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The Greatest Vision Ever Seen R901

Encouraging Word / Don Wilton
The Truth Network Radio
September 6, 2022 4:00 am

The Greatest Vision Ever Seen R901

Encouraging Word / Don Wilton

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God has an encouraging word for you and me today through the Bible-based preaching of Dr. Don Wilton and a message on vision.

We'll head to Matthew chapter 17 in just a few moments, but Dr. Wilton wants me to remind you that as we talk about, teach about, and gain insight to vision, we would be happy to pray about God's vision for your life as well. We're here at 866-899-WORD 24 hours a day. That's 866-899-9673 or connecting online at Yesterday we celebrated yet another series of friends that have given their life to Jesus Christ just by connecting online.

God's doing a remarkable work. If you'd like to consider getting involved prayerfully or financially, discover more online at We would love for you to consider becoming an encourager. Now let's study the Word.

Here's Dr. Don Wilton. Now my friends, today I'm going to invite you to take your Bibles as always. Turn with me to Matthew chapter 17. Matthew's Gospel and the 17th chapter. I want to speak to you today on the greatest vision ever seen.

The greatest vision ever seen. And it has everything to do with the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Now before we read this passage, I'd like to say a few words by way of introduction and I think this is very important. I'm not going to preach to you from Matthew chapter 16, but I believe it's very important for us to understand something that took place as it's recorded for us in Matthew chapter 16. So I just simply remind you, you can read about it yourself, that this was the time when the Lord Jesus came to his disciples and he gathered them around. And he said to them, gentlemen, who do people out there say that I, the Son of Man, am? Now you can imagine the answers that they gave and they were all accurate because it was rumored about concerning this one who called himself the Messiah, the Son of God. And so the disciples looked at him and said to him, well, you know, some people say you're this person and some people say you're that person. And then the Lord Jesus looked into the heart of the disciples and he said, but who do you say that I, the Son of Man, am? You see, folks, there are thousands of people who peer into the empty tomb.

But there are only a few people who understand who it is that came out of that tomb. And you will remember, looked into the face of the Lord Jesus and he said to him, thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And what Peter was doing at that juncture is that Peter was affirming that he in fact believed everything that Jesus was teaching them. And that Peter accepted in his own heart that this was indeed God's Son, the coming Messiah, and that he was in fact the person that he claimed to be. And so Jesus moved on from that point in Matthew chapter 16. And he began to talk about his death and he said to the disciples, he said, OK, you've acknowledged who I am. Now, folks, watch this this morning.

Everybody watch me. If I was to ask you this question, who do you say that Jesus is? And you were to say, well, I know that he's the Christ of the Son of the living God. Watch what Jesus said next to the disciples. He said, in that case, if any one of you wants to come after me, if any one of you, any man, any woman, any boy or any girl wants to be set free of your sin and wants to know that you know that you're going to heaven one day, if any person will come after me, must do two things. Number one, you must deny yourself. By the way, that means that you and I become irrelevant.

We've got to give up on ourselves. And number two, you must take up the cross. Why take up the cross? Jesus now is pointing toward his cross. He's looking ahead to the Easter weekend, if you please.

Hasn't happened yet when he said that. And he said, if you want to come after me and you want to follow me, you've got to deny yourself and you've got to take up the cross. Why the cross? Because it was on the cross that God executed death. Now watch this, folks.

This is incredible news. It was through the cross that God made life possible. Jesus Christ, through his death upon the cross, made it possible for people like you and me to be forgiven of our sin, for our names to be written in God's book in heaven, and for us to know that we know that one day when we die or if Jesus were to come back, that we would be taken by the angels into the presence of the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. And so Jesus said, if anybody wants to come after me, he must deny himself, take up the cross and follow me. Well, the disciples probably perhaps were looking at him and saying, man, I don't know about this. This is awfully difficult to understand all this thing about dying and taking up the cross and denying oneself. Jesus said, I'm going to take you and give you the greatest vision that you've ever seen. And when I do what I'm about to do for you, I'm about to demonstrate for you what exactly is meant and how it's going to happen and what it means for you.

Well, let's read about it. The Bible says in Matthew 17, after six days, Jesus took with him Peter, James and John, the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun and his clothes became as white as the light. Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah. Everybody look at me.

Can you believe this? There's not a single person who would doubt that Moses and Elijah had been dead for a long time. What do you mean Moses and Elijah? And not only Moses and Elijah, but they were talking with Jesus. And in John's account, the Bible says they were discussing with Jesus the events concerning his death. They were talking to him about his cross.

Watch this, folks. Moses and Elijah, who were long time dead, were having a conversation with Jesus in the present about the future. I thought when people died, they were gone.

I thought when people died, it's over. Not according to the scriptures. I'm about to share with you the most wonderful truth that comes from the word of God. And the Bible says that Peter, by the way, who was Peter? He was the one that just said, you're the Messiah. He's the one who had just expressed his belief in Jesus Christ. He said, Lord, it is good for us to be here, roughly translated in modern day terminology.

Isn't this fun? I can't believe you would have brought us up the mountain here. And we're looking and talking with Moses and Elijah and you. If you wish, I'll put up three shelters. By the way, that word shelter there, you've got to go back to the book of Leviticus and the book of Deuteronomy and the book of Ecclesiastes. It's tied into the Feast of the Tabernacle. And the Jews understood that. And what they did at the time of the Feast of the Tabernacle is they would build tabernacles or booths that represented the presence of the prophets like Moses and Elijah and all the others. And they would come and they would celebrate the presence and the glory of God.

And they would celebrate the glory of God by putting their faces into the ground and shaking like a reed because they'd come into the presence of the only true God. And here's Peter. And he turns to Jesus and he said, oh, there's Moses and Elijah.

I'll tell you what I'm going to do. I'm going to erect a tabernacle just like we did in the Old Testament. One for Moses, one for Elijah and one for you. And Peter is talking his head off. He's just put Moses and Elijah on the same level as Jesus.

And a voice comes out of heaven and says, excuse me, Peter. You've just acknowledged that Jesus Christ is the Messiah, the son of the living God. And I put Moses and Elijah in front of you. And immediately you put Moses and Elijah on an equal footing with Jesus Christ. I want you to know it is Jesus who is my beloved son. It is Jesus who is the one that I'm well pleased with. And it is only Jesus that you need to listen to.

What do you think you're doing? By the way, he wasn't saying something disparaging toward Moses and Elijah. What he was saying is, friends, Moses and Elijah are with me.

They are in my presence and you're going to be in my presence. But don't you ever put any person at any time under any circumstances on a higher level than the Lord Jesus Christ. People have said to me often, pastor, what's the definition of a cult?

That's quite easy, folks. A cult is any religious group that places any person on a level higher than the Lord Jesus Christ. Someone comes and knocks at your door during the week and says to you, I'm so glad I've got a copy of the Bible for you. And you take and you say good. And they say, I believe the Bible. Then they get out another one. They say, well, this is another Bible. And you say, what do you mean it's another Bible? Yes, God gave this to our prophet. And this Bible, this other Bible is of equal worth and stature to the one that you're reading.

Don't believe them. That's a cult. And what Jesus was doing here, he was pointing to the cross of Christ Jesus. And he was saying, this is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased.

And don't you ever dare to put Moses or Elijah or anybody else on a pedestal higher than the only one who had the full and complete authority of Almighty God to pay the penalty for sin. Somebody say, amen. Isn't that wonderful? Well, I want you to see something here, folks. While he was still speaking, the Bible said, verse five, a bright cloud enveloped them and a voice from the cloud said, this is my son whom I love. With him I am well pleased.

Listen to him. When the disciples heard this, they fell face down to the ground terrified. I would have been too. But Jesus came and he touched them. Get up, he said.

Don't be afraid. And when they looked up, they saw no one else excepting Jesus. And as they were coming down from the mountain, Jesus instructed them.

This is what he said. Don't tell anyone what you've seen until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead. Boy, that was a tough thing to do to three preachers, wasn't it? He put a gag order on. Can you imagine Peter?

Peter was the original Incredible Hulk. He couldn't stop talking, folks. And Jesus said to him, you don't tell anybody. I want you to note a couple of things about this great vision, folks.

Teaches us a number of things. First of all, that Jesus had purpose in what he did. Bible says by purposeful design, Jesus led these three up the mountainside. By the way, did you know that everything that God does for you and for me is done by his design and by his purpose? In fact, just earlier on today, I just was greeting someone.

They said, man, I just can't believe I'm here. Folks, do you know that even being in church on Easter Sunday, that's God's purpose for you. Nobody's here by accident. And the Bible says that God is working all things together for the good of those that love God, to those who are called according to his purpose.

Isn't that wonderful? So sometimes you and I look at ourselves and we wonder what's going on and why it's going on. But Jesus had purpose in what he did. And Jesus was doing something with a specific designed purpose in mind when he took these three preachers, who were the original disciples, took them up the mountain. He wanted to show something.

He wanted to demonstrate something. This great vision teaches us not only that Jesus had purpose in what he did, but that Jesus displayed power in what he became. That word there transfigure, folks, is an interesting word. It literally means to change completely. We don't have any problem understanding the word figure.

You know, all of us talk about what we look like, and I'm not going to get into too much details right now. But in the Greek texture, if you have a clear understanding of what this means, it literally means that God, by his power, made a display of his power by literally transforming the Son of Man into that which he would become after he was raised from the dead, which was to become who he was before he even came to this earth. John chapter 17, that wonderful high priestly prayer of our Lord Jesus prayed in verse six, Restore to me the glory I had with the Father from before the world existed. That's what God is demonstrating, folks. He's demonstrating an incredible display of power. And what God is saying, he's saying, I want you to know in no uncertain terms that I'm able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all that could be asked to even think and hear ye, hear ye. I want the world to know the power of God that raised Jesus from the dead is the very fabric of our faith, because you will never understand it. You must just simply accept it because that's who God is. That's what power is, folks.

Indeed it is the power of our living God. Forgive the interruption. Dr. Wilton insists I do so to remind you that we're here for you. We'd love to pray with you and for you at 866-899-WORD. That's 866-899-9673.

Or keyboard to keyboard. If you'd rather meet us online, T-E-W online dot O-R-G is our website. That's T-E-W online dot O-R-G. One of the things that will happen if you visit us, you'll see an opportunity immediately to be able to sign up for the daily free devotional from Dr. Don.

It comes out email-a-phonically every morning. I pray you'll consider signing up for it. It is a powerful word. It jumpstarts my quiet time, and I believe it would do the same for you. But you'll also discover how we have been praying together for our country with Franklin Graham. Dr. Wilton and Dr. Graham, of course, friends for many, many years, and now his son Franklin, great friends with the ministry, and this time of situations in our country where really the best thing we can do is pray. You'll discover an opportunity to plug into that prayer time right there on our website at T-E-W online dot O-R-G. We've been praying now for about 20 so many days, but there's always an opportunity to pick up and join us or know this.

Even if you're just starting now, the power of prayer becomes more available to us as we just expend time and energy into it. It is a remarkable tool that God has given us. And if you'd like to discover more, you'll find it on our website at T-E-W online dot O-R-G. Now back to today's message, the greatest vision ever seen with Dr. Don Wilton. Well, this great vision that these three gentlemen had this picture did some amazing things. Number three, it demonstrated truth in who he raised. You know, here's Moses and Elijah. Have you ever wondered why God picked on Moses and Elijah?

I'd like to make a few suggestions to you because he was demonstrating truth. I believe that Moses and Elijah made an appearance. Now folks, this is rather remarkable because they'd been dead a long, long time.

But he picked on them because to the Jewish mind, they represented the law, Moses and the prophets, Elijah. You remember when Jesus told the story about the two men, the rich man and Lazarus? Lived a life, one man died and went to hell, the other man died and went to heaven? And the man who died and went to hell lift up his eyes being in torments and he saw who? Abraham in person, had a conversation with him, saw Lazarus beside him. And he said to him, Abraham, please, won't you send somebody back from the dead?

Back there to my father's house, right there to Chicago, right there to Dallas, right there to Phoenix, right there to Spartanburg, right there to Asheville. Won't you send someone back from the dead? Because I've got five brothers who are still alive and they won't believe that Jesus was raised from the dead. Send somebody back and then they'll believe.

And Jesus said, nope, first of all, God has already sent someone back from the dead. His name is Jesus and they wouldn't believe. But second of all, they have the law and they have the prophets. They've got Moses and they've got Elijah.

The law, the word of God, the prophets, the preachers, the tellers of the word of God. If they don't believe the fact that Jesus rose from the dead coupled together with what the word of God teaches and then even turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to what the preachers are saying concerning the word of the living God, they will never believe even if someone else were to come back from the dead. But there was perhaps another reason why he chose Moses and Elijah because they represented two categories of people who are in heaven and who will be in heaven. What happened to Moses, folks?

He died. The Bible said he was buried. Do you know that in 1 Thessalonians chapter 4, in fact in Matthew chapter 16 in the last verse, Jesus talks about it. He said, when you take up your cross, he said, I want you to know when the Son of Man comes with the angels, he said, some of you are going to be with him and some of you who are not already with him but are still alive are going to be caught up to be with him.

Well, what does that mean? I believe Moses was someone who died. He represents everybody who dies physically, including you and me if we die before Jesus comes back. I believe Moses represents all people who die physically. What do we see when we see Moses?

We see a real person, folks. His name is Moses. We hear him talk. We look at him. We call him by name.

We recognize him. These disciples did. Jesus was trying to send us a message. He was saying in Adam, all die, but in Christ Jesus, we're all made alive.

1 Corinthians chapter 15. And Moses is a representative of all those who have died. Well, where does that leave Elijah? Well, we know the story about Elijah. He was a prophet. The Bible says he was together with Elijah who took over the mantle of responsibility from him.

Elijah never died. He was translated. The Bible said he was traveling along and whoops, next minute he was gone.

If you want to read about what it means to be caught up, you've got to go to the rapture of the church in 1 Thessalonians chapter 4. And Elijah, my friends, was God's representative of all those who are still alive and remain at the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ who are going to be translated, raptured, taken up, taken out of this world to meet those who have already died, the Moses group in the air and so shall we forever be with the Lord. Jesus was covering all bases and guess who was standing in the middle? The Lord Jesus Christ himself.

Someone suggested to me in between one of the services. He said, don't you think, pastor, that these people were talking about the death of Jesus? We're encouraging Jesus to go all the way to the cross because their very standing there was totally dependent on the willing obedience of the Son to go all the way to the cross and be raised on the third day because that's the power of the resurrection.

Bible says because Christ has been raised from the dead, so too are all those who are in Christ that we too will be raised from the dead. And here Jesus demonstrated truth. He not only demonstrated truth, but number four, he proved truth. He proved it.

It's one thing to demonstrate truth, but it's an entirely other thing to prove truth by allowing you to see what you see. He said, look, and standing there was Elijah and standing there was Moses and in the middle was this one who is the Son of God, radically transformed by the power of God in Christ Jesus, looking ahead to his death upon the cross. This is who God is. And when these people, these disciples looked at the Savior, they knew. And even with their mistakes, even when Peter the apostle looked right there and he immediately elevated Elijah and Moses to the same level as Jesus, Jesus didn't condemn him.

Did you notice that? He said to him, fear not. Why did he say fear not, folks? Why did he appease them? He appeased them, my friends, because that's the power of the resurrection.

That's the good news of a day like this. That's what it means to know Jesus Christ. You have no fear of death. Folks, the Bible says when you receive Jesus into your heart and life, you receive eternal life.

God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believes in him shall not perish, have no fear, but will receive eternal life. And if you and I die before Jesus comes in the clouds, we're going straight to heaven to be with him. We're going to look at one another and know one another and talk together. We're going to recognize one another. That's the authority of the resurrected Christ. And if we're still alive and this world keeps going downhill like it is and Jesus determined to come back and he comes in the clouds, boom, boof, boof, just like that, boom. We're just taken out there just like Elijah. We're going to be translated in a snatch, in a moment, in a twinkling of an eye. We're going to be taken at the trumpet sound and we're going to meet those who have already died and so shall we forever be with the Lord Jesus.

And I want to invite you to come. Here's the reason why. It's because he lives that I can face tomorrow. It's because he lives that all fear is gone.

Folks, listen to that. It's the Lord Jesus Christ. That's Easter Sunday. That's the resurrection message. That's why Jesus was translated before them.

That's why he turned to them and he said to them, gentlemen, don't say anything about this now because people won't understand. But you're going to see the demonstration of the power of God when you turn up at the empty tomb and you're going to find out that I'm not there. I've risen.

And then he ascended to be seated at the right hand of the Father. Now that's exciting news, especially if you know you belong to Jesus Christ. If you know, if the world came to an end, if all of a sudden we were face to face with Jesus, do you know that you belong to him, that he would welcome you into heaven? I pray that you would take just a moment right now to make sure you know that you know that you know, as my pastor would say.

Here's Dr. Don Wilton. Are you ready? Would you pray this prayer with me right now? Dear God, I know that Jesus loves me and that he died on a cross for me. Today, I repent of my sin and I confess my sin to the Lord Jesus and I give him my heart and my life. In Jesus name I pray.

Amen. If you prayed that prayer from your heart and you've given your life to Christ, I welcome you to the family of God. You are my brother, my sister in Christ. Let's get engaged together because we are connected together forever as believers in Christ. I just believe that some of you, you've been hearing Dr. Wilton talk, maybe even you prayed along with him. But right now you've got questions.

We'd love to help you discover the answers. In the Bible itself, God's encouraging word. We're here not just now, but 24 hours a day to talk or listen or pray at 866-899-WORD. That's 866-899-9673. As Dr. Don would say, we would be honored to be one of your 2 a.m. friends to walk with you in the ways that God can strengthen your life by plugging into his encouraging word. Again, the number is 866-899-9673. Or meet us online at Just yesterday we were talking about this remarkable ministry to widows. It's a book that's available on our website.

Here's Liz with all the details. Losing a spouse can be very devastating and life-altering. How do you move forward? Joyce Rogers, widow of renowned pastor Adrian Rogers, has walked the path of widowhood since 2005 after being married for 54 years. In Grace for the Widow, A Journey Through the Fog of Loss, Joyce recounts her grief in touching detail on how she called on the Lord and his promises from scripture for strength. This book is filled with encouragement to readers recognizing God's continuing plan for those who have lost their spouse. Grace for the Widow, A Journey Through the Fog of Loss is available for your gift of $16 in support to the encouraging word. Call us at 866-899-WORD and request your copy today.

Limited quantities are available. The encouraging word is a viewer and listener supported ministry. Thank you for listening today. Our time's gone for today, but tomorrow another great message from God's word will be headed to John chapter 21 about the greatest lesson ever learned. I hope you'll join us. Maybe bring a friend. Between now and then we can stay connected online at or this phone number 866-899-9673.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-25 09:50:50 / 2023-01-25 10:01:42 / 11

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