And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.
Who is Jesus Christ with in verse four? The apostles whom he had chosen as stated in the gospel of Luke and that includes Judas. Jesus instructs the apostles to stay in Jerusalem until they receive what God has promised, a promise they heard Jesus declare unto them.
What was the promise of God?
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 when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:
The promise of the Father was the gift of holy spirit. If Judas tarries with the other apostles as Jesus instructed them, then he too would receive the promise of the Father. Perhaps those who are quick to condemn Judas should wait for God to pass judgment. Jesus doesn’t tell them how long they will be waiting only that they should wait in Jerusalem until they receive holy spirit.
For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.
This agrees with the teachings of John the Baptist regarding Jesus Christ.
I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance. but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:
Both statements are very plain and simple to understand. John baptized with water but Jesus would baptize with holy spirit. Yet somehow modern Christianity persists with water baptism. Some denominations sprinkle, some dunk, and others dip you entirely. The Christians that baptize you at birth aren’t always accepted by those who completely submerge adults. Thus Christianity spends time fighting with one another over the correct way to baptize with water. It’s a lot like stopping a baseball game to argue the rules of football! Christianity is arguing over something that is completely irrelevant in this day and time.
How can we be fighting over something that Jesus said has been replaced? Are we so foolish that Christianity feels it is smarter than Christ? In Acts 1:5 the word translated “but” is the Greek word de and it is an accurate translation. The word but sets in contrast that which precedes it from that which follows it. Water baptism has been replaced with baptism in holy spirit, which was poured out on the day of Pentecost.
Baptism has always symbolized a cleansing and a separation or identification. Those who were baptized by John were identified with John’s ministry of repentance. Those who are baptized with holy spirit are identified with the accomplished work of Jesus Christ. The identification aspect of baptism can be clearly seen in Corinthians.
1 Corinthians 10:1-2
Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;
If you go back and read the account of the exodus from Egypt you will see that Moses baptized no one in the nation of Israel. Between 2.5 and 3 million people left Egypt in the exodus. Moses would have spent forty years at the Red Sea just baptizing if water was required. Actually, if you want to go with water because the word baptism is used then it was the Egyptians who were completely submerged in the Red Sea!
The word baptism deals with identification more than anything else. Israel was identified with Moses because they followed him out of Egypt and through the Red Sea and to a meeting with God. Does it hurt to baptize a person with water? No, of course not! But our identification in Christ has nothing to do with water; sprinkled, dipped, or submerged.
Jesus Christ, while talking with his twelve apostles, tells them they will be baptized in holy spirit “not many days hence”. We know it was ten days later because that is when the day of Pentecost was fully come but Jesus left the timing open in the minds of the apostles.
When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?
It sounds like a strange question and completely out of context but it lines up perfectly with what has been prophesied in the Old Testament. Israel knew from the Old Testament that there was a period of time between the sufferings and the glory. The sufferings of the Messiah, the Christ had taken place. Was it now time for the glory? The Old Testament speaks of the first coming of the Messiah and his suffering. The Old Testament also speaks of the Messiah’s second coming as the victorious King of Israel when Christ will sit upon the throne of David in the restored kingdom of Israel. This is known as the Kingdom of Heaven Administration because the King from Heaven sits upon the throne.
So the question of the apostles is logical, Is it time to restore the Kingdom? The sufferings have occurred, is it time for the glory? The time between the sufferings and the glory is never given in the Old Testament.
1 Peter 1:10-11
Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.
The prophets searched the scriptures trying to determine the length of time between the sufferings and the glory but they couldn’t find an answer because the Old Testament never declares the length of time between the two events. It was as if they could see a mountain range right in front of them and a larger, greater mountain range behind it. They knew there was a valley in between the two mountains but they couldn’t tell how big of a valley.
And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.
In other words, we aren’t there yet guys. It’s hard to come a second time when you haven’t left the first time. Rather than set up the kingdom at this point in time Jesus is about to leave. But not before he gives them one more set of instructions.
But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
After you have received holy spirit you will have power and I want you to be witnesses of me in Jerusalem, in Judaea, in Samaria, and over the entire world. They were to be witnesses starting at Jerusalem and then to Judea, the heart of the two southern tribes, and Samaria, the heart of the ten northern tribes, and the uttermost part of the earth both to the dispersia, the scattered abroad of Israel, and the Gentiles.
And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.
We are two thousand years removed from the apostles question to Jesus and we are still in the valley between the two mountains, awaiting his return.