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Doctrine of Ascension and Session

December 18, 2010

The Doctrine of the Ascension
The Ascension of Christ was the vertical transfer of our Lord’s true humanity from planet earth to the third
heaven in a resurrection body. It demonstrates the vertical travel capability of the resurrection body through the
earth’s atmousphere, the galaxies of the stellar universe, and billions of light years in an instant, and then entering
the third heaven where the throne of God is.
The original languages of Scripture teach that there are 3 levels of heaven. (1) 1st heaven: Earth’s
atmousphere. (2) 2nd heaven: Stellar universe. (3) 3rd heaven: Abode of God, the angels and the dead believers.
This multiplicity of heavens is indicated in Hebrews 4:14 where our Lord at His Ascension is said to have “passed
through the heavens” (accusative masculine plural noun ouranos). The 1st and 2nd heaven are not specifically
mentioned but the 3rd heaven is discussed in 2 Corinthians 12:2. Logically speaking, it is evident that there cannot
be a 3rd heaven without also a 1st and 2nd heaven. The 1st heaven is the earth’s atmousphere which surrounds the
earth and is composed of the following 7 layers: (1) Troposphere (2) Stratosphere (3) Mesosphere (4)
Thermosphere (5) Exosphere (6) Ionosphere (7) Magnetosphere.
Our Lord at His Ascension passed through the earth’s atmousphere, i.e., the 1st heaven (Acts 1:9-11). An
invisible war is taking place in the Church Age between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of darkness
throughout the 7 layers of the earth’s atmousphere as part of the angelic conflict (Dan. 10:20; Eph. 2:2; 6:11-17)
and will visibly manifest itself during the Tribulation period (Rev. 6-19). Satan is called in the Greek, “ton archonta
tes exousias tou aeros, “the ruler of the power of the air” (Eph. 2:2). He has tes exousias, “the authority or the
power” over the earth’s atmousphere. He is archon tou kosmou toutou, “the ruler of this world” (John 12:31;
14:30; 16:11).
The 2nd heaven is the stellar universe or space which consists of a vast array of stars, moons, suns, galaxies
and solar systems. Angelic beings populate the stellar universe. The pre-historic battleground of the angelic conflict
stretches into this region known as the 2nd heaven. In astronomy the stellar universe is referred to as the cosmos.
The cosmos contain the entire physical universe consisting of all objects and phenomena observed and postulated as
well invisible angelic beings. The principal components of the universe are the galaxies, stars and stellar
groupings, and nebulae. Substantially smaller components include the solar system and any other assemblage of
planets, satellites, comets, and meteoroids revolving around a central stellar body that may exist among the
millions of galaxies. The universe also contains gravitational fields and various forms of radiation.
The 3rd heaven was also created by the Lord Jesus Christ (Psa. 102:25; 115:15; 124:8; 134:3; Isa. 45:12;
51:13; Jer. 32:17; Zech. 12:1; John 1:3; Col. 1:16-17; Heb. 1:10). The Scriptures teach that the 3rd heaven is the
abode of the Trinity (Gen. 14:19, 22; 23:3, 7; 1 Kings 8:30, 49; 2 Chron. 6:21, 30; Neh. 1:4-5; 2:4, 20; Psa.
11:4; 20:6; 33:14; 103:19; Isa. 63:.5; 66:1; Matt. 5:34; Luke 16:9; John 14:1-3; Acts 1:11; 7:56; 2 Cor. 12:2;
Heb. 2:10; Rev. 19:14). The 3rd heaven is located billions and billions of light years away from the earth above the
1st and 2nd heavens. A light-year in astronomy is the distance traveled by light moving in a vacuum in the course of
1 year, at its velocity of 186,282 miles per second. A light-year equals about 5.878 x 10,000,000,000,000 miles, or
63,240 astronomical units. Therefore, the humanity of Christ in hypostatic union travelled billions and billions of
light years passing through the 1st, 2nd and 3rd heavens by means of divine omnipotence in order to arrive at the
right hand of God the Father in order to receive power, rank and authority over all creation and its intelligences.
The ascension of Christ occured 40 days after His resurrection. He remained on earth for 40 days in order to
confirm the fact that He had indeed risen from the dead as He prophesied many times in His earthly ministry during
His 1st Advent. The ascension of Christ was a visible event and in a public place. It took place on the Mount of
Olives in Jerusalem where He will again return at His 2nd Advent which occurs at the end of the Tribulation period.
Luke is the only 1 of the NT writers who gives a detail description of the event. Our Lord’s ascension brought to a
conclusion His earthly ministry and not the resurrection. The dispensation of the hypostatic union concludes with
the resurrection, ascension and session of Christ. There are 2 Christocentric Dispensations: (1) Hypostatic Union:
The Birth of Christ to His death, resurrection, ascension and session. (2) The Church Age: Day of Pentecost in 32
A.D. to the Rapture. It was our Lord’s ascension is the 3rd major event in relation to the appeal trial of Satan. There
are 5 major events in relation to the appeal trial of Satan: (1) Spiritual Death of Christ (2) Resurrection (3)
Ascension (4) Triumphal Procession (5) Session.
A trial has 3 phases: (1) Formal presentation of the case: Prosecution presents its case, followed by the
defense. (2) Rebuttal Phase: The rebuttal arguments of the prosecution followed by the rebuttal arguments of the
defense. (3) Closing argument and summary: By the prosecution and the defense. The Formal trial in Satan’s
appeal trial corresponds to Old Testament history. The Rebuttal phase of the Proscecution (God) includes the
Christocentric dispensations: (1) The First Advent, Hypostatic Union: Virgin Birth of Christ to His death,
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resurrection, ascension and session (B.C. 4-30 A.D.), New Testament Gospels (2) The Church Age, Pentecost to
the Rapture (30 A.D.-Rapture): Pre-canon period-Book of Acts until John wrote Revelation (A.D. 30-96); Post-
Canon Period-Completion of the canon of Scripture, New Testament epistles, (96 A.D.-Rapture).
Our Lord’s voluntary substitutionary spiritual death on the cross as an impeccable human being on behalf of all
fallen creatures (both men and angels) earned Him the Title of the “Faithful and True Witness” in the appeal trial
of Satan (Rev. 3:14). Satan’s Rebuttal takes place during the 1st of the 2 Eschatalogical dispensations called the
Tribulation period which goes from the Rapture to the 2nd Advent of Christ, 7 years from the Rapture to the 2nd
Advent of Christ, Prophesied in the Old Testament, Matt. 24-25 and Rev. 6-19. The Closing argument by God as
the Prosecution takes place during the 2nd Eschatalogical dispensation called the Millennium which is the 1000 year
reign of Christ on earth following Satan’s imprisonment. God’s closing argument goes from the 2nd Advent of
Christ to the end of human history, prophesied throughout Old Testament and Revelation 20. Satan’s closing
argument is his release from prison after the Millennium & the Gog revolution (Rev. 20:7-9), resulting in the
execution of his sentence and being cast into the eternal Lake of Fire (Rev. 20:10).
The ascension of Christ is the visible manifestation that God the Father promoted the humanity of Christ in
hypostatic union to the highest position of power, rank and authority in all of creation. The ascension of the
humanity of Christ in hypostatic union declares His enthronement as cosmic ruler with authority over all creation.
Our Lord’s Ascension was a visible manifestation before the angels and mankind that the humanity of Christ in
hypostatic union was granted authority by God the Father over the following: (1) Creation (Matt. 28:18; Eph. 1:22;
Col. 1:15-17; 2:10; 1 Pet. 3:22). (2) Church as the King of kings and Lord of lords (1 Tim. 6:15; Rev. 17:14;
19:16). (3) Israel as the Son of David (Matt. 1:1; 20:30; Mark 10:47-48; Luke 1:32; 2 Tim. 2:8; Rev. 3:7; 5:5;
22:16).
The Ascension of Christ also denotes that the humanity of Christ in hypostatic union has been promoted to the
position of authority in order to conduct the following 5 jugdments: (1) Bema Seat: This takes place at the Rapture
and is actually an evaluation rather than a judgement of the Church Age believer’s “works” in order to determine if
they were done by means of divine omnipotence from the use of the 2 power options (Filling of the Spirit and
Metabolized Doctrine) resulting in divine good and rewards or whether they were accomplished in the power of the
old sin nature resulting in loss of rewards and shame and embarrassment (Rom. 14:10; 1 Cor. 3:11-15; 2 Cor. 5:10;
1 John 2:24). The believer sins will not be brought since they were already judged at the Cross. (2) Israel: This
will take on earth at the 2nd Advent of Christ taking place at the end of the Tribulation and its for the purpose of
removing unregenerate Israel from the earth leaving only regenerate Israel to enter the Millennial Kingdom of
Christ (Ezek. 20:37-38; Zech. 13:8-9; Mal. 3:2-3, 5; Matt. 25:1-30). (3) Gentiles: This judgement will also take
place at the end of the Tribulation at the 2nd Advent of Christ following the judgement of Israel and preceding the
Millennial reign of Christ and is for the purpose of removing unregenerate, anti-Semetic Gentiles from the earth
who lived during the Tribulation from those who were regenerate and pro-Israel (Matt. 25:31-46). (4) Fallen
Angels: This is the judgment of all fallen angels at the end of human history by the Lord Jesus Christ and the
Church for their rebellion against God in eternity past and will result in them being cast into the Lake of Fire (1 Cor.
6:3; 2 Pet. 2:4; Jude 6; Rev. 20:10). (5) Great White Throne: This is the judgment of all unregenerate humanity
at the end of human history for their rejection of Jesus Christ as Savior resulting in them also being cast into the
Lake of Fire (Rev. 20:11-15). Their sins will not be brought up since they were judged at the Cross. These
individuals trusted in the themselves and their own good works done in the flesh rather than on the perfect Person
and Work of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Our Lord received His third royal title as “King of kings and Lord
of lords, the bright morning star” which is a direct result of His execution of the Father’s Incarnation Plan.
The ascension of the humanity of Christ was another demonstration of divine omnipotence which characterized
the dispensation of the hypostatic union. The Great Power Demonstration of the Hypostatic Union refers to that
particular dispensation when the unique Person of our Lord Jesus Christ demonstrated the power of God by dying
for the sins of the world and rising from the dead. This resulted in the execution of the salvation plan of God for
mankind and s strategic victory over Satan in the Angelic Conflict. The Great Power Demonstration of the
Hypostatic Union is the 1st of the Christocentric Dispensations. Each of the Christocentric dispensations end in
resurrection. Christocentric means Christ centered. A dispensation is a period of time and is God’s viewpoint of
human history. A dispensation is a period of time during which a specific revelation concerning God’s mind, will,
purpose and plan is manifested and in which man is tested as to his obedience to it. The term Great Power refers to
divine omnipotence in 2 categories which are Lord in His impeccable humanity employed to execute the plan of
God for His life: (1) Spirit of God (Heb. 9:14). (2) Word of God (John 1:14).
Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary defines omnipotence, “an agency or force of unlimited power.”
God has unlimited power or He is all powerful. Our Lord’s life was a life of power (Luke 1:35; 4:36). Our Lord in
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His humanity always relied upon the omnipotence of God the Holy Spirit and Bible Doctrine resident in His soul.
He did not rely upon His deity to solve His problems or to execute the Salvation Plan of God for His life. Nor, did
He rely upon His own deity to defeat Satan. The same Divine Omnipotence that the Lord Jesus Christ relied upon to
fulfill the Protocol Plan of God for His life, we are also to rely upon to fulfill the Protocol Plan of God for our lives
here in the Church Age.
There were 2 ascensions that took place: (1) Immediate: On the day He rose from the dead (John 20:17; Luke
24:38-40). (2) Final: 40 days after the resurrection (Acts 1:8-11). The Scriptures indicate that there was an
immediate ascension of our Lord. The doctrine of an immediate ascension appears when 2 passages of Scripture are
compared (John 20:17; Luke 24:38-40). It is recorded in John 20:17 that when Christ came out of the tomb He was
met by Mary, who in ecstatic devotion would have embraced His feet and held her Lord. Christ told her not to
touch Him since He had not yet ascended to present Himself to the Father. Yet in Luke’s account of the
resurrection it is asserted that the same day in which He arose and at evening He not only appeared in the midst of
the frightened disciples, but requested that they touch Him where the nails were driven into His hands and feet.
Therefore, a comparison of Scripture reveals that He ascended to the Father during the day that He arose from the
dead. The ascension for Christ was a glorious triumphal procession into heaven ( Col. 2:15).