Acts1: 1-8

Written by kathleen on Oct 26, 2014 in - No Comments

Acts 1: 1-8

Acts of the Apostles

 1 In my former book, Theophilus I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach 2 until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen.

Luke’s Gospel describes only the beginning of Jesus’ work; Acts describes its continuation; and the work of Jesus continues to our present day.

Luke is accepted to be, the author of this account of history. Thus the former account or treatise (a formal and systematic exposition in writing of the principles of a subject, generally longer and more detailed than an essay) would be a reference to the gospel according to Luke.

Now from Paul’s epistles Colossians 4:4 we know that Luke was a physician and that he accompanied Paul on his missionary journeys and was with Paul during his imprisonment in Rome. He was he was a careful historian and the only Gentile to write a New Testament book.  He wrote two of them.  The Acts of the Apostles and of course the gospel according to Luke.

He is writing to Theophilus who according to early tradition was a very wealthy and influential Roman officer.  He came from the city of Antioch and had turned his basilica over for the church use.

It is thought Theophilus bought Luke’s freedom in order that he might accompany Paul and take care of Paul’s medical needs while he was going on extensive travel in taking the Gospel on into Asia Minor and of course on over into Greece and to Rome.

There are other stories that say Theophilus was really not a person at all or that was not his real name but that Luke gave him as a pseudonym.

The word means lover of God.  So to hide his identity he just called him the Lover of God.

You can take this account quite personally if you are a lover of God; this was written for your benefit and for your information. 

The Book of Acts is the continuation of the life of Jesus and the gospel story but it doesn’t stop at the end of chapter 28; the story goes on.

Even today Africa and South America are experiencing revival. And only now are we beginning to discover the depth and breadth of the church in China and the explosion of Christianity in Muslim controlled countries around the world. Jesus life goes on and is changing the world one person at a time. That’s what makes being a Christian so exciting because you and I get to write the history of the church as it happens today!

Pastor Bob,

I am writing because I am soooooo excited! As you know I have been faithful in following what I felt was God’s calling to do missions work in Uganda. I have prayed for several years especially since I was retired from teaching. The group I contacted over there did not respond with much interest and just kept saying they would look for a place where I might fit in, but I had this strong urge to keep looking that there was something out there where I was needed. I prayed God’s will not mine be done.

I looked at a web site that lists many different ads for missions. I went through about 100 of them and was just about to shut it down and noticed one called “Loving One By One” in Uganda that wanted English Teachers and a Teacher Trainer. I taught over 3,000 teachers when I lived in Uganda and am certified in English for Speakers of Other Languages. I e-mailed them and within an hour received a message back that they were very happy to receive my interest in their program.

She called me the next day and after one and a half hours we confirmed that this was a perfect fit. To confirm it to me I had looked up airfares the night before and possible dates just in case. It turns out that that is the exact date they are going over with a missions group for 2 weeks. I will join the group and do a variety of things included a deworming clinic, working with previous prostitutes, and street evangelizing. After that I will go to their guest house and live with three other women.

I’ll work with the teachers there with primary children for 3 days and travel on bus 2 days to Kampala to work with the older children in grades 5 and 6 and the teachers on Ugandan History possibly. I have some background and resources in that topic.

God put this all in my head seriously about three weeks ago and I put my house up for rent for January-March. I had it rented the very next day.  The last week I have been wrapping Christmas presents and cleaning out closets in preparation for whatever He had in store for me. Now I know that I was truly discerning His voice and not my own.

My family is all upset with me because of Ebola, but I told them I know God is in control and I have no fear. Besides that the people in Spain and east Europe are closer to it than I would be in Uganda.

I know this was lengthy, but I had to share this joy with you! I’ll see you tomorrow.

Blessings, Jan

The former account is the Gospel of Luke. At one time the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts were joined together as one book with two “volumes (before & after his ascension)

Imagine what it would be like if the Book of Acts were missing. You would pick up your Bible and see the ministry of Jesus ending in the Gospel of John; next you would read about a guy named Paul writing to followers of Jesus in Rome.

Who was Paul? How did the gospel get from Jerusalem to Rome? Who was Timothy and Titus? How did the gospel end up in Galatia, Ephesus, and Colossi and all over that part of the world?

The Book of Acts answers these questions and more as it opens up the New Testament and takes us up to about 60 or 61 A.D!

The last verse of Luke’s gospel tells of the ascension of Jesus into heaven as He went with His disciples as far as the Mount of Olives so the first few verses of Acts are equivalent to the last verses of Luke.  So he sort of gives you a little bridge between the last few verses of Luke and the first few verses of Acts

v.1 …both to do and teach, that’s always the divine order—doing first, and then teaching. If you want to impact your children, if you want to have power in ministry, follow this simple principle: Do it before you teach it. Our Lord moved with incredible authority, and those who heard Him were “astonished at his doctrine” because He didn’t only teach the Word theoretically, He lived it out before them practically.                    

3 After his suffering, he showed himself (was seen by KJV) to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.

After His Resurrection, Jesus “dropped in” on His disciples over a period of forty days, causing them to understand that even though they would no longer see Him visibly, He would be in their midst in reality

The Greek word for “seen” is optanomai, from which we get our word ophthalmologist, or eye doctor. It literally means in red neck terms Jesus was being “eyeballed” by them, or “stared at, and “scrutinized.” The disciples didn’t just glance at Jesus with casual looks. No, they stared at Him.

In 1 Corinthians 15:6, Paul describes one of these many infallible proofs: He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the presentNot only did His disciples see Him, there were more than five hundred people at one time who had seen the resurrected Jesus, and most of them were alive some twenty-five years later in the days of Paul!

We might not hear Jesus audibly or see Him visibly as the disciples did, but He continues to speak to us “of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God” concerning His promises and the inheritance we have as his children; as well as how to live in this world and not be a part of it!

 4 On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” Acts 1:6-8 6 So when they met together, they asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Jesus knew that they really could do nothing effective for the Kingdom of God until the Holy Spirit came.

These verses provide just another of the many “Trinity in Miniature” examples. Jesus tells of the Promise of the Father, which is the coming of the Holy Spirit.

The idea of being baptized is to be immersed or covered over in something; even as John baptized people in water, so these disciples would soon be “immersed” in the Holy Spirit.

As Jesus was saying, but wait in the city of Jerusalem until you are empowered with power from on high.  They were to wait for this promise of the Holy Spirit being poured out on all of them.

Now that was a one time experience of waiting for the Holy Spirit or tarrying (kjv) for the Holy Spirit, God was not establishing a pattern for the receiving of the Holy Spirit; though some Pentecostal churches have taken that up. They have what they call, “tarrying meetings”, where people gather and they pray and they tarry or wait for the Holy Spirit.

But that is not really Biblical or scriptural!

Once the Holy Spirit was given on the Day of Pentecost there was never again a command to wait for the Holy Spirit or to tarry for the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit was given as a gift to the church by indwelling the believer at the time of salvation by the believing of faith of an individual.

As a gift of God, we can also receive by faith a fresh filling or coming upon of God’s Holy Spirit with the same believing expectations of salvation!

Always for the purpose of being His witnesses!

Luke 11:13 If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

There is so much confusion today about the baptism of the Spirit. Many times people get hung up and miss out because they don’t understand there are three relationships Jesus talked about that a person can and should have with the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit with You In John 14:17, Jesus said to His disciples, “The Holy Spirit is with you, but He shall be in you.” Those prepositions are important. The Holy Spirit is with a person when He begins to talk to that person about becoming a believer (parakletos to come beside)

You never would have been born again unless the Holy Spirit had been with you, whispering, “God loves you. You’re a sinner, but Jesus died in your place.” Whether it was through a meeting at church, or at a crusade, whether it was over the radio or through a friend, it was the Holy Spirit with you who began to tug on the strings of your heart, drawing you to salvation.

The Bible says in Romans 3:11 “There is none that seeks after God,” John 1:13 “We are born again not of the will of man, but of God”.                            

A person can’t, on his own, say, “I think I’ll be born again.”  The only way someone can be born again is for God to choose to send His Holy Spirit to work with him. If the Holy Spirit had not been with you, you could not have been born again.

 The Holy Spirit in You When you opened your heart to Jesus, and you were born again; the Holy Spirit came into you and He indwelled you…John 14:16-18 I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever- 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.

In John 20:21-22 Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. At that point the disciples had the Holy Spirit in them, just as He is in every one of you who has been born again it is the Holy Spirit working in you that conforms you into the image of Jesus.  He is the one who gives you the power to be like Christ and to do the works of Christ

Luke 24:49.He instructed them to go to Jerusalem and wait for the promise of the Father  Then in Acts 1:8 They were there waiting for the promise of the Father which is the third relationship Jesus spoke of concerning the Spirit.

The Holy Spirit upon You The Spirit of God is available not only to work with you to become a Christian, or to come into your life to be a helper and a guide once you open your heart to Him, but He is now available to come upon your life and to empower with a dynamic power to see your own upside down world turned right-side up.

In the Old Testament, when the Holy Spirit came upon men like Moses, David, Gideon, Ezekiel, and Samson it was to empower them for service.

So, too, Jesus said to His disciples, “The Spirit is in you, but when the Spirit comes upon you, you will be empowered for unique ministry and service, to be My witnesses”

So it was that these born-again disciples, one hundred twenty in number, huddled together in the Upper Room for ten days waiting and praying with one accord suddenly; on the Day of Pentecost, they heard the sound of a mighty rushing wind.

 Why wind? Both Hebrew and Greek have one word for wind, and it also means both breath and spirit! So when we read the breath of Jesus upon His disciples in John 20 and the mighty rushing wind filled the room, in Acts 2 they are both illustrations of the Spirit.

The same is true today. The Spirit of God is available not only to work with you to become a Christian, and to come into you once you open your heart to Him, but also to come upon your life and to empower you to accomplish what ever it might be for His glory!

The term The baptism of the Holy Spirit is the inner working of the out flowing of God’s love from your life with a powerful dynamic that touches the world around you. (Being a witness sharing God’s love)

There is a difference between being filled and overflowing with the Holy Spirit!

The coming upon of the Holy Spirit is what transformed 12 every day people into world renowned individuals What do you have to do to receive or appropriate this gift?

The same thing you did to become a Christian.…You have the Holy Spirit. The question is: Does the Holy Spirit have you?