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15 MAY 1988

By Frank L. Hoffman, Pastor

Scripture References:

Psalm 110:1
Isaiah 9:1-7
Mark 16:19
Luke 4:16-22
John 8:12
Acts 1:9-11
Revelation 19:11-16

Preparation Verse: (Acts 1:11)

11. and they also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.”

This past Thursday was Ascension Day. It celebrated the day that Jesus Christ rose into heaven.

The most important part of this event is the fact that it ushered Jesus Christ into heaven as King and as Lord.

It also marked the last time Jesus was upon the earth in bodily form, until His second coming for which we eagerly wait.

Note what it says about His Ascension in Mark 16:19.

19. So then, when the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God.

In Psalm 110:1, King David prophesied that the Lord would be seated at the right hand of God:

1. The Lord says to my Lord:
“Sit at My right hand,
Until I make Thine enemies a footstool for Thy feet.”

And the Lord Jesus quotes this in context before the Sanhedrin at His trial. Let's take a look at it as recorded in Luke 22:69.

69. "But from now on the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God."

Upon hearing this statement, all realized that He was telling them that He was indeed the Son of God.

In Acts 1:9-11, Luke also recorded what the disciples saw when He ascended into heaven:

9. And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.

10. And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was departing, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them;

11. and they also said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven."

In Revelation 19:11-16, John prophesies of this second coming:

11. And I saw heaven opened; and behold, a white horse, and He who sat upon it is called Faithful and True; and in righteousness He judges and wages war.

12. And His eyes are a flame of fire, and upon His head are many diadems; and He has a name written upon Him which no one knows except Himself.

13. And He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood; and His name is called The Word of God.

14. And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses.

15. And from His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may smite the nations; and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty.

16. And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, "KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS."

Thus, as the heavens opened up to receive Him who was rejected by many, so will the heavens open to usher Him as He should have been received from the beginning, as Messiah.

He is truly King of kings, and Lord of lords, but is He mine?

This is a question we must all ask ourselves.

It is also the title of today's sermon.

Let's take a closer look at our relationship with Jesus Christ as our King and Lord.

If we look at these words from their dictionary meanings, we will begin to get the basic distinction as to what our attitude toward Jesus Christ should be like.

A king is a male sovereign or monarch; a man who rules for life; the chief authority over a country and people.

A lord, on the other hand, is one who has dominion over others: a master, chief or ruler.

Their meanings seem similar, but the major distinction is that the lord is master over the people, so that the people are as servants.

God does not force Himself upon us. We were given a free will to accept Him or reject Him. And whether or not we accept Him or reject Him, He is nevertheless still King and Ruler of all.

Unless we accept Him as Lord of our lives, which means that we willingly submit to Him and His authority, we have no part in Him or in heaven.

Let's stay with this thought a little longer. A ruler of one country does not have authority over another country unless they submit to him, or by force of power he makes them submit to his authority.

The Queen of England has authority over the British Empire, but she has no authority over the United States.

Jesus Christ does, however, have authority over all peoples and nations, whether or not they submit to his authority.

If we willingly submit to Him, then we are taken unto Him and will rule with Him. But if we rebel against Him, then we will be overpowered and cast out of the kingdom forever.

In our Old Testament lesson verses for this morning we saw a similar prophetic accounting.

Isaiah was basically speaking to the Jewish nation, but in the last portion of 9:1 we see that he was also addressing those of all nations who would come after Christ.

1. But there will be no more gloom for her who was in anguish; in earlier times He treated the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali with contempt, but later on He shall make it glorious, by the way of the sea, on the other side of Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles.

What is the prophet saying that will happen to bring about this change?

Why will God no longer have contempt?

Why will the land become glorious?

Because Jesus Christ will come to take away the sins of all who will accept Him as Lord and Savior. And He did 700 years after this prophecy was written.

Before we come to submit ourselves to Jesus Christ, we are in the darkness of our sins.

Jesus Christ is the light of the world, and when we accept Him we share in the light, and the darkness flees. Note what Jesus said in John 8:12 and 14:6.

12. ..."I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life."

6. ..."I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me."

Thus the prophet Isaiah says of Him who was to come and of the people who would partake of Him: (9:2-7)

2. The people who walk in darkness
Will see a great light;
Those who live in a dark land,
The light will shine on them.

3. Thou shalt multiply the nation,
Thou shalt increase their gladness;
They will be glad in Thy presence
As with the gladness of harvest,
As men rejoice when they divide the spoil.

Thus the prophet goes on to describe our victory over sin and over Satan as that of winning a battle, which it really is.

4. For Thou shalt break the yoke of their burden and the staff on their shoulders,
The rod of their oppressor, as at the battle of Midian.

When we submit ourselves to the rule of Jesus Christ over our lives, then God breaks the yoke of the burden of the sins in our lives and those brought on by the cares of the world.

At the battle of Midian, Gideon with 300 men defeated the armies of Midian who numbered 132,000.

So shall God break the power of Satan and his army from ruling over us; but we have to submit to God's rules, just as Gideon had to submit in order to win the battle, for God fought the battle for him, and He will fight it for us as well.

All that the enemy has is only good for burning:

5. For every boot of the booted warrior in the battle tumult,
And cloak rolled in blood, will be for burning, fuel for the fire.

Then Isaiah, 700 years before Jesus Christ's birth, tells how He will come as a child, a gift for all who will accept Him; how He will rule as a king; and the fact that He is Himself, God.

6. For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
And the government will rest on His shoulders;
And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.

7. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace,
On the throne of David and over his kingdom,
To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness
From then on and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this.

My beloved brethren, hear the Word of the Lord. Submit to His authority. Let Him rule over your life and fight your battles for you.

If you still have some doubts, know for certain that the Lord Jesus Christ, Himself, quoted from the book of Isaiah, to show that the prophet was writing of Him. We saw this in our New Testament lesson for today.

Let's take another look at these Luke verses (Luke 4:18 and 19) which came from Isaiah 61.

18. "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor.
He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives,
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set free those who are downtrodden,

19. To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord."

Then after Jesus had read this passage, he gave the book back to the attendant and said, "Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing." (Luke 4:16-22)

And today this message has been repeated in our presence; but did we hear it?

There are things in everyone’s life that we have not submitted to God, and thus we are being held captive by them.

Jesus Christ came to set us free, and He has the power and the authority to do it.

As an example, our habits upon which we have become dependant are in fact idols before God; for the desire of our hearts are craving them, and that is to serve them.

And ponder the true nature of these habits and idols in our lives and ask ourselves:

Do they bring peace and justice to God's creation, or do they bring harm to a fellow human being, to an animal, or the environment in which we all live?

Do they free the human and animal captives in the world around us?

If any of these answers are negative, then these habits are holding us captive, too, but Jesus Christ came to set us free, if we will submit to his authority.

And if we don't submit to His authority, are we really part of His kingdom?

Unfortunately, the answer is no.

But God loves us very much, and He wants all of us to enter His kingdom. He doesn't want any of us to be lost.

But God is also holy and righteous; thus He will not permit His kingdom to be contaminated with our sins.

This is why we all need Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of our lives, for He will give us entry into heaven, it we submit to His will and authority.

If you have never submitted totally to Jesus Christ, then do it now.

He is right here to receive you and set you free.

He loves you very much!