The Symbol of a Mountain in


What Does a Mountain Symbolize in Scripture?




Pamela Ayn Austen

A mountain in Scripture is an authority before which a particular doctrine or frame of thought is first presented, and then that authority judges it, and that authority either becomes the powerful underpinning for that doctrine, or it rejects it and "casts it down from its cliff."  Though I'm primarily speaking of a town, state, nation, judicial or legal body, king or empire, God's authority then condones it, temporarily allows it, or overthrows it entirely. 

Sometimes, it is God himself who presents a doctrine or frame of thought; in which case he is both the presenter and the authoritative mountain that underpins the doctrine permanently, as with Moses on Mt. Sinai, and Jesus at the mount of transfiguration, to name but two instances. 

In Luke 4:29, after Jesus had spoken a particular doctrine while in a synagogue in Nazareth, the people in authority rejected it, and they took him to the edge of the "hill" where their town was built, and they sought to throw him down from the cliff.  They rejected both the doctrine and the presenter of the doctrine. But since God is the final authority, and since Jesus's words were true, God allowed Jesus to disappear from among them and walk away unscathed.  Jesus's words in Luke 4 were then permanently underpinned, due to it being recorded forever in Scripture.  God over-ruled the earthly authority that wanted Jesus's words cast down and forgotten.   

The empire of Babylon was wicked in all of their doctrine, so God said in Jeremiah 51:25,26: "Behold, I am against you, O destroying mountain, you who devastate the whole earth, declares the Lord. I will stretch out my hand against you; I will roll you over the cliffs, and turn you into a charred mountain.  No one will retrieve from you a cornerstone or a foundation stone, because you will become desolate forever." 

God allowed Babylon's wicked and violent doctrine to go on for a long time, because God was using Babylon to discipline Israel and others; but he finally overthrew it, and "rolled it over the cliff."  He rejected the doctrine that Babylon's authority had espoused and supported, and to get rid of it, he had to get rid of their authority entirely, which was the whole mountain.  He rolled their doctrine off a cliff, and then he made Babylon a charred mountain that no doctrine was presented to anymore because their authority to judge was taken away from them.  


When Jonah was thrown over-board, and the great fish swallowed him, he spoke to God and said, "To the roots of the mountains I descended. . . " Jonah 2:6  Which could mean, "My doctrine of disobedience to God wasn't just judged and thrown off a cliff; I was thrown clear down off the world into the underworld! My doctrine of defiance sent me to hell; that's how much God thought of it."  

Jesus said to his disciples, "If you have the faith of a mustard seed, you can tell this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will obey.  Nothing will be impossible for you." Matthew 17:20  They had not been able to cast the demon out of the boy who had seizures, and they had asked Jesus why.  


The mountain in this case, the authority to judge, was Satan. The demons presented their doctrine of wanting to possess the boy to Satan, and Satan had accepted and underpinned it with the strength of his mountain, with the strength of his authority.  The mountain Jesus wanted moved, and the authoritative decision-maker that Jesus wanted to over-ride, was Satan.  

The only authority who can over-ride an authoritative body, or a mighty mountain, on earth or in the spirit world, is God.  God sits as the final judge of any judgment.  And Jesus didn't tell his disciples to un-do the mountain's authoritative decision and reverse it; they were told to move the entire mountain that made the evil judgement against the boy in the first place.  Otherwise, the demons would just come back with a new doctrine against the boy, and the mountain would sanction it.  The mountain itself had to be dislodged from the boy's vicinity, and taken from his jurisdiction, so to speak. 

Jesus has given us authority through his name, by the power of his Spirit, and we enter into his ability to make authoritative decisions; we sit on his throne with him, on his mountain.  Jesus gave to his disciples his ability to "over-ride authority", to cast Satan's decisions over a cliff, or with prayer and fasting, to move his mountain out of the vicinity entirely.


To cast a mountain into the sea does not mean the over-coming of a problem, or an almighty power to speak words and have them happen, as the Word of Faith crowd claims.  It means to get rid of the reigning authoritative body that underpins a doctrine, a premise, a law, or an idea. 

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