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The Ascension of Christ

Beacon Baptist / Gregory N. Barkman
The Truth Network Radio
April 19, 2020 12:00 pm

The Ascension of Christ

Beacon Baptist / Gregory N. Barkman

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April 19, 2020 12:00 pm

Pastor Greg Barkman explains the significance of Christ's resurrection from Acts 1-1-12 in his message -The Ascension of Christ- beginning at 15-30.

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Greetings and welcome to the Lifestream service for beacon Baptist Church in Burlington, North Carolina, on this Lords day morning, April 19. Thank you for joining us. Sure we all miss the life prelude music. A few moments ago and the last couple of weeks we been hearing recordings of the beacon congregation singing together in corporate worship obviously recorded on previous Sundays and I greatly enjoyed hearing our congregation saying. Looking forward to the time when we can do that again together for some reason this morning. There's a glitch in the technology and sound. I understand of the singing was not going out if that's the worst glitch we have will be fine for as I know we haven't had one before. Before now. Perhaps we won't have any. After this, as well. But anyway, thank you for joining us. The Lifestream schedule has been going on longer than we had hope. But again, we recognize that all of these things are in God's hand, but surely, surely within a shorter time moving forward than what we've had. Looking backwards were going to be able to get back together again. Maybe optimistically speaking may be in a couple of weeks or so. Things are certainly moving in that direction, but we don't know how quickly and it looks like it's going to be a different schedule in different states in different places.

I'm grateful that North Carolina has not been hit hard by the coronavirus. I was looking at some information online. Just a day or two ago and our state ranked 42 in the rank of coronavirus cases per 100,000 population.

New York State being number one. So there only eight states that have fewer cases per capita than North Carolina. That puts us in a very good position and as those of us who live in Alamance County.

No Alamance County has been under the average for the state of North Carolina as a whole. So in that respect, we have been very very blessed and we thank the Lord for we are still social distancing in order to minimize the possibility of contagion, but we trust that that will be coming to a close. Until then, we need to be faithful.

We need to be hopeful. We need to be trusting we need to be not weary in well doing recognizing that in due season we shall reap of the bountiful blessings of whatever God has appointed for this time in our lives. I trust you are well. I trust your families are well. I haven't heard of anyone in our congregation with coronavirus nor anyone in our congregation who knows anybody in this area. Coronavirus, in fact, we only had one report of a relative in Indiana with coronavirus and that turned out to be a mistake.

It was just good old ordinary everyday pneumonia. Nothing to scoff at.

But it was not Corona virus and so we are indeed blessed we are. However grieving once again with a member of our congregation and the loss of her husband, Weyland Loftus passed into eternity late were really early on Saturday morning.

He's had a long struggle and he succumbed to his heart failure and is now with the Lord. And so the space of about 10 days. We have three members of our church who have become widows.

Please pray for Doris Loftus, the passing of her husband, Weyland.

Please continue to pray for George Jones and son of the passing of her husband, George, and four and rose in the passing of her husband, Bob, going to read the last few verses of Luke chapter 24 as a predicate to the text in acts that were going to be looking at in a moment, but here's how the gospel according to Luke include now as they said these things, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them and said to them, peace to you, but they were terrified and frightened and suppose they had seen the spirit and he said to them, why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts. Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself handle me and see for spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have 20 and said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. But while they still did not believe for joy and marveled.

He said to them. Have you any food here so they gave him a piece of broiled fish and some honeycomb and he took it and ate in their presence. Then he said to them, these are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms, concerning me and he opened their understanding that they might comprehend the Scripture. Then he said to them, thus it is written thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

And you are witnesses of these things, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you, Terry and the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high and he led them out as far as Bethany and he lifted up his hands and blessed them. Now it came to pass while he blessed them that he was parted from them and carried up into heaven, and they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy and were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God man Jesus in his heavenly glory sits with God upon the throne.

Now no more to be forsaken is humiliation. God never, nor shall God Jehovah smite the shepherd with the sword. Never again shall cruel sinners set at naught. Our glorious Lord, dwelling in eternal sunshine of the countenance of God. Jesus fills all Kevin with incense of his reconciling blood on his hearts, our names are graven on his shoulders.

We are born of our God beloved in Jesus we can love him in return. Now turning to our text for this morning which is acts chapter 1 verses one through 12 the former account I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach until the day in which he was taken up, after he through the Holy Spirit had given commandments to the apostles whom he had chosen to whom he presented himself alive after his suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during 40 days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God and being assembled together with them, he commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the father, which he said you have heard from me for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now, therefore, when they had come together, they asked him, saying, Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel and he said to them, it is not for you to know times or seasons which the father has put in his own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be witnesses to me in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth. Now when he had spoken these things, while they watched, he was taken up in the cloud received him out of their sight.

And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel who also said, men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven. The same Jesus who was taken up from you into heaven, will so, in like manner as you saw him go into heaven. Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem Sabbath days journey.

It's about our hearts together in prayer.

Heavenly father's we bow in your presence today and we as we gather together by Internet with the congregation of beacon Baptist Church and other friends who are joining us this day.

We pray or Lord that you will focus our attention upon Christ that our hearts will be turned toward things eternal that you will remove from our mind, anything that would distract us from hearing your word to our hearts today from receiving the truth which you have appointed for our good. This day and father we are needy people and we acknowledge our need. We cast ourselves afresh upon the Lord Jesus Christ in his atoning sacrifice for center we draw near, by faith to our heavenly father and we wait till Lord to hear from you and to be assured once again by the promises of your word that because all is well in the father's house above all is equally well here upon the earth.

Though turmoil is roiling all around us. Nevertheless, we know that it is all under your perfect, omnipotent and sovereign control. The father we want to pray today for Doris Loftus and for their sunshine and the passing of Wayland. Please give peace and comfort and wisdom and joy in enlarged faith to them during this time we also pray for Drew Guthrie as she continues her cancer treatments which are most rigorous, that you might give her strength in enlarged her trust. We also pray for missionary stored while in Johannesburg was still going through tests which have not yet been completed to see if he will qualify for a liver transplant. We ask the Lord that you will grant him that blessing soon will Lord if it would extend his life and give him additional years of labor in the harvest fields upon earth, we thank you that our most recent report is that the pastors and churches in Zimbabwe are our doing all right in these very difficult days. They are in a needy situation, but Lord you are faithfully supplying their need and we give you praise for this we continue to pray for Joan and for an she might strengthen them that you might help them to to gain physical strength after they have been through a long, long ordeal that you will fill their hearts with peace and joy are mindful as well that are dear brother Tony Honeycutt, director of elements rescue mission is struggling with a respiratory illness at this time and we commit him into your care and pray that you will touch and strengthen and heal him and father we are mindful that they are people in our area and the deed all across our country who are out of work because of the coronavirus and they are anxious they are concerned. Some of them. Perhaps her feeling very desperate father I pray for those who are your children that you will remind them that you are committed to taking care of your own that you have promised to supply all of our need according to your riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Father I pray in the case of everyone that this will cause hearts to turn to you.

That is our prayer for our nation we might see a turning back to God.

A turning back to your word, turning back to your sovereign rule in our lives and did our government denomination. Now we ask that you will help us as we open your parade in Jesus name. Today my focus is upon the ascension of Christ, the ascension of Christ is actually the final act, culminating his resurrection and that is the final act, culminating his earthly ministry. Historically, a recognition and annual recognition of the ascension of Christ has been a major doctrine of the Christian church. It is an important event upon the liturgical calendar of many churches, along with Palm Sunday and Good Friday and Easter Sunday and Pentecost Sunday ascension day has been and is observed by many churches across the world. Ascension day is the 40th day after resurrection Sunday falls on a Thursday, it is less emphasized in non-liturgical churches than in liturgical ones, which is why some of our people are familiar with it as an appointment on a church calendar. Most of our people probably are not because most of you have come from churches that are not strongly liturgical is one of those interesting thing evangelical churches in America probably emphasize the ascension of Christ to little but that may be an overreaction against more formal and liturgical churches, which may emphasize it too much, or at least if not emphasizing it too much, may attach more of a ceremonial and maybe even mystical purpose to it than what is warranted in the word of God but is a very important event and it is referenced in various ways, and more New Testament texts, the probably most of us realize what the fullest historical account of it is found in the text. I read in acts chapter 1 there. We do have the historical narrative that I think most of us are familiar with. We may not have thought very deeply about it to understand more of the theological significance the doctrinal seductiveness significance. The significant implications that are attached to it, but we do understand at least in broad outlines that Jesus was lifted up from Earth into heaven in the presence of his disciples. That's where we must begin before we can understand the other implications. We have to understand what actually happened and so were going to look at these verses in acts chapter 1 and as we work through the passage we will do so in four section number one preparation to clarification three finalization and for anticipation begins with preparation of the preparation for the recounting of this historical event is first of all, the prologue to the book of acts, and in that prologue and I read it again. Verses one into the former account I made, oh Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach until the day in which he was taken up, after he through the Holy Spirit had given commandments to the apostles whom he had chosen the prologue reveals to us the author the human author of the book of acts. It is in fact Luke the physician usually called the beloved physician, Dr. Luke and he tells us that this is his second book, his second volume he makes reference to the first one the former account I made, oh Theophilus that's a reference to the gospel according to Luke now he tells us he's going to write a second volume, which will continue what he gave in the first the first volume of the gospel of Luke is described as all that Jesus began both to do and to teach before he was taken up into heaven when he began to do which indicates that the gospel of Luke in the mind of the author is unfinished. It's what Jesus began to do what he had to write this second volume we call the book of acts in order to tell us what Jesus continued to do so. We should understand the book of acts is a continuation of the work that Jesus began the recipient of this book as it was written and conveyed to the original recipient is the same as that of the gospel of Luke will find a similar prologue written to the same individual. A man by the name of Theophilus whose name means love of God and if you look at that name. I think you'll see that most of you will will understand that CR is the awesome God for loss is full at all. One of the words for love in the New Testament, and so his name is Theophilus, one who is loved of God. He was from the few details that we have a Gentile believer who was a high ranking Roman official.

We don't know where he was an official where he was a ruler where he was an administrator, but we see this evidence of one who was a high-ranking Roman official who had come to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. We realize he is rank, at least generally speaking, his high right by that phrase. Most excellent which you find actually in the book of Luke. Luke calls it a most excellent Theophilus terms which are used in the New Testament of two other Roman officials of Felix and Hephaestus both in the book of acts Felix twice acts 23 and acts 24 and Festus.

Once in acts chapter 26 and here of Theophilus in Luke chapter 1 and acts chapter 1, but we must understand that the main subject of this book is none other than Jesus Christ himself. I wrote the first book said Luke to tell you what Jesus began to do and teach, I'm writing this second book to tell you what Jesus continued to do and we call this book the acts of the apostles. That's true records the work of the apostles of Jesus Christ. After Jesus went back to heaven, and particularly to apostles. The first part of the book focuses upon Peter. The last part of the book focuses upon the apostle Paul. It is the acts of the apostles. Some, however, have said no.

The book would better be understood as the acts of the Holy Spirit. That's also accurate.

The book begins with reference to the Holy Spirit.

Even in this passage that we read and then the account of the great outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost and ask chapter 2, and then a record of the work that was done by the Disciples of Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit recorded all throughout the book of acts we could indeed call this book the acts of the Holy Spirit. Some prefer to call it the acts of the early church. That too is accurate. That's what we have a record of the early church as it began. What it did, how it grew, how it progressed I would follow the commands of Christ and preaching the gospel to the ends of the earth how the kingdom of Christ was extended from Jerusalem on on on on beyond Jerusalem to faraway Rome, the capital of the Roman Empire and many other places as well. Yes, it is a record of the acts of the early church, but more than anything else.

It is the acts of the Lord Jesus Christ because that's what Luke tells us the first volume. What Jesus began to do and teach the second volume that we call acts what Jesus continued to do and teach, so the main subject is Jesus is the acts of the ascended and enthroned Lord Jesus Christ.

He ascends to heaven, he is seated upon his throne is Gloria's return to him. His powers returned to him. His Majesty has returned to him. His authority is returned to him all these things, he laid aside in order to come to earth and to take upon him the form of a man form of a servant to lay down his life upon the cross, but now he ascends back to heaven and he sits upon the throne in well in a way that is like what power and glory. He had before the incarnation, but another way is unlike his position before the incarnation because now there is an actual human body, a glorified body, the resurrected and glorified Lord Jesus Christ. A man who was also God a man in heaven sitting upon a throne of the universe and the ascension is the historical event that marks that seating upon a throne that Majesty that is restored to him the beginning of what theologians call the session of Jesus Christ.

He is now seated upon his throne. He is now rolling upon his throne, and so the ascension of Jesus Christ bodily back to heaven is truly the culmination of what began what was interrupted.

But what began with the conception in the womb of the Virgin Mary, the interval in verse 23 we read, to whom he presented himself alive after his suffering by many infallible proofs, having a rather being seen by them during 40 days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.

The interval is 40 day's during that 40 days. We are told, Jesus made many resurrection appearances to his disciple. 40 days from the day of his resurrection to the day of his ascension and we have no way of knowing how many appearances were made during that time we can identify at least 12 in the biblical accounts we don't know if there were additional ones as well.

But during those appearances.

Luke tells us Jesus was giving instructions to his disciples concerning and here's the language of the text things pertaining to the kingdom of God. General instructions that all in one way or another relate to this statement to things pertaining to the kingdom of God. I don't think we emphasize that enough but indeed that is the basic message of the Gospels, and evidently that is the basic message of Jesus gives to his apostles and others to proclaim when they go all into all the world and make disciples of many nation things pertaining to the kingdom of God.

That was John the Baptist basic message when he said repent for the kingdom of God is at hand. And Jesus took up that same language when he came preaching, repent same words repent for the kingdom of God is at hand that inaugurated his earthly ministry.

Now we learn that that is also the church is basic message the kingdom of God is at hand.

That does require repentance. If you are going to enter in. Perhaps we should focus more upon that and think more in terms of this being our message given to us by Christ.

This is the instruction that he gave to his apostles to be passed on to us.

It is about the kingdom of God and what is that pertaining to the pertains to the rightful claims of the King as well as the inevitable con west of the King Jesus is Lord Jesus is King Jesus is on the throne of the universe, the King of Kings, the Lord of lords, and he is inaugurating the kingdom of God and he is laying his claims is rightful claim. I asked K upon every person, every individual in all the world and all of us are called upon to recognize Jesus as our King. As our Lord and those that do, do so to the salvation of their soul. They become members of his kingdom. Those who do not are left outside his kingdom will suffer the judgment, which rightfully falls upon them. Yes, our messages about the rightful claims of the King. It is about the inevitable conquest of the King right now, things don't look like they are under the control of God, but the Bible assures us that they are by faith. Therefore, we believe that they are, but we recognize the day is coming when the king will return. That's why we pray as our Lord taught us to pray by kingdom come that what will that look like thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. In heaven. King's will is done perfectly every time no exceptions.

The day is coming when the king's rule upon earth means that everyone's will obey the king will do the Kings will every time no exception and it is the desire of God's people now to obey the king every time no exceptions.

We fail we fall.

Our lingering Adamic Adamic frailty keeps tripping us up and therefore we don't obey the king every time without fail every time we don't we know what sin every time we don't and are aware of our failure. We confess it is sin and we resubmit ourselves to the rightful rule of the king. He is my King. He has the right to rule me. I have the responsibility to obey him as my King. I failed to do so please pardon me OK please pardon me for my failure to do your will perfectly and help me to do so in the future. That's the idea here it is the kingdom, the final address. The Jesus gave to his apostles in verse four and five being assembled together with them, he commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the father, which she said you have heard from me for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not not many days from now.

That of course took place on the day of Pentecost just a few days after this event in Jerusalem as Jesus told them at the time these words are given they are assembled together on the Mount of olives. We know that from verse 12. They are a Sabbath day's journey from Jerusalem, which we understand to be about three quarters of a mile.

They are told to wait in Jerusalem until the power of the Holy Spirit descends upon them, and then when that power is given to them. Then they are to be his witnesses in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth, but now we come to the clarification. Moving past preparation we come to clarification because now the disciples have a question.

Jesus is going to deal with what is that question verse six. Therefore, when they had come together, they asked him, saying, Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel that we can understand that the relationship between this question.

What Jesus address that what he just said had to do with what the kingdom of God. He was giving them instructions pertaining to the kingdom of God kingdom that words stuck in their minds. Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel was there question restored kingdom is on their minds.

The fact of the restored kingdom is assumed they don't ask anything about that. But the time of the restoration is what is in question in their minds, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel.

Going back going away. This seems to be the culmination of what you came to know you came as Messiah, UK, as David's greater son. UK is the one to fulfill the prophecies about the king that is coming to Israel and now you're going back to Kevin, Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel, but the disciples question verse six is followed by the Savior's deflection in verse seven he says it is not for you to know times or seasons which the father has put in his own authority is not for you to know times or seasons is not for you to know specific details, or even in general, when the kingdom is going to be restored to Israel. God the father reserves at information for himself. So the cycle disciples were focused on a national political restoration of Israel to a place of earthly grandeur like under King David and under King Solomon and now the greater son of David's is here and they were looking for a restored political nation. Jesus did not correct their understanding, but he also did not endorse their understanding the inordinate they didn't ask about what exactly is involved in the restoration of the kingdom to Israel.

What is meant by that. How is that going to come about what's going to look like they they were convinced they already knew that they only asked about the time Jesus told them you're not going to know the time God has reserved that for himself there certain things that God reveals what he reveals he expects us to believe there are some things that God chooses not to reveal what he does not reveal he does not expect us to demand answers to. But in regard to the kingdom being restored to Israel. Jesus said nothing about that whether their understanding of of that was a correct understanding or an incorrect understanding. He doesn't address that does raise questions in our mind.

How are we to understand this response of Jesus that is not for you to know the times and seasons of the father had put in his power. But here's what is for you to do. You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be witnesses to me in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth. That's what you need to know that's what you need to be about. That's what you need to be focused upon that's what you need to be doing.speculating about the time of the restoration of the kingdom to Israel.

How do we understand Christ response. Some take Christ's silence regarding their understanding of the national political restoration to be an endorsement of their concept because Jesus only address the question about time and said nothing about the restoration of the kingdom to Israel than some have concluded that means that he agreed with their understanding of that part in only dealt with the timing of it.

Others, however, see the response of Jesus as a deflection both of the time and of their concept, but he didn't correct.

He didn't clarify. He in one sense ignored it just didn't answer it. It all.

But if we think about what he did say it's not for you to know the times of the seasons which the father of put his power blot. Here's your part in all of this, you become witnesses to be in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth somewhat understand.

Therefore, Christ answer is D. Politicizing it with the call to worldwide mission and other was in an indirect way. Some would say that Jesus did answer and did even correct to some degree to some this in some part their understanding of this restored kingdom and gave to them. A key to a proper understanding but more importantly, a key to its fulfillment.

You don't know the times nor the seasons, the fathers reserved that to his own power, but as you go forth and I'm now filling in with some understanding based response. It is not spoken, but as you go forth into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. In this way, the kingdom of God is being extended. I don't think we can say established in its spiritual dimension.

It has already been established in its physical dimension that yet remains but the kingdom of God is being extended extended extended extended extended by your labors, the power of the Holy Spirit. And in this way it this promise will be fulfilled. The kingdom will be restored to Israel and I wish I could say more about that but I don't have time. But we are reminded of how prone we are to want more information than God has read the old and how prone we are to speculate beyond what God has revealed. Jesus said stop it.

Focus on this and here we have what is essentially the fifth giving of the great commission.

Once again Jesus said here's your job, preach the gospel in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. Now we come to finalization the ascension the final bodily appearance of Jesus Christ and 20 and spoke of these things verse nine while they watched, he was taken up in a cloud received him out of their sight while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold to man stood by them in white apparel who also said, men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven.

This same Jesus who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw him go into heaven.

Suddenly, after Jesus finished speaking to them. He started to arise. The last of his many bodily post-resurrection appearances of now transpired big now been completed. Furthermore, the last words of his earthly ministry have also been delivered. Will he continue to speak. Oh yes, through his apostles in the power of the Holy Spirit. They will give his word, they will see what he's what they speak will be the words of Christ and yes there will be a few occasions when Christ will speak directly to man upon earth from heaven as he did to the apostle Paul. For example, but the last words of his earthly ministry. While he is bodily upon the earth are now delivered and he is lifted up from them in plain view for a while until he disappears into a cloud. That's the ascension. While there, gazing up on this and therefore are paying close attention to anything around them, they receive a visit from two men the apostles have fixed attention upon Christ departure in two men appear quietly beside them. But the brief description that is given makes it clear that these are Angel.

They look like men wherever angels are described. They do look like men. They appear suddenly that to is common in the appearances of angels in the Bible.

They appear suddenly they disappear as suddenly there dressed in white and other characteristic feature of angels whenever they are described. There white clothing there there amazingly white clothing that is the description of these that visit them that angels an abundance of angels all throughout Christ's earthly ministry. We keep running into angels, and angels, and angels and more angels. They ministered to him. They ministered to his disciples, they ministered to us today say? What have you seen an angel answer. I don't know how would I know they look like men. I don't know that I've ever seen one.

Because most of the time they are not visible to men and women upon earth, so they can be and are at times but they are given to minister to us.

They are essentially spirits. They can take upon them a bodily form but in essence they are spirits. Therefore, they are invisible. They cannot be seen but they are ministering to the people of God, even as I speak to you.

I have no question in my mind, but around me.

Somewhere there are one or more angels attend to help me. The same is true of you and these angels confirm something to the disciple, they address them as men of Galilee, apparently all of the disciples were from Galilee, except Judas and Judas is no God. They asked the question why are you gazing into heaven. You'd been there and this is been going on is that what you be doing gazing into heaven. But Jesus is now been envelope to the cloud and is no longer in view. But they can't stop gazing still looking up into heaven, and so the angels asked them why are you doing this with the declaration that the same Jesus, which was taken up from you into heaven, will so, in like manner as you have seen them going to have is going to return in the same way is going to return in clouds. The Bible tells us that he's going to return in his body, his resurrection glorified body. The Bible reveals that to us. He's going to return physically and bodily and visibly earth some day. What we generally call the second coming of Jesus Christ. That's coming we have that to look forward to. But until that day comes, it's been now 2000 years since these words were spoken since this promise was given. Until that day comes, here's what I am to be doing. Here's what you are to be doing. Here's what we are to be doing. We are to be witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and unto the ends of the earth.

The anticipation is briefly given to us in verse 12 and I included that in this because it gives us important information, then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount of all of it which is near Jerusalem, the Sabbath day's journey in anticipation of the promised spirit. They obey and they go to Jerusalem to wait until that promises fulfilled in anticipation of their divine assignment which can only be carried out of the power of the Holy Spirit. They obediently go to Jerusalem and wait for the required power which will enable them to carry out this assignment. So from this passage. What are we to learn what we are to understand the significance of this formal official completion of Christ's earthly ministry. It is a significant event. It is a marker stone. It is a definite time.

We can point to the beginning in the womb of the Virgin Mary, we can point to the conclusion of his incarnation, not at the resurrection.

But at the ascension when he left the earth and went back to heaven to sit upon his throne. We learn in this the enthronement of Christ victorious humanity before the incarnation Christ was victorious upon the throne, he is God he is Lord and the mystery of the triune God CAD God the father, God the son God the Holy Spirit share the same glory, power, authority is one God three persons. I'll never fully understand it, but that's what we are told, but incarnation Jesus the son of the one who was to become Jesus in the incarnation, the son of God laid aside his glory's laid aside his Majesty laid aside his authority took upon him human likeness. In many respects human weakness, though without sin. But now this marks the exact time when all of that is reversed now ascending back to heaven. All of the glory. All the Majesty all of the authority all the power is restored to him and restored to him yet. Here's glorified humanity coupled intermix. Sadly, bad word with his eternal deity. It is the enthronement of Christ victorious humanity, but it also marks the continuation of Christ's earthly ministry now in a different form. Not Christ's earthly ministry with he being bodily upon the earth tearing out that ministry for Christ earthly ministry from superintendent dieting directly speaking, empowering what's going on on earth being carried out by the apostles and beyond them by the followers of Jesus Christ, the continuation of Christ's earthly ministry through his Spirit. The continuation of Christ's earthly ministry through his apostles the continuation of Christ's earthly ministry through his church the continuation of Christ earthly ministry through us through you through me. We can't escape this mandate. Can we go into all the world and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the father, the son of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.

And grateful obedience requires our participation in this great work in this continued work of Jesus Christ where we become the hands and feet and mouth of Jesus on earth is he is guiding empowering directing and ruling from the throne in heaven. So how are you involved in this work are you being a witness in Your Pl., Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and unto the ends of the earth.

By the way, that outlines the book of acts. The first eight chapters, I think seven chapters describe for seven chapters describe the work that Took Pl. in Jerusalem. Chapters 8 through 12. Describe work that went on in Judea and Samaria.

Chapters 13 to the end of the book describe work went on to the ends of the earth. It's a good outline for the book of acts.

What are you doing to be involved in this mandate.

What are you doing to be involved in what we sometimes call the work of mission and all of us can be all of us must be involved in that in some way.

Not all are appointed to leave their homes and go to some foreign country, not at all. That is not the case, but all are commanded to be involved in some way. In that work to be involved, if not ourselves, and going uninvolved in helping and encouraging and strengthening and providing for those who are called to go, how are you involved. Perhaps you involved in teaching. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you, that's a great work Christ is given to his church teachers to teach the people of God the Word of God.

That's an essential part of the great commission course to undergird all of this in prayer.

All of us can be involved in more than one way work of the great commission and all of this are commanded to be involved in the work of the great commission.

So the ascension of Jesus Christ.

We see this as the beginning of a new era. It was the conclusion of an era, the era of his incarnation was the beginning of a new era, the era of his ascension and session upon the throne in heaven, and this era goes on until he returns to inaugurate yet another new paragraph. Even so, Lord Jesus. We look forward to that to the final culmination of what has been promised but until that day comes, you are to be Christ witness in Jerusalem your home area. Judea and Samaria out from your home area. Yes, even to the ends of the earth. In some fashion or another. That's our job. May God help us to do it the head that once was crowned with thorns is crowned with glory.

Now a royal diadem adorns the mighty victors brown. The highest place that heaven affords is his by sovereign right the King of Kings and Lord of lords and heavens eternal light.

The joy of all who dwell above the joy of all below, to whom he manifest his love and grants his name to know to them. The cross with all its shame, with all its grace is given their name and everlasting name there joy joy of heaven.

They suffering with their Lord. Below they reign with him above their profit, and there joy to know the mystery of his love. The cross, he bore his life in itself, though shame and death to him his people's hope is people's wealth there everlasting. The show we pray for father make this grand and glorious truth a great and life-changing truth within the hearts of your people. Yes, a life-changing truth within the hearts of those are outside of Christ, may they come to yield to their rightful king to submit their hearts before the throne of the ascended and raining now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise beyond her, and glory forever and ever


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