The Lord's Ministry During the Forty Days

It must have been thrilling for the disciples to speak with their resurrected master and to listen to His familiar voice, discussing the “things concerning the kingdom.” Apart from the incident recorded in the Gospels, the only fragment of teaching during the transitional period of Jesus’ forty days after His resurrection is found in Acts 1:1-8. The instructions recorded here are a greatly condensed summary of the principles given to the men to whom the Lord was entrusting the evangelization of the world and the establishment of His kingdom on earth. 

Jesus Sends Witnesses with the Holy Spirit

Studies in the Use of Tongues

Speaking in tongues is not in itself a phenomenon peculiar to Christianity or even to God, but rather it actually has been practiced by pagans with most likely no exposure to Christianity. There has been evidence of many different people groups and faith traditions having outbursts as the result of either hypnosis or hysterics directly from Satan. This observation helps us see that tongues’ speaking has existed in the past and present apart from the God of the Bible. Therefore, we can conclude that the mere fact of speaking in tongues proves nothing as to its source and origin, and that non-biblical tongues’ speaking has its source in man or Satan. However, biblical tongues’ speaking was from God. Let us look at the use of tongues in the Bible and what we know of it.


Tongues in the Bible



The Writer

The writer is undoubtedly Luke. He also wrote Luke’s Gospel. Compare Acts 1:1 with Luke 1:1-4. He was known as “the beloved physician” (see Colossians 4:14).


The Title of the Book

To many, the present title is quite inadequate because the content of the book deals chiefly with the work of only two apostles, namely Peter and Paul. The title, “The Acts of the Holy Spirit” seems more appropriate. In the twenty-eight chapters, the Holy Spirit is mentioned seventy times. The Holy Spirit’s coming, filling, empowering, and guiding are all enumerated in this book. 


The Parable of the Mustard Seed

Matthew 13:31-32

Explain the phrase, “the kingdom of heaven.” The kingdom of heaven as illustrated in the seven parables of Matthew 13 is the sphere of Christian profession during this age. This particular parable illustrates what has taken place and is still taking place during the period between Pentecost and the Second Coming. This “mustard seed” was sown at Pentecost. From this small beginning it became a great tree, and the birds came and sheltered in its branches. This illustration is borrowed from the Old Testament (see Daniel 4).

[Show the growth of the “mustard seed,” which represents the Church, and the wheat and the tares:

Acts 1:15 (A.D. 58) - The number of names together was about one hundred and twenty.

Mary, The Lord's Mother

Mathew 1-2, Luke 1-2, and Acts 1:14

Mary, the Lord’s mother, is the most honored woman in the world. The first mention of her is found in Matt. 1:16, which says, “Mary, of whom was born Jesus.” [Note: it is no longer the word “begot” that is used, but it is “of whom.” This is in the feminine singular.] The meaning of Mary is trouble and sorrow - “Mara.” True to her name, Mary had many bitter experiences.

Fellowship in Acts 2

Webster’s definition of fellowship is, “Companionship…a neutral sharing.” He also designated a “fellowship” as “a group of people sharing the same interests; a brotherhood.” In the Scripture, fellowship is described as, “Communion…a mutual sharing…a partnership…having common interests.” In Christian fellowship we are “bound together” in Christ. We have a “reciprocal love” for one another. We also have “common interests.” We are in “harmony” and “agreement” with each other relative to our ideals in Christ.

In some instances in Scripture, fellowship carries with it the thought of “social activity.” One of the great blessings of Christianity is the “fellowship of saints.” In Judaism no provision was made for the gathering together of the people, except on special occasions as at the annual feasts. Right at the beginning of the Christian era provision was made for the “fellowship of saints.”

In Acts 2:42 we see the fourfold purpose for the coming together of the early church:

    - They met together in fellowship for the preaching and teaching of the apostles’ doctrine, especially the doctrine of the resurrection.

    - They also came together “to fellowship.”

    - While they were together in fellowship they broke bread (see 1 Corinthians 10:16).

    - They also made use of this opportunity to engage in prayers.

Acts 1 & 2

“He was seen by them for forty days.”

He showed Himself at frequent intervals.

Luke 24:36-43

“Why are you troubled? And why do you question in your hearts?”

“Behold my hands and my feet, see it is I, myself; handle me and see; for a spirit does not have flesh and bones like Me.”

The number “forty” in the scripture speaks of testing.

Israel in the wilderness—describe the manward side, Israel a failure—the Godward, despite the frequent and sinful provocations, He never failed.

The ark—it rained forty days and forty nights. The ark was safe. God was faithful as promised.

The temptation “Forty days tested by the devil.”

“Stone into bread”—“The kingdoms of the world in a moment of time”—The pinnacle of the temple.

Two things at least He did during the forty days:

1. He gave infallible proofs of His physical resurrection.

2. He spoke of things pertaining to the kingdom of God.

He spoke of things pertaining to the kingdom of God.

The kingdom of God is in the world today.

God rules in His kingdom—you become a citizen by being “born again” into the kingdom.

The “kingdom of heaven” and “kingdom of God” in most references are interchangeable terms.

From man’s viewpoint the professing Christian Church is the kingdom of Heaven.

New Testament (Acts-Revelation)

Lesson 221: The Ascension Of Christ
Acts 1:1-11
Golden Text: Acts 1:11

I. The Great Commission. Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15, 10.

1. The Person Who gave it. He had the right by virtue of His Person and His work.

2. The power for it—“Himself;” v. 18. Note the “power” as seen in (1) His birth; Luke 1:35. (2) Ministry; Luke 4:32. (3) Miracles; Luke 4:36. (4) Forgiveness; Matthew 9:6. (5) Death; John 10:18. (6) Resurrection. Romans 1:4; Colossians 2:13-15. (7) Ascension; Ephesians 1:20. (8) Coming; Matthew 24:30.

3. The plan of it. (1) The command “go ye.” (2) The scope, “world.” (3) The theme, “the Gospel.” (4) The persons, “every creature.”

4. The persons to whom given—His disciples. (1) Chosen. Mark 3:14; John 15:16. (2) Saved; Matthew 16:16. (3) Taught. (4) Commissioned. (5) Equipped.

5. The privilege of it. Ambassadors, co-workers, witnesses, trustees, servants of the Lord Jesus Christ.

6. The price of it. “Go” means leave. Cp. Luke 14:26.

7. The promise with it. “I am with you.” Cp Hebrews 13:5.

II. The Promise. Acts 1:4, 5.

1. Promised in O. T. Isaiah 32:15; Jeremiah 31:33; Ezek 11:19; Joel 228.

2. Promised in N. T. John 15:26—16:14.

III. The Questioning Disciples. Vs. 6-8.

1. The question; v. 6. (1) An earthly kingdom expected; Isaiah 2:2-4. (2) The King being rejected, the kingdom is in obeyance. Luke 19:14; Acts 3:14. (3) He will yet be King over the Earth; Psalm 2.

Chapter Nine The Conversion Of Saul Of Tarsus

Every conversion is a miracle, and nobody becomes a Christian apart from conversion. Our Lord Jesus said, “Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3). Little children receive the testimony in the simplicity of faith, and we are called on to do the same. It is remarkable to see, as we look back over the history of the church, how many enemies of the cross have been subdued by the sight of the Lord Jesus Christ who gav...

Chapter Eleven Peter's Defense

No one, I think, can read the account of Acts 11 thoughtfully without realizing how prejudices control and dominate the hearts of men. Most of us are more prejudiced in religious matters than we realize. Sometimes what we call “conscience” is, after all, only prejudice. We profess we cannot have any sympathy with this or that person (because he does not see as we do) on account of our consciences. Whereas, if we were honest, we would have to admit that our lack of sympathy is due in large part to our prejudices. Remember the old saying—“Orthodoxy is my doxy; Heterodoxy is someone else’s doxy.”

Notice too how things have changed during the Christian era. In the early days the prejudice was on the side of the Jews, who looked with contempt on the Gentiles. There was good reason for this. God had said, “This people have I formed for myself; they shall show forth my praise” (Isaiah 43:21). On another occasion he said, speaking of the Jews, “You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities” (Amos 3:2). Thus in a special sense God recognized Israel as His peculiar people, and He Himself put a hedge about them to keep them from mingling freely with the pagan who worshiped idols and indulged in all the unclean things that accompany idol worship. God called the Jews to separation from the sins of the Gentiles. So we need not be surprised that when the time came to carry the message of the grace of God to the Gentile world, even the Hebrew Christians looked with disfavor on reaching out into the pagan world with the proclamation of the gospel.

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