Romans 1:16-17 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.

All articles are written using the NKJV, unless otherwise noted! All articles are written by David Hicks, unless specified otherwise.

Witnesses to Me

To The End of the Earth!

- A Study In Acts -

Chapter One – Introduction and Choosing of Matthias

ACTS 1:4-5:

In our last lesson we looked at the introduction of Luke in the first three verses as a continuation from his Gospel to this narrative. The subject of the work of the Lord during the forty days He spent resurrected was commands to His chosen apostles (vs.2), and He continues to instruct them concerning the kingdom of God.

In this lesson, we will deal with some of the commands the Lord would give His apostles.


Text #1:

Acts 1:4-5 “ And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; 5 for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”


With Them: first and foremost, before we get into the body of this text, it is vital that we recognize that the Lord is speaking only to His chosen (those who would in a short time become the “one's sent” – apostles of Jesus Christ). The “Them” goes back to verse two, rendered “the apostles”.


Not to Depart from Jerusalem: This ties us to the last chapter of the Gospel of Luke (24:49). Jesus speaking to His chosen before His ascension would instruct them to tarry in Jerusalem until they would be “endued with power from on high”.

This designates a place of origin for the events spoken of both here and the last chapter of Luke.


Promise of the Father: This “promise” is not random or a mystery to the apostles; as Jesus states that they had already heard this from Him! This “promise” is the power which they would receive according to Luke 24:49. It is also the baptism Jesus states in verse 5, that they shall know in a few days from this statement.

Jesus states that, in fact, the “promise” they were to receive would be the Holy Spirit.

We need to go back to the last night the Lord would be with His chosen before His arrest and subsequent death. After the Passover meal and after Judas had gone out to betray Him (John 13:29-30), the Lord would state to the remaining disciples that He was going somewhere that they could not follow (John 13:33). This statement disturbed them greatly and the Lord spoke to them intimately concerning this troublesome statement and tried to comfort them (read – John 14-16).

It would be during this session of comfort, that Jesus would tell His chosen that they would not be left as orphans, but God would send to them “the Comforter” (the Holy Spirit, spoken of as the Comforter, as the Lord defines what the Spirit would do for them in His absence).

It is in this intimate session with His disciples that we learn the details of this “Promise of the Father”. He would be for them:


1. A Comforter.

This is translated from the Greek, ‘Parakletos' and is defining one who gives aid (also translated, ‘Helper' or ‘Consoler'). This tern is used by the Lord, describing the benefit that the apostles would know at His coming – see: John 14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:7.

The Lord describes that the Holy Spirit would do for them many of the things that He has been doing for them to this point (Helper, Succor, Counselor, and Aid).

One of the first times we would see this action by the Spirit, would be when Peter and John would stand before the high court of that day (the Sanhedrin), and the Spirit would give Peter courage and act as Legal Counselor (Acts 4:8-12). The result of this action of Peter and John through the Spirit would be the acknowledgement by these rulers that they had been with Jesus (4:13).


2. A Teacher.

The Helper or Comforter would also be for the apostles of Jesus Christ a teacher, which would both teach and remind them of the teachings of Jesus (John 14:26).

3. A Witness.

The Spirit would work through them to present testimony on behalf of the Lord (John 15:26). This testimony would begin on the day of Pentecost, following Jesus' ascension and coronation (Acts 2:33-36); and would along-side of the word, confirm the word of the apostles by signs and wonders.

4. A Proclaimer of Sin.

All that the Spirit of God accomplishes today is through the vehicle of the revealed word made manifest through the apostles and New Testament prophets; this is why the word was what was commanded to the apostles to bring to the entire world (Mathew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-16). It would be through this universal message that the Spirit would render that all are in sin and in need of the Gospel's message of salvation (John 16:8; Romans 3:22-23). It is this understanding that is commentary for John 3:17-18, and explains why Jesus did not come to condemn the world; as the world was already condemned in sin. This also helps us understand the true importance of the Gospel for the salvation of sinful man.


5. A Guide and Revealer.

Jesus told His disciples that the Spirit would “Guide you into all truth” (John 16:13). Two important things stick out in this statement.

First, is that the promise is exclusive. The apostles were the only ones promised this measure of the Spirit.

Second, is that it would be exhaustive. That is since this promise was to them alone, after they through the Spirit had delivered all truth, it would be complete. This also acts as commentary in 1 Corinthians 13:10; as Paul would speak of this completed work as “that which is perfect has come” . This understanding also allowed Peter, just before his death, to say; “His Divine power has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3).


6. A Foreteller of Things to Come.

Through these men chosen by Jesus Christ, the Spirit would reveal things to come both near and distant (John 16:13 also see: Acts 20:22-23; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12; 2 Timothy 3:1-9; 2 Peter 3:1-9). Nothing can be known concerning the future events in God's time (Acts 1:7), except what the Spirit through the Apostles has revealed.


7. A Glorifier of Jesus Christ.

The Spirit's work in revelation through the apostles would be foremost to glorify Christ to the world of sinful men John 16:14-15). This would transpire by the universal message of salvation in the name of Jesus Christ; the heart of the Gospel's message (Acts 4:12; Romans 1:1-6; 16-17; etc…).


Chain of Revelation:

This “Promise” of the Holy Spirit defines for you and I the plenary revelation of the righteousness of God in the word (complete in all aspects). God giving Christ Jesus all authority in heaven and earth (Matthew 28:18-20), Christ Jesus then promising to send to His chosen the Holy Spirit to reveal His gospel and doctrine (Acts 2:42; Romans 1:16; 2 John 9), the apostles of Jesus Christ then completing their commission to pour out the Spirit on all mankind (Acts 2:17; 1 Corinthians 2:6-16; 2 Peter 1:19-21), then finally to you and me through the word of God, establishing righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16-17).


Baptized with the Holy Spirit: In the last verse of our text; we find that Jesus tells His chosen that they will be submerged (the basic meaning of baptism when un-associated with water) with the Holy Spirit, which corresponds with Luke 24:49; where the Lord said “endued with power from on high” (“endued” is from the Greek, ‘Enduo', and means ‘clothed with').

Both terms are describing for the apostles of Jesus (alone), that the receipt of the promise of the Holy Spirit would be for them a complete overwhelming, inundation, and that nothing they would need from the Comforter would be withheld (also described as “the Holy Spirit has come upon you” Acts 1:8 – and we will speak of this measure of the Spirit in the rest of our study, given to the apostles, as the apostolic measure of the Spirit).


They had participated in the baptism of John as obedience to the righteousness of God at that time. This reference is given for them to understand that this receipt of the promise of the Holy Spirit would in no way resemble the baptism of water by John, and in fact, be a Divine act.


Many associate this statement of the Lord to His apostles with the words of John the Baptist to the Pharisees and scribes who came to him at the river Jordan (Matthew 3:11). This is not accurate in the specifics; however, universally it would be true.

What I mean by this, is that John spoke of the One who would come after him, Who would be mightier than John, and Who would in fact bring about what the revelation of the Spirit to all mankind would do (revelation of salvation and judgment – described in the terms of an inundation of revelation and judgment or Holy Spirit and fire). This is a generic reference to the end result of the plenary chain of revelation that we have already built and that the Christ of God would be the catalyst of the chain.


While in Acts 1:5, Jesus is speaking specifically to the apostles concerning the measure of the Spirit that they had been promised for their part in the plenary chain of revelation.

The universal connection to both accounts would be the end result; revelation of righteousness and judgment coming to all men; however, this is where the connection also ends. They are two specifically different accounts for two specifically different purposes.


One to show that the judgment on the unrighteous of Israel was at hand (gathering the wheat into the barn – those who would hear and obey His revealed righteousness in that day; and the chaff burned with fire – those among the children of Israel who would reject Him and the salvation He would offer – Matthew 3:12).


The other account given specifically to the apostles of Christ, to know what they were to wait for in Jerusalem, and that they would be able, through this promise, complete all that the Lord had charged them with by their commission (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8).


Next: “Commission