Does Matthew 17 prove life after death?
[Steve Myers] A viewer wrote us and had watched a program where we talked about the dead, and how the dead know nothing, that they're in their graves. We quoted Ecclesiastes 9:5 Ecclesiastes 9:5For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.
American King James Version×and Ecclesiastes 9:10 Ecclesiastes 9:10Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, where you go.
American King James Version×, and they understood the fact of what the Bible was talking about, but a question came up in their mind when they thought about what it says in Matthew. All the way over in Matthew chapter 17, an interesting circumstance takes place, where Christ takes His disciples James, Peter, John, up to the mountain. And an amazing circumstance takes place. It says, "He was transfigured before them." This is in verse 2, chapter 17. "His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became white as light." But that wasn't all. Verse 3 said, "And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him" (Matthew 17:2-3 Matthew 17:2-3  And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.  And, behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elias talking with him.
American King James Version×). So this situation with Christ, and then what appeared to be Moses and Elijah, took place right before their eyes. So the viewer had the question, well, how is it then, if the dead know nothing, and even David is dead and buried and his grave is still with us to this day, as scripture says, how could Moses and Elijah meet with Christ and in that configuration, or in that transfiguration? It was a good question. Was this reality, or was this something else?
Well, many times in the Bible, if you keep reading, and look at the context of what scripture says, we can find out a lot more information. And sure enough, when we look down just a little bit further to verse 9, it gives us the information we need so that scripture does match. There is no conflict between these different thoughts. In verse 9 it says, "They came down from the mountain and Jesus commanded them," and here's what He said, "'Tell the vision to no one until the Son of Man is risen from the dead'" (Matthew 17:9 Matthew 17:9And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead.
American King James Version×). So you see, it's true – the dead know nothing. Yes, David is dead and buried, just like Moses and just like Elijah, so what the situation was is that Christ was giving them a vision – almost looking off into the future, in the resurrection when they would have new bodies, when it would be an amazing circumstance of a configuration that they would have a glorious body. And so Christ was giving them insight into that time.
So it wasn't reality, but as Christ Himself said, it was a vision. So a good reminder for us – when we don't understand something, remember to take in the context. Look at the whole aspect of scripture and we'll be able to see, then, that it does begin to make a little bit more sense.
That's BT Daily. We'll see you next time.