come forth from the graves at the same time, including both the righteous and the unrighteous, destined for two different eternities. There is no second phase to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

Be Thou Strong and Very Courageous

Hello, Why did God command Joshua three times in chapter one “be strong and courageous,” in fact one of the times He said, “be strong and very courageous.” What was God trying to tell Joshua, and now to us as we read this passage? Thank you, Nancy from Scarborough, Maine

    Except for the “very,” the same original language words appear in each of verses Joshua 1:6, 7 and 9. Nothing appears in Scripture beyond the exhortations to be strong, but it is an easy supposition to conclude that the momentous undertaking passing from the hands of Moses to Joshua was challenging, besides the task of conquering and settling Canaan; anyone assuming such a significant and challenging role could well use the reassurance of the repeated instructive encouragement of Almighty God.

    Perhaps antidotal evidence along these lines, I remember reading of instruction sometimes given to police and security guards. When confronting someone to whom it is necessary to give verbal commands, to which the subject does not immediately comply, repeat the command two more times, for a total of three times. Usually, the subject will comply upon the third pronouncement of the command (provided he or she is not conditioned against authority or part of group or mob thinking). Evidently, something about three pronouncements of a command often favorably works on the human psyche.

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