An old story told of the devil once advertising his tools for sale at public auction. When the buyers assembled, there was one odd shaped tool labeled “Not for Sale”. When asked to explain why this particular tool was not...
The apostles carried out Jesus’ instructions. They did not scatter, but went at once to the upper room where they abode. It seems this was a temporary residence that had been used when Jesus and His closest followers were in Jerusalem.
Imagine them thinking and talking among themselves, ”You know that resurrection was a pretty neat trick, but I wonder when He is going to take care of the ‘main’ thing, the business of restoring the kingdom to Israel?”
The main difference between John and the book of Acts disciples was that the disciples had experienced a personal Pentecost – they had been filled with the Holy Ghost. Empowered by the Holy Ghost, the disciples could exclaim, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13).
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?
The book of Acts covers approximately thirty years. Understanding the time involved gives a sense of the time in Paul becoming a convert, a disciple, and then a student of the scripture. It helps see the development of Peter as the apostle preaching the first gospel message to the Jews and nine years later to a Gentile.
Acts contains an experiential theology of salvation whether dealing with those who conspired to commit murder (Acts 2); a prayerful and honest-hearted Roman military official (Acts 10), or an Ethiopian who had traveled to Jerusalem to worship (Acts 8). How to be saved is found in the book of Acts!
Step by step the gospel message moves from Jerusalem to Rome. The missionary effort was not easy. Persecution, personal disagreements among leaders, and people backsliding did not stop the missionary effort.
This view sees Acts as a pattern. Acts is thus like the Lord's command to Moses regarding the tabernacle. "...Look that thou make them after their pattern, which was shown thee in the mount." (Exodus 25:40)