At God’s Right Hand
THE pouring out of holy spirit at Pentecost is evidence that Jesus has arrived back in heaven. The vision granted shortly afterward to the disciple Stephen also proves that He has arrived there. Just before being stoned for his faithful witnessing, Stephen exclaims: “Look! I behold the heavens opened up and the Son of man standing at God’s right hand.”
While at God’s right hand, Jesus awaits the command from his Father: “Go subduing in the midst of your enemies.” But in the meantime, until he takes action against his enemies, what does Jesus do? He rules, or reigns, over his anointed disciples, guiding them in their preaching activity and preparing them to become, by resurrection, associate kings with him in his Father’s Kingdom.
For example, Jesus selects Saul (later better known by his Roman name, Paul) to spearhead the disciple-making work in other lands. Saul is zealous for God’s Law, yet he is misguided by the Jewish religious leaders. As a result, not only does Saul approve of Stephen’s murder but he goes to Damascus with authorization from the high priest Caiaphas to bring back to Jerusalem under arrest any men and women he finds there who are followers of Jesus. However, while Saul is en route, a bright light suddenly flashes around him and he falls to the ground.
“Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” a voice from an invisible source asks. “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asks.
“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” comes the reply.
Saul, who has been blinded by the miraculous light, is told by Jesus to enter Damascus and await instructions. Then Jesus appears in a vision to Ananias, one of his disciples. Regarding Saul, Jesus tells Ananias: “This man is a chosen vessel to me to bear my name to the nations as well as to kings and the sons of Israel.”
Indeed, with Jesus’ backing, Saul (known now as Paul) and other evangelizers have tremendous success in their work of preaching and teaching. In fact, about 25 years after Jesus’ appearance to him on the road to Damascus, Paul writes that the “good news” has been “preached in all creation that is under heaven.”
After the passing of many more years, Jesus provides a series of visions to his beloved apostle, John. By means of these visions that John describes in the Bible book of Revelation, he, in effect, lives to see Jesus return in Kingdom power. John says that “by inspiration” he was transported forward in time to “the Lord’s day.” What is this “day”?
A careful study of Bible prophecies, including Jesus’ own prophecy regarding the last days, reveals that “the Lord’s day” began in the history-making year 1914, yes, within this generation! So it was in 1914 that Jesus returned invisibly, without public fanfare and with only his faithful servants being aware of his return. In that year Jehovah gave Jesus the command to go subduing in the midst of his enemies!
Obeying his Father’s order, Jesus cleansed the heavens of Satan and his demons, hurling them down to the earth. After seeing this occur in vision, John hears a heavenly voice proclaim: “Now have come to pass the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ!” Yes, in 1914 Christ began ruling as King!
What good news this is for worshipers of Jehovah in heaven! They are urged: “Be glad, you heavens and you who reside in them!” But what is the situation for those on earth? “Woe for the earth and for the sea,” the voice from heaven continues, “because the Devil has come down to you, having great anger, knowing he has a short period of time.”
We are in that short period of time right now. People are presently being separated either to enter God’s new world or to suffer destruction. The truth is, your own destiny is now being determined by how you respond to the good news of God’s Kingdom that is being preached earth wide under Christ’s direction.
When the separating of people has been finished, Jesus Christ will serve as God’s Agent to rid the earth of Satan’s entire system of things and all those who support it. Jesus will accomplish this removal of all wickedness in the war that is called in the Bible Har–Magedon, or Armageddon. Afterward, Jesus, the greatest Person in the universe next to Jehovah God himself, will seize Satan and his demons and bind them for a thousand years in an “abyss,” that is, a state of deathlike inactivity. Acts 7:55-60; 8:1-3; 9:1-19; 16:6-10; Psalm 110:1, 2; Hebrews 10:12, 13; 1 Peter 3:22; Luke 22:28-30; Colossians 1:13, 23; Revelation 1:1, 10; 12:7-12; Re 16:14-16; 20:1-3; Matthew 24:14; 25:31-33.
▪ After Jesus ascends to heaven, where is he located, and what does he await?
▪ Over whom does Jesus rule after ascending to heaven, and how is his rule manifest?
▪ When did “the Lord’s day” begin, and what took place at its beginning?
▪ What separating work in progress today affects every one of us personally, and on what basis is the separating being done?
▪ When the separating work is finished, what events will follow?