Mark wrote by THE SPIRIT in chapter 16:

9 Now when He rose early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had cast seven demons.

10 She went and told those who had been with Him, as they mourned and wept.

11 And when they heard that He was alive and had been seen by her, they did not believe.

12 After that, He appeared in another form to two of them as they walked and went into the country.

13 And they went and told it to the rest, but they did not believe them either.

14 Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen.

The disciples spent 3 ½ years with Jesus, heard His Words concerning The Kingdom, and saw a multitude of miracles, yet they continued to have a heart issue.  Their unbelief and hardness of heart caused them to be rebuked by Our Lord Jesus Christ.  In Acts chapter 9, it is written by THE SPIRIT:

3 As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven.

4 Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”

5 And he said, “Who are You, Lord?”  Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.”

Paul later wrote by THE SPIRIT in 1 Corinthians chapter 15:

3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,

4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,

5 and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve.

6 After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep.

7 After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles.

8 Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.

All of these men and women had face-to-face encounters with Jesus after His resurrection.  Since then, many more have testified of their face-to-face encounters with Jesus.  T.L. Osborn stated that Jesus entered his room and spent six hours with Him which changed his life and ministry forever.  Others have seen Him and received both salvation and healing at the same time as The Word was being preached.

It is written by THE SPIRIT in Hebrews chapter 13:

8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Is Jesus willing to appear before you and me face to face?  Is He reluctant to have such an intimate relationship with us who desire to be called His brethren?  Absolutely not!  Why hasn’t He appeared to those who seek Him on a daily basis?  I would suggest there is a lack of expectation in most cases.  This is why I am directing your attention to the above passages where He appeared to many after His resurrection. 

We are not told specifically who were included in the five hundred Paul mentioned but you can be assured they were not reluctant to testify of their encounter.  Over the years, Jesus has appeared to many for various and sundry reasons.  Before Paul was saved, he could not see the face of Jesus, but instead Jesus appeared in a bright light.

Unbelief and hardness of heart are the issues keeping us from having an intimate face to face encounter with Jesus.  As members of The Bride, shouldn’t we long for and seek such a face-to-face encounter with The Groom?  There are those who would have us believe that we must wait for some future date or season to have such an experience yet the above passages prove otherwise.

Unbelief and hardness of heart are corrected by the revelation of Agape Love.  As we increase in this revelation, our hearts will become tender and pliable which allows for the intimacy with Our Lord.  Our hearts must be circumcised and have the hardness removed.  As we press into this revelation, all unbelief is exposed and removed so that we can present ourselves spotless for His appearing.

There are those who are always learning and listening to anybody who will teach them, but never able to come to the knowledge of the Truth (2 Timothy 3:7).  Let us not be gullible to those who fall into this category.  Let us seek the Truth in Love as we seek an intimate face-to-face relationship with Our Lord Jesus Christ.

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