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Chuck Smith :: Sermon Notes for Acts 1:9

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I. "AND WHEN HE HAS SPOKEN THESE THINGS, WHILE THEY WERE WATCHING, HE WAS TAKEN UP, AND A CLOUD RECEIVED HIM OUT OF THEIR SIGHT."
A. Mark's gospel tells us:
MAR 16:19 So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.
B. Luke tells us:
LUK 24:50 And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them.
LUK 24:51 And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven.
C. In John's gospel, Jesus told them that He was leaving this world and going to the Father.
D. Paul wrote to the Ephesians:
EPH 4:8 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.
EPH 4:9 (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?
EPH 4:10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)
EPH 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
EPH 4:12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
1. He begins by quoting Psalm 68:16, "Thou hast ascended on high and have led captivity captive. Thou hast received gifts for men."
2. Paul tells us that He has ascended into heaven, first descended into the lower parts of the earth.
a. When Jesus was asked for a sign by the Pharisees, He told them that the only sign they would receive was the sign of the prophet Jonah, for as Jonah was three days nad three nights in the belly of the whale, so the Son of Man would be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
b. In the second chapter of Acts, Peter told the people that Jesus who they had crucified, decended into hell, but it was not possible that He could be held there, for God had promised, "You will not leave My soul in hell, neither will you allow the Holy One to see coruption."
c. Peter tells us that He was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the Spirit,
1PE 3:19 By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;
1PE 3:20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.
1PE 3:21 The like figure whereunto [even] baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:
1PE 3:22 Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.
d. When Isaiah prophesied of the ministry of Jesus he said:
ISA 61:1 The spirit of the Lord GOD [is] upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to [them that are] bound;
e. Prior to the death of Jesus, all who died went into the grave. The Hebrew word for grave is sheol, that is also the Hebrew word for hell.
f. Prior to the death of Jesus sheol or hell was separated into two compartments.
g. Jesus speaks of these in Luke 16. From the description by Jesus we know that the one compartment was a place of suffering, whereas the other was a place of comfort, watched over by Abraham.
h. Jesus declared that there was an impassable gulf between the two places.
i. Those who were in the compartment of suffering were aware of those in the place of comfort, however, there is no indication that those in the place of comfort were aware of those who were suffering.
j. When Jesus was resurrected from the dead, it would seem that He opened the prison doors to those who were bound.
k. Because the perfect sacrifice had now been offered, the gates of heaven are opened to all who would put their faith and trust in Him.
l. Now Paul indicates that to be absent from this body is to be present with the Lord.
m. Paul wrote to the Philippians that he had a desire to depart and to be with Christ which was far better.
n. To the Corinthians he wrote that he knew a man in Christ over 14 years earlier, who whether in the body or out of the body, he really did not know, but he was taken up into the third heaven.
E. We are told that a cloud received Him out of their sight.
Act 1:10 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;
Act 1:11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
F. We assume that these two men were angels. I believe that it is a correct assumption.
G. Their question: "Why do you stand here gazing into heaven?"
H. Their promise: "This same Jesus shall come again in like manner as you have seen Him go into heaven."
1. In like manner:
a. Even as a cloud received Him out of their sight, so He will be coming in the clouds.
MAR 13:26 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.
REV 1:7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they [also] which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.
b. Even as they saw Him go into heaven, those who are on the earth will see Him when He returns.
REV 1:7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him,
ZEC 12:10 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for [his] only [son],
Act 1:12 Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day's journey.
I. Jesus ascended from the Mount of Olives. Luke's gospel tells us that
LUK 24:50 And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them.
1. There are several churches on the top of the Mount of Olives that purport to be the spot of the ascencension, but none that I know of in Bethany.
J. A sabbath day's journey is aproximately 2/3 of a mile.
Act 1:13 And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James [the son] of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas [the brother] of James.
K. G. Campbell Morgan suggests that the upper room was one of the many rooms in the temple. Luke tells us:
LUK 24:51 And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven.
LUK 24:52 And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy:
LUK 24:53 And were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God.
L. The fact that on the day of pentecost when the multitude gathered in curiosity to observe there must have been several thousands for some 3000 were saved, they could hardly have been in a back alley somewhere.
M. Here we have another listing of the disciples.
CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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