The Path of Transfiguration Is the Path of Separation
2 Kings 2:6-11
Speaker: Reverend Philip Lee
Service: Moriah, 2nd Service
Date: November 8, 2020
The Hope of Transfiguration
The prophet Elijah by riding the world winds went into heaven carried by the chariots of fire and horses of fire. According to Romans 5:12, because of the one man Adam, sin entered the world and through sin death came to all. Therefore Elijah was supposed to have died but by God’s sovereignty he did not die but transfigured and ascended into heaven (2 Kings 2:11). Thus, Elijah becomes a great hope for us and was a man with a nature like ours (James 5:17). The New Living Translation states, “Elijah was as human as we are” but did not die but continued to live and was transfigured. For us, the path of transfiguration that Elijah walked we must go on that path. If we were to express “transfiguration,” then it is “separation.” What kind of separation is this?
Transfiguration is separation from this world
Through transfiguration, Elijah departed from the “Canaan” of this world. Canaan is the land that was promised by God and Canaan becomes an expression of foreshadowing heaven. However, Canaan is not the true heaven itself but a foreshadowing. It doesn’t matter how great this world is but it cannot be compared to heaven. So, through transfiguration we depart from the Canaan of this world (Psa 84:10).
In front of God it doesn’t matter how long a thousand years may be for it passes by just like it was yesterday, like a watch in the night and flies away (Psa 90:4, 10). Secondly, when Elijah transfigured, his crossing the Jordan River signifies separation from the world. God is truly mysterious and before Elijah was transfigured, God made Elijah come to the Jordan River and cross the Jordan. Thus, Elijah transfigured after crossing the Jordan River. All the forefathers who came before Elijah all crossed the Jordan and lived in Canaan however; Elijah crossed over the Jordan River from the land of Canaan outwards and then he transfigured. This teaches us that we are transfigured into a “new world.” Thus, Elijah crossed the river on that side and he received a calling of God in such a way. Likewise, when we are transfigured we are separated from this world.
Transfiguration is separation from people
God separated Elijah the teacher and Elisha the student (2 Kgs 2:11). There appeared a chariot of fire with horses of fire which separated the two of them. Why did God separate Elijah and Elisha? First, Elijah was to be transfigured and Elisha was not to be transfigured and that is why they were separated. Jesus when He was speaking of the last days He spoke of those being transfigured and separated from those who are not transfigured (Luke 17:34-35). One will be taken and the other will be left. This teaches us that there are those designated to be transfigured and those who are not. This is what Jesus was saying. Today, when the Lord comes again we must be those who will be taken by our Lord and not those who are left behind. Secondly, Elisha diligently followed Elijah well in the beginning but in the end they were separated. From Gilgal to the Jordan River, Elisha followed Elijah (2 Kgs 2:2-6). At the Jordan, Elijah took his mantle and folded it and struck the Jordan River and the waters divided and the dry ground came and the waters were splitting here and there. Both Elijah and Elisha crossed the Jordan River and Elisha followed behind Elijah. Elijah said to Elisha, “Before God takes me, what shall I do for you?” Up until now, Elisha followed Elijah faithfully, however Elisha asked Elijah for a double portion of his spirit (2 Kgs 2:8-9). Elijah responded to Elisha and said, “You have asked a difficult thing” (2 Kgs 2:10). Elisha at the end rather than transfiguration he desired the strength in this world. Finally, Elijah, the one who had hope in transfiguration separated from Elisha who hoped in the strength of this world. We must not be like Elisha who was separated at the end. In our hearts, if we have the hope of transfiguration, we must hold unto it until the very end, until the very last moment in the final trumpet that they will transfigured and enter into the kingdom of God.
Transfiguration is separation from the mantle
When Elijah was transfigured, his mantle fell from him and was not taken up (2 Kgs 2:13). Elisha held onto to that mantle and he saw the miracle of it. The mantle of Elijah, what kind of mantle is this? First, it is the “mantle of shame.” The prophet Elijah went to Mount Horeb where Moses had prayed and in a quiet voice God was there. Elijah was so ashamed that he took his mantle and wrapped his face with it (1 Kgs 19:13). Thus, this mantle is a mantle of shame and it is left behind in this world. The blood of Jesus on the cross cleanses all of our dirtiness, shame and our past as if it is no more. So, never will “shame” follow us into heaven. How precious is this (1Cor 15:53). Secondly, what kind of mantle is this? It is the “mantle of power.” Right before his transfiguration, the prophet Elijah took his mantle and folded it, struck the waters and the river divided and you can see the dry ground of the Jordan River and Elijah and Elisha crossed the river together (2 Kgs 2:8). This mantle of power could not transfigure which demonstrates that no matter what power or authority you have in this world, before the power of God it is nothing! However, when we transfigure, from our own bodies there is holiness that will not separate from us which are the deeds of righteousness and the robes washed and made white in the blood of the cross (Rev 7:13-14; 19:14). So, until we enter the kingdom, we must not discard the robes that are washed by the blood of Jesus but we must wear it until the end.
Transfiguration is separation from the ground upon which we step. Elijah ascended to heaven (2 Kgs 2:11). The ground upon which Elijah was stepping upon he was separated from that ground and went up by a whirlwind to heaven. God described the devil and Satan as the serpent of old (Rev 12:9; 20:2). The serpent’s body is entirely on the ground for God cursed him and said, “On your belly you should go” (Gen 3:14). Satan and the devil make us think of things on this earth and worldly situations. But God says; lift up your heads because redemption is here. Thus our head must be towards heaven (Luke 21:28). We must set our minds on the things above and not on the things of the earth (Col 3:2, 5). Our hearts must be overflowing with thanksgiving and we must confess such thanksgiving with our lips, for a joyful heart is good medicine (Prov 17:22). The transfiguration of Elijah is surely our transfiguration and we need to believe in this. So until the end have your hope in heaven and look toward transfiguration and day by day go forward and be victorious. I pray and bless you in the name of the Lord.