Spirit and Kingdom

by Sean Finnegan on May 20, 2007
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Acts 1:1-6 Why would the apostles respond to the promise of the spirit with a question about the restoration of the kingdom to Israel?

John Calvin Commentary on Acts (1585)
He showeth that the apostles were gathered together when as this question was moved, that we may know that it came not of the foolishness of one or two that it was moved, but it was moved by the common consent of them all; but marvelous is their rudeness, that when as they had been diligently instructed by the space of three whole years, they betray no less ignorance than if they had heard never a word. There are as many errors in this question as words. They ask him as concerning a kingdom; but they dream of an earthly kingdom, which should flow with riches, with dainties, with external peace, and with such like good things; and while they assign the present time to the restoring of the same.

Matthew Henry Commentary (1706)
1:6-11 They were earnest in asking about that which their Master never had directed or encouraged them to seek. Our Lord knew that his ascension and the teaching of the Holy Spirit would soon end these expectations, and therefore only gave them a rebuke; but it is a caution to his church in all ages, to take heed of a desire of forbidden knowledge.

Wesley's Notes (1754)
1:6 Dost thou at this time - At the time thou now speakest of? not many days hence? restore the kingdom to Israel? - They still seemed to dream of an outward, temporal kingdom, in which the Jews should have dominion over all nations. It seems they came in a body, having before concerted the design, to ask when this kingdom would come.

People's New Testament (1891)
1:6 Wilt thou at this time, etc.? They still held to their old ideas of a worldly restoration of the kingdom of Israel. Their only question was, Wilt thou restore it 'now' ? After the Holy Spirit was given, this delusion was dismissed, and they understood that Christ's kingdom is not of this world.

Luke 1.31-33 This was the Messiah's destiny

Matthew 19:28-30; Luke 22:28-30 Jesus is the one who gave them the idea of ruling in the kingdom, it was not their own delusion (maybe Matthew 25.31-34)

Revelation 2:26-28 Even after Jesus ascended it is clear that this promise is still true, it has not been spiritualized

Isaiah 32:13-18; 44:1-5; Ezekiel 11:17-20; Ezekiel 36:24-28, 33-35; 37:12-14; 39:25 - 29; Joel 2:28 - 3:2 In all of these prophecies spirit is spoken of in the context of the coming kingdom (both judgment and restoration).

Matthew 4.23; 9.35; 12:22-28 In Jesus' mind spirit and kingdom were linked together. Wherever he went there was a pocket/bubble of the kingdom.

Luke 7.11-23 Messengers come from John the Baptist

Acts 1:7-8 Jesus here clarifies that the spirit comes before the kingdom. The purpose of the spirit is to enable the disciples to be witnesses. The spirit is a taste of the age to come here and now (Hebrew 6:4-5).

Luke 24:44-49; Acts 1.22; 2.32; 3.15; 5.32; 10.39, 41; 13.31 The book of Acts is the fulfillment of Acts 1:8. As the disciples testified (witnessed) about Jesus they preached the gospel in the power of the spirit.

Romans 1.3 The resurrection proves that Jesus is the promised Davidic king, the Son of God, the Messiah appointed to rule.

Matthew 24:14 The spirit enables Jesus' followers to carry out the mission of Christianity, preaching the gospel of the kingdom so that repentance and forgiveness occurs.

Acts 2.40; 8.12, 25; 10.42; 18.5; 19.8; 20.21-25; 28.23, 30-31 What did these witnesses do in the book of Acts? They solemnly testified about the gospel.

Luke 4:16-20 May we be the ones who say "the spirit of the Lord is upon ME to..."

If we are the people who say that the spirit has been poured out on us...then let us not divorce spirit from kingdom...let us announce the coming of the kingdom in the power of the spirit while living by the ethics of the kingdom here and now until the kingdom comes

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