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The Ascension of Jesus (Acts 1)

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Acts 1

The former account I made, O Theophilus, concerning all that Jesus began to do and to teach, 2 until the day in which he was received up, after that he had given commandments through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. 3 To whom, after his suffering, he also showed by many convincing proofs that he was alive, being seen by them for forty days, and speaking about the kingdom of God. 4 And, being assembled together with them, he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, you heard from me: 5 For John indeed baptized with water, but soon you shall be baptized in the Holy Spirit.
   6 Therefore, when they had come together, they asked him: 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 set within his own authority. 8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and Samaria, and to the remotest part of the earth.

The ascension of Jesus
   9 And when he had said these things, as they were watching, he was taken up, and a cloud received him out of their sight. 10 And while they were looking earnestly into heaven as he went, two men stood by them in white clothing, 11 who also said: You men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was received up from you into heaven, shall return in like manner as you saw him going into heaven.
   12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near to Jerusalem, a Sabbath day's journey. 13 And when they arrived, they went into the upper room where they were staying, 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 accord continued earnestly in prayer with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.

A replacement for Judas
   15 And in these days Peter stood up in the midst of the brothers (a gathering of about one hundred and twenty persons) and said: 16 Brothers, it was necessary that the Scripture should be fulfilled which the Holy Spirit spoke before by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who was guide to those that took Jesus. 17 For he was numbered among us and received his part in this ministry. 18 Now this man obtained a field with the reward of his iniquity, and falling headlong, he burst open in the middle and all his entrails gushed out. 19 And it became known to all the dwellers at Jerusalem, so much so that in their language that field was called Akeldama, that is, The field of blood. 20 For it is written in the book of Psalms: Let his habitation be made desolate and let no one dwell therein, and his office let another take. 21 Therefore, of the men that have been with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and went out among us, 22 beginning from the baptism of John, to the day that he was received up from us, of these must one become a witness with us of his resurrection.
   23 And they put forward two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was surnamed Justus; and Matthias. 24 And they prayed, and said: Lord, you who knows the hearts of all men, show us which of these two is the one whom you have chosen 25 to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas fell away, that he might go to his own place. 26 And they cast lots for them; and the lot fell upon Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.


1:1 Former account- The Gospel of Luke. This was the record of what Jesus “began” to do. Jesus didn’t stop His activity when He ascended to Heaven- the book of Acts is the account of how He continues to work with His people on earth, and that work continues to this day.

1:7 Even after His resurrection, Jesus didn’t know the exact time of His return; only God knows (Mk. 13:32). This shows that Jesus wasn’t only ‘less than God’ during His mortal life; even after His resurrection, God the Father is still greater than and different to Jesus. Trinitarian theology is totally mistaken.

1:10 Two men- Angels.

1:11 In like manner- Jesus will literally return to earth, perhaps to the Mount of Olives from which He ascended (v. 12).

1:20 Let another take- Peter sets us an example of how to proceed in decision making. He looked at the Old Testament prophecies and principles, and then concretely did something. It was written in the Psalms that another would take the place of the betrayer- and so Peter got on and did something about that. Bible prophecy requires that we do our part in fulfilling it.