#02 (Acts 1:6-11) Israel, the Holy Spirit, and the Second
Let's get ready for our second study. This is Acts002 (1:6-11) Israel,
the Holy Spirit, and the Second Coming
"So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying,
'Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?' He
said to them, 'It is not for you to know times or epochs which the
Father has fixed by His own authority; but you will receive power
when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My
witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and
even to the remotest part of the earth.' And after He had said these
things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud
received Him out of their sight. And as they were gazing intently
into the sky while He was going, behold, two men in white clothing
stood beside them. They also said, 'Men of Galilee, why do you
stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from
you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have
watched Him go into heaven.'"
We are still in the pre-Pentecost stage where the disciples are
receiving final instructions prior to the ascension of Jesus. These
pre-Pentecost happenings are crucial to to understanding of the
entire book of Acts, and to the future development of the Christian
faith. Within the Scriptures for this study are several embryonic
doctrines that are central to the faith of believers.
Let's view the Scriptures one by one.
Vs6: "Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to
This one small Scripture speaks to the history of the Church age.
The new covenant begins in Israel, and it completes itself in Israel.
Remember I said in the first study to keep in mind verse 3, where it
says that Jesus was; "appearing to them over a period of forty days
and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God."
For forty days the Lord had been instructing the apostles on the
issue of the kingdom of God. So the question they asked did not
come out of ignorance. The Lord very plainly taught them that the
kingdom of God was being removed from Israel. But He also taught
them that the kingdom of God would be restored to Israel at some
point. This is why they asked, "Lord, is it at this time You are
restoring the kingdom to Israel?"
The Kingdom of God
But to appreciate this even more, we need to understand what the
term 'kingdom of God' really means. This term speaks of the direct
rule of God. When a person is born again, they come under the
direct rule of God through Christ. But as for Israel, Israel had been
God's visible kingdom in the earth ever since its founding as a
The Lord instructed Moses, saying, "And you shall be to Me a
kingdom of priests and a holy nation.' These are the words that you
shall speak to the sons of Israel." (Exo19:6) And so Israel was to be
God's visible kingdom. He would dwell among them. They would
When Israel rejected their Messiah, the direct rule of God was
taken from them. Jesus said, "Therefore I say to you, the kingdom
of God will be taken away from you and given to a people,
producing the fruit of it." (Matt21:53) And again, "Behold, your
house is left to you desolate; and I say to you, you will not see Me
until the time comes when you say, 'Blessed is He who comes in
the name of the Lord!" (Luke 13:5)
Will Israel receive Jesus Christ as her Messiah? Yes indeed. We
will get into that as the study progresses.
Vs7: "It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father
fixed by his own authority."
The Lord's response is simple, but the implication is simple; 'Yes,
Israel will once again come under the direct rule of God, but that
time isn't for you to concern yourself with for now. It is fixed.'
Power to be martyrs/witnesses
Vs8: "But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come
The power Jesus is speaking of is the power of new life. In the new
covenant, all believers are imbued with the very life of Jesus. This
life manifests itself according to the need.
"... and you shall be My witnesses..."
Witnesses (martus) is where we get our word martyr. But 'martus'
also speaks of a witnesser, or the one who gives evidence.
However, it can extend itself with the idea of a person who is the
evidence. So the apostles weren't simply to bear witness to the
death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, they would also
become the evidence of the same. This evidence would spread into all the nations until the end is come.
An example of this is how a man named, Saul, the hater of all
things Christian, could be turned into a Paul, the great lover of
Jesus Christ and of the Christian faith.
"... even to the remotest part of the earth."
The Christian faith was never intended to be locked up in an
institutionalized religion. It is a living and vibrant relationship with
Jesus Christ. It was to spread throughout all the earth. And it has
done this well.
A good example of this is when the Vikings plundered Christian
England, they took to themselves Christian slave girls. On their
return home, they married these girls, and, in turn, became
Christians themselves. True Biblical Christianity carries its own
witness. These girls were imbued with the Spirit of Christ.
Vs9: "After He had said these things, He was lifted up while they
were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight."
The disciples stood there mesmerized. What they did not see was
what happened when Jesus went out of their sight. The book of
Daniel describes this scene from the heavenly side; "I kept looking
in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven One like
a Son of Man was coming, and He came up to the Ancient of Days
and was presented before Him. And to Him was given dominion,
glory and a kingdom, that all the peoples, nations and men of every
language might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion
which will not pass away; and His kingdom is one Which will not be
Vss10,11: "...two men in white clothing stood beside them ... 'Men
of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who
was taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way
as you have watched Him go into heaven.'"
The Jewish View of Messiah's Coming
Here is something that should prove interesting. The ancient Jews
had a saying that when Messiah comes, if Israel is worthy, He will
come on the clouds. If Israel is unworthy, He will come on a
Here are some quotes from the Babylonian Talmud; "R. Nahman
said to R. Yitzhaq: 'Have you perhaps heard when Bar Nifle ['Son of
the Clouds'] will come?' He answered: 'Who is Bar Nifle?' R.
Nahman said: 'The Messiah.' R. Yitzhaq said: 'You call the Messiah
Bar Nifle?' He said: 'Yea, for it is written, 'On that day I shall raise
up the tabernacle of David that is fallen.'"
"R. Alexandria said: 'R. Y'hoshua'a ben Levi explained: ... 'If
will be righteous, [the Messiah will come] on the clouds of heaven;
if they will not be righteous, [he will come] as a poor man riding
upon an ass.'"
What think ye? Will Israel be worthy at the second coming of
Jesus? Think about it.
This portion of the the study is open. Feel free to comment or ask
Previous: #01 (Acts 1:1-5) The Promise of the Father
Next: #03 (Acts 1:12-26)
The Upper Room Before Pentecost
This study on
Acts was originally part of a
series on the book of Acts given to members of
Hebraic Foundations from July 10, 2002 through January 19, 2003.
They were written by Pastor Buddy Martin, Founder and Senior Pastor of
Christian Challenge International.