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 1:9-14:

In our previous lesson, we concluded with the instructions of the Lord to His disciples prior to His ascension. With these thoughts concluded, He will now ascend to the Father.


Text #1:

Acts 1:9-11 “Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. 10 And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, 11 who also said, “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.”

See also: Mark 16:19; Luke 24:50-53.


Spoken These Things: Luke records that at the conclusion of the final discourse with His disciples, these events are going to occur. We learn by reading Luke's earlier account of these events, that the Lord led the disciples out of Jerusalem, as far as Bethany (Luke 24:50). This will collaborate with what Luke shares with us in this study, as he will record that after the ascension of the Lord, they would return to Jerusalem (Acts 1:12).

Luke's earlier account also indicates that it was while the Lord was blessing His disciples that He was parted from them (Luke 24:51).



The ascension of the Lord, was something He had already spoke concerning prior to this event, when He instructed Mary Magdalene to go and tell His brethren, as He appeared to her resurrected from the dead, note:

John 20:17 “Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.'”


In addition to the words of Jesus Himself, concerning the ascension, we also have the words of Mark, note:

Mark 16:19 “So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God.”


The ascension of the Lord from their presence saw Him return to His Father where He would sit at the right hand of God (the position of authority). This is what Jesus prayed the night of His arrest, prior to His death, note:

John 17:4-5 I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. 5 And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.


Two Men in White Apparel: Many years ago, I taught many of our High School aged kids the book of Acts. At this point in the text, as the Lord ascends before the disciples and they are standing there, with their jaws agape at the site; I asked the kids to close their eyes and in their minds eye, see this for themselves. In this exercise, each of us can view this event for themselves in like fashion, and I assure you that you will never look at clouds again without thinking of this moment.

While they stood there staring at the site, two men in white apparel stood by them. The “white apparel” (sometimes referred to as shinning apparel also) is an identifier that sets these men apart from the norm and establishes them as angels (Matthew 28:3; Mark 16:5; Luke 24:4; John 20:12; Acts 10:30).


Come in Like Manner: The angels of the Lord would reveal to the disciples of the Jesus that, as they have witnessed Him ascend into the clouds; likewise, He would return in the same manner.

The key here is the clouds! Clouds, throughout the revelation of God, have always been symbolic of a Divine movement of great strength and power (most often used as a coming in the power of judgment – Isaiah 19:1; Jeremiah 4:13-14; Ezekiel 30:3-4, 18; 32:7; Joel 2:2; Matthew 24:30; Luke 21:27; 1 Thessalonians 4:17; Revelation 1:7).

His movement into the cloud as He ascended, was to take the throne of the kingdom of God He has spoken to them about for the previous forty days (Acts 1:3). His promised return to [them] in the clouds would coincide with His own words concerning a return for judgment on the Israel of their question in Vs.6. So, we see the statement of the angels as a continuation of the answer to their question. It is an answer that He has already given them concerning physical Israel and the judgment to come if they reject Him as their King, note:

Luke 19:27 “But bring here those enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, and slay them before me.'”


This also corresponds with the teaching of the Lord concerning the destruction of Jerusalem – Matthew 24; Luke 21; Revelation 1:7.

We would also see the Apostles preach this in the kingdom:

Acts 3:19-23 Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, 20 and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, 21 whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began. 22 For Moses truly said to the fathers, ‘The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your brethren. Him you shall hear in all things, whatever He says to you. 23 And it shall be that every soul who will not hear that Prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people.'”


Text #2:

Acts 1:12-14 “Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day's journey. 13 And when they had entered, they went up into the upper room where they were staying: Peter, James, John, and Andrew; Philip and Thomas; Bartholomew and Matthew; James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot; and Judas the son of James. 14 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.”

See also: Luke 24:52-53.


Then They Returned: The ascension of the Lord took place near Bethany, believed to be on the slope of the Mount of Olives (the exact location of Bethany is not known today; however, Luke will give us an indicator of the distance from Jerusalem that it could be found). Luke tells us that this location is near Jerusalem; “A Sabbath day's journey”. A Sabbath day's journey is a distance of 2000 paces or approximately 7/8's of a mile.


Upper Room: As they returned to Jerusalem, they continued to occupy the room they had secured for the duration of the time between the Passover and Pentecost (a customary practice for those from distant areas).


Apostles: This is the last given list of the Apostles in the New Testament (The other lists can be found in: Matthew 10:1-4; Mark 3:13-19; Luke 6:12-16. The term “Apostles” or “The Twelve” used after the first chapter of Acts will be a reference to all of these and the addition of Matthias, which will occur later in this chapter, and we will dwell on him then (Acts 1:26; 2:42; 4:33, 35, 37; 5:2; 6:2, 6; etc…).

A complete list of the bios of each can be found at this link:


In addition to the disciples of the Lord, we see also that many of the faithful women that had followed Him and were there for His death and resurrection also waited in Jerusalem with them. This would also be the last mention of Mary, the mother of the Lord.


We also have a mention of “His brothers”. We can go to Matthew 13:55; Mark 6:3; to learn that the Lord had four brothers (James, Joses, Simon, and Judas, also known as Jude), as well as a plurality of sisters (Matthew 13:56; Mark 6:3). We can read in John 7:5, that prior to His resurrection, they did not believe that He was the Son of God. Here, post-resurrection we see them assembled together with the disciples of the Lord. In addition, Paul would record that the brothers of the Lord traveled with believing wives, preaching the word (1 Corinthians 9:5).

Our text does not state that all the brothers of the Lord would become believers of Jesus as the Christ, it just states a plurality; however, we know that James will be found as a pillar in the church in Jerusalem (Acts 15:13; Galatians 2:9). In addition to having an important role in the decree that would go out from Jerusalem (Acts 15:6-29), James would also author the letter that bears his name, and his brother Jude would write the letter that bears his name (Jude 1).


The wait in Jerusalem, described by Luke (Luke 24:53; Acts 1:14 , should not surprise us. They had been left with a vast amount of information and had witnessed a great deal that would keep them in discussion, cause them to pray for wisdom and to supplicate for understanding. This would also help them with the business to complete before the promise of the Father would come to them (Acts 1:5). For as of yet, they are incomplete!


Next: “Matthias Chosen