The Transfiguration: A Preview of the Second Coming of Christ


The Transfiguration: A Preview of the Second Coming of Christ

April 30th, 1967 @ 10:50 AM

Matthew 16:28

Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.
Print Sermon
Play Audio

Show References:



Dr. W. A. Criswell

Matthew 16:28

4-30-67     10:50 a.m.


I like that.  The sermon announced for tonight is A Preview of the Second Coming of Christ.  The sermon announced for this morning was The Brazen Serpent.  And they had their songs prepared.  This morning, they were going to sing about the cross and the atonement of the Lord.  Tonight, they were going to sing about the second coming of Christ.  After they came to church this morning, I announced to them, “I want you to change all those songs.”  I like somebody that can shoot from the hip.  I like it.  I like a preacher that can get up and preach; I like a choir that can get up and sing.  That is what you did; thank you.  Keep it up!

Some time ago, I published a book entitled Expository Notes on the Gospel of Matthew.  And after it was published somebody came to me and said, “Did you know, one of the most pertinent verses in the Bible, and one of the most enigmatic to me, you didn’t even refer to?  You didn’t discuss, you didn’t even quote, you never mentioned it.”  “Well,” I said, “what verse is that?”  And they said, “The last verse in the sixteenth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew, which says. ‘Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, who shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom’” [Matthew 16:28].

Well, I got down the book I had written to see what I had said, and surely enough, I never mentioned it.  I never referred to it.  And I have no idea, unless first, it might have been I was so engrossed in expiating on this sixteenth chapter of Matthew about Christ building His church on the rock [Matthew 16:17-18], or I was engrossed in the seventeenth chapter of Matthew, which describes the transfiguration [Matthew 17:1-9], that I just didn’t pay any attention to that verse in between.  It was either that, or else I didn’t know what it meant.  And when you don’t know what anything means, best thing to do is keep your mouth shut; isn’t that right?  Just don’t say anything at all.  Well, it might have been that.

In any event, from that time of the publication of that book until now, I have been constantly asked, “Why didn’t you say something about that?” and “What does that mean?”  Well, I have been a-studying, and I have been a-thinking, and I have been a-preparing, and I am ready now to preach.

You’re listening to the services of the First Baptist Church in Dallas, and this is the pastor bringing the message entitled The Transfiguration: A Preview of the Second Coming of Christ.  Now, the text again, “Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, who shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom” [Matthew 16:28].

As you read you will find many things that are suggested as being fulfillments of that prophecy of our Lord.  For example, some people will say that refers, “There be some standing here who shall not die until they see the glories of God in My ministry,” such as the raising of Lazarus from the dead [John 11:43-44].  Well, that’s fine, and it could mean that.  It could refer to the marvelous, miraculous power exhibited in the ministry of the Son of God.  Then there are those who would suggest it means that “There be some standing here who shall not taste of death until they see Me raised from the dead.”  And no doubt, in the cross and in the resurrection, the Lord despoiled principalities and powers of darkness [Colossians 2:15].  He burst asunder the bands of the grave and rose triumphant over the sentence of death [Matthew 28:1-6].  No doubt about that.  And that could be a part of what He meant.  Then there are those who suggest, as many of them suggest, that this refers to Pentecost: “There be some standing here who shall not taste of death until they see the power of God poured out into this world, and the glorious ministry of this age of grace is launched” [Acts 2:1-42].  Well, that’s fine.  It could refer to that, that’s true.

Then there are those—and I’m surprised at how many of New Testament scholars will believe in this—and they say, because He said they shall not taste of death [Matthew 16:28], that means that many of them will die but some will be alive, some few will be alive.  So they say it refers to a time beyond what most of those people would live in, and they suggest 70 AD; that this was fulfilled in 70 AD, when the Jewish nation was destroyed, when the temple was destroyed, and when the onward march of Christianity went beyond Judaism into the Roman Empire.  Well, there’s some truth in that, for there’s no doubt but that in the twenty-fourth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew, the great apocalyptic discourse of our Lord, that He uses, in many places in that apocalyptic address, He uses the coming destruction of Jerusalem as a type of the great, final judgment of God at the consummation of the age [Matthew 24:1-35].  So, they say, “There be some who shall not taste of death,” the Lord avows, “until that judgment of God in 70 AD, and the onward march of the kingdom of Jesus in the hearts of men.”  Well, all that’s fine.  I would not object to any of it, put it all together, and it’s still fine.

But there are some things about this text, and the way it is situated, that makes me pause, and then there’s something that Simon Peter says that seals it in my own heart.  One of the things we have difficulty with in the Bible, and in studying the Bible, is these chapter headings.  We have an inclination, psychologically—you couldn’t help it—before we get to the end of a chapter, why, we are at the end of a discussion.  And when we start another chapter, we start over again.  Well, these chapter headings were put in there a thousand five hundred years after the words were written, and they have nothing at all to do with inspiration; nothing at all.

Well, this verse is stuck up here at the end of the sixteenth chapter [Matthew 16:28],  then at the seventeenth chapter we begin the story of the transfiguration of our Lord [Matthew 17:1-8].  But I noticed that when Mark tells this same story that that verse is placed in the beginning of the ninth chapter of Mark [Mark 9:1], and then follows the transfiguration [Mark 9:2-8].  And I noticed that when the same recounting of the transfiguration is recorded in Luke, in the ninth chapter, that it is put together, this verse [Luke 9:27], and the transfiguration [Luke 9:28-36], in the very heart of the ninth chapter of Luke.  Then I noticed that when I read Matthew, out of which I’m preaching this morning, that when I read Matthew, after that text, “I tell you truly, there be some standing here who shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom” [Matthew 16:28], the next verse, which is the first in the seventeenth chapter, the next verse begins with “And” [Matthew 17:1].  Well, “and” always connects something with something: “and.”  “Here’s something, and here’s something else.”  So, that “and” there puts those things together [Matthew 17:1].  That’s one thing.

Then I noticed that in the description of this which I shall read a little bit later of Simon Peter: in the second letter he wrote, and in the first chapter, in describing the transfiguration of the Lord he says that he saw the glory of Christ in the parousia of Jesus Christ [2 Peter 1:16-18], the power and parousia of Jesus Christ.  Now in this New Testament, wherever you find that word parousia, it refers to the coming of our Lord, the second advent of Christ, the second coming of Christ, the parousia, the presence. Literally, it means, “the presence of the Lord”; the coming of the Lord.

Simon Peter, therefore, says that this story of the transfiguration of Jesus is a story of the coming of our Lord [2 Peter 1:16-17].  And when the disciples looked upon it, they saw the coming of the Lord [2 Peter 1:16].  In what sense could that be, the Lord coming in glory and power and majesty and in His kingdom?  Only in this sense, that it is an earnest, it is a harbinger, it is an anticipation, it is an anticipatory scene, it is a preview, it is a miniature of how it shall be when Jesus comes again.  So when I read the text, I am reading a miniature, a harbinger, an earnest, a preview of the glorious coming down of our King from heaven.

And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart,

And was metamorphosized—transfigured—before them: and His face did shine like the sun, and His raiment was white as the light.

And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elijah talking with Him.

And when Peter spoke, while he yet spake, a bright cloud overshadowed them:  and a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him.

[Matthew 17:1-3, 5]

This took place at Caesarea Philippi; the old name was Dan.  The expression, “from Dan to Beersheba” [2 Samuel 17:11]; Beersheba was at the south, at the lower part of the Negev, the great desert below the Dead Sea.  And Dan was up there at the top of the Holy Land.  At the base of Mount Hermon, about ten thousand feet high, covered with snow, the Jordan River runs through an arid country, and it is fed by the rains and by the snows that melt on that great Lebanese range.  Mount Hermon, that’s where they are, up there, at Caesarea Philippi, old Dan, at the base of Mount Hermon.

Now it’s about seven months before Jesus is crucified, and, apparently, they are up there for an all-night prayer meeting.  For when Luke tells the story, in the ninth chapter, he says that the eyes of the disciples were “heavy with sleep” [Luke 9:32].  Then it says, “It came to pass, on the next day,” when they came down, so I know they were up there all night long [Luke 9:37], and I suppose for an all night prayer meeting.  “And the disciples being weary in flesh, they fell asleep” [Luke 9:32].

Now they were the witnesses.  Were they witnessing while they were asleep?  Was it a dream?  Was it a vision?  No, for Luke is careful to say, “And when they were awake, they saw His glory,” and those two men, Moses and Elijah, standing with Him, talking to Him [Luke 9:32].  This was something that happened that their natural eyes saw, and that their natural senses felt, and their natural ears heard [Luke 9:32-35].  No vision, no dream, no fantasy; this is something that they looked at and that they saw.

Now there were three witnesses: Peter, James, and John [Luke 9:28].  You have no description of it from James, because he was beheaded by Herod Agrippa, Herod Agrippa I.  This story is told in the twelfth chapter of the Book of Acts [Acts 12:1-2].  So there is no witness written by James; he was martyred before he could testify.  But you have witnesses written down in the Bible from Peter and from John.  Now this is what Peter wrote:

For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and parousia, coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty.

For He received from God the Father honor and glory, when there came such a voice to Him from the Excellent Glory, This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with Him in the holy mount.

[2 Peter 1:16-18]

That’s what Peter wrote about it.  John wrote about it in John 1:14, “And we beheld His glory, the glory as of God the Father.”

What happened was, while they were there in that all night prayer meeting, Jesus—while the disciples were apparently slumbering—Jesus was “metamorphosized,” metamorpheō.  The Greek word, morphē, morphē: its outward shape, its form, its shape, outward appearance.  And metamorpheō is the verb which means a transformation, a metamorphosis: we took it bodily into our language.  Jesus was immortalized, the deity shined through His humanity; His face was like the sun, His garments were white as the light [Matthew 17:2].  And the disciples were stabbed into a deep awareness.  What a stupendous thing!  And not only did they see the Lord—deity, God—but there on one side stood Moses, and there on the other side stood Elijah [Matthew 17:3].

How did they know it was Moses?  How did they know it was Elijah?  Somebody will ask one of them, “Do we know anybody in heaven?”  Dr. A. N. Hall, my predecessor at Muskogee, he pastored that twenty-eight years.  Upon his death they called me as pastor of the church.  He had a habit of saying, “When people ask me, ‘Do we know one another in heaven?’” he replied, “Sir, we will not really know one another until  we get to heaven.”  Intuitive knowledge, spiritual knowledge, knowledge like God knows, without being taught, just knows it.  Moses and Elijah and then that luminous cloud, that burning shekinah  [Matthew 17:5]; well, that’s what happened.

Now this according to Simon Peter, this is a miniature, a preview, an earnest, a harbinger, a likeness, an anticipatory scene of the parousia, the coming of our Lord [2 Peter 1:16].  Therefore, if I look at this and if I see this, I am looking at and I am seeing in miniature, in a microcosm, I am seeing the great denouement of this age, the consummation of human history and the coming down of God in glory.  Oh, what a magnificent prospect!

So I look at it, eagerly.  What is it like when the Lord comes?  First, I notice that nephelē phōteinē, the burning cloud, the luminous cloud [Matthew 17:5].  What is that?  What is that?  You never read of the presence of God where men see, but that that luminous, burning cloud is always present, always attendant.  Look!  The text of Revelation 1:7 is—which is the text of the Apocalypse, “Behold, behold, He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him.”   What are those clouds?  Are they mist?  Are they vapor?  Is it a cloud from which rain falls?  Oh, no! Oh, no!  The burning, the shining, that looks like a burning cloud, that is the raiment of God, the garments of the Lord.  In the Old Testament, it is called the shekinah glory.  In the Exodus and the wilderness wanderings when the Israelites looked upon that shekinah in the daytime, it looked like a cloud.  In the nighttime it looked like a burning lamp of flaming fire [Exodus 13:21].

When Solomon built the temple, God filled it with His glorious presence, the shekinah, and the priests could not even enter [2 Chronicles 7:1-2].  In the sixth chapter of the Book of Isaiah, when the prophet saw the Lord high and lifted up, and His train filled the temple and His glory filled the earth, Isaiah said it looked to him like smoke [Isaiah 6:1-4].  These are the garments of God.  This is the glory of the Lord, the flaming shekinah!

Do you ever think about when the Lord went away?  When He ascended into heaven?   “As the disciples beheld He was taken up from them,” and what?  “and a cloud received Him out of their sight” [Acts 1:9].  He put on the glorious garments of God, the raiment of the Almighty, the shining lamp of shekinah of deity, the cloud—not vapor or rain but the garments of God.  So when He comes, when He comes we shall see the dress, the clothing, the raiment of God.  “Behold, He cometh with clouds: and every eye shall see Him” [Revelation 1:7].  And that’s one thing I learned in this little miniature about the return of the Lord.

All right, another thing I learned, the metamorphosis of the Lord Jesus, John wrote it like this, “And we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of God in heaven, the glory of the Father” [John 1:14].  Now what does that word “glory” refer to when it is applied to Christ?  Always, always, it refers to the glory of His second coming.

For in the first coming of our Lord, He came in humility.  He came as a servant.  He came like a slave [Philippians 2:6-8], and He was crucified like a felon [Matthew 27:35-38]; He came despised, rejected, a Man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief [Isaiah 53:3].  He came bowed down beneath the burdens of the world [Isaiah 53:4], He came weeping [Hebrews 5:7-8].  He came suffering, He came dying [John 12:27].  He was blasphemed [Matthew 9:34]; He was spit upon [Matthew 27:30]; His beard was plucked out [Isaiah 50:6].  He was nailed to a heavy cross [Matthew 27:32-50].  He was buried in the earth! [Matthew 27:57-61].  When the Lord came the first time, He came in humility, in abject slavery [Philippians 2:7].

But when He comes the second time, He will come in His glory! [Matthew 25:31].  And John said, “And on that mount,” in that metamorphosis of our Lord, in that transfiguration, “we saw the coming glory of the Lord Jesus” [John 1:14].  And there is no exception to that in the Word of God.  Look!  In the twenty-fifth chapter in the Book of Matthew, as he tells a story about the judgment of these Gentiles, he begins it like this, “When the Son of Man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory” [Matthew 25:31].  He came the first time in humility [Matthew 11:29], but He is coming again in glory, dressed in the garments of deity, the shekinah glory of heaven [Revelation 19:16].

Take again a typical verse: in the thirty-eighth verse of the eighth chapter of Mark, the last verse in Mark, “Whosoever shall be ashamed of Me and of My words in this sinful generation; of him shall the Son of Man be ashamed,” when He comes in the glory of God, “when He comes in the glory of the Father with all the holy angels” [Mark 8:38]. 

So this preview of the return of our Lord, when we see Him again, when we see Him the second time, when this stolid old earth looks up on Jesus, and there He is, He will be in His glory.  His face will look like the sun, and His garments will look like the white of the light.  Our Lord is coming in His glory [Matthew 25:31].

We must hasten, “And there appeared unto him Moses and Elijah” [Matthew 17:3].  What could that mean?  Well, you who have studied the Word of the Lord and you who have attended these services would indeed know what the preacher is going to say now.  If this is a miniature, if this is an anticipatory preview of the coming of our Lord, Moses represents somebody and Elijah represents somebody.

Whom does Moses represent?  He represents those who have died and who are resurrected, immortalized, glorified, raised from the dead [1 Thessalonians 4:16].  And Elijah, whom does he represent?  Elijah represents those who shall be alive when the Lord comes who are translated, “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump” [1 Corinthians 15:51-52], who shall never taste of death.  As Elijah was carried up to glory in a whirlwind, and the horses of fire, and the chariots of fire came for Elijah [2 Kings 2:11], there is a generation who will never die.  There is a generation who will be translated to glory, “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet” [1 Corinthians 15:51-52]

So Moses represents those who died, who are fallen asleep in Jesus, whom the Lord shall raise by the power of His might and the glory of His Word [1 Thessalonians 4:16].  Moses; immediately that brings to my mind, when Moses died God buried him [Deuteronomy 34:5-6].  And in the ninth verse of the little Book of Jude, I am told that Michael the archangel disputed with Satan contending over the body of Moses [Jude 1:9].  What did the devil want with the body of Moses? [Jude 1:9].  Well, here again, we could enter into all kinds of speculation.  What did the devil want with the body of Moses?  Some say he wanted to use it to lead Israel into idolatry, for as you know, the Jew—ah! beyond any way we can know, reveres Moses.  And they did, back there when he died.  And if the devil could have gotten the body of Moses he could have used it as an instrument of idolatry, and presented it, and kept it, and preserved it, and led Israel astray.

Well, that’s all right, that’s all right.  But this I know, this I know.  The human frame, this earthly tabernacle, this body, this house in which we live, is dear and precious to God, and Satan was seeking to destroy God’s purpose for us.  What is that purpose?  That in this frame, in this body, we shall live again, immortalized, glorified, raised from the dead [1 Corinthians 15:22]. 

And that is the distinctive doctrine of the Christian faith.  The distinctive Christian doctrine of the Christian faith is this: we believe in the resurrection from the dead [1 Thessalonians 4:14].  That God’s saints, even the least of God’s saints, will God raise from the dust of the ground, from the heart of the earth, from the depths of the sea.  That missionary that fell on a foreign field, God saw it, and marked the place.  And that soldier of Jesus that was buried in the deep blue sea, God marked the place.  Someday, God shall raise us from the dead [1 Thessalonians 4:16].  In that fine dust there, there is a finer dust concealed, marked by the eye of Almighty God.

I have said that that is the distinctive doctrine of the Christian faith.  All pagan philosophers and all pagan, heathen religions believe in the immortality of the soul.  When you go through a museum such as in Cairo, and all those mummies there—they were buried, wrapped up in those sheets of the Book of the Dead.  When you see the American Indian he’s there with his bow and arrow.  They all believe in the immortality of the soul.  In the Greek philosophy, you crossed the River Styx into Hades beyond; they all believed in that.

But why didn’t they all believe in the sanctity of the human body?  In the Roman Empire, they burned the body; burned it.  It was worthless, it was nothing, and it was to be burned.  And that is one sure sign of a pagan, heathen philosophy.  When the Russian cosmonaut died this last week, what did they do with his body?  They burned it.  They took the ashes and stuck it behind a brick in the Kremlin wall.

But to the Christian, the body is sacred.  This is the house, immortalized, glorified, someday in which we shall live in heaven, this body, this body.  And that’s why the Christians lovingly laid their dead away in the catacombs underneath Rome, miles of those catacombs, miles of those catacombs, miles and miles and miles of those catacombs.  For the Roman burned the body; but to the Christian, God shall raise this frame from the dust of the earth, from the heart of the ground [1 Thessalonians 4:16], and they carefully laid the body away.

Someday, someday, God will touch it.  Someday God will speak the word and this fallen, physical frame shall live again [1 Thessalonians 4:16-17].  We shall be like Jesus.  He even had the scars of the nail prints in His hands [Luke 24:38-39; John 20:24-27].  He even had the scars of the spear thrust in His side [John 20:25, 27].  It was the same Lord Jesus, only metamorphosized, only raised, only glorified, only transfigured [Matthew 17:1-8].  And this is a little miniature of how it shall be when Jesus comes again.  Is it not written, “I would not have you, my brethren, without knowledge concerning them that fall asleep in the Lord that ye sorrow not as the pagan and as the heathen, who has no hope” [1 Thessalonians 4:13].  To him, this is the end of the way, this closes the chapter; the sun is set.  Or if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, He died, and was buried and was raised from the dead [Matthew 27:32-28:7], if we believe that—and is that not what it is to become a Christian? [Romans 10:9-10].   Paul defined the gospel, how He died for us, according to our sins, how He was buried, and the third day, He rose again [1Corinthians 15:3-4].  That’s the gospel!  That’s the good news!  If we believe it, Paul says:

Even so them who sleep in Jesus, who died in the Lord

will God bring with Him.

For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord. . .

[1 Thessalonians 4:14-15]


Paul is saying here, “This is not a speculation on my part, or a hope that I am saying of myself, this is the word of God.  For the Lord Himself has said that we, “who are alive and remain in the coming of the Lord, shall not precede them which are asleep” [1 Thessalonians 4:15].   But the first thing that shall happen, when the Lord shall come again, the first thing that shall happen:

The Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout,

with the voice of the archangel, with the trumpet of God,

and the dead in Christ shall rise first.

[1 Thessalonians 4:16]


First!  The first thing, in the order of events, when Jesus comes again is the resurrection from the dead [1 Thessalonians 4:16].

Somebody ever comes up to you and he says, “The Messiah has come, Jesus has come,” you go in the cemetery –and that’s a Christian word, koimētērion, “sleeping place,” and that’s what the Christians called the place where they laid their beloved dead away.  They called it a koimētērion, a “sleeping place.”  And when it became into our language, spelled out in English, we pronounce it “cemetery.”  It’s a Christian word.  The world never heard of the word until the Christians used it with regard to the place where they laid their dead away.  It’s a sleeping place.  It’s a koimētērion.  It’s a cemetery.  And someday, someday, some glorious and triumphant day, when Jesus comes, these who sleep in Jesus shall rise first [1 Corinthians 4:16].  That’s the first thing.

See this little miniature of the coming of the Lord?  Moses: raised from the dead [Matthew 17:3].  And Elijah: and Elijah [Matthew 17:3], he represents those who shall be alive at the return of our Savior, who are translated, who are transfigured, who are metamorphosized, who are glorified [1 Corinthians 15:51-52].  Look!  Did the Book not say it as I spake a moment ago?  “This I say, brethren: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God” [1 Corinthians 15:50]; as long as we’re in this frame like this, we can never see God’s face and live.  “Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, neither does corruption inherit incorruption” [1 Corinthians 15:50].  Death, and death, and death, and death and death and death!

“But I show you a mustērion,” a secret kept in the heart of God until He revealed it to His apostles [Ephesians 3:3-5].  “I show you a mustērion; We shall not all sleep” [1 Corinthians 15:51].  There shall be a generation of us that shall never die.  When Jesus comes, we shall be translated, immortalized, “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump” [1 Corinthians 15:51-52].

I want you to sing for me some time that song, “in a moment, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, in a moment.”  Can you sing that some time?  That’s in the Book!  I’d like for you to sing songs like that.

“In a moment, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye” [1 Corinthians 15:52].  What is that “twinkling of an eye?”  And when you read that, every last one of you thinks, “That’s a blinking of an eye.”  Blinking of an eye, the twinkling of an eye.  Listen!  The blinking of an eye is a long time compared to what this word means here, by “the twinkling of an eye.”  “The twinkling of an eye” is that light of recognition, when you see somebody, and you recognize them.  That’s the “twinkling of an eye” [1 Corinthians 15:2].

Now how fast is that?  Why, man! you couldn’t catch it on a camera that Kodak could make; you just couldn’t do it.  “In the twinkling of an eye…in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump” [1 Corinthians 15:52].  For, “the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible”, and that’s first, “and we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump” [1 Corinthians 15:51-52], when Jesus comes again [1 Thessalonians 4:16], and that is Elijah [Matthew 17:3].

Oh!  Our time’s gone; we’ll speak of it again some precious and glorious day.  As we sing our song, somebody you give himself to the Lord [Ephesians 2:8]; a family you to come into the fellowship of the church, one somebody you take Jesus as Savior [Romans 10:8-13].

We’re going to sing 269, “Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine; Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine!”  And that’s the transfiguration [Matthew 17:1-13], a little foretaste, a little harbinger of the triumphant return of our Lord [1 Thessalonians 4:16-17].  While we sing the hymn, in the balcony round on this lower floor, into the aisle, down to the floor, you come.  Make it this morning.  Make it now.  On the first note of the first stanza, come.  Come.  Come together, you and the family.  Two of you, come, one of you, come.  Do it now, while we stand and while we sing.


Dr. W.
A. Criswell

16:28, 17:1-8


I.          Introduction

A.  The amazing prophecy
in the text (Matthew 16:28)

B.  Suggested
fulfillments of the prophecy

C.  The transfiguration

      1.  No chapter
division between prophecy and story of transfiguration

      2.  Simon Peter’s

a. Parousia
refers to the coming of our Lord

Transfiguration a harbinger of how it shall be when He comes again


II.         Transfiguration – what happened

A.  The place – Caesarea
Philippi, Mt. Hermon

B.  The time – seven
months before His crucifixion

      1.  There for an
all-night prayer meeting(Luke 9:32, 37)

C.  Witnesses – Peter,
James, John(Luke 9:32, 2 Peter 1:16-18, John

D.  The phenomenon

      1.  Jesus metamorpheo
– deity shined through His humanity

      2.  Appearance of
Moses and Elijah

      3.  Shekinah


III.        Meaning

A.  Bright
cloud – garments of the Lord, the shekinah glory(Revelation 1:7, Acts 1:9, Isaiah 6:1)

B.  Glorified Son of God(John 1:14, Matthew 25:31, Mark 8:38)

C.  Moses
represents those who have died and are raised(Jude
9, Revelation 20:5, 2 Thessalonians 4:13-18)

Elijah represents those who shall be alive and are translated(1 Corinthians 15:51-52)