Joyful praise lifted up to God Almighty and the Lord Jesus Christ continue and overflow in this final edited 2013 blog repost of the four blog series. Let every faithful Christian; every aspiring strong man and great woman of God in the image of Jesus Christ our Lord hold nothing back. Give praise here and now on earth to our glorified King who has done great and eternal things for us including glorifying us with Himself (John 17:22; Romans 8:14-18; Colossians 3:4; 1 John 3:2)!
Originally Posted April 28, 2013
When the Lord Jesus and His triumphal procession arrived in Heaven He went immediately to the glorious temple of God (Psalm 24:3-10)! It was very familiar in sight and layout to the Jewish saints in the company that had seen the tabernacles of God on earth. There, the Lord presented Himself to the Father in the “Most Holy Place” as High Priest of the New Covenant ratified through His blood and for coronation (Daniel 7:13; Hebrews 9:11-28, NKJV). Then, the Father conferred on Him the eternal dominion and Kingdom of God. He also majestically crowned and glorified His Son before the whole awestruck assembly of Heaven (Daniel 7:14; Philippians 2:6-11). Thereafter, He caused the Lord Jesus to sit at His right hand until He makes His enemies His footstool as foretold (Psalm 110:1; Hebrews 1:1-13, 10:11-18; 1 Peter 3:22).
So now, the Son and Word of God, the second Person of the triune God again shone with the glory that was His from eternity as He had prayed while still in mortal flesh before His death (Ezekiel 1:26-28; Daniel 10:4-9; John 17:4-5). This was the glory of which His apostles on earth had seen by way of visions on the mountain (Matthew 17:1-9; 2 Peter 1:16-18), on the Damascus Road (Acts 9:1-7) and on the island of Patmos (Revelation 1:9-17). This is the indescribable glory of Jesus Christ--fully God and fully Man; “He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen,” (1 Timothy 6:15b-16, NKJV). Hallelujah!
With a glory permanently radiating out from His Person far brighter than lightening, the Lord Jesus seated next to His Father waits just like us that believe in Him for the Day of His return. In the meantime, He labors with us in fulfilling His commission and walks with us through all of our trials comforting, encouraging, strengthening, healing--whatever we need in accord with His sovereign will and power (Matthew 28:18-20; John 14:18; 2 Timothy 4:17-18; Hebrews 4:14-16; 1 John 2:1-2, 5:1-5)! Then, when the time of our departure arrives--however it comes, with great joy and peace we as that great hymn declares, “fly away” disembodied into Christ’s glorious presence; taking our place among all of those already on Mt. Zion to await our resurrection to immortal glory (Hebrews 12:18-24).
By the grace of God we have been given advance snapshots of life as it is and is still to come in Heaven while we are disembodied there. In Heaven, we will enjoy magnificent sights beyond finite mortal description to include the throne and face of God the Father along with amazing creatures. We will also hear and gladly participate in the unforced praise of these creatures and angels being continually offered up to the triune God (Revelation 4). With complete abandon of reserve we will joyfully join in the praise of Jesus Christ, the Lamb, with all of the redeemed (Revelation 5). We will stand for and salute our brothers that arrive in Heaven after being martyred for the faith through the time of the “great tribulation,” (Acts 7:54-60; Revelation 6:9-11, 7:9-17, 14:9-13, 15:1-4, NKJV).
We will be filled with solemn, holy awe and stand still with all the other creatures of Heaven as God prepares to pour out His wrath on the wicked (Revelation 15:5-8). We will rejoice in the vindication of His righteousness and victorious assumption of earth rule in the aftermath of avenging judgments very importantly upon corrupt Christianity the religion of men on behalf of us, “His servants,” (Revelation 19:1-6, NKJV)! Then, at last, we will be prepared for our return with Christ to the earth (Revelation 19:7-10) to be resurrected to immortality and glorified before a waiting creation (Romans 8:19-23) as well as the eyes of the entire watching universe (Matthew 24:29-31; 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17)! Praises be to the Lord Jesus Christ who has made this all possible! “Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen,” (1 Timothy 1:17, NKJV). Alleluia!
In the second, concluding part to this edited 2013 blog post, the faithful are given great reasons to be encouraged about our destination at the death of the body as well as inspired to praise the Lord Jesus Christ with all of the saints now in Heaven for the outworking benefits of His death, burial and resurrection that saves and sets His people free in thorough fulfillment of Matthew 16:16-18!
Originally Posted April 21, 2013
According to the apostle Peter, the Lord while disembodied did not just “chill out” in paradise, but also labored preaching. He preached the Gospel to a specific group of imprisoned disembodied spirits who were the lawless human beings that perished by God’s judgment in the global flood of Noah’s day (Genesis 7:17-24; 1 Peter 3:18-4:6). He also heralded to the saints in paradise that moving day had come and they were yet another step closer to permanent resurrection as a result of His finished work on Calvary and imminent, triumphant resurrection to immortal glory (Job 14:13-14)!
It was all so sudden; God’s long awaited Deliverer announced in the hearing of Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:15) and promised Messiah affirmed to Abraham (Genesis 22:18; Galatians 3:16) at that moment stood in the midst of the saints under the earth! No doubt all were joyful beyond measure to greet the Lord upon His arrival and hear the good news of His once and for all sacrifice providing eternal atonement for the sins they had committed while in the body; sins that had kept them from dwelling in the immediate presence of God in Heaven (Job 14:15-17; Romans 3:21-26; Hebrews 10:1-10).
Now, as a result of His successful mission Christ was proclaiming liberty from confinement in Hades and victory over Satan (Isaiah 61:1; Ephesians 1:7-10; Colossians 2:13-15). In so doing, He spoke of His impending resurrection not only with the promise theirs was yet to follow His own at a time to be announced by the Father (Acts 1:6-7), but that they would actually shortly be joining Him in His return to Heaven for coronation and glorification (nice as paradise was there, it cannot compare to standing in the glorious presence of the living God in Heaven)!
Therefore, when the moment came that He departed Hades to permanently re-enter His body instantaneously made alive and transformed from mortal to immortal, God permitted some of them whose bodies were buried around Jerusalem to be temporarily raised after Him in celebratory anticipation of the future! They arose from graves which had already been opened by the powerful earthquake that occurred at His death and entered into the city showing themselves to many (Matthew 27:51-53). After forty days on earth spent appearing to and instructing His disciples (John 20:11-18), the Lord Jesus purposely took them to the place of His ascension so they would see His departure to Heaven (Luke 24:50-51; Acts 1:9).
God permitted that they should also see two angels as they watched Him ascend (Acts 1:10-11). What they did not see in the spiritual realm was the joyful train of accompanying angels along with the disembodied spirits of the saints liberated from Hades and brought to God parading in triumphal procession to Heaven behind Christ as Savior, Victor and Conqueror-King fulfilling types and prophecy (Genesis 14:8-16; Psalm 68:17-20; Ephesians 4:7-10; Hebrews 2:10-18; Revelation 1:18); foreshadowing that yet to be fulfilled at His return to earth (Psalm 68:21-35)! It is customary for human kings returning home from faraway wars of conquest to be given gifts by their subjects and even resentful rebels as Psalm 68:18 notes.
However, being the Anointed One of God and as such, far superior in character to sinful, mortal men, the Lord Jesus actually gives gifts to mankind beginning with the Person of the Holy Spirit as foretold and which began to take place on Pentecost, ten days after His ascension and glorification (John 7:37-39, 14:16-17, 15:26-27, 16:5-15, 20:19-23; Acts 2:1-21, 38-39). He also gives His human followers gifted, led, controlled and empowered by the Holy Spirit to serve His purposes for the good of His own and all mankind (Ephesians 4:11-16)! I am deeply honored in the Lord to serve you as a watchman/prophet and teacher in the main and doing the work of an evangelist (Ezekiel 33:1-9; Romans 12:3-8; 2 Timothy 4:5) after His faithful servants since the 1st century as His victory gift giving campaign among men continues to the end--glory to His Name!
Thanks now, to the permanent, bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and ascension into Heaven with all of the disembodied Old Testament saints, those who have believed on Him in this New Testament period follow behind (John 13:36-14:6). As the apostle Paul discusses in 2 Corinthians 5:1-8, if our earthly tent--(our present, mortal body) is destroyed (dies), we are comforted by the fact God has a building from Heaven (our resurrected, immortal body) to house us with.
We actually yearn deep in our souls to be in that body right now! However, we must wait for the appointed day assured by the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit as God’s guarantee that it will come so that we even welcome temporary disembodiment confident that our spirits will ascend to be with Christ in Heaven. We are confident because as the apostle Paul also teaches, “we walk by faith, not by sight,” (2 Corinthians 5:7, NKJV).
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