After Jesus taught the disciples for 40 days about the kingdom of God, the disciples had a question to ask Jesus. They said, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel” (Acts 1:6)? In answer, Jesus Jesus rejected their right to know the Father’s timing “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority” (Acts 1:7).
Yet Jesus does not stop his answer there. He continues: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8). In so doing, Jesus evidently explains how he is restoring the kingdom to Israel.
After 40 days of learning about the kingdom of God from Jesus (Acts 1:3), the disciples understood the issue well. What they did not know was how to discern when the restoration would occur. They needed to wait for the Father to act. In other words, they must “wait for the promise of the Father” (Acts 1:4) which means the pouring out of the Holy Spirit at which time “you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now” (Acts 1:5; cf. Acts 2:33).
As I will argue, the pouring out of the Holy Spirit signals the fulfillment of the father’s promise and the beginnings of the restoration of the kingdom. The Spirit, at one level, evinces the presence of the kingdom since he is the “Spirit of Jesus” (Acts 16:7) and where Jesus is so is the kingdom (e.g., Luke 17:21).
The narratives in Luke and Acts provide more reasons why this is so. [Read more…] about “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?”