ACTS 1:9 AND BEYOND

( Verse 9-10 ) 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.

I can only imagine all the feeling, all the spectrum of emotion that these few people felt, can you? Here’s a man called Jesus Christ. These people have walked with him, talked with him for many years now. In the last few weeks they have seen him crucified, buried and, raised from the grave. Not only that; they have seen people come out of the graves, felt earthquakes, seen rocks rent, even the veil of the temple torn into, something that; to them was unheard of. You can read that account in ( Matthew 27: 50-54 ). Now, they stand and watch as this same man is simply lifted up into heaven.

As I read about these things and try to imagine just how these people felt I wonder, just how were things just before the birth of Christ? We know Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist was struck dumb just before his birth but, what about the hundreds of years before these events? Just how much did things happen of this nature before the birth of Christ? The point I’m making is that I believe that the period of time just before Christ was much like it is now, that is; as far as life just being normal.

If we seek to place ourselves with these people on that day, we would probably be gazing up into heaven as well because it was not a natural event. It wasn’t something that happened everyday. Even as they stood there it says that two men in white apparel came and, also spoke to them. Just how strange would that be? I say all this to make the points that need to be made in the next few verses. If you remember, Jesus had told them ( not to leave Jerusalem ) ( and wait ) for the promise of the Father.

Now, let’s look at a verse of scripture here. ( 2 Peter 3:8 ) But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. When Jesus was speaking with them, at any time; they didn’t realize how God looked at time. I say these things to try and relate to these people and their actions in the next few verses. I can see their faith exploding within them and the great anticipation as they went through the next ten days waiting. ( I believe ) that it would be a great attribute to the Church if we sought to prepare ourselves for his coming again like these people did. It might have been ( ignorant faith ) but at least it caused them to move and prepare. They could not see what would transpire over the next few days and years of their lives but, neither can any of us, can we? They we so excited about the return of Christ that they made some mistakes in judgment. They had no idea it would be over two thousand years before he would return, at least in a bodily form.

I’m going to try to finish this chapter in this segment so, let’s back up a little and think about something. In ( verse 5 ) Jesus Christ tells them that they shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost. In ( Matthew 28 ) he also tells them to go, and baptize in the name of the Father, the Son and, the Holy Ghost. First of all, did they understand what he was saying? Can you explain what he is saying, even today? Consider, just because something is said;does not mean you understand all it is saying.

While questions of this nature might seem very insignificant and, maybe, to some degree; doesn’t matter, it does give us insight to some things we might need to consider today. I say, it’s worth looking into. First of all, one of the other disciples should have stood up and stated; we need not do anything right now, Jesus instructed us to ( wait ) for the promise of the Father. However, we know that Peter often stepped out in front as he did here. We see that all through the gospels. While I’m speaking of this; let me point something out. ( John 13:23 ) Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved. ( 24 ) Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, that he should ask who it should be of whom he spake.

I’ve often wondered here why Peter didn’t ask Jesus, they were all sitting in the same room. ( I believe ) that it makes a point of whom is closest to Jesus. That; in a spiritual sense. Can you see what I’m saying? I also believe that the disciple leaning on the bosom of Jesus was John. That same John was in the upper room with Peter when Peter began to speak in the upper room that day. That’s just a thought. I do however believe that Peter made another mistake in judgment on this day about picking a disciple to replace Judas. I’ll try to give you my reasoning here and, you can allow the spirit of God direct you as you read.

Since I mentioned Judas here, let’s start with him. Judas will be the topic of discussion in the next few verses. He was picked to be an Apostle of Jesus Christ. He also told the location of Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. We see that in ( Matthew 26:15 ) In ( Matthew 27:5 ) we see that he went out and hanged himself. One of the first questions here might be; just why did Jesus pick him? Jesus, knowing all things would have known this. ( I believe ) there’s a spiritual answer to all things. We just have to study, under the inspiration of God’s Spirit to be albe to see those things. Just as we used the book of Leviticus to show the ( day of Pentecost ); we can also seek the answer to this in the Old Testament. I can’t say that I have found it, other than to say ( that scripture might be fulfilled. ( John 17: 12 ) Jesus called Judas ( the son of perdition ). He also said that he lost him. Why? That scripture might be fulfilled.

In ( Acts 1:15 ) we see that Peter began to speak. Why Peter? As we go through these verses, we will see that Peter’s primary concern was the fact that Judas had fallen and, in Peter’s mind, they needed to pick a man to replace him. Peter was always doing things of this nature. If you remember; when they were on the ship and they seen Jesus walking on the water, it was Peter that walked out to meet him. ( Matthew 14:26 ). It was Peter, when they came to take Jesus that cut off the man’s ear. ( John 18: 10 ). Of all of the Apostles of Jesus; Peter, James and John were the names we see most mentioned in the gospels and always in that order if they are named together. When Jesus took Peter, James and John up on the mount of tranfiguration and they seen Moses and Elias, it was Peter that wanted to make three tabernacles. ( Matthew 17:4 ).

In all these cases, I don’t believe it was under any kind of authority that he is speaking or doing the things he was doing and, that; even here in ( Acts 1 ). That being said, it is in scripture and, it’s here for our instruction and to teach us. The Bible says in ( Roman 8:28 ) And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose.

Therefore, when we have scripture, such as we see in ( Acts 1 ) then, if or since we love God, it works together for our good. Everything Peter did, worked for good for those that love God.

So, now we’ve seen two things that we need to look into in this segment. ( 1 ) Judas hanging himself and needing to be replaced and, ( 2 ) Is it Peter that should be talking or making this dicision?

I’d like to finish this segment on the fact that Peter was speaking, right or wrong or, both. In the next segment I’ll devote the whole segment to Judas and why his death transpired and, to whom the man is that took his place. It’s all relevant and, not one thing is a mistake.

God has the ability to use people just like they are for his glory, even lost sinners and, people that aren’t actually willing to help the cause of Christ. I’m reminded of Pharaoh in Exodus. Moses told him that God said to let his people go. Pharaoh refused to do so. God used his defiance for his own demise and, for God’s glory. Even the twelve patriarchs, the sons of Jacob, those sons chose to destroy one of their own, Joseph and, God used it for his glory.

Peter was a man that was very out spoken and, often moved without considering who it was that was guiding him. He often caused himself trouble because of simply who he was. We could argue that we all are just like Peter. If you remember, Jesus told them to go to Jerusalem and ( WAIT ) for the promise. Here, in the last part of ( Acts 1 ) we see Peter speaking but, he didn’t wait for that promise. Yet, Peter being who he was, rushed to do things because of the knowledge he had learned from Jesus. In Peter’s mind, Christ would do just what he said he would do, just as the two men dressed in white apparel said he would do. He would return. The problem is ( WHEN ). Peter thought that since Jesus had commanded them to go to Jerusalem and wait that in just a few days he would be returning to set up his kingdom right there in Jerusalem.

The most important aspect of understanding scripture is the Holy Spirit of God within you. Without that spirit, we all will make common mistakes in judgment and that, even by of our spiritual leaders. If you will notice, in this chapter the majority of the people took sides with Peter. They listened to what Peter had to say and, they all appeared to have voted without any argument about what actually needed to happen. Do you see how easy it is to simply listen to people and, go along with what they think?

Peter knew at least two things that were for certain. First of all, he knew that in the Kingdom of Heaven, Jesus would need all twelve of his Apostles. We know this because of ( Matthew 19: 27-28 ) Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore? ( 28 ) And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That they which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

The second fact that Peter knew was that Jesus had told them that he would have the ( Keys to the Kingdom of Heaven ) ( Matthew 16:18-19 ) And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. ( 19 ) And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

Let’s also add the next two verses in to make a profound point. ( Matthew 16: 20-21 ) Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was the Jesus Christ. ( 21 ) From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and to be killed, and raised again the third day.

This account was given before the crucifixion. We know that after the crucifixion that Jesus told them to ( Go and teach all nations ). ( Matthew 28:19 ) Therefore, something changed, did they understand all of that. I would say, no and, it would take the coming of the Holy Ghost to help them see it. However, Peter did know these things, he just moved a little to soon.

As we continue to look at these things we will see and know the truth. In the next segment I’ll look into ( Judas and, why Jesus chose him, knowing he would fall. That doesn’t mean I’ll be correct but, it will give you something to consider and you, guided by the Holy Spirit; you can decide whether I’m correct or not. ( JUDAS: ACTS 1:9 ) AND BEYOND.

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