I was sitting on my back porch reading from Acts. As I did a few verses in the first chapter came alive to me and I decided to share them with you. I really love the way the Holy Spirit removes the veil and gives new insight into familiar Scriptures, don’t you?
Acts 1:1 The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach …
The writer of the book of Acts is Luke and the former treatise is his Gospel. The name Theophilus means “friend of God.” Luke may have known someone named Theophilus or he may have used the name to indicate that he was writing his epistle to the “friends of God.” In which case, if you are a friend of God, he is writing to you. Therefore, you would be receiving your own epistle from Luke. And, that being true, you can expect the Holy Spirit to reveal truths that are especially meant for you. In fact, I feel that any time you read the Bible you should read it as a special message from God to you – not just history, but a message from Him to your heart.
Of all that Jesus began to do and teach begins with the Gospel of Luke. All that He began to do as Jesus the Nazarene He continued to do through the ministries of the Church in the Book of Acts. In a real sense, the title The Acts of the Apostles should be “The Acts of Jesus Christ through the Apostles.” The active ministry of Jesus Christ has not ended but continues today in a two-fold way. He continues to do and to teach in us and through us.
Acts 1:2 Until the day in which He was taken up, after that He through the Holy Spirit had given commandments unto the apostles whom He had chosen.
Of all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day He was taken up speaks of Jesus’ ministry in the two realms of “the seen” and “the unseen.” Before He was taken up He did and taught in “the seen” realm as Jesus the Nazarene. After He was taken up out of “the seen” realm, He did and taught in “the unseen” realm as the Lord of Glory. He could do and teach far more in the invisible realm through His disciples than He could as an individual.
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.
This verse speaks of Jesus leaving the realm of “the seen” and entering the realm of “the unseen.” Jesus had spoken to His disciples about this earlier, though they had not understood what He was saying.
John 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you.
The disciples were accustomed to having Jesus with them, and the thought of Him going away was not a pleasant thought. But Jesus tells them, “It is expedient for you that I go away.” They did not understand that at the time. They were going to lose the relationship they had with Jesus the Nazarene, but they were going to gain a relationship with Jesus the Lord of Glory which would be far better. Instead of Jesus walking with them as an individual, He would be in them leading them and teaching them. What He had done and taught while with them He would now do and teach in them and through them.
John 16:16-18 A little while, and you shall not see Me; and again, a little
while, and you shall see Me, because I go to the Father.
17 Then said some of His disciples among themselves, What is this that He saith unto us, A little while, and you shall not see Me; and again, a little while, and you shall see Me; and, Because I go to the Father?
18 They said therefore, What is this that He saith, A little while? We cannot tell what He saith.
The disciples could not understand what Jesus was telling them, and when it happened they still did not understand for they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up (Acts 1:10). Jesus had said, A little while and you shall not see Me (This happened as He was taken up from them into heaven.), and again, a little while, and you shall see Me (This happened on the day of Pentecost when He descended into His disciples.). A new relationship was created when they received of His Spirit. They had also left the realm of “the seen” and entered the realm of “the unseen.” Because of the revelation and spiritual perception they now had, they were now able to see (perceive) in the real of “the unseen.” The realm of “the unseen” was becoming the realm of “the seen.” This process becomes a cycle as we learn to walk with the Lord and are led by His Spirit. Soon He ascends into a higher level and He again is unseen. A little while, and you shall not see Me; and again, a little while, and you shall see Me. Then we ascend into the next level and we again see Him.
Ephesians 2:6 (He) hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.
It is quite obvious this is not speaking about us being lifted up from the earth into the skies above. We are lifted up spiritually from level to level. Spiritually we are lifted up into a realm that has been unseen; we were not aware of it. When we enter it, it becomes a realm of “the seen.” The Lord was revealing a spiritual principle: from “the seen” to “the unseen.” You move into a new realm of the Lord that has been unseen. Then you learn how to function in the new realm; you learn how to perceive the Lord and understand what He is doing on that level. And what was previously “unseen” becomes “seen.” As long as you continue to grow, the cycle continues. Paul said the same thing using different words in Romans 1:17: For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
You will recall that this chapter of Acts begins by saying, Of all that Jesus began both to do and teach. Every time you move into an unseen realm and learn how to function in that realm it becomes a seen realm, a realm of new revelations. Now the Lord of Glory can “do and teach” in you and through you the revelations of the realm that was once unseen. Thus we see the importance of the principle: From the Seen to the Unseen.
Copyright © 2008 by Henry DuBose