CHAPTER 1 | Verses 1-12

Verse 1: “The first word which I did concerning all, Theophilus, which Yeshua did at the beginning and also taught,”

The first word: The author is talking about the first book that he wrote – his writing of the Gospel of Luke.

Concerning all: The Gospel of Luke focused upon the work and the personhood of Messiah. Theophilus: His name means: ‘One who loves God’.

Which Yeshua did … and also taught: What Yeshua did and taught is emphasised here. Yeshua brought Kingdom experiences (miracles) into this world in order to teach us truth. Truth transforms us. 


Verse 2: “until the day, when He commanded those who He chose to be Apostles through the Holy Spirit, He was taken up.”

Until the day: … He was taken up: We find an interruption in the text between ‘until the day’ and ‘He was taken up’. The emphasis is not on the fact that it was the day that Yeshua was leaving, but the emphasis was that on that day, by means of the Holy Spirit, He commanded the Apostles.

Throughout the book of Acts there is a clear emphasis upon the Holy Spirit, who is associated with redemption (Isaiah 59v20-21) and with bringing divine order into our lives. Redemption is a purchase, but it can also be understood as a reclaiming.

Who He chose: We, as believers, have also been chosen by God and have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us. Being chosen always comes with responsibility, purpose, and a call to service until Yeshua returns again. 



Verse 3: “To them (these apostles) He presented Himself alive, after He suffered, and He did so with convincing proof. For forty days being seen by them and speaking about the things of the Kingdom of God.”

He presented Himself: Literally meaning: ‘He stood before them’.

Alive: This took place after the resurrection; He had conquered death; therefore, He has also conquered sin. Those who believe in Him are supposed to live lives that demonstrate victory over sin.

Convincing proof: There was nothing uncertain about the resurrection. All the evidence left no room for doubt.

Forty days: Forty is seen as a number relating to transition: in this case, a transition from an earthly centred life to a Kingdom centred one. This becomes a reality through the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

Speaking about the things of the Kingdom of God: He spoke not only about the Kingdom, but He spoke about the things of the Kingdom. These things are at the heart of the book of Acts. We do not only expect these things in the future, but they are available to us now. 



Verse 4: “And being gathered with them He commanded them: ‘From Jerusalem you should not depart, but wait for the promise of the Father, which you have heard from me.’”

Being gathered with them: There is an emphasis upon Yeshua being with the disciples (now called Apostles, because He was sending them forth).

He commanded them: God instructs or commands us, and it is only through obedience to His commands that we are going to live a victorious life over sin in this world. From Jerusalem you should not depart: This was not only Yeshua’ s command to the disciples, but was also an act of obedience according to the law of Moses. Yeshua was crucified at Passover and rose on the day after the Sabbath (Luke 23v56, Luke 24v1-3). 

This particular day (the day after the Sabbath) had been celebrated for generations as the Festival of First fruits – one of the L-rd’s appointed days (Leviticus 23v9-14). 1 Corinthians 15v20 sheds a new light on this festival. It links the resurrection of Yeshua to Him being the first fruit from the dead.

In verse 3 we were told that Yeshua had been seen for 40 days (the 40th day of the counting of the Omer) since His resurrection. In another 10 days (50 days after first fruits in total) another festival needed to be celebrated – It is called Shavuot or Pentecost (Leviticus 23v15-21).

Wait for the promise: This is a principle that should be manifest in our lives. We are waiting for the promises of God, His Kingdom (Hebrews 11v39-40). 



Verse 5: “John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit, after not many of these days.”

Baptized: There is a connection between immersion/baptism and a transition/change that happens in a person’s life (or a vessel’s status).

But: This is a word of contrast. John, as great as he was, could only baptise with water. Something much greater than his baptism was coming.

Baptized with the Holy Spirit: Meaning that they were going to have a redemptive experience. 

After not many of these days: This is an idiom in Greek meaning ‘within an allotment of time’ or something that should be expected soon. 



Verse 6: “Therefore those (apostles) came before Yeshua and they asked Him saying: ‘L-rd, if at this time you are going to restore the kingdom to Israel?’”

L-rd: The apostles are recognizing that Yeshua is the L-rd of the Kingdom and that He rules. Going to restore the kingdom to Israel: The disciples had an expectation that the Kingdom would be restored back to Israel. There is a connection, Biblically, between the Kingdom and Israel.


Verse 7: “It is not for you to know the times or the seasons which the Father has set under His own authority,”

It is not for you to know: Yeshua did not disagree that the Kingdom was going to be restored back to Israel. It is going to happen, but there was no need to know when.

The times or the seasons: Yeshua, as well as Paul (1 Thessalonians 5v1) breaks the last days into two distinct allotments of time.
Which the Father has set: The Father sets the time. He is going to give the command for the Son to restore the Kingdom to Israel. 



Verse 8:but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you shall be witnesses for Me in Jerusalem, and in all of Judea and Samaria, until the end of the Earth.”

Power: This is a destructive power – we get the word ‘dynamite’ from this word. Before things can be built up they have to first be torn down. The Holy Spirit, although He is a person and the third member of the Trinity, He is also power for the believer.
And you shall be witnesses: We are given power in order to testify – in both our words and deeds. 



Verse 9: “These things He said, and after He said them they were looking, and He was taken up in a cloud from before their eyes.”

He was taken up: The resurrection was God’s stamp of approval upon the work of Messiah. Likewise, the ascension was God’s stamp of approval on all that Yeshua had said, His promise of the Holy Spirit, the call that we have, etc. These were all ratified, by God, through the ascension. 



Verse 10: “As they were looking into the heavens, as He went, behold two men were standing before them and they had white garments.”

Two men: These two men were angels who had come to give insight concerning the ascension. 

White garments: White speaks of purity. It emphasizes where these men had come from, how they lived their lives, and what their job was – to confirm truth. 



Verse 11: “And these were saying: ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the heavens? For this same Yeshua was taken up from you, into the heavens, and thus He will come in a like manner.’”

The heavens: Heaven is related to God. All that happened had a divine stamp of approval upon it. What those Apostles were called to do, why they were called to do it, and what the outcome of their obedience to that call would be also had this same stamp of approval.

He will come in a like manner: He was taken up by a cloud and He will return in the clouds – in order to do what He has promised, to bring about the fulfilment of His Kingdom. 



Verse 12: “They returned to Jerusalem, from the mountain called ‘The Olives’ which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day journey.”

They returned to Jerusalem: They immediately responded in obedience and positioned themselves for the expectation of the promise of God.

From the mountain called ‘The Olives’: The place of Yeshua’ s ascension is the same place to which He is going to return (Zechariah 14v4).

A Sabbath journey: According to Jewish law, in regard to the Sabbath, once a person left the boundaries of a city there was a limit as to how far they could go – about two to three kilometres. In Greek, this phrase is literally written: ‘the way of the Sabbath’. Sabbath is a word that reminds us of the Kingdom. They returned back to Jerusalem for the way into the Kingdom, expectant for the Holy Spirit.


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