AscenA20. Acts of the Apostles 1:1-11. Luke first writes his gospel and secondly the Acts of the Apostles. He addresses both to Theophilus, which translated from the Greek means one who loves God. In other words, he is speaking to people who are already believers but want to increase their belief. Luke relates that Jesus was taken up into heaven, “after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit (but before Pentecost) to the apostles whom he had chosen.” They only receive the Holy Spirit himself later at Pentecost. Jesus says to his Apostles, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses.” “When he had said this, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him from their sight.” “Suddenly two men dressed in white garments” “said, ‘Men of Galilee, why are you standing there looking at the sky? This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven will return in the same way as you have seen him going into heaven.’” In other words, Jesus wants the Apostles now to get on the next phase of their work here on earth and not just stare into the sky. Jesus in effect is saying await the Spirit. Once empowered by him go and convert the world.
Matthew 28:16-20. Jesus says in Matthew 28:19a: “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations; and in Matthew 28:20b: “And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” The end of the age means the end of the universe or Jesus’ Second Coming when Jesus judges all as Lord over all. Meanwhile though not physically present, he is with us spiritually to continue his ministry to lead all to heaven through the power of the Spirit.
Ephesians 1:17-23. Paul writes: “Brothers and sisters: May the God of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, give you a Spirit of wisdom and revelation resulting in the knowledge of him.” In Matthew 16:15b -16 Peter said: “You are the Messiah, the son of the living God.” Jesus said in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.” That was ‘the Spirit of wisdom and revelation,’ working in the name of the Father, working in a spiritually unseen but a divinely, real manner. “And he put all things beneath his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of the one who fills all things in every way.” Jesus is all that is all-6 good and heavenly given. Though not here bodily he is here even more intensely spiritually to fulfill his mission to bring all to salvation.