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Acts 1:6-11 - Jesus’ Last Day on Earth

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Introduction:

If you were physically with Jesus at the time He was here on this earth and you knew it was going to be His last day here, where would you go?  What would you do?  What would you say? 

Gathering together in corporate worship is extremely vital to our spiritual health.  Throughout the Scriptures, Jesus gathered together with His disciples to talk, teach, and even rest, but the point is, they gathered together.  Jesus, called His disciples together that they might be with Him (Mark 3:14), spend time with Him and minister to others with Him.

Today, many come together, missing the worship and leaving right after the message, not hanging out fellowshipping with one another.

In our walk with the Lord, we are to keep our eyes (spiritual eyes) fixed upon him, and coming together strengthens us to do so.  These are just some of the topics we will be discussing in our time together.

A.                 The disciples came together again (v.6a).

1.                  “Therefore, when they had come together…”  (v.6a).

a)                  The importance of fellowship.

(1)                 We read later on in chapter 2, the importance of continuing steadfastly:

Luke says "They continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.”  (Acts 2:42, NKJV)

The writer of Hebrews says "And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.”  (Hebrews 10:24-25, NKJV)

(2)                 Dwelling together in unity is vitally important:

David writes saying "How good and how pleasant it is For brethren to dwell together in unity!  It is like the precious oil upon the head, Running down on the beard, The beard of Aaron, Running down on the edge of his garments. It is like the dew of Hermon, Descending upon the mountains of Zion; For there the Lord commanded the blessing— Life forevermore." (Psalm 133:1-3, NKJV)

(3)                 There is the fellowship of the Spirit:

In chapter 1 of Philippians, Paul speaks about suffering, then he says in chapter 2 " Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ?  Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose." This happens when we come together (Philippians 2:1-2, NLT)

When Paul said that he wanted to know Christ, his desire was to "know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death," (Philippians 3:10)

(4)                 The fellowship with Christ:

The apostle John says "If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.  But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin." (1 John 1:6-7, NKJV)

B.                Scene 1: Jesus promised the kingdom (v.6b-7).

1.                  “Will You at this time restore he kingdom           to Israel…  It’s not for you to know…”  (v.6b-7).

a)                  The disciple’s earthly concern.

(1)                 Jesus had been talking about the Kingdom of God of God & they thought that the kingdom was going to be set up immediately.  In fact, they thought that Jesus was going to set up the kingdom. 
(2)                 They were shocked when He was crucified because they had been anticipating that He would set up the kingdom. 
(3)                 Their desire for the kingdom was not the purist, why?  Because they were thinking selfishly of positions that they would have in the kingdom.  They were arguing among themselves as who would be the greatest when the Lord set up the kingdom. 

b)                  The disciple’s spiritual concern.

(1)                 We must always remember this: Christ is going to set up His kingdom on earth.
(a)                 There is a future aspect to His kingdom as well as a present rule and reign in human hearts.

Jesus spoke about this "When He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.”" (Luke 17:20-21)

(b)                Christ promised the apostles they would sit upon thrones judging the people of Israel.
(c)                 He also promised believers they would receive a hundredfold and rule over the world.  But the concern of the believer is not to be a reward, not to be a carnal craving for...

(i)                   position and influence

(ii)                 authority and power

(iii)                money and possessions

(iv)               recognition and prestige

(v)                 rule and reign

(vi)               the material and physical

(2)                 The believer’s concern ought to be service and ministry.  Proclaiming the salvation of Christ. 
(a)                 We must not be so concerned with the day of Christ return is because Jesus Himself had said that even He did not know when He was to return and set up the kingdom.
(b)                We ought to live as though Christ was to return at any moment:

(i)                   (Romans 13:14) – we are to awake out of our sleep.

(ii)                 (1 John 3:1-3) – if we have this hope, then we ought to be purifying ourselves.

Peter said "Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, [what things?  The heavens and the earth] what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells." (2 Peter 3:11-13, NKJV)

C.                Scene 2: Jesus assigned the believer’s great task—the great commission (v.8).

1.                  “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you…”  (v.8a).

a)                  Their equipping: the Power of the Holy Spirit (v.8a).

(1)                 The power to be a witness for Jesus Christ.  This is the power to live in such a way that your life becomes a reflection of Jesus.  That’s what a witness is. 
(2)                 It is interesting that in Antioch the people began to call them Christians because they were like Jesus.  They did not take the name upon themselves, but it was a term that was given to them by the press and the media at the time because they were like Christ.
(3)                 Therefore, a Christian is to be Christlike, a reflection of Jesus Christ.

However, I cannot reflect Jesus Christ without the Power of the Holy Spirit, Paul said "But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord."  (2 Corinthians 3:18, NKJV)

(4)                 I cannot forgive.  I cannot love.  I cannot be kind and considerate as Jesus was without the power of the Holy Spirit.  I can’t do it in myself. 
(5)                 But through the power of the Holy Spirit, He transforms me.  He not only transforms me, but He conforms me into the image of Jesus.

b)                  The Four Prepositions used in conjunction with the Holy Spirit and the Believer.

(1)                 What is the Holy Spirit trying to show people who have not accepted Christ (John 16:7-11)?
(2)                 John 14:16-17the two prepositions used are (para “with” v.16) & (en “in”v.17)
(a)                 The disciples went from para to en in John 20, when Jesus breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”

(3)                 The next relationship centers around the preposition “en”.
(a)                 According to Romans 8:9, where the Spirit dwell “en” or in you
(b)                The moment you accepted Jesus as the Lord of your life, the Holy Spirit came into you and began to indwell you, you went from para to en.
(c)                 Not every believer, however, has the baptism with the Holy Spirit.  

(4)                 The next relationship relates to the word upon “epi”.  
(a)                 This is the same as the baptism with the Holy Spirit.
(b)                This epi empowers the believer for service—Ex. of “jack hammer” & “cup of water”
(c)                 The same power that raised Jesus from the dead & seated Him in heaven is present in you by God’s Spirit to:

(i)                   cause you to overflow with hope (Romans 15:13)

(ii)                 help you bear up under and escape temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13)

(iii)                equip you to be a servant (Eph.3:7); give you inner strength (Eph.3:16)

(iv)               allow God to do more than you can ask or imagine in and through your life (Eph.3:20)

(v)                 equip you to resist Satan (Ephesians 6:11)

(vi)               provide endurance and patience (Colossians 1:11)

(vii)              provide everything you need for life & godliness (2 Peter 1:3)

(5)                 The next relationship is the filling of the Holy Spirit.
(a)                 This is an experience the believer needs on a daily basis. 
(b)                What does Eph. 5:18 exhort us to be?  “to be filled with the Spirit”
(c)                 This literally means keep being filled with the Holy Spirit.  “filled with the Spirit” 
(d)                What happened to the Apostles in Acts 4:31 and 4:8?  “filled with the Spirit”

2.                  “You shall be witnesses to Me…”  (v.8b).

a)                  Their task: Witnessing (v.8b).

(1)                 While on earth, Jesus directed the ministry of the Apostles.  However, after the Ascension…
(a)                 Jesus continued to direct the church, only now through the Holy Spirit.
(b)                The word “you.”  It is the believer who is to witness.  It is the believer who knows the cure, the truth of salvation.
(c)                 The words “unto me.”  Christ is the message, not a man’s ideas, not even the idea of religion.  “Christ crucified” is the believer’s testimony.
(d)                The word “witness” comes from the Greek word martus, which means “martyr.”  Jesus seams to be saying, “You shall receive power to live for Me and, if necessary, even to die for Me.”

A witness is someone who tells others what he has seen and heard "For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard."  (Acts 4:20, NKJV)

But our witness is not only to be in our words, but also in our conduct " Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel," (Philippians 1:27; Col.1:9-12)


!!! 3.                  “In Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth…”  (v.8c).

a)                  Their method (v.8c).

(1)                 The believer is to witness where he is (Jerusalem) and move progressively outward (Judea and Samaria) until he is having a part in reaching the uttermost part of the earth.
(2)                 His first witness is to be...
(a)                 in Jerusalem: where he is, his home and local community.
(b)                in all Judea: other communities and areas and cities and states.
(c)                 in Samaria: other states and provinces where people are antagonistic.  There was bitter hatred between the Jews and Samaritans.  Yet Christ tells His witnesses to carry the message of salvation even to their enemies.
(d)                to the uttermost part of the earth: to the unknown countries and regions of the world.
(3)                 Calvary Chapel La Mirada has and is doing this: all of the different outreaches from La Mirada.

D.                Scene 3: Jesus ascended before the disciples’ very eyes (v.9).

1.                  “While they looked steadfastly, He was taken up, & a cloud received Him out of their sight…”  (v.9).

a)                  Keep our eyes fixed upon Jesus, looking up.

(1)                 I believe it was the Shekinah cloud.  The cloud that let the children of Israel in the wilderness. 
(2)                 The cloud that descended in the holy of holies of the tabernacle and of the temple that it just enshrouded Christ and He was received out of their sight.
(3)                 “gazed” – means strained, intent, to stretch.  It is the same word used…

y (Luke 4:20; 22:56; Acts 1:10; 3:4, 12; 6:15; 7:55; 10:4; 11:6; 13:9; 14:9; 23:1; 2 Cor. 3:7, 13). Zodiates  

 

E.                 Scene 4: The prophecy of Jesus’ return (v.10-11)

1.                  “Why do you stand gazing into heaven…?”  (v.11a)

a)                  Being busy about the Lord’s work.

(1)                 They were to get to the business at hand.  They were to return to the upper room and...
(a)                 “wait” and pray for the presence and power of the Holy Spirit.
(b)                move out witnessing to a lost and dying world.
(2)                 We ought not to be gazing, doing nothing.

2.                  “This same Jesus…”  (v.11b).

3.                  “Jesus who was taken up from you… will so come in like manner…”  (v.11b).

a)                  The way Jesus will return.

(1)                 Now He was on the Mount of Olives when He was taken up into heaven.  When He comes back, He will come back and set His foot in that day on the Mount of Olives. 
(2)                 And even as He was taken up visibly out of their sight, He will be coming again, visibly.
(3)                 Don’t let anybody tell you that He has a secret coming or He is governing the world from some secret headquarters.

Jesus warned of this, He said "If anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it.  For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand. “Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it." (Matthew 24:23-26)

John makes it abundantly clear that "He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him.  And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen." (Revelation 1:7, NKJV)

(4)                 Christ had said He would return to earth in the clouds of heaven.

Matthew 24 says "Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven… and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory." (Matthew 24:30, NKJV)

(5)                 You remember after Jesus was arrested and was set before the chief priests, the elders and all the council?

Then the high priest said to him, “I demand in the name of the living God—tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.” Jesus replied, “You have said it. And in the future you will see the Son of Man seated in the place of power at God’s right hand and coming on the clouds of heaven."  (Matthew 26:63-64, NLT)

 

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