Lift Up Your Eyes Unto The Mountains
Tract #1 of “Higher Vistas -- The Monumental Mountains Of God” series
written by Roddy Kenneth Street, Jr.
Copyright 2005 by Roddy Kenneth Street, Jr.
All publication rights and reproduction rights are reserved to the author.
Lift up your eyes unto the hills and mountains. See the vistas of the lands that float above you! From whence comes your help? Does it come from the devils of the pagan shrines and the “high places” of the mountains?
Only if you are following the Prince of Darkness who is worshiped on the Mount of Corruption. There are many, those with benighted minds, who worship him instead of the Creator God.
Nay, let it never be so. Your help should come from the Lord, that God Almighty who made Heaven and Earth! You should be loyal always to the Father above and the army of the Righteous Angels. Never dream of serving him who is “the father below,” the Prince of Darkness who reigns in Hell!
Your help comes from God the Father and from God the Son, through whom all things in our Universe were made. And it comes from the Holy Spirit, Who gives you strength.
In our modern society, there are many liars and deceivers; in our world, there are still a great number of kings, college professors, and leaders of society who refuse to acknowledge the lordship of Christ.
Jesus told a fascinating story to the people of ancient Israel, a little parable that goes like this:
The story is of rich man who has died and been consigned to Hell. He sees Abraham afar off and Lazarus “in the bosom of Abraham.” Both of them are visible to him, but they are in a distant place (Heaven), and he is separated from them by “a great gulf” that is fixed between the two places. The damned soul of the rich man, in the agony of Hell, wishes to somehow warn his brothers about Hell... so that they might avoid this horrible place.
He wishes that God would have mercy upon him by allowing Lazarus to return from the dead briefly, just long enough to give a warning to the five brothers of the one who is in Hell. He asks that Lazarus go back to the living people of Earth, and give them a warning about the dangers of Hell.
The rich man of Hell says, “I pray thee therefore, father, that thou would send him to my father’s house— for I have five brethren— that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.”
It seems, though, that God and Abraham both feel that the people of Earth have had too many warnings already, because he does not get a favorable response to his request.
He is told, "They have Moses and the prophets. Let them listen to them."
"No,” he responds, for he knows that his brothers are far from God’s truth. “But if one goes to them from the dead, perhaps they will repent.” He is thinking, “Perhaps they will listen to one who has risen from the dead."
Yet God and Abraham are apparently not persuaded by this proposal, for Abraham says this to the man who is trapped in Hell: "If they will not believe Moses and the prophets, then they will not believe even the words of one who has risen from the dead."
Jesus’ parable here foreshadows, to some extent, the future days after His own burial and resurrection. Jesus Himself came back from the dead and spoke with crowds of up to 500 people for a period of 40 days after His crucifixion, telling them much more about Heaven and Hell before the moment of His ascension. Yet today there are many people who still refuse to believe all His warnings about Hell...! These persist in their unbelief, despite the fact that Jesus, during all His ministry days, had talked more about the dangers of Hell than almost any of the other subjects He discussed...!
Today there are many unbelievers who even now refuse to listen to the words of Jesus— a person who did indeed rise from the dead, who actually came back to life for our sake. He returned to humanity and was willing to talk some more about His experience! He brought with Him a stern warning about the danger of Hell, and a knowledge of the spiritual realities that exist on the Other Side, in the World After Death.
On the wooden cross of His crucifixion, He had suffered great pain, bearing all the sins of humanity and paying the blood-price that was required for the salvation of humanity. Then He had spent three days in days in Hell, during which time He set many of the captives free... all those who had eagerly awaited the coming of the Messiah. He endured the pain of physical death and then passed through Hell, but nothing could stop the Holy One in His ascent from the grave!
But that resurrection wasn’t His first such miracle! Jesus had previously raised at least three other people from the dead...!
The historical records show that Jesus had earlier raised from the dead a widow’s son in a city called Nain, bringing him back to life. The young man then sat up in his coffin and started to speak... to the amazement of everyone present! Jesus thus returned to this heartbroken widow her only son, who had been thoroughly dead.
Jesus then raised from her deathbed the only daughter of Jairus, a little girl only 12 years of age, and He had raised His friend Lazarus to life even after Lazarus had already been 4 days in a tomb! The relatives of Lazarus were concerned about the idea of opening up the tomb, because they figured the corpse would have already started to smell with an odor of rotting flesh... but Jesus had pulled off the resurrection of Lazarus too, without any trouble at all.
Scripture says that “The common folk of the Jews therefore learned that Jesus was there: and they came, not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might see Lazarus also, whom he had raised from the dead. [12:9 in John]
Then Jesus Himself was raised from the dead after 3 days in His own tomb. Jesus didn't just disappear and get teleported to Heaven: He didn't want to ascend to Heaven quite that fast. When He rose from the grave, He first came back to His disciples and spent 40 more days with them, teaching them and telling them even more about what was happening in the kingdom of Heaven. He came back from the grave and gave us all another warning about the dangers of Hell... in a way that seems almost to have fulfilled the remorseful desire of that condemned rich man in His parable.
Jesus not only made a man named “Lazarus” come back from the dead with knowledge of the Afterlife... He did something more. He presented us with even more evidence than that which Lazarus would provide. Jesus soon after came back from the grave Himself, so that we humans will all see that He speaks only truth— God’s Own Truth— when He warns us of what is on the Other Side of our earthly existence!
Jesus considered us all (all the members of the human race) to be "his brothers," and so He gave us ample warning. He warned us time and again. He even rose from the dead and came back to Earth's people in a resurrected body, just so He could give us further warning and further teaching.
Did you know that the Bible teaches that when Jesus died on the cross, the earth quaked and some of the local graves were burst open with miraculous results? Most amazingly, Matthew 27:52-53 states that a number of former citizens of Jerusalem— honored saints who were known to be long dead— were suddenly resurrected and seen to be walking around Jerusalem in healthy new bodies!
A Charles Ryrie footnote says “These people may have been restored to earthly bodies to die again or resurrected with glorified bodies.” We don’t know which was the case.
The Bible says they “came out of the graves” and “went into the city, and appeared to many.” Now that’s just one of many cool scenes that you never get to observe in the movie version!
Was that supposed to be a sign of some kind? Seems likely, don’t you reckon...? After all, it just happened to occur at the same moment when Jesus died on His cross!
When Jesus earlier raised the little girl (Jairus’ daughter) from the dead, and then raised His friend Lazarus from a tomb, were these supposed to be meaningful signs for humanity... something significant, something that pointed ahead, foreshadowing some further occurrence?
When several more citizens of Jerusalem were resurrected from their graves and seen walking around the streets of Jerusalem right after Jesus had breathed his last breath on the cross of His crucifixion... was that also a sign intended for the spiritually-blind people of Israel and our world? Was this the foreshadowing of a future event, something still in humanity’s distant future...?
You KNOW it, neighbor! By these several resurrections, Jesus was showing us all just what was ahead for us!
When God raised Jesus Christ so quickly from the dead, right after His crucifixion, that was an important sign too. You'd better BELIEVE IT, pilgrim! You BET it was!
All these early resurrections were just a preview of a great GENERAL RESURRECTION of the dead that God is planning for the human race. Jesus Christ displayed for us a genuine mind-clincher, letting the human race get a quick glimpse of the first fruits (i.e., the first examples) of that far-future Resurrection (the General Resurrection of the dead) which was yet to come.
To be or not to be...? That's a question that Hamlet once struggled with in a play by Shakespeare. Well, the still-future General Resurrection of the dead is a reality that is certainly meant TO BE. God has been planning this event for innumerable centuries.
Hamlet also spoke of death as “that undiscovered country from whose bourn [i.e., boundary] no traveler returns,” but he was wrong about that. Jesus of Nazareth experienced the great pain of a biological death on Earth, yet came back to tell us about it! Jesus Christ has already been through death and Hell, and He did indeed return from that country to tell His followers what it’s like on the Other Side! And He has warned us all about the dangers of Hell.
It is the Holy Spirit Who now reveals to you the nature of Jesus Christ. You know He is part of the Divine Godhead, the second Person of the Triune God. Your heart tells you that Jesus was a miracle child who lived a holy and miraculous life! Yet there is no man righteous, no not one. There has never been a holy life in a mortal man. So what’s the answer? Jesus was holy because a Person of the Triune God had descended to Earth when He was born in that tiny manger in Bethlehem. Jesus could only live a Holy Life on our Earth because He was of the same nature as God!
The Holy Spirit reveals this to you now. The Holy Spirit is also part of that Divine Godhead, being Himself a third entity within a Three-As-One God!
You've often heard it said that Jesus Christ can give you "Eternal Life." They should have told you, more correctly, that Jesus can give you "Eternal Life in Heaven" or "Eternal Life with God." The truth is, God has already designed every human being on Earth as an immortal, giving every human being an "eternal life"— a life-force that survives bodily death.
Every human being on Earth, even the unsaved, will experience a Life After Death... a life that continues after the occurrence of bodily death. The Big Question is this: Where are you going to stay when you reach that new world of further existence... that eternal lifetime which is ahead of you? Will you spend it with Father God in Heaven, or will you spend it with Satan— whom Jesus calls the Prince of this Earth— and with many demons, in a nightmarish Hell that continues for all of eternity?
Hell is a place where the enemies of God will be trapped forever with their leader (Satan) and endless remorse. It’s rather like a Lunatic Asylum that will imprison all the enemies of God.
You may wonder why a Loving God (a God of Light) would allow such a thing as Hell to exist. Well, it’s like this:
God created all human and angelic beings in His Universe with the innate gift of Eternal Life, and they get to keep forever that Endless Spirit which resides within their outward forms. They stay alive for all time, infinitely... no matter how much they sin, no matter how evil or insane they may become. So God has to put the Evil One and all his followers SOMEWHERE, when He recreates the Universe and produces the New Earth as a World of Light.
The Darkness which Satan, his demons, and his followers have so long promoted... then becomes the Prison that will trap them for all of Eternity.
So choose this day whom you will serve...! If God the Father is your God, then choose to follow Him...! If you continue to follow the Prince of Darkness, then you must share his ultimate destiny...!
To become a child of God, you need to have the same Father as Jesus Christ. You have got to be able to see the face of God the Father in the face of His Son Jesus Christ. Jesus is the perfect image of God, the only true representation of the Holiness of God. But Jesus is even more than that. Before his human incarnation, the Christ was already part of a Triune (Three-In-One) God. He had existed at the Beginning of our Universe as God The Son, and all things in our Universe were made through Him. When you imagine Jesus as a little babe lying in the straw of a manger, you need to know where He came from... and just how much He had been humbled by His initial entry into the life of planet Earth.
You also need to know about another Monumental Mountain of God: It’s the Mount of Skulls, also called Golgotha. Over the centuries, it’s also become known as Mount Calvary. This is the place where the Romans erected the cross upon which Jesus would be crucified. It was a rather small mountain, at least in its physical size, but it was a mountain with a great significance: This is the mountain upon which God’s Son brought salvation to the world of humanity, bringing rescue to all the lost persons of our planet. Our lives were hijacked by the Dark Forces of the Evil One, and we were all victims of the Devil, prisoners who had been kidnaped by Satan. But Jesus paid the ransom that was required and got us free from the grip of the Evil One.
You can meet God atop Mount Calvary and gain His great blessing upon your life, just as Moses met Him atop Mount Sinai. You can gain God’s protection and His guidance too, just as it was given to Moses so long ago. You can begin to see miracles in your own life, just as Moses and the people of ancient Israel saw them in the early centuries of that nation. Just as our Founding Fathers in America saw the Hand of God in the miracles by which He blessed the United States— starting from the time when this country was first formed, 'way back in the 1600's and 1700's.
It all begins when you climb up Mount Calvary and find the treasure at its top, when you accept the salvation that God offers you through the selfless and “patriotic” sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ. This was surely the greatest “humanitarian” act in all of the Earth’s long history. Jesus was willing to lay down His life for His friends, in accordance with the will of His Father, in the immense battle against demons and the forces of Darkness. In so doing, he assured the ultimate victory of the Sons of Light over the Sons of Darkness.
You can share the Light of Jesus Christ, can reflect His Holy Light in a Cruel World, and thus become a point of illumination in the darkness of this world.
God’s Light can become a Lamp unto your feet and a Light unto your path, if you choose to accept rescue and salvation that is available in Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God Almighty.
You can even live to see the Light of God flowing through you and reaching out to other people in our world...!
It’s time your mind was illuminated by Jesus Christ, the Holy One Who is the Light of the World!
You can share this wonderful light by placing Jesus Christ, Who in the Trinity of God created our Universe, upon a throne at the center of your heart! He deserves that position and that kind of respect. He was first God The Son, but when born in human flesh He became the only sinless and righteous person who ever lived. Yet He sacrificed Himself on a cross for your sake, taking all guilt and sins upon Himself, in order that you and I— that all people— that whoever wishes for salvation might be rescued from the due punishment of sins.
If you will do this, you will gain a new contentment and peace as you accept God's organizational plan for the Universe . . . because you'll be letting God be the Ruler of All Things in this world . . . and in your own life.
All it really takes is a simple but sincere little prayer— one that you should make up in your own words. The prayer for deliverance and for God's leadership should come from your own heart!
Some important elements that you might include are:
1) your desire to turn away from the wrongness or evil of your
past life, and your remorse over the sins of your previous life,
2) your desire for God's forgiveness and mercy through the act
of sacrifice of His Only Begotten Son (Jesus Christ),
3) your desire to know God's leadership in your life,
4) your desire to learn more of God's truth through Bible study,
5) your desire to find fellowship with genuine believers.
Jesus said of the people of God that "The kingdom of heaven is like a net that God has cast into the sea, and it gathers of every kind: When it is full, it will be pulled up on the shore, where they will sit down to sort the catch, and they will collect the good fish in baskets, but the bad things will be thrown away. This is the way it will be at the end of the world: The angels shall come forth, and they will separate the unrighteous persons from among those justified by God . . ."
Excerpt from the Book of Matthew, who was a constant
companion of Jesus and his devoted disciple [13:47-50].
Jesus spoke of the people of God as being like a seed that is growing secretly, saying, “As for the kingdom of God, it is as if a person should cast seed into the ground; and then he sleeps, and he rises up night and day to see that the seed is springing forth and always growing up, although he knows not exactly how. The Earth is bringing forth fruit from itself; first the blade, then the ears of corn, and after that the fullness of the ears of corn. And when all the fruit of the Earth has come forth, immediately God will use the sickle to reap the fields, because the harvest-time has come."
Excerpt from the book of Mark [4:26-29].
It's also important for all of us to remember this:
1) WE SPEAK TO GOD by our prayers.
2) GOD SPEAKS TO US by the words of Holy Scripture.
So we must try to read His words and His Book
just as often as we possibly can!!
God wants to bless you for all your long efforts to understand this very confusing and difficult Universe in which we live— so let Him reward your search with the grace of His forgiveness and enlightenment!
THIS GUIDE WAS WRITTEN FOR YOU BY. . .
Ken Street, a baptized follower of the Way.
first draft was written on
December 30, 2002 &
January 1, 2003