Exodus 24:17 (RSV)- Now the appearance of the glory of the LORD was like a devouring fire on THE TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN in the sight of the people of Israel.
Mountaineering is a tough sport as it requires discipline, stamina, strength and dexterity.
To be honest, I don’t like climbing mountains. I’m a pure LOWLANDER and I am not a highlander like the Indigenous People of Nagpana.
A few weeks ago, I climbed the hill of Nagpana during the Essential Commission with Pastor Jessie to view the lot for coffee planting and I pity all the tall grasses along the narrow, muddy and hilly trek because I uprooted many of them while trying to grasp them as my support in my tedious climb up.
Last Thursday, Pastor Toh Nee brought Jayson, the producer of our CNA film to Bucarri. I tagged along but I adamantly told Pastor Toh Nee that I definitely would not join both of them for the climb up to the 12 stations of Bucarri. Instead, I sat at the Pine Forest praying and reading the Bible and a book while both of them made the one-hour climb. After that, Pastor Toh Nee brought Jayson to see the Imoy Waterfalls. Again, I asserted my plan to wait for them in the car while they trekked to the waterfall. However, Pastor Toh Nee persuaded me that the walk and the climb to the waterfall was a very easy one and it would not take long. I ‘foolishly” believed Pastor Toh Nee and therefore accompanied both of them. I don’t want to elaborate on my struggle to climb the ups and downs of the waterfall trail. Let me just show you a picture that speaks a thousand words of how I felt AFTER the climb:
Despite my distaste and dislike for mountain climbing, it is still part of our spiritual journey and spiritual exercise.
Mountains are mentioned more than 500 times in the Bible because they dotted the landscape where the stories of the Bible take place. They have a logical religious symbolism for the Jewish and Christian cultures since they are “closer to God” who dwell in the heavens.
When Moses climbed Mount Sinai, he found that the appearance of the glory of the Lord was like the devouring fire on the mountain. When Jesus climbed a high Mountain, He became transfigured and His face shone like the sun and his clothes became dazzling white. So, we can see here that that the mountains and the spiritual life is linked. Mountains in the Bible represents sacred power and spiritual attainment.
And this is the title of my sermon this morning – “MOUNTAINS”.
There are 4 things I want to show you about MOUNTAINS in the Bible:
1. The Different names used for Mountains
2. The Ten Representations of Mountains in the Bible
3. Jesus and His Mountain “Scenes”
4. Our calling
(I) THE DIFFERENT NAMES USED FOR MOUNTAINS IN BIBLE
The word “mountains” is used directly by the Bible to mean any elevated places in the Bible.
Other synonyms used in the Bible to refer to the same elevated place are “hill”, “Mount”, “rock” and “high places”.
(II) THE 10 REPRESENTATIONS OF MOUNTAINS
What do mountains represent in the Bible? If these are common landscapes in the Bible, surely they are also a common landscape in our journey of life. What do they symbolize in our lives and how should we react when we are faced with one?
There are 10 representations of mountains:
1. MOUNTAINS REPRESENT GOVERNMENTS AND NATIONS
Revelation 6:15-17- Then the kings of the earth, the high officials, the military commanders, the rich, the strong, every slave and every free person hid in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains. And they keep saying to the mountains and to the rocks: “Fall over us and hide us from the face of the One seated on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb.
The mountains here represent WORDLY ORGANIZATIONS that people have put their faith in to protect them but in the end, they fail the people.
Revelation 16:20 – Also, every island fled, and mountains were not found.
“The islands and the mountains” here represent PLACES OF CONCEALMENT. God’s wrath against false religion will reach all people no matter where they try to hide.
Isaiah 52:7-How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of him who brings good tidings, who publishes peace.
In this prophecy, the “mountains” are the FAITHS OF THE GENTILE NATIONS. “Him” refers to the Messiah (Jesus of Nazareth) and the “feet of Him” signifies the evangelists who have spread the gospel among the Gentile nations.
Mountains also represent NATIONS. In Jeremiah 51:25, Babylon is called “a destroying mountain”. In the Book of Daniel, the Kingdom of God is portrayed as a “mountain that fills the whole earth”.
Please do not forget how Saddam Hussein of Iraq [a modern type of Babylon being the destroying mountain] tried to attack Kuwait in the 1990s. His hidden agenda was world domination. Iraq looked so formidable until America went in to destroy it.
Who is the rock and the mountain of your life today? Who is your support today? Is it the worldly organizations or a mighty political party or even a mighty nation like America? Are you going to put your faith in all these world powers, government and powerful nations? Are they your mountains of support? They will all fail you one day.
For believers, our mountain of support should be on Yahweh and His Kingdom- the Creator of this entire universe. “It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be raised above the hills, and all nations shall flow to it and many people shall come and say, “Come, let us go to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.” (Isaiah 2:2-3).
Today, there is a great and glorious mountain in Heaven where our Creator’s kingdom sits. And one day this heaven will come down as New Heaven on this New Earth. This mountain here refers to the great height and majesty of the kingdom of God.
2. MOUNTAINS REPRESENT PROBLEMS, OBSTACLES AND DIFFICULTIES
Mark 11:23-25 – Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it and it will be yours. And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against any one; so that your Father also who is heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”
This mountain mentioned in Mark 11:23 is referring to the Mount of Olives on which they stood, which could be sent into the sea (the Dead Sea).
The mountain here in Mark 11:23 represents the PROBLEMS AND OBSTACLES. These are anything HUGE that STANDS IN THE WAY OF YOUR PLANS, GOALS AND HOPES.
How to overcome this mountain?
Have faith in God! More specifically have a mountain moving faith in God. “Without faith, it is impossible to please him; for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Hebrew 11:6).
We as Christians do not need to throw mountains literally into the sea. But we need power for living and meeting the daily mountains of cares and problems. This is why Paul could pray for the Ephesians, “That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the INNER MAN” (Ephesians 3:16). Faith comes by strengthening with might by the Holy Spirit in the INNER MAN.
Are you taking care of your inner man? Are you strengthening your spirit man within you?
Have faith in God. This does not give you the ability to satisfy your own selfish desires but have faith in God that His will might be done in your life. There is a condition that you must meet before your mountain-moving faith can work – forgiveness. An unforgiving spirit will short-circuit the power of prayer and your faith. To have power over what we say to the mountains, to the problems and obstacles of our lives, there must be forgiveness.
What is your mountain or the obstacles that is blocking God’s plans, goals and vision for your life? How is your inner man? Are you praying in tongues daily to edify and build up your spirit man? Is there unforgiveness in your life now? Do you have faith in God?
God gave me a prophetic sermon which I preached to Evangel on 14 November 1999. The title was- “The Vision of God for Evangel” based on the text of Zechariah 4:1-14. There were 6 visions God gave me for our church at that time and one of them was – GOD WILL REMOVE THE OBSTACLES OF EVANGEL based on Zechariah 4:6-7- “Then he said to me, “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the LORD of hosts. What are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain; and he shall bring forward the top stone amid shouts of ‘Grace, grace to it!”” I wrote and preached this sermon at the height of my favor with my sending Church as that was the year, Pastor Toh Nee was appointed as the Chairman of JECPP. 5 years after this prophetic word, great mountain started coming our way to obstruct us from buying the land and building our own sanctuary on this land. I remember always going back to read Zechariah 4 and my faith was hinged on God’s promises and prophecy to me. In 2013 (14 years after that sermon), I know and I know that it was NOT by my power or by my might that this great mountain [great obstacle, great problem, great opposition to our building project] was mowed down from my life to become a PLAIN. Who did it? The Holy Spirit! It was by the mighty power of the Holy Spirit which He mightily inspired within my inner man that did it. He gave me the power and the strength to implement all the plans of the building construction together with my building committee. Finally, when the sanctuary was completed, I know it was really by grace of God that the mountain of obstacle was removed and we could have our own church on our own land, thus fulfilling the vision that God has given to me for this church. Glory to God!!!!
There are certain “mountains” that can be removed if the Spirit of God stirs up within our inner man a gift of faith – the mountain-moving faith. All we have to do is to SAY THE WORD OF GOD (rhema) by faith to our mountain of obstacle and it shall be cast to the sea.
However, more often than not, there are certain mountains that cannot be removed just by our Spirit-inspired faith declaration. There are certain mountains – I call them the MOUNTAIN OF DIFFICULTY that we have to face upfront and tread upon arduously.
1 Samuel 24:2- Then Saul took three thousand chosen men out of all Israel, and went to seek David and his men in front of the Wild goats’ Rocks.’
Habakkuk 3:19 (Amp)- The Lord GOD is my strength [my source of courage, my invincible army]; He has made my feet [steady and sure] like hinds’ feet and makes me walk [forward with spiritual confidence] on my high places [of challenge and responsibility].
David ran to the Wild Goats’ Rocks – a rocky hilly place that was so difficult and challenging in order to hide from his evil persecutor – King Saul.
The Wild Goats’ Rocks and the high places in Habakkuk represent DIFFICULT SITUATIONS IN OUR LIVES. They represent situations of great challenge and responsibility.
A hind is a female deer. It is a picture of the church.
The wild goats love to tread upon rocky high places.
Whether it is a hind or a wild goat, the strong feature of both of them is their FEET. Their agility with the nooks and creeks of high places is impeccable. It is their asset, their weapon and their refuge.
The only way to overcome such difficult and rocky situations of our lives is to allow God to develop our spiritual feet to be like that of the hind’s feet or the wild goat’s feet.
The feet of the wild goat or the hind are very strong, swift, sure and skillful on treading upon the high places.
Many times, we find ourselves in ROCKY HIGH PLACES -so difficult and challenging but that is God’s way of training us to rely on His strength to make our feet or our walk with Him steady and sure and to move forward and upward with spiritual confidence. We need to tread on our rocky high places; walking on securely and firmly in what God has called us to do and to be NO MATTER HOW DIFFICULT AND TOUGH IT MAY BE. Because after we have gone through this high places of difficulty and challenge, God will make sure we stand on the elevated place looking down on those who have quit because they have no love of God and because they have no faith to believe God in spite of the failure of so many things in their lives. To stand on “an elevated place” means God will exalt us. It also means God will grant us a divine and higher perspective of our valleys. We will be able to be spiritually minded, looking at life with a panoramic view with eternity in view.
Are you in the Wild Goat’s Rock now? Are you in a rocky high place that is so difficult for you to tread? The difficulties come in the form of failure in your finance and even in your performance- Your fig tree do not blossom; no fruits on the vines; the produce of the olive fail; the field do not yield any food and the flock is cut off from the fold and there is no herd in the stalls (verse 17). If you want to develop a hind feet that is able to tread upon your rocky high places, then learn to seek the strength of God (verse 19) and to praise Him regardless of how you feel or what you see – “Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation (Verse 18).”
3. MOUNTAINS REPRESENT DANGEROUS ATTRACTIONS AND PEOPLE OF THE WORLD
Song of Solomon 4:8- Come with me from Lebanon, my bride; come with me from Lebanon, Depart from the peak of Amana, from the peak of Senir and Hermon, from the dens of lions, from the mountains of leopards.
Here, King Solomon was wooing his bride to come down from the Mountain of Lebanon and follow him to Jerusalem- a better place that he has prepared for his bride. It was his desire that his bride should always be with him. The previous home of the bride was represented as being in Mount Lebanon with its snow-capped heights. Lebanon, in its higher region, with its adjacent peaks of Amana, Shenir or Sirion and Hermon were PLACES OF DISCOMFORT AND DANGER. It was a place of discomfort because of its bleak and barren rock and its cold snowy heights – “in the world ye shall have tribulation”. Yet, it was not a place without attraction as Lebanon was adorned with some of the loveliest spots in nature.
The world in its fallen state, still possesses many attractions which might entangle the affections of Christ’s bride -the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life.
It is a place of danger as it is a place of dens of lions and a mountain of leopards.
“Your adversary, the devil, goeth about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). “My soul is among lions – the sons of men, whose teeth are spears and arrows (Psa 57:4).”
The Mountain of leopards symbolizes the beastly characters of human associations we may come in contact with in this world. “We are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness (1 John 5:19). There are dangerous association and people we should avoid. We should not run around with the wicked, the evil doers or even to be unequally yoked with unregenerated people. This Mountain of Leopards refers to the world that is inhabited by cruel, savage and tyrannical persons.
Christ is calling His bride, the church, to come out from among wicked men, comparable to leopards and lions. These wicked men of the world have the same nature as lions and leopards. Like lions, these people have cruel and persecuting temper. Like leopards, their lives are full of the spots of sin with great craftiness and malice exercised towards those who are quiet in the land. The Mountain of Leopards represents the evil people of the world who like the leopards are swift and ready to do mischief. Therefore, we must avoid such dangerous people of the world. In short, our King Jesus is behooving us, as His bride to come down from this mountain of the world that is full of dangerous temptation, attraction and association.
Christ wants us to come down with him from the Mountain of Lebanon to go with him to Jerusalem- His abode (which is His church).
4. MOUNTAINS REPRESENT A PLACE OF GOD’S COVENANT WITH GOD’S PEOPLE
E.g. # 1: Mount Ararat
Mount Ararat is the mountain mentioned in Genesis 8:1-5. It is the mountain where Noah’s ark landed after the flood and Noah saw the rainbow of God’s promise.
Noah and his family came out of the ark and made offerings and praised God. God promised never to destroy the earth with a flood of that magnitude again.
E.g. # 2 – Mount Sinai
Mount Sinai is the mountain where Moses received the Ten Commandments here as a symbol of God’s covenant with Israel (Exodus 19-20,24).
Mount Sinai is the epitome of the mountain top experience because Moses met God and then had to descend the mountain and return to regular life.
Mount Ararat and Mount Sinai are symbols of God’s covenant with Israel.
Do you want to receive a covenant or a promise from God – a promise that is everlasting? Then pay the price – And he said to Moses, “Come up to the LORD, you and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu and seventy of the elders of Israel and worship afar off” (Exodus 24:1). Do something about your devotion and prayer life.
5. MOUTAINS REPRESENT A PLACE OF SACRIFICE
It was on this mountain that God saw Abraham’s faithfulness and rewarded him, sparing Isaac.
About a thousand years later at this very location, King David bought the threshing floor of Arunah the Jebusite and built an altar to the Lord so that a “plague may be held back from the people” (2 Samuel 24:18,21). After his death, his son King Solomon built a glorious temple on the same site.
Many people believe that Mount Moriah is the same mountain as Mount Gerazim- a mountain where God pronounces blessings in response to our obedience (Joshua 8:33-35). When we are willing to pay the sacrifices of obedience, we will receive blessings from God.
E.g. # 2- Mountain of Myrrh and Frankincense
Song of Solomon – Before the dawn breezes blow and the night shadows flee, I will hurry to the mountain of myrrh and to the hill of frankincense.
Myrrh speaks of grief and mourning while frankincense speaks of joy and praise.
Here the Mountain of Myrrh appears to mean the Mount Moriah on which the temple was built, where the incense (sacrifice) was burned and the people worshipped the Lord. This was God’s residence till the shadows of the law given by Moses were dispersed by the breaking of the gospel day and the rising of the Sun of righteousness.
6. MOUNTAINS REPRESENT A PLACE OF ANOINTING AND ASCENSION
Mount Olivet is most commonly known as the Mount of Olives. It is one of the key places mentioned in the New Testament. It was a pivotal mountain in Jesus’ life. It was at the foot of this mountain that held the Garden of Gethsemane, where Christ prayed before his crucifixion. It was also this mountain that saw His last days on Earth. Jesus ascended into Heaven from the Mount of Olives. And Jesus in His second coming is going to descend upon Mount Olivet to fight against Antichrist and his army.
After our Valley of Suffering in our Gethsemane, there is an ascension to anointing. Olives or olive tree always represents ANOINTING. I was very blessed by the lyrics of a song, ‘MOUNTAIN OF GOD’ sung by Third Day:-
And I know the road is hard
Well, the One who’s gone before me
He will help me carry on
After all that I’ve been through
Now I realize the truth
THAT I MUST GO THROUGH THE VALLEY
TO STAND UPON THE MOUNTAIN OF GOD
What mountain will you be standing on after you go through the valley of suffering?
It is the Mountain of Olives- with God releasing His anointing upon you. There will be ascension in your spiritual state, position and authority. Christ ascended as a Victor, a glorified God in His resurrected form. And so, will you after you have suffered with Christ for a little while.
7. MOUNTAINS REPRESENT A HIGHER LEVEL OF SPIRITUAL CONSCIOUSNESS AND AWARENESS
There are many examples of this in the Bible.
E.g. # 1 – Moses received the Commandment on Mount Sinai.
E.g. # 2 – Jesus delivered His Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes, in an unknown mountain. If we want to be more aware of the revelation and the teachings from Jesus and His word, we must be willing to make the climb up to the mountain. This implies the discipline of setting aside your time for prayer and reading the word of God. Covenants, instruction and teachings from the word of God is done most of the time on the mountain.
E.g. # 3- MOUNTAINS IN PSALMS
There are many metaphors of mountains in Psalms that are associated with CONTEMPLATIVE PRAYER WITH HEIGHTS.
Psalm 121 starts with “I will lift up my eyes unto the hills from whence cometh my help.”
It is always the working of God to use His Spirit, words and experiences in life to bring us to higher place of prayer, faith and intimacy with him.
E.g. # 4- The Mount of Transfiguration also known as Mount Tabor
Before the disciples’ eyes, Jesus was transfigured appearing as He will after the resurrection, next to Moses and Elijah (Mt 17:1-9; Mark 9:2-8; Luke 9:28-36). Jesus is accompanied by Moses and Elijah, who themselves encountered God on the mountaintop in the Old Testament. Now, they encounter God through Jesus. Jesus, in turn is seen as the fulfilment of the Law (Moses) and the Prophets (Elijah). Encounters with God always happen on the Mountain. Thus, the necessity to come away from the bustling activities of life to go to a place for spiritual camps and retreats.
The greatest mountain-top experience with God is to be transformed by God as a result of an encounter with Him.
8. MOUNTAINS REPRESENT SPIRITUAL CONTEST
E.g. Mount Carmel
It is this kind of faith that moves mountains that defeats the giants in our lives.
Mount Carmel represents a high level of bold and confident faith in God to come through for us in the face of blatant challenge by the demonic world against God and His people.
9. MOUNTAINS REPRESENT THE PRESENCE OF GOD
E.g. Mount Zion
Mount Zion is in the city of Jerusalem. There are 3 areas in the city of Jerusalem. First the city itself. Second is Mount Moriah where Solomon built His temple. Thirdly, the highest point is Zion, which means “sunny heights.”
Mount Zion represents the presence of God.
David was a man after God’s own heart. David was not satisfied with capturing Jerusalem, nor did he stop at Mount Moriah. David was not satisfied until he took Mount Zion. “Nevertheless David took the stronghold of Zion: the same is the city of David. (2 Samuel 5:7). David built his throne upon Mount Zion. David, the beloved king ruled over all Israel from Mount Zion. One day, Christ Jesus will also set upon this holy hill to rule from Zion (Isaiah 51:16).
Jerusalem = The Outer Court
Mount Moriah = The Holy Place’
Mount Zion =- The Holy of Holies
God is calling all of us to press toward the mark of the high calling in God in Christ Jesus to pursue the presence of God in our lives- closeness or intimacy with God.
When we have the presence of God, we will be the ENVY of the world.
Psalm 68:15-16- O mighty mountain, mountain of Bashan; O many-peaked mountain, mountain of Bashan! Why look you with envy, O many peaked mountain, at the mount [Zion] which God desired for his abode, yea, where the LORD will dwell for ever?
The mountain of Bashan is an eminent mountain, far exceeding Mount Zion in height and beauty. The mountain of Bashan is actually Mount Hermon and it represents the many distinctive attractions and proud accomplishments of the world – “many peaked mountains.”
Here, Psalmist conceded that Bashan is a greater mount but not so glorious because the Lord in choosing Zion had exalted it above the loftier hills. The loftiness of nature or the world is nothing before the Lord. He chooses as pleases Him, and according to the counsel of His own will. He chooses Zion and by passes the proud. God chose the base things of the world to shame the beautiful things of the world. God dwells not in the unreachable heights of glory overlooking the richest land but instead He dwells where His people can live all AROUND Him, where the just shall rejoice at the presence of God.
It is the not the accomplishments or the credentials of the world that will make you great but the presence of God in you. When you have the presence of God within you, even the worldly people with many- peaked mountain attainments will envy you.
Are you feeling inferior to the people who know not God? Only the presence of God will make you more distinctive than them.
Mount Zion also represents OUR TRUST IN GOD.
Psalms 125:1-2 -Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but abides for ever. As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the LORD is round about his people, from this time forth and for evermore.
When even the weakest saint exercises the simplest faith in God, he becomes anchored to an IMMOVABLE MOUNTAIN (like Zion) OF STABLITY, the Lord Himself. No matter what adversity assails him, his God-trusting soul becomes firmly attached to a sturdy fortress that cannot be swayed – the strong name of the Lord. All who trust the Lord become like a person standing on a FIRM MOUNTAIN during earthshaking times. Though the whole earth shake, he will not be moved. He remains unmovable as he takes his stand on God and His word. A sure foundation is fixed beneath his feet. Though the entire earth be in upheaval about him, his soul is undergirded and grounded in God, who cannot be moved. The believer is made to be stable and sure because God is firm and fixed anchor for his soul. Here in Psalm 125, the psalmist compares believers with Mount Zion, indicating that they are secure, stable, sufficient and serene in the Lord even in treacherous time.
Is your trust in the Lord like Mount Zion- solid and firm?
10. MOUNTAINS REPRESENT THE FULFILMENT OF GOD’S PURPOSE FOR OUR LIVES
E.g. Mount Pisgah/Mount Nebo
After many years of wandering in the desert, Moses saw the Promised Land. It was a bitter sweet moment because he would never set foot in it. However, Moses must have felt a great deal of relief in seeing the fruits of his lifetime. He saw this from Mt Pisgah (Deuteronomy 34:1-4).
Mt Pisgah is a place to remember that sometimes it takes a lifetime to accomplish our purpose. It is also a reminder that God keeps His promise to His children. It represents the fulfilment of God’s purposes and promises for our lives. It is a mountain where we are able to see the legacy of God being passed on to the next generation.
Live in such a way that you have a glimpse of how your influence and legacy can impact the next generation. Live on a higher plane so you can visualize how your life will end well in God. See what Christ sees for you in the distant future.
(III) JESUS AND HIS MOUNTAIN ‘SCENES’,
In the New Testament, Jesus appoints the Twelve on a mountain. Jesus delivers the Beatitudes in His Sermon on the Mount, conjuring an image of Moses who received the Commandments on Mount Sinai. Matthew in particular, has 6 significant mountain “scenes” in his gospel:
• Jesus’ Temptation (4:8)- He overcame the temptation on the mountain and so can you.
• Sermon on the Mount (5:1)
He taught the Word of God on the mountain and so must we go up to the mountain of the Lord to receive a higher awareness of God’s word and to receive His covenants.
• A number of healings (15:29)
Jesus had mountain moving faith to heal the sick
• The Transfiguration (17:1)
He had an encounter with Yahweh on the mountain
• Jesus’ final discourse (24:1)
Like the Mt Pisgah experience of Moses, Jesus gave his final discourse – a last sermon for his disciples as he foresaw them carrying out his legacy after he died.
• The Commissioning of the Apostles (28:16)
The commissioning of the apostles was done on the mountain just before He ascended. It was a high calling. The mountain-top experience is for the task of God.
The epitome of Christ’s mountain-top experience is on Mount of Transfiguration. Today, the highest glory we can give to God is our TRANSFORMED LIVES IN CHRIST.
The epitome of Christ’s Most Difficult Mountain is CALVARY HILL. Calvary Hill is Golgotha which means a “Place of Skull” because the knoll outside the Gate of Jerusalem looks like a skull. Yet Jesus overcame that Hill of Shame and Death so that whoever believes in Him, shall be brought to the Highest Mountain of God – Mount Zion. Previously during the time of Moses, the children of Israel were not allowed to go near Mount Sinai. Boundaries line had to be drawn. God only allowed Moses to go up to the Mountain to meet Him. But Christ overcame that Calvary Hill so that all of us today can have direct access to Mount Zion in Christ’s name – the Holy of Holies. Today we can carry Mount Zion – the presence of God with us and in us. Glory be to Christ who overcame the most difficult mountain of all – Calvary Hill.
(IV) THE CALL OF GOD CONCERNING THE MOUNTAINS OF OUR LIFE
If it is a mountain of the world – come down from it with Jesus. Hold His hand.
If it is a mountain of problems and obstacles or even contest with the demonic realm – exercise mountain moving faith in the power of the Holy Spirit.
If it is a mountain of closeness or presence of God, then heed this call of Moses:
And he said to Moses, “Come up to the LORD, you and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu and seventy of the elders of Israel and worship afar off” (Exodus 24:1).
We are called to pay the price to make this tedious upward climb so that we can experience the euphoria of meeting Him face to face.
These are the 10 representations of the mountains in the Bible:
• Government and nations
• Problems, obstacles and difficulties
• Dangerous attractions and people of this world
• God’s covenant with His people
• Anointing and Ascension
• Higher level of consciousness and awareness
• Spiritual contest
• Presence of God
• Fulfilment of God’s purpose in our lives
You shall have a song as in the night when a holy feast is kept; and gladness of heart, as when one sets out to the sound of the flute to go to the MOUNTAIN OF THE LORD, to THE ROCK OF ISRAEL. And the LORD will cause his MAJESTIC VOICE to be heard and the DESCENDING BLOW OF HIS ARM to be seen, in furious anger and a flame of devouring fire, with a cloud burst and tempest with hailstones. The ASSYRIANS will be terror stricken at the VOICE OF THE LORD, when he smites with his rod. And EVERY STROKE OF THE STAFF OF PUNISHMENT which the Lord lays upon them WILL BE TO THE SOUND OF TIMBRELS AND LYRES; battling with BRANDISHED ARM HE WILL FIGHT WITH THEM. (Isaiah 30:29-32)
Those who are oppressed by the “Assyrian” in your MIND- God is calling to you to still sing a song in the night and to go to the MOUNTAIN OF THE LORD with praise and music. Once you are on the mountain of the Lord, you will find the ROCK OF ISRAEL and there you will hear a MAJESTIC VOICE (quickened word) of the Lord. This voice will command His arm to descend upon your Assyrian with anger. This voice is the staff of punishment which God will strike your enemy. Every stroke of the staff of punishment which the Lord will lay upon your enemy will be to the sound of your praises. God fight with you with His brandished arm.
My Testimony: A few days before I was supposed to preach this sermon, I had to face a mountain of difficulty in the form of opposition on 12 September 2019. So, I went up to the “mountain” – my prayer closet and started seeking God- MY ROCK. Then the Holy Spirit quickened Isaiah 41:8-16 to me:
• Those who are INCENSED against me (my angry enemies)
• Those who STRIVE against me
• Those who CONTEND with me
• Those who WAR with me
God told me that they shall be nothing (repeated twice). They shall all be put to shame and confounded and I shall not be able to find them anymore. God encouraged me not to fear them as He is with me and He is my God and He will uphold me with His victorious right hand.
So, I asked God – “How are you going to help me against this mountain?”
He answered – “By making me into a threshing sledge with new and sharp teeth to THRESH (tear apart) the MOUNTAINS (mountain of opposition) and CRUSH THEM. And I shall make these opposing mountains into HILLS OF CHAFF (nothingness or worthlessness) and I shall winnow them away and the wind shall carry them away and the tempest shall scatter them.”
I had my fair share of the WILD’S GOAT ROCK and as I sought Yahweh, He strengthened my feet to walk securely and firmly through this mountain of opposition. Those rhemas were enough to put confidence back to my inner man to face this opposition like a he-goat standing tall on the elevated ground. Glory be to God! Face your mountain with the GOD OF THE MOUNTAIN!
Preached at Etab 1st English service on 15 September 2019