On the third day He arose again from the dead! He was resurrected from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit, in a new, glorified, immortal, imperishable body, the firstfruits of those who will follow in the near future. To us in the believing church, we call this future event we so fervently look to, as the “Rapture,” “harpazo,” the second phase of the 1st Resurrection of believers in Jesus Christ, the Son of God. This glorious event will take place before God pours out His righteous wrath upon the earth on unbelieving mankind. This will be the next great event after the Rapture known in the Scriptures as the “Time of Jacob’s Trouble,” and the “Great Tribulation!”
For those of you who teach it has already taken place (Preterists), I can only ask, “What book are you reading? and, what are you smoking to be so deluded?” To those who insist on the believing church going through half or all of th Tribulation, I can only say that you most wrongly interpret the Bible! If you, indeed, hold and teach this position, then you best get a hard hat, a shovel and some ammunition, cause you’re gonna need it! Most who come to Christ during this horrible time will be killed for their faith, Jews and Gentilers alike, or have you not read and believed the Revelation of Jesus Christ?
The Church, the believing body of Christ Jesus, will not go through any part of it, not even one hour or day or month or year, of this terrible ‘unprecedented’ seven-year event, the 70th Week of Daniel’s amazing prophecy that awaits fulfillment-the “Great Tribulation!” If you ever read and believed the books of Daniel and the Revelation of the Holy Bible, you would know the future!
And so it was on the Passover Feast, during a full moon, in the month of early April. that our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ (The Messiah), as it is written, suffered greatly and horribly, was crucified by being nailed to the cross, died, was buried and sealed in a rich man’s rock tomb, and then rose gloriously from death on the third day, the year being 33 A.D. He was about 33-36 years of age. In our historic, sequential, chronological timeline, about 4,033 years have expired to this point. Thus the prophecy of Genesis 3:15, “THE SEED OF THE WOMAN,” and all subsequent prophecies of the Holy Bible about His 1st Coming were fulfilled as written to the minute!
Now the time from His resurrection until His ascension was 40 days. During this period, many held Him, touched Him, spoke with Him, ate and drank with Him. On the very first day of His resurrection, He appeared to Mary Magdalene at the tomb; after speaking with Mary, He ascended into Heaven to the Father and quickly returned. Upon His return to earth, He again appeared to Mary Magdalene and the other Mary; then to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus; then to Peter in Jerusalem; then to the ten disciples in the Upper Room; then, one week later, to the eleven disciples, Thomas being present, also in the Upper Room; later, to the seven disciples fishing on the Sea of Galilee; next He appeared to the eleven disciples on a mountain in Galilee; to more than 500 believers; to James; and at His ascension before His disciples from the Mount of Olives.
Not many days later, He sent His Holy Spirit upon them and many thousands of others, on the day of Pentecost, in Jerusalem, they believed and were saved-thousands, in the year 33 A.D. Thus, on this most holy day, the church of Jesus Christ was born! Years later, He appeared to Paul on the road to Damascus, and in 95 A.D., to His beloved disciple, John, exiled on the island of Patmos by Domitian. John saw Jesus again, but this time much different from who he saw in 33 A.D., and upon hearing and seeing the ascended Lord Jesus, fell at His feet as if dead! It was during this time that Jesus gave to John to write all the things he heard and saw, the “Revelation of Jesus Christ,” the last message of Jesus to His church, and the future “things to come.”
Twenty centuries have passed since this time. I mark 1,979 years since His Resurrection and Ascension, and 1,917 years since John wrote the Revelation, the last book of the Holy Bible. By the way, I calculate about 6,012 years to the present, since Creation, counting year one for the creation by God of Adam, the first man. And so in our chronology, our timeline of events in human history, we are living in that time from the Cross of Christ-His death, resurrection, and ascension, from 33 A.D. to the present time, known as the “Age of Grace,” or the “Church Age.” The next great event to happen will be the “Rapture” of the Church, those us who truly believe in the Lord, Jesus Christ. This even is “imminent,” it could happen at any time, perhaps even today, and there will be no signs, no events that will proceed it or signal it to happen! After that, there will be many signs- events that usher in the beginning of the “Great Tribulation!” At the end of these future seven years of hell on earth, the Lord Jesus will appear in the clouds, shinning like the sun, in power, majesty, glory, and might: the King of Kings, and the Lord of Lords, He will be followed by His armies of angels and saints to the earth to set up His Messianic Kingdom on earth, and He shall reign for a thousand (1,000) years, and then, forever into eternity!
So let us rejoice in this most blessed Day of Ascension by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, the very Son of God, the Son of Man. Let us give eternal thanks that 40 days after His glorious resurrection and mighty ascension, He ascended to the Third Heaven, where He is today, seated at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty, our great High Priest, making all things ready for that great day to come!
Let us rejoice and give thanks for the eternal life to come in Christ Jesus, for we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him face to face. Let us remember those most blessed 40 days and His ascension, and that we, too, shall follow, so that where He is, there we shall be also. Therefore, comfort one another with these words. Amen.