A few years ago I saw a mountain tree for the first time.
While driving near Denver, Colorado, I noticed a road that
ascended Mount Evans. A sign indicated that this is the highest
mountain in North America whose summit, about 15,000 feet,
could be reached by automobile. I was not able to resist driving
to the top. The higher I went the more uninhabitable the environment
became. At one point I had to stop, having become dizzy from
the thin atmosphere. I noticed that the trees at the higher
elevation were distinctly different from those at lower elevations.
A few hundred yards from the top I discovered one isolated,
lone mountain tree which had somehow managed to survive. The
view and vision of that tree was magnificent, for it could
indeed see the far horizons and the stars. This tree somehow
planted itself far above all others. It won for itself not
only a glorious vision of the heavens above and the earth
below, but also became a tree of renown amongst all the trees
on that mountain.
It brought to memory this poem and the following thoughts
which are for those who are able to identify with this "mountain
A mountain tree if it would see
The far horizons and the stars,
May never know a sheltered place
Nor grow symmetrical in grace.
Such trees must battle doggedly
the blasts, and bear the scars.
Loyal Marion Thompson
The mountain top speaks of a place of separation. It represents
those who are climbing that they might obtain the promises
that are associated with dwelling in "Mount Zion."
It identifies those few who are willing to become mountain
trees that they might abide in this realm of eternal gain.
These "mountain trees" are seeing on the distant
horizon a glorious vision of what God is about to do in this
hour. Some are already speaking of the vision which they are
beholding, while many more are yet to come forth. These are
the ones who, as yesterday's "mountain climbers,"
became rooted to become today's "mountain trees"
Though its vision may be glorious and its stature elevated
above others, how does all this profit the tree, if after
its growth all that is left is a twisted, lonely, "mountain
tree" life? And how effective is the testimony ofthis
mountain tree's vision to other "trees" if the fruitfulness
of its life "appears" to be less productive than
those other symmetrical trees of lesser vision? There are
good reasons why we are not hearing more from today's prophets
Let's face it, mountain trees have a difficult time. Not
only are they fruitless and barkless, most barely have any
leaves. The mountain top, where they are growing, is usually
so cold and lonely that visitors seldom come for a visit.
They feel conspicuously out of place when they come down from
the mountain top to fellowship with their "symmetrical
Their lives show the marks of the intense spiritual battles
that they would not have faced had they stayed planted in
the safety of the valleys. Also, they usually have a difficult
time trying to relate to all of the activities in the valley.
Fellowship in the valley of "brother trees" is often
so painful that these twisted mountain trees retreat to the
isolation of the mountain top to revive a healing fellowship
with the Lord. Although the environment of the lonely mountain
top is almost un-endurable, these know that what they see
from their vantage point is not seen by others and is close
to the heart of the Lord. This is their joy and satisfaction.
As we consider the sufferings that must be endured by these
"mountain trees" as they climb toward a higher realm
of vision and understanding, and then struggle to maintain
their lonely place of vision in spite of the spiritual storms
that rage against them, a question must be asked. Are today's
"mountain climbers" climbing in vain? Are today's
twisted and gnarled "mountain trees" seeing in vain?
Let us search the Scriptures to see.
Moses was a mountain climber. The children of Israel had
just been delivered from the bondage of Egypt into a dry and
barren wilderness. They had a critical need to have an unprecedented
revelation of this God with whom Moses spake. They needed
understanding concerning the purpose for which they had been
brought out of Egypt. They needed vision that they might have
direction concerning the land that was before them. They were
in a position much like the Body of Christ today.
The burden of this need rested on the shoulders of Moses.
Seeking a personal encounter with God, Moses was driven to
mountain climbing. While Israel camped in the valley at the
foot of the mountain, "Moses went up unto God, and the
LORD called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt
thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel"
On the mountain top, God showed Moses His purpose for the
children of Israel. "Now therefore, if ye will obey my
voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar
treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:
And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy
nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the
children of Israel" Exodus 19:5-6. Moses heard the heart-cry
of God, which has echoed down through the ages, seeking again
to be heard in our day to find its greater fulfillment.
Again, Moses was called to ascend the mountain. "And
it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there
were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount,
and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the
people that was in the camp trembled. And Moses brought forth
the people out of the camp to meet with God; and they stood
at the nether part of the mount. And mount Sinai was altogether
on a smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire: and
the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and
the whole mount quaked greatly. And when the voice of the
trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spake,
and God answered him by a voice. And the LORD CAME DOWN upon
mount Sinai, on the top of the mount: and the LORD called
Moses up to the top of the mount; and Moses WENT UP"
This "mountain climbing" Moses had a revelation
of God hitherto unknown to man. He pressed through the dark
thunderings of God until he broke through into the might of
His glory and the splendor of His holiness. As Moses pressed
through these mighty displays of power he must have wondered
what greater revelation could God give of Himself. Since the
fullest revelation of God always comes through His words,
Moses soon found out. The first thing that God spoke concerned
the well being of His people.
"And the LORD said unto Moses, Go down, charge the
people, lest they breakthrough unto the LORD to gaze, and
many of them perish" Exodus 19:21 Hiding behind this
God of thunder, darkness, and quaking, who says "stay
away"(judgment), is a God of tender mercies who says
"come" (mercy). One might ask what made Moses so
special that he could gaze upon the Lord and live, yet if
the people gazed, they would perish?
It was because he had spent 40 years in the wilderness under
the heavy hand of God, making him the meekest man on earth
(Num. 12:3). This meekness in Moses' spirit enabled him to
respond to the tenderness of God's intimate fellowship without
grieving His Spirit. Meekness is the key that liberates the
Lord to fellowship intimately with His people, individually
or collectively, in all of His glory and holiness, without
their being destroyed by the God of judgment.
Moses, the mountain climber, enduring the seemingly un-endurable
stormings of the Lord, communed with His glory in heavenly
places and was transformed from "glory to glory"
(II Cor 3:18). This same Moses fellowshipped with the greatest
of all mountain climbers, Jesus, who was transfigured, in
his presence, upon the highest of the high mountains, Mount
"For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched,
and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness,
and tempest, ... But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto
the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem,"
Heb 12:18, 22.
Zion speaks of the eternal habitation of the Lord. "For
the LORD hath chosen Zion; he hath desired it for his habitation.
This is my rest for ever: here will I dwell; for I have desired
it" Psalm 132 :13-14. This speaks of Heaven, the realm
of the fullness of the presence of the Lord. Although heaven
is a place, the environment of heaven can be made available
on earth because the Holy Spirit, when poured out upon the
earth, is able to convey all the fullness of God. The Holy
Spirit creates an environment that Paul calls the heavenlies,
the realm of the fullness of the Spirit.
Mount Zion speaks of the place where the heavenlies touch
the earth and interact with the affairs of the earthly realm.
Jesus said that the Kingdom of Heaven was at hand (immediately
available). Jesus, who came from heaven, lived in the heavenlies
on earth. The sick were healed, the blind saw, the lame walked,
five loaves and two fishes fed thousands, the dead were raised,
taxes were paid from a fish's mouth, and more. He ascended
back to heaven and poured out His Spirit, that we also would
be able to walk in the heavenlies as He did.
"Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and
the earth is my footstool," Isa 66:1. Mount Zion is the
place where the Lord is establishing a "foot-hold"
in this world, a place from which He will once again intervene
in the affairs of men. It is the place where He will exercise
His "Kingdom Throne Rights" and bring forth a demonstration
of heavenly power as a witness to the nations in these last
The children of Israel were at a dead-end, apart from what
God revealed from Mount Sinai. So also is the Body of Christ
today, apart from a fresh revelatory word from Mount Zion.
For those who dare ascend Mount Zion to hear what God is saying,
the cost is great. Just as Moses endured the stormings of
the Lord who manifested Himself through thunderings and fire,
the "mountain climbers" of Mount Zion will endure
the stormings of darkness and fire. For these are the stormings
of principalities and powers, spiritual powers of darkness
and wickedness, the very fires of hell that would seek to
turn them back.
These powers of darkness, under no circumstances want these
mountain climbers to become a mountain tree with clear vision
in the heavenlies. To ascend into the heavenlies is to invade
the usurped domain of the prince of the power of the air (Eph.
2:2), and to obtain a position from which he can be confronted
and brought down. The storms are, at times, brutal. They take
their toll, yet they bring forth a crucified life within those
Merely climbing to the top of the mountain (the end of self
and the resultant spirit of meekness) does not necessarily
mean entering into the presence of the Lord's Zion. It is
presumptuous to believe that Zion's gates can be entered through
one's strenuous efforts. The best that the mountain climber
can do as he comes to the top of this mountain is to wait
upon the Lord. Just as Moses depended on God to COME DOWN
to fellowship with him, so also are today's mountain climbers
dependant on God to COME DOWN to fellowship with them in the
splendor of His holiness and glory, thus transforming them
from glory to glory (II Cor 3:18).
Be encouraged, mountaineers, we are living in the hour of
intervention. The Lord is already DESCENDING. "He bowed
the heavens also, and came down with thick darkness under
His feet. And He rode upon a cherub and flew; and He sped
upon the wings of the wind" Psalm 18:9-10). He is coming
quickly to this earth with the powers of darkness under His
feet. It is encouraging to know that as we rise above these
powers of darkness into His presence, they also will be under
And with whom will the Lord choose to make His abode? "For
thus says the high and exalted One who lives forever, whose
name is Holy, I dwell on a high and holy place, and ALSO with
the contrite and lowly of spirit in order to revive the spirit
of the lowly," Isa 57:15. Has climbing high brought you
low? Rejoice, the God whose dwelling place is above the stars
also chooses to establish His dwelling place on earth with
those who are lowly of spirit and meek.
As God's glory envelopes the mountain tops it will also
envelope that ugly "mountain tree life" that we
became. Our "tree" will be embraced, resurrected,
and empowered with living waters and divine life. As the Son
of Righteousness breaks the far horizon, He will shine upon
us first and we will behold His glory, face to face. This
will cause the Daystar to arise in our heart, transforming
us from a terrestrial to a celestial glory.
Our twisted tree "trunk" will again become erect.
We will no longer appear to be naked, for new "bark"
will grow and we will be covered with a heavenly righteousness.
Twisted branches will again come into divine symmetry. Leaves
will grow, which will compliment and enhance that special
person we have become in Him. Fruit will grow that is most
pleasing to the Father. We will discover that our seeming
ugly mountain tree life has become a Tree of Life through
which the ministry of Jesus is once again restored on earth.
Our earthly tree will be uprooted from the limitations of
the earthly realm. We will hereafter be sustained and conveyed
into the heavenlies, being free to leap upon the mountains
of this world. When we descend into the valley of "brother
trees" to share our vision, we will have the testimony
of a transformed life. Brother trees will marvel that this
"something more" in God, that we left them to seek
after, is real. It will challenge them to climb this Mount
Zion for themselves.
This is a paradox found only in Christian experience, the
ugliest of trees has become the most beautiful of trees shrouded
and protected by the manifest glory of the Lord.
"And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the
mountain of the LORD'S house (the overcoming Church) shall
be established in the top of the mountains(Mount Zion), and
shall be exalted above the hills (all other earthly authority);
and all nations shall flow unto it" Isaiah 2:2.