College Notes
The Acts
Chapter 1

Acts is not a handbook of Church doctrine although doctrine does appear. It is a Book of firsts.

Important Dates

Note: Luke is the only gospel which mentions Christ’s ascension.

Beginning of the Church (1:1-5:42)

Ascension of Christ (1:1-14)
Greeting (1:1-3)

vs. 1
Jesus began to DO and TEACH. This is the emphasis in the gospel of Luke.

Acts is a continuation of what Christ was DOING after the gospel accounts

Acts is: Transaction, deeds, Acts of Apostolic men (not all).

vs. 2
Gave commandment - wait in Jerusalem (Luke 24:49).

Jesus showed himself.

The scriptures describe 10 different times Jesus was seen after his resurrection.

1. To women at tomb. Mary Magdalene and other Mary (the mother of James the less, (Matt 27:56-61, Mark 15:40) Jn20:11-18.
2. Sunday afternoon. They held his feet. Mt28:9-10, this took place after Christ’s ascension.
3. To Simon. Luke 24:33-35.  I Corinthians 15:5 identifies it was Simon Peter.
4. To two disciples on the road to Emmaus. Luke 24:13-35
5. To 10 disciples assembled behind locked doors. Luk24:36-43 and Jn20:19-24

(The first five times were all on one day)

6. One week later. Once assembled disciples, this time with them. John 21:l4.
7. To seven disciples at Sea of Galilee. Jn21:1-3
8. To 500 on Mount in Galilee. 1Cor15:6
9. To James, his brother and other disciples. 1Cor15:7
10. After 40 days Christ’s ascended from the Mount of Olives. Acts 1:3-12

* Ascended bodily
* How far in to the clouds did Jesus ascend before they could no longer see them? 1000 ft?     

The number 1O, according to Bulinger's NUMBER IN SCRIPTURE is God's number of Divine order.

vs. 3
Christ's message was of the Kingdom of God.

Final Instructions (1:4-8)

vs. 4
Big assembly, literally eating with them.  Luke 24:42-49

Christ resurrected:

John 14:16 - Promise in O.T., i.e. Messiah would appear. Promise in N.T., i.e. Holy Spirit. "Wait for the promise of the Father . . ."

Holy Spirit not a doctrine in the O.T., but some must have been begotten.

vs. 6
Message made clear but not when.

vs. 7
Not imperative now, i.e. times or seasons

Mat. 24:36 - unrevealed – No one knows the day or hour.

Apostles believed event to take place in their lifetime.  Acts 1:6

vs. 8
"Witness," eye-witness of resurrection.

Holy Spirit is power, authority. It is omnipresent (not a person).

Three regions described:

  1. Jerusalem
  2. Palestine and Syria
  3. Uttermost part of the world -

* TIBET? No! Western world

Ascension (1:9-14)

vs. 9
Christ ascended out of sight

vs. 10
Normal angels manifest themselves as men contrary to seraphim and cherubim. White symbolizes righteousness. Rev. 19:8

vs. 11
Christ's return, manner explained: Not the time

Descent will be visible.

* This verse proves that the reward of the saved is not Heaven. Jesus returns from Heaven to the Mt. of Olives. Zech. 14:4

vs. 12
"Sabbath day's journey" - tradition:

2,000 CB = 3/5 mi., i.e. wall to wall in a city.

Mt. of Olives to Jerusalem was about 3/5 miles.

Luke 24:52-53 After ascension they went to Jerusalem and continued worshipping in the temple.

vs. 13
Rented quarters

Luke 24: 52 -53 Temple as a place of worship

Apostolic list
*Apostolic list differs from that of the Gospels.
Why the contradiction? Be prepared for a quiz.

1-3. List the three sets of brothers
4-5. What are two other names for Judas?
6. What is Simon the Zealot's other name?

vs. 14
"The women"

  1. Mary Magdalene (Luke 8:2)
  2. The other Mary (mother of James the less, Matt 27:56-61, Mark 15:40).
  3. Mary, the mother of Jesus

 "The brethren"

e.g., physical brothers and sisters. Assume part of 120. Shows God not building a male chauvinist church.
* 4 brothers and 2 sisters

Judas (1:15 - 22)

vs. 15
120 disciples

Disciple = learner or student.

(p. 15, Barclay)
120 = Completion, e.g. 10 x 12 = 120

120 were required to settle a civil matter and Luke may have done this on purpose, due to Jewish law.

vs. 16 - 17
Judas introduced

vs. 18 - 19
"Burst asunder in the midst" G.K. = elakhsen mesoß, clang, to crack, to crash, like a falling tree.

Plausible explanation: May mean burst open in the middle due to ineptness in trying to hang himself. He hit rocks below.

Fact: Judas committed suicide in remorse (Mat. 27:5).

Jews are very tied to importance of burial. Present even today. Try to bury dead as close to Jerusalem as possible.

Judas' Motives

John 12: 6 - Judas was treasurer and thief. He didn't presume Jesus as a "lamb led to the slaughter," but when he realized that Christ was actually going to die, he hung himself.

Judas appearing in the:

vs. 20

"Bishoprick" = (Greek) His office as overseer (Psalms 69:25; 109:8)

God's Spirit revealed meaning of these two Psalms. Therefore, God inspired Peter to say this. Good example of Bible interpreting the Bible.

vs. 22
Were to replace Judas.

Matthias and Joseph had to have been witnesses along with the apostles.

Matthias chosen (1:23-26)

vs. 23
1. Joseph called Barsabas

2. Matthias*

vs. 24 – 26
*appointed via casting lots (1:26)

Barclay writes in his commentary:
"It may seem strange to us that the method was that of casting lots. But amongst the Jews it was the natural thing to do because all the offices and duties in the Temple were settled that way. The names of the candidates were written on stones: the stones were put into a vessel and the vessel was shaken until one stone fell out; and he whose name was on that stone was elected to office." P. 17

Note: This is the last time in God’s church that the casting of lots is ever used.   After this they were given the Holy Spirit.

The Spirit will lead them into the truth. John 16:13, Matt. 18:20

Index | Chapter 2