Gracefully Truthful

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Discover the original intent of Scripture. Make good application to our everyday lives.
Become equipped to correctly handle the Word of Truth!

Read His Words Before Ours!

Acts 1:6-14

6 So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; 8 but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.

9 And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. 10 And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was going, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them. 11 They also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.”

12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey away. 13 When they had entered the city, they went up to the upper room where they were staying; that is, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas the son of James. 14 These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.

The Original Intent

1) Why were the disciples concerned about Jesus restoring the kingdom to Israel?

The disciples believed they were God’s chosen people and that God would again make them a great kingdom. The greatest time in Israel’s history was when King David ruled from 1011 to 971 B.C. After that time, Israel split into two kingdoms. The Northern Kingdom went into Assyrian captivity in 722 B.C., and the Southern Kingdom went into Babylonian captivity in 586 B.C.

After the Babylonian invasion of Jerusalem, the Israelites never reached the status that they once had when David was king. Soon after the Babylonian captivity, the Medes and Persians took over. Then came the Greeks and finally in 63 B.C. the Romans took over.

The disciples longed to be free from their enemy’s control. They believed that the “time of the Gentiles” was finally coming to an end and that God was about to set up his kingdom on earth (Luke 21:24, 31). The disciples saw Christ’s kingdom as a political system from God that would rule over the people of Israel.

The Everyday Application

1) Why were the disciples concerned about Jesus restoring the kingdom to Israel?

God still hasn’t restored the kingdom to Israel. There is still unrest and ongoing turmoil in the Middle East over a piece of land the size of New Jersey. This tells me there is still work to be done in our mission as the church to be witnesses of Jesus.

As we share with others who Jesus is to us, we are slowly but surely bringing His kingdom to earth. When Christ talked of God’s kingdom, He was never talking about a political system. He was talking about His rule and reign.

God wants to rule and reign in the hearts of people. Jesus is coming again to rule over the new heaven and the new earth. In a sense, God’s kingdom is here now among us in the hearts of those who follow Him. In another sense, His kingdom is coming when He returns on the clouds and sets up His rule and reign in Jerusalem. Then, we will all experience the fullness of His kingdom.

The Original Intent

2) Why didn’t Jesus tell them when He was going to restore the kingdom?

It appears as if Jesus is much more concerned about His disciples being His witnesses throughout the world than He is interested in setting up His kingdom in Israel. Jesus knew that the gospel would be spread to the ends of the earth through His disciples and their witness of Him and who they knew Him to be. He wanted them to be focused on the task at hand and not on some power trip. He knew that His rule would be spread through the witness of His followers and the power of the Holy Spirit within them. Luke wrote Acts around 63 A.D. This would have been a reminder to the church to continue spreading the gospel to the ends of the earth until Christ’s return.

The Everyday Application

2) Why didn’t Jesus tell them when He was going to restore the kingdom?

Christ didn’t tell them when He was going to restore the kingdom, and He doesn’t tell us when He will return to rule and reign. Mark 13:32 says, “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” 

Why would He keep us waiting for so long? I believe it’s because He longs for others to come to Him. How will they hear if we don’t tell them? Christ is giving us time to be His witnesses in our homes, in our towns, in our state, in our country, and throughout the whole world.

Are you telling people about Him? You can be a catalyst to usher in His kingdom. Go out there and be His witness!! 

The Original Intent

3) Who was in the upper room and what were they doing as they waited?

According to verses 13 and 14, the eleven remaining disciples were in the upper room along with some women, including Mary the mother of Jesus and His brothers. James and Jude were two of His brothers. These people were the first church.

I find it interesting that they were of one mind. They were unified in their mission to be Christ’s witnesses, but they had no idea how they were going to do that because they hadn’t received the power of the Holy Spirit yet, so what did they do? They continually devoted themselves to prayer. They sought God in their waiting continually. When they didn’t know what to do, they prayed. They waited and devoted themselves to prayer while they waited.

The Everyday Application

3) Who was in the upper room and what were they doing as they waited?

What do you do when you’re waiting for something big to come along? If you’re like me, you plan, you prepare, you get all your ducks in a row, you try to control. Sometimes I forget to pray. I certainly don’t continually devote myself to prayer, and yet that’s exactly what the early church did as they were waiting to be filled with the Holy Spirit.

As we wait for our Beautiful Savior’s return, let us devote ourselves to prayer. As we seek to be His witnesses, let us ask Him for His guidance to lead us to those people He would have us share our stories with. When we feel weak and unable to testify to His goodness, let us ask Him for more faith. When we’re scared to share with others, let us ask Him for courage and boldness.

As we wait for our dear Savior’s return, let us seek His face continually so that we will be people who can testify that we’ve been with Him. We’ve seen His face. We’ve experienced His goodness. There is no better place to meet with Him than in the humility of prayer. He will meet you there. I promise! I know! I’ve seen Him there!!

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