So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, "Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?"Acts 1:6(NASB)
Jesus was just about to go to His Father in heaven.. and had just reminded His disciples that after He ascended to the right hand of the Father, He would send His promised Holy Spirit to indwell them forever, and to guide them into all truth.
They were to be His witness to a lost and dying world that salvation is available to all who would believe on Christ for the forgiveness of sins.. and that in so doing.. they would be free from the condemnation of death, which is upon all men due to sin - and by faith they would receive the free gift of everlasting life.
But despite all that Christ had said, the minds of all the apostles and disciples were not focused on spreading the good news of salvation but on the setting up of Christ's coming kingdom and thinking about the privileges that they would each receive. Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel? was the question that was on all of their lips.
They knew that God had promised the earthly seed of Abraham a glorious kingdom on earth.. where Israel would be settled in their own land in peace and safety. And they were anticipating Christ's promise: that the apostles were to rule over the twelve tribes of Israel.. and so when they had come together, they kept on asking Him, if He was about to set up His promised millennial kingdom.
The disciples were anticipating that wonderful time when Christ would reign as King of kings and Lord of lords, when the lion would lie down with the lamb and the earth would be filled with the glory of God as the waters cover the sea. The disciples understandably were expecting that kingdom to be set up immediately, and hence their excited enquiry: is it at this time You are restoring Israel's kingdom?'
They were yet to discover that the Church age was to run its course; that the Body of Christ was to be become God's messengers to the world for a season instead of Israel - and that the dispensation of the grace of God had to run its course before God would finally fulfil His promise to the nation of Israel. The apostles and disciples of Christ were yet to discover that God's plans and purposes for the salvation of humanity was to follow a direction that was yet to be unfolded to them - by the Spirit of God, for there was still much for the fledgling church to learn. And until the gift of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost had come.. they would not be able to not bear it.
They were yet to discover that God was going to unveil greater revelation of the mystical Body of Christ and our heavenly inheritance.. through the apostle Paul. They were yet to discover that we were to be engaged in a spiritual warfare that was to be fought in the heavenly realm in the power of the resurrected Christ.
They were yet to discover that the nation of Israel was to be set aside for a season - in order for God's plans and purposes to be brought to full and final completion through the Church, which is the His body. They were yet to discover that many of them would be used by God to author the sacred text of scripture and reveal to those who were to come after, that in these last days, God has spoken to mankind through His Son - for there is no other name given among men whereby we must be saved - and we would do well to hear Him.
Heavenly Father, thank You for the Word of God and the truth that it contains. Thank You for sending the Holy Spirit to indwell all that have trusted in Christ for Salvation and for the promise that He will guide us into all truth. Help us to be diligent students of Your Word with a teachable spirit and a desire for the truth. We thank You that Your promises to Israel still stand and that one day they will be settled in their land in peace and safety. Give their leaders the wisdom in these difficult days, when all the world seem to be turning their back on Your chosen people.. and hasten the day when the kingdom will at last be set up to Your praise and glory, this we ask in Jesus name, AMEN.
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