Jesus showed Himself alive after death
1 The first report I made, O Theophilus/lover of God, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, 2 Until the day that he was taken up, after he, through the Holy Spirit, had given commandments to the apostles whom he had chosen: 3 To whom also he showed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen by them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.
- Jesus showed His resurrected self to His disciples for 40 days, not just the times recorded.
- The first report is the book of Luke.
- Roman history records that Theophilus was a Roman nobleman of the upper class.
- Luke the physician was his slave and led him to Christ.
- The nobleman freed Luke to accompany Paul.
- The book of Acts details God’s work of spreading His love to the world through the early church.
- Acts contains 31 miracles that God did over 31 years.
4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, that you have heard from me, he said. 5 For John truly baptized with water; but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now. 6 When they came together, they asked of him saying, Lord, will you restore the kingdom to Israel at this time?
- Israel will rule the world in the future.
The Father gave us His Holy Spirit and His power
7 And he said to them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father has put in his own power. 8 But you will receive power after the Holy Spirit has come upon you: and you will be witnesses to me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the farthest part of the earth.
- Witnessing is a simple task. It’s just telling what you know. It’s telling the truth.
Jesus was taken up to the throne of God
9 And when he had spoken these things, while they watched, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. 10 And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white clothing; 11 Who said, You men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way that you have seen him go into heaven.
- Bodily, physically, visibly He ascended to the throne of God.
- Bodily, physically, visibly He will return to earth.
- Zechariah 14:4 And his feet will stand in that day on the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives will split in the middle toward the east and toward the west, and there will be a very great valley; and half of the mountain will move toward the north, and half of it toward the south.
- Hebrews 1:3 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 on the right hand of the Majesty on high…
The Lord knows the hearts of all men
12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is a sabbath day's journey from Jerusalem. 13 And when they came in, they went to an upper room where Peter, James, John, Andrew, Philip, Thomas, Bartholomew, Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James remained. 14 These all continued steadfastly with one mind in prayer and supplication with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.
- 1Thessalonians 5:17 Pray without ceasing.
15 And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, (the number of names together were about 120) and said, 16 Men and brothers, this scripture had to be fulfilled that the Holy Spirit foretold by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who was guide to those that 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; and falling headlong, he burst open in the middle and all his bowels gushed out. 19 And it was known to all living at Jerusalem; so that field is called in their language Aceldama, that is, The field of blood. 20 For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his estate be forsaken, and let no man dwell there: and let another take his office. 21 Therefore of 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 unto that 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 Barsabas, 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, that he might go to his own place. 26 And they gave their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.
- Matthias went out in pairs with one of the disciples. He filled in that gap for a time. He is never mentioned again in scripture.
- Neither are the 120 others who were gathered the day of this appointment. That does not mean that they did not serve the Lord well.
- The Lord, however, appointed Saul of Tarsus to be the twelfth apostle. Acts 9 records this appointment by the Lord.
God sent His Holy Spirit to abide with us forever
1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one mind in one place. 2 And suddenly a sound came from heaven like a violent wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3 And tongues like fire appeared to them, and distributing themselves, they sat on each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.
- John 14:16-17 And I will pray to the Father, and he will give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see him or know him: but you know him; for he dwells with you, and will be in you.
5 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. 6 Now when this sound occurred/voice was made, the multitude gathered and were confounded because every man heard them speak in his own language. 7 And they were all amazed and marveled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these who speak Galilaeans? 8 And how do we hear every man in our own language in which we were born? 9 Parthians, Medes, Elamites, the dwellers in Mesopotamia, in Judaea, in Cappadocia, in Pontus, in Asia, 10 Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretes and Arabians, we hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.
- This was a miracle that got attention to the message
Peter was about to speak.
- In these languages, the Holy Spirit was telling the wonderful works of God.
12 And they were all amazed and in doubt, saying one to another, What does this mean? 13 Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine. 14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice and said to them, You men of Judea, and all you that dwell at Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to my words: 15 For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is just nine o’clock in the morning. 16 But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel; 17 And it will come to pass in the last days, said God, I will pour out of my Spirit on all flesh: and your sons and your daughters will prophesy, and your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams: 18 And in those days I will pour out of my Spirit on my servants and on my handmaidens; and they will prophesy.
- Amos 3:8 defines prophesying as speaking the words of God.
The day of His coming again will be great and glorious
19 And I will show wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, fire, and vapor of smoke: 20 The sun will be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood before that great and glorious day of the Lord comes: 21 And it will happen that whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. 22 You men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs that God did by him in the midst of you, as you yourselves also know: 23 He was delivered by the predetermined counsel and foreknowledge of God, you have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and killed: 24 Whom God has raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be held by it. 25 For David speaks concerning him, I saw the Lord always before my face, for he is at my right hand that I not be moved: 26 Therefore my heart rejoices, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh will rest in hope: 27 Because you will not leave my soul in hell, neither will you allow your Holy One to see corruption.
- Sin caused death.
- Jesus did no sin so death had no power to hold Him.
- Once our sins that He carried were dealt with, He was free, having totally conquered death.
- Our sins were paid for in full so death has no hold on us either.
- After this most astounding victory of the universe, Jesus went to announce the victory to the evil ones in prison inside earth.
- 1 Peter 3:18-20 By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; Who sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.
God raised Jesus from death and exalted Him to the highest place
28 You have made known to me the ways of life; you will make me full of joy with your countenance. 29 Men and brothers, let me freely speak to you of the patriarch David; he is both dead and buried, and his grave is with us to this day. 30 Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; 31 He, seeing this before, spoke of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither did his flesh decay. 32 This Jesus, God has raised up, of which we all are witnesses. 33 Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has shed forth this, which you now see and hear. 34 For David has not ascended into the heavens: but he said himself, The LORD said to my Lord, You sit at my right hand, 35 Until I make your enemies your footstool. 36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain, that God has made that same Jesus, whom you have crucified, both Lord and Christ.
- Lord means controller of all things.
- Christ means anointed one.
- Throughout the Bible God anointed Israel’s kings to rule.
- This tells us that God anointed Jesus to rule as king of the universe (all that exists) forever.
- God is making Jesus’ enemies His footstool.
- Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, All power is given to me in heaven and in earth.
- Acts 10:36 The word God sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:)
God only requires that we turn back to Him
37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said to Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brothers, what are we to do? 38 Then Peter said to them, Turn back to God and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 39 For the promise is to you and to your children and to all that are far off, even as many as the Lord our God will call. 40 And with many other words he testified and exhorted saying, Save yourselves from this perverse generation. 41 Then those that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day about 3,000 souls were added to them. 42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43 And fear came on every soul: the apostles did many wonders and signs. 44 And all that believed were together and had all things common; 45 And sold their possessions and goods and divided them to all men as every man had need. 46 And they, continuing daily with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, ate their food with gladness and singleness of heart, 47 praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as would be saved.
- God added daily those who called upon Him, because v 21 ‘whosoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved.’
God’s healing fills with wonder and amazement
1 Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour. 2 And a certain man lame from his mother's womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of those that entered the temple; 3 Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked to receive alms. 4 And Peter fastened his eyes on him with John and said, Look at us. 5 And he gave them his attention, expecting to receive something from them. 6 Then Peter said, I have no silver or gold; but what I have I give to you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. 7 And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and anklebones received strength. 8 And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God. 9 And all the people saw him walking and praising God: 10 And they knew that it was he who sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple: and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.
- Job 5:9 Who does great things and unsearchable; marvelous things without number
Jesus is God’s prince, the Author of life
11 And as the lame man who was healed held Peter and John, all the people ran together to them in the porch that is called Solomon's, full of great amazement. 12 And when Peter saw it, he answered the people, You men of Israel, why do you marvel at this? Why do you look so earnestly on us as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man walk? 13 The God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his Son Jesus; whom you delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go. 14 But you denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted to you; 15 And killed the Prince/Author of life, whom God has raised from the dead; of which we are witnesses. 16 And his name, and by the faith that is through Him (Jesus), this man has been made strong, whom you see and know; yes, the faith that comes through him has given this perfect soundness in the presence of you all. 17 And now brothers, I think that through ignorance you did it, just as did your rulers. 18 But the things that God announced beforehand by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ would suffer, he has fulfilled.
- 1 Peter 3:18 For Christ has once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but made alive by the Spirit
His presence refreshes us through His Holy Spirit
19 Therefore repent and be converted for the blotting out of your sins, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; 20 And he will send Jesus Christ, who before was preached to you: 21 Whom heaven must receive until the times of restoring of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.
- Life will be like Eden then, when man has free access to God and the whole world is free of evil.
22 For Moses truly said to the fathers, The Lord your God will raise up unto you a prophet from your brothers like me; you will hear him in all things whatever he speaks to you. 23 And it will happen that every soul who will not hear that prophet will be destroyed from among the people. 24 Yes, and all the prophets from Samuel and those following, as many as spoke, have also announced these days. 25 You are the children of the prophets and of the covenant that God made with our fathers saying to Abraham, And in your seed all the families of the earth will be blessed. 26 Having raised up His child Jesus, God sent Him to you first to bless you in turning every one of you away from his iniquities.
- Iniquity means missing the mark.
- The first and great command (Matthew 22:37) is to love God with all our hearts. That is the goal. That is the mark we are missing.
- It is an awesomely blessed life. ‘In His presence is fullness of joy and at His right hand pleasures forevermore’—Psalm 16:11
SUMMARY: Acts 1-3
- Jesus showed Himself alive after death
- The Father gave us His Holy Spirit and His power
- Jesus was taken up to the throne of God
- The Lord knows the hearts of all men
- God sent His Holy Spirit to abide with us forever
- The day of His coming again will be great and glorious
- God raised Jesus from death and exalted Him to the highest place
- God only requires that we turn back to Him
- Jesus is God’s prince, the Author of life
- His presence refreshes us through His Holy Spirit