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Something Big Was about to Happen 

And the apostles had little idea of how big it was

Acts 1

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • January 29, In the year of our Lord, 2017

Song Leader and Song Suggestions: Kevin Michael – Uplifting songs


  1. Adam and Eve sinned, 
    1. opening the door for sin to enter the world, and
    2. death followed right behind.
  2. The world has slid downward ever since. 
    1. One time it got so bad on the Earth
    2. that the God of Heaven decided to destroy the whole world,
      1. except for one family that walked with God.
      2. After destroying the world with a flood,
        1. God used that one family
        2. to repopulate the Earth,
          1. making us all related, but
          2. the world again started going downward,
            1. although not as fast and
            2. not as bad…yet.
  3. However, God’s love for man 
    1. moved God to reveal a plan that He had for blessing mankind.
    2. He choose to work through a man we know as Abraham,
      1. saying to him,

        “In you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
        (Gen 12.3)
      2. Then many centuries later, a descendent of Abraham
      3. through whom God would bring that blessing,
        1. spoke through a writer of one of the Psalms,

          27 All the ends of the world
          Shall remember and turn to the LORD,
          And all the families of the nations
          Shall worship before You.
          (Psa 22.27)

          1. Psalm 22 is a Messianic Psalm,
          2. meaning that it spoke of the coming Messiah,
            1. who would fulfill the promise first made to Abraham, and
            2. confirmed to many others after him.
  4. The Psalm spoke of the Messiah dying at the hands of men for the sake of men. 
    1. Because of that death,
    2. All the ends of the world, and all the families of the nations
      1. could turn to God and
      2. He would gain countless sons and daughters
        1. from the Jews and
        2. from the people of the Earth.
  5. Once the Messiah had died, 
    1. He used His disciples to begin bringing the blessing of Abraham to the Earth.
    2. That turns our attention to the Book of Acts,
      1. the Book that shows what the followers of the Messiah
      2. did to bring the promised blessing to the entire world.


  1. Acts 1.1–3 | Things Pertaining to the Kingdom of God

    1 The former account I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, 2 until the day in which He was taken up, after He through the Holy Spirit had given commandments to the apostles whom He had chosen, 3 to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.

    1. Luke had written what we call The Gospel According to Luke
      1. to this person we know as Theophilus,
      2. whose name means, God Lover.
        1. He who loves God
        2. will love the Book of Acts,
          1. the beginning history of the church.
          2. In the Gospel Account,
            1. Luke wrote of all that Jesus began to do and to teach, and
            2. in the Book of Acts,
              1. Luke shows the beginning of
              2. what the disciples of Jesus did and taught.
    2. Luke ended his Gospel Account
      1. with the resurrection of Jesus, and
      2. some of His appearances to His disciples
        1. that they might know for sure that He has risen from the dead.
        2. Luke ends with a brief picture of the ascension of Jesus into Heaven.
    3. Those 40 days between His resurrection and His ascension
      1. made a powerful impression upon the disciples,
      2. so much so that not only were their lives not the same afterwards, but
        1. the world has never been the same since.
        2. The Book of Acts shows how
          1. the ministry, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus
          2. affected the apostles.
            1. What they had witnessed,
            2. they could not contain, but
              1. they had to tell the world, and
              2. untold numbers of the world have also become disciples.
  2. Acts 1.4–5 | Wait for the Spirit

    4 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.”

    1. The disciples would report to the world their experiences with Jesus.
      1. Therefore, they had to get the facts right.
      2. It is easy to misreport.
        1. I have done it, and
        2. I have had others misreport what I said or did.
          1. No evil was intended in either case, but
          2. it just happens.
    2. To insure that they would remember what they had seen and heard,
      1. Jesus had promised them the Holy Spirit,
      2. to teach them and to remind them of what they had heard Jesus teach,

        “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you” (John 14.26).
    3. They just had to wait in Jerusalem,
      1. not knowing how long to wait, but
      2. that the Lord would act.
    4. What would happen?
      1. The Spirit would arrive and
      2. they would experience the baptism of the Holy Spirit,
        1. giving them miraculous power, but
        2. also helping them with their message,
          1. so much so that we say the Holy Spirit inspired them,
          2. enabling them to say the Spirit’s words along with their testimony.
  3. Acts 1.6–8 | Would Jesus Restore the Kingdom to Israel?

    6 Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. 8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

    1. They knew that something big was about to happen.
      1. He had told them to wait.
      2. He had promised that they would receive the Holy Spirit.
        1. However, for what purpose or purposes?
        2. They took a guess that He was about to restore the kingdom to Israel.
    2. Others had rule in their land.
      1. Rome dominated their land and their nation.
      2. Greece had done the same before the Romans.
      3. The Medes and the Persians had dominated Israel before Greece.
      4. Babylon dominated Israel.
    3. However, notice two things that Jesus said to them:
      1. The times and seasons were outside their authority.
      2. He was thinking beyond Israel.
        1. When they had this experience of baptism in the Spirit,
        2. they would have power, and
          1. they would give testimony
          2. in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and
            1. beyond the borders of the Land of Canaan
            2. to the ends of the Earth.
  4. Acts 1.9–11 | Jesus Shall Return

    9 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.”

    1. Jesus had done and said all that the Father wanted Him to do and to say.
      1. His time to depart Earth had arrived.
      2. Suddenly, He went up into the air,
        1. a cloud appeared, and
        2. took Him out of their sight.
          1. The disciples saw it from Earth,
          2. Daniel saw it from Heaven,

            13 “I was watching in the night visions,
            And behold, One like the Son of Man,
            Coming with the clouds of heaven!
            He came to the Ancient of Days,
            And they brought Him near before Him.
            14 Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom,
            That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him.
            His dominion is an everlasting dominion,
            Which shall not pass away,
            And His kingdom the one
            Which shall not be destroyed.”
            (Dan 7.13–14)
    2. Just as suddenly, two men appear wearing white apparel,
      1. making it obvious that they have come from Heaven
      2. with a message about Jesus:
        1. Do not gaze into Heaven as though you will never see Him again.
        2. He will return as He left, on the clouds of heaven.
  5. Acts 1.12–14 | Continuing in Prayer

    12 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.

    1. The apostles went to Jerusalem.
      1. Others joined them, including
      2. some women, His mother, and His brothers.
    2. They passed the time waiting in prayer!
      1. They did not even know how long they would have to wait.
      2. Jesus appeared to them for 40 days.
        1. Since Pentecost follows Passover 50 days later, and
          1. Jesus rose on the first day after Passover,
          2. about 10 days from His ascension to the Day of Pentecost passed.
  6. Acts 1.15–22 | Replacing Judas

    15 And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples (altogether the number of names was about a hundred and twenty), and said, 16 “Men and brethren, this Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke before by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus; 17 for he was numbered with us and obtained a part in this ministry.” 18 (Now this man purchased a field with the wages of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst open in the middle and all his entrails gushed out. 19 And it became known to all those dwelling in Jerusalem; so that field is called in their own language, Akel Dama, that is, Field of Blood.) 20 “For it is written in the Book of Psalms:

    ‘Let his dwelling place be desolate,
    And let no one live in it’;


    ‘Let another take his office.’

    21 Therefore, of these men who have accompanied us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 22 beginning from the baptism of John to that day when He was taken up from us, one of these must become a witness with us of His resurrection.”

    1. Peter took the lead.
    2. He knew that Scripture had to be fulfilled concerning Judas, for
      1. the Lord revealed a thousand years earlier
      2. that someone would betray Him,
        1. even someone who would be a close associate Jesus.
        2. We often see Judas as the traitor, but,

          9 Even my own familiar friend in whom I trusted,
          Who ate my bread,
          Has lifted up his heel against me.
          (Psa 41.9)
    3. Then Peter or Luke says what happened to Judas after he took his life.
      1. When he gave the betrayal money back to the priests,
      2. they purchased a field.
        1. Judas hung himself, and
        2. something broke, the rope, or the rope cut through his neck.
          1. Judas fell headfirst.
          2. When he hit the ground, his guts exploded.
      3. Not a pleasant site for one who had been a disciple of Jesus Christ.
    4. Peter quoted Psalm 69 as a prophecy of the purchase of the field.
    5. Also, the Psalms said that they had to replace Judas.
      1. Evidently, the Lord wanted the number 12.
      2. Peter gave the qualifications for an apostle, which no one can fulfill today.
        1. He had to accompany Jesus from John’s baptism to the ascension.
        2. That would mean he had to have seen the resurrected Jesus.
          1. Two men fit the bill,
          2. although they were unnamed the whole time, they were there.
    6. Take note that the Old Testament directed their operation.
  7. Acts 1.23–26 | Jesus Chose Matthias

    23 And they proposed two: Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. 24 And they prayed and said, “You, O Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which of these two You have chosen 25 to take part in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.” 26 And they cast their lots, and the lot fell on Matthias. And he was numbered with the eleven apostles.

    1. The congregation looked around and found two men:
      1. Joseph Justus, whom everyone called Barsabas, and
      2. Matthias.
    2. They could not judge, but the Lord could.
      1. He would know which of the two would be best to replace Judas.
      2. The Lord chose Matthias.
    3. Barsabas showed no resentment for not being selected.
    4. If someone asked me to name the 12 apostles,
      1. I would always name the 12 who followed Him during His ministry.
      2. Yet, Judas only served for 3 1/2 years and
        1. in the end disgraced himself greatly.
        2. Whereas, Matthias served as an apostle for the rest of his life.


  1. Serve Jesus for the rest of your life.