Book of Acts, Chapter 1, Verses 3-5 - The Next Thing
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Book of Acts, Chapter 1, Verses 3-5
Verse 3. ”To whom (the apostles He had chosen) also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs (an infallible proof was a token given of a “sure thing.” Jesus showed “sure thing” evidence that He was truly alive.), being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God: (Verse 3 gives an overview of what had happened during the previous forty days. Now the attention will turn to this specific day; the day of Jesus’ ascension; the departure to heaven of the only begotten son of God, God manifest in the flesh.)
Verse 4. "And, being assembled together with (them), commanded (a bit more strident sound to the instruction now. Imagine the commandments mentioned in verse to be something Jesus said as they ambled along the seashore. Now -- it would be sitting in a circle. Jesus making eye contact with each man; His voice more strident. Before you do anything else I've commanded, do this that I'm saying now.) them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait (stay around, don't wander off) for the promise of the Father, (the eternal expression of God) which, (saith he), ye have heard of me. (It is the Father's promise, you heard it from God manifest in flesh - totally man, totally God.)
Verse 5. “For John truly baptized (baptizo – immersed, saturated, totally affected) with water; but ye shall be baptized (same word for baptism. Immersed, saturated, totally affected) with the Holy Ghost (so the Holy Ghost is not the baptizer, instead the Holy Ghost is that in which they were to be baptized -- like John baptized in water. You will be baptized similarly with the Holy Ghost) not many days hence.”
The Next Thing
We can get so caught up the last thing that we fail to be listening to what is being said about the “next thing.” On earth, God always has a next thing.
The “so that” principle is displayed here; Abraham “so that” a son, “so that” Isaac could father a Jacob, “so that” Jacob could father twelve sons, “so that” those twelve sons could become tribes, “so that” the tribes became a nation, “so that” Israel could be a nation of priests to the surrounding society.
The “so that” principle is at work in the birth, life, death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. The death, burial, and resurrection happened “so that” fallen man could be redeemed from sin; “so that” the redeemed could enter the ministry of reconciliation bringing others to the knowledge of Jesus Christ having redeemed fallen man; “so that” the lost could be converted; “so that” the converted could be discipled; “so that” the discipled could be equipped to do the work of the ministry; “so that” . . .
God does not always inform us as to the “so that” intended as the next step forward, but never stop looking for God’s “so that” in your life. You ran into an old friend last week. Was the intent to get an update on their family? Perhaps, or was something else meant to happen?
Resurrection – What Now?
According to 1:2, giving commandments was the primary thing Jesus did during the 40 days. We are not privy to most of the commandments Jesus gave the apostles.
In this paragraph, a specific commandment is given. The apostles were “not to depart from Jerusalem” but “…wait for the promise of the Father.” (1:4)
Jesus’ forty days of “commandments” were preparing His followers for His imminent departure: the coming of the promise of the Father and equipping the disciples to be effective. The commandment about not departing from Jerusalem was emphatic.
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