Whatsoever Things Are True
by Dan Coburn
Pastor, Emmanuel Baptist Church
Yea, but How Do You Know?
I once had a young lady tell me she knew she was “Saved” cause when she was a child, an apple cart (no kidding) tipped over on her, and she prayed, and saw an angel, and didn’t die.   Do I believe she was under an apple cart?   Sure.  Do I believe she prayed?   Sure.   Do I believe she saw an angel?   I’m not ready to say she didn’t, and she obviously didn’t die, but none of that is the point.    The question is her Salvation. If we (as she does) place our faith in an experience, real or imagined, because the experience was good, or positive, then what do we do with the negative or bad experiences in our life.   You know they will come. What then do they mean?   Did we lose our Salvation?   Was the first experience not real?  
Nugget: Nowhere in Scripture, when prescribing a test of our Salvation, are we directed back in time.   Always, the test is Present tense; (many in 1st John) and they look like this = "If any man 'is' in Christ, this is what he looks like - this is what he does - this is how he reacts. 
Spiritual Switch: Peter had an experience.   He, James and John were with Jesus at His request, on a special mountain at a special time, and actually saw the Son of God in His Glorified state - Matt. 17.  Also present were Mosses and Elijah.  I don’t know about these two, but if Jesus looked anything like the Pre-incarnate and Post-incarnate Christ of Daniel and Revelation, it would explain the reaction of Peter and his friends. Jesus is described as 10 feet tall, Glowing, with eyes of fire and wielding a six foot sword.   He is Not a Baby in a manger any more.
The reaction of our heroes says it all.  They fell to the ground in fear. Probably talking to each other through their arm pits.  “You look”. “NO, I’m not looking, you look”.   Finally, Mosses and Elijah were gone, and Jesus returned to human form.   Peter, heart still racing, jumped up and spoke to Jesus.  Have you ever seen someone so emotionally torn up they babbled?  Made no sense?    Peter said: “Lord we should make three tabernacles or monuments. One for you, one for Mosses, and one for Elijah.”   Peter was putting them all three on the same plane, and timing being everything, God appeared in a cloud, and a voice from heaven said it all. “This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased. Listen to Him”.   In other words, Mosses is great.  Elijah? I love him to death, but This is the Savior. This is the Messiah. This is My chosen sacrifice. Listen to Him.   No one is on the same plane as Jesus, and to elevate anyone or anything to this level, is to diminish Christ and take qualities that are Uniquely His, and try (in vain) to ascribe them to another.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch; Peter had an experience. It was Awesome.   In fact, in 2nd Peter 1:16-18, he brags about the experience. Then, (and don’t miss this) in vs 19 and 20, he says there is something infinitely greater than his experience. It is the Scriptures. The Rule against which all experiences are measured.  You can long for an experience. Thunder and Lightning if you will, but if you are "in Christ", I’ll bet you already have something far greater.   Have you read your Bible today?  God Bless. 

Cottonwood, Idaho 83522


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