There are three very important declarations in the New Testament that effect us all in the present time as well as the future. All three involve our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and what He has done for us, so that we may all have a chance at salvation and a future of eternal life in His Kingdom. Every Christian should know, the precious gift of our salvation (paid with a price at the crucifixion), only comes through Jesus Christ and our belief in Him. Our eternal life is His promise to us if we follow His ways to the best of our ability in these flesh bodies. However, remember the conditions here: Believe in Him (John 3:16), and Follow Him (Matthew 4:19, Luke 9:23). Not only that, but repentance of our shortfalls to the Heavenly Father is also required. Jesus Christ was perfect in every way; we are not! If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves (I John 1:8), if we confess our sin, we are forgiven. (I John 1:9). So, with that being said, lets take a look at how all this was made possible for us through these three declarations that give us the right and the joy to proclaim victory.
The first declaration: It is finished! It was the time of the crucifixion and around the ninth hour (12:00 noon), when Jesus cried out with a loud voice, "My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?" (Matthew 27:46), many think Jesus was calling on the Father, or on Elias to save Him, but He wasn't. The Heavenly Father never forsook Him, Jesus was quoting from (Psalms 22:1), written 1,000 years before the crucifixion. Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. (Matthew 27:50, Mark 15:37, Luke 23:46, John 19:30). Christ bowed His head and gave up the Spirit. Ghost is a bad translation, and should be translated as Spirit. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent. (Matthew 27:51), The curtain secluding the Holiest place in the Temple was split apart from top to bottom. Meaning that Christ had paid the price, and there was no more need for sacrifices. Christ was the sacrifice for one in all times. He died for us! Why did He come in the flesh? ( Hebrews 2:12-14), to destroy the one who held the power of death, that is, the Devil! When Christ made the statement ("It Is Finished"), Satan was defeated and we were delivered from his power. (Colossians 1:13). This would also put an end to the old law of ordinances, rituals, and blood sacrifices. (Colossians 2:13-17). Again, an awesome sacrifice was made for us through Jesus Christ so that we can proclaim victory.
The second declaration: He is Risen! After Christ gave up His Spirit on the cross and His body was removed by Joseph, the kinsmen redeemer (Joseph "the tin man" Mary's uncle), He was wrapped in clean linen and laid in His tomb. (Matthew 27:57-60). Written in (Isaiah 53:9), 600 years before the crucifixion. Now it was the end of the Sabbath and began to dawn towards the first day of the week (Sunday morning), when Mary Magdalene and His mother Marry came to the sepulchre. Suddenly, there was a great earthquake an the angel of the Lord descended from heaven and rolled back the stone from the door. The angel said to the women, Fear not, I know you seek Jesus who was crucified, but why here? (Matthew 28:1-5). "Now here come the declaration." The angel said to the women; "He is not here, for He is risen." (Matthew 28:6). What does this mean for us? The book of Romans tells us: And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead. (Romans 1:4), The Son of God, being raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:24), God has raised Him up and brought Him back to life again defeating death. The first declaration we were delivered from the power of death, not death was defeated by the resurrection of Christ giving us the promise of eternal life. What does this mean? He has risen to eternal life with the Father, and we will also be risen to eternal life with the Father.
For this reason, we are to seek those things which are above where Christ is. Our affection should be set on things above, and not things here on earth. We are to be dead to the desires of this world, for our real life is eternal with God in heaven. (Colossians 3:1-3). i.e. Endure till the end by keeping your eyes on Jesus, the one who endured the cross, and is now sitting at the right hand of God. (Hebrews 12:2). Another reason for us to proclaim victory!
The third declaration: He is coming: During the last supper (Passover meal), Christ told the disciples not to be troubled about Him going away to the Father. He made the declaration that He would prepare a place for us and that He would come again. (John 14:1-4). In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. (John 14:2), Plenty of room in My Father's house. I will go and prepare a place for you. This word "mansions" in the Greek is "mone" (mon-ay'), residence (the act or place): abode. Meaning to dwell within us. (II Corinthians 5:1, Revelation 3:12), When this earthly body is gone, we will have our spiritual body for eternity. (I Corinthians 15:46-48), The natural body comes first the spiritual comes later. (As for now in this flesh body, Christ will dwell in our hearts through the Holy Spirit).
However, we do have the promise of His return. Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven. (Acts 1:11), Why do you stare into the sky you men of Galilee the two angels said. Jesus was taken from you, but He will return someday in the same way that you seen Him go. He will return to the mount of Olives as it is written. (Zechariah 14:4). At this time we will all share in His glory. (Colossians 3:4).
The Apostle Paul would address this to the brethren in the book of I Thessalonians concerning where the dead are and what happens at the Lords return. But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. (1 Thessalonians 4:13), Paul wanted them to know what happens to a Christian when they die so when it happens, they would not be sorrowed.
For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. (1 Thessalonians 4:14), If we believe that Jesus died and rose again, we must believe that when a Christian dies, God will also bring them with Him. Upon death; the body returns to the dust of the earth and the spirit goes back to the Heavenly Father who gave it. (Ecclesiastes 12-7) When we are absent from this flesh body, our soul (or self), is present with the Lord. (2 Corinthians 5:7-8).
For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. (1 Thessalonians 4:15), Those who are alive when the Lord returns will not prevent (or precede), those who are dead because the dead are already there with the Lord. (Read our study topic: Where are the dead).
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: (1 Thessalonians 4:16), At the last trump (7th trump), the dead in Christ will rise first, because they are already there.
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), As "gathered like a cloud" used as a statement, or "like a cloud of locust" or "cloud of witnesses." (Hebrews 12:1). Now as for the ones which are alive to meet the Lord in the air; We must go back to the original Greek to translate air which is (Aer = Breathe, Strong's 109 Greek Dictionary) prime from (Psucho = To Breathe, 5594) prime from (Psuche = Breath or Spirit, 5590) prime from (Pneuma = Spirit or Breath of Life, 4151) When Christ returns at the seventh trump, we will be changed into our Spirit bodies to meet him. (This is not a rapture of the church), "This is a gathering back to Christ in the spirit." Now lets go to the book of 2 Peter to find out more on the coming of Christ.
But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. (2 Peter 3:10), Be on guard and know the season for His return, when all evil (all the wicked & rudiments) will be burned up. Judgment Day!
Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness. (2 Peter 3:11), What should you do to be prepared?
Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? (2 Peter 3:12), Looking forward to the day of the Lord when He will set the heavens on fire, and the elements will melt in the flames. Remember that God is a consuming fire and He will destroy this Heaven and Earth age, for there is a "new" heaven and "new" earth age to come.
Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. (2 Peter 3:13), We look forward to the new heaven and earth as He promised, with a world filled with God's righteousness. Now to end our study, we go to the book of Revelation and see what is in store for us in the eternity.
And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. (Revelation 21:5), It is going to be an awesome time. His Word is trustworthy and true and you can count on it just as other things have come to pass in our lifetime, our parents and grandparents lifetime.
And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. (Revelation 21:6), It is finished! He is Risen! He is coming! All draw from the deep waters; The wells of salvation. "The Truth of His Word." He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. (Revelation 21:7), Everyone who conquers will inherit all the blessings, and the right to Proclaim Victory!
Keep The Faith,