Home First
Covenant
Second
Covenant
Topical
Studies
Table of
Contents

 


ACTS
The continued Life of Jesus through the Apostles

CHAPTER ONE

"Preparation"
Key Verse = Acts 1:5

  1. Prologue 4. Upper Room Prayer Meeting
  2. The Holy Spirit Promised 5. Matthias Chosen
  3. Jesus Ascends to Heaven    


PROLOGUE

Next Section

Acts 1:1
From the NKJV From the  Peshitta

(1)  The former account I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,

The first book have I written, O Theophilus, concerning all the things which our Lord Jesus Christ began to do and teach


Account
“The former account”- referring to the Gospel of Luke.

The Greek word used here is “logos” (NT:3056).  It is translated "treatise" in the KJV.
Logos is used in the New Testament 330 times with 3 main ideas of expression:

1. SPEECH
a word (James 3:2)
a saying (Mt. 19:22)
a discourse (2 Cor. 10:10)
a doctrine (1 Tim. 6:3; 2 Tim. 1:13)
a narrative (Acts 1:1)
2. THOUGHT
calculating (Hebrews 4:12)
consideration (Acts 20:24)
reckoning (Philippians 4:15)
judgment (Romans 14:12)
reason (Acts 10:29)
3. PERSON
the essential living Word of God (Jn. 1:1, 14; 1 Jn. 1:1; 5:7; Rev. 19:13)
the embodiment of the expression of all wisdom and prudence (Eph. 1:8; 1 Cor. 1:30; Col. 2:3)

Logos is translated (in the KJV)
word 225 times
“saying” 50 times
“account” 8 times
“speech” 8 times
other ways 39 times    (of which "treatise" in Acts 1:1 is one)

Theophilus
A common Roman name.  Mentioned only here and in Luke 1:3.
Josephus mentioned two men of this name who were High Priests.  According to Luke 1:4,  he was instructed in the life of Christ.  Other than this,  nothing is known about the man.

According to Acts 4:5, Theophilus was most likely a Gentile.

Jesus began to do and teach
The inference here in the last part of verse 1,  and on into verse 2,  is that Jesus only BEGAN His work,
but on the cross,  He said, “IT IS FINISHED” –
(1) What was finished?
(2) What was continued?

16 things that were finished:
1. Fulfillment of all Scriptures of the sufferings of Christ
(Ps. 22; Isa. 53; Lk. 24:25, 26, 44; Jn. 19:28; 1 Pet. 1:11; 3:18)
2. Defeat of Satan
(Jn. 12:31, 32; Col. 2:14-17; Heb. 2:14, 15)
3. Breaking down of the middle wall of partition to make Jews and Gentiles one
(Eph. 2:14-18; 3:6; 1 Cor. 12:13; Gal. 3:28; Rom. 10)
4. Way for personal access to God
(Eph. 2:18-22; Heb. 10:19-38)
5. Cancellation of the reign of death
(Rom. 5:12-21; 6:9; 8:2; 1 Cor. 15:1-58; 2 Cor. 3:6-15; Heb. 2:14, 15)
6. Cancellation of sin’s power
(Rom. 6; 8:2; 1 Cor. 15:54)
7. Demonstration of obedience and love to death
(Phil. 2:8; Heb. 5:8-10; 1 Pet. 2:21; 4:1)
8. Salvation from all sin
(Mt. 26:28; Eph. 1:7; Col. 1:14; Heb. 9:15; Rev. 1:5; 5:9, 10)
9. Making peace between God and man
(Col. 1:22-22; 2 Cor. 5:14-21; Rom. 5:1-11)
10. Perfection of Christ
(Heb. 2:10; 5:8-11)
11. Death penalty paid for all
(2 Cor. 5:14-21; 1 Cor. 6:19, 20; Heb. 2:9-15; Rom. 5:6-8; 1 Pet. 1:19)
12. Freeing man and his dominion from sin and Satan
(1 Cor. 6:19, 20; Rom. 8:18-24; 14:7-9; 2 Cor. 5:14, 15; Rev. 5:9, 10; 21:1-22; 1 Pet. 1:19)
13. Satisfaction of the full justice of God
(Gen. 2:17; Rom. 3:21-26; 5:1-11; Jn. 3:16)
14. Bodily healing for all
(Mt. 8:17; 13:15; Isa. 53:4, 5; 1 Pet. 2:24; Jn. 10:10; Jas. 5:14-16)
15. A way for the full endowment of power and full anointing of the Holy Ghost
(Gal. 3:13, 14; Jn. 7:37-39;  Lk. 24:49)
16. Blotting out of the Old Covenant and making and sealing of the New Covenant
(Jer. 31:31; Col. 2:14-17;  Eph. 2:14-18; Mt. 26:28; 2 Cor. 3:6-15; Gal. 3:13-25; 4:21-31; Heb. 7:11-28; 8:6-10:18)

Only one thing is left to be continued:
Jesus said  “For the Son of man is come to SEEK and to SAVE that which was lost.
1. The SAVING is what was finished, to the degree that it must be offered and accepted –
2. This is the SEEKING that continues –
Jesus said to “Go into the entire world, and preach the gospel to EVERY creature.”
Jesus chose to do the second phase of His word  (the seeking of the lost)  through the Church.

Excerpts from The Bible Exposition Commentary
A famous Hollywood producer once said that for a movie to be successful, it must start with an earthquake and work up to a climax.  Luke certainly didn't follow that formula when he wrote the Book of Acts.
Except for the ascension of Jesus Christ events recorded in Acts 1 are anything but dramatic - after all, what is exciting about a business meeting?
Then why record these events? Why didn't Luke just start with the story of Pentecost? For several reasons.
To begin with, Luke was writing volume two of a work that started with what we call the Gospel of Luke (see Luke 1:14); and he had to begin with the proper salutation and introduction.  We don't know who Theophilus was or even if he was a believer, but Luke's salutation suggests that he may have been an important Roman official (see Acts 23:26; 24:3; 26:25). Likely Theophilus was a Christian or at least a seeker who was carefully studying the Christian faith. His name means "friend of God," and we hope he lived up to his name.
But even more important Luke had to build a bridge between his Gospel and the Book of Acts (Luke 24:50-53).  At the close of his Gospel, he had left the believers in the temple, praising God. Now he had to pick up the story and explain what happened next.
Imagine how confused you would be if, in reading your New Testament, you turned the last page of the Gospel of John and discovered - Romans! "How did the church get to Rome?" you would ask yourself, and the answer is found in the Book of Acts.
The Book of Acts is also the account of the work of the Holy Spirit in and through the church. The Gospel of Luke records what Jesus `began both to do and teach" in His human body, and the Book of Acts tells us what Jesus continued to do and teach through His spiritual body, the church. Even today, congregations can learn much about church life and ministry from this book and this even includes the business meetings!
(from The Bible Exposition Commentary. Copyright © 1989 by Chariot Victor Publishing, and imprint of Cook Communication Ministries. All rights reserved. Used by permission.  by Biblesoft)

From the Amplified Bible
(1)   In The former account [which I prepared], O Theophilus, I made [a continuous report] dealing with all the things which Jesus began to do and to teach [Luke 1:1-4.]

Acts 1:2
From the NKJV From the  Peshitta

(2)  until the day in which He was taken up, after He through the Holy Spirit had given commandments to the apostles whom He had chosen,

Until the day when he ascended, after he, through the Holy Spirit, had given commandments to the apostles whom he had chosen,


Until the day
The 40th day after the resurrection.

In which he was taken up
In which he ascended to heaven.  He was taken up into a cloud,  and is represented as having been borne or carried to heaven,  Acts 1:9

After He...had given
Authorized (KJV) “Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given Commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen.”
Amplified “Until the day when He ascended, after He through the Holy Spirit had instructed and
Commanded the apostles (special messengers) whom He had chosen.”
Interlinear "Until in which the day after that he had given commandments unto the apostles through Ghost the Holy whom he had chosen"
Concordant  “…until which day directing to the commissioners through Spirit Holy…He was up
Gotten…”
Aramaic “Until the day when He ascended after he, through the Holy Spirit had given
Commandments unto the Apostles."

The conclusion,  then,  from these different versions,  would be that Jesus gave His final commands and instructions to the apostles during the 40 days between His resurrection and ascension,  and after that His ascension the apostles gave them to the Church,  which is what the rest of the New Testament is all about.
The Gnostics claimed that Jesus gave them certain esoteric teachings,  not recorded in canonical writings.

Through the Holy Spirit
Remember the promise that Jesus made before his death,  that after his departure,  the Holy Spirit would descend to be a guide to his apostles  (John 16:7-11).  It was to be his office to carry forward the work of redemption in applying it to the hearts of people.  Whatever was done,  therefore,  after the death and resurrection of Jesus,  was to be regarded as under the unique influence and direction of the Holy Spirit.

Though in his larger and more mighty influences the Spirit did not descend until the day of Pentecost, yet, in some measure, his influence was imparted to the apostles before the ascension of Christ  (John 20:22  He breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit").

The apostles
The eleven that remained after the treason and death of Judas.

From the Amplified Bible
(2)  Until the day when He ascended, after He through the Holy Spirit had instructed and commanded the apostles (special messengers) whom He had chosen.

Acts 1:3
From the NKJV From the  Peshitta

(3)  to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.

The very ones  to whom he had also shown himself alive, after  he had suffered, with many wonders during the forty days, while appearing to them and talking with them concerning  the kingdom of God;

Presented Himself alive
The resurrection of Jesus was the great fact on which the truth of the gospel was to be established. Hence,  the sacred writers so often refer to it,  and establish it by so many arguments.  As the fact of his resurrection lay at the foundation of all that Luke was about to record in his history,  it was of importance that he should state clearly the sum of the evidence of it in the beginning of his work.
(From Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)

Many infallible proofs
The word rendered here "infallible proofs" (tekmeeríois  (OT:5039)) does not occur elsewhere in the New Testament.  In Greek authors it denotes an infallible sign or argument by which anything can be certainly known (Schleusner).  Here it means the same - evidence that he was alive which could not deceive,  or in which they could not be mistaken.  That evidence consisted in his eating with them,   conversing with them,  meeting them at various times and places,  working miracles (John 21:6-7),  and uniformly showing himself to be the same friend with whom they had been familiar for more than three years.
This evidence was infallible:

1. Because it was to them unexpected.
They had manifestly not believed that he would rise again,  John 20:25Luke 24:19-24.
There was,  therefore,  no delusion resulting from any expectation of seeing him,  or from a design to impose on people.
2. It was impossible that they could have been deceived in relation to one with whom they had been familiar for more than three years.
No people in the possession of reason could be made to believe that they really saw,  talked with,  and ate with,  a friend whom they had known so long and familiarly,  unless it was real.
3. There were enough of them to avoid the possibility of deception.
Though it might be pretended that one man could be imposed on,  yet it could not be that an imposition could be practiced for forty days on eleven men,  who were all at first incredulous.
4. He was with them sufficient time to give evidence of his personal identity.
It might be pretended,  if they had seen him but once,  that they were deceived.  But they saw him often,  and for the space of more than a month.
5. They saw him in various places and at times in which there could be no deception.
If they had pretended that they saw him rise,  or saw him at twilight in the morning when he rose,  it might have been said that they were deluded by something that was merely the result of imagination.  It might have been said that,  expecting to see him rise,  their hopes,  in the agitated state of their minds,  deceived them,  and that they only fancied that they saw him.  But it is not pretended by the sacred writers that they saw him rise.  An impostor  "would have affirmed this,  and would not have omitted it."
But the sacred writers affirmed that they saw him after he was risen;
when they were free from agitation;
when they could judge coolly;
in Jerusalem;
in their own company when at worship;
when journeying to Emmaus;
when in Galilee;
when he went with them to Mount Olivet;
and when he ascended to heaven:
and how could they have been deceived in this?
6. He appeared to them as he had always done,  as a friend,  companion,  and benefactor.
He ate with them,  performed a miracle before them,  was engaged in the same work as he was before he suffered,  renewed the same promise of the Holy Spirit,  and gave them his commands respecting the work which he had died to establish,  and the work which he required them to do - carrying out the same purposes and plans which he had before he died.
In all these circumstances it was impossible that they should be deceived.

1 Corinthians 15:4-6
...and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve.  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.     (NKJV)

Seen of them 40 days
It was about 40 years when Jerusalem was taken, at the end of the book of Acts.

The oldest known division of the Greek text of Acts (6th century) was into 40 chapters.
(The present division into 28 chapters was made by Cardinal Hugo – 13th century – to facilitate the use of his concordance to the Latin Vulgate.)

In Bible numerology,  40 speaks of Divine order applied to earthly things – and this is exactly the story of the book of the Acts: MEN LED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT.

The Twelve Appearances of Christ:
1. To Mary Magdalene (Mark 16:9; John 20:15-16)
2. To the women at the tomb (Matthew 28:9)
3. To two disciples on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-31)
4. To Peter (Luke 24:34; 1 Corinthians 15:5)
5. To the ten apostles (John 20:19)
6. To the eleven apostles (John 20:26)
7. To the seven apostles (John 21:1-22)
8. To the eleven apostles on a certain mountain in Galilee (Matthew 28:16 - after the second Sunday)
9. To the twelve apostles, including Matthias (1 Corinthians 15:5; Acts 1:26)
10. To five hundred brethren (1 Corinthians 15:6)
11. To James, the Lord's brother (1 Corinthians 15:7; Galatians 1:19)
12. To all the apostles (1 Corinthians 15:7; Mark 16:19-20;
  Luke 24:50-53; Acts 1:3-12,26)
(Dake's Annotated Reverence Bible, Finis Jennings Dake, Dake Publishing, Lawrenceville, GA)

Speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God

Fifteen things discussed during the 40 days:
1. Bodily resurrection of Christ (Jn. 21:14)
2. His rightful authority (MT. 28:18; Acts 1:4-8; Lk. 24:49)
3. World – wide preaching the gospel (Mt. 28:19; Mk. 16:15; Lk. 24:47;
Acts 1:8)
4. Water baptism (Mt. 28:19; Mk. 16:16)
5. Observance of every command of Christ (Mt. 28:20)
6. Age-long gospel program (Mt. 28:20)
7. Signs of the gospel (Mk. 16:17-20)
8. Prophets true (Lk. 24:25-27, 44)
9. Sufferings necessary (Lk. 24:46)
10. Resurrection and ascension necessary (Lk. 24:26; Lk. 24:46; 1 Cor. 15)
11. Christ the central theme of the Scriptures (Lk. 24:27, 44)
12. Reality of resurrection bodies – eat food, etc. (Lk. 24:39-43; Jn. 21:14)
13. Scriptures have literal fulfillment, not spiritual only (Lk. 24:27, 44-46)
14. Tarry for the endowment of power to propagate the gospel (Lk. 24:49; Acts 1:4-8)
15. Carry out the New Testament program:
(Dake's Annotated Reverence Bible, Finis Jennings Dake, Dake Publishing, Lawrenceville, GA)

Excerpts from The Bible Exposition Commentary
This refers to the reign of God over the hearts and lives of those who have trusted Him (see Matthew 6:33; Romans 14:17; 1 John 3:1-9).  When you read the four Gospels,  you discover that the Apostles had a strongly political view of the kingdom and were especially concerned about their own positions and privileges.  Being loyal Jews,  they longed for the defeat of their enemies and the final establishment of the glorious kingdom under the rule of King Messiah.  They did not realize that there must first be a spiritual change in the hearts of the people (see Luke 1:67-79).
Jesus did not rebuke them when they "kept asking" about the future Jewish kingdom (Acts 1:7).  After awhile He had opened their minds to understand the Scriptures (Luke 24:44),  so they knew what they were asking But God has not revealed His timetable to us and it is futile for us to speculate.  The important thing is not to be curious about the future but to be busy in the present,  sharing the message of God's spiritual kingdom.  This is another emphasis in the Book of Acts (see Acts 8:12; 14:22; 20:25; 28:23,31).
(from The Bible Exposition Commentary. Copyright © 1989 by Chariot Victor Publishing, and imprint of Cook Communication Ministries. All rights reserved. Used by permission.  by Biblesoft)

From the Amplified Bible
(3)  To them also He showed Himself alive after His passion (His suffering in the garden and on the cross) by [a series of] many convincing demonstrations [unquestionable evidences and infallible proofs], appearing to them during forty days and talking [to them] about the things of the kingdom of God.



THE  HOLY  SPIRIT  PROMISED

Top
Next Section

Previous Section


Acts 1:4, 5
From the NKJV From the  Peshitta

(4)  And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, "which," He said, "you have heard from Me;

And as he ate  bread with them, he commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem  but to wait for the promise of the Father, the one of whom you have heard from me.

(5)  for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now."

For, he said, John baptized with water; but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days hence.


Being assembled together:
sunalizómenos (NT:4871) literally  “Eating salt with”  –  more generally  –  “Eating with”

This sense is given to this place in the Latin Vulgate,  the Ethiopic,  and the Syriac versions.
But some believe has the meaning of  "congregating,  or assembling."
The apostles were scattered after his death.  But this passage denotes that he had assembled them together by his authority,  for the purpose of giving them a charge respecting their conduct when he should have left them.  When this occurred does not appear from the narrative;  but it is probable that it was not long before his ascension;  and it is clear that the place where they were assembled was Jerusalem.

Not to depart from Jerusalem
Why?
Because it was God's high purpose to glorify the existing economy,  by causing His Spirit to descend upon the disciples at its ancient seat,  and on the occasion of the very first of its annual festivals after the ascension of the Church's Head;  so fulfilling the sure word of prophecy,
"Out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem"
(Isaiah 2:3).
(from Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1997, 2003 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

You have heard from me

Christ had spoken of this Spirit baptism on several occasions
John 7:37-38 On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him."      (NIV)
John 14:12-17 "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father...and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever."     (NKJV)
John 14:26 "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.     (NKJV)
John 15:26 "But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me."     (NKJV)
John 16:7-14 "Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.  And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
of sin, because they do not believe in Me;
of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more;
of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.
I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.  However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.  He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.

Wait for the promise of the Father
For the fulfillment of the promise respecting the descent of the Holy Spirit made by the Father.

THE GRAND PROMISE
Old Testament Jesus Christ was the grand promise during the whole continuance of the old covenant.
New Testament The Holy Spirit is the grand promise during the whole continuance of the new covenant.
(from Adam Clarke's Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1996, 2003 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

John the Baptist said:
"I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire."     (Matthew 3:11     NKJV)

Shall be baptized
baptizo (NT:907) baptize Immerse – Dip – Plunge – Bathe

1ST NEW TESTAMENT PROPHECY IN ACTS:   To be baptized by the Holy Ghost  (initial fulfillment in Acts 2:1-39).

For John truly baptized ...] These are the words of Jesus to his apostles, and he evidently has reference to what was said of John's baptism compared with his own in Matt 3:11; John 1:33. In those verses John is represented as baptizing with water, but the Messiah who was to come, as baptizing with the Holy Spirit and with fire. This promise was now about to be fulfilled in a remarkable manner. See Acts 2.

Not many days from now
The number of  "days hence"  (from the Ascension to the descent of the Spirit) we know to have been exactly ten;
Passover to Pentecost 50 Days (Leviticus 23:15-16)
And you shall count for yourselves from the day after the Sabbath...fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath; then you shall offer a new grain offering to the LORD.
Passover to Ascension 40 Days (Acts 1:3)
...the apostles...to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering...being seen by them during forty days
Ascension to Pentecost 10 Days Since there are 50 days from Passover to Pentecost, and Jesus had appeared to the apostles 40 of those days, then there were 10 days that they would wait in Jerusalem for the promise.
(from Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1997, 2003 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

Of course, it is easy for us to look back and calculate the days, but with them, not knowing how long they would wait, or what would happen when the promise came, they lived those 10 days completely by faith and obedience, without any knowledge of  when or what would happen.

From the Amplified Bible
(4)  And while being in their company and eating with them, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem but to wait for what the Father had promised, Of which [He said] you have heard Me speak. [John 14:16,26; 15:26.]
(5)  For John baptized with water, but not many days from now you shall be baptized with ( placed in, introduced into) the Holy Spirit.

Acts 1:6-8
From the NKJV From the  Peshitta

(6)  Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, "Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?"

While they were assembled, they asked him, saying, Our Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?

(7)  And He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority.

He said to them, It is not for you to know the time or times which the Father has put under his own authority;

(8)  But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."

But when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, you shall receive power and you shall be witnesses to me both in Jerusalem and in all Judea also in the province of Samaria and to the uttermost part of the earth.


Come together – At the Mount of Olives. See Acts 1:12

kurios Lord Supreme in authority The same word used in the LXX for Jehovah

Will you...restore the kingdom to Israel
The apostles had entertained the common opinions of the Jews about the temporal dominion of the Messiah.
They expected that he would reign as a prince and conqueror, and would free them from the bondage of the Romans.
Many instances where this expectation is referred to occur in the gospels, notwithstanding all the efforts which the Lord Jesus made to explain to them the true nature of his kingdom.
This expectation was checked, and almost destroyed by his death (Luke 24:21), and it is clear that his death was the only means which could effectually change their opinions on this subject.
Even his own instructions would not do it; and nothing but his being taken from them could direct their minds effectually to the true nature of his kingdom.
Yet,  though his death checked their expectations,  and appeared to thwart their plans,  his return to life excited them again.
They beheld him with them
They were assured that it was the same Savior
They saw now that his enemies had no power over him
They could not doubt that a being who could rise from the dead could easily accomplish all his plans
And as they did not doubt now that he would restore the kingdom to Israel,  they asked whether he would do it at that time?

They did not ask
whether he would do it at all,
or whether they had correct views of his kingdom;
but they asked him whether this was the time in which he would do it.
The emphasis of the inquiry lies in the expression, "at this time,"
and hence,  the answer of the Savior refers solely to the point of their inquiry,  and not to the correctness or incorrectness of their opinions.
From these expectations of the apostles we may learn:
(1) That there is nothing so difficult to be removed from the mind as prejudice in favor of erroneous opinions.
(2) That such prejudice will survive the plainest proofs to the contrary.
(3) That it will often manifest itself even after all proper means have been taken to subdue it.
Erroneous opinions thus maintain a secret ascendancy in a man's mind,  and are revived by the slightest circumstances,  even long after it was supposed that they were overcome,  and in the face of the plainest proofs of reason or of Scripture.

Restore - Bring back;  put into its former situation.
Judea was formerly governed by its own kings and laws;  now,  it was subject to the Romans.
This bondage was grievous,  and the nation sighed for deliverance.  The inquiry of the apostles evidently was,  whether he would now free them from the bondage of the Romans,  and restore them to their former state of freedom and prosperity,  as in the times of David and Solomon  (Isa 1:26).
The word  "restore"  also may include more than a reducing it to its former state.  It may mean,  wilt thou now bestow the kingdom and dominion to Israel,  according to the prediction in Dan 7:27?
Daniel 7:27
Then the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people, the saints of the Most High.  His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey Him.'     (NKJV)

The kingdom - The dominion;  the empire;  the reign.
The expectation was that the Messiah,  the king of Israel,  would reign over people,  and that thus the nation of the Jews would extend their empire over all the earth.

To Israel - To the Jews, and particularly to the Jewish followers of the Messiah.
Lightfoot thinks that this question was asked in indignation against the Jews.  "Wilt thou confer dominion on a nation which has just put thee to death?"  But the answer of the Savior shows that this was not the design of the question.

It is not for you to know
The question of the apostles respected the time of the restoration;  it was not whether he would do it. Accordingly,  his answer meets precisely their inquiry;  and he tells them in general that the time of the great events of God's kingdom was not to be understood by them.
They had asked a similar question on a former occasion,  "Tell us when shall these things be?"  (Matt 24:3) And they were also with him on the Mount of Olives when they first asked the question.
Jesus had answered them then by showing them that certain signs would precede his coming,  and then by saying (Matt 24:36),  "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only."
God has uniformly reproved a vain curiosity on such points, 1 Thess 5:1-2;  2 Peter 3:10;  Luke 12:39-40.
1 Thessalonians 5:1
But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you.      (NKJV)
2 Peter 3:10
But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night.      (NKJV)
Luke 12:39-40
But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into.   Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.      (NKJV)

The phrase  "it is not for you to know"  is equivalent in many languages to "you do not have the right to know" or "you are not permitted to know."  If an agent is required,  then it must be God;  that is,  "God has not permitted you to know."
(from the UBS Handbook Series. Copyright (c) 1961-1997, by United Bible Societies)

Times - Seasons
The difference between these words is that
Times denotes any time or period that is indefinite or uncertain
Seasons denotes a fixed, definite, or appropriate time
They seem to be used here to denote the periods that would mark or determine all future events.

The Father has put
So entirely had the Father reserved the knowledge of these to himself,  that it is said that even the Son did not know them.

In his own authority
That is,  he has fixed them by his own authority,  he will bring them about in his own time and way;  and therefore it is not proper for people anxiously to inquire into them.  All prophecy is remarkably obscure in regard to the time of its fulfillment.  The reasons why it is so are such as the following:
(1) To excite people to watch for the events that are to come,  as the time is uncertain,  and they will come "like a thief in the night."
(2) As they are to be brought about by human agency,  they are so arranged as to call forth that agency.
If people knew just when an event was to come to pass,  they might be remiss,  and feel that their own efforts were not needed.
(3) The knowledge of future scenes of the exact time,  might alarm people,  and absorb their thoughts so entirely as to prevent a proper attention to the present duties of life.
Duty is ours now;  God will provide for future scenes.
(4) Promises sufficiently clear and full are therefore given us to encourage us,  but not so full as to excite a vain and idle curiosity.
All this is eminently true of our own death,  one of the most important future scenes through which we are to pass.  It is certainly before us;  it is near;  it cannot be long delayed;  it may come at any moment. God has fixed the time,  but will not inform us when it shall be.  He does not gratify a vain curiosity;  nor does he terrify us by announcing to us the day or the hour when we are to die,  as we do a man that is to be executed.
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database Copyright © 1997, 2003 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

From Jerusalem to the whole world – The charity that will convert the world is a charity that begins at home – begins, but does not end there.
Unless our love be of such a kind as greatly to disturb a godless neighborhood at home,
it will not set on fire a distant continent.

But you shall receive power - 2ND  NEW TESTAMENT PROPHECY IN ACTS   (initial fulfillment in Acts 2:1-39)
dunamis (NT:1411) power inherit power capable of reproducing itself like a dynamo.

The word  "power"  here refers to the help or aid which the Holy Spirit would grant; the power of speaking with new tongues; of preaching the gospel with great effect; of enduring great trials, etc. See Mark 16:17-18.
Mark 16:17-18
And these signs will follow those who believe:  In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues;  they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.

The apostles had impatiently asked him if he was then about to restore the kingdom to Israel. Jesus by this answer rebuked their impatience, taught them to repress their ill-timed ardor; and assured them again of the coming of the Holy Spirit.

You shall be witnesses
martures (NT: 3144) martyrs

From this word the name martyrs has been given to those who suffered in times of persecution.  The reason why this name was given to them was that they bore witness to the life,  instructions,  death,  and resurrection of the Lord Jesus,  even in the midst of persecution and death.

The word here does not necessarily mean that they to whom this was addressed would be martyrs, or would be put to death in bearing witness to the Lord Jesus; but that they were everywhere to testify to what they knew of him.

Rather than devoting themselves to questions about the final establishment of the Jewish kingdom,  the apostles were to have a different concern.  The Holy Spirit was to come upon them and to give them supernatural power,  in the strength of which they would be witnesses of Christ throughout all the world.
(from The Wycliffe Bible Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1962 by Moody Press. All rights reserved.)

For this purpose they were appointed;  and to prepare them for this they had been with him for more that three years.  They had
seen His manner of life
seen His miracles
seen His meekness
seen His sufferings
listened to His instructions
conversed with Him
eaten with Him as a friend
seen Him after he was risen
and were about to see him ascend to heaven;  and they were thus qualified to bear witness to these things in all parts of the earth.
Their number was so great that it could not be pretended that they were deceived.
They had been so intimate with him and his plans that they were qualified to state what his doctrines and purposes were.
There was no motive but conviction of the truth that could induce them to make the sacrifices which they would be required to make in communicating these things to the world.
In every respect,  therefore,  they were qualified to be impartial and competent witnesses.

In Jerusalem - Judea - Samaria - end of the earth
Jerusalem
Was the capital of the nation of Israel.
The great work of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost occurred there.
Most of the disciples remained in Jerusalem until the persecution that arose about the death of Stephen, Acts 8:1, 4.
The apostles remained there until Herod put James to death.
Judea
Was the southern division of the Holy Land,  and included Jerusalem as the capital.
Samaria
This was the middle portion of Palestine.
This was fulfilled by the disciples. See Acts 8:1,
"And they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria"
Compare Acts 1:4-5, 
"They that were scattered abroad went everywhere preaching the word. Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them."
End of the earth
The great commission and gospel benefits were to be worldwide, not to the Jews only, or for the first century only.
John 3:16
For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life.  (TEV)
Mark 16:15
And He said to them, Go into all the world and preach and publish openly the good news (the Gospel) to every creature [of the whole human race].     (AMP)

While Jesus was with them physically, He told them to go only to the Jews
Matthew 10:5-6
These twelve Jesus sent out and commanded them, saying: "Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans.  But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel."     (NKJV)

Now, however, as salvation is accomplished and He will leave them physically only to return to pour out His spirit on all mankind, He tells them to leave no one out.  Paul explains it:
Romans 1:16
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.     (NKJV)
Romans 2:9-11
Tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek;  but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.  For there is no partiality with God.      (NKJV)

This verse is a table of contents of the book of Acts:
In Jerusalem covers Acts chapters 1-7
In all Judea, and in Samaria covers Acts 8:1-11:18
Unto the ends of the earth covers Acts 11:19 to the end of the book
(from The Wycliffe Bible Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1962 by Moody Press. All rights reserved.)

From the Amplified Bible
(6)   So when they were assembled, they asked Him, Lord, is this the time when You will reestablish the kingdom and restore it to Israel?
(7)   He said to them, It is not for you to become acquainted with and know what time brings [the things and events of time and their definite periods] or fixed years and seasons (their critical niche in time), which the Father has appointed (fixed and reserved) by His own choice and authority and personal power.
(8)   But you shall receive power (ability, efficiency, and might) when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be My witnesses in Jerusalem and all Judea and Samaria and to the ends (the very bounds) of the earth.



JESUS  ASCENDS  TO  HEAVEN

Top
Next Section

Previous Section


Acts 1:9-11
From the NKJV From the  Peshitta

(9)  Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.

And when he had spoken these things, he ascended while they were looking at him; a cloud received him and he was hidden from their sight.

(10)  And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel,

And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold two men stood by them in white robes;

(11)  who also said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven."

And they said the them, Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven?  This same Jesus who has ascended from you into heaven shall so come in like manner as you have seen him ascend into heaven.

   
Mark 16:19-20
So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God.
And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen.     (NKJV)
Luke 24:50-53
And He led them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and blessed them.
Now it came to pass, while He blessed them, that He was parted from them and carried up into heaven.   And they worshiped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple praising and blessing God. Amen.     (NKJV)

While they looked
While they saw him.  It was of importance to state that circumstance,  and to state it distinctly.  It is not affirmed in the New Testament that they "saw him rise" from the dead,  because the evidence of that fact could be better established by their seeing him after he was risen.  But the truth of his "ascension to heaven"  could not be confirmed in that manner.

Hence,  it was so arranged that he should ascend in open day,  and in the presence of his apostles;  and that not when they were asleep,  or were inattentive to what was occurring,  but when they were engaged in a conversation that would fix the attention,  and even when they were looking upon him.
Had Jesus vanished secretly,  or had he disappeared in the night,  the apostles would have been amazed and confounded;  perhaps they would even have doubted whether they had not been deceived.

But when they saw him leave them in this manner,  they could not doubt that he had ascended to heaven,  and that God approved his work,  and would carry it forward.  This event was exceedingly important:
(1) It was a confirmation of the truth of the Christian religion.
(2) It enabled the apostles to state distinctly where the Lord Jesus was, and at once directed their affections and their thoughts away from the earth, and opened their eyes on the glory of the scheme of religion they were to establish.

If their Savior was in heaven,  it settled the question about the nature of his kingdom.

It was clear that it was not designed to be a temporal kingdom.  The reasons why it was proper that the Lord Jesus should ascend to heaven rather than remain on earth were:

(1) That he had  "finished"  the work which God gave him to do  "on the earth" (John 17:4; 19:30),
John 17:1-4
Jesus...lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said:  "Father, ...I have finished the work which You have given Me to do.
John 19:30
So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, "It is finished!"  And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.
(2) It was proper that he should ascend in order that the Holy Spirit might come down and perform his part of the work of redemption.  Jesus,  by his personal ministry,  as a man,  could be but in one place;  the Holy Spirit could be in all places,  and could apply the work to all people.
(3) A part of the work of Christ was yet to be performed in heaven.  That was the work of intercession.  The high priest of the Jews not only made atonement,  but also presented the blood of sacrifice before the mercy-seat, as the priest of the people,  Lev 16:11-14.  This was done to typify the entrance of the great high priest of our profession into the heavens,  Heb 9:7-8, 11-12.  The work which he performs there is the work of intercession, Heb 7:25.
Hebrews 1:1-3
God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets,  has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds;  who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.
Hebrews 7:25-26
Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.  For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens.

The Lord Jesus also ascended that he might assume and exercise the office of King in the immediate seat of power.  All worlds were made subject to him for the welfare of the church;  and it was needful that he should be solemnly invested with that power in the presence of God as the reward of his earthly toils. 1 Cor 15:25, "He must reign until he hath put all enemies under his feet." Compare Eph 1:20-22.
Ephesians 1:19-23
...the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe,  according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,  far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named,  not only in this age but also in that which is to come.  And He put all things under His feet,  and gave Him to be head over all things to the church,  which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.

Taken up
After the resurrection He seems to have done nothing like a common man.
Whatever was miraculous before is now natural.
He no longer had local residence
His body required neither food nor lodging
He was become the inhabitant of another region, from which He came occasionally to converse with His disciples

His visible ascension was not the necessary means of His removal,  but a token to them that this was the last physical visit.
It was expedient for them that He should withdraw Himself from their eyes and that whereas upon earth He had been conversant with them as a brother, He should succor them from heaven as God, and they should learn to think of Him as God.

A cloud received him
He entered into the region of the clouds, and was hid from their view.
Two others of our race have been taken bodily from earth to heaven.
Enoch Gen 5:24 was transported
Elijah 2 Kings 2:11 was taken up by a whirlwind

Two men in white apparel
From the raiment of these "men,"  and the nature of their message,  it seems clear that they were angelic beings,  who were sent to meet and comfort the disciples on this occasion.  They appeared in human form,  and Luke describes them as they appeared.  Angels are not infrequently called people.  Luke 24:4, "Two men stood by them in shining garments," etc. Compare John 20:12; Matt 28:5.   Some assume that the two angels that appeared to the disciples when Jesus ascended are the same two that appeared at the tomb on resurrection morning.

Why do you stand gazing?
Perhaps they expected the cloud to vanish,  and Jesus be left,  as at the Transfiguration.
In essence, the angels were saying:
(A) Jesus has gone physically
(B) His Spirit will return in a few days
(C) The gospel is to be preached to all the world
(D) He will return physically
(E) He will return unexpectedly and without warning, and all work will stop
(F) Quit gawking at the sky and get busy – there’s work to be done!

In like manner
3RD NEW TESTAMENT PROPHECY IN ACTS:  Jesus will return  (Unfulfilled as of this writing).

The descent of Jesus will be exactly like the ascension (only in reverse)
It will be Actual
  Bodily
  Literal
  Visible
  With Clouds
  To the exact place
Until then,  the possession of the Spirit is the pledge of the coming consummation of glory.  Men will again see Him with the natural eyes  (Acts 1:12;  Dan. 7:13, 14;  Zech. 14:1-5;  Mt. 24:29-31;  25:31-46; 
2 Thess. 1:7-10; Rev. 1:7;  19:11-21).
John 16:5-7
But now I go away to Him who sent Me, and none of you asks Me, 'Where are You going?'
But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart.   Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.      (NKJV)

From the Amplified Bible
(9)    And when He had said this, even as they were looking [at Him], He was caught up, and a cloud received and carried Him away out of their sight.
(10) And while they were gazing intently into heaven as He went, behold, two men [dressed] in white robes suddenly stood beside them,
(11)  Who said, Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing into heaven? This same Jesus, Who was caught away and lifted up from among you into heaven, will return in [just] the same way in which you saw Him go into heaven.



THE  UPPER  ROOM  PRAYER  MEETING

Top
Next Section

Previous Section


Acts 1:12-14
From the NKJV From the  Peshitta

(12)  Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day's journey.

Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount which is called Olivet, Place of Olives, which is near to Jerusalem, about a mile away.

(13)  And when they had entered, they went up into the upper room where they were staying: Peter, James, John, and Andrew; Philip and Thomas; Bartholomew and Matthew; James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot; and Judas the son of James.

And after they had entered into the city, they went into an upper room, where stayed Peter and John and James and Andrew, and also Philip and Thomas and Matthew and Bartholomew and James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot and Judah the son of James.

(14)  These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.

These all continued together in prayer with one accord, also the women, and Mary the Mother of Jesus, and his brothers.


The mount called Olivet
From the Mount of Olives.  The part of the mountain from which he ascended was the eastern declivity, where stood the little village of Bethany, Luke 24:50.

A Sabbath day's journey
As far as might be lawfully traveled by a Jew on the Sabbath.  This was 2,000 paces or cubits.  The distance of a lawful journey on the Sabbath was not fixed by the laws of Moses,  but the Jewish teachers had fixed it at 2,000 paces.  This measure was determined on because it was a tradition that in the camp of the Israelites,  when coming from Egypt,  no part of the camp was more than 2000 paces from the tabernacle,  and over this space,  therefore,  they were permitted to travel for worship.

Perhaps,  also,  some countenance was given to this from the fact that this was the extent of the suburbs of the Levitical cities,  Num 35:5.
Numbers 35:5
And you shall measure outside the city on the east side two thousand cubits, on the south side two thousand cubits, on the west side two thousand cubits, and on the north side two thousand cubits. The city shall be in the middle. This shall belong to them as common-land for the cities.      (NKJV)

Mount Olivet was only 5 furlongs from Jerusalem,  and Bethany was 15 furlongs.  But on the eastern declivity of the mountain the tract of country was called,  for a considerable space,  the region of Bethany;  and it was from this place that the Lord Jesus ascended.

They went up into the upper room
The word huperooon (NT: 5253),  here translated  "upper room,"  occurs only four times in the New Testament:
Acts 1:13 The disciples and the women after Jesus ascended
And when they had entered, they went up into the upper room where they were staying:
Acts 9:37 When Tabitha (Dorcas) died
And it came to pass in those days, that she was sick, and died: whom when they had washed, they laid her in an upper chamber.
Acts 9:39 When Tabitha (Dorcas) died
Then Peter arose and went with them. When he was come, they brought him into the upper chamber:
Acts 20:8 Where Paul preached at Troas
And there were many lights in the upper chamber, where they were gathered together.

Luke (Luke 24:53) says they were continually  "in the temple"  praising and blessing God;  and some have supposed that the upper room here designated was one of the rooms in the temple.  But there is no evidence of that,  and it is not very probable.  Such a room as that here referred to was a part of every house,  especially in Jerusalem;  and the disciples probably selected one where they might be together,  and yet so retired that they might be safe from the Jews.

The expression used in Luke 24:53,  "They were continually - diapantos (NT: 1275) - in the temple,"  signifies no more than that this was a frequent or customary resort;  they were always in the temple at the usual seasons of devotion,  or they were in the constant habit of resorting there.

Where they were staying
This does not mean that this was their permanent habitation;  but they remained there waiting for the descent of the Holy Spirit.

All the apostles were there which Jesus had at first chosen except Judas, Luke 6:13-16.

These all continued
The word  "continued"  denotes  "persevering and constant attention."
The main business was DEVOTION.
Acts 6:4 we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word
Romans 12:12 rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer
Romans 13:6 for they are God's ministers attending continually to this very thing
It is their main and constant employment. Compare Col 4:2.
Colossians 4:2
Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving

With one accord
Greek: homothumadon (NT: 3661) - "with one mind."
The word denotes the entire harmony of their views and feelings.  There were no schisms,  no divided interests,  and no discordant purposes.  This is a beautiful picture of devotion,  and a specimen of what social worship ought now to be,  and a beautiful illustration of Psalm 133.  The apostles felt that they had one great object;  and their deep grief at the loss of their master,  and their doubts and perplexities,  led them,  as all afflictions ought to lead us,  to the throne of grace.
Psalm 133
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
It is like the precious oil upon the head, running down on the beard, the beard of Aaron, running down on the edge of his garments.   It is like the dew of Hermon, descending upon the mountains of Zion; for there the LORD commanded the blessing — Life forevermore.      (NKJV)

In prayer and supplication
These words are nearly synonymous,  and are often interchanged.  They express here petitions to God for blessings,  and prayer to avert impending evils.

With the women
The women that had followed the Lord Jesus from Galilee,  Luke 8:2-324:10.
The women particularly mentioned are Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joses, the mother of Zebedee's children,  Joanna the wife of Chuza,  and Susanna.  Besides these,  there were others whose names are not mentioned.
Luke 8:1-3
Now it came to pass, afterward, that He went through every city and village, preaching and bringing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with Him,  and certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities — Mary called Magdalene, out of whom had come seven demons,  and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod's steward, and Susanna, and many others who provided for Him from their substance.
(NKJV)

Most of them were relatives of the apostles or of the Savior;  and it is not improbable that some of them were wives of the apostles.  Peter is known to have been married (Matt 8:14),  and had his wife in attendance with him in his travels (1 Cor 9:5);  and the same was doubtless true of some of the other apostles, 1 Cor 9:5. - Mary, the mother of Jesus,  is here particularly mentioned,  showing that she now cast in her lot with the apostles.

She had,  besides,  been specially entrusted to the care of John (John 19:26-27),  and had no other home.  This is the last time that she is mentioned in the New Testament.

Mary:
As woman kind in Eve bore her part in the fall,  so woman kind in Mary bore her part in giving birth to Him who is the Redeemer.
During Jesus’ earthly ministry,  she was alluded to on only a few occasions,  and after His ascension,  only this once.
John has nothing to say of her,  or to report from her.  If he had her with him even for a few years,  speaking freely of what she knew,  how many things could she have told him that we would love to hear?  And yet,  the apostle,  beginning his gospel far back in the beginning with the Eternal Word,  and passing directly over Mary to speak of the  “Word made flesh,”  gives not so much as a trace of mention concerning her maternal place and office in the story.  Nothing concerning her conversion,  death,  or burial.

Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers
1. It is plainly stated in that Jesus had 4 brothers (half-brothers),  James [1 Cor. 15:7],  Joses,  Simon,  and Judas.  He had at least 2 or more sisters also… ”are not his sisters here with us?”
These are referred to as  “his own kin”  and  “his own house.”
Also the phrases  “his motherand his brothersand his sisters”  are used in the plain literal sense (Mt. 13:55, 56; Mk. 6:3).
2. The Lord is called Mary’s  “firstborn” (Mt. 1:25; Lk. 2:7),  and the natural inference is that she had other children after Jesus.
The Greek word  “Protokos”  is used only of the first OF MANY OTHERS (Rom. 8:29; Col. 1:15-18; Heb. 1:6; 11:28; 12:23; Rev. 1:5).
Had He been her only son,  the Greek word would have been “monogenes” which occurs in
Lk. 7:12; 8:42; 9:38,  of human parentage of the  “ONLY SON,”  or  “ONLY DAUGHTER,”  and  “ONLY CHILD,”  and of the Lord Jesus as  “the ONLY BEGOTTEN of the Father”  (Jn. 1:14, 18; 3:16, 18; 1 John 4:9).
3. It was predicted by God that Mary would have other children and the Messiah would have brothers: “I have become a stranger to my brothers, and an alien to my mother's children”  (Psalm 69:8, 9).
4. His mother,  and His brothers are mentioned as following Him to Capernaum and seeking to hinder His work (Mt. 12:46-50; Mk. 3:31-35; Lk. 8:19-21; Jn. 2:12).
The children of some other woman would not be following Mary as  “His brothers.”
5. His brothers are mentioned as not believing on Him until after the Resurrection
(Jn. 7:3-10; Acts 1:14).
6. James is called “the Lord’s brother” in Galatians 1:19.
7. The natural meaning of  “his brothers”  would never have been questioned but for the fact of pagan corruption in the church – in seeking to raise Mary from a mere  “handmaid of the Lord”  (Lk. 1:38) to that of  “mother of God”  and to invest her with divine powers as a goddess.
8. Thus the way was prepared for identifying her with the goddess of paganism,  who is supposed to be the mother of a divine son,  and who is yet a virgin:  she is known as –
a. Isis Egypt
b. Isi India
c. Cybele Asia
d. Fortuna Rome
e. Ceres Greece
f.. Shing Moo China
And in different other lands by different names,  but always with a son in arms.
So it is said that Mary had no other children and that His brethren were cousins by another Mary and Cleophas;  that Joseph was too old to have children of Mary,  or that he had children by a former marriage.
All this is false,  as nothing is mentioned in Scripture or history about these claims.
And with his brethren] See the notes on Matt 12:46.  At first they had been unbelieving about the claims of Jesus (John 7:5);  but it seems that they had been subsequently converted.
His mother, Mary, and his brothers, were - as are we - sinners saved by the Grace of God through the Blood of Jesus Christ (the Messiah).

From the Amplified Bible
(12)  Then [the disciples] went back to Jerusalem from the hill called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, [only] a Sabbath day's journey (three-quarters of a mile) away.
(13)  And when they had entered [the city], they mounted [the stairs] to the upper room where they were [indefinitely] staying — Peter and John and James and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew; James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas [son] of James.
(14)  All of these with their minds in full agreement devoted themselves steadfastly to prayer, [waiting together] with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.



MATTHIAS  CHOSEN

Top
Previous Section


Acts 1:15-19
From the NKJV From the  Peshitta

(15)  And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples (altogether the number of names was about a hundred and twenty), and said,

And in those days Simon Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples (there were there a number of men, about a hundred and twenty, and said,

(16)  "Men and brethren, this Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke before by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus;

Men and Brethren, it was proper that the scripture should be fulfilled, that which the Holy Spirit foretold by the mouth of David concerning Judah, who was guide to them that seized Jesus.

(17)  for he was numbered with us and obtained a part in this ministry."

For he was numbered with us and had a lot in this ministry.

(18)  (Now this man purchased a field with the wages of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst open in the middle and all his entrails gushed out.

He is the one who earned for himself a field with the price of sin; and falling headlong, he burst open in the midst and all his bowels gushed out.

(19)  And it became known to all those dwelling in Jerusalem; so that field is called in their own language, Akel Dama, that is, Field of Blood.)

And this very thing is known to all who dwell in Jerusalem; so that the field is called in the language of the country, Khakal-Dema which is to say Koriath-dem, the field of blood.


Matthew 27:3-10
(3) Then Judas, His betrayer, seeing that He had been condemned, was remorseful and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders,
(4) saying, "I have sinned by betraying innocent blood."
And they said, "What is that to us? You see to it!"
(5) Then he threw down the pieces of silver in the temple and departed, and went and hanged himself.
(6) But the chief priests took the silver pieces and said, "It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, because they are the price of blood."
(7) And they consulted together and bought with them the potter's field, to bury strangers in.
(8) Therefore that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day.
(9) Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying, "And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the value of Him who was priced, whom they of the children of Israel priced,
(10) and gave them for the potter's field, as the LORD directed me."     (NKJV)

In those days

On one of the days intervening between the ascension of Jesus and the day of Pentecost.

The number of the names
The number of the persons,  or individuals.  The word "name" is often used to denote "the person."  In Syriac it is,  "The assembly of people was about an hundred and twenty."  This was the first assembly convened to transact the business of the church;  and it is not a little remarkable that the vote in so important a matter as electing an apostle was by the entire church.  It settles the question that the election of a minister and pastor should be by the church,  and that a pastor should not be placed over a church by a patron,  or by an ecclesiastical body.

If a case could ever occur where it would be right and proper that one should be selected to exercise the office of a minister of Christ by the ministry only,  the election of one to fill the office of an apostle was such a case.  And yet in this the entire church had a voice.  Whether this was the entire true church at this time does not appear from the history.  This expression cannot mean that there were no more believers,  but that these were all that had convened in the upper room.  It is certain that our Savior had,  by his own ministry,  brought many others to be his true followers. Compare 1 Cor 15:6.
1 Corinthians 15:6
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.     (NKJV)

Men and brethren
This is a customary mode of address,  implying affection and respect.

This scripture
This prediction contained in the writings of the Old Testament.   The passage to which Peter refers is commonly supposed to be that recorded in Ps 41:9, "Even my own familiar friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted up his heel against me."  This is expressly applied to Judas by our Savior, in John 13:18.
John 13:18
I do not speak concerning all of you. I know whom I have chosen; but that the Scripture may be fulfilled, 'He who eats bread with Me has lifted up his heel against Me.     (NKJV)
(From Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)

He was numbered with us - a part in this ministry
From this it is clear that Judas had actually obtained part in the ministry and was a saved man who fell by transgression

Ezekiel 18:24
But when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity,  and does according to all the abominations that the wicked man does, shall he live? All the righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; because of the unfaithfulness of which he is guilty and the sin which he has committed, because of them he shall die.     (NKJV)

Now this man
The money which was given for betraying the Lord Jesus was thrown down in the temple,  and the field was purchased with it by the Jewish priests  (Matt 27:3-10).   A man is said often to do a thing when he furnishes means for doing it.

Wages of iniquity
The price which he had for that deed of stupendous wickedness - the betraying of the Lord Jesus.

And falling headlong
The word here rendered "headlong" - preenees (NT:4248) (Latin "pronus," whence our English word "prone") - means properly "bent forward, head-foremost";  and the idea is,  that his position in hanging himself was such that when the cord broke he fell headlong,  or fell forward on his face.  This can easily be supposed if he threw himself from a rock or elevated place.  He first hanged himself,  and then fell and was burst asunder.

It is also suggested that after he hung himself, his body hung in the heat and bloated, and when he fell onto the rocks below, in the bloated condition, his body "exploded" or "burst open."

Their own language
Aramaic - The language spoken by the Jews, the Syro-Chaldaic.

Akel dama
This is composed of two Syro-Chaldaic words,  and means literally,  the field of blood.

From the Amplified Bible
(15)  Now on one of those days Peter arose among the brethren, the whole number of whom gathered together was about a hundred and twenty.
(16)  Brethren, he said, it was necessary that the Scripture be fulfilled which the Holy Spirit foretold by the lips of David, about Judas who acted as guide to those who arrested Jesus.
(17)  For he was counted among us and received [by divine allotment] his portion in this ministry.
(18)  Now this man obtained a piece of land with the [money paid him as a] reward for his treachery and wickedness, and falling headlong he burst open in the middle [of his body] and all his intestines poured forth.
(19)  And all the residents of Jerusalem became acquainted with the facts, so that they called the piece of land in their own dialect — Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.

Acts 1:20-22
From the NKJV From the  Peshitta

(20)  For it is written in the Book of Psalms:
Let his dwelling place be desolate, and let no one live in it';  and,  'Let another take his office.'

For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no one dwell in it; and let his ministry be taken by another man.

(21)  Therefore, of these men who have accompanied us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,

It is necessary, therefore, that one of these men, who have been with us during all the time that our Lord Jesus went in and out among us,

(22)  beginning from the baptism of John to that day when He was taken up from us, one of these must become a witness with us of His resurrection.

Beginning from the baptism of John until the day he ascended from among us, become a partner with us as a witness of his resurrection.


For it is written
The 1st Old Testament prophecy fulfilled in Acts
(1) Let his dwelling place be desolate
Judas is referred to as having his habitation desolate and his name blotted out of the book of life
Psalm 69:25 - Let their dwelling place be desolate; let no one live in their tents.
This quotation is not made literally from the Hebrew,  or from the Septuagint.
The plural is changed to the singular.
The Hebrew is, "Let their habitation be desolate, and let none dwell in their tents."
The term  "habitation,"  in the Psalm,  means evidently the dwelling-place of the enemies of the writer of the Psalm.  It is an image expressive of their overthrow and defeat by a just God:  "Let their families be scattered,  and the places where they have dwelt be without an inhabitant,  as a reward for their crimes."
(2) Let another take his office
Psalm 109:8 - Let his days be few, and let another take his office.
As the office had now become vacant by the death of Judas,  it was proper that it should be conferred on some other person.
The word rendered  "office"  in the Psalm means the care,  charge,  business,  oversight of anything.  It is a word applicable to
magistrates,  whose care it is to see that the laws are executed;
military men who have charge of an army, or a part of an army.
The Greek is episkopos (NT: 1985),  commonly translated  "bishop,"  and means his office,  charge,  or duty.  That word means simply having the oversight of anything,  and as applied to the officers of the New Testament,  it denotes merely  "their having charge of the affairs of the church,"  without specifying the nature or the extent of their jurisdiction.   Hence, it is often interchanged with presbyter or elder, and denotes the discharge of the duties of the same office.

Of these men
Of those who had witnessed the life and works of Christ, and who were therefore qualified to discharge the duties of the office from which Judas fell. Probably Peter refers to the seventy disciples, Luke 10:1-2.

Hence, it is often interchanged with presbyter or elder, and denotes the discharge of the duties of the same office.
"So then, someone must join us as a witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. He must be one of the men who were in our group during the whole time that the Lord Jesus traveled about with us, beginning from the time John preached his message of baptism until the day Jesus was taken up from us to heaven."

Since twelve men had been solemnly set apart by the Lord of the Church for the work which now lay before them,  the apostle deems it indispensable that their ranks should be filled up before the time should arrive for the commencement of the work.  No doubt the correspondence of that number with the number of the tribes of Israel had been long before observed by themselves,  in which case they would regard the lack of one as a serious,  if not a fatal gap.  The qualifications for the apostleship here laid down as indispensable are very specific,  and should he carefully observed.
It was not enough to have seen the Lord Jesus alive after His passion:
the candidate must have been His constant follower from the very first to the very last,
that from his own personal knowledge he might be qualified to testify to that public life which His resurrection glorified, and those claims which it conclusively established.
(from Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1997, 2003 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

From the Amplified Bible
(20)  For in the book of Psalms it is written, Let his place of residence become deserted and gloomy, and let there be no one to live in it; and [again], Let another take his position or overseership. [Psalms 69:25; 109:8.]
(21)  So one of the [other] men who have accompanied us [apostles] during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,
(22)  From the baptism of John at the outset until the day when He was taken up from among us — one of these men must join with us and become a witness to testify to His resurrection.

Acts 1:23-26
From the NKJV From the  Peshitta

(23)  And they proposed two: Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.

So they appointed two:  Joseph called Barshabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.

(24)  And they prayed and said, "You, O Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which of these two You have chosen

And as they prayed, they said, O Lord, thou knowest what is in the hearts of all men; show which of these two thou dost choose,

(25)  to take part in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place."

That he may receive the lot to the ministry and apostleship, from which Judah has been relieved to go his own way,

(26)  And they cast their lots, and the lot fell on Matthias. And he was numbered with the eleven apostles.

Then they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.


They proposed two
As we should say, they nominated two.  Literally,  they made them to stand forth,  as persons do who are candidates for office.  These two were probably more distinguished by prudence,  wisdom,  piety,  and age than the others,  and they were so nearly equal in qualifications that they could not determine which was the best suited for the office.
(1) Joseph called Barsabas
It is not certainly known what the name Barsabas denotes. The Syriac word "Bar" means son and the word "Sabas" has been translated "an oath, rest, quiet, or captivity."
Some texts read Joses Barnabas as in Acts 4:36 (And Joses, who was also named Barnabas by the apostles (which is translated Son of Encouragement), a Levite of the country of Cyprus)
Lightfoot supposes that he was the son of Alphaeus and brother of James the Less, and that he was chosen on account of his relationship to the family of the Lord Jesus.
Surnamed Justus
Who was called Justus. This is a Latin name,  meaning just,  and was probably given him on account of his distinguished integrity.  It was not uncommon among the Jews for a man to have several names.
(2) Matthias
Nothing is known of the family of this man, or of his character, further than that he was numbered with the apostles, and shared their lot in the toils, the persecutions, and the honors of preaching the gospel to mankind.

And they prayed
As they could not agree on the individual, they invoked the direction of God in their choice.

Lots
Some have supposed that this means they voted.  But to this interpretation there are insuperable objections:
1. The word  "lots,"  kleerous  (NT: 2819),  is not used to express votes,  or suffrage.
2. The expression  "the lot fell upon"  is not consistent with the notion of voting.  It is commonly expressive of casting lots.
3. Casting lots was common among the Jews on important and difficult occasions,  and it was natural that the apostles should resort to it in this. Especially since they did not yet have the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
A. David divided the priests by lot, 1 Chron 24:5.
B. The land of Canaan was divided by lot, Num 26:55; Josh 15:1; 16; 17
C. Jonathan, son of Saul, was detected as having violated his father's command. and as bringing calamity on the Israelites by lot, 1 Sam 14:41-42
D. Achan was detected by lot, Josh 7:16-18
In these instances the use of the lot was regarded as a solemn appeal to God for his direct interference in cases which they could not themselves decide.
 
Proverbs 16:33
"The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD.
  The choice of an apostle was an event of the same kind,  and was regarded as a solemn appeal to God for his direction and guidance in a case which the apostles could not determine.

The manner in which this was done is not certainly known.  The common mode of casting lots was to write the names of the persons on pieces of stone,  wood,  etc.,  and put them in one urn,  and the name of the office,  portion,  etc., on others.

These were then placed in an urn with other pieces of stone,  etc.,  which were blank.  The names were then drawn at random,  and also the other pieces and this settled the case.

The lot fell
These two clauses when taken together seem to indicate that the choice was made in a manner similar to that in which the Urim and the Thummin were used in Old Testament times.  The names,  written on stone,  would have been placed in a vessel which was then shaken;  the first stone to fall out would indicate the man chosen.
(from the UBS Handbook Series. Copyright (c) 1961-1997, by United Bible Societies)

From the Amplified Bible
(23)  And they accordingly proposed (nominated) two men, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.
(24)  And they prayed and said, You, Lord, Who know all hearts ( their thoughts, passions, desires, appetites, purposes, and endeavors), indicate to us which one of these two You have chosen
(25)  To take the place in this ministry and receive the position of an apostle, from which Judas fell away and went astray to go [where he belonged] to his own [proper] place.
(26)  And they drew lots [between the two], and the lot fell on Matthias; and he was added to and counted with the eleven apostles (special messengers).


 

(End of Chapter One)

 

Bibliography

 


Home First
Covenant
Second
Covenant
Topical
Studies
Table of
Contents
Top