The Structure Of The Book As A Whole.
1:4-2:13. Jerusalem. Mission of the Holy Spirit. Equipment of the Apostles.
2:14-8:1-. The Ministry of Peter (with others)to the Nation in Jerusalem and in the Land.
8:-1–11:30. Peter's Ministry (with others) in the Land of Israel.
12:1-23. Jerusalem. Peter's imprisonment. Subsequent abode (Cćsarea) and close of Ministry.
12:24-13:3. Antioch. Mission of the Holy Spirit. Equipment of Paul and Barnabas.
13:4-14:28. The Ministry of Paul (with others) to the Dispersion. Apart from Jerusalem and the Twelve.
15:1-19:20. Paul's Ministry in association with the Twelve.
19:21-28:29. Ephesus and Jerusalem. Paul's Arrest and imprisonment. Subsequent abode (Rome) and close of Ministry.
The writer is, without a doubt, Luke. The Book has the same introductory address as his Gospel (cp. 1:1 with Luke 1:3), and takes up the history where the third Gospel leaves it, giving in greater detail the account of the Ascension, with which the Gospel closes.
It is an expansion, in part at least, of Mark 16:20, and records the fulfillment of the LORD'S promise to send the Holy Spirit (Luke 24:49), as well as the answer to His prayer on the cross (Luke 23:34), a prayer which secured the guilty nation a further respite from the doom He had pronounced (Luke 13:35).
Throughout the Book the millennial kingdom is in view (2:17-20; 3:19-21; 8:12; 14:22; 20:25; 28:23,31). The question of the Apostles (1:6) rules the character of the Acts.
The action has Jerusalem at its center. The Mosaic Law is observed. Peter and the other Apostles are found continually in the Temple. Paul goes first to the Synagogues, because it was “necessary that the Word of God should be first have been spoken to you” (13:46). He keeps the Feasts (18:21; 20:16). He has vows (18:18; 21:23,26), and walks orderly, keeping the Law (21:24). The Gentiles take the second place (26:22,23), coming in after the Jew, but no longer as proselytes (10:44; cp. 11:5).
Wherever the name “Christ” is used without a qualifying word, “Jesus”, or “Lord”, it has the definite article, The Christ, i.e., The Messiah.
The Book naturally divides into two parts which are relative, mainly (1) to the ministry of Peter, John, Stephen, Philip, &c., to the People in the Land, and (2) to the ministry of Paul, Barnabas, Silas, &c., to the Dispersion outside the Land.
18 speeches or addresses are recorded:–
Stephen by Peter: 1. To the assembled believers, 1:15-22.
2. On the day of Pentecost, 2:14-40. 3. In the Temple, 3:13-26. 4. Before the Sanhedrin, 4:8-12. 5. " 5:29-32. 6. In the house of Cornelius,10:28-43. 7. In the council at Jerusalem,15:7-11.One by James: On the same occasion, 15:13-21. One by Stephen: Before the Sanhedrin, 7:2-53.Seven by Paul: 1. In the Synagogue at Antioch,13:16-41. 2. At Lystra, 14:15-17. 3. On Mar's Hill, 17:22-31. 4. At Miletus, 20:18-35. 5. On the stairs before the castle 6. Before Felix, 24:10-21. 7. Before Agrippa, 26:2-29. And those of Gamaliel, 5:35-39, and Terullus, 24:2-8.
Luke nowhere names himself, but what are called the “we” sections (16:10-17; 20:5-15; 21:1-18; 27:1–28:16) indicate where he was in the company of the Apostle. Cp also Philemon 24; 2 Tim.4:11.
There is a noteworthy correspondence, or parallelism, between the miracles wrought through Peter and those wrought through Paul. Cp. 3:2-8 with 14:8-10; 5:12,15,16 with 19:11,12; 9:36-42 with 20:9-12.
(appendix 181 Companion Bible)
1. The original title of the Book was probably simply "Acts" (praxeis), as in Codex Sinaiticus, and there is no reason to doubt that it owes its human authorship to Luke, "the beloved physician" (Col.4:14). Tradition from very early times ascribes it to him. Eusebius (300 A.D.) in his Ecclesiastical History says, “Luke....a physician has left us two inspired Books....one of these is his Gospel...The other is his Acts of the Apostles which he composed not from what he had heard from others (like his Gospel), but from what he has seen himself” (Bk. III, ch.4)
2. The Book is a record of the “Acts” of the Holy Spirit through “witnesses chosen before of God” (10:41) during the period of the final offer to the children of Israel of National restoration and blessing, on condition of National repentance and obedience. In the O.T. the offer was made by the FATHER, as Yehovah, through the prophets (Heb.1:1), and was rejected (cp. Zech.7:12-14; &c.). In the Gospels the offer was renewed in and by the SON, and was again rejected (Matt.23:37-39; &c.). “Acts” records the third and final presentation by the HOLY SPIRIT, and its final rejection by the Nation (28:25-28. Rom.11:25, &c.). Of these “chosen witnesses” no mention is made of “works” done by any save those through Peter and John of the Twelve, and later those through Paul.
3. The Structure shows that the Book consists of two main divisions (cp. the Structures of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, &c.), each divided into beautiful correspondence.
The First portion, consisting of the first 12 Chapters (after the introduction 1:1-5), concerns the “witness” (1:8) of the Apostles in Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria. Peter the apostle of the “circumcision” (Gal.2:7), is the central figure, and this section ends with his imprisonment at Jerusalem (44 A.D.).
The Second division, that is the last 16 Chapters, carries on the “witnessing” “to the uttermost parts of the earth” (cp. 1:8; Col.1:23), Paul being the chief personage (Gal.2:7). This division terminates with his imprisonment at Rome in 61 A.D. “Acts” was most probably published towards the end of that imprisonment, i.e. 62-63 A.D.
The period covered by the entire Book is therefore as follows:
I. From Pentecost 29 A.D. to Passover (12:3,4) 44 A.D.;
II. From Pentecost 46 A.D. to 61 A.D.
Consecutively, from 29 A.D. to 61 A.D. 32 years (4 x 8 =32. Biblical numerics. #32 represents Covenant. #4 denotes Creative works, and always has reference to the material Creation, as pertaining to the earth, and things “under the sun”, and things terrestrial. #8 denotes Resurrection, regeneration; a new beginning or commencement. The 8th is a new first. Hence the octave in music, color, days of the week, &c. It is the number which has to do the the Lord, Who rose on the 8th, or “first-day”. This is therefore, the Dominical number. By gematria (that is the addition of the numerical value of the letters together (Jesus, Iesous in Gr.) makes the number 888. It, or its multiple is impressed on all that has to do with thee Lord's names, the Lord's People, and the Lord's work). This must not be confounded with the whole period between the crucifixion, the climax of the National rejection of the Lord as Messiah, and the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus, namely from 29 A.D. to 69 A.D.; i.e. 40 years (#40 = probation).
4. The Dispensation Teaching of “Acts” is of profoundest import, and is significantly set forth by the Structures.
In the earlier section, the “witnessing” of the Twelve, as recorded from 2:5 to the end of Chapter 12, was to the “Jews (Israel) and proselytes ” (2:10) alone; “to you (Jews/Israel) first” (3:26), &c. Their subject was that Jesus (“the Nazarene”) is the Messiah; cp. 2:31,36; 3:18,20; 4:10,26; 5:42; 8:5,37; 9:20,22. At Damascus, after his “Conversion”, Saul (Paul) “preached (kerusső) Jesus in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God”, and proved “that this is the very Christ”, that is Jesus as the Messiah. There was no proclamation to Gentiles (nations) as such (see 11:3). The preaching of the Word was to the Jews (= Judah, figure of speech, put for all of the tribes of Israel) only (11:19), and to the Gentile proselytes, that the crucified “Nazarene”, Jesus, was in truth the Messiah. The duration of this witnessing was about 15 years (see 1 above). The second part of “Acts” records the apostleship of Paul, an his “witnessing”, which was to the Jews (Israel) and Gentile (Gr. ethnos = nations) alike. He was the “chosen vessel” separated by the Holy Spirit “to bear My Name before Gentiles (nations) and kings, and sons of Israel (huriőn te Israel, 9:15). His subject was “Jesus and the Resurrection” (17:18). Not, be it marked, Jesus as Messiah, but Jesus (Savior-God), raised from among the dead, and made the Federal Head of a new race of beings by resurrection, as announced in Ps.2:7, with which comp. 13:32-39. This “witnessing” lasted 15-16 years (see 3 above) of the labors of Paul and those associated with him till the imprisonment in 61 A.D. And to the Jew (Israel) was given priority of hearing the message (13:5,14,42,43; 14:1; 17:1,10,17; 18:4,7,19,26; 19:8).
5. Throughout the whole period of the “Acts”, the witnessing was accomplished by the miraculous gifts promised (Mark 16:17,19). Cp. 3:7,8; 5:5,10,15,16; 6:8; 8:6,7,13; 9:33-42; 11:28; 13:11; 14:8-10; 16:18; 19:6,12; 20:9-12; 28:3-6,8,9. At the close these gifts ceased; as is plain from the significance of Phil.2:26 (62 A.D.); 1 Tim.5:23 (67 A.D.); 2 Tim.4:20 (68 A.D.). See Chronology of the “Acts” period. Thenceforward, the privilege of proclaiming and “witnessing” (Isa.43:10; 44:8, &c.) was taken from the Jew (Israel), and “the salvation of God” (see Isa.49:6) sent away (Gr. apostello, implying the mission or commission employed, and the power and authority backing it) to the Gentiles (= nations, Gr. ethnos 28:28). The proclamation is now by witness taken out from among “all the nations upon Whom My Name is called” (15:17), including of course the Jewish (Israelites) members of “the body”
6. Having now before us all the “sequence of fact” (compare also the Structure and Chronology), we can trace “the progress of doctrine”, the development of the dispensational teaching in Acts, as well as in the complementary “Church” Epistles of Paul, nd the limitations of the strictly Hebrew Epistles. Our Lord's words in John 16:12,13 are precious, and they are precise. The Gospels record what the Lord “began to do and teach” (1:1); after His Resurrection He continued “speaking of the things pertaining to the Kingdom”; and after His Ascension the teaching is carried on by the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth (John 14:16,17,26; 15:26), Who was to guide (lead on) into “all the Truth” (John 16:12,13). During the “Acts” period, believers were guided into much truth, truth in advance of what had previously been revealed. They were instructed in much that they had been unable “to bear” before the coming of the Holy Spirit to instruct them. But not even yet had they been guided into “all the truth”. Ths was reserved, and not permitted to be revealed, until the public proclaiming of “the Kingdom” had ended, after the close of the “Acts”. (See notes on the Epistles, especially Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians). Then it was, at the commencement of this present interim period during which “blindness in part is happened in Israel” (Rom.11:25), that “the church which is His body” (Eph.1:22,23) began to be formed “to the praise of the glory of His grace” (Eph.1:6). As above stated, and as the facts show, the church did not begin at Pentecost as is so commonly taught and believed.
The 5th Book (#5 = Grace in Biblical numerics) in the N.T. and the second treatise by the author of the third Gospel, traditionally know as Luke. The Book commences with an inscription to one Theophilus, who was probably a man of birth and station. The readers were evidently intended to be members of the Christian Church, whether Jews or Gentiles; for its contents are such as are of the utmost consequence to the whole Church. They are the fulfillment of the promise of the Father by the decent of the Holy Sprint, and the result of that outpouring by the Dispersion of the Gospel among Jews and Gentiles. Under these leading heads all the personal and subordinate details may be arranged. First St. Peter becomes the prime actor under God in the founding of the Church. He is the center of the first sayings and doings. The opening of the door to the Jews, Chapter 2, and Gentiles, Chapter 10, is his office, and by him, in good time, is accomplished. Then the preparation of Saul of Tarsus for the work to be done, the progress, in his hand, of that work, his journeyings, preaching and perils, his stripes and imprisonments, his testifying in Jerusalem and being brought to testify in Rome, – these are the subjects of the later half of the Book, of which the great central figure is the Apostle Paul. The history given in the Acts occupies about 33 years, and the reign of the Roman emperors Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius and Nero. It seems most probable that the place of witting was Rome, and the time about 2 years from the date of St. Paul's arrival there, as related in Chapters 28:30. This would give us for the publication about 63 A.D.
The Acts welds together the teaching of the Gospels to the Gentiles.
Acts 1:1 The former
(Lit. first. This links the Acts with Luke's Gospel [see introductory notes].)
(= account. Gr. logos = the word [spoken, as a means or instrument, not as a product]; the expression [both of sayings and of longer speeches]; hence, an account, as in Matt.12:36; 18:23. Luke 16:2. Acts 19:40. Rom.9:28; 14:12. Phil.4:17. Heb.13:17. 1 Pet.4:5.)
have I made, O Theophilus,
(A common Roman name = beloved of God. You can take this letter personally.)
of all that Jesus
(Gr. Ięsous, or the abbreviated form Yahshua [Joshua, cp. Heb.4:8], and means the Salvation of Yahaveh, or Yahaveh the Savior. The name "Yahshua" [Jesus] expresses the relation of Yahaveh to Him in Incarnation, by which "He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross" [Phil.2:8; Who being God, did not deem His glory a thing to be thus relinquished [see note on "robbery", Phil. 2:6])
began both to do and teach,
(This shows that the Acts records the continuation of the Lord's ministry to the Circumcision [Rom.15:8].)
2 Until the day in which He was taken up,
(= received up. Cp. Mark 16:19.)
after that He through the Holy Spirit
(= Pnuema Hagion [Heb. = Kadesh Ruach] = Divine power and always means His gifts. This "power from on high" includes whatever gifts the Holy Spirit may bestow "according to His own will".)
had given commandments unto the apostles
(This term is used of the 12 chosen and commissioned by the Lord during His earthly ministry.)
whom He had chosen:
(See Luke 6:13.
He touched them, and said, "follow Me." The "sent ones" are men and women that are called in this manner, and they know that there is more to God's Word then what was taught them from childhood. They know that there is a closer walk with the Father, and they strive to find that walk in His Word, and then He touches you; and you know the truths as the Holy Spirit of God turns that light on in your mind. Then you plant your feet on the path as a servant to the Living God.)
3 To whom also He shewed Himself alive after His passion
(= after that He suffered.)
by many infallible proofs,
(= indubitable evidence. Cp. 1 John1:1,2.)
being seen of them forty days,
(= during 40 days. 40 In Biblical Numerics = Probation. The only reference to the period between the Resurrection and the Ascension.)
and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:
(Is the sovereignty of God, which is moral and universal. It existed from the beginning, and will know no end. It is over all, and embraces all. God = Theos, generally, with Elohim of the O.T., denoting the Creator; but it corresponds also with El, and Eloah. Sometimes it corresponds with Yahaveh. For our purposes here I will use YaHaVeH [YHVH].
The apostles saw Jesus alive after His passion, which is His crucifixion, and they observed first had the many miracles that He did then, such as the two angels appearing in the tomb. He appeared in the room with them, by walking through a wall to be in their presence, and even the infallible proof where Thomas touched Jesus in His side and in the nail prints of his hands. Jesus gave these disciples all these proofs to show that this was truly Him, the Risen Christ, after the resurrection.)
4–26. Jerusalem. Mission of the Holy Spirit. Equipment of the Apostles.
-4,5. Command. Wait.
6. Come together.
7,8. Promise given.
9-11. Ascension of the Lord.
14. Obedience. Waiting.
4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded
(Gr. parangellô = to transmit a message, i.e by implication to enjoin. Not the same word as in v.2. First occ. Matt.10:5.)
them that they should not depart
(= separate themselves.)
from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, "which," saith He, "ye have heard of Me.
(Jesus was there in person, and they could see and touch Him. They talked of matters face to face, and then Jesus told each of them to "wait in Jerusalem", but wait for what? Jesus told them to wait for that time when the Holy Spirit would join with them. Luke the writer of this book, would be very familiar with this because He wrote of it in Luke 24:49.
Luke 24:49 "And, behold, I send the promise of My Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high."
This has to do with their remain in Jerusalem until they received He [the Holy Spirit] that was promised. The promise of the Father is placed upon the apostles. "Tarry ye" means "wait" in Jerusalem, until the Father sends them the power of the Holy Spirit, and that would happen right there on Pentecost day.
So it was on the this 40th day that He reaffirmed the instruction to wait in Jerusalem. So why is this important to us today? Don't be so ignorant to try something on your own, without God's leading. The Holy Spirit of God will lead you in what you are to do. If you decide that you will save the world, you had better make sure it is the Holy Spirit leading you, for without that "unction" and the infilling of the power from on high, what ever you do will fail.
When God sends you, picks you and chooses you, as an apostle, one sent from Him, He will equip you with the power and the understanding that you will need. There are apostles today, they are ones "sent forth" by God, which have the power and understand that only comes by and through the Holy Sirit of God. Your duty may only be to sweep the church, or mow the lawn of the church, or some other humble thing that God needed to be fulfilled by the body of Christ, but they are still sent forth.
An apostle is not necessarily one in long robes, and apparel that never dirties their hands, but they are servants of the living God, sent forth, to be a slave of Christ, and do the work that needs to be done. There is a great deal of difference between being the king and being the slave. Christ is the King, and we are to be the slaves in His kingdom, doing the work that needs to be done. Most of the time, that is what the Spirit of God places in the mind of His servants, and not preaching before thousands. We are the servants of the Most High King, and we are here to serve Him.)
5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days hence."
(= after these many days. It wouldn't be many days after this that the disciples would receive the Holy Spirit.)
6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of Him, saying, "Lord,
(= Kurios, means "owner". It expresses the authority and lordship arising from and pertaining to ownership. Here used of Christ, as in 1 Cor.8:6.)
wilt Thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?"
(i.e. the Messianic kingdom, which the prophets spoke of, and all Israelites were looking for. Cp. Luke 1:32,33. Jesus had resurrected and defeated death. The disciples were anticipating what might happen next. Would the kingdom of God appear on earth? No. It wasn't time. If the kingdom had come in at that time, many would not have had an opportunity to hear the witness and testimony.)
7 And He said unto them, "It is not for you to know the times or the seasons,
(= the great time, &c. A Hebraism, pl. of majesty. The disciple were not to know the seasons. But, you of this generation are to know the seasons [Daniel 12].)
which the Father hath put in His own power.
8 But ye shall receive power,
(Gr. dunamis = inherent power; the power of reproducing itself: from which we have the English dynamics, dynamo, dynamite &c.)
(See Zech..9:9,10. Mark 13:9-11.)
the Holy Spirit is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses
(See notes on John 1:7.)
(Cp. Isa.43:10,12; 44:8.)
both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth."
(Gr. = gę = land, as distinct from water; or earth as distinct from heaven; or region or territory, used of one special land, or country, as distinct from other countries, in which peoples dwell, each on its own soil. The witness and truth must extend to the entire world. Every soul must have the opportunity to love Him).
9 And when He had spoken these things, while they beheld, He was taken up;
(See Matt. 17:8. Always in Gospels "lift up".)
and a cloud
(Not a rain cloud of the earth, but referring to the attendant angelic hosts. Elijah was a type of this. Cp. Ps.24:7-10; 47:5. Matt.24:30; 26:64. 1 Thes.4:17. Rev.1:7; 11:12.)
received Him out of their sight.
10 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men
(Gr. anęr = an adult male person. Latin vir, an honorable title [as distinct from a mere "man"]. These were angels. Cp. 10:30. John 20:12.)
stood by them in white apparel;
(The cloud blocked the disciples view, and I believe the cloud concealed a vehicle such as Ezekiel saw in Ezekiel Chapter 1. Two angels then appeared before the disciples.)
11 Which also said, "Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven?
(= to look in or into, fix the eyes upon, or look intently. It denotes a looking or regarding fixedly. Hence, to know by inspection.)
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."
(How could anyone ever wonder how Christ is going to return? This verse makes it very clear. The descent, therefore, will be like the Ascension, actual, literal, visible, unexpected, save those looking for Him, in the clouds of heaven [see v.9], and to the same place from which place He departed [Zech.14:4]. There will be NO in between trips, NOT at some other time like the so-called "rapture theory".)
12 Then returned they unto Jerusalem
(Cp. Mark 13:14)
from the mount called Olivet,
(Only here in the N.T., but found often in the Papyri. The usual expression is the "Mount of Olives".)
which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day's journey.
(about 2,000 English yards. God's promise had not been received at this point. The disciples would not receive the Holy Spirit, until 50 days after Passover which was and is Pentecost.)
13 And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room,
(= a higher part of the house, i.e. apartment in the THIRD story. Relate 3rd to 3 levels of teaching.)
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.
(Judas of Iscariot missing, but don't count him out, see v.18.)
14 These all continued with one accord
(= with one mind, no disagreement.)
in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brethren.
(This is the very last time that Mary, the mother of Jesus is mentioned. They gathered "in one accord in prayer and supplication" and they were forming the first church.)
15 And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty,)
(Notice they are still being called the disciples here, they are still students of Christ. From the word "disciple" comes the word "discipline", which means to discipline yourself in the Word. 120 = three 40's. A divinely appointed number during a period of waiting. It was the number of Ezra's great synagogue.)
16 "Men and brethren, this scripture
(Gr. graphę; a document, i.e holy Writ [or its contents or a statement in it].)
(= it was necessary.)
have been fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit by the mouth of David
(Peter asserts that Ps.69 was written by David, and was the utterance of the Holy Spirit. Cp. 2 Pet.1:21. See also Ps.41:9,10.)
spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus.
17 For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part
(= the lot. 5 times in the Gospels, of the lots cast for the Lord's garments.)
of this ministry.
(= pay. Sins pays its wages [Rom.6:23].)
(Cp. 2 Pet.2:13, where the same Greek words are translated "wages of iniquity".)
and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst,
(Gr. lakeô. Only here. Dr. John Lightfoot [1602-75] writes: "The devil, immediately after Judas had cast back his money into the temple, caught him up in the air, strangled him, threw him headlong, and dashed him in pieces on the ground". He refers to Tobit 3:8, and adds, "That this was known to all the dwellers at Jerusalem, argues that it was no common and ordinary event, and must be something more than hanging himself, which was a accident not so very unusual in that nation." Works, viii, pp.366,367. This requires that Matt.27:5 be read, "He was hanged, or strangled", instead of "hanged himself". He was hanged by the spies so he couldn't identify them. Be careful how you judge Judas. He did repent of his acts.)
and all his bowels gushed out.
19 And it was known unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem; insomuch as that field is called in their proper tongue,
(= dialect. This proper tongue, "Aceldama" would be a unknown tongue to most of people today. Though that tongue is strange to us, it was what was spoken on the streets in Jerusalem then.)
Aceldama, that is to say, The field of blood.
20 For it is written in the book of Psalms,
'Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishoprick let another take'
(Habitation = farm, or country house. Desolate = desert: i.e. let the place he has thus acquired become a wilderness. Bishopick is the office of an episcopos, or overseer. Occ. only here; Luke 19:44. 1 Tim.3:1. 1 Pet.2:12. Cp. v.17. This is a composite quotation from Pss.69:25, and 109:8.
This is in reference to Judas, and his short life, and the selection of another that will now be selected to take Judas' place as one of the twelve Apostles of Christ.)
21 Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,
(In other words, we have to pick someone that will be a witness, that has been with us from day one. He must have personally seen the teachings and works of Jesus, so he also can be an Apostle, one sent forth, That was a witness with his own eyes and ears to Jesus ministry. This one man not be a witness by hearsay.)
22 Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of His resurrection."
(The Resurrection is the great subject of the Apostolic witness. Cp. 2:32; 3:26; 4:10; 5:30; 10:40; 13:30; 17:3,31, &c.
He must have also witnessed from the day that the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus when He was baptized in the Jordan river. He must have heard the Word's of the Father recorded in Matthew 3:16, 17; "And Jesus, when He was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon Him:"
Matthew 3:17 "And lo a voice from heaven, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased." This chosen one that will take the place of Judas must have witnessed that, as well as having been on the mount of Olives to witness Jesus Christ's ascension into heaven. He must have had the knowledge of Jesus full teaching, and understood it, with the physical presence to know that it is absolutely true. Today we read their words by faith, and that faith comes by the Spirit which comes by our hearing the Word of God and believing it.)
23 And they appointed two,
(= put forward, or nominated.)
Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.
(In another tongue, Barsabas means "rest", while "Matthias" means "gift from God".)
24 And they prayed, and said, "Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two Thou hast chosen,
25 That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place."
26 And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.
(This is to say, "The gift of God" replaced Judas. These then are the twelve that would go forth to establish the church, through the Holy Spirit. This is not something new, for the Holy Spirit walked the earth at the beginning of this earth age, and even with David.
Today God still sends for His own, and that sending could be to sweep the church floor, or to plant a seed in the mind of one of His Children. But if the Spirit of God leads you to do work in His Work then you are a sent one. So when you think of being an apostle, don't think you have to be someone that shakes the world. God selects people in a natural way, to do things in a natural way. You don't do the saving, or the changing of someones mind, the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit is the only one that has the power to that, and when His Spirit is within you, then that Spirit gives you the power to make the difference and change lives.)