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  • Different from in you (John 14:17). The Holy Spirit was breathed into the disciples on the day of the Lord's resurrection (John 20:22) to be the Spirit of life (Rom. 8:2) to them essentially. The same Holy Spirit would come upon the disciples on the day of Pentecost to be the Spirit of power to them economically. See note Luke 24:493.

  • This is to be baptized in the Holy Spirit (v. 5) for the fulfillment of the promise of the Father (v. 4).

  • The kingdom of Israel, for which the apostles and other devout Jews were looking, was a material kingdom, unlike God's kingdom of life, which is mentioned in v. 3 and which Christ is building up through the preaching of His gospel. See note Acts 1:34.

  • This was accomplished in two sections:
    1) all the Jewish believers were baptized in the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:4);
    2) all the Gentile believers were baptized in the house of Cornelius (Acts 10:44-47; 11:15-17).
    In these two sections all genuine believers in Christ were baptized in the Holy Spirit into the one Body of Christ once for all universally (1 Cor. 12:13 and note 1 Cor. 12:131a).

  • Or, ate together.

  • This proves that the kingdom of God would be the main subject of the apostles' preaching in their commission that was to come after Pentecost (Acts 8:12; 14:22; 19:8; 20:25; 28:23, 31). It is not a material kingdom visible to human sight but a kingdom of the divine life. It is the spreading of Christ as life to His believers to form a realm in which God rules in His life. See note Mark 1:151b, note Mark 4:261a, and note Luke 4:432.

  • Forty days is a period of trial and testing (see note Matt. 4:21b).

  • The resurrected Christ dwelt in the disciples, because He had breathed Himself as the Spirit into them on the day of His resurrection (John 20:22). His appearing does not mean that He had ever left them; it simply means that He made His presence visible to them, training them to realize and enjoy His invisible presence all the time.

  • This was to train the disciples to practice and enjoy the Lord's invisible presence. See note John 20:263.

  • The resurrected Christ had become the life-giving Spirit (1 Cor. 15:45), yet in resurrection He still did things through the Holy Spirit (John 20:22).

  • Lit., martyrs; those who bear a living testimony of the resurrected and ascended Christ in life, differing from preachers who merely preach doctrines in letters. In His incarnation Christ carried out His ministry on the earth by Himself, as recorded in the Gospels, to sow Himself as the seed of the kingdom of God only in the Jewish land. In His ascension He would carry out His ministry in the heavens through these martyrs, in His resurrection life and with His ascension power and authority, as recorded in the Acts, to spread Himself as the development of the kingdom of God from Jerusalem, as a beginning, unto the uttermost part of the earth, as the consummation of His ministry in the New Testament. All the apostles and disciples in the Acts were His martyrs, His witnesses, of this kind (see the cross-references above). See note Acts 23:113 and note Acts 26:161b.

  • Here Mary is mentioned for the last time in the New Testament.

  • Lit., Men, Galileans. More dignified and solemn than simply "Galileans."

  • Luke's Gospel ends with the Lord's ascending into heaven (Luke 24:51), and his Acts begins with it. His Gospel is a narrative of the ministry of the incarnated Jesus on earth; his Acts is a record of the continuing ministry of the resurrected and ascended Christ in heaven, carried out through His believers on earth. In the Gospels His ministry on earth, carried out by Himself, only sowed Himself as the seed of the kingdom of God into His believers, with no church being built up yet. In the Acts His ministry in heaven, carried out through His believers in His resurrection and ascension, spread Him as the development of the kingdom of God for the building up of the church (Matt. 16:18) throughout the entire world to constitute His Body, which is His fullness (Eph. 1:23) for His expression, and which is even the fullness of God (Eph. 3:19) for God's expression.

  • The Lord's ascension points to His coming back. Between these two events is the dispensation of grace that He, as the pneumatic Christ, the life-giving Spirit (1 Cor. 15:45), might apply His all-inclusive redemption to God's chosen people for their full salvation, that He might produce and build up the church as His Body for the establishing of the kingdom of God on earth.

  • Christ ascended into heaven from Mount Olivet (v. 12), being taken up by a cloud, in a way that was visible to human sight. He will return to the same mount (Zech. 14:4), coming on a cloud (Matt. 24:30), in the same visible way.

  • Or, before.

  • This vision of Christ's ascension into heaven strengthened the disciples' faith in Him and in what He had done for them through His death and resurrection. It broadened their view of God's heavenly economy, which had brought them into cooperation with Christ's ministry in the heavens for the carrying out of God's New Testament economy on the earth. The believers should have such a vision concerning Christ's ascension.

  • The disciples returned to Jerusalem to keep the Lord's words in Luke 24:49 and Luke 1:4 of this book, that they might receive the Spirit of power economically as promised by the Father. They were all Galileans (v. 11). For them to stay in Jerusalem, especially under the Jewish leaders' threatening, meant that they were risking their lives.

  • According to Jewish tradition, a Sabbath day's journey equaled about three-quarters of a mile.

  • Before the Lord's death Peter often spoke nonsensically (Matt. 16:22-23; 17:24-26; 26:33-35). But now, after the Lord's resurrection, he could expound the Old Testament prophecies properly in their correct significance (vv. 16-20). This too is proof that the disciples, before they received the Spirit of power economically on the day of Pentecost, had received the Spirit of life essentially on the day of the Lord's resurrection.

  • More dignified and solemn than simply "brothers."

  • Mentioned also in v. 25 referring to the ministry that bears the testimony of Jesus (v. 8). Though the apostles were twelve in number, their ministry was uniquely one — this ministry, a corporate ministry in the principle of the Body of Christ. All the apostles carried out the same ministry to bear the testimony not of any religion, doctrine, or practice but uniquely of the incarnated, resurrected, and ascended Jesus Christ, who is the Lord of all.

  • Or, reward.

  • Aramaic.

  • Signifying a bloody death (Matt. 27:5-8).

  • The Zealots, a Galilean sect, were excessively zealous in striving for their religion, and in particular for the Mosaic law. See note Matt. 10:41.

  • Or, son.

  • Before the Lord's death the disciples had no interest in praying for spiritual things (Luke 22:40, 45-46); rather, they contended among themselves as to which of them was considered to be greatest (Luke 22:24). But after the Lord's resurrection and ascension, their spiritual condition changed radically. They did not contend among themselves but were burdened to continue steadfastly with one accord in prayer, even before the day of Pentecost, when they would receive the outpoured Spirit of power economically (ch. 2). This is a strong sign and proof that they had received the indwelling Spirit of life essentially on the day of the Lord's resurrection (John 20:22). This is also evidence that they had been strengthened in God's New Testament economy by the vision of the Lord's ascension.

  • Or, with one mind.

  • The disciples might have prayed to be clothed with the Spirit of power, the promise of the Father, for which the Lord had charged them to remain in Jerusalem (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4), and might also have prayed for the commission given to them by the Lord in Luke 24:47-48 and Luke 1:8 of this book to bear His testimony to the uttermost part of the earth.

    God wanted to pour out His Spirit for the carrying out of His New Testament economy and had promised to do it. Yet He still needed His chosen people to pray for this. As God in heaven, He needs men on earth to cooperate with Him for the carrying out of His plan. The one hundred twenty disciples' praying for ten days met this need of God's.

  • After the Lord's ascension and before the day of Pentecost the apostles were in a transitional period, as shown by the way they sought the Lord's guidance. They had received the indwelling Spirit on the day of the Lord's resurrection (John 20:22) and had been trained by the Lord for forty days before His ascension to practice and become accustomed to His invisible presence (v. 3). Yet it was still difficult for them to drop the old, traditional way of seeking God's leading by casting lots (Lev. 16:8; Josh. 14:2; 1 Sam. 14:41; Neh. 10:34; 11:1; Prov. 16:33). They were still not accustomed to the leading and guidance of the indwelling Spirit (Rom. 8:14), unlike the apostle Paul later, in Acts 16:6-8. They were still in the initial stage of God's New Testament economy before the day of Pentecost.

  • The Lord's resurrection was the focus of the apostles' testimony. It points back to His incarnation, humanity, human living on the earth, and God-ordained death (Acts 2:23), and points forward to His ascension, ministry and administration in heaven, and coming back. Thus, the apostles' testimony of Jesus Christ, the Lord of all, was all-inclusive, as depicted in the whole book of Acts. They preached and ministered the all-inclusive Christ as He is revealed in the entire Scripture.

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