and make disciples of all the nations...teaching them to observe
all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to
the end of the age" (Matt. 28:19-20).
April 8, 2018
1) Bible Prophecy (8) (Tom Edwards)
2) News & Notes
Bible Prophecy (8)
Last week we considered in prophecies and their fulfillments of the
resurrection of Jesus Christ. It was by the power of that
resurrection that He was “declared the Son of God” (Rom. 1:4).
In Acts 1:3, Luke speaks of that time between the Lord’s
resurrection and His ascension, by saying, “To these [the apostles]
He also presented Himself alive after His suffering, by many
convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days and
speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God.”
The Greek word in this verse for “convincing proofs,” which Liddell
& Scott defines as “a sure sign or token,” is worded in the King
James Version as “infallible proofs.”
During that 40-day period, Jesus not only appeared to the apostles,
but also to many others — even “to more than five hundred brethren
at one time” — and “most of whom remain until now, but some have
fallen asleep” (1 Cor. 15:6). So that means that when Paul
wrote 1 Corinthians from Ephesus, about A.D. 55, there were still
many of those witnesses who could testify toward having seen the
resurrected Christ for themselves, about 22 years prior.
Following that 40-day period, Jesus then ascended back into heaven;
and Luke goes on to write of this in Acts 1:9-11: “And after He had
said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and
a cloud received Him out of their sight. And as they were
gazing intently into the sky while He was going, behold, two men in
white clothing stood beside them. They also said, ’Men of
Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has
been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way
as you have watched Him go into heaven.’”
The ascension is also spoken of in the accounts of Mark and
Luke. Mark writes: “So then, when the Lord Jesus had spoken to
them, He was received up into heaven and sat down at the right hand
of God” (Mark 16:19). Luke words it as follows: “And He led
them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and blessed
them. While He was blessing them, He parted from them and was
carried up into heaven. And they, after worshiping Him, returned to
Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple
praising God” (Luke 24:50-53).
Christ also spoke of His ascension. After He arose from the
dead, He told Mary Magdalene, who was apparently overjoyed in seeing
Him alive, to “Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet ascended to
the Father; but go to my brethren and say to them, ‘I ascend to My
Father and your Father, and My God and your God’” (Jn. 20:17).
Prophecy of the Lord’s ascension is also seen way back in the book
of Daniel, who lived several centuries prior to that marvelous
event. Daniel declares in Daniel 7:13-14:
“I kept looking in the night visions,
And behold, with the clouds of heaven
One like a Son of Man was coming,
And He came up to the Ancient of Days
And was presented before Him.
And to Him was given dominion,
Glory and a kingdom,
That all the peoples, nations and men of every language
Might serve Him.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion
Which will not pass away;
And His kingdom is one
Which will not be destroyed.”
Notice the three things given to Him at that time: 1) dominion, 2)
glory, and 3) a kingdom. So all of this was received when
Jesus ascended back to His Father in heaven.
Many folks are still awaiting God’s kingdom. But it came in Acts 2
when the church was established. So Christians are in that
kingdom now, and which has been around for about 1,985 years!
This is also seen in Colossians 1:13, where Paul told the brethren
that God “…delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred
us to the kingdom of His beloved Son.” The Colossian letter
was written about A.D. 60 to 62. And, of course, since Christ
right now is “King of kings and Lord of lords” (Rev. 19:16), how
could that be so — if He had no kingdom to rule over?
Going back to Daniel 7:13, we note, too, that Jesus was given
dominion, glory, and a kingdom “That all the peoples, nations and
men of every language Might serve Him.” So if He has not yet
received that, then how could individuals of every nation serve
Him? Would we not then have to all wait until that kingdom
But being in the kingdom is also what the apostle John acknowledged
in Revelation 1:9: “I, John, your brother and fellow partaker in the
tribulation and kingdom and perseverance which are in Jesus…”
And being a fellow partaker of the kingdom is also true of every
Christian. Therefore, as the Hebrew writer exhorts in Hebrew
12:28, “We should be grateful that we were given a kingdom that
cannot be shaken. And in this kingdom we please God by worshiping
him and by showing him great honor and respect” (CEV). Or as
the English Standard Version words that last part, “…and thus let us
offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe.”
The psalmist also speaks of the Lord’s ascension in Psalm 66:18:
“You have ascended on high,
You have led captive Your captives;
You have received gifts among men…”
Where we find this cited in the New Testament, there is a slight
change of the Lord giving gifts, rather than receiving
them. But in the NT context, the gifts Christ gave were
apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers, “for the
equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up
of the body of Christ” (Eph. 4:7-12). And wouldn’t all these
also be “gifts” He had received from the Father to, in turn,
give? For of the apostles, Jesus says, “I have manifested Your
name to the men whom You gave Me out of the world; they were Yours
and You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word” (Jn.
17:6). And not only the apostles, but the Lord also speaks of
His “sheep” as those whom His Father “has given” to Him (Jn. 10:29).
Jesus is now at the right hand of God (Col. 3:1). Stephen,
while being stoned to death by an angry mob, saw him there (Acts
7:55). And from heaven, Jesus is not only ruling over the
church, but over all, with the exception of God the Father (cf.
Eph. 1:20-23; Phil. 2:9-11; 1 Cor. 15:23-28). Peter
writes of Jesus as having “gone into heaven, after angels and
authorities and powers had been subjected to Him” (1 Pet.
3:22). And Paul shows that the Lord “ascended far above all
the heavens, so that He might fill all things” (Eph. 4:10).
That the Lord ascended for this coronation is also seen in comparing
certain Bible passages. For instance:
“The LORD says to my Lord:
‘Sit at My right hand
Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.
The LORD will stretch forth Your strong scepter from Zion, saying,
‘Rule in the midst of Your enemies’” (Psa. 110:1-2).
Then, in Hebrew 10:11-13: “Every priest stands daily ministering and
offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take
away sins; but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all
time, SAT DOWN AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD, waiting from that time
onward UNTIL HIS ENEMIES BE MADE A FOOTSTOOL FOR HIS FEET.”
Jesus also cited Psalm 110:1 when questioning the Pharisees.
He asked, “’What do you think about the Christ, whose son is
He?’ They said to Him, ‘The son of David.’ He said to them,
‘Then how does David in the Spirit call him “Lord,” saying, “THE
LORD SAID TO MY LORD, ‘SIT AT MY RIGHT HAND, UNTIL I PUT YOUR
ENEMIES BENEATH YOUR FEET’”’? If David then calls Him, ‘Lord,’ how
is He his son?” (Matt. 22:42-45).
Though we read in Acts 1:11 of the angels who had said to the
apostles that “This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into
heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go
into heaven,” yet Christ will not be setting foot on earth
again. Rather, when He returns, it will be to meet Him in the
air, according to 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. For He will
return on the “last day” (Jn. 6:39-40, 44, 54; Jn.
12:48). After which the universe and time itself shall
be no more (2 Pet. 3:7, 10-12).
(All Scripture from the NASB, unless otherwise indicated.)
News & Notes
Shirley Davis continues to have pain in her knees — and
especially her left knee. The discomfort in her shoulder, from
a fall she had about a year ago, is also still there. She
keeps up with her physical therapy at home, but it is
difficult. Surgery for her knee has still not been
scheduled. She will be seeing her doctor April 25, however, to
determine if she is yet ready for it or not.
Deborah Medlock has not been feeling well.
Others to also continue to remember in prayer: Charles Crosby,
Jim Lively, Frankie Hadley, A.J. & Pat Joyner, Misty &
Jason Thornton, Michelle Rittenhouse, and Mary Vandevander.
“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in
love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an
offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma” (Eph. 5:1-2,
WordPress version of this bulletin:
The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation
1) Hear the gospel, for that
is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30-31).
2) Believe in the deity of Christ
(John 8:24; John 3:18).
3) Repent of sins (Luke 13:5;
4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom.
10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38).
5) Be baptized in water for the
remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3-4;
Gal. 3:26-27; 1 Pet. 3:21).
6) Continue in the faith, living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be
lost (Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA 31501
Sunday services: 9:00
a.m. (Bible class); 10 a.m. & 5 p.m. (worship)
Tuesday: 2 p.m. (Ladies' Bible class) (New Time)
Wednesday: 7 p.m. (Bible class)
evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912)
http://thegospelobserver.wordpress.com (Gospel Observer website with
pictures in WordPress)
(Older version of Gospel Observer website without pictures, but
back to March 1990)