Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider
31 May 2022

Live transmission of ascension divine service, conducted by Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider from Kunzelsau Germany, on Thursday May 26th, 2022.

Text word:  John 7:33 Then Jesus said to them, “I shall be with you a little while longer, and then I go to Him who sent Me.

Bible reading:  Mark 16:14-19 Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table…

Faith in the ascension of Jesus Christ
The ascension transmission service was a unique experience and an encounter with our heavenly Father through the message of our dear Chief Apostle.  It was a blessed divine service being an unusual day to experience transmitted divine services and a work day in Nigeria.  New Apostolic Christians in the country gathered together in fellowship with brothers and sisters in their respective congregations and those connected worldwide via the internet.  At the beginning of the divine service, Chief Apostle expressed his thanks to God, for making a regular divine service possible after a long while, where brothers and sisters could have fellowship without restrictions.

He welcomed sisters and brothers to the divine service and stated that partaking in the day of ascension is a confession to our faith in Jesus Christ.  It is a central part of our faith. Jesus died, resurrected and He went up to heaven. The ascension is the final point of His presence here in this world.  Without ascension the resurrection will not be completed. Both are linked very close together. Ascension is not the end of the life of Christ. It is our hope and our goal.  Jesus mentioned very often, that He goes to the Father. Christ came from the Father; He is the Son of God. He returned back to His place of glory.  Christ became a human being. A new point in salvation was made.  Christ as a real human being, He came to the earth and as a real human being He ascended into heaven to have fellowship with God.  A human being in eternal fellowship with God was first exemplified by Christ. He opened the way for all human beings to have the possibility to return into eternal fellowship with God. Without ascension resurrection will not be complete.  Christ promised to plea the father for the Holy Spirit which will remain with the disciples always.  With the new body of resurrection, Jesus could move from place to place but when He ascended into heaven, He could be everywhere. He is omnipresent and omnipotent.  Jesus loves His disciples. He promised to return and take them with him to be where He is, in fellowship with God. Jesus loves his people even in heaven. He intercedes for them and He is with them through the Holy spirit. He will return to take us back with him to heaven.

What does the ascension of Christ mean for the congregation?
The ascension of Jesus Christ marks the beginning of the time of faith. We can’t see Jesus anymore unlike the disciples who saw Him and believed He was the messiah, that He was the Son of God. They saw Christ pray in the beginning and do wonders and proclaim He is the Son of God. They had to believe that.  After the resurrection of Christ only a few saw Him. After the ascension, the disciples were not able to see Him anymore, they had to believe.  Definition of faith in the bible is: Not doubting the things you cannot see.  Ascension day is the beginning of our believe, those who want to have fellowship with Jesus Christ will have to believe in Him without seeing Him with their eyes.  Jesus loves the people; He want to meet the people. This can also happen in our faith.  We can meet Jesus in our faith, in word and in the sacrament. Whenever we hear the sermon of the gospel. When we partake in the divine service, we experience the admonishment of the lord through His words. We have an encounter with the Lord. To those who have faith, they will experience connection with God through their faith. We also have a connection to God in the Holy communion where we experience the presence of the Lord.  We can meet Jesus Christ in the fellowship among the faithful people, among our congregation. He promised us, everywhere we meet in His name, He will be among us. It doesn’t matter our social class or health status when we meet. Only one thing matters, congregating in the name of Jesus.

Why do we meet in the name of Jesus?
We do not necessarily meet because we have the same faith or because we are New Apostolic Christians. There is more to our meeting. Whenever we are together, we know we have gathered in the name of Jesus Christ, because He Has called us, because we have a task, because we work for Him. In the name of the Lord, we have a special encounter. There we can feel the presence of Jesus Christ in our faith.  Jesus Has promised to be among us when we come together in His name and pray together in His name. We are the children of God and we are aware we also have a task like Christ when He was sent to us here on earth. We have also been sent to this world to serve the lord. We go through trials and difficult times like everyone else. We go through everything connected to human beings, just like Christ Who suffered through everything.  Like Christ in the world we need to have absolute faith in God and absolute connection with Him and nothing can turn us apart. We trust in God in all situation and sort to fellowship with Him.

We are sent to serve the Lord! How should we do that?
Always talk about the gospel of Jesus Christ, not only being close to God but proclaiming the gospel by allowing the word of Jesus Christ to live in us and be spread among people.  God need those who will carry His message from one generation to another.  And for this He needs us.  We are here to spread the word of God as Christ tarries.  We are to serve those around us by following the examples of Jesus Christ.  Let us partake in the joy and suffering of our brothers and sisters in the congregation and our neighbors. Do not have a consumer expectation. We gather to help and serve each other.  The Lord is always with everyone. He loves us.

Christ is coming back again:
Jesus Christ Has gone to be with the Father and He Has promised to return. When He returns he shall fetch us home to be with Him in eternity.  He will return the same way He resurrected and ascended into heaven. He will take us to Himself. He will take those who have managed to do their task. We may not be able to work like Christ, but He expects us to work until He returns. To serve the Lord and serve your neighbor. Work for Jesus until the end, believe in His words.    He will return and take back to himself those who have His first love and love his neighbors. In conclusion, the chief Apostle said: Everything will be perfect at the return of Christ. Then we will have the power to serve all those whom we love so much. Ascension Day, Our future. Not only the end of our life on earth but also the highest point.

Apostle Thomas Deubel from Switzerland and Apostle Ralf Vicariesmann from Northern and Eastern Germany were called to assist in the divine service.