"The Gospel of the Holy Spirit" (Findl 1): Acts is the
continuation of the work among men of the Holy Spirit that conceived (Luk 1:35)
and led Christ (Luk 4:1,14...) to wilderness, to baptism, to Jerusalem, to
cross. A 2nd 33-year (approx) period: 1st 33: life of Christ (individual); 2nd
33: life of Christ (multitudinous).
Luke as author (JAF 39-48).
The "we" passages: Act 16:10-18; 20:5-21:18; Act 27; 28 (cp
Act 1: "The record of the Acts of the Apostles flows from the
statement of the Lord on the stake: 'Father, forgive them for they know not what
they do' (Luk 23:34). Since the Father always answered the prayers of His Son,
the result is seen in the work of the apostles, esp Peter and Paul. So the
Gospel was extended to mankind. And in the 28 chapters, the drama of the work of
Yahweh is expounded. The first chapter sets the stage in the ascension of the
Master:  Christ's last instructions and commission to the apostles: vv 1-8.
 Angelic message of promise and hope: vv 9-11.  A period of prayer and
waiting in Jerusalem: vv 12-14.  Appointment of Matthias to the apostleship:
vv 15-26" (GEM).
FORMER: Lit, the first of several; ie, more than
THEOPHILUS: No longer called "most excellent" (Luk
1:1-4). Impl that the author is on more personal terms with him now. Or that
Theophilus has abandoned or forfeited his worldly honors, due to becoming a
BEGAN TO DO: Quoting Gen 2:3 (LXX). Here, in Act 1,
Christ's early life concludes and his heavenly life (through Holy Spirit in
AFTER GIVING INSTRUCTIONS: The great commission: Mat
28:19; Mar 16:15; Luk 24:46-49.
THROUGH THE HOLY SPIRIT: This phrase may modify "he had
KINGDOM OF GOD: Equivalent to the "restoring" the
kingdom to Israel (v 6)! The kingdom was uppermost in Christ's mind -- the
disciples continue to preach the Kingdom message after his ascension: Acts 8:12;
19:8; 20:25; 28:23.
EATING: RSV has "staying" (a variant). For "eating",
see Luk 24:43,49.
DO NOT LEAVE JERUSALEM: And in this way the Law will go
forth from Zion: Mic 4:2!
THE GIFT: The promise of the Holy Spirit, to
authenticate their preaching work (Mar 16:17,18). The "Comforter" of Joh
14:16,26; 15:26; 16:7-16.
JOHN BAPTIZED WITH WATER: Cp Luk 3:16... Although he
performed no miracles: John 10:41.
IN A FEW DAYS: Within 10 days.
Did they ask this because (1) they are standing on Olivet (v
12) and because Zec 13:7 is followed so closely by Zec 14:4? or (2) Act 1:5 says
"in a few days"? or (3) they had just been discussing the Kingdom (v 3)? At any
rate, the question was a reasonable one -- demonstrating their understanding of
the gospel preached by Christ.
ASKED: Imperfect: denoting repetition.
AT THIS TIME: That is, the time not long off (v
RESTORE: Cp Act 1:6 (restore) with Act 3:20,21 (restore
everything). Peter has not changed his belief about the "kingdom of God" even
after Holy Spirit was given. The "gospel" is the good news of the Kingdom of
ISRAEL! (Ct this with Church of Christ, who believe that "kingdom" came at
Pentecost: Act 2!)
// Mat 24:36; Mar 13:32.
TIMES: Kronos = absolute time.
DATES: Kairos = time in regard to periods (cp Dan 2:21,
An outline of the Book of Acts: (1) preparation (Act 1:1-2:4);
(2) in Jerusalem (Act 2:5-7:60); (3) in Judea and Samaria (Act 8:1-25; ct Mat
10:5,6); and (4) to the ends of earth: Africa (Act 8:26-40), toward Asia
(9:1-16:5), toward Europe (Act 16:6-18:17), Asia again (Act 18:18-26:32), and
Europe, to Rome (Act 27:1-28:31). In a sense, this list is not yet complete even
now: cp Mat 24:13,14: we are a continuation of this witness -- feeble though we
be. God/Christ sends us, not angels... weak, frail people (1Co
//Luk 24:50: "And he blessed them." Poss High Priest's
blessing (Num 6:24-27).
Believers are not merely to wait for a coming of Christ at
some indeterminate time (v 7). They are to work so long as Christ has not come
(v 8)! Perhaps it is the very work of preaching that will be the sign that
Christ is coming soon (v 6)!
MY WITNESSES: "Witnesses of me". Fruit-bearers abiding
IN Christ (Joh 15:5); witness-bearers speaking FOR Christ (Act 1:8);
cross-bearers following AFTER Christ (Luk 14:27); burden-bearers being LIKE
Christ (Gal 6:2).
ALL JUDEA: Incl all land of Jews, ie Galilee, Gilead
SAMARIA: Ct command: Do not enter (Mat 10:5).
A CLOUD: A luminous cloud sym divine presence (Exo
40:34; Num 9:15; 1Ki 8:10; transfiguration: Mat 17:5). The cloud = his chariot
(Psa 104:3). A cloud of angels (Mat 24:30; 26:64). The same "cloud" to be seen
in 1Th 4:16,17; Rev 1:7. Act 1:9.
The Divine glory revealed in Israel as cloud (Exo 13:21,22;
14:19,20,24; 16:10; 19:16-19; 20:18; 24:15-19; 33:18-21 with Exo 34:4-7;
40:34-38; Num 10:34; 12:5,10; 14:9,10,14,21,22; Deu 31:14,15; Psa 105:39; 1Co
10:1,2). The same Shekinah glory appeared to Abraham (Gen 15:17; Act 7:2), David
(Psa 18:6-15), Ezekiel (Eze 1:4; 10:4); Elijah (1Ki 19:11-13), Job (Job 38:1),
apostles (Luk 9:34,35). Judgments of God in last days are manifest in this cloud
(Dan 7:13; Joe 2:2; Zep 1:15; Eze 30:3; Isa 19:1; 25:5). Jesus will so come from
heaven (Act 1:9,11; Luk 21:27; Mat 26:64).
TWO MEN DRESSED IN WHITE: Two angels of the heavenly
"cloud", leaving behind a final message. Angels of God announced his birth.
Angels sustained him in Gethsemane. Angels were at his resurrection, and now at
his ascension. He ascended with a cloud and angels, and he shall return the same
way: 2Th 1:7.
MEN OF GALILEE: Prob only the apostles saw the
WHY DO YOU STAND HERE...?: In other words, 'Get busy as
witnesses' (cp v 8). 'Don't stand here staring and dreaming! Get about your
work. He'll be back soon enough, and the time will pass best if you stay
"I could just see myself standing there staring into heaven
also. Such roller coaster of emotions over Christ's trial and death, his
resurrection, then fellowshipping with him again, and now to see him taken up to
the Father. I think I'd be standing there with my mouth hanging open... now he
has left the ministry to us? But there is too much to be done to stand in
confusion or doubt. Angels were sent to remind them of God's purpose -- the
beautiful mystery revealed that Christ is to return the same way he left! And
this is all it took for them to move forward. This promise is all it should take
for us. It is our job to make things ready for the Master's return. We are to
witness to the ends of the earth the glorious plan of God -- Christ's kingdom
will be established and the Earth will be filled with the glory of the Lord!"
THIS SAME JESUS: Not merely a "manifestation", but
Jesus Christ himself: Luk 24:39 (myself); 1Th 4:16 (the Lord himself).
THIS SAME JESUS... WILL COME: For what purpose? Num
14:21 (to fill earth with glory); Isa 45:18/Psa 115:16 (to inhabit the earth);
Gen 1:26,27 (to have dominion); 2Sa 7:12,13 / Isa 9:6,7 / Luk 1:32,33 (to rule
on throne of David, forever). "They had learned their lesson; they knew that
although the heavens had received him, he was with them still. With great joy in
their hearts they returned to Jerusalem to offer their lives in his service. Two
thousand years later we find ourselves in their place, the disciples of Jesus:
loving the Lord they loved, serving the Lord they served. The world has changed
strangely since their time, but the Gospel has not changed, nor has the
commission. Where they failed, we find ourselves slipping. In the fountain of
their strength we find the source of ours: the words of love that sustained and
comforted them bring us peace and joy. As throughout their troubled lives they
looked beyond to the final glory, so we echo their words, 'Even so, come, Lord
Jesus' " (MP 360).
IN THE SAME WAY: That is, physically, bodily, and with
angels and a cloud (Dan 7:13; Mat 26:64), visibly (Zec 14:4; Eze 43:1-5; Rev
Describing this same scene, Luke 24:52 adds "Then they
worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy."
They had seen the heavenly glory and heard the heavenly voice.
We are there with them. Now, history merges into eternity. We now hear the same
voice, promising the same return. And we still wait for that return. Those men,
and untold numbers of every age since, wait in the dust of the earth. We are yet
alive, perhaps to hear the Trumpet, and the voice of the Archangel, when the
Lord himself will descend from heaven. Will we be ready?
A SABBATH DAY'S WALK: Approx 2,000 cubits (1,000
yards). The basic concept is derived from Exo 16:29: "Everyone is to stay where
he is on the seventh day; no one is to go out." And the distance seems to be
derived from Num 35:4,5: the basic measurement from the town to the suburban
UPSTAIRS TO THE ROOM: "To the upper room": Large
meeting room, on upper floor of house. Word used only by Luke (cp Luk 9:37;
20:8). This, prob same house where Passover supper had been held -- poss home of
Mark's mother (Act 12:12-17; SB 13:9).
TOGETHER: Homothumadon: 11 times in Acts (with one
accord); once elsewhere (Rom 15:6).
ALONG WITH THE WOMEN: Ct Jewish custom, keeping women
separate (cp Gal 3:28).
MARY THE MOTHER OF JESUS: The last ref in NT.
AND WITH HIS BROTHERS: Who had previously been hostile:
Mar 3:21; John 7:5.
The Acts is concerned with the growth of the ecclesia through
the preaching of the gospel. There is, through the early chapters, a delineation
of the growth: (1) 120 (Acts 1:15); (2) 3,000 (Acts 2:41); (3) 5,000 (Acts 4:4);
(4) multitudes, men and women (Acts 5:14); (5) great increase -- many priests
(Acts 6:7); (6) the churches were multiplied (Acts 9:31); and (7) much people
SHARED: "Was allotted his share" (or inheritance: Eph
1:11; Col 1:12). The process of casting lots. An example of that usage is Luk
Vv 18,19: A parenthetical expression, not in original
discourse of Peter.
THE REWARD HE GOT FOR HIS WICKEDNESS: The "wages of
sin" (Rom 6:23).
THERE HE FELL HEADLONG, HIS BODY BURST OPEN AND ALL HIS
INTESTINES SPILLED OUT: Retranslation: "Being downcast, he screamed out (his
remorse) in the midst (of the priests), and poured out all his feelings" (WAc
17). "Bowels" is always figurative in OT; cp Psa 109:18.
Difficulties appear when comparing with Mat 27:3-8. The first
is: who bought the field, the priests or Judas? The second is: what funds Judas
used to purchase the "field"? These may be resolved by noting that the Greek
word for field in Mat 27:7 is "agros", commonly meaning a piece of ground as
normally meant by "field". That in Acts 1:18 is "chorion" -- better rendered by
our word "smallholding". It seems likely therefore that Acts 1:18 is recording
what has only now become apparent, that (John 12:6) "Judas was a thief", and
that he had been salting away funds over a long period to acquire this
smallholding for a personal possession.
The rather gruesome explanation of the details of Judas' death
may now be reconciled: Judas in his remorse fled to his smallholding, remote
from the city, and there hanged himself and was not found for some time. His
body may well have hung and decayed there in isolation, until the rope rotted
and he fell headlong with the associated detail of Acts 1:18, and was
subsequently found (Derek Palmer).
FIELD OF BLOOD: In Mat 27, the blood is Christ's (ref
the betrayal); here, the blood is Judas' (ref the suicide). Both the blood of
Christ and that of Judas were memorials.
PLACE (first): Gr "epaulis" = farm building; country house.
LET THERE BE NO ONE TO DWELL IN IT: Totally
uninhabited, as a graveyard: Mat 27:7!
PLACE (second): Gr "episkopen" = superintendence,
WENT IN AND OUT: An expression of constant social
intercourse (Deu 28:6,19; 1Sa 18:13,16), or assuming leadership, as a shepherd
(Num 27:17; 1Sa 18:13; 2Ch 1:10; Jos 14:11).
YOU KNOW EVERYONE'S HEART: Later, Peter seems to have
the same power: Act 5:1-11.
The lot falls to the one last mentioned and (apparently) least
prominent. The appointment was the prerogative of Christ (Act 26:16; Joh 6:70).
The idea of voting is inconsistent with "fell". Holy Spirit guidance replaced
lots after Pentecost. Cp also FCE 1,128; Xd 89:49.
When the lot was employed in Israel, it was done thoroughly,
as in the case of Achan: first a tribe, then a family, and finally an
individual. "Try the test several times, and see if it comes out the same way
every time" (RR, Ber 67:412).