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Summit Meetings

Summit means the top, the highest point, the highest level, whether referring to a mountain or a meeting of world leaders. Because of conditions prevailing amongst the nations, summit meetings have become the order of the day. Amidst much publicity government leaders choose the place where they wish to confer on major prevailing problems. The eyes of people of all nations focus upon them, hopeful of solutions.

It is good for us to remember that it was our God who held the first summit meeting. Thousands of years have passed since He called Moses to the top of mount Sinai for the landmark occasion of receiving His law for the nation of Israel. Moses was there with God for forty days and forty nights (Ex. 24:18). What grace is contained in the words associated with this occasion that the Lord spoke to His prophet 'as a man speaketh unto his friend' (Ex. 33:11). There was no prophet like him, was His tribute to the son of Amram the Levite (Deut. 34:10). The outcome of this memorable meeting was a divine charter by which God's holy nation would be governed. It was to be known as the Law, or the Law of Moses. His people would walk in it (Ex. 16:4). Hosts of nations since have embraced parts of that divine Law as a guide for daily living. So, this first summit meeting in man's history was a precedent which men in part have sought to follow, consciously or unconsciously.

In contrast, the first decision-making meeting that appears to have been held by men, was held perhaps in a valley, or on the flatlands (Gen. 11:2). It was at this meeting, at the behest of Nimrod, plans for Babel's infamous tower were conceived, but not fulfilled because of divine intervention. Babel means confusion. Paul instructs us that 'God is not a God of confusion, but of peace; as in all the churches of the saints' (1 Cor. 14:33).

There was a unique summit meeting during the Lord's earthly ministry. It took place on the holy mount, as Peter describes it (2 Pet. 1:18). Jesus took Peter, James and John with Him up the mountain to pray. There they saw His countenance change, and His garments became white and dazzling. They saw His glory (Luke 9:32). Was this a glimpse of the Shekinah? On that mount the Lord was joined by Moses and Elijah who had come from Paradise to speak to Him about His death (v.31). What a solemn, remarkable summit meeting this was! How deeply it would impress the three followers of Christ! How privileged they were to be there! How stirred their emotions would become years later as they told the saints in the churches of that memorable summit meeting! Peter, for example, wrote:

'We were eyewitnesses of His majesty He received from God the Father

honour and glory ... This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased' (2 Pet. 1:16,17).

Of no lesser importance was that summit meeting when the Lord Jesus went up into the mountain and gathered His disciples around Him (Mat. 5:1). There He gave them that remark-able charter of the 'blesseds', now known universally as the Beatitudes, which are recognized as the all-embracing happinesses of things relating to His kingdom. It sums up with:

'Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven' (v.12). Elaboration of this charter stresses the essentials of our being the salt of the earth and light in the world (vv.13,14).

Was one of the greatest Summits held on a mountain in Galilee? It was there He gave His disciples the great commission, and the promise of the Holy Spirit to help them carry it out. They received His charter for this dispensation, and it will end at His coming again. It involves the preaching of the gospel, making disciples, baptizing them, and teaching them all things relating to His divine will. Later they saw Him ascend from Olivet to His heavenly throne where the Father invited Him to be seated at His right hand. It was a joyous band of men that returned to Jerusalem after the ascension (Luke 24:52), to await their enduement of power by the Holy Spirit. This occurred on the day of Pentecost when they were all together in one place (Acts 2:14). Their charter contained seven valid points. Those that were saved through receiving the word were baptized in water, then they were added to those who were already baptized disciples, and together they continued steadfastly in the apostles' teaching, in the Fellow-ship, in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers (Acts 2:41,42). A new charter. This was the Master's plan for the first Church of God in Jerusalem, and for all successive churches of God which together were to form a spiritual house for God. It was this 'summit' plan which Peter, James, John, Paul, all proclaimed and it is contained in God's Word for us to implement today.

Yet, what of that wondrous 'summit' meeting in the air when the Lord comes from heaven? The peak of hope of every Christian. What a time of rejoicing that will be! One item only on the agenda! 'At home with the Lord'. Maranatha! 'Even so, come, Lord Jesus' (Rev. 22:20 AV).