Archive for tomb

Cling to Jesus Christ Who Is In the Father… Rodna Epley

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Gospel, Rodna Epley with tags , , , , , , , , on September 18, 2019 by paulthepoke

Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.’ “- John 20:17

After Jesus was resurrected from the dead, He commanded Mary to not cling to Him, to not fasten or adhere herself to Him. Not because there wouldn’t be a time when she couldn’t do that, but because the time for clinging to Him was not yet. The reason He gave her was that He had “not yet ascended to My Father”.

I’ve heard many a sermon in my life surrounding the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus and every one of those sermons that I can recall clings to Jesus either at the cross or right after He was raised from the dead outside the tomb. But they don’t cling to Jesus where He commanded us to cling: in Christ who is in the Father after having ascended to Him. Clinging to Him there includes all other access points, including the cross and the empty tomb along the way to the ultimate destination.

Do NOT adhere to me—for I have not yet ascended to my Father!

The implication being that we CAN adhere to Him AFTER He ascends to the Father.

To ascend doesn’t appear to have meant a physical ascension at that point, because we see the disciples handling Him and perhaps clinging to Him before the mount of ascension event occurred. So during the time between His first appearance to Mary at the tomb and when He allowed His disciples to handle Him, Jesus ascended to the Father in some way spiritually, but likely not physically—not yet. He spent 40 days on earth first preaching the kingdom of heaven.

Jesus used this ascended kind of language even before the cross…

Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. – John 17:13

No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven.- John 3:13

Another way to say this is: There is only one person who has already ascended into heaven, Me, the Son is Man, and I’m in heaven right now.

When Jesus revealed the Father plainly to His disciples, He left out of His explanation all the stuff He did to redeem us. As important as all of that is, Jesus focused on the reason He did everything and where He took us—our ultimate destination. Here are His words,

“I came forth from the Father and have come into the world. Again, I leave the world and go to the Father.”- John 16:28

This is the purpose of the Gospel: to show us the Way to the Father. The Father is the destination, and we follow Jesus all the way there, where the power exists to do the greater works, where the glory exists that makes us ONE with the Father in Christ in the same way that Jesus is ONE with the Father (John 17:22,23).

“…he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.”- John 14:12

Greater works… because I go to My Father.

That’s how we do them. The power for greater works comes from being restored to glory, to the Father, right now. Our minds are still being transformed from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3:18), but we are still fully restored now because we are properly positioned in Christ.

We don’t continue only clinging to the cross or clinging to Jesus standing outside the empty tomb. We cling to, fasten ourselves to, adhere to Jesus Christ where He is now: in the Father. The Father is the clinging place—where His glory makes us ONE.

That’s not to say that we don’t carry about the dying of the Lord Jesus which puts to death the old nature so that the new nature in Christ wakes up within us. It’s not to say we don’t rise with Jesus from the dead by the same glory of the Father that raised Him. And it’s not to say that our minds are not being transformed from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3:18) as we overcome one suffering after another (Romans 8:18).

But for this post I’m just bringing into focus the actual purpose of the Gospel which has not really been understood. That Jesus restored us to the Father in Himself. He restored us to glory where we learn to cling to Him and never let go again: where we have the ABILITY to cling to Him and never let go again. Because from the place of the Father is where Christ holds us. He clings to us, we cling to Him. He abides in us, we abide in Him. That’s the point of everything Jesus did and it’s vital that we know this and are intensely aware of it. Perfect peace is the strongest and most obvious indicator that we are in Christ.

Have a blessed day everyone! ❤️🙏🏼

Angels: Intelligence With Strength

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Angels with tags , , , , on July 14, 2019 by paulthepoke

The Bible teaches that angels have the ability to think and they are intelligent. By the description given in the texts, angels are clearly more intelligent than humanity in its current fallen state.

2 Samuel 14:20 In order to change the course of things your servant Joab did this. But my lord has wisdom like the wisdom of the angel of God to know all things that are on the earth.”

Some angels know “all” as the verse above states. The Hebrew word “kol” is translated as all or everything or the whole as noted per Strong’s Concordance. Note, their wisdom is limited to “things that are on the earth.”

In Hebraic thought, wisdom is more than knowledge. It is the ability to practically apply what is known. Wisdom is demonstrating a skill set of information. Angels just don’t know. They can do what they know.

Angels are limited in their knowledge. They are not all knowing and possessing omniscience like God. For example, they don’t know when Jesus is coming back to Earth.

Matthew 24:36 But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.

Angels possess super human strength. They are much stronger than humanity in its current fallen state. Angels are not all powerful. Their strength is limited. But when it comes to war, angels are special forces on steroids.

Herod met his death at the hand of an angel.

Acts 12:23 Immediately an angel of the Lord struck him down, because he did not give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and breathed his last.

One angel can handle hundreds of thousands of armed soldiers.

2 Kings 19:35 And that night the angel of the LORD went out and struck down 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians. And when people arose early in the morning, behold, these were all dead bodies.

It stands to reason, the whole camp could have been destroyed. But who would have been left to inform others of the power of the angel?

Taking out an entire city would not be an issue for an angel. In the case below, the angel submits his will to God and follows His directions. Otherwise, the city would have been destroyed.

2 Samuel 24:16 But when the angel stretched out his hand to destroy Jerusalem, the LORD relented from the calamity and said to the angel who was destroying the people, “Enough, withdraw your hand now!” At that time the angel of the LORD was by the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.

In some cases, angels are allowed to thoroughly finish the job.

2 Chronicles 32:21a …and the LORD sent an angel who annihilated every mighty warrior, leader, and commander in the camp of the king of Assyria…

It was an angel who moved the stone at Christ’s tomb. The gospel accounts of the stone indicate it was “rolled”. The assumption is the stone was round. Stones that sealed tombs were generally 3-4 feet in diameter. Typically, the stone was rolled down an incline to set in place and seal a tomb. To remove the stone, it would have to be rolled and pushed up an incline working against gravity. Estimates are the stone covering Christ’s tomb weighed 2,000 to 4,000 pounds. This was no problem for an angel. He did his job and took a seat on his work. Then he had a chat with some ladies. It was an angel who told and showed humanity that Jesus had risen from the dead.

Matthew 28:2-6 And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for He has risen, as He said. Come, see the place where He lay.

Paul the Poke

Habakkuk 1:5 Look among the nations, and see; wonder and be astounded. For I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if told. -LORD God

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