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Acts 1 - Part B

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig
The Truth Network Radio
June 25, 2024 6:00 am

Acts 1 - Part B

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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June 25, 2024 6:00 am

Pastor Skip shows you how Christ empowers believers to fulfill their mission as we await His return.

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With their zeal over the top, in all of that excitement, they could be tempted to just bolt out the door and go do what Jesus told them to do in the work, in the energy of their own flesh. So Jesus says, go, but don't go yet.

See, that's what he says. But wait, he says in Acts chapter one. To fulfill their mission as we await his return. But first, here's a resource all about the Holy Spirit's power and purpose in your life. How deep is your understanding of the Holy Spirit and the gifts he gives?

Listen, as Skip Heitzig unpacks his person and power in this teaching clip. The Holy Spirit is a divine person who helps us. How many of you think you need all the help you can get to live your Christian life?

Yeah, I'm with you. We need help. You grow in your understanding of the Holy Spirit through our Connect with Skip Heitzig monthly resource. You'll learn how he helps believers, that's you, to walk with Christ.

When it comes to living the Christian life, it's not hard. It's impossible on your own. You need his power to be able to do that.

You need his help to be able to do that. And we have his help. For your Connect with Skip Heitzig gift of $50 or more, we'll send you the complete expound Holy Spirit series and bring the reward. Now let's turn to Acts 1 as we join Skip for today's teaching.

So we call that the great what? Commission. The great commission is Jesus saying, go. Now, I just want you to put yourself for a moment in the disciples' sandals. For somebody to say, I've got an idea. I've got a mission. I've got a task I want you to do.

I want you to go somewhere. You might say, well, I have a job. I'm busy. I have a wife. I have kids. I have plans.

I can't just go. But if somebody who is dead that you loved is now alive after three days and you see that person alive and now you realize, oh, my goodness, this is everything he claimed he said he was. He is God in human flesh.

It is the living Lord risen from the dead. Just like he said, controlling nature. When he says go, you're going to be pretty zealous to go because now you have found a whole new way of life. You're going to follow him.

You're going to do what he says. There's nothing more exciting than following that guy. So you can imagine that when Jesus tells them, we're not over here yet, boys, I want you to go to all the world and I'm putting you on a mission, you have to imagine their excitement was at an all time high. They were ready to go. They were ready to conquer the world.

Their zeal was over the top. However, with their zeal over the top in all of that excitement, they could be tempted to just bolt out the door and go do what Jesus told them to do in the work, in the energy of their own flesh. So Jesus says, go, but don't go yet. You see, that's what he says. But wait, he says in Acts chapter one, verse four, being assembled together, he commanded them not to go, not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which he said, you have heard from me.

Now, why does he tell them wait for the Holy Spirit to baptize them in the body, fill them with the boldness, give them the necessary equipment to do the job? If you wanted to be a pilot in the Air Force, would it be silly if the Air Force said, OK, now that you graduated from flight school, you have to purchase your own jet aircraft? You'd say, well, I can't.

I didn't sign up for this. I kind of thought you would provide the equipment to do the job. Or if you're a soldier on the infantry and they said, you know, there's a really good deal on M-16s, but you have to buy them yourself. And the body armor and the helmets.

No, that would never happen. They will give you the equipment to do the job they're asking you to do for your country. So Jesus is commissioning them to go out into all the world, but don't go yet. Wait, he says, until you be filled with power from on high, the filling of the Holy Spirit, the necessary equipment to do the job. Therefore, verse six, when they had come together, they asked him, saying, Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel? And he said to them, it is not for you to know times or seasons which the father has put in his own authority. I love these guys.

They're so human. I don't know if you caught this or not, but in the normal flow of Chapter one, this is called an interruption. It's a non sequitur.

It's bringing an issue up that isn't related to the main subject that was being discussed. Okay, I told you to go into all the world, but now wait until you get filled with the Holy Spirit. Hey, let's set the date. When are you coming again? When's the power thing going to happen?

Are you going to restore the kingdom of Israel now? I mean, what does that have to do with anything Jesus is telling them? About this much.

Zero. Okay, so they're so human and this is what I love about them, because they're really good at interrupting or non sequiturs. They're really good at it. So like at the Mount of Transfiguration, Moses and Elijah is transfigured with Jesus and they're watching it. And Peter goes, it's good that we're here.

Let's build three condominiums right now. And God the Father has to interrupt Peter's interruption by saying, this is my beloved son. Listen to him.

Be quiet and listen to him. But that's Peter. And that's not the only time. There was the time Jesus mentioned that he was going to the cross to die on the cross. And so they asked him who's going to be the greatest in the kingdom. What were we talking about? The kingdom and the glory? I thought we were talking about the cross.

Yeah, but they're thinking the kingdom. So that's that's the interruption. That's the non sequitur.

And why I'm bringing this up is because I have a good friend who likes to say this. He goes, people change, but not that much. And so here you see the same apostles. Yes, after the resurrection. Yes, they're going to be filled with the spirit, but they're who they are. They're still growing. They're still imperfect. Does that give you a little bit of encouragement?

I hope it does. These guys were far from perfect. Now, having said that and having to sort of ditch them. I have to say this. I understand their question.

There's a there's part of me that says, well, I want to give him a break. And I understand why they would ask that, because Jesus keeps promising that he's going to send the Holy Spirit. I'm going to send the Holy Spirit. That's the promise of my father.

That's the other helper. He's been saying that before his death and now after his resurrection. So in their minds, they're Jewish. They were raised believing that the Messiah is going to come and establish a kingdom. There are several passages in the Old Testament that describe the kingdom, like Isaiah 35 and others, that describe the kingdom of Messiah on earth.

Incredible promises. But there are a couple in particular, Ezekiel 36, Joel Chapter two, that talk about the coming of the Holy Spirit in conjunction with the kingdom of Messiah on the earth, that he would pour out his spirit on the inhabitants of Israel. And so when Jesus keeps saying the Holy Spirit's coming, I'm sending the Holy Spirit, perhaps I want to give him a little bit of a break. Perhaps they're thinking actually of these two promises of scripture, Ezekiel 36 and Joel 2, and going, Oh, Holy Spirit, kingdom of God on earth, are you going to now restore the kingdom to Israel? So in fairness, I want to cut them a little slack. Don't know if they're just interrupting and doing their thing or they're actually engaged as deep Bible students.

Just from what I know about them, probably the first, not the second, but maybe. But then then comes the answer of Jesus. His answer is basically this. It's not about when. It's about what. You're worried about when is the time, when is the kingdom going to be restored? I want you to forget the when and I want you to think about the what it is I want you to do.

I have a job for you to do. And that's been Luke's theme since the beginning in verse one. This is what Jesus began to do and to teach. But now he's going to do it through the Holy Spirit, through the lives of the apostles. So he says it's not for you to know times or seasons, which the father has put in his own authority. But shifting gears, but you shall receive power.

Dunamis is the word we talked about last time or dunamis. When the Holy Spirit has come upon you at P and you shall be witnesses to me in Jerusalem. And in all Judea and Samaria. And to the end of the year. So many of us do want to know what's next. And I just told you about that little Bible study and you version. What's next? What's next?

What's next? It's good to be informed, but not so much that all you care about is information. And not the transformation that comes in your own life to do what God wants you to do right now. You see, I came out of the Jesus movement and some of us, frankly, that Jesus was coming by tomorrow. I mean, if he didn't come by tomorrow or maybe next week, that's the latest. I mean, we expected Jesus to come at any moment. And I like that thought of the imminence of Christ, the return of Christ. I still hold to that. But the danger was I saw a lot of my friends quitting their jobs, getting lazy. Jesus showing up, you know, maybe a month, but not longer than that.

And trying to set the date. But when Jesus talked about his return, his kingdom, he didn't expect his disciples to check out, strum a guitar, sit on a hillside, eat birdseed, and wait for Jesus to show up. He wanted them to be busy about his business, occupy until I come, our Lord said. So once again, he says, but you shall receive power.

That's why you need to stay till you get this power. When the Holy Spirit, the powerful one, has come upon you and you shall be witness. Now watch this, to me in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. Please notice verse 8. Luke is giving us the words of Jesus. Jesus is providing for us the outline of the book of Acts.

Luke will follow this as the outline for his entire book. So chapters 1 through chapter 7 is the gospel witness going to Jerusalem. Chapters 8 and 9, the gospel witness going to Judea and Samaria. Chapter 10 through chapter 28, the gospel witness going to the ends of the earth, all the way to the heart of the world at that time, Rome. If you were looking for a theme for the book of Acts, I can give it to you in one phrase, from Jerusalem to Rome. It's how the gospel message goes from the backwaters of the Roman Empire, Israel at the time, Jerusalem, and makes it to the very heart of the Roman Empire itself. So Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. So the message of Acts is showing us how the powerful message of the gospel goes out in ever widening circles.

That's the outline and I see a pattern here. When it comes to how the Lord has operated in my life, he's operated the same way, in ever widening circles. It started with me getting saved, I tell my family, my friends, and then the Lord gave me a little more influence and a little more, but even geographically. See, I started and I was saved in California, that's my Jerusalem. Southern California is my Jerusalem, that's my hometown. But then the Lord moved me to what is or was my Samaria.

New Mexico is like off the grid for me, I didn't even know what that was. But the Lord moved me from Jerusalem through Judea all the way out to Albuquerque, New Mexico, which was my Samaria. But now it's not my Samaria, now it's my Jerusalem. And so from this point, this is our Jerusalem in ever widening circles. The gospel should go out from you, from us, in the same way. Through parts of this state, through neighboring states, to the ends of the earth. So I love the fact that many have left to start churches in different parts of the world.

Usually at first just starting with areas around here, but then widening out and radio has taken the message in various places. So the Lord may move you to another place, that will become your Jerusalem. And you will be responsible before God to take the message to your Jerusalem, your Judea, your Samaria, and to the ends or the uttermost parts of the earth. Now if you think about Jerusalem as the starting point, the United States of America is about uttermost parts of the earth as you can get. We're about as far away from the original starting point of Christianity as you can get. Please remember that when your friends or relatives say, well, Christianity is a Western religion.

Really? Do a little bit of historic research and you'll find it's an Eastern oriented, oriental religion that has come by God's grace to the uttermost parts of the earth. So that was the starting point, Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the uttermost parts of the earth.

Something else to keep in mind. The book of Acts records the events that take place during a 30-year period. Thirty years of church history in this book.

A.D. 33 to A.D. 63, about 30 years. I bring that up because you can read through the book of Acts in a single setting or a few days if you want to spread it out. But you're going to read about miraculous things that occur in this book. And you might be tempted to go, man, there's so many miracles in the book of Acts. We need to get back to the book of Acts, which in many cases I would agree with. Some cases I wouldn't. Some cases we're already there.

I'll explain that. We need to get back to the book of Acts. We need to see the miracles they saw.

Listen, you're reading a period of 30 years of church history. The book of Acts records about 30 miracles. That's an average of about a miracle a year. It's important that you remember that because I think we see a miracle a year. So don't think, man, we're not seeing enough miracles.

I need my daily miracle. They didn't have daily miracles. Miracles of the sovereign work of God in His own timing and for His own pleasure.

So 30 years, 30 miracles, easy to average that out. Now, verse 9, now, when He had spoken these things, while they watched, front row seats, man, He was taken up and a cloud received Him out of their sight. That really was out of sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel. Who said, Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? So you can picture, right?

They're just going, Wow, that's awesome. Yeah, I think He's gone now. Yep. You see Him?

No, I don't. Yeah, there He goes. He's gone. This is the last time they're seeing Him.

So their heads are upward. Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus who was taken up from you into heaven will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven. Jesus Christ will return as He left. He will return personally. He will return visibly.

He will return wonderfully. He will first come for His church. We call that the rapture, 1 Thessalonians 4, in which Jesus comes close to the earth in the clouds, not all the way down to the earth. We will rise to meet Him. So think of it as a near flyby of Jesus.

But one day He's coming all the way back down to the earth. Revelation chapter 19, the second coming when every eye will see Him. Every eye, not just the church taken up to meet Him. Every eye shall see Him, and we'll come with Him at that second coming. Now, His return, according to these two men, is like His sleeping.

It's personal. It's visible. And Jesus left from, as we read down in verse 12, the Mount of Olives. When Jesus comes back, His second coming, He's going to touch down on the Mount of Olives.

The same mountain He left on, He's coming back to. Zechariah chapter 14 says that. It says, in that day, His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, and the mountain will be cleft or divided into two and move half of it to the north, half of it to the south, and a huge valley will be produced in Jerusalem.

That's Zechariah 14. So it's awfully awesome to stand on the Mount of Olives and gather believers together with open Bibles and think, this is where Jesus ascended into heaven. This is where Jesus is coming back to. The Mount of Olives is just to the east of Jerusalem. We call it the Mount of Olives, but it's really a hill. It's 400 feet taller than the valley. But before you go, oh, well, that's not much of a mountain. I mean, we have, like, the Sandia Mountains.

That's really a mountain. Yes, but try walking up the Mount of Olives. I tried to bicycle up the Mount of Olives. I brought a bicycle there once, had it in the lowest gear, kept lifting the front end off the ground. I just couldn't, you couldn't make it up.

I had to carry it out, roll it up. It's so precipitous. It is so steep that it feels like a mountain. It's a hill, but it's that mountainous area of Judea where it's just steep going. But we always love to gather people because it's a couple hundred feet taller than the Temple Mount, so you get a commanding view of the city of Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives. Here's a funny thing, though.

I'll warn you in advance. If you ask people in the area, hey, where's the spot where Jesus ascended into heaven from? They'll show you three different places, depending on which church tradition you want to believe. One church says it's in this spot. Another church says it's in that spot. One church has, I even saw this recently, a stone in the center of the church that they claim has the footprint that Jesus left when He launched. Before He launched, He stepped on that rock and it mysteriously miraculously left a footprint. Now, I've looked at it and go, that's a footprint?

Okay. Maybe He just eroded over time, but they claim it is. The problem with all of these churches, you want to know what the problem is?

They're all wrong. So how do you know that? Well, it's the advantage of reading the Bible. Because when you read the Bible and you come to the Gospel of Luke, the author of Acts and Luke tells us Jesus took them as far as Bethany, and that's where He launched. Now, Bethany is on the Mount of Olives, so there's the mountain, and there's Jerusalem over here, so here's the mountain. And He didn't launch from the very top, but just on the other side, going down toward the east, toward the Dead Sea, is the village of Bethany, where Lazarus, Mary, and Martha lived, where Jesus hung out, more of a private setting. And that's where He took His disciples to the familiar place where Lazarus, Mary, and Martha lived. And Luke says that's where Jesus ascended into heaven.

So it's funny to listen to their spiel and they show you the footprint, but you can walk away going, I don't need to see it or pay the money to go see it. So go to Bethany and check that out. And when you support this ministry, you keep these teachings you love available to you and to so many others around the world so they too can grow and connect with God. Just call 800-922-1888 to give a gift today. That's 800-922-1888, or visit connectwithskip.com slash donate.

That's connectwithskip.com slash donate. Thank you. Come back tomorrow to hear the conclusion of Skip's message and discover how the Holy Spirit has inspired the writing of Scripture. Jesus opening up their minds, Jesus personally teaching them, them searching the Scripture has formed now for Peter, he has a theology, a theology of fulfilled Scripture.

So to me it's impressive because that's a short lead time for a fishing dude from Galilee, a simple man, a blue collar worker to be able to get this. He wasn't Dr. Peter, he was just Peter, but he's Peter filled with the Holy Ghost. Make a connection, make a connection at the foot of the crossing, cast all burdens on his word, make a connection, a connection. Connect with Skip Hyten is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never changing truth in ever changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-06-25 05:18:56 / 2024-06-25 05:28:20 / 9

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