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The Doctrine of Christ

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    Section IX—THE ASCENSION OF CHRIST

    LESSON THIRTY The Ascension of Christ

    1. Jesus himself spoke of his ascension. John 6:62; 20:17.TDOC 78.1

    2. Those who had associated with him saw him ascend. Luke 24:51; Acts 1:9.TDOC 78.2

    3. Stephen saw him in heaven. Acts 7:55.TDOC 78.3

    4. Jesus appeared to Saul after his ascension. Acts 9:3.TDOC 78.4

    5. He is now at the right hand of God. Mark 16:19; Colossians 3:1; Hebrews 1:1-3; 8:1, 2; 10:12; 12:1, 2.TDOC 78.5

    6. The believer, through his union with Christ, is both raised with him and ascends with him to the heavenly places. Ephesians 2:6; Hebrews 10:19, 20.TDOC 78.6

    7. It is this experience which enables one to live the heavenly life “in Christ.” Colossians 2:6, 7; 1 John 2:6; 1 Peter 3:16; Colossians 1:27, 28; 3:17; 2 Corinthians 5:17.TDOC 78.7

    NOTES: A concrete illustration

    “In the resurrection of Christ and his ascension to the throne of God he has illustrated the immense expansion and development possible to human nature, and his resurrection and glory are the prophecy of our own.”TDOC 78.8

    The true goal

    “The narrative of Christ’s ascension crowns that of his resurrection, and completes the story of his redeeming work. Not his death to atone for sin, not his resurrection from death and the grave, but his ascension is the true goal to which his incarnation and mediatorial action led.”TDOC 78.9

    The great chain of mercy

    “His death and resurrection were inseparable links in the great chain of divine mercy, let down to earth in his assumption of our nature, and again carried up to heaven in his triumphant return to his own native skies in his risen and glorified humanity, and so securely fastened ‘to that immovable staple-the throne of the eternal Jehovah.”TDOC 78.10

    A different ascension

    The ascension of Christ was unlike any other ascension referred to in the word of God. It had a character all its own. Not as the rapture of Enoch, who ‘walked with God,’ and ‘was not,’ having simply disappeared from among men, was the ascension of Christ; but a visible return to his native heaven. Not as the rapture of Elijah, that sudden and startling departure of the prophet in a chariot of fire with horses of fire, was Christ’s calm, sublime ascent. Not as Paul’s rapture, whether in. the body or out of the body he knew not, to the ‘third heaven,’ to hear words impossible to be uttered to men on earth, was this ascent of Christ in the body in which he had suffered, transformed and deathless, with the clear light of intelligence and full self-consciousness beaming on his face, to receive revelations in heaven, the opening of the seven-sealed book of futurity, and communicate those revelations to his church on earth in her militant estate.”TDOC 78.11

    Our Friend on the throne

    “Christ’s ascension to the Father is the elevation of our beet and dearest Friend to the throne of the universe, and the hands that were Pierced for us on the cross hold the helm and sway the scepter of creation, and therefore we may calmly meet all events.”TDOC 79.1

    The one proof

    “The one proof of his ascension to God’s right hand which Christ himself promised was the bestowal of his Spirit.”TDOC 79.2

    In Christ

    “Believers are in Christ, so as to be partakers in all that he does, and. has, and is. They died with him, and rose with him, and live with him, and in him are seated in heavenly places. When the eye of God looks on them, they are found in Christ; and there is no condemnation to those that are in him, and they are righteous in his righteousness, and loved with the love which rests on him, and are sons of God in his son ship, and heirs with him of his inheritance, and are soon to be glorified with him in his glory.”TDOC 79.3

    “The churches are in Christ; the persons are in Christ. They are found in Christ and preserved in Christ. They are saved and sanctified in Christ; axe rooted, built up, and ‘made perfect in Christ.’ Their ways are ways that be in Christ; their conversation is a good conversation in Christ; their faith, hope, love, joy, their whole life is in Christ. They think, they speak, they walk in Christ. They labor and suffer, they sorrow and rejoice, they conquer and triumph in the Lord. They receive each other and love each other in the Lord. The fundamental relations, the primal duties of life, have been drawn within the same circle. ‘Neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man in the Lord.’ 1 Corinthians 11:11. Wives submit themselves to their husbands in the Lord; children obey their parents in the Lord.’ The broadest distinctions vanish in the common bond of this all-embracing relation. As many as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ; there is neither Greek nor Jew, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female; they are all one in ChristTDOC 79.4

    Jesus.’ Galatians 3:28. The influence of it extends over the whole Sold of action, and men do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.”TDOC 80.1

    “With him we are gone up on high,
    Since he is ours and we are his;
    With him we reign above the sky,
    We walk upon our subject seas!”
    TDOC 80.2

    Christ’s experience and ours

    “There in an acting over again in us of Christ’s crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension, when we realize through faith that which was done for mankind in him.”TDOC 80.3

    In the atmosphere of heaven

    “The infinite, unfathomable love of God through Christ, became the subject of his [Enoch’s] meditations day and night. With all the fervor of his soul he sought to reveal that love to the people among whom he dwelt. Enoch’s walk with God was not in a trance or a vision, but in all the duties of his daily life. He did not become a hermit, shutting himself entirely from the world; for he had, in the world, a work to do for God. In the family and in his intercourse with men, as a husband and father, a friend, a citizen, he was the steadfast, unwavering servant of God. His faith waxed stronger, his love became more ardent, with the lapse of centuries. To him prayer was as the breath of the soul. He lived in the atmosphere of heaven.”-Testimonies for the Church 8:3.09, 330.TDOC 80.4

    That higher life

    “Come, Holy Spirit, still my heart
    With gentleness divine;
    Indwelling peace thou canst impart;
    Oh, make that blessing mine!
    TDOC 80.5

    “Above these scenes of storm and strife
    There spreads a region fair;
    Give me to live that higher life,
    And breathe that heavenly air!”
    TDOC 80.6

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