God’s mountains, Man’s mountains
Mountains are mentioned more than 500 times in the Bible. While they have significant symbolic value, mountains first and foremost were part of physical landscape of biblical times. Mountains have a logical religious symbolism for biblical cultures since they are “closer to God” who was believed to dwell in the sky and the heavens. As a result, God often reveals himself on the mountain top and we hear people today talk about their own “mountain top” experiences in their spiritual journeys. And people are getting more innovative in getting doctrine of mountain as the pinnacle of life. Tower of Babel, can be seen as the very beginning of mountain.
In the Chinese ,mountains were referred to as divine and even there were fairy tales of super natural happenings and even mountains became objects of worship or had been the important destinations for pilgrimage such as the Sacred Mountains of China are divided into several groups. The Five Great Mountains refers to five of the most renowned mountains in Chinese history, and they were the subjects of imperial pilgrimage by emperors throughout ages. Although not traditionally categorized as either Taoist or Buddhist mountains, these five mountains have a strong presence of both, especially that of Taoism. The group associated with Buddhism is referred to as the Four Sacred Mountains of Buddhism, and the group associated with Taoism is referred to as the Four Sacred Mountains of Taoism. But none of these have any historical record of any God’s presence or intervention.
A. Let’s talk about God’s mountain
1. Mount Ararat at 16,854 feet.
The the flood and Noah’s Ark being build. Genesis Chapter 6 gives four reasons why God sent the flood:-
- ‘The wickedness of man was great in the earth’ (V.5)
- ‘Every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually’ (V.5).
- ‘The earth was filled with violence’ (V.11)
- ‘The earth … was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth’ (V.12).
It is astounding to consider that in the tenth generation from Adam the human race had become so wicked, evil, violent and corrupt that it was not fit to go on living. And of all mankind only four men and four women were spared, because they did not go with the great sin drift.
Hence God instructed Noah to built an Ark with very specific instructions from Genesis 6:14 – 22. Then the great flood came and Genesis 7:23-24 “HE destroyed all living things which were on the face of theground: both man and cattle, creeping thing and bird of the air. They were destroyed from the earth. Only Noah and those who were with him in the Ark remained alive. And the waters prevailed on the earth one hundred and fifty days.”
The landing place for Noah’s Ark, Genesis 8:4 “Then the Ark rested in the seventh month, the sventeenth day of the month, on the mountains of Ararat.”
Noah’s family and all the animal, creeping thing, every bird and whatever ever creep on earth went out of the Ark and went their way down from the mountain top, to be fruitful and fill the earth. None stayed on this mountain top as God had blessed them.
News had reported the sighting and evident of Noah’s Ark. The Chinese explorers from China and Hong Kong had reported seeing the Noah’s Ark parts in cave and it seems to contradicts the finding of other explorers. But is is said that the Noah’s Ark had slide down to lower level at 6,375 feet and it is possible that some of these part such beams and compartments may had break away and landed in these cavern. The most significant report can be found in this web site where interesting facts like modern technology of laminated woods and rivets had been used. Click link to read more. http://beforeitsnews.com/christian-news/2012/04/shocking-discovery-noahs-ark-found-2044569.html
2. Mount Sinai at 7,497 feet.
This is the mountain where God spoke to Moses. That, at least, is the overwhelming belief, and the belief itself has drawn pilgrims for over a thousand years. Although no archeological evidence of Moses’ presence on the mountain exists, there are abundant relics of faith throughout the eons. Ancient chapels and structures honoring saints and the Virgin Mary appear all along the main route, called Sikket Saydna Musa (“The Path of Moses”), including a stone-hewn arch where, long ago, a monk once sat and heard confession from the pilgrims. Nearing the summit, one encounters the natural amphitheater where the 70 wise men waited while God spoke with Moses, then finally a small chapel and mosque at the top. Moses did not stayed on top of the mountain but went down to deliver the Ten Commandments to his people. Exodus 19: 25 “So Moses went down to the people and spoke to them.
3. Mount Olives at 2,710 feet.
And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. (Zechariah, Ch 1:4)
And in the day time he was teaching in the temple; and at night he went out, and abode in the mount that is called the mount of Olives. (Luke, Ch 21:37)
After a long, hard day, Christ would come here to meditate and pray. Here he sat and shared the parables of 10 virgins and five talents. And after the crucifixion, Jesus Christ led his disciples here before ascending to Heaven.
This is the mountain that Lord Jesus was captured and crucified. After HIS resurrection, HE did not stayed on this mountain top but ascended to heaven. And HE is coming back in the cloud with HIS armies of angelic warriors.
4. Mount Zion at 2,510 feet.
David captures area and it becomes the City of David, 2 Samuel 5:7 “David took the stronghold of Zion (that is , the City of David).” Later the location of Solomon’s Temple.
1 Kings 8:1 “Now Solomon assembled the elders of Israel and all the heads of the tribes, the chief fathers of the children of Israel, to King Solomon in Jerusalem, that they might bring up the ark of the covenant of the LORD from the City of David, which is Zion.”
1 King 6: 11-14 “Then the word of the LORD came to Solomon, saying: “Concerning this temple which you are building, if you walk in My statutes, execute My commandments, and walk in them, then I will perform My word with you, which I spoke to your father David.”
5. Mount of the Transfiguration at 1,886 feet.
Before the disciples’ eyes, Jesus is transfigured (appearing as he will after resurrection) next to Moses and Elijah (mountain veterans). (Matthew 17:1-9, Mark 9:2-8, Luke 9:28-36)
Luke 9:28-36 “Now it came to pass, about eight days after these saying, that He took Peter, John, and James and went up on the mountain to pray. As He prayed, the appearance of His face was altered, and His robe became white and glistening. And behold, two men talked with Him, who were Moses and Elijah. But Peter and those with him were heavy with sleep, and when they saw His glory and the two men who stood with Him. Then it happened, as they were parting from Him, that Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good for us to be here; and let us make three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah” – not knowing what he said. While he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them, and they were fearful as they entered the cloud. And a voice came out of the cloud, saying “This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!” When the voice had ceased, Jesus was found alone. But they kept quiet, and told no none in the those days any of the things they had seen. When the voice ceased, Jesus was found alone. But they kept quiet, and told no one in those days any of the things they had seen.
The disciples were commanded not to tell anyone of this vision as they came down from the mountain. Matthew 17:9 “Now as they came down from the mountain, Jesus commanded them, saying, “Tell the vision to no one until the Son of Man is risen from the dead.”
6. Mount Carmel at 1,724 feet.
Elijah calls God to light a sacrifice on fire proving to the Prophets of Baal his is the one true God.
1 Kings 18:19-20 Elijah said to Ahab “Now therefore, send and gather all Israel to me on Mount Carmel, the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal, and the four hundred prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table. So Ahab sent for all the children of Israel, and gathered the prophets together on Mount Carmel.”
Prophets of Baal, who called their god morning till noon, nothing happened. 1 Kings 18:27 “And it was, at noon, that Elijah mocked them and said, “Cry out loud, for hi is a god; either he is meditating, or he is busy, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is sleeping and must be awakened.”
1 Kings 18:37-38 Elijah “Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that You are the LORD GOD, hear me, that this people may know that You are the LORD GOD, and that You have turned their hearts back to You again. Then the fire of the LORD fell and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood and the stones and the dust, and it licked up the water that was in the trench.”
7. Sermon on the Mount (Unknown high).
Jesus delivers the Beatitudes and The Lord’s Prayer. (Matthew 5,6,7) It is not clear where the exact location of the mountain where Jesus delivers the Beatitudes is. Matthew 5:1-2 “And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him. The He opened His mouth and taught them.
Google search and found bibleplaces.com suggested that there was once a hill known as Mt. Eremos, which is located between Capernaum and Tabgha and is just above the “Cover of the Sower.”
God’s Mountains were hence, have the presence of God and no man stayed on top of it. From Noah’s family and all the living. None stayed at top of Mt Ararat but came down, fruitful and fill the earth. Only one man, that is Lord Jesus, had occupy the Mount Olives most of His time. His prayers, crucifixion, and eventual ascend to heaven. Symbolic meaning of God’s mountain should be clearly understood by now as it is the place where man can get closer to God, it is not a an object to be worshiped by man.
B. Let’s talk about Man’s mountain.
After the fall of Adam and Eve, mankind starts to gain knowledge and do things their ways. Because man became more evil, God sent flood to kill all of them all except Noah and his family. Then new generations begins and filled the earth. Then they build The Tower of Babel, which is the earliest day of Man’s Mountain (as it shaped like a mountain). And they spoke in one language and one speech, and since they can build their own City whose top is in the heavens, they neither have need for God nor worship Him. This is more of symbolic meaning (figurative) than actual physical building, there is no evident of it and scientifically impossible to build such building at that time and also heaven cannot be lowly hung such that man can easily see and reach.
Genesis 11:1-8 Now the whole earth had one language and one speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar, and they dwelt there. Then they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They had brick for stone, and they had asphalt for mortar. And they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.” But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. And the LORD said, “Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them. “Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.” So the LORD scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they ceased building the city.”
From that days onward, countries of different nations and races were formed and people speak in different languages. They have different culture and practices. Many religions were derived from olden days of the Old Testament.
Here are the various religions practiced by people in different groups derived from old practice in OT :-
Burn incense and offer sacrifices – Most religions, Buddhism, Islam, Chinese Taoist, etc. This was very much the practices in the Old Testament days.
Hair and Beard is sacred, a gift from God – The Sikh don’t cut their hair and beard as a matter of respect to God, the creator, appreciating His love for giving hair to mankind. Interesting to know that, this practice perhaps derived from Samson who was given special strength as no razor should come upon his head. Unfortunately Samson was tricked by Deliliah as he told her his secret Judges 16:17 “He told her all his heart, and said to her, “No razor has ever come upon my head, for I have been a Nazirite to God from my mother’s womb. If I am shaven, then my strength will leave me, and I shall become weak, and be like any other man.”
Putting color soil on forehead and praying to bull and other objects – In Hinduism, the cow is revered as the source of food and symbol of life and may never be killed. In certain way Cow is being worshiped as God when they believed that god had manifested in it. In Old Testament, when Moses was up on Mount Sinai with God, people complaint to Aaron and Aaron said to them, Exodus 32:2-4 “Take off the gold earrings which your wives, your sons, and your daughters are wearing, and bring them to me.” 3 So all the people took off their gold earrings and brought them to Aaron. 4 He took the earrings, melted them, poured the gold into a mold, and made a gold bull-calf. The people said, “Israel, this is our god, who led us out of Egypt!”
Wearing sackcloth and Ashes – In Chinese custom and some of other religion, wearing sackcloth for the immediate or close relative of the deceased is showing respect and truly mourning. In biblical history, wearing sackcloth has the purpose of showing: Mourning, Repentance and prophetic role of humbling before the Lord.
Today, we have people preached message from Bible regarding cultural mountains. What was being preached about is to be on top of the cultural mountain in area of Religion, Family, Business, Education, Government, Arts and Entertainment and Media. In the nutshell, we are talking about glorifying Christ, Kingdom of God by being in these Man’s mountain to be the head and not the tail. To be a influencing party for the gospel and not being influenced by the world.
In 1975, Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade, and Loren Cunningham, founder of Youth With a Mission, had lunch together in Colorado. God simultaneously gave each of these change agents a message to give to the other. During that same time frame Francis Schaeffer was given a similar message. That message was that if we are to impact any nation for Jesus Christ, then we would have to affect the seven spheres, or mountains of society that are the pillars of any society. You can read more about the Man’s mountain. http://www.7culturalmountains.org
Many were inspired and impacted by this message and it is good. Remember what Father Jesus said. John 17:28 “As you have sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.” And you are not of the world.
This desire to be on the top of the Man’s mountain has to come from Father God Jesus, ie. God sent.
It has to be from vision or revelations, so the individual who gets there and can come down from the mountain top anytime to serves people instead of being worshiped by people. The danger is that many people achieved climbing to the top of the Man’s mountain by their own efforts and claimed to be due vision from God. There is dangers of lusts for money, authority, and fame. See the picture I had done in one of my article. http://esharingportal.com/system-or-spirit-driven.html
The picture clearly show, either you being the donkey are control by Lord Jesus towards your destiny or you fallen into lusts for Power (authority), Fame or Money and controlled by Spirit of Jezebel or her agents. Learn from Father Abraham, Joseph, Moses, King David, King Solomon and all the prophets, they did not bring themselves to the top but followed instructions from God. Even Mary’s virgin birth to our Savior Jesus was from God’s instructions.
The time will come where all will be tested by Father God Jesus. Will one let go of the worldly gain? It will be very difficult and painful for those who achieved the top position by their own effort with worldly gains to let go in time of rapture. Just like the rich young man in purple rope, he asked Jesus on how to achieve eternal life. Jesus told him to sell everything and give to the poor and follow him. But he could not let go of his great possessions and became sorrowful and be lost forever. Those who are humble, who are put in place by God at that top level will have no problem letting go in the time of rapture because they knew in their heart, soul and mind that their achievement comes from God and nothing of the world belongs to them.
You can read more about the Man’s mountain. http://www.7culturalmountains.org
Testimony from Dr. Richard Teo, who was a 40-year-old millionaire and cosmetic surgeon with a stage-4 lung cancer, sharing at a Dental Christian Fellowship Meeting on 24 Nov 2011, 8 months after his diagnosis.
In the video he spoke of how he had achieved the pinnacle of life, a very successful cosmetic surgeon who makes millions. He have sport cars, partying in high class club with top model and lived in bungalow until he contracted cancer. He realized that all these things that he had achieved doesn’t give him comfort and happiness. Only when he reborn and accepted Christ as Lord and Savior, he starts to realized that happiness and joy comes from serving people. You can view his full testimony by clicking this link. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rLFzJntPDCs
In conclusion, for myself, I feel it is safer for me to be yearn for God’s mountains and if possible stay on top or nearer to the top to get close to Father God Jesus. The God’s mountain has symbolic meaning which I had interpreted with His wisdom.
Mt Ararat – The purging of evil generation. The new beginning washed over. Reborn Christians.
Mt Sinai – Anointed prophets who follows the laws and help authority realised their mistakes.
Mt Olives – Spiritually matured into new being acceptable to Kingdom of God in heaven.
Mt Zion – Mighty angelic warrior of God, a tru worshipper.
Mt of Transfiguration – New being in Christ, a Spiritual immortal body doing wonder works unto God.
Mt Carmel – Miracle performance, convict and diminish the false prophets and win prophets to Father Jesus.
Sermon on the Mount – Great teacher continuing to teach and disciples believers.
It is alright to have desire and ambition to be on top of any of the Man’s mountain but a word of caution, you’re treading on a very thin line between God’s calling and devil’s temptation.
Learn from Father Jesus, when the devil lead Jesus to the highest mountain, he promised Jesus that all the KingDom of the world and its splendor will belongs to Him if he would bow down and worship the devil. But Lord Jesus resisted the temptation and rebuked the devil “Only God Lord, I will worship and serve, get away Satan.” And Jesus did not stayed in mountain top but came down to serve people and have fellowship with sinners, tax collectors and prostitutes.