Guided Bible Studies for Hungry Christians
The Word on the Mountain
Before we even begin our study of Jesus Christ's Sermon on the Mount, we must first understand the significance of where it took place. On top of the Mountain, in the holy spiritual realm of the LORD GOD, Jesus sat with His disciple and began the teachings according to His Will. It is through the deep knowledge of the Mountain top, and the shadow it has cast throughout the ages, that allows us to deeply perceive the wonderful mysteries contained within the greatest Sermon ever delivered within the presence of the LORD GOD!
The Presence of the LORD GOD on the Mountains...
“6 ¶ And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Sichem, unto the plain of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land. 7 And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him. 8 And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Hai on the east: and there he builded an altar unto the LORD, and called upon the name of the LORD.” (Genesis 12:6-8 AV)1. The LORD GOD appeared to Abram in the plain of Moreh and promised the inheritance of land to his people.
2.Abram built an altar on the plain of Moreh in Sichem to mark the place where the LORD GOD appeared to him.The plain of Moreh was actually an oak grove.
Many of our advanced students will realize the typological significance of this place. The “oak tree” is representative of a strong spiritual character and the “grove” is a man-made place of worship to idols. (the making of a false spiritual life without the LORD GOD). These associations reveal some of the mysteries concerning the trees in the Word of God, and are discussed in our deep study “I See Men as Trees Walking”.3. Abram then removed himself from the plain of Moreh and went to a mountain on the east of Bethel, and built another altar for the LORD.
4. The altar built on the Mountain for the LORD GOD was then used by Abram to call upon the Holy Name of the LORD GOD, JEHOVAH.
We know for certain two things through the study of this Scripture.
“15 ¶ And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city. 16 And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the LORD being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city. 17 And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed. 18 And Lot said unto them, Oh, not so, my Lord: 19 Behold now, thy servant hath found grace in thy sight, and thou hast magnified thy mercy, which thou hast shewed unto me in saving my life; and I cannot escape to the mountain, lest some evil take me, and I die: 20 Behold now, this city is near to flee unto, and it is a little one: Oh, let me escape thither, (is it not a little one?) and my soul shall live. 21 And he said unto him, See, I have accepted thee concerning this thing also, that I will not overthrow this city, for the which thou hast spoken. 22 Haste thee, escape thither; for I cannot do any thing till thou be come thither. Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar.” (Genesis 19:15-22 AV)5. The angels hastily told Lot to escape the city of Sodom before he and his family are consumed by the wicked sins of the city. When he would not respond to their warning, they took Lot and his family by hand and led them out of the city because the LORD GOD had mercy on him. When they had removed him from the city of sin, they instructed him to “Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.”
Lot was told to not look behind at the city of iniquity, nor stay in the plains surrounding the Sodom, but to escape to the mountain where he and his family can be saved.6. Lot pleaded with the angels to allow him to flee to a small city nearby, rather than attempt to go to the Mountain for refuge and salvation. Lot argued that if he attempted to escape to the Mountain, that evil will overtake him and he will die.
7. The angel agreed to allow Lot and his family to escape to the small city nearby, and withheld the destruction of Sodom until he had escaped to the small, insignificant city of Zoar.
Once again, we see that although the Mountain of the LORD GOD is the ultimate refuge and salvation of His People, His Will allows a refuge to be established in the midst of wickedness and destruction...a place of refuge that was insignificant to His plans, and allowed Lot to be protected from the destruction.
“29 And it came to pass, when God destroyed the cities of the plain, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when he overthrew the cities in the which Lot dwelt. 30 ¶ And Lot went up out of Zoar, and dwelt in the mountain, and his two daughters with him; for he feared to dwell in Zoar: and he dwelt in a cave, he and his two daughters.” (Genesis 19:29-30 AV)8. At some point, the anxiety from the LORD GOD’s overthrow and destruction of the cities that Lot dwelled caused him to finally seek refuge in the mountain.
9. He did not go to the mountain to commune with the LORD GOD, but to hide from sin and the resulting destruction of the cities around him. As a result, he dwelt in the mountain inside a cave. The cave was a hole inside the mountain that was very dark.
As reflected in many of our beginning studies, light and darkness have very significant meaning in the Word of God. Light represents spiritual illumination and enlightenment, and darkness is spiritual ignorance and obscurity. Lot did not go to the mountain at the first instructions by the LORD GOD, but in his time, when his anxieties became elevated to the point that he became fearful. When he arrived at the mountain, he went into the darkness of spiritual ignorance and obscurity and hid in the spiritual realm of the LORD GOD.10. As a result of his spiritual ignorance in disregarding the LORD GOD’s offer of refuge, things didn’t go real good for him inside that cave. Lot's obstinate demands that his salvation from the wickedness be on his terms and his time, as well as his seeking refuge in the spiritual realm of the LORD GOD only when times got tough, brought on this doom. His two daughters, following after the footsteps of their father, took matters into their own hands and made Lot drunk with wine, then lay with him so his seed could live on. The conceptions in the darkened cave resulted in the birth of a son named Moab, who became the father of the Moabites and Benammi, the father of the children of Ammon.”(Genesis 19:37-38) , and their vile offspring were often in conflict with the tribes of Israel throughout the Old Testament.
“1 ¶ Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb. 2 And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. 3 And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt. 4 And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I. 5 And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. 6 Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God.” (Exodus 3:1-6 AV)11. While leading the flock of Jethro, Moses came to the mountain of God. This Mountain Horeb is commonly known as Mount Sanai. Horeb means “desert” and was named for its presence in the midst of a desolate and wild land.
12. When Moses went up the mountain to the spiritual realm of the LORD GOD, and angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire in the middle of a bush. When Moses beheld the bush, and determined to see why it had not burned, the LORD GOD called him from out of the midst of the bush, on the Mountain Sinai, and said “Moses, Moses.
The LORD GOD calls His people by name and toward Him when they are allowed to approach His Spiritual Realm.13. The Presence of the LORD GOD on the Mountain made it Holy. When Moses came into the Holy Spiritual Realm of the LORD GOD, he was required to follow two instructions to remain in His Presence.
1) Draw not nigh hither – Moses was restricted in his approach to the LORD GOD, and given the boundary lines to avoid close contact with the Holy LORD GOD.
2) Put off thy shoes from off thy feet – Moses was allowed to stand on his feet in the presence of the LORD GOD in His Spiritual Realm, but he was expected to display reverence in the Holiest way.
14. Moses was afraid to look at the LORD GOD in His Holy, Powerful and Glorious Presence, as He identified himself as the LORD GOD of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
When one of God’s People stand in His Presence in the Holy Spiritual Realm of the LORD GOD, there is no doubt to His identity!
“11 ¶ And Moses said unto God, Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt? 12 And he said, Certainly I will be with thee; and this shall be a token unto thee, that I have sent thee: When thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain. 13 And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? 14 And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. 15 And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.” (Exodus 3:11-15 AV)15. The LORD GOD of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the great I AM, JEHOVAH, is the LORD GOD in the spiritual realm.
16. Chosen men of the LORD GOD serve Him in the spiritual realm.
“16 Fear and dread shall fall upon them; by the greatness of thine arm they shall be as still as a stone; till thy people pass over, O LORD, till the people pass over, which thou hast purchased. 17 Thou shalt bring them in, and plant them in the mountain of thine inheritance, in the place, O LORD, which thou hast made for thee to dwell in, in the Sanctuary, O Lord, which thy hands have established.” (Exodus 15:16-17 AV)17. When the people belonging to the LORD GOD pass over from the natural life of the world, to the spiritual realm of His, they are established into their promised inheritance.
18. Part of the promised inheritance of the LORD GOD’s people is the place in the spiritual realm that the LORD GOD has created for His people to dwell in.
19. The promised inheritance inside the spiritual realm is a holy place, which was established with the hands of the LORD GOD.
“And Moses went up unto God, and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel;” (Exodus 19:3 AV)20. Moses went up to the LORD GOD into the spiritual realm of the mountain, and the LORD GOD spoke to him from within that spiritual realm.
“18 ¶ And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off. 19 And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die. 20 And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not. 21 And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was.” (Exodus 20:18-21 AV)21. When the LORD GOD speaks in the spiritual realm to one of His People, the power of His presence can overpower a common or unprepared person.
22. The LORD GOD may choose to partially reveal His great power to His People in the spiritual realm, in order that He may prove them and cause them to fear Him. This fear was given to the Israelites in order for them to quit sinning.
23. Moses was able to draw near to the LORD GOD in the spiritual realm during this display of awesome power and might, to listen to the LORD GOD. Moses was then able to take the message of the LORD GOD back to the people so they might hear His Word.
“17 And Moses sent them to spy out the land of Canaan, and said unto them, Get you up this way southward, and go up into the mountain: 18 And see the land, what it is; and the people that dwelleth therein, whether they be strong or weak, few or many; 19 And what the land is that they dwell in, whether it be good or bad; and what cities they be that they dwell in, whether in tents, or in strong holds; 20 And what the land is, whether it be fat or lean, whether there be wood therein, or not. And be ye of good courage, and bring of the fruit of the land. Now the time was the time of the firstripe grapes.” (Numbers 13:17-20 AV)24. A person belonging to the LORD GOD can go up into the spiritual realm to discern the nature of things in the natural realm.
25. A person belonging to the LORD GOD can bring the good things of the natural realm forward, and dedicate them for use in the spiritual realm.
“40 And they rose up early in the morning, and gat them up into the top of the mountain, saying, Lo, we be here, and will go up unto the place which the LORD hath promised: for we have sinned. 41 And Moses said, Wherefore now do ye transgress the commandment of the LORD? but it shall not prosper. 42 Go not up, for the LORD is not among you; that ye be not smitten before your enemies.” (Numbers 14:40-42 AV)26. A sinner can go into the spiritual realm, but the LORD GOD will not be present. Though the Spiritual Realm is where the LORD GOD speaks to His People, He chooses when He will be among them. He will not be among sinners.
“19 ¶ And when we departed from Horeb, we went through all that great and terrible wilderness, which ye saw by the way of the mountain of the Amorites, as the LORD our God commanded us; and we came to Kadeshbarnea. 20 And I said unto you, Ye are come unto the mountain of the Amorites, which the LORD our God doth give unto us.” (Deuteronomy 1:19-20 AV)27. Other people, besides his chosen people, have capacity to go up into the spiritual realm, however, all spiritual realm belongs to the LORD GOD. He chooses who will possess the spiritual realm, and he gives the realm to His people as He Wills.
“18 ¶ And of Zebulun he said, Rejoice, Zebulun, in thy going out; and, Issachar, in thy tents. 19 They shall call the people unto the mountain; there they shall offer sacrifices of righteousness: for they shall suck of the abundance of the seas, and of treasures hid in the sand.” (Deuteronomy 33:18-19 AV)28. The Tribe Zebulun is given the blessing of have a prosperous life on the seas in the natural realm, while still maintaining the ability to go to the spiritual realm to offer sacrifices of righteousness to the LORD GOD for His good grace in giving them such a great life of nature.
“1 ¶ And Moses went up from the plains of Moab unto the mountain of Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, that is over against Jericho. And the LORD shewed him all the land of Gilead, unto Dan, 2 And all Naphtali, and the land of Ephraim, and Manasseh, and all the land of Judah, unto the utmost sea, 3 And the south, and the plain of the valley of Jericho, the city of palm trees, unto Zoar. 4 And the LORD said unto him, This is the land which I sware unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, saying, I will give it unto thy seed: I have caused thee to see it with thine eyes, but thou shalt not go over thither.” (Deuteronomy 34:1-4 AV)29. The LORD GOD showed Moses His Promised Land from the mountain top of Nebo. Although Moses would never step foot on the Promised Land, the LORD GOD allowed him to see with his eyes the promise while he was in the spiritual realm.
“22 ¶ And they went, and came unto the mountain, and abode there three days, until the pursuers were returned: and the pursuers sought them throughout all the way, but found them not. 23 So the two men returned, and descended from the mountain, and passed over, and came to Joshua the son of Nun, and told him all things that befell them: 24 And they said unto Joshua, Truly the LORD hath delivered into our hands all the land; for even all the inhabitants of the country do faint because of us.” (Joshua 2:22-24 AV)30. The LORD GOD’s people can take refuge in the spiritual realm (on the mountain) and abode there for protection from persecution. When hostile people are searching for the people of God, they can not find them while they are in the spiritual realm and under the protection of the LORD GOD.
31. The two men had to return to the natural life, and then descend from the mountain. This shows that the mountain itself is not the spiritual realm, but the place where the spiritual realm can be accessed by man. They did not go down the mountain, and then return to the natural life, but rather, made that transition before descending the mountain.
32. The process of going between the spiritual realm and the natural realm is called “pass over”.
It is vital that when you are in the spiritual realm, that you do not enter into the natural realm without returning to your natural life. This is a somewhat difficult process for a new believer and must be practiced on a regular basis to become successful at the process.
“So Joshua took all that land, the hills, and all the south country, and all the land of Goshen, and the valley, and the plain, and the mountain of Israel, and the valley of the same;” (Joshua 11:16 AV)34. Even the land of Israel, as all other places in the world, contain three different realms...The spiritual realm represented by the mountain, the natural realm in the shadow of the LORD GOD represented by the barren, unproductive, unimaginative, secluded valley, and the lifeless natural life experience with the absence of the LORD GOD, represented by the wilderness.
“3 And the Philistines stood on a mountain on the one side, and Israel stood on a mountain on the other side: and there was a valley between them. 4 And there went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span.” (1 Samuel 17:3-4 AV)35. Although mountains represent the spiritual realm, not all spiritual realms reveal the presence of the LORD GOD.
The Philistines worshipped other gods, and were able to enter into a spiritual realm with these gods. Israel was in conflict with the Philistines because each had their own spiritual realm; Israel with the LORD GOD’s presence, and Philistines with their gods presence. The valley between them was in the shadow of both the LORD GOD’s spiritual realm and the philistines gods’ spiritual realm. It is this conflict that led to the legendary battle between the giant Goliath, and the boy David.
“And David abode in the wilderness in strong holds, and remained in a mountain in the wilderness of Ziph. And Saul sought him every day, but God delivered him not into his hand.” (1 Samuel 23:14 AV)36. The LORD GOD has placed mountains even in the midst of the wilderness, where His People can seek refuge. These spiritual realms of the LORD GOD exist even inside the barren, unproductive, unimaginative, secluded and lifeless natural life realm.
“25 Saul also and his men went to seek him. And they told David: wherefore he came down into a rock, and abode in the wilderness of Maon. And when Saul heard that, he pursued after David in the wilderness of Maon. 26 And Saul went on this side of the mountain, and David and his men on that side of the mountain: and David made haste to get away for fear of Saul; for Saul and his men compassed David and his men round about to take them.” (1 Samuel 23:25-26 AV)37. The spiritual realm has different sides, with different approaches from natural life wilderness areas.
It is the place where Christians go to worship the LORD GOD and commune with Jesus Christ. There are many entrances to the Spiritual Realm through religious traditions and practices, old time gospel music and new time rap, reverent and slow climbs up the mountain and dancing feet and singing hearts leaping forward! Its all good, its all relevant, and its all important. The many entrances to the Spiritual Realm allow all Christians to reach the heights allowed by the LORD GOD. It is why so much variety of worship exists, and why so many different faith expressions develop among our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.
“15 And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do? 16 And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. 17 And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha. 18 And when they came down to him, Elisha prayed unto the LORD, and said, Smite this people, I pray thee, with blindness. And he smote them with blindness according to the word of Elisha.” (2 Kings 6:15-18 AV)38. The LORD GOD opens the eyes of those He chooses to see His Things in the spiritual realm.
39. The LORD GOD sends help from the spiritual realm.
40. The LORD GOD blinds the eyes of those He chooses to prevent them from seeing His Things in the spiritual realm.
“1 ¶ <<To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.>> In the LORD put I my trust: how say ye to my soul, Flee as a bird to your mountain? 2 For, lo, the wicked bend their bow, they make ready their arrow upon the string, that they may privily shoot at the upright in heart.” (Psalms 11:1-2 AV)41. When you sense the wicked are preparing to come against you, flee to the spiritual realm quickly to prevent them from harming you.
“1 ¶ The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. 2 And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. 3 And 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 of 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. 4 And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” (Isaiah 2:1-4 AV)42. The mountain of the LORD’S house will be established in Judah and Jerusalem in the last days.
43. This tabernacle will be established in the top of the spiritual realm. It will be exalted above all other spiritual realms that exist and are known.
This mountain of the LORD’s house speaks exactly what it will be. In the Last Days, New Jerusalem will be established and contain the highest spiritual realm contained within the four walls of a structure. This tabernacle (Jesus Christ) will be established at the highest point of the spiritual realm of the LORD GOD.44. All nations will cheerfully assemble together at this highest point in the spiritual realm.
45. The highest Temple in the highest spiritual realm will teach the Ways and Walk of Jesus Christ.
46. Out of this Temple in the New Jerusalem will come the laws and the Word of God.
47. Jesus Christ will judge the nations and rebuke many people from this Temple in the highest spiritual realm.
48. Jesus Christ will cause the nations and people to beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks. They will not lift up sword, nor learn war any more.
“3 ¶ Neither let the son of the stranger, that hath joined himself to the LORD, speak, saying, The LORD hath utterly separated me from his people: neither let the eunuch say, Behold, I am a dry tree. 4 For thus saith the LORD unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant; 5 Even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off. 6 Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the LORD, to serve him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant; 7 Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people. 8 The Lord GOD which gathereth the outcasts of Israel saith, Yet will I gather others to him, beside those that are gathered unto him.” (Isaiah 56:3-8 AV)49. The son of the stranger is assured of belonging to the family of the LORD GOD, as long has he has joined himself to the LORD through Jesus Christ.
The son of the stranger describes a person that is offspring from foreigners. It
literally describes people who come to the LORD GOD from a people that are not
Jews. Jews are the chosen people of the LORD GOD, and all of their generations
receive this status, and all of their children belong to God.
51. The eunuch is also assured of belonging to the House of the LORD GOD as long as he keeps the LORD GOD’s Sabbaths, chooses His Things, and takes hold of His Covenant.
A eunuch is a person that is excluded from the congregation of the LORD GOD by
Moses. There are three categories of Eunuchs...
53. The LORD GOD will give Eunuchs an everlasting name that will never be cut off.
54. Christians that join themselves to the LORD GOD to serve him, who love the name of the LORD GOD, desire to be his servants, keep the Sabbath and avoid polluting it, and take hold of His Covenant are promised to be brought to the House of the LORD GOD and made joyful in His House of Prayer.
55. These Christians are promised that their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted upon His altar.
56. The highest House of the LORD GOD in the New Jerusalem, will be called a house of prayer for all people.
57. All outcasts belonging to the LORD GOD, even the outcasts of the Jews will be gathered to Him and are promised entry into the New Jerusalem’s Holy Temple and Holiest of Spiritual Realms on top of the LORD GOD’s Mountain.
In Chapter 2, we will learn the involvement of Jesus Christ with the Holy Mountains of the LORD GOD, as the foundation for our study of His Sermon on the Mount continues to be formed.
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About the Author
Kathy L. McFarland is a Becker Bible Studies Teacher and Author of Guided Bible Studies for Hungry Christians. She has received her Bachelor of Science degree in Religious Studies from Liberty University, and is currently seeking her Master of Divinity (Professional Ministries Track) degree from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary & Graduate School. Kathy is a noted expert on Old Testament exegesis, Christian apologetics, and Bible typology and mysteries.