The Promise of Power

Key Verse: “Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost [Spirit] is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”
—Acts 1:8

Selected Scripture:
Acts 1:3-14

LUKE THE HISTORIAN is credited with writing the Gospel which bears his name, as well as the Acts of the Apostles. (Luke 1:3,4; Acts 1:1) Both letters are addressed to Theophilus, a follower of Christ of very high esteem. These inspired writings provide a reliable and comprehensive account of the early and rapid development of the Christian Church. They cover the period from the ascension of our Lord (Luke 24:51), to the end of the second year of the Apostle Paul’s imprisonment in Rome.—Acts 28:30

In this lesson our Lord Jesus had assembled his apostles to give them his final instructions before parting from them. Their mission, as he had previously taught them, was a spiritual one. They were to ‘feed his sheep,’ continue the work which he had begun, and to follow him in that ministry. But, to accomplish that great work, they would need the power and guidance of the Holy Spirit. This was to be a special blessing which they would receive from God’s hand that would bring to remembrance all things that he had spoken unto them, and to guide them into all Truth.—John 14:16,26; 15:26

During the forty days leading up to this special event Jesus had been gradually teaching his disciples many different and important things. They began to realize the purpose of his ministry and tragic death, and that the kingdom honors that they were anticipating were not to be received immediately. They were entering a new era in the Divine arrangement. Jesus said, “that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost [Spirit] not many days hence.”—Acts 1:4,5

The apostles had been expecting the Master to establish an earthly kingdom in their own day, and that the nation of Israel would be restored to their former glory as a part of our Lord’s taking dominion over the earth. They perceived that he was about to leave them and they were anxious to learn what lay ahead. They were to learn, however, that it was a spiritual inheritance and kingdom to which they had been invited, and that it was future. The promised Holy Spirit would soon be given to them as a helper and guide. Jesus said, “It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost [Spirit] is come upon you.”—vss. 7,8

During the present Gospel Age the Lord’s people, beginning with those who were witnesses at Pentecost, have been representatives of his teachings and character. This important spiritual message has not only gone out to those in Jerusalem, or Judea and Samaria, but even unto the uttermost parts of the earth. With this parting lesson our Lord Jesus began to ascend into a cloud that received him out of their sight. They would understand that he was now gone from them as a spiritual being, and they remembered his words, “It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.”—John 16:7

Dawn Bible Students Association
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