After six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John and led them up on a high mountain by themselves to be alone. He was transformed in front of them, and His clothes became dazzling—extremely white as no launderer on earth could whiten them. Elijah appeared to them with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus.
Then Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it’s good for us to be here! Let us make three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah”— because he did not know what he should say, since they were terrified.
A cloud appeared, overshadowing them, and a voice came from the cloud:
This is My beloved Son;
listen to Him!
Then suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone with them except Jesus alone. (Mark 9:2-8)
In this “Transfiguration” we see a perfect representation of the future Rapture. In the original Greek, the word was metamorphothe, which was translated into Latin as Trans Figura, the changing of appearance or of the body itself.
Notice who is present:
- The Godhead, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
- The Old Testament believers, represented by Moses as the law-giver and Elijah as the first prophet
- The New Testament believers, represented by Peter, James, and John
The Rapture representation is complete when considering the word Mark uses for the transformation: stilbein. This is the Greek word used for the glistening gleam of burnished brass or gold, or of polished steel, or of the golden glare of the sunlight. This radiance is the natural state of Jesus the Messiah. At the Rapture, we will also shine with this radiance.
Dear friends, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet been revealed. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him because we will see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself just as He is pure. (1 John 3:2-3)
Since the Transfiguration happened on the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles, Peter made the suggestion of building a tabernacle for each of them. He probably expected that God would usher in the new age, the “Day of the Lord,” during that Feast of Tabernacles. They still did not understand His atoning sacrifice was imminent. They did not know the big picture.
The plan of the Lord is far more complex and beautiful than is commonly portrayed. The glorious unfolding of the Universe builds up in a series of thresholds. Each threshold creates the “Goldilocks” stage, with emergent properties, for a new order of complexity.
From a Christian and a scientific perspective, this is a synopsis of the story of the Universe:
Before the Big Bang, all of the laws of the Universe were set in place by the Lord. The universe was finely tuned for us. The degree of fine-tuning of these laws is difficult to imagine.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1)
First Threshold: Physics About 14 billion years ago, the universe is born, incredibly hot, busting, expanding faster than the speed of light. At this threshold, the basic components of matter, energy, space, and the arrow of time are created.
Second Threshold: Astronomy Stars are born, as gravity pulls together hydrogen and helium.
Third Threshold: Chemistry Stars die, creating temperatures hot enough to make complex chemicals, as well as rocks, asteroids, planets, moons, and our solar system.
Forth Threshold: Planetary Sciences Gravity pulls together complex elements to create solar systems with planets.
Fifth Threshold: Life Sciences Life appears, with molecules growing from the Goldilocks conditions, with neither too much nor too little energy.
Sixth Threshold: History God makes Man to rule His creation.
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness. They will rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the livestock, all the earth, and the creatures that crawl on the earth.”
So God created man in His own image;
He created him in the image of God;
He created them male and female. (Genesis 1:26-27)
Seventh Threshold: Divinity The Lord completes His plan for the Universe by joining with the Body of Christ. This includes our transfiguration at the Rapture.
As Christians, we know that God Himself became a man as Jesus Christ, took on man’s nature, lived, died, resurrected, and ascended as a man, and now is ruling in the heaven:
But Stephen, filled by the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven. He saw God’s glory, with Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and he said, “Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!” Acts 7:55-56
We should also know that we, as Christians, are heirs with Christ:
All those led by God’s Spirit are God’s sons. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father!” The Spirit Himself testifies together with our spirit that we are God’s children, and if children, also heirs—heirs of God and coheirs with Christ—seeing that we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him. (Romans 8:14-17)
When the time came to completion, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba, Father!” So you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God. (Galatians 4:4-7)
The Bible uses our relationship as the Church with Jesus Christ as His “body” and His “bride”. These are symbolic designations for something so wonderful and beyond our comprehension that we can’t fully understand it at this time. The Body of Christ consists of individuals that are joined together to form the “body.”
Now as we have many parts in one body, and all the parts do not have the same function, in the same way we who are many are one body in Christ and individually members of one another. (Romans 12:4-5)
Don’t you know that your bodies are a part of Christ’s body? (1 Corinthians 6:15)
He uses the example of the human body to try to explain the concept of being an individual in Christ as well as a part of a larger “superorganism” – the Body of Christ:
For as the body is one and has many parts, and all the parts of that body, though many, are one body—so also is Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. So the body is not one part but many. If the foot should say, “Because I’m not a hand, I don’t belong to the body,” in spite of this it still belongs to the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I’m not an eye, I don’t belong to the body,” in spite of this it still belongs to the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But now God has placed each one of the parts in one body just as He wanted. And if they were all the same part, where would the body be? Now there are many parts, yet one body. (1 Corinthians 12:12-20)
Paul goes on to explain that the “head” of this “body” is Christ Himself:
And He personally gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, for the training of the saints in the work of ministry, to build up the body of Christ, until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of God’s Son, growing into a mature man with a stature measured by Christ’s fullness. Then we will no longer be little children, tossed by the waves and blown around by every wind of teaching, by human cunning with cleverness in the techniques of deceit. But speaking the truth in love, let us grow in every way into Him who is the head—Christ. From Him the whole body, fitted and knit together by every supporting ligament, promotes the growth of the body for building up itself in love by the proper working of each individual part. (Ephesians 4:12-16)
Paul also explains that the Gentiles have been included into the Body:
The Gentiles are coheirs, members of the same body, and partners of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel. (Ephesians 3:6)
Paul shows that the Rapture will be of the Body:
God raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power. Don’t you know that your bodies are a part of Christ’s body? …But anyone joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him… Don’t you know that your body is a sanctuary of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? (1 Corinthians 6:14, 15, 17, 19)
As a part of the Body of Christ, the Lord fulfills His promise to make all things new…
Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.”
What “new” is included in His promise?
Our salvation as a new creation:
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Our new spiritual bodies:
For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.
And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man. (1 Corinthians 15:49)
New heavens and a new earth:
For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth;
And the former shall not be remembered or come to mind.
Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:2-4)
And so, even with all the troubles we are experiencing with the trauma of these End Times, we can look forward to our Transfiguration into a new, eternal life as the Body in the Lord’s kingdom! We will rule the Universe with Christ!
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (1 Peter 1:3-5)