As for the ongoing lesson/study, any "whosoever" can "see" Jesus - The Christ was "lifted up" at every factional-contact of His encounters with all of humanity; which simply means ALL individuals know the outside-image of Christ as unto Him; but many do not understand that EACH man/woman must come into Him for Christ to be into them. And fewer are those that come onto Him, so Christ can be onto them. The first meeting in acquaintance is induement (unto). The first knowing (familiarization) of Him is imbuement (into). The last and most knowing is imbruement (onto) which is totally being saturated intimately as friend-to-Friend! Jesus Christ was a miraculous feature which no other one had, could, would, or should towards all humanity to lift, set and seat them spiritually free! Being God first and man second (Son of God and Son of man), Jesus Christ could not fail His Mission to not only represent The Father, but also how everyone should so be and do with and towards one another. It is as interesting as it is meaningful, that the "Cross of Christ" is the center-most point in history, as well as that relationship between Heaven and earth for all humanity forever! Christ proved His Love as well as The Father's Love in opening every door for the repentant-sinner "in his own order" (1 Corinthians 15:23), as becoming a saint, could possibly enter through to share "His Riches In Glory" (Philippians 4:19); The Victory Of God's Mission Accomplished "in earth, as it is in heaven" (Matthew 6:10). The above chart is not a comprehensive exhaustion of all that Jesus did. The Gospel of John says: "There are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written" (John 21:25). However, this is simply an overview to illustrate that Jesus Christ completely fulfilled all prophecy of His Mission to a Spiritually-dying world of humanity in AD 70! All praise to His Holy Name!
Plan Of Salvation (1)
Christ was "lifted up" in The Plan of Salvation which was made from the beginning of time as we read in Matthew 13:35: "That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world." "For then must He often have suffered since the foundation of the world [Greek word is "kosmos" meaning "to put in order ... decoration ... including its inhabitants, literally or figuratively"]: but now once in the end of the world [Greek word is "aion" meaning "age" - that age of Christ's ministry and sacrifice] hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself" (Hebrews 9:26). For a more sure Word Of Prophecy, and for further evidence that Jesus Christ completely fulfilled His Mission on this earth; and that Bible Prophecy was completed conclusively in the Book of Revelation by AD 70; Christ repeated Himself, so as to be not misunderstood by any, that He was the "Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which IS, and which WAS, and which IS TO COME" (See Revelation 1 :8; 11; 21:6; 22:13). Jesus is the First Word for everyone that "believes," and the Last Word for everyone that BE-LIVES. Contrary to what many, many Christians believe, Jesus did NOT come to this planet to die only for our sinful nature inherited of Adamic sins. If this were the case, every single human being would be universally saved to put on Heavenly Glorification in the then and there - after death! But what did their life glory in ... from their physical birth to their physical death?? The overall reason Christ came as He did is to show sinners and saints alike the Way, Truth and Life of Himself so that as many as believed and did the Will Of His Words would be brought back to the relationship with the Father that Adam lost for the depravities we inherited of our fallen-nature. Thus, each Believer/Doer might in some ways (talents), shapes (purposes) and forms (righteous-works by the biddings of the Holy Spirit's Presence) be a praiseworthy-honorable-blessing glorifying God, and an instrument to the human-family in reflecting some of the aspects that God lent and instilled in each one at birth; whether they have or have not been born anew spiritually already ... or yet to become one of God's Adopted Children. What would anyone expect, that would NOT coincide with God's Written Word as a Guide-Book to be made conscionable that God said what He meant and meant what He said?? If this were not the case, it would mean the "lost" without a conscience of and for God could be saved regardless of how against God they lived according to God's Overall Biblical Plan Of Redemption. This would make God to be non-implicit in His Word of Being-Explicit to His Altruism of not being able to lie nor fail to all those believing and obeying from their spiritual redemptive heart. In other words, these folk are saying, "It takes an unholy god to save my unholiness!" Another acronical-theoretical-excuse would be that this ideology does not believe that any Supernatural can occur in the natural during anyone's lifetime on this planet! And God forbid that this same idea would cause them at last say: "There is no God, but us as gods! We answer to no Higher-Power than ourselves!"
Virgin Birth (2)
Christ was "lifted up" the second time at His birth - for He was Born A King! "Now when Jesus was born in Beth-lehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him" Matthew 2:1, 2. "Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel" (Isaiah 7:14). "Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins" (Matthew 1:20, 21).
Sinless Life Of Example And Service (3)
Again Christ was "lifted up" above the learned and most intelligent leaders at the Temple when He revealed to all that He must be about His Father's Kingdom works. "Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast. And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it. But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day's journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance. And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him. And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing him, and asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers. And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? Behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? Wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?" (Luke 2:41-49). Christ was "lifted up" in AD 26 when He began His public ministry which was introduced to the world by the Holy Spirit at His Baptism. "Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him, but John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him. And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: and lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased" (Matthew 3:13-17). During His Ministry for three and a half years, Jesus Christ "went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people (Matthew 9:36). "And in that same hour he [Jesus] cured many of their infirmities and plagues, and of evil spirits; and unto many that were blind he gave sight" (Luke 7:21). All through His Ministry, Jesus spoke of His Kingdom, which was spiritual and "not of this world" (John 18:36). He repeatedly began a parable with the words: "The Kingdom Of Heaven is like ...." And again He confirmed His status as King to Pilate when "Pilate asked him, Art thou the King of the Jews? And he answering said unto him, Thou sayest it" (Mark 14:2).
At The Cross (4)
Christ was "lifted up" upon the cross as He endured the full penalty of sin. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). "For as by one man's disobedience [Adam] many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one [Jesus Christ] shall many be made righteous" (Romans 5:19). Many well-meaning Christians do not go any further than "The Cross" in their spiritual growth and understanding. But it is important to go further on to other steps and behold Christ as He was "lifted up" in our behalf at the completion of His Sacrifice as He also "went and preached unto the spirits in prison" (1 Peter 3:19). In other words, Jesus Christ announced to the saints who had previously died and were being held captive in Hades that He was soon to release them. It was there, in Hades, that Christ also fulfilled His promise to the thief on the cross when He said: "Today shalt thou be with me in paradise" (Luke 23:43). Appearing to John the Revelator, Christ stated: "I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death" (Revelation 1:18). Note: The Apostle Peter's official office was given to him by Christ only (Matthew 16:19) and none others ever as in propria persona. As Peter, along with all the other Apostles died or were translated by not experiencing death, so did each of their official offices expire with them by the year AD 70. Therefore, Peter's office became inoperative for any "Apostolic Succession" to emblazon the future after Peter's death. In other words, Peter's office as such was Christ's initiatory while he lived, and none to take his successive place futuristically.
Three days after Jesus was crucified, He was "lifted up" by resurrecting Himself and others as the "First-Fruits" of His Salvation.
"Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils. And she went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept. And they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not. After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country. And they went and told it unto the residue; neither believed they them. Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen" (Mark 16:9-14). At the time Jesus died on the cross, Scripture records that "the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, and came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many" (Matthew 27:52, 53). "For since by man come death, by man come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive" 1 Corinthians 15:21, 22. "So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: it is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: it is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit" (1 Corinthians 15:42-45).
Christ's Ascension To Heaven (6)
Christ was "lifted up" as He ascended to Heaven 40 days after His resurrection taking the saints with Him who had also been resurrected to life at the time He was. He had already given His disciples assurance that their generation would not pass, until all the signs recorded in Matthew 24 were fulfilled. Along with Him stating: "I will come again" (John 14:3); He also told the disciples when He would come back: "Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom" (Matthew 16:28). How could Jesus have made this statement if his return would have been many centuries past that present generation? Apparently some of these disciples Jesus was talking to would be alive when He "came back" as the "Blessed Hope" to take them to the Heavenly Home with Him! And so it was!
Day Of Pentecost
Ten days after Christ ascended to Heaven, on the day of Pentecost, He was"lifted up" by sending the Promised Comforter (Holy Spirit) to enable His Believer-Followers to receive His Grace Upon Grace in becoming more like Him and to preach the Gospel Message with His Power and Glory into all the then known nations of the world.
Even at the beginning of the Great Seven-Year Tribulation (AD 62) Christ was "lifted up". It was "a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time" (Daniel 12:1). Satan was loosed (Revelation 20:3) to be allowed to deceive the Jews into wars and attack God's people as they were warned: "be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen" (1 Peter 5:8-11). "For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked [Satan - The Wicked One] be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believed not the truth [Christ - The Messiah As Saviour], but had pleasure in unrighteousness" (2 Thessalonians 2:7-12). Thus Satan was released for a little time near the close of the millennium which ended in AD 66.
AD 66 - Christ Returned As Promised (7)
In AD 66 (half-way through the seven years of tribulation) Christ again was"lifted up" as He returned to raise the rest of the dead, rapture the living saints, and bring judgment upon His enemies. "But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years [Jewish traditional terminology of 40 generational years] were finished. This is the first resurrection" (Revelation 20:5). "And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them" (Revelation 20:11). "But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits [AD 30]; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming [AD 66]" (1 Corinthians 15:23). "For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus [dead to the trespasses of sin by receiving the newness of Christ's-Life] will God bring with him" (1 Thessalonians 4:14). "Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord" (1 Thessalonians 4:17). Please keep in mind that these "letters" of the Apostle Paul were written to the churches in his day as they were expecting Jesus' return within their lifetime. John, the Beloved, wrote: "The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John...Behold, he cometh with clouds [Jesus with the Heavenly Hosts of Unfallen Angels which completely clouded the sky above Jerusalem]; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth [Jewish traditional language for the only Temple at Jerusalem in which God had previously dwelt among] shall wail because of him [because they missed receiving His Holy Characteristics unto, into, and onto themselves]. Even so, Amen" (Revelation 1:1, 7). Since the perfected (mature) Bride Of Christ was raptured with Him in AD 66, now and forever more all Believer/Doers of His Word are Adopted Children Of That Marriage - and if spiritually-faithful shall join the whole of the Spiritual Family of God at the cessation of this temporal physical existence, to meet with Heavenly Bliss Eternally Forever and Ever!
AD 70 - Judgment/Retribution Upon Jerusalem's Destruction (8)
After Christ's spiritual coming in AD 66, the Jewish/Roman war broke out and Jerusalem was finally destroyed as Jesus had predicted. We encourage our readers to compare the apocalyptic symbolic meanings of Matthew 24 along with the accounts of first-century-historians such as Flavius Josephus who described with accuracy the events leading up to AD 70 of the Parousia when Christ again was "lifted up" as He adminstered judgment and retribution upon His enemies with His saints present to judge them. All power was given by the Father for Him to do so, because Christ was the ONLY ONE of the Trinity to come to this planet-earth to overcome sin in the flesh that Adam lost. Josephus' Wars Book 6 is available online and in university libraries. Any thoroughly deciphering Biblicist has to concede "the facts" are justifiably "the facts" as all of the signs outlined in Matthew 24 were fulfilled by AD 70.
This Earth Is Forever
Many Christians have adopted the misconception that this earth is going to burn up, but this earth is forever (in perpetuum) and will go on and on. "Ye shall not be confounded world without end. For thus saith the Lord that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the Lord: and there is none else" (Isaiah 45:17b, 18). "Thy faithfulness is unto all generations: thou hast established the earth, and it abideth" (Psalm 119:90). "The heaven, even the heavens, are the Lord's: but the earth hath he given to the children of men" (Psalm 115:16). "Be ye mindful always of his covenant; the word which he commanded to a thousand generations" (1 Chronicles 16:15). Editor's Note: If 40 years would be allowed for "a generation" and 40 is multiplied by 1,000; it would equal 40,000 years! Also again review the chart of Apocalyptic Symbols used in both the Old and New Testaments at Recapitulation Within And Throughout Palingenesis.
Christ's Advocacy In Heaven (9)
For sincere-believers in Christ Jesus as their Saviour, the New Testament proves by not a shadow or a doubt that Christ is "lifted up" as He imputes His-Righteousness into all His Children - as "Trees Of Righteousness" and He maintains that righteousness by nourishing His Children throughout their lifetime by His-Unconditional-Grace. Nowhere in the New Testament is there a mark against His-Children for sin as the Sacrifice of Christ has set and completely seated them free from it once and forever (Ephesians 2:6). "And that ye put on the new man/woman, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness" (Ephesians 4:24). The Expected Hope is the Confident-Expectation of Good-Favor fitted for the Kingdom of Heaven for the Blissful Re-Union of the Home-Coming in the New Body-Of-Light And "Its Ascension In Its Final Glorification" Throughout All Eternity! "And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: and he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world [Greek word is "kosmos" meaning "to put in order ... decoration ... including its inhabitants, literally or figuratively"]" (1 John 2:1, 2). "For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need" (Hebrews 4:15, 16). Truly, Jesus Christ has stayed "lifted up" that He might keep every "obedient-believer" into His BE-LIVING forever and ever! Furthermore, Jesus Christ is "the open door," as He is a complete graceful gentleman for His Bride (Body of Be-LIVERS) in every area of every Being and every circumstance of every Doing; and knows no defeat in Becoming the Substitute purely for the immoral and ethic of all unworthinesses. For "with God ALL THINGS are possible" (Matthew 19:26). This Preterist World View aptly describes the completed work of Christ's Righteoused Redemption and Restoration for fallen humankind.
The current Theatrics or Religious-Hollywood-Style-Prologue of the presently ongoing Spiritual Disease that effects the brain, the body, the heart, and the soul of holding most people's attention of whimsical opinionated beliefs - is television! This is indeed why most Americans and/or the West believe this type of perceptualization/conceptualization/opinionization has and continues to downdraft and water-down the Truth as it is in Jesus and His Holy Words. The truth of the television-matter is there is very little matter at all to it - even of religious programs as such. Why? Most all, if not all, have been dumbed-down, just like smoke from a downdraft in a fireplace, to a 13-year-old level of watering down for entertainment. This is why it was rightly named The Boob Tube! People have possibly wondered why the youth and too many adults have been so influenced. Teens and adolescent-adults alike become hooked, crooked, shook, and cooked - and more than likely you have wondered why the demand for drugs, both illegal and legal, keep much of the worthiness of society in a spin that all the drugs in the world cannot bring together a Godly-Win! But God's Word says the Holy Spirit does and can! After all the sights and sounds of what the eyes behold and what the ears enfold, is it any wonder the Western Civilization does not hunger for righteousness by tasting the Truth of Jesus' Words which cannot be improved upon, as they are Biblically validated the Most-Excellent as any "whosoever" could line themselves with? After tasting, then comes the hearing of faith; to be faithful in what matters to God and should, would and could matter to the reader. Next comes seeing Jesus' Truth, The Way, and The Life as IT is in Him! With all the foregoing, a sweet-savoring smell comes to be to any whosoever's soul. No wonder the new converts to Christianity in the First Century were alluded to as drunk at the early hours of the day when they had received God's Spell of the New Birth in the Spiritual Sense! Finally, the peaceful-feeling that all is righted that was for so long divided up as misunderstanding of misinformation and New Life of God reforms the individual to Himself into a sanctifying process. This altogether brings one's soul in a harmonious balance, and can be rightly understood in the spiritual sense as Rest In Activity; which is God Being Peacefully Pleased in the all, full and whole completeness of our doings or deeds. We then envision a revelation / reformation / transformation refinement through diligence; but not coexisting with spiritually-deafening militancy or theatrics! To know God more excellently is to love the variety of humans He has generously created! Opportunity stares in the face of a prepared mind. "Riches in the heart cannot be stolen" (Russian Proverb).
God's Spirit, The Spirit Of Christ, and The Holy Spirit are ALL One and The Self-Same in meaningfulness as in the realized Altruistic Truth of God's Word. God cannot lie nor fail! If [since] you have This spirit, which are ALL Three The Same; then you are in the Kingdom of God - NOW!! Keep persistent and consistent in allowing This Spirit to be your Workmanship (Work Of Art) throughout your temporal-life, and he shall give you the Crown Of His Immortal Glory after this life of troubles and woes are over for you when you die, as you shall then enter in His Heavenly Awaiting Kingdom All Glorious Eternally Forever and Ever! Remember, this life is the proving ground where you become more and more, surer and surer, more sure and more sure - that with Christ - you can be a king/queen to walk with The King for He Is The King of kings, and be in all manner a blessing in the joy of your sanctifying-salvation to God Himself first, yourself second, and all others thirdly!!! Is there trouble anywhere? Yes - tis always so! But to the Authentic-Genuine Christian, trouble simply is opportunity disguised in work clothes - God's and yours! Should you put yourself to good use, others cannot use you for anything else!! May the God of all peace, soul-prosperity, and sanctity be within and throughout Christ's Abiding Atonement of His More Abundant Life of Blessing Without End. Amen! And mightily may you as His Son/Daughter grow into being a full-grown Tree Of Righteousness in the personal work (purpose) He has for you so you inherit all things He has in store for you and His rearward (reward) be granted the "Well done, good and faithful servant" (Matthew 25:23) ... "enter My Heavenly Kingdom and receive the full of your inheritance!" Amen!
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Graphic Credits. (1) Chart is by Covenant Of Sovereign Grace Ministry. However, the cross in the center of the chart is courtesy of Upon This Rock Free Christian Graphics. (2) Christians Unite Clipart. (3) Scroll Background: Christians Unite Clipart. Scroll Text: Covenant Of Sovereign Grace Ministry.
Copyright 2011, 2012, 2016 Covenant Of Sovereign Grace Ministry. This article may be printed in its entirety for personal study and free distribution. Please include the following statement: "Permission granted by Covenant Of Sovereign Grace Ministry for Free Distribution Only - Never To Be Sold". "Buy [possess] the truth and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding" (Proverbs 23:23). Jesus said: "The kingdom of heaven [He Himself] is at hand ... freely ye have received, freely give" (Matthew 10:7, 8).