INSIGHT IGNITES THE EYEWITNESS, Book 3, TO KILL A RABBIT

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Without this divine enablement, they would only have been able to follow Jesus' example, but with it, Jesus could literally continue to do His work and teach His words through them. Consequently their preparation for the baptism of the Spirit was very important. Luke recorded it to highlight its foundational significance. It was natural, therefore, that the disciples would ask if that kingdom was about to begin, in view of Jesus' promise that the Spirit would baptize them in a few days. In the Septuagint, the term "restoration" Gr. Clearly the messianic kingdom is in view here, not the church.

The term Israel is used twenty times and ekklesia church nineteen times, yet the two groups are always kept distinct. Fruchtenbaum listed 73 occurrences of "Israel" in the New Testament. Amillennialists do not believe that God will restore an earthly kingdom to Israel as Israel , but that He will restore a spiritual kingdom to the church, which they believe has replaced physical Israel as "spiritual Israel" or "the new Israel.

Rather, it is a period in which a new form of theocratic administration is inaugurated. In this way Jesus not only answered the disciples' question concerning the timing of the future Davidic kingdom, but He also made a clear distinction between it and the intervening present form of the theocratic administration.

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Jesus' disciples were not to know yet when the messianic kingdom would begin. God would reveal the "times" Gr.

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Amillennialists take this reference to the times and epochs to be general—the apostles would not know how things would happen before they happened—not to the events preceding the earthly messianic kingdom. There is the current period of refreshing, which is correlated to Jesus' reign in heaven and in which a person shares, if he or she repents. Then at the end of this period Jesus will come to bring the restoration of those things promised by the Old Testament.

The 'times of restoration of all that God spoke' through the prophets include the restoration of the reign to Israel through its messianic King. Moreover, the disciples would receive divine enablement for their worldwide mission cf. As God's Spirit had empowered both the Israelites—and Jesus—as they executed their purposes, so God's Spirit would empower the disciples as they executed their purpose. The power promised was not to enable the apostles to live godly lives, though the Holy Spirit does enable believers to do that. This power is given through the Spirit, and conversely the Spirit in Acts may be defined as the divine agency that gives this power.

Is the clause "You shall be" a prediction or a command? Grammatically it could be either. The apostles clearly felt compelled to preach cf. However, if it was a command, it could have been stated more forcefully. Therefore both verbs "you shall be" and "you shall receive" are probably predictions, and statements of fact, rather than commands. Whatever else they might become, everything was to be subordinate to the idea of personal testimony.

It was to call attention to what they knew of Him and to deliver His message to mankind.

This special class of people, namely, disciples who are also witnesses, is therefore very prominent in this book. Page after page is occupied by their testimony, and the key to this feature is found in the words of Peter: 'We cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard' This verse contains an inspired outline of the Book of Acts. Note that it refers to a person Jesus Christ , a power the Holy Spirit , and a program ever expanding worldwide witness.

Luke proceeded to record that the fulfillment of this prediction would continue until the gospel and the church had reached Rome. From the heart of the empire, God would pump the gospel out to every other remote part of the world. Starting from Jerusalem, the gospel message radiated farther and farther, as ripples do when a stone lands in a placid pool of water. Rome was over 1, miles from Jerusalem.

Jerusalem was the most wicked city on earth, in that it was there that Jesus Christ's enemies crucified Him. Nevertheless there, too, God manifested His grace first. The linking of "Judea and Samaria" preserves an ethnic distinction, while at the same time describing one geographic area. The phrase "to the remotest part of the earth" is literally "to the end of the earth.

Jesus was evidently alluding to Isaiah's predictions that God would extend salvation to all people, Gentiles as well as Jews. Acts 1— Acts 13— This pericope vv. Luke used several typical features of a Jewish farewell scene in This reference supports the credibility of their witness.

In previous post-resurrection appearances Jesus had vanished from the disciples' sight instantly Luke , but now He gradually departed from them. The "cloud" seems clearly to be a reference to the shekinah , a visible symbol of the glorious presence of God cf. This connoted God's approval of Jesus and Jesus' entrance into the glorious presence of God.

Luke used this dramatic Greek word 12 times. It only appears two other times in the New Testament. Luke emphasized that Jesus was now in heaven. From there He would continue His ministry on earth through His apostles and other witnesses. The two "men" were angelic messengers who looked like men cf.

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Some commentators have suggested that the "two men" may have been Enoch and Elijah, or Moses and Elijah, but this seems unlikely. Probably Luke would have named them if they had been such famous individuals. Besides, the similarity between Luke's description of these two angels and the ones that appeared at Jesus' tomb Luke suggests that they were simply angels. The 11 disciples were literally "men of Galilee" v.

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Judas Iscariot was the only one of the Twelve who originated from Judea. This conclusion assumes the traditional interpretation that "Iscariot" translates the Hebrew 'ish qeriyot , "a man of Kerioth," Kerioth being Kerioth-Hezron, which was 12 miles south of Hebron. Jesus ascended in a cloud personally, bodily, visibly, and gloriously, and He will return the same way Dan. Jesus' own descriptions of His return to the earth appear in Matthew ; ; Mark ; ; and Luke This was no repetition of the Transfiguration Luke Each time, apparently, they had no reason to suppose that he would not reappear shortly, and until this time he had not disappointed them.

What filled these disciples with great joy Luke was probably the hope that they would see Jesus again soon. Without this hope His departure would have made them very sad. The joyful prospect of the Lord's return should have the same effect on us. John Maile summarized the significance of the ascension narratives in Luke-Acts as follows. First, he stated, "The ascension is the confirmation of the exaltation of Christ and his present Lordship. Thus for Luke, as Barrett says, 'the end of the story of Jesus is the Church, and the story of Jesus is the beginning of the Church'.


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Peter perceived the importance of asking God to identify Judas' successor in view of the ministry that Jesus had said the Twelve would have in the future. He led the disciples in obtaining the Lord Jesus' guidance in this important matter cf. From his viewpoint, the Lord could have returned very soon to restore the kingdom to Israel v. They are on the eve of the great illumination promised by Jesus before His death. The Spirit of Truth is about to come and lead them into all Christian truth. The short trip from where Jesus ascended on Mt.

Olivet to "the upper room" was only "a Sabbath day's journey away" about 2, cubits, two-thirds of a mile, or one kilometer; cf. Different Greek words describe the places. It may have been the place where He had appeared to them following His resurrection Luke , 36; John , 26 , but this too is unclear. The definite article "the" with "upper room" in the Greek text to hyperoon , and the emphatic position of this phrase, may suggest that Luke meant to identify a special upper room that the reader would have known about from a previous reference to it.

One writer suggested that this upper room, as well as the ones mentioned in , 39, and , may have been part of a synagogue. Proseuche sometimes has the wider meaning of worship, and it may mean that here.


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Luke stressed their unity "all with one mind" , a mark of the early Christians that Luke noted frequently in Acts. The disciples were "one" in their purpose to carry out the will of their Lord. Divine promises should stimulate prayer, not lead to abandonment of it. The disciples needed the self-examination that comes through prayer and supplication, that they might be ready for the tremendous event which was about to take place …" [79].

The women referred to were apparently the same ones who accompanied the disciples from Galilee to Jerusalem Luke ; cf. Luke's interest in women, which is so evident in his Gospel, continues in Acts. This is, by the way, the last reference to "Mary the mother of Jesus" in the Bible. Jesus' half-brothers John ; Mark , among those "devoting themselves to prayer," apparently had become believers following His death and resurrection cf.

He was the representative disciple, as well as the leading apostle. The group of that Peter addressed on this occasion cf. Nonetheless this was a tiny group from which the church grew. God can take a small number of people, multiply them, and eventually fill the earth with their witness.

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