Preparing for a Mountaintop Experience
This article was written by Kelly D. Vonner and originally published by PURSUIT MAGAZINE.
The Lord called to him from the mountain, saying, “Thus shall you say to the house of Jacob and declare to the children of Israel: ‘You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Me. Now then, if you will obey Me faithfully and keep My covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all the peoples. Indeed, all the earth is Mine, but you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you shall speak to the children of Israel.” (Exodus 19:3-6).
Many people celebrate Pentecost focusing only on what happened in Acts 2 while never acknowledging the series of events in Exodus 19 and 20. Pentecost, or Shavuot, occurred at the beginning of the third month in the wilderness of Sinai after a phenomenal Passover and Unleavened Bread. Christ redeemed the children of Israel from Egypt by a name that had not been made known to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob with great power and an outstretched arm (Exodus 6:2-3). At the mountain, He made himself the foundation and source of truth and set the expectation as to how His Bride would have godly character with intimate knowledge of Him while being a light to the nations around her. Pentecost is a celebration of covenant love; it is a celebration of the continuous journey to be one with Messiah. Pentecost is the celebration of the words of fire once spoken from the mountain by the Lawgiver, Judge and King that now reside within us through the power of His Holy Spirit as His law is being written in our hearts.
Pentecost is power; a power that is unmatched and unparalleled at the mountain (Exodus 20) as well as in the house (Acts 2). The main difference between what happened at the mountain and in the house was the condition of the heart. Words of fire from our Lawgiver, Judge and King will just be words if our hearts are uncircumcised. On the mountain as in the house, God’s presence was there; His truth was there; His love was there. His promise was there, but unlike in the house, the people shrunk back and stood at a distance (Exodus 20: 15).
God’s Law is spiritual (Romans 7:14), holy and good (Romans 7:12), and that which was spoken on the mountain required a willing spirit, a faithful heart and a mind in constant remembrance of God’s great and redeeming power. Christ would never give us instructions and then leave us without a guide. He is our perfect example; He left us with the Holy Spirit, our helper and comforter just as He had promised (John 14:26). The same helper was available at the mountain, but we couldn’t hear and understand and so be saved. We refused to wait for the promise.
“It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63). Life was spoken at the mountain, and spiritual words were shared there. These words were beyond the comprehension of the children of Israel at that time. The Israelites had agreed to do all that God had said before they heard Him speak (Exodus 19:8), but those that were in the house remembered the miracles, the promise and His Word, and therefore, they waited. “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you” (John 14:16-17).
The Lord requires a new grain offering at Pentecost (Leviticus 23:16). This bread must be different from the manna eaten by Israel in the wilderness. It is not a bread that comes down to us, but one that we must go up to receive. We need the Bread of His presence. This offering of our lives requires a new level of obedience and a new level praise that cannot be experienced at the bottom of the mountain. The same power from on high that Israel saw from a distance is what Christ is now calling us to be endued with (Luke 24:49). We must prepare for a mountaintop experience.
So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit” (John 20:21-22).
Christ spoke spirit and life in the beginning and He is speaking spirit and life today. He is calling us to walk this Way of life in Spirit and in Truth, and He is calling us to be the light that draws men and women from every nation under heaven so that they too may hear and know the wonderful works of God. He has drawn us to himself as a holy nation and royal priesthood. Heed His call by experiencing Him at the mountaintop. Choose to go up.
By Prophet Kelly Vonner