Acts 1

Waiting on God for the anointing of the Spirit is the great condition of spiritual blessing and fullness of power. Those whom Jesus Christ employs as His witnesses He will qualify for it by a better spirit than their own — the Holy Spirit, His representative.

1 The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,

2 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:

3 To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:

4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.

5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.

6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?

7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.

8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.

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

11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.

12 Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day’s journey.

13 And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother 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 brethren.

15 ¶ And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty,)

16 Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them 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 asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out.

19 And it was known unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem; insomuch as that field is called in their proper tongue, Aceldama, that is to say, The field of blood.

20 For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishoprick let another take.

21 Wherefore of these men which have companied with 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, must one 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, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast 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 forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.

Acts 1:1-14 – ​Beginning Afresh

   Luke informs Theophilus (the name means “a lover of God”) that his Gospel told the story of what the Lord began to do and teach. Evidently this further book is a continuation of His deeds and words. It ought to be called “The Acts of the Ascended Christ.” The Gospel tells of what Jesus did through a mortal body; and this book what He did through the Church, “which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all” (Ephesians 1:23). Here we learn that the time between the Resurrection and the Ascension was forty days; that our Lord issued commandments, no doubt about the ordering of the Church; and that He spoke with the Apostles of the coming kingdom of God—that ideal society which is God’s great objective through the ages. It would not be established by the sword of the soldier, but by the witness-bearing of the evangelist, Acts 1:8.
   Then the Lord rose before their eyes, and passed within a cloud, which dropped like a curtain before Him. He passed into heaven, Hebrews 9:24, to make intercession, to guide the course of His Church, and to sit at the right hand of the Father till His enemies should be made His footstool. —Through the Bible Day by Day

Acts 1:8—Ye shall be witnesses unto me.

​   How different this function, entrusted to the apostles, to that assumed by the self-styled priests of our time, who claim the power to repeat the sacrifice of Calvary, and to absolve the penitent from his sins! The Master did not say that his followers were to become sacrificing priests, but witnesses to what He had done and would do.
   Looking to Jesus is the condition of witness-bearing —How else can we bear witness of Him? As we behold Him we shall reflect Him; and as we reflect Him we shall be changed into the same image from glory to glory, as by the Spirit of the Lord (II Corinthians 3:18). It will not involve strenuous effort to witness to Jesus, if we are living in fellowship with Him. Light is self-revealing. In infinitesimal touches and expressions the light we are catching from Him will gleam forth, and men will unconsciously be led to believe in Him who has made us what we are.
   Witness-bearing must spread through successive circles of influence—like the circling wavelets from a stone flung into the midst of a calm mountain lake. Some think they could witness in the uttermost ends of the earth, but they neglect the Jerusalem of the home. Those who begin here will be led almost unconsciously forward to the Judaea of their relatives, and the Samaria of their near neighborhood, and so to the further boundary.
   For witnessing we have supreme power.—If even your testimony is demanded, claim the power for the emergency. It is certainly at hand, and within reach. The hand of faith, the opened heart, may surely receive not a power, an attribute merely, but the Spirit, whose attribute of power certainly accompanies Him. Not It, but He. —Our Daily Homily

Acts 1:15-26 – ​Filling a Vacant Place

   It may be that the Apostles were acting upon Christ’s directions, when they proceeded to the election of a successor to Judas. There was awe in Peter’s voice, as he describes the traitor as the guide of the arresting band, although he had been numbered with the Apostles and had obtained part in their ministry. It was as though Peter felt that it might have been himself. He and the rest had stood at the brink of the precipice over which Judas had flung himself.
   Evidently there were favored and humble men who, though they did not belong to the brotherhood, had been allowed to company with the Apostles, and had been witnesses of the marvelous story as it had been unrolled before their eyes. They were thus able to give their testimony first-hand. What an honor had been theirs! And now one of them was summoned to take the place of Judas. His qualification was his ability to bear witness to the Resurrection, Acts 1:22. That was the salient point in the primitive evangel. But cannot we all bear witness to it? What but the resurrection of Jesus can account for the hot springs of religious fervor that arise in our wintry hearts! —Through the Bible Day by Day