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 1 Cor. 15:10a​
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God's Goodness vs. Sin Consciousness   Acts 1:9-20
Acts 1:9
And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.

Not only is their kingdom not restored, Jesus just left!

Acts 1:10
And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;

The two men standing by them in white apparel are angels. 

Acts 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.

Luke 24:49-51
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. And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven.

The apostles saw Jesus carried into heaven and then two angels stood by them and said that he would return in like manner. When Jesus Christ returns for Israel, as Lord of lords and King of kings he will once again set foot on earth. However, when Christ returns for those who believe in the Administration of Grace he will not stand upon the earth but rather will meet those believers in the air.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-17
But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

The difference may seem slight, standing on the ground verses meeting him in the air, but it shows us that it is two distinct events.

Acts 1:12
Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day's journey.

Jesus had this little meeting of Acts 1 with his apostles on Mount Olivet, the same place he will come to when he returns to restore the kingdom to Israel.

Zechariah 14:4
And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.

Israel is looking for their kingdom to be restored. They are looking forward to a time when all of the land promised to Abraham will be occupied by the nation he fathered. Israel is looking for the time of glory spoken of in the Old Testament. They were hoping it was time for the glory, yet here we are some two thousand years later and it still isn’t the time of glory.

There is another point that needs to be seen from verse eleven.

Acts 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.

The angels identify the men they are speaking with as Galileans. Judas is called, Judas Iscariot and that tells us that Judas is no longer with the apostles. Iscariot is Hebrew and means “a man from Kerioth” which was a village in Judea. The other eleven apostles were from Galilee but Judas was from Judea.

Up until the time Jesus ascends into heaven we have been dealing with the apostles, all twelve, that he had chosen. While the apostles are still looking up the angels declare the men present are Galileans.

Acts 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.

Some have read this list of the eleven apostles who were living together and said, “Judas isn’t listed because he hung himself”. By saying he hung himself they imply that the gospel of Matthew is accurate in an immediate death, after his betrayal, by hanging. 

What Acts 1:11 shows us is that Judas is no longer with the apostles. As Jesus ascended Judas left the group. Acts 1:13 shows us that he was probably already dead since he is no longer listed with the apostles who were living together.

Acts 1:16-20
Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus. For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry. Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out. And it was known unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem; insomuch as that field is called in their proper tongue, Aceldama, that is to say, The field of blood. 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.

It amazes me that the man who betrayed Jesus “had obtained part of this ministry”. Man likes to put degrees to sins. We have a sliding scale of sins from the little white sins that everyone commits, right on up to the really, really big sins that condemn you straight to the pit of hell.

God isn’t concerned about sins! God is concerned about the sinner. Remember, Judas is standing there with the other apostles when Jesus Christ says, “tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high” and “ye shall be baptized with holy spirit not many days hence”. Look at what God is offering Judas! Acts 1:18 speaks of Judas buying a field with “the reward of iniquity”. What is the reward of iniquity? It isn’t the thirty pieces of silver he received from the Temple because he threw that money down in the Temple.

John 13:29
For some of them thought, because Judas had the bag, that Jesus had said unto him, Buy those things that we have need of against the feast; or, that he should give something to the poor.

Judas was the treasurer for the apostles and Jesus. He “had the bag”.

John 12:4-6
Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, which should betray him, Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.

Judas stole money that was given to Jesus and his apostles and with the “reward of iniquity” he bought some land; the same land where he took his life. Judas had a few character flaws that allowed him to sin with the best of them, just like every other man since Adam, with the exception of Jesus Christ.

God is not concerned about sin. He is concerned about the sinner. Religion cares about sin, it’s all they can think about or see. That’s why they have cataloged it, categorized it, and beat you over the head with sin every weekend. It’s the goodness of God that leads man to repentance not a realization of how much you do that is wrong! Did Judas know he blew it by turning Jesus over to the Pharisees? Did the malefactor on the cross next to Jesus get a list of what he had done that was wrong, or did Jesus offer him love and forgiveness? 

Matthew 27:4a
Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood…

God didn’t tell him, Jesus didn’t tell him, the apostles didn’t tell him, Judas knew he was wrong. God offered Judas holy spirit. Jesus offered Judas forgiveness and a ministry. The apostles offered Judas their love. We have heard enough about sin, now let’s hear about God’s grace, and mercy, and peace.