Faith Chapel

The View From The Top

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Rick Remmers


Series Code: FC

Program Code: FC000216

00:31 Hello, welcome to Faith Chapel.
00:33 I'm pastor Rick Remmers, from Chicago, Illinois.
00:37 I'm glad that you can join us as we consider the message
00:40 the view from the top.
00:43 William Dyke became blind at the age of 10.
00:48 Despite this handicap he was quite intelligent,
00:51 went to school, had a good sense of humor
00:54 and had many friends.
00:56 While he was attending graduate school in England,
00:59 William met the daughter of an English admiral.
01:03 They fell in love and soon became engaged.
01:07 William had never seen her
01:09 but he loved her with all of his heart
01:11 and at the insistence of her father the admiral
01:15 he agreed to under go a treatment for his eyesight
01:19 to try and restore it.
01:20 It had been so many years that he had been blind that
01:24 there seems like there was little hope
01:26 but he was willing to try and he decided that
01:31 they would take the bandages off his eyes
01:35 at the wedding ceremony
01:36 so that the first thing he would see
01:39 would be his new bride.
01:41 As the admiral was leading his daughter down the aisle
01:45 William's father started to unwrap the gauze
01:48 wrapped around his head.
01:50 Soon the bandages were removed from his eyes
01:53 and as he opened his eyes
01:55 for the first time in many years
01:58 he was able to see the face of his new bride,
02:02 the one that he loved.
02:04 Sometimes the view from a mountain top
02:07 can be like going from blindness to new site.
02:11 From the top of a mountain you gain a prospective
02:14 of everything around you.
02:16 You can see so much more than when your down in the valley
02:20 and today I want us to take a look
02:22 at Mountain Nebo
02:24 and some of the events that took place there
02:26 and the lessons that we can learn
02:28 from Moses and others
02:30 as they spend time on Mount Nebo.
02:34 Mount Nebo is about ten miles east
02:37 of where the Jordan River joins into the Dead Sea.
02:41 In the scriptures that's also referred to as Mount Pisgah.
02:47 Going to Deuteronomy 3:27 we find the first lesson.
02:54 "Go up to the top of Pisgah,
02:56 and lift your eyes toward the west,
02:58 the north, the south, and the east
03:01 behold it with your eyes,
03:03 for you shall not cross over this Jordan."
03:07 One of the things that we find in the lessons from Mount Nebo
03:11 is that there is a penalty for sin.
03:15 Moses after serving faithfully through out the 40 years
03:19 wandering in the wilderness
03:21 has come close to the end of that time
03:23 and once again the children of Israel
03:25 are with out water
03:26 and they're grumbling in complaining to Moses
03:29 blaming him for this.
03:30 He goes to God and God instructs him in a similar way
03:35 to what had happened many years before
03:37 but with some change
03:39 he was instructed to go and speak to the rock
03:41 and fresh water would come out
03:44 in order to give to the children of Israel.
03:46 But Moses went with Aaron and in frustration
03:50 he took his staff and he-- he struck that rock
03:55 because of the needs of the people
03:56 God respected this
03:59 and allowed the water to come forth.
04:02 But this had violated the instruction
04:04 that God had given to Moses.
04:06 Moses and Aaron were claiming to take credit
04:09 for being able to bring water from the rock
04:12 and they had struck the rock a second time
04:15 violating the-- the very symbol
04:18 that God was providing
04:19 as a lesson to the children of Israel.
04:22 Jesus of course in the scriptures
04:24 as referred to the rock
04:25 and Jesus has struck once for our sins
04:29 dying once on the cross of Calvary
04:31 for our sins.
04:33 Successive times when we are needing forgiveness,
04:36 Jesus has not crucified over and over again.
04:39 We simply speak asking for forgiveness
04:42 coming to Him with a repentant heart
04:44 and our sins are forgiven.
04:46 By striking the rock twice
04:49 Moses took away from this image this lesson.
04:54 And because he was the leader for the children of Israel
04:58 the response was doubly troubling for him
05:04 because 40 years earlier
05:07 when the children of Israel had come up
05:08 to the edges of the promise land
05:10 they had lacked faith that God would give this land to them.
05:13 Ten of the twelve spies came back
05:15 with a negative report that the--
05:17 the people of the land were giants
05:19 and their cities were true well fortified
05:21 and they would never be able to go and take this land.
05:24 And so God let that curse come upon them.
05:28 And He let them go back to the wilderness
05:31 and He said that all of the adults
05:33 who had been there, who lack the faith to go in
05:36 would not be able to go in to the land of promise.
05:39 It would be their children
05:41 who would inherit the promise land.
05:43 And now, nearly 40 years later
05:45 as they come again to the Jordan valley
05:49 and are ready to cross over
05:50 into the land of Israel to the Palestine.
05:55 Moses and Aaron are told that they cannot cross over
05:58 that they too must die in the wilderness
06:02 and will not be able to set foot in the promise land.
06:06 There is a penalty that comes for sin.
06:10 There is a nursery rhyme that's well known it goes,
06:13 Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall,
06:17 All the king's horses, all the king's men,
06:20 Couldn't put Humpty together again.
06:22 And according to people who know such things
06:26 they say that this nursery rhyme is actually
06:29 a relic from thousands of years ago
06:32 and that it appears in eight European languages
06:35 and in its primitive stages however Humpty Dumpty
06:38 was really a riddle that asked the question
06:40 what when broken can never be repaired
06:43 not even by strong or wise individuals
06:47 and any child knows the answer, its an egg.
06:50 An egg when broken cannot be put back together again.
06:53 Once that shell is crushed it's crushed
06:57 and it will never be the same again.
07:01 In our lives there are Humpty Dumpty
07:04 kinds of experiences.
07:06 We find that when Adam and Eve fell into sin
07:10 this world was broken like an egg
07:14 and it cannot be put back together again
07:16 no matter how wise we think we are or capable,
07:20 they are the results of sin it will never be the same again
07:24 until it is transformed recreated by the power of God.
07:28 And when there is sin in our life
07:31 it brings its consequences,
07:34 it brings its devastating effects
07:36 and they're wounds, they're scares
07:38 that remain through out our life
07:40 as we make decisions that dishonor God.
07:44 Moses learned this in a difficult way
07:47 but he also trusted that God will lead him appropriately.
07:53 There's another lesson that we learn from Mount Nebo
07:56 and that's that we must have faith in God's promises.
08:01 Moses had many experiences
08:03 that lead him to increase his faith
08:06 that God was leading in his life
08:09 and that the promises of God remained certain in secure.
08:13 You have the experience of Moses
08:15 when he was still a baby
08:17 and his mother unwilling to have him destroyed
08:20 as all the young boys born to the--
08:22 the Israelites had been commanded to be killed
08:27 she put him in a basket
08:29 in the bulrushes of the Nile river.
08:31 And there he was protected
08:33 and God's hand was seen in his life.
08:36 Forty years later he-- he leaves Egypt
08:39 and it seems like his whole world
08:41 has fallen in around him that --
08:43 that any plan that he had for helping God's people
08:46 had been destroyed with his rash act
08:50 of killing the slave master.
08:52 But he goes and spends another 40 years
08:54 tending the sheep on the side of Mount Sinai
08:59 and then God comes to him in the burning bush
09:01 and gives him the promise that He will be with him
09:03 as he goes to speak to Pharaoh
09:06 that He will present miracles and bring about events
09:11 so that Pharaoh will finally let the people go.
09:14 There is a promise of God that as the children of Israel
09:17 put that blood of the lamb on the doorpost of their home
09:20 that the first born in their home
09:22 would not be killed by the Passover angel.
09:27 There is the experience of Mount Sinai
09:29 where the people came
09:31 and they received the law of God
09:33 and God met with Moses there.
09:36 There was Korah's rebellion as Korah
09:38 hundreds of the princess of the tribes of Israel
09:41 came and felt like they could lead the children of Israel
09:45 better than Moses could
09:46 that after being turned away from the land of promise
09:51 and sent back into the wilderness
09:54 that they could lead in a way that
09:57 the people would appreciate more than Moses.
10:00 And God simply came and brought judgment upon them.
10:03 Moses waited for God to act
10:05 and the earth opened up and swallowed them.
10:10 You have the repeated times
10:12 where the people fell into apostasy
10:14 and they lost confidence that God was leading them.
10:18 They worshipped the golden calf while Moses was on Mount Sinai
10:23 and God was wanting to destroy the children of Israel
10:27 and create a new nation from the decadence of Moses
10:31 and bring about the promise that He had given to Abraham,
10:34 Isaac and Jacob
10:35 through the descendent of Moses.
10:37 But Moses intersected on behalf of the people
10:40 before God.
10:42 He had a certain hope and this hope is described
10:45 in Hebrew 11:1 we read there,
10:50 "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for,
10:53 the evidence of things not seen."
10:56 Moses had great hope in things that he hadn't seen
11:00 because God had promised them
11:03 and God's promises had always been true.
11:06 Sometimes things turned out differently than Moses
11:09 had planned or wanted
11:11 but God's word never failed him.
11:13 And so he had a certain hope in the promise of God.
11:17 Another lesson that we find from
11:21 the experience of Mount Nebo
11:22 and this actually comes from the prophet Nehemiah
11:26 is that we cannot stand against the Lord.
11:29 He has a plan and a purpose and events in this world
11:33 take their course within certain bounds
11:36 set by God.
11:38 Numbers 23:14 describes Nehemiah's experience
11:43 "So he brought him to the field of Zophim,
11:46 to the top of Pisgah, and built seven altars,
11:49 and offered a bull and a ram on each altar."
11:53 Here Nehemiah has been asked to curse the people of Israel
11:57 by King Balak.
11:58 Balak has been concerned he is heard of-- of the ways
12:01 that God has provided for the children of Israel
12:04 in the past.
12:05 How the armies of pharaoh and Egypt
12:07 had been drowned in the Red Sea
12:09 and now that they are on the-- the edge of his territory.
12:14 He is wanting to find a way to defeat them.
12:16 He is concerned that he-- he can't do it militarily
12:18 so he calls for the prophet of God
12:20 Nehemiah to come.
12:22 Now, Nehemiah had been a faithful prophet of God
12:25 but his heart was filled with greed.
12:27 He wanted the honor and the material possession
12:31 which Balak would give as a reward
12:34 for cursing the children of Israel.
12:36 So, he says to the ambassadors from Balak,
12:40 let me come to the Lord and pray about this.
12:44 God initially tell him that he can't go
12:47 but King Balak believes that Nehemiah is simply holding out
12:50 for more wealth and so, greater dignitaries
12:53 are sent offering more of a reward to Nehemiah.
12:57 Finally, Nehemiah agrees to go God
12:59 conscience that he can go
13:01 but he must speak the words that God will give to him.
13:05 So, he sets off on his way.
13:07 We have the unusual account of--
13:09 of Nehemiah's donkey running to the side of the path and--
13:14 and Balaam cursing and hitting his donkey
13:18 until finally Nehemiah's eyes are open
13:20 and he too sees the angel of God
13:22 standing in the path way.
13:24 He is reminded that he must speak
13:25 what God tells him to.
13:27 So he gets to the top of Pisgah
13:29 actually one mountain after another
13:31 he essence with Balak.
13:33 They build the seven altars.
13:34 They try and out sacrifice the people of Israel
13:38 thinking that this would appease God in some way.
13:42 And each time Nehemiah opens his mouth
13:44 to pronounce a curse
13:46 there is a blessing that comes out
13:48 bringing increasing frustration to King Balak.
13:51 But we cannot stand against the Lord.
13:55 God had chosen to be with
13:58 and bless the children of Israel.
14:00 And there wasn't any sacrifice, there wasn't any curse
14:03 that Nehemiah could give that would dissuade God
14:06 from the plan and the purpose that He had for His people.
14:09 We must not try to please ourselves,
14:12 we have to obey God rather than man.
14:16 And time and again as we look at the prophesies of God word
14:19 we find that-- that God is unfolding events in this earth
14:23 in order to accomplish His purpose.
14:25 As we the see the rise and fall of nations
14:28 described in the prophecy of Daniel 2
14:30 and the prophecy of Revelation
14:31 we recognize that
14:33 well, this world seems to be in chaos
14:35 and completely out of control
14:37 as one natural disaster after another takes place
14:39 and there are wars between the nations.
14:42 We wonder what the-- the end result will be
14:46 and God's word tells us that God remains on His throne.
14:51 God remains in control and this earth will end
14:54 with a second coming of Jesus Christ.
14:57 We can have confidence in the future
14:59 and we cannot set ourselves
15:01 to stand against the will of God.
15:05 Nehemiah finally understood as a prophet of God
15:08 that wealthy couldn't curse Israel
15:11 that he could bring temptation to the children of Israel
15:15 and tempt them to separate themselves
15:18 from God's leading.
15:19 And so that's what he encouraged Balak to do
15:21 to send the women of Midian in among the women
15:26 in the children of Israel
15:27 and there they could form friendships,
15:30 that would bring the people to worship their false gods.
15:35 The children of Israel fell into idolatry and adultery
15:39 and they run faithful to God
15:41 and this brought a judgment upon them
15:44 but the choice was there as to make
15:45 as long as they remained faithful
15:47 the promises of God were assured
15:50 and they were not able to stand against Him.
15:54 Another lesson that we find at Mountain Nebo
15:56 and the experience of Moses is that
15:59 we are at the gateway to heaven.
16:03 We cannot predict the future in great detail
16:06 but God tells us what the end result will be.
16:10 Deuteronomy 34:1-8
16:13 we find the description of Moses
16:16 as he climbs up Mountain Nebo.
16:20 "Then Moses went up from the plains of Moab
16:23 to Mount Nebo, to the top of Pisgah,
16:25 which is across from Jericho.
16:26 And the Lord showed him all the land of Gilead
16:29 as far as Dan,
16:32 all Naphtali and the land of Ephraim and Manasseh,
16:36 all the land of Judah as far as the Western Sea,
16:39 the South, and the plain of the Valley of Jericho,
16:41 the city of palm trees, as far as Zoar.
16:46 Then the Lord said to him,
16:47 'This is the land of which I swore to give Abraham,
16:50 Isaac, and Jacob, saying,
16:52 "I will give it to your descendants."
16:54 I have caused you to see it with your eyes,
16:58 but you shall not cross over there.'
17:00 So Moses the servant of the Lord
17:02 died there in the land of Moab,
17:04 according to the word of the Lord.
17:06 And He buried him in a valley in the land of Moab,
17:10 opposite Beth Peor
17:12 but no one knows his grave to this day.
17:15 Moses was one hundred and twenty years old
17:17 when he died.
17:18 His eyes were not dim nor his natural vigor diminished.
17:23 And the children of Israel wept for Moses
17:25 in the plains of Moab thirty days.
17:27 So the days of weeping and mourning for Moses ended."
17:32 Moses was climbing Mountain Nebo
17:35 and he knew that it was the end of his life.
17:37 The children of Israel understood this as well
17:41 but God also had another plan for Moses
17:44 and in the New Testament we find that
17:46 there is the rest of the story Jude verse 9 tells us,
17:52 "Yet Michael the archangel, in contending with the devil,
17:55 when he disputed about the body of Moses,
17:58 dared not bring against him a reviling accusation,
18:01 but said, 'The Lord rebuke you!'
18:05 " God wasn't finished with Moses
18:08 and God had something even greater
18:11 than the earthly Canaan in store for him.
18:14 And so as Moses climbed to the top of Mount Nebo,
18:19 he gave up his life, he died there on Mount Nebo
18:24 but God came and claimed him as the first truth says
18:27 the promise that Jesus would conquer
18:30 the power of the grave,
18:31 that there would be a resurrection
18:33 and the resurrection of Moses was promise
18:36 that God would be able to bring to life
18:38 all of those who love Him at the time of His return.
18:43 This produced unmistakable evidence to Satan
18:47 that his power on this earth was waning away.
18:53 That Jesus in the plan of salvation
18:55 that God had would be a success.
18:59 Satan still resisted but God's plan and purpose
19:02 was foreshadowed in the resurrection of Moses.
19:06 While he left this earth, there was something
19:09 even better that God had.
19:11 In Hebrews 11:24-26 We find a description of this,
19:17 "By faith Moses, when he became of age,
19:19 refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter,
19:22 choosing rather to suffer affliction
19:24 with the people of God
19:25 than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin,
19:29 esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches
19:31 than the treasures in Egypt for he looked to the reward."
19:36 Moses had an eternal prospective.
19:39 He wasn't looking for all of the things
19:41 that the courts of Pharaoh could provide in Egypt.
19:43 He wasn't looking for honor from the children of Israel.
19:46 He knew that following God's plan
19:48 would lead to life eternal.
19:51 He had a prospective on life
19:53 that was not just restricted to the here now
19:56 but it was focused on eternity
19:58 and accepting the whole of God's promises
20:01 that God ultimately had not just
20:03 the promise land in Canaan for those who followed Him
20:07 but ultimately a heavenly Canaan
20:09 awaiting for them
20:10 and that was the reward of Moses
20:13 and he was willing to experience something
20:16 much greater than this world could offer.
20:19 Instead of the promise land he had a new heaven
20:21 and a new earth.
20:22 Instead of enjoying the wealth of Pharaoh Quotes
20:25 he had the streets of gold in the New Jerusalem.
20:28 Instead of great political power
20:30 in the nations of this earth
20:32 he experienced miss treatment by the people of God.
20:35 Instead of being preserved as a mummy in Egypt,
20:38 he was able to go and be with Jesus
20:40 at the transfiguration
20:42 being a critical point in Jesus ministry.
20:44 Moses looked to the reward,
20:47 he was one step away from heaven.
20:50 And we don't know the timing of our lives,
20:52 we don't know when the sleep of death will take us
20:56 but the next thing we know
20:57 will be the return of Jesus Christ,
20:59 will be the resurrection, will be the--
21:01 the eternal life that Jesus promises to us.
21:06 The fifth lesson we learn from Mountain Nebo
21:09 is that we are not to build any human shrine.
21:13 Moses burial place was not preserved by any other people.
21:19 It was shortly before this that Moses older brother Aaron
21:23 had Moses and his sons Eleazar accompany him
21:27 to the place of his death.
21:30 He died there in Moses arms and Moses and Eleazar
21:34 were able to burry Aaron
21:35 and they at least knew the site of his burial.
21:39 But Moses went alone to the top of Mountain Nebo
21:44 we are not to be worshipping any prophet
21:46 even some one so great as Moses
21:49 there is no apostle there is no priest,
21:52 there is no pastor, preacher or teacher
21:54 that we are to make a shine to.
21:57 We worship Jesus Christ in Him alone.
21:59 And our natural human tendency is to look for--
22:02 for a physical place,
22:04 a physical thing that we can go and worship at.
22:08 And yet we are not to create these shrines.
22:12 And Moses place of death
22:15 was not persevered for future generations to come to
22:19 and worship and regret where it happened.
22:23 Instead his place went completely unmarked.
22:27 The sixth and final lesson
22:28 we will look at from Mountain Nebo
22:30 is that the view from the top gives us a clear prospective.
22:35 Moses needed a clear prospective
22:38 and he needed to be able to understand
22:41 that God was leading each step of his life
22:43 and that God had a plan and a purpose in his life.
22:50 There is a story about a-- a bishop
22:53 who was traveling from the east coast
22:57 to a small Midwestern college.
23:00 He was going to be a guest speaker there
23:02 and he was staying with the college president
23:05 a young man who not only served as the president
23:08 but was the professor of physics and chemistry.
23:10 And after dinner the bishop declared that
23:14 the return of Christ must be very soon
23:16 because just about everything in nature had been discovered
23:20 and all the inventions that could be thought off
23:23 had already been made.
23:24 The young college president
23:26 politely disagreed with the bishop.
23:27 He felt that there were
23:28 many more discoveries to be made.
23:31 The bishop became angry and challenged the president
23:34 to name one thing that could yet be invented.
23:37 The president said that
23:38 he was certain that with in 50 years
23:41 people would be able to fly.
23:44 "Nonsense!" said the bishop.
23:46 There is no way, only angels are intended to fly.
23:49 That's never going to happen.
23:51 But Bishop Wright didn't have the same kind of vision
23:55 that his two boys had and they were at home
23:58 conducting their own experiments
24:00 and developing their own inventions
24:03 and his two sons Orville and Wilbur Wright are credited
24:07 with conducting the first manned flight.
24:12 Our vision should not be restricted
24:14 to the little bit that we can see.
24:17 We need to have a clear perspective
24:19 of how God is leading and what God is doing.
24:23 One of the perspective that we need to have in life
24:25 is to avoid the clutter of all the little things.
24:28 Jesus warned against the cares and anxieties
24:31 of this life weighing us down so that--
24:33 so that we loose track of those things
24:35 that are most important.
24:37 We can never take our eyes off of Jesus in His leading.
24:42 We need to see the big issues, the important issues of life.
24:46 We need to recognize that the greatest priority
24:50 is that we have a personal relationship
24:53 with Jesus Christ and that we maintain that day by day
24:57 and there is no daily pressure
24:59 that's more important than that time with Jesus Christ.
25:03 We also need to be willing to let the past be the past.
25:07 There's nothing we can do to--
25:09 to change events that have taken place before.
25:13 The people of Australia have chosen
25:16 as a part of the symbol on their--
25:18 their crust of arms the emu and kangaroo
25:22 and what's unique about the emu and the kangaroo
25:24 is that neither one of them can move backwards,
25:27 they can only go forward because of the--
25:29 the three toes on the emu they have to move forward
25:32 or they'll fall and because of their strong tail
25:34 that the kangaroo has it can only jump forward.
25:38 And that's the way the people of Australia
25:40 want to conduct themselves.
25:42 And as Christians that's what we do as well.
25:44 We look forward to the hope
25:46 of what Jesus Christ has promised to us.
25:49 We learn lessons from the past
25:51 from those who have gone before us in history
25:55 but we look to the future and the promises
25:57 and the fulfillment of God's word
26:00 and we must know where we are going.
26:02 We must recognize that God is unfolding
26:07 events in history and in our life
26:09 to fulfill His promises,
26:11 to bring us the greatness of His provision in our lives.
26:17 I like to close with a few words,
26:20 from the book Patriarchs and Prophets
26:22 there's a chapter entitled the Death of Moses
26:24 that describes his experience
26:26 as he climbs to the top of the mountain Nebo.
26:31 Says, "The great Ruler of nations had declared
26:34 that Moses was not to lead the congregation of Israel
26:36 into the goodly land,
26:38 and the earnest pleading of God's servant
26:40 could not secure a reversing of His sentence.
26:42 He knew that he must die.
26:45 Yet he had not for a moment faltered
26:47 in his care for Israel.
26:49 The work of Moses as leader of Israel was ended.
26:53 As the people gazed upon the aged man,
26:55 so soon to be taken from them, they recalled,
26:58 with a new and deeper appreciation,
27:00 his parental tenderness, his wise counsels,
27:03 and his untiring labors.
27:04 How often, when their sins had invited
27:07 the just judgments of God, the prayers of Moses
27:10 had prevailed with Him to spare them!
27:13 Their grief was heightened by remorse.
27:16 God speaks to His people in blessings bestowed
27:20 and when they are not appreciated,
27:21 He speaks to them in blessings removed,
27:24 that they may be led to see their sins,
27:26 and return to Him with all their heart.
27:28 Moses turned from the congregation,
27:30 and in silence and alone made his way up the mountainside.
27:35 In solitude Moses reviewed the life of vicissitudes
27:38 and hardships since he turned from courtly honors
27:41 and from a prospective kingdom in Egypt,
27:43 to cast in his lot with God's chosen people."
27:46 And then the tired worrier
27:49 lay down and rested in the promises of God
27:54 just as each one of us can do as well.


Revised 2014-12-17