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Welcome to Refinery Life Australia.

To start the year off on Sunday evenings we are going to work our way through a nine week series on the life and journey of Peter as he sought to be a faithful servant of Jesus Christ.

The theme is “Peter’s Pilgrimage of Faith.”

Today we are talking about The Preparation of Peter for Pentecost.

Text

Acts 1:8 (AMP)

8 But you will receive power and ability when the Holy Spirit comes upon you; and you will be My witnesses [to tell people about Me] both in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and Samaria, and even to the ends of the earth.”

Scripture Reading.

Acts 1:1-12 (AMP)

Introduction 

For the next nine Sunday evenings, you are invited to consider what the Holy Spirit accomplished through Simon Peter from the time of Jesus’ ascension until Peter’s death.

Just before His ascension, Jesus gave Hs apostles this command, Acts 1:4-5 (AMP)

4 While being together and eating with them, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, “Of which,” He said, “you have heard Me speak. 

5 For John baptized with water, but you will be baptized and empowered and united with the Holy Spirit, not long from now.”

After Jesus’ ascension, about one hundred and twenty of His followers went to an upper room in Jerusalem to wait, as Jesus commanded.

  1. The preparation of Jesus’ disciples. (Acts 1:1-5)
  1. Jesus showed Himself alive by many infallible proofs.

The disciples had come from doubt to certainty about Jesus’ resurrection.

They had seen the risen Lord.

B. Jesus instructed His disciples.

He spoke to them of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.

In the four gospels we have a small of His instruction.

The sermons on Acts undoubtably reflect Jesus’ teaching during the forty days between His resurrection and ascension.

During this period, Jesus reinterpreted their Holy Scriptures for them.

For Cleopas and his companion, who did not know the meaning of the Scripture about the Messiah’s resurrection, Jesus, on the way from Jerusalem to Emmaus, explained as written in Luke 24:25-27 (AMP)

25 Then Jesus said to them, “O foolish men, and slow of heart to trust and believe in everything that the prophets have spoken! 

26 Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and [only then to] enter His glory?” 

27 Then beginning with Moses and [throughout] all the [writings of the] prophets, He explained and interpreted for them the things referring to Himself [found] in all the Scriptures.

Later that night Jesus appeared to the startled disciples in Jerusalem.

He showed them His hands and feet, and ate a piece of broiled fish and a honey comb to assure them that He was no spirit or apparition.

Luke 24:44-46 (AMP) then says,

44 Then He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you, everything which has been written about Me in the Law of Moses and the [writings of the] Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 

45 Then He opened their minds to [help them] understand the Scriptures, 

46 and said, “And so it is written, that the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed) would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day,

C. Jesus gave them commandments.

  1. Luke 24:46-48 (AMP)

46 and said, “And so it is written, that the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed) would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 

47 and that repentance [necessary] for forgiveness of sins would be preached in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 

48 You are witnesses of these things.

The account in John 20 is very instructive.

John 20:21 (AMP)

21 Then Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you [as My representatives].”

2. Sometime between His resurrection and ascension, Jesus met the disciples by appointment at a mountain in Galilee.

The angel at the tomb had instructed the women, in Mark 16:6-7 (AMP)

6 And he said to them, “Do not be amazed; you are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen; He is not here. See, [here is] the place where they laid Him. 

7 But go, tell His disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you to Galilee; you will see Him there, just as He told you.’”

This was probably the assembly of “above five hundred brethren” of who Paul wrote about in 1 Corinthians 15:6, and it was probably to them that the Lord delivered the Great Commission, Matthew 28:16-20 (AMP)

The Great Commission

16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had designated. 

17 And when they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted [that it was really He]. 

18 Jesus came up and said to them, “All authority (all power of absolute rule) in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. 

19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations [help the people to learn of Me, believe in Me, and obey My words], baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 

20 teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always [remaining with you perpetually—regardless of circumstance, and on every occasion], even to the end of the age.”

3. At the end of the forty days after His resurrection, and just before His ascension, Jesus led His disciples to Mount Olivet.

Instead of expressing interest in the coming of the Holy Spirit, who would lead them in witnessing to all nations, they asked in Acts 1:6 (AMP)

6 So when they had come together, they asked Him repeatedly, “Lord, are You at this time reestablishing the kingdom and restoring it to Israel?”

Since 63 BC Israel had been a province of Rome.

It had achieved no real independence since the captivity about six centuries earlier.

The restoration of the kingdom was considered part of the “sure mercies of David.”

Jesus replied in Acts 1:7 (AMP)

7 He said to them, “It is not for you to know the times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority.

There are some things we do not know or need to know.

Times and seasons are with God.

The duty of disciples then as now was to bear witness as Jesus commanded in, Acts 1:8 (AMP)

8 But you will receive power and ability when the Holy Spirit comes upon you; and you will be My witnesses [to tell people about Me] both in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and Samaria, and even to the ends of the earth.”

2. The ascension. (Acts 1:9-12)

Jesus had accomplished on earth the work that the Father had given Him to do.

John 17:4-5 (AMP)

4 I have glorified You [down here] on the earth by [a]completing the work that You gave Me to do. 

5 Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory and majesty that I had with You before the world existed.

Jesus had told His disciples in John 16:7 (AMP)

7 But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby) will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him (the Holy Spirit) to you [to be in close fellowship with you].

He would go away that He might be nearer.

Incarnate as Jesus, He was confined to a human body.

As the Holy Spirit, He could return to dwell in all believers.

Acts 1:9 (AMP)

The Ascension

9 And after He said these things, He was caught up as they looked on, and a cloud took Him up out of their sight.

We are not to think that Jesus passed through infinite space.

He passed from the sphere of the seen and temporal to the sphere of the unseen and the eternal.

He will be recognised by spiritual insight rather than by visual sight.

We are not to think of Jesus as just out there somewhere.

He is right here.

Of course He is out there and here at the same time.

Did He not say in, Matthew 28:18 (AMP)

18 Jesus came up and said to them, “All authority (all power of absolute rule) in heaven and on earth has been given to Me.

If we as humans, vis television and the internet, can watch other humans walk on the moon, surely the risen Lord can be in heaven and on earth at the same time.

3. The promise of our Lord’s return. (Acts 1:10-11)

Acts 1:10-11 (AMP)

10 While they were looking intently into the sky as He was going, two men in white clothing suddenly stood beside them, 

11 who said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This [same] Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will return in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.”

“This Jesus” is the same person they had all known in the days of His flesh.

How encouraging is that!

He “will come the same way” gloriously, mysteriously, but not necessarily to the same spot, or to live in human flesh, or to reign at earthly Jerusalem.

Times and seasons are in God’s hands, but the words of Jesus, especially Matthew 25:31 through to the end of the chapter, seem to indicate that His second coming will end the gospel age.

He is now present with believers in the person of the Holy Spirit, fulfilling His promises. 

Matthew 28:20 (AMP)

20 teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always [remaining with you perpetually—regardless of circumstance, and on every occasion], even to the end of the age.”

Conclusion.

The disciples had been assured that Jesus was alive.

Jesus opened their eyes to the truths of their Scriptures so they could see the purpose for Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection.

He then commanded them to bear witness to His death and resurrection to all people.

But He first instructed them to go to an upper room in Jerusalem and wait.

Why?

Because Jesus had commanded in Luke 24:49 (AMP)

49 Listen carefully: I am sending the Promise of My Father [the Holy Spirit] upon you; but you are to remain in the city [of Jerusalem] until you are clothed (fully equipped) with power from on high.”

They weren’t to witness in their own authority and power, but in the authority and power of the Holy Spirit.

In a few days, at Pentecost, the Holy Spirit would inaugurate the gospel age by pouring His power out on the waiting disciples.

Let us also wait before God.

Let us not run ahead or lag behind the Holy Spirit, for the task of world evangelisation is under His direction and by His power.

Until next time

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I really want to encourage you to be diligent with your Bible study time, because God has so much more for us than we can get from just going to church once or twice a week and hearing someone else talk about the Word.

When you spend time with God, your life will change in amazing ways, because God is a Redeemer.

Theres nothing thats too hard for Him, and He can make you whole, spirit, soul and body!

You’re important to God, and you’re important to us at www.refinerylife.org

When it comes to prayer, we believe that God wants to meet your needs and reveal His promises to you.

So whatever you’re concerned about and need prayer for we want to be here for you! Or even if you just want to say Hi, you can contact us

2021 IS A YEAR OF REFORMATION

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