|Acts 1 |
1 In the former account I made, O Theophilus, I wrote of all that Jesus began to do and teach,
2 Until the day in which he was taken up, after he had given commands through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen,
3 To whom he showed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen by them for forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.
4 And, being assembled together with them, he commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father,1 "which," he said, "you have heard about from me.
5 For John truly baptized with water; but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from this time."
6 Therefore when they had come together, they asked him, saying, "Lord, will you restore the kingdom to Israel again at this time?' [This verse reveals that the disciples were still expecting a physical kingdom in Israel to be established, but Jesus is recorded as teaching them very differently, particularly as recorded by Luke 17:20-21: "Now when he was questioned by the Pharisees, as to when the kingdom of God would come, he answered them and said, 'The kingdom of God does not come with outward signs to be observed. Nor will they say, Look here!or, Look over there! For behold, the kingdom of God is within you and around you.'1" Once the disciples experienced the baptism of fire and death at Pentecost, they knew differently and taught correctly.]
7 And he said to them, "It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father has set by his own authority.
8 But you will receive power, after the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the uttermost part of the earth."
9 Now when he had spoken these things, while they watched, he was taken up, and a cloud received him out of their sight.2 [Since the man Jesus in his human body was taken up, many people believe Jesus is in the heavens in the body of a man; yet scripture also tells us that He fills the heavens and earth, which is impossible for anyone limited to a human body.]
10 And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel,
11 Who said, "You men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who is taken up from you into heaven, will come in a like manner as you have seen him go into heaven."3
12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is a Sabbath day's journey from Jerusalem.
13 And when they had returned, they went into an upper room where they were staying: Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the son of James.
14 These all waited continually4 with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.
15 And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together was about one hundred and twenty,)
16 "Men and brothers, it was necessary that the scripture be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit by the mouth of David spoke before concerning Judas, who acted as a guide to those who took Jesus.
17 For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry."
18 (Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity [sin]; and falling headlong, he burst open in the middle, and all his bowels gushed out.
19 And it was known to all the residents in Jerusalem; so that the field is called in their proper tongue, Aceldama, that is to say, The field of blood.)
20 "For it is written in the book of Psalms, 'Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell in it; and let another take his office.'
21 Therefore from these men who have accompanied us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,
22 Beginning from the baptism of John, to this same day that he was taken up from us, one must be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection."
23 And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.
24 And they prayed, and said, "You, Lord, who know the hearts of all men, show which of these two you have chosen,
25 That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, so that he might go to where he belongs."
26 And they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Matthias; and so he was numbered with the eleven apostles.5
1 he commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, Notice, the waiting is not like it was translated in verse 14 as footnote 3 details. The waiting is as it is detailed in Hebrews:
to those who persistently and patiently wait for him he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring full salvation. Heb 9:28
he [Jesus] became the author and source of eternal salvation to all those who heed and obey him; Heb 5:9
2 he was taken up, and a cloud received him out of their sight. Since the man Jesus in his human body was taken up, many people believe Jesus is in the heavens in the body of a man; yet scripture also tells us that He fills the heavens and earth, which is impossible for anyone limited to a human body. George Whitehead wrote on the subject of Christ's body:
That Christ's body which was crucified, was not the Godhead, yet by the power of God was raised from the dead; and that the same Christ who was therein crucified, ascended into heaven and glory is not questioned by us. His flesh saw no corruption; it did not corrupt; but yet doubtless his body was changed into a more glorious and heavenly condition than it was when subject to many sufferings on earth; but how and what manner of change it met withal after it was raised from the dead, so as to become such a glorious body as it is declared to be, is too wonderful for mortals to conceive, apprehend, or pry into; and more fit for angels to see. The Scripture is silent therein, as to the manner, and we are not curious to inquire or dispute it; nor do we esteem it necessary to make ourselves wise above what is written, as to the manner or condition of Christ's glorious body as in heaven, any more than to inquire how Christ appeared in several manners or forms, or how he came in among his disciples, the doors being shut; or how he vanished out of their sight, after he was risen. However, we have cause to believe his body is in heaven, is changed into a most glorious condition, far transcending what it was in on earth; otherwise how should our low body be changed, so as to be made like unto his glorious body; for when he was on earth, and attended with sufferings, he was said to be like unto us in all things, sin only excepted; of which may not be so said of him as now in a state of glory, as he prayed for; otherwise where would be the change both in him and us?
3 Jesus is to return in a similar manner. Some standing here shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom. Mat 16:27-8, Mar 8:38,9:1, Luke 9:26-27. Heaven appears to our spiritual eye as in a mist or in clouds — so, his coming is on the clouds of heaven within the hearts of purified believers. Those not purified to see Jesus' coming in them before death, see him as they die, as all peoples, all nations, all generations do.
The New Testament is full of references to the second appearance of Jesus with the kingdom being then, not thousands of years later. In Matthew, Mark, and Luke, Jesus is recorded saying that some then standing with him, 2000 years ago, would see his glorious coming in the clouds with the Kingdom before they died. In addition Paul, Jesus preaching, Jesus in Revelation, Peter, James, and John, — all said, soon, the time is near, a little while, he stands at the door. Christendom blithely ignores this gaping incongruity between what the Bible plainly states vs. what they are taught by their blind guides. It would be a cruel hoax to be waiting on Him to appear if the past 100 generations of believers actually had no hope of ever seeing Him.
The face of Jesus appears in your heart:
- For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, has shined in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 2 Cor 4:16
- And all of us, as with an unveiled face, behold as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, and are changed into the same image from glory to glory, by the Spirit of the Lord. 2 Cor 3:18
- Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Mat 5:8
- Beloved, now we are to be sons of God, and it does not yet appear what we will be, but we know that when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him [Jesus] as he is. And every man who has this hope in him purifies himself, even as He [Jesus] is pure. 1 John 3:2-3
- And this is the will of him who sent me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in [depends on, trusts, and obeys] him, may have eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. John 6:40
- And being made perfect, he [Jesus] became the author and source of eternal salvation to all those who heed and obey him; Heb 5:9
- This is the second appearance, the revealing (revelation) of Christ, in the hearts of individual believers;
in those who have prepared the way for him in their hearts for the Lord to enter, be revealed, and rule as Lord.
- He, who has been hidden within, is revealed. As Paul said: it has pleased the Father to reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him.
- The morning star rises in your hearts. 2 Pet 1:19
- I, Jesus.. am the root and the offspring of David, the bright morning star. Rev 22:16.
- He who overcomes, ..I will give him the morning star. Rev 2:26-28
- As the lightning comes out of the east, and shines to the west; so also will the coming of the Son of man be. Mat 24:27.
- Jesus is resurrected in us to be our true Lord. Col 2:12,3:1, Eph 2:6, Rom 6:13.
He only appears to those who, having obeyed his commands in love of the Lord, become pure. Jesus clearly explains this in John 14:21-24 below:
He who has my commands, and obeys them, it is he who loves me; and he who loves me shall be loved by my Father, and I will love him and will show myself to him.
Then Judas, not Iscariot, said to him, "Lord, how is it that you will show yourself to us, and not to the world?"
And Jesus answered and said to him, "If a man loves me, he will obey my spoken words; and my Father will love him, and we will come to him, and make our home with him.
He who doesn't love me, does not obey my spoken words; and the spoken words that you hear are not mine, but are the Father's who sent me. John 14:21-24
There is an entire web page on this site devoted to this second appearance: The Second Appearance of Jesus is Within the Hearts of Purified Believers.
4 These all waited continually with one accord in prayer and supplication, Rather than "waited continually," this verse is typically translated to be "continued together," yet the Greek for this verse has no "together" for the word proskarterountev (4342); and it can be accurately translated as wait on continuously or assiduously (persistently), exactly what Paul described in Hebrews 9:28 as the key to salvation:
to those who persistently and patiently wait for him he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring full salvation. Heb 9:28
By the time the Bible was translated, the concept of waiting on God had been lost in Christianity, yet the Old Testament is full of references to waiting on God, and the New Testament's many references to waiting was lost in meaning with most verses interpreted or explained to mean a generalized hope or expectation of prayers to be answered, or a passing of time while waiting on Jesus to physically return to the earth; when waiting on God is to persistently and patiently sit in humble silence, listen for his voice and words, watch for his revelations, hear his commands, and then obey Him. This is the key to spiritual growth: to wait on God, listen, and watch; this is part of the cross. This is how to sit at the feet of Jesus and listen to his words, which Jesus told us was the "good part, the only one thing needed, which shall not be taken away:"
And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus' feet and heard his word.
"There is only one thing needed, and Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her." Luke 10:39,42
We hear his word from within our hearts. Rom 10:8,17. The words he speaks to us are spirit and life-giving. John 6:63
The life that is given is the life of God, which is more of Jesus who is the life. Each spoken word by Jesus that we hear gives us more of the life of God. Each word we hear purifies us a little more. Each word we hear makes us stronger to resist temptation. Each word we hear draws us closer to salvation, as we endure to the end to see Jesus bring our salvation and eternal life.
The good part and only one thing needed is to sit at the feet of Jesus and listen to his words, the words he speaks to us from within our hearts that are spirit and life. We too must sit silently and wait on the Lord, to listen, to hear, and obey.
Notice also: what Mary (above verse) hears will not be taken away from her. Those teachings will survive passing through the fire that everyone must endure.
Jesus can't make it any plainer than to emphasize to sit at his feet, wait, listen, and watch is: 1) the only one thing needed, 2) the good part, and 3) what will not be taken away when you, (like everyone), passes through the fire.
All your holy ones are in your power. And they sit at your feet, each receiving your words. Deu 33:3
To wait on God, listen, watch, and obey is the cross, which is the way to purity and salvation, the deliverance from all sin. With deliverance comes power.
Some might say, "but the disciples were baptized with fire by the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, not by Jesus coming." However, who is it that baptizes with fire?—as John the Baptist said: "I indeed baptize you with water to repentance; but he who comes after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to carry. He shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire;" Mat 3:11. When you are baptized with fire by the Holy Spirit into the baptism of death, you will see Jesus doing the work as He comes to slay the selfish, Satanic spirit within you by Spirit of His mouth and the brightness of His coming, and as He crushes the head of Satan under your feet. (Notice! The fact that He crushes the head of Satan under your feet, proves that His coming is a personal experience.)
Christendom's waiting is to wait on God to answer their prayers, or waiting is singing about Jesus coming, hoping for war in the Middle East that might signal his soon return, speculating on how the mark of the beast will be forced on everyone, speculating on who is the antichrist, etc. For many centuries Christendom has missed Jesus, waiting to reveal himself in every man who heeds and obeys Him, just like the Jews missed Jesus because they were looking for a physical king to come and rule. The New Testament is full of references to the second appearance of Jesus being then, not thousands of years later. In Matthew, Mark, and Luke, Jesus is recorded saying that some then standing with him, 2000 years ago, would see his glorious coming in the clouds with the Kingdom before they died.In addition Paul, Jesus preaching, Jesus in Revelation, Peter, James, and John, — all said, soon, the time is near, a little while, he stands at the door. Christendom blithely ignores this gaping incongruity between what the Bible plainly states vs. what they are taught by their blind guides. It would be a cruel hoax to be waiting on Him to appear if the past 100 generations of believers actually had no hope of ever seeing Him.
Peter even tells us that we can hasten the day of Christ: While waiting for and hastening the day of Christ. 2 Pet 3:12. The fact that we can hasten the day of Christ, proves that His coming is a personal experience; and we hasten His coming by spending as much time as possible waiting on God.
5 The eleven disciples were casting lots before they had been baptized in the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, which occurs in the next chapter. Men who have received the anointing baptism of the Holy Spirit know all things, and they would be clearly told by God whom to select. So before the baptism of the Holy Spirit, casting lots had long been God's way to select a man. Look at Josh 7:14-25,18:6,8,10, Prov 16:33. Now think about the process of selecting a pope in the Roman sect: a convention of the cardinals, lobbying, voting, more voting; it is a political process of men's wills. If the Roman sect was as godly as they claimed, (even though they obviously do not know all things from the baptism of the Holy Spirit), if the Roman sect had trust in God, would they not be more reliant on God by casting lots among them, for God's decision? But of course, they would never consider trusting the head of their sect to be selected by God.