Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Lord Was Taken Up To Heaven, Where He Is Seated At The Right Hand Of God.

Jesus speaks to his disciples:

Go out into the whole world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever refuses to believe will be condemned.

These signs will accompany those who believe: They will drive out demons in my name; they will speak new languages; they will drink deadly poison, but it will not hurt them at all; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will be healed. After the Lord Jesus had said these things, he was taken up into heaven, where he sits at the right had of God.

Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them, and confirmed his promise to them by the signs they performed.
(Mark 16:15-20)

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Luke begins the second volume of his book about the foundation and formation of the Church by reminding the reader that he had dealt with what Jesus did and said in the first volume.

After his resurrection, Jesus appeared to the apostles and gave them instructions they were to carry out by the guidance of the Holy Spirit. During the forty days between his resurrection and ascension Jesus presented himself as alive, and spoke to the disciples about the Kingdom of God. On one occasion, while sharing a meal with them, he gave them this instruction: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, and which you have heard me speak about. John baptized with water, but within the next few days, you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.

While they were all together, they asked him, “Lord, are you going to restore the Kingdom to Israel at this time?”

He answered, “It is not for you to know the dates and times the Father has set by his own authority. You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. Then you will be my disciples, in Jerusalem, in Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and then a cloud hid him from their sight.

As they stood there, staring up at the sky, two men dressed in white stood beside them. “Men of Galilee, why are you standing here, looking up at the sky? Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will be coming back in the same manner you have seen him go up to heaven.”

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From his prison cell, Paul writes to the people of Ephesus:

I, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.

Be humble and gentle. Be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit by living peacefully with your neighbors.

There is but one body and one Spirit, one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God who is Father to all and is over all, through all, and in all.

TGod’s grace has been given to each of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift. That is why the scripture says, “When he ascended on high, he led captives who followed him, and gave his gifts to men.

What does “he ascended” mean, except that he first descended to the lower regions of the earth. He would went down into the earth is the same as he who ascended high above the heavens, and now the entire universe is filled with his presence.

Before he arose, he gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers. All work together to equip God’s people for works of service, so that the full body of Christ might be built up, until we attain the unity of faith, and the knowledge of the Son of God, and become mature, attaining to the measure of the fullness of Christ.

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