UNDER UMBRELLAS OF PROTECTION

 

NAHUM 1:1-7 (NIV BIBLE):

[1] An oracle concerning Nineveh: The book of the vision of Nahum the El-ko shite.

[2] The LORD is a jealous and avenging God; the LORD takes vengeance and is filled with wrath. The LORD takes vengeance on his foes and maintains his wrath against his enemies.  [3] The LORD is slow to anger and great in power; he will not leave the guilty unpunished.  His way is in the whirlwind and the storm, and clouds are the dust of his feet.  [4] He rebukes the sea and dries it up; he makes all the rivers run dry.  Bashan and Carmel wither and the blossoms of Lebanon fade. [5] The mountains quake before him and the hills melt away.  The earth trembles at his presence, the world and all who live in it.  [6] Who can withstand his indignation?  Who can endure his fierce anger?  His wrath is poured out like fire; the rocks are shattered before him.

LIVING ‘UNDER THE UMBRELLA’ – (verse 7)

[7]  The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble.  He cares for those who trust in him.

AN UNINTENTIONAL DECEPTION –

We live in an age when even the CHURCH has tried to become politically correct.

We have tried to candy coat God into a nice little good God who loves and never hurts anyone.  He never gets angry at sin, or judges or condemns anyone–let alone sends them to hell.

In our efforts to sell God to the world we have often sugar-coated the awesome reality of God, then question why people don’t take God in the Bible seriously.  In our efforts to bring in proselytes through the hallowed doors of our buildings on Sunday…telling only of God’s LOVE and avoiding His burning HOLINESS and His fearsome WRATH.   We have left it in the Old Testament as if God has changed (evolved) over time to a kinder, gentler God, who overlooks our sins and just wants to bless us all.

All of that’s fine and dandy, but CHURCH…we are in for a rude awakening.  We can’t keep avoiding the bible passages that speak of God’s WRATH, pretending they don’t exist.  If we do, we are spiritually and morally negligent.

THE FACT OF NATURAL DISASTERS (rarely can they be blamed on man directly) –

It is rare for a single generation in a given locale to be spared at least some kind of natural disaster.  Without warning, tornadoes sweep down from the afternoon sky and destroy in moments fury what it took decades or centuries to build.

HISTORIC FLOODING FAR FROM OVER…

I was reading the headlines in the paper while in a doctor’s waiting room this past week:  Nine deaths have been blamed on flooding in several states across Midwestern and Southern United States this past week.  More than 270 roads remain closed across the state of Missouri, with some 200 homes have been impacted by the floods and another 1,500 are in danger (Associated Press).

Do these types of natural disasters represent merely isolated, infrequent events? Hardly.

Throughout history, man has recorded many such tragedies:

  • In 526, an EARTHQUAKE hit the country now known as Turkey and left 250,000 dead.
  • A similar EARTHQUAKE in China in 1556 killed over 830,000 people.
  • In 1889 the famous “Johnstown Flood” occurred in Pennsylvania.  Over 2000 people were killed when the South Fork Reservoir dam burst during heavy rains.

Each time natural disasters happen across the world humanity suffers.  And each time there are those who ask “Why?”  Why them and why now?

The struggle to understand a Good God and the fact of natural disasters is common.

ORIGINAL SIN CURSED THE WORLD (Genesis 3).

MAN’S PERSISTENT UNCONFESSED SIN opens the way for disaster to strike giving Satan a place to establish a STRONGHOLD.

So…MAN’S SIN takes him out of God’s Protection.   

AN UMBRELLA can show us something of God’s Protection and to be covered and protected we must walk close.  If we walk out from under the UMBRELLA we are no longer protected.

  • God is not in every STORM – (He allows them–in that He doesn’t stop them from happening).
  • God is in some storms (He causes some).
  • Time and Chance happen to all (Ecclesiastes).

We blame a lot of DISASTERS on the devil, but the biblical record shows very few times when he was personally responsible (example Job).

However, very often God says I SENT THIS DISASTER AND HERE’S WHY:

GOD IS ON RECORD –

  • Joseph in Genesis 41 (God’s plan to enlarge His people in Egypt) – FAMINE in Egypt–Psalm 105:16 caused by God.
  • David’s 2 Samuel 21:1 – Saul’s sons the reason.
  • David’s Choice 2 Samuel 24:13 – Because of SIN.
  • 1 Kings 18:2 – Elijah-Ahab- Because of Ahab’s SIN.
  • Jeremiah 24:8-10:  (vs. 10)  “And I will send the sword, famine, and pestilence among them until they are consumed from off the land that I gave to them and to their fathers.”

EARTHQUAKES, PLAGUES, AND DISASTERS –

God has POWER & AUTHORITY over the earth, so why does He allow all the destructive storms, plagues, and disasters to occur?

THE ANSWER is found in the first chapters of Genesis.  God created everything perfect and beautiful.  When Adam and Eve SINNED, He placed a CURSE on the earth and everything became broken and degraded.

Although the CURSE brought about CONFLICT, DISEASE, AND DEATH, much of the original beauty can still be seen in God’s Creation.  It continues to show His Power, Wisdom, and Design ability.

But why do Christians suffer?  Couldn’t God protect us from the powers of evil?

The ANSWER is YES, He will.

He protected the nation of Israel in Egypt from most of the PLAGUES and could still do the same today.

Some Reasons Why God Allows Natural Disasters…

ONE reason is to make us realize we are totally dependent on Him:  Jesus taught us to pray, “Give us today our daily bread” (Mt. 6:11). With all that we have and need, we tend to forget this prayer and God’s ability to answer it.  This is a reason why God keeps many of us poor.  If we had all we wanted we would become independent and turn from a close relationship with our Father.

To Cause Us to Call Upon God in the Day of Trouble:

Our TROUBLES give God an opportunity to keep His PROMISES, otherwise, we forget we are dependent upon God for everything.

God says, “And call upon Me in the day of trouble, I will deliver you and you shall honor and glorify Me” (Psalm 50:15 AMP).

To Sort Out Our Priorities:

During times of DISASTER, we realize that RELATIONSHIPS are more important than things–especially our Relationship with our heavenly Father and belief in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

The apostle Paul said, “What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things.  I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ” (Philippians 3:8).

A Call to Repentance:

DISASTERS serve as a wake-up call to REPENTANCE for mankind.  Disasters can have a sobering effect upon the human mind.  When WAR breaks out, or an EARTHQUAKE destroys countless lives and property. or a DROUGHT burns the crops and dries up the water supply, or an EPIDEMIC DISEASE victimizes millions of people, many call out to God either in a curse or in prayer.

It was C.S. Lewis who penned “pain is God’s megaphone to a deaf world.”

 

The DROUGHT in California

 

  • It was an earthquake that caused a Philippians Jailer to cry out “What must I do to be saved?” (Acts 17:30)
  • It was a famine that sent king Ahab searching everywhere for the prophet Elijah (1 Kings 18:10).
  • It was a plague that brought Pharaoh to his knees confessing before Moses: “I have sinned against the Lord your God, and against you.  Now, therefore, forgive my sin, I pray you, only this once, and entreat the Lord your God only to remove this death from me.”  (Exodus 10:16, 17)

The manifestation of divine judgment through calamities is intended to summon people to repent. 

AN ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE COMING FINAL JUDGMENT:

God’s final judgment is called the Day Of The Lord in the OT.  It reminds us that the Day of the Lord is nearing (Joel 1:15).  They are also to remind us that the Judge of all mankind is standing at the door! (James 5:9).

TO SHOW GOD’S POWER TO RESTORE:  (All Natural Disasters are Redemptive in Nature)

Our Father wants what is best for us.  We don’t know the future.  God does and will shape events to bring true the promise:

“All things work together for good to them who love God”

That’s our UMBRELLA folks.  Knowing that our heavenly Father will work out for us the best deal in town and we do not need to worry when bad times come.

“EACH TIME GOD SENDS HURRICANES, FLOODS OR OTHER CALAMITIES HE IS SPEAKING TO HIS PEOPLE”  by Henry Blackaby.

While not expecting unbelievers to connect anything with God because they don’t think He exists.  Blackaby goes on to say he “expects God’s people to be paying attention and for the most part they aren’t.”

GOD IS IN CONTROL OF WORLD EVENTS (ISAIAH 28:2):

NATURAL DISASTERS are a humbling reminder that there is a God:

Isaiah 13:13:  “Therefore I will make the heavens tremble; the earth shall be shaken out of its place at the wrath of the Lord of hosts in the day of His fierce anger.”  (AMP Bible)

Joel 2:31:  “The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the great and terrible day.” (AMP)

Amos 4:13:  “He who forms the mountains, who creates the wind, and who reveals his thoughts to mankind, whom turns dawn to darkness, and treads on the heights of the earth–the LORD God Almighty is his name.” (NIV)

Is God Judging the Nations Today? YES.

HIS JUDGMENT IS BASED UPON OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM!

WHAT’S YOUR CHOICE?

Feel free to add your comments and observations in the REPLY section at the bottom of this page on God’s control of world events whether NATURAL or manmade.

_______________________________________________________________________

CREDITS:

QUOTES BY Henry Blackaby, Founder of Blackaby Ministries and author of Experiencing God.

Photos:  Google Advance Image Search.

Bible Translations:  New International Version (NIV), except where noted in the text.

Speak Up, I Can’t Hear You!

1Ki19WhatRuDoingHereElijah

The LORD is dealing with the prophet Elijah in this chapter of 1 Kings 19.

Elijah is overwrought and needs some real psychological help.

I do think there are times in some people’s lives that consulting a psychologist is needed.  Most of us, however, could solve our problems if we crawled on the couch of the LORD Jesus and told Him everything that was on our mind.  We wouldn’t have to be running around telling everybody else about our trouble and problems if we would just talk them over with Him.

1 Kings 19:11 (The Message Bible):

[11] Then he was told “Go stand on the mountain at attention before God.  God will pass by.”  A hurricane wind ripped through the mountains and shattered the rocks before God, but God wasn’t to be found in the wind; after the wind an earthquake, but God wasn’t in the earthquake.

First of all, there was a great and strong wind that split the mountains and broke rocks.

Oh, did Elijah love a good wind storm!

Then the mountains rolled and shook under his feet!

He loved it–he was that type of man.

And after the EARTHQUAKE, a FIRE; but the LORD was not in the FIRE; and after the FIRE,  “A STILL SMALL VOICE” (1 Kings 19:12).

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After the EARTHQUAKE there was FIRE.  After all, Elijah was the man who brought FIRE down from heaven on Mt. Carmel.  He like that too!

Now wait just one minute.  God wasn’t in the strong wind, nor the earthquake, nor the fire.  

It was after the fire that came a “still small voice.”

If there was one thing that Elijah didn’t like, it was a still small voice.  God was TEACHING Elijah an important lesson in life.

The battle wasn’t actually WON on top of Mt. Carmel by FIRE coming down from heaven.

God moves in mysterious and unpretentious ways.

God moves in a quiet way.  God uses little things to accomplish His purposes and not ours.  As someone has said,  “Great doors are swung on little hinges.”

God uses small things to open mighty doors.  That’s what Elijah had to learn.

GOD SOMETIMES WHISPERS –

A young man had lost his job and didn’t know which way to turn.  So he went to see an elderly preacher.  Pacing about the preacher’s study, the young man ranted about his problems.  Finally, he clenched his fist and shouted,  “I’ve begged God to say something to help me and my family.  Tell me, Pastor, why doesn’t God answer?”

The old preacher, who sat at his desk across the room, spoke something in reply–something so hushed, it was indistinguishable.  The young man stepped across the room:  “What did you say?” he asked.  The preacher repeated himself, but again, his tone was as soft as a whisper.  So the young man moved closer until he was leaning on the preacher’s chair.  “Sorry pastor.  I still didn’t hear you.”  With their heads bent together, the old preacher spoke once more.  “God sometimes whispers,” he said, “so we will move closer to hear Him.”

WE ALL WISH THAT GOD WOULD SPEAK TO US LOUDLY AND CLEARLY –

We all want GOD’S VOICE to thunder through the air in the answers to our problems.

We all wish that God would just burst into our private world we live in and give us some concrete answers to the nagging problems of life!

We wish that He would just tell us why:

  • He has not chosen to heal us.
  • He has not chosen to meet the financial need yet.
  • He has not chosen to SAVE our lost loved ones yet.

We just wish there was no guesswork involved.

IF HE WOULD ONLY SHOUT THE ANSWERS OUT, then I would know what to do.

Finding Yourself In A Cave and Feeling Sorry For Yourself –

Now the interesting thing about the story here in the First Book of Kings, is not so much that Elijah was having a pity party, that’s human nature.  What is amazing to me is, he’s having this ‘pity party’ AFTER God had sent FIRE from heaven and destroyed 450 prophets of Baal.  In fact, the very day after the miracle, Jezebel heard of what happened on Mt. Carmel and said,  “Tomorrow you are DEAD, son!” And Elijah runs to the desert and says,  “Oh God, take me now!”  (1 Kings 19:4). 

Elijah had no problem understanding God when:

  • The FIRE was falling!
  • The EARTH was shaking!
  • The WIND was blowing!

But the one place Elijah had never learned to listen to God was in the “STILL SMALL VOICE.”  And it is here that God is about to teach Elijah a LESSON.

And the LESSON for Elijah, and all of us today is:

  • I AM not always going to yell!
  • I AM not always going to send fire.
  • I AM not always going to shake the earth. 

Sometimes I AM going to take you to:

  • A PRISON CELL.
  • A WILDERNESS.
  • A DESERT.
  • A CAVE.
Finding Yourself Spiritually Alone
Finding Yourself Spiritually Alone

But I AM only doing it because I can see you drifting away from Me and I want to get close to you again!

Sometimes in our Christian lives, with all the technology available, we want to program God using an APP; thinking that He has to move in the:

  • SHOUT.
  • HOOP and HOLLER.
  • DANCE.

But, sometimes God WHISPERS so that we will draw closer to Him!

I believe there is a REASON, for nothing draws human focus quite like a WHISPER.

GOD’S WHISPER MEANS…I must stop my ranting and move close to Him, until my Cal hugs head is bent together with His.  And while I’m attentive in my listening, I’ll find my answer.  Better still, I will find myself closer to God.

We live in a society inundated with NOISE, CLUTTER, and CONFUSION.  It is an age of more information but less communication.

Has all the available technology shaped our thinking?

  • We are used to having what we want when we want it.
  • We are used to receiving any piece of information we need when we need it.
  • We want to treat God like the INTERNET, just open a heavenly search engine, type in our question, push the button and get the answer.

Is that what our PRAYERS have become?

But sometimes God doesn’t respond immediately with a wealth of information like the internet does.  

That’s why David said in Psalm 46:10:

“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”  (NIV Bible)

The apostle Paul makes an interesting appeal to the Thessalonian church;

1 Thessalonians 4:11 (AMP):

“Make it your ambition and definitely endeavor to live quietly and peacefully…”

I’ve never read this bible verse before, in context with 1 Kings 19:12  “…[a sound of gentle stillness] a still, small voice.”

But Paul tells us, we need to STUDY TO BE QUIET!

When we are ranting and raving, shouting, yelling, moving about, lost in a myriad of activity, we can’t HEAR what God is saying to us.

I don’t know why God doesn’t choose to give us the answers we’re seeking through:

  • FIRE.
  • WIND.
  • EARTHQUAKES.

66897-still_small_voice7

“God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains; it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world”  C.S. Lewis

If you will but LISTEN CLOSELY, draw near to Him, get very close, I know that you will HEAR what God is saying!

 

 


CREDITS:

PHOTOS:  Google Image Search.

BIBLE TRANSLATIONS:  Amplified Bible (AMP), New International Version (NIV), except where noted.

Connecting the Dots: The Resurrection and Ascension of Christ

He is not here!
He is not here!

THE TIMING OF THE RESURRECTION & CHRIST’S ASCENSION:

Harmonizing Biblical stories of the Resurrection of Christ Jesus and His post-resurrection appearances and all the events that took place that day has proven a challenge for many Bible scholars.  So in saying, as a Word Detective, I am going to investigate the Four Gospels and search for the biblical truths of Christ’s Ascension.  So grab your Bibles, and let’s get started.  And by the way, this isn’t a light read.

Harmonizing the Biblical Stories–

Bible skeptics love to take potshots at the Gospel stories; try to discredit the Scripture as in-breathed of God, therefore ‘one cannot rely upon the Bible.’

An important reminder.  God could have all four Gospel writers record all the events exactly the same way, but would that prove anything?

Four Aspects Presented by Four Writers:

All four Gospel writers were under the inspiration of the Spirit of God, depicting the four aspects of the Life of Jesus while here on earth.

Matthew – Writes his gospel with a view of Jesus as King.

Mark –  Shows Jesus as a Suffering Servant of God.

Luke – Depicts the Humanity of Christ.

John – Views Jesus’ Divinity.

Putting ALL the events in chronological order: (Matt. 28:1; Mark 16:1-2; Luke 24:1,10; John 20:1)

The Three Women at the Tomb–

Not less than 3 women go to the tomb that early morning, including Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome.  There is the possibility they don’t go as a group but as two separate groups, meeting at the tomb at slightly different times.  Take note that Mary Magdalene is especially singled out by all the Gospel writers on the resurrection day.

Making their way to the tomb, an angel of God descends from heaven–rolls the stone away–the earth quakes–the guards faint– and the said angel, sits on the stone (Matthew 28:2-4).

Arriving at the Tomb…

1.  Mary Magdalene finds it empty and runs to tell the disciples (John 20:1-2).  The other women mentioned remain behind.

2.  An angel shows them the empty tomb, telling them JESUS CHRIST has risen from the dead!  “Go and tell” – (Matt. 28:5-7; Mark 16:2-8; Luke 24:1-8).

Happenstance doesn’t occur in the Bible– Old Testament or New Testament.  

There are many points of comparison in Scripture showing the Holy of Holies is prophetic of the EMPTY TOMB.

FOR EXAMPLE:

Cherubim covering the Mercy Seat of The Ark of the Covenant
Cherubim covering the Mercy Seat of The Ark of the Covenant

1.  The Holy of Holies contained the Ark of the Covenant– the Presence of God, while the empty tomb contained the body of Christ Jesus.

2.  The Veil covered the entrance of the Holy of Holies and the Stone covered the opening of the Tomb.

3.  Worshipers were not allowed to enter the Holy of Holies, and the tomb was guarded by Roman soldiers.

4.  The Veil covered the Holy of Holies–JESUS’ body was covered in a shroud (Matt. 27:59).

5.  Blood was sprinkled on the Mercy Seat and on the worshipers in the temple for forgiveness of sins–the BLOOD poured out of JESUS on the Cross and then in the tomb for the forgiveness of sins once and for all (Past, Present, and Future).

6.  Two carved Cherubim (angels) faced the empty space above the Ark of the Covenant, covering it with their wings, while TWO ANGELS greeted the women at the empty tomb.

Left Alone Weeping…

Mary Magdalene returns to the scene and stoops down looking into the tomb.  She sees two angels sitting where JESUS had lain, one at the head and the other at the feet.

They question her, she replies and as she turns around, she sees JESUS, thinking that He is the gardener, pleading with Him for the Body of Jesus.

JESUS then calls her by name and suddenly…Mary recognizes Him.  She responds and reaches out to touch JESUS, cling to Him, who quickly cautions her saying,

John 20:16-18:

[16]  Mary!  Turning around she said to Him in Hebrew,  Rabboni!–which means Teacher or Master.

[17]  Jesus said to her,  Do not cling to Me [do not hold Me], for I have not yet ascended to the Father.  But go to My brethren and tell them, I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.

[18]  Away came Mary Magdalene, bringing the disciples news (word) that she had seen the Lord and that He had said these things to her.

The Bible Verse Most Believers Have Overlooked (John 20:17):

They missed this “ascension” of Christ in which He must first present Himself pleasing before the Father.

Most Christians believe that there is only one ascension of Christ, and that it took place right after He spent 40 days with His disciples following His resurrection (Acts 1:1-5, 9).  However, John’s Gospel clearly points out Jesus’ own words–-He must not be touched with human hands until He goes up to see His Father, our Father, His God, our God.

WHY?  The Book of Leviticus Chapter 16 gives answer:

On that given day, it was the one day of the year the high priest was allowed to offer a blood sacrifice in the Holy of Holies; sprinkle the sacrificial blood of a lamb before the presence of Yahweh, covering the sin of the people.  The high priest was the only one who could do it!

The Day of Atonement–

Yes, alone and unassisted, the ATONEMENT had to be made by the solitary high priest (Lev. 16:17).

As a High Priest, JESUS laid down His life as the represented Passover Lamb.  He was the SACRIFICE.  He took His own BLOOD and He went up (“ascended”) in to the Holy Presence of God, where He presented it before His Father, after which He came back out to where He first entered in.

HOW LONG DID THIS TAKE?

How long did it take for JESUS our Lord to ascend and come back down?  It didn’t take very long, not even minutes.  When Aaron the high priest took the blood of the sacrificial lamb into the Holy of Holies, he certainly didn’t dilly-dally in that place.  He sprinkled the blood on the Mercy Seat and came right back out.  That was why small bells were attached to the rim of the high priest’s garment.  Outside the Holy of Holies, you could hear the bells as the priest moved about.  No bell-ringing? The priest wasn’t found worthy in the sacrifice and was struck dead.  The other priest could then drag him out by his feet.

JESUS, as the High Priest:

As a High Priest, JESUS laid down His life as the Passover Lamb.  He was the SACRIFICE…He took His own blood and went up in to the Holy Presence of God and presented it before His Father, after which He came back out to where He first entered in.

How long did this take for JESUS our Lord to ascend and come back down?  Didn’t take long, not even minutes.

The Revelation…

Now, with this revelation in hand, let’s continue to look at the events as follows:

1.  Mary Magdalene–goes off to tell the disciples she has seen the Lord (Mark 16:9), and Christ goes up (ascends) to His Father, His God.  And then comes right back down again.

2.  The Guards–having raised themselves, report the empty tomb scenario to the authorities, who then bribe the guards to say that the disciples have stolen the body of JESUS  (Matthew 28:11-15).

3.  JESUS meets the women–on their way to tell the disciples the NEWS the angel has given them.  JESUS greets them, and they draw near and hold His feet, worshiping Him.

*[Note:  JESUS could now be touched].

4.  JESUS comforts them, and reaffirms the instructions the angel has given them (Matthew 28:8-10).

 It is at this time, the Old Testament saints resurrect and many go into the city of Jerusalem and appear to many (not all) of the disciples  (Matthew 27:52-53). 

* [A Note about Matthew 27:50-54]:

The word “and” appears often in the New Testament.  This conjunction can sometimes confuse readers, because of the way Scriptures were translated; marked off into verses for the ease of locating particular words and phrases.

The original written manuscripts were in Greek, which didn’t separate words, nor used accents and punctuation marks.  Even in Luke 23:44-47, appears misleading in comparison to Matthew 27:30-34.

Nevertheless, the proper readings of the two passages are as follows:

Matthew 27:50-54:  

1.  After JESUS had given up His spirit, an earthquake happens.  At the same time, the VEIL in the Temple in Jerusalem was torn into, top to bottom.

2.  After the RESURRECTION of Christ Jesus (on the 3rd Day), the graves were opened [Remember, there was also an earthquake as an angel descended and rolled away the stone in front of the grave].

3.  THE SAINTS of old resurrected and many of them went into the city of Jerusalem and appeared to many of the Disciples.

Luke 23:44-47:

1.  From about the sixth hour (12:00 PM) until the ninth hour (3:00 PM), there was DARKNESS over the land because the sun was darkened.   2.  The VEIL of the Temple was rent (torn) as JESUS gave up His spirit crying,  “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit”.

3. Mary Magdalene and the other women meet the disciples and relate what they have seen and heard (Mark 16:10-11; Luke 24:9-11; John 20:18).

4.  Later the same day, JESUS appears to Peter (Luke 24:34; 1 Corinthians 15:5).  

Cleo and a friend in dismay…”JESUS had been crucified…who would redeem us now?”

In the late afternoon of the same day, JESUS meets up with Cleopas and another disciple on the road to the village of Emmaus, a distance of about 7 1/2 miles (12 kilometers) from Jerusalem.

As the day turns to evening, they all sit down at the dinner table.  JESUS breaks the bread, and the disciples suddenly recognize Him.  They immediately return to the city (15 miles round-trip… in one day!), and report the event to the Eleven and others (Luke 24:13-35).

Later that night… 

JESUS appears to the disciples in a closed room…and Thomas the disciple is found missing (Luke 24:36-43; John 20:19-25).

And again, after 8 days…

JESUS appears again to His disciples in a closed room, but this time, Thomas is present (John 20:26-31).

Following that, and over a period of up to 40 days since His resurrection, JESUS appears a few more times–to seven disciples at the Sea of Galilee (John 21:1-25), and to about 500 disciples in Galilee and to His half-brother James (1 Corinthians 15:6-7).

The Great Commission…

While JESUS is with the disciples, He commissions His disciples, teaches the Scripture and the PROMISE to send the Holy Spirit (Matt. 28:16-20; Luke 24:44-49; Acts 1:4-5).

The Ascension…

After 40 days, JESUS ascends into Heaven (Luke 24:50-53; Acts 1:6-12).  

It becomes quite clear, that as He ascends, He takes the resurrected Old Testament saints up with Him, for they are no longer held in captivity by the Prince of Darkness who has held them in Sheol (not Hell) all that time.

The POWER of the Resurrection…

By the POWER of JESUS’ resurrection from the dead, these saints are now Christ’s captives.

JESUS sets them free into Paradise as He ascends to sit in His Father’s Throne (Ephesians 4:8; Matt. 27:52-53; Rom. 1:4).

JESUSONTHETHRONESURROUNDEDBYANGELS
Sitting on the Throne

There you have it.  READING your Bible is more than just scanning the pages.  It’s a conscious effort to search for the truth with the help of the Holy Spirit in “connecting the dots”.