THE MOUNT OF OLIVES - THE MOUNTAIN OF GOD Print E-mail

Sunday, June 11, 2017, the Year of Our Lord

THE MOUNT OF OLIVES - THE MOUNTAIN OF GOD

Pastor Carolyn Sissom

 

Last Tuesday at Bible Study, Pastor Kayode Oyegoke preached on the New Creation, New Heaven and New Earth.  In his teaching he expounded on two of the mountains of God, the Most Holy Mountain, Olivet and the Holy Mountain, Zion.  In eloquence of speech, he identified the seraphim as the congregation of Mt. Zion, and the cherubim as the congregation of the Mount of Olives.  I asked him to further expound on these revelations and he will do so next Tuesday.

 

The purpose of this teaching is to establish a foundation of spiritual and literal interpretation of the Mount of Olives.

 

 The Mount of Olives was in the truest sense Jesus’ home during his ministry.  We never read of Him spending a night in Jerusalem.  When every man went unto his own house, Jesus went unto the Mount of Olives. 

 

Luke 21:37: In the daytime he was teaching in the temple, and at night he went out and abode in the mount called the Mount of Olives.

 

Ezekiel spoke of this day as well as the Presence of the Divine Majesty (Shekinah Glory) dwelt three and a half years on the Mount of Olives, to see whether the Jewish people would or would not repent, calling, Return unto me, and I will return unto you; (Mal. 3:7) Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near; (Isa. 55:6) and then, when all was vain, returned to its own place.

 

Ez. 11:22-23: Then did the cherubims lift up their wings, and the wheels beside them; and the glory of the God of Israel was over them above.  And the glory of the Lord went up from the midst of the city, and stood upon the mountain which is on the east side of the city.

 

Jesus Christ is the true Shekinah Presence.  The time of His public ministry was three and one-half years.  During that time, Jesus made Olivet His place of resort.  From its grassy knolls and green slopes, as from a throne of emerald confronting His own Zion, He pleaded in words of stern majesty and tearful tenderness, ---Turn you, turn ye, why will you die, O house of Israel?

 

When Jesus’ divine mission was terminated, it was from the Mount of Olives that He ascended in the Shekinah-cloud---“a cloud received Him out of their sight.”

 

There is another prophecy in Zechariah 14: 4-16, linking a glorious past with a yet glorious future.  The verses are written in highly poetical imagery, a delineation of the Church of the future. 

 

There are different schools of thought as to whether the imagery is literal or metaphorical of the Gospel age.  As you know, my gift is spiritual.  However, we will view these verses in their twofold application.  Whichever your view, I will not debate it with you. 

 

The prophet’s eyes are directed to the most terrible crisis in Jewish History and that was the earthquake in the day of King Uzziah.  His eyes are directed onward comparing  an earthquake yet to come with that day.   It was the “day of the Lord,”---the day of His vengeance and recompense,---the day of battle.”  But it is only a momentary glimpse into that dark day.  Zechariah then begins to speak of “glorious things” of the city of God. 

 

The fall of Jerusalem---the fall of the Jewish state, and the destruction of their Temple and worship was to be the rise of the riches of the Gentiles.  It was to inaugurate a new era in the Church and in the world.  From its dust and ashes a saved remnant is to go forth---the germ of a new kingdom which will increase and spread until it becomes co-extensive with the globe.

 

By the prophetic imagery of the heaving of an earthquake, Olivet seems to cleave in two.  One-half of the mountain removes toward the north, the other half toward the south; forming a very great valley.  While havoc and death rage within the devoted walls of the city, there is a remnant---the types and representatives of the saved---God’s true Israel in every age, inclusive of restored Israel--- are seen bursting through the breaches in the eastern walls.  Beholding the mighty valley, like a gate of safety, they rush along it as far as “Azal.”  (Vs. 5).  You shall flee to the valley of the mountains.

 

The prophet gazes again---the very great valley now has a river or stream flowing through it---living waters leap from the Temple-Rock flowing down the eastern slopes to the Kedron.  One half toward the Dead Sea carrying life and happiness and the other toward the Western Sea, mingling with the waves of the Mediterranean.

 

This is metaphorical of the power and progress of the Gospel breaking up and repealing the Jewish economy.  Christ stands in vision on His favorite mountain.  His glorified feet press the very sod from where he would weep at Gethsemane.  Up heaving from its foundations is the hill of God, Mt. Zion; its mighty masses of rock removed out of their places.  The temple and temple sacrifices over turned.   The mountain barriers and walls of separation which had excluded the Gentiles are demolished.  The waste places of the earth, the deserts of heathenism are opened up.  Zech. 4:7:  Who are you O great mountain?---you shall become a plain.

 

Zech. 14:4-5:  His feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. You shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal; yea, you shall flee like as you fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah; and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with you.

 

The disruption of a mountain (metaphorical of kingdoms) is as an earthquake-shock depicted the mighty revolution which occurred in the Church of God by the admission of the outer-world “un-covenant nations” to the privileges of the Jew. 

 

Isaiah describes the commencement of the same Gospel era, Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together. (Isa. 40: 4-5).

 

No more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God. (Eph. 2:19)

 

Zech. 14:8: It shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea; in summer and in winter shall it be.

 

The living waters gushing forth from Jerusalem are a beautiful symbol of the Gospel’s progress through the world.  Preach the Gospel to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.  By the grace and energy of the Holy Spirit poured out at Pentecost, these waters are life giving, carrying healing and joy wherever they go.

 

The old material temple of Jerusalem is destroyed.  Jesus Christ, the great antitype of theTemple takes its place.  It is from Him all gospel blessings flow, and the power of the Cross makes them living waters.

 

Ezekiel’s parallel picture is fuller, and more graphic.  He sees the same vision of holy waters issuing from under the threshold of the house eastward, at the south side of the altar; these getting deeper and deeper until it becomes a huge torrent, an impassable river.

 

It shall come to pass that everything that lives, which moves, wherever the rivers shall come shall live.  What a picture of the spread of the Gospel, the triumph of Christianity. 

 

The promised Holy Spirit descended on the Day of Pentecost.  The fountain was opened in the house of David (Zech 13:1).  The river carries countless blessings in its course.  Where Christianity has not converted and regenerated, it has civilized.  It has tamed the savage, and elevated the civilized.  Wherever Christianity has permeated, its streams carry with it life, health, healing and joy.  Everything shall live wherever the river goes.

 

14:6-8:  It shall come to pass in that day that the light shall not be clear, or dark: but it shall be one day which shall be known to the LORD, not day, or night; but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light.

 

This is surely a faithful and vivid picture of the church during these last two thousand plus years.  The light of the church has often been neither clear nor dark.  Her glorious light of truth obscured by error, schism, superstition, idolatry, will-worship, human reason---the blots and blemishes of her own members.  It has been a mixed, mingled imperfect state.  Dark” yet blessed be God--- never a total eclipse; now and then a bright light in the clouds.  He who stands on Mount Olivet watches these varying and apparently capricious clouds.  That day will not last forever.  At the evening time of the Church, it shall be light.   Oh precious saints, I believe that bright light of Glory is coming to the Church in this day.  The Church shall come forth as the morning fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners (Song. 6:10).

 

 

Zech. 14:9-10: The LORD shall be king over all the earth; in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one.  All the land shall be turned as a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem; and it shall be lifted up, and inhabited in her place, from Benjamin’s gate unto the place of the first gate, unto the corner gate, and from the tower of Hananeel. Men shall dwell in it, and there shall be no more utter destruction; but Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited…(Vs. 16)It shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.

 

 

The mount which is before Jerusalem,” and of Him who when on earth made it His most consecrated abode, “Surely the Lord is in this place…this is none other than the House of God, and this is the Gate of Heaven! (Gen. 28:17)

 

All who have seen the olive, in this the land of its glory, will understand the allusion and comparison of the prophet of Israel.  Hos. 14:6: His branches shall spread, and his beauty shall be as the olive tree, and his smell as Lebanon.

 

Yet through Christ Jesus, wherever we are, we now have access to His Holy Presence.  We do not have to go to the Mount of Olives in Israel to experience the Gate of Heaven.

 

This brings us to the second view which this prophecy suggests.  It is the world’s evening-time.  The literalist school of prophetic interpreters do not see this as poetic imagery, or as types and figures, but as realities.

 

That the descent of Jesus Christ to the Mount of Olives is a literal descent in His glorified humanity, with all His saints with Him.  Because of the gifts of God within me, I see the spiritual interpretation.  I know Jesus is coming again.  I know He comes in many visitations and dispensations of His Glory.  The Lord shall be King over all the earth; in that day shall there be one Lord, and His name one.   Every crown of every nation will be cast at the Redeemer’s feet.  The Lord alone shall be exalted in that day.  All the land shall be turned into a plain…Men shall dwell in Jerusalem.  There shall be no more utter destruction.  Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited.  There will be a universal love for God’s ordinances.  The families of the earth will go up unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts. 

 

Once more it will be a season of perfect holiness; a time of national and undivided consecration to God’s service.  In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, Holiness unto the Lord; and the pots in the Lord’s house shall be like the bowls before the altar (Vs. 20.)

 

We have been speaking of a figurative earthquake which rent the sacred Mount of Olives.  Yet a little while, and he that shall come, will come and will not tarry.  The Lord shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake; but the Lord will be the hope of His people and the strength of the children of Israel.

 

Though these living waters are spiritually symbolic of the Holy Spirit to gladden and refresh all nations, we must think of them particularly with reference to Israel.  I believe the day is coming when the fig tree will bring forth glorious fruit---may God speed it!

 

Zechariah 12:8-9:  In that day shall the LORD defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is  feeble among them at that day be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the LORD before them.  It shall come to pass in that day that I will seek to destroy all nations that come against Jerusalem.

 

Just as the Gospel Church is the Seed of Abraham, we are also the Seed of David; so this prophecy is for both natural ingathered Israel and spiritual Israel.

 

I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications; and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for his only sonAt evening time it shall be light.  In the 20th and 21st centuries, Israel as a nation has come into great prosperity and prominence on the world stage---yet they continue to be persecuted and contend for the land.  The Lord will bind up the breach of his people and heal the stroke of their wounds.

 

With what joy His feet will stand on that Mount of Olives---these same children of Zion will be joyful in their King.

 

Crown Him Lord of All --- We will rest in his love.  He will joy over us with singing.  Israel has become the global spiritual metropolis of the nations of the saved, and of the converted children of Abraham. 

 

Isa. 2:2-3: It shall come to pass, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. Many people shall go and say, come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us his ways, and we will walk in his paths; for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

 

This prophecy has been fulfilled in our life time.  The nations of the world travel to Israel.  The LORD is God over Jerusalem.  He has walked and talked with me there just like he walks and talks with me here. 

 

All the nations who refuse him allegiance will cast their crowns before him.  The President of the United States just made a trip to Israel and worshipped Jesus, laying his crown as his feet for the whole world to witness.


Our LORD is omnipresent and omniscient.  He has us hidden in His OMNI !!!!

 

Carolyn Sissom, Pastor

Eastgate Ministries Church

www.eastgateministries.com

Scripture from K.J.V. – I entered into the labors of John Ross MacDuff (1818-1895).  Comments and conclusions are my own and not meant to reflect the views of The Reverend John Ross MacDuff. (at the time, he wrote about the Mount of Olives, the Jews had not been restored to their land.)  

 
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