and its IMPLICATIONS for TODAY
By Dr. Peter Hammond
Recently, I was asked by a Christian leader:
"Why is there so much corruption, crime and violence in our
society? Why is there so much immorality, even in the church?
Why are we seeing so many moral failures and scandals
amongst leaders in business, in every level of government
and even in the church?"
My answer is that these are the inevitable consequences
of the spirit of our age:
Antinomianism, the rejection of God's moral Law,
inevitably leads to lawlessness,
where every man does what is right in his own eyes.
Egalitarianism, the rejection of authority and lack of respect for
elders, produces a self-centred and selfish society.
Evolutionism and its denial of the Creator,
and therefore of accountability to Almighty God on Judgement
Day, erodes the very foundations of Christian civilisation.
Foundational truths have been ignored and vital pillars
of Christian civilisation have been eroded.
What we are seeing today are the inevitable out-workings
of false doctrines being introduced, tolerated, accepted,
and in many cases, even celebrated.
One of the great problems of our age is the separating of
Salvation from the Lordship of Jesus Christ. It is the Lord Jesus
Christ alone who can save us. We cannot accept Jesus as
Saviour without submitting to Him as Lord.
Those who preach a cheap grace and an easy believism,
betray an inadequate understanding of the problem of sin,
the nature of God, Christ's Mission on earth and our purpose
and calling as Christians.
It would not have been
sufficient for Moses to
have proclaimed to the
Hebrews, who were
slaves, that they should
accept that in Yahweh
they had perfect
freedom, whilst leaving
in bondage and under
the whip of slavery in
Anything less than deliverance from Egypt
and freedom from the bondage of slavery,
would have been inadequate.
God's eternal purposes required the people of Israel to survive the
Passover, leave Egypt, cross through the Red Sea and be
established as a free people in the Promised Land.
Sin is serious.
We are all far too tolerant
Yet, sin is more defiling
more dangerous than
an unexploded bomb.
life threatening than a
deadly disease and more
insidious than a virus.
"Seek the Lord
while He may be found,
call upon Him
while He is near.
Let the wicked
forsake his way,
and the unrighteous man
let him return to the Lord
and He will have mercy
and to our God,
for He will
'For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
nor are your ways My ways', says the Lord.
'For as the Heavens are higher than the earth,
so are My ways higher than your ways
and My thoughts than your thoughts'."
Compromise and cowardice
have catastrophic consequences.
We can recognise the out-workings of the classic tactics of
"corrupt and conquer" and "confuse, divide and conquer."
All too many have been deceived,
distracted, divided and disarmed.
There are those who are openly advocating
the destruction of Christian civilisation.
Yet, in the face of these disastrous developments,
the response of all too many Christian leaders has been
compromise and cowardice!
Where the Battle Rages There Your
Loyalty is Proved
Dr. Martin Luther declared: "If I profess with the loudest voice, and
clearest exposition, every portion of the Truth of God, except precisely
that point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking,
then I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Him.
Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved;
and to be steady on all the battlefront besides is mere flight
and disgrace if he flinches at that point."
Ascension Day points us to the solution to all these problems.
Ascension Day deals with Authority.
"Christ has gone into Heaven and is at the right hand of God,
angels and authorities and powers having been made
subject to Him." 1 Peter 3:22
The trouble is that today, most Christians just want to stop with
Christmas. Christmas celebrates the greatest Gift of all
- the Advent of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Incarnation of Christ, when God took on human form and
was born in Bethlehem, is very important, but many would prefer
to think of Christ as the Babe in a manger, rather than as the
Risen, Ascended, Sovereign Lord reigning on High.
Yet the classic Christmas
"For unto us a Child is
born, unto us a Son is
and the Government
will be upon His
And His Name will be
Father, Prince of
Peace. Of the increase
of His Government
and peace there will
be no end."
Many like the idea of "a Child is born",
but they would like to stop there and edit out
"the Government will be upon His shoulder… Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His
Government and peace there will be no end.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this."
That is too intimidating. Too threatening. Too intrusive.
It has implications for every area of life. We like a God of love
and mercy who answers our prayers, and provides all our needs.
However, we are not too comfortable with a Holy God
who sees everything, even the thoughts of our hearts,
and who is the Eternal Judge we must give an account to.
We live in a society where God's Government is de-capitalised
and man's civil government is capitalised!
Many people who will put a small "g" for Gospel,
will put a capital "G" for their civil government !
When we refer to "the Government."
we should only be referring to God, who is the One who
determines whether we live, and when we die.
He is the One
who governs the universe
and determines the seasons.
God alone is all-knowing,
and all powerful.
All human authority is limited, it is delegated by God and is
answerable to Almighty God.
We will all have to bow before Christ and give an account of our
lives, and of every word ever spoken, on that last, dreadful Day of
Each one of us have an appointment. "It is appointed for men to
die once, but after this the Judgement." Hebrews 9:27
The second most
important holiday in
the Christian calendar
is Good Friday -
when we solemnly
Atonement of our
Lord Jesus Christ, His
great sacrifice on the
Cross of Calvary.
He suffered, bled and died for our sins.
He endured the punishment we deserve - so that we could enjoy
the reward that only He deserves.
This should inspire us afresh to repentance, thanksgiving, and
consecration. In view of God's mercies, we should "present your
bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God…" Romans 12:1
However, many Christians stop there. They worship Jesus as the
suffering Saviour. Roman Catholics have crucifixes depicting
Christ suffering on the Cross.
Protestants have tended to reject crucifixes.
To us Christ is no longer suffering on the Cross.
We have a simple, plain, rugged Cross, because Christ is
no longer on the Cross. He is the Risen, Ascended, victorious,
King of kings and Lord of lords, reigning on High.
The third great Christian holiday event is
This is a joyous celebration of the victory of Christ
over death, hell and the grave.
Christ Jesus is Risen
from the dead!
He is alive forevermore!
Death is defeated.
and the Life.
Our Lord and Saviour has been "Declared to be the Son of God
with power according to the Spirit of Holiness, by the
Resurrection from the dead." Romans 1:4
All the founders of religions are dead. You can visit the graves of
Muhammad, Buddha, Confucius, Marx and Lenin.
. But in Jerusalem there is an empty tomb. "He is not here; He is
Risen!" Luke 24:6. "…raised for our justification." Romans 4:25
It is absolutely vital that we include Ascension Day and
Pentecost Sunday also into our Christian calendar.
This is what is all too often missing.
40 Days after Resurrection Sunday,
we celebrate the Ascension of Christ into Heaven.
He is alive forevermore and He is exalted
and enthroned at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.
He is above every other name and authority
in Heaven and on earth.
Jesus Christ is the King of kings and
the Lord of lords.
We have an Advocate in Heaven.
He hears our prayers.
He will crush all His enemies. He will come again.
Therefore we must go and make disciples of all nations.
It is most significant that some governments have seen fit to
abolish the long-established Ascension Day as a public holiday.
Ascension Day deals with authority.
"All authority in Heaven and on earth has been given to Me.
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations… teaching
them to obey everything I have commanded you…"
Lordship of Christ
in all areas of life.
Jesus has all
Christ is Lord over
the world of
Jesus Christ is Lord over the schools, shops, cinemas, factories,
hospitals, law courts and parliament.
There is no area of life that is outside of His authority.
Every doctor, teacher, policeman, businessman, parliamentarian,
factory worker, farmer, mother, father, magistrate and supreme
court judge will have to individually stand before Almighty God on
the Day of Judgment and give an account of our lives.
The Ascension celebrates the vindication and victory of Christ.
No doubt the high priest, Caiaphas, king Herod
and the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate,
thought that they were very important and powerful people.
Yet these religious and political leaders are only remembered
today because they arrogantly dismissed, and unjustly
condemned, Christ Jesus.
They did not recognise that they were condemning to death the
Creator, the Giver of life, the Eternal Judge, before Whom each
one of them must stand. "You have ascended on high, You
have led captivity captive…" Psalm 68:18
The emperor Augustus, who issued the decree that a census
should be taken of the entire Roman world, requiring everyone to
return to their town of birth, could not have realised at that time
that the Baby born to third class subjects in faraway Judea would
one day Judge him.
"The Lord said to My Lord, 'Sit at My right hand till I make
Your enemies Your footstool'." Psalm 110:1.
Those that refused to bow to Christ as Saviour and Lord today,
in the day of Grace, when forgiveness is freely available,
will one day be forced to bow to Christ
as the Eternal Judge
- when the day of Grace will be ended,
when they will be condemned to hell forever.
"He shall execute kings in the day of His wrath. He shall
judge among the nations, He shall fill the places with dead
bodies. He shall execute the heads of many countries."
The question is not: Will you bow to Christ?
But When will you bow to Christ?
Will you bow to Christ as Saviour and Lord today, or will you only
bow to Christ as your Judge on the Day of Judgment?
"Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him
the Name which is above every name, that at that Name of
Jesus every knee should bow, of those in Heaven,
and of those on earth,
and of those under
and that every tongue
should confess that
Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the Glory of God
There is no authority above that of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Every knee will bow before Him. Compared to Christ the kings
and presidents of this world are as nothing.
Every knee will bow
and every tongue
that Jesus Christ is Lord
to the Glory of God
and Pontius Pilate.
This includes Caesar Augustus and Nero.
This includes Muhammad, Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin.
On several occasions while witnessing to Muslims, I have heard
Muslims declare: "I believe as Muhammad believes!"
At this I normally reply: "Then you must become a Christian."
"But Muhammad did not believe in Jesus." they will reply.
"No, he did not then. But he does believe now!" I reply.
The Ascension is a great comfort to believers
who suffer persecution.
"Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has
passed through the Heavens, Jesus the Son of God,
let us hold fast our confession.
For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathise with
our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are,
yet without sin.
Let us therefore come boldly to the Throne of Grace that we
may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need."
We have an Advocate in Heaven.
He hears our prayers.
He ever lives to make intercession for us.
He will come again. He will crush all His enemies.
Therefore we should not fear governments,
popes or councils.
We must not bow before idols,
nor may we compromise
the essential principles of our Faith.
Though Christ is physically absent from the earth, yet,
through His Holy Spirit, He is spiritually present.
He is all-knowing, everywhere-present and all-powerful.
"For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet."
1 Corinthians 15:25
The Vision of Daniel
"But there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets… This great image,
whose splendour was excellent, stood… a Stone was cut out without
hands, which struck the image on its feet of iron and clay,
and broke them in pieces…
And the Stone that struck
the image became
a great mountain
and filled the whole earth…
And in the days of these kings the
God of Heaven will set up a
Kingdom which shall never be
and the Kingdom shall not be
left to other people;
it shall break in pieces and
consume all these kingdoms,
and it shall stand forever."
The Lord Jesus Christ
"The Stone which the
builders rejected has
become the chief
Cornerstone. Whoever falls
on that Stone will be broken;
but on whomever it falls, it
will grind him to powder.“
In Moscow, about 900m North East of Red Square,
Lubyanka building with statue of Felix Dzerzhinsky – KGB
In Lubyanka Square, a huge statue of Felix Dzerzhinsky,
the founder of the Cheka, which later became the KGB,
was erected in 1958.
The Statue and the Stone
This statue was directly in front of the Lubyanka, the notorious
Headquarters of the KGB, wherein many Christians were interrogated,
tortured and murdered.
In 1991, the statue of Dzerzhinsky was removed
from the Solovki Monastery from Solovetski Island,
which had been the first prototype Concentration Camp
of the Soviet Union,
The symbolism of the Victory of Christ over Communism is striking.
"And whoever falls on that Stone will be broken; but
on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder."
The Ascension is a wonderful reminder and
assurance to us that: "The earth will be filled
with the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters
cover the sea." Habakkuk 2:14
The Ascension proclaims Christ's glorious triumph and His
future return on the Day of Judgement.
Therefore, we as Christians should return to observing
Ascension Day as a Holy Day to our Faith
and applying its implications into every area of life.
"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God,
that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy,
acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed
by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is
that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Ascension Day calls us to committed discipleship and
consistent obedience. We need to take up our cross,
forsake the world and follow Christ.
Israel could not fulfil its calling by remaining in bondage in Egypt.
Neither can we effectively
serve God today,
if we remain conformed to
this world, in bondage to its
sins and idolatries.
. Attempting to accept the
benefits of Jesus
while denying His
authority as Lord
over all areas of our lives,
That is why we need to go beyond celebrating Christmas,
worshipping the Babe in the manger.
We need to go beyond accepting the Atonement for our sins
and recognise that Jesus Christ is Risen, Ascended,
reigning on High, King of kings and Lord of lords.
He will come again to Judge the living and the dead.
"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.“
Do you fear God?
as your Lord and
Are you studying His Word and seeking to faithfully
apply Biblical principles to all areas of life?
Let us go back to the Bible for Reformation
Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus
Christ is Lord to the Glory of God the Father!
PO Box 74