Things concerning the Kingdom of God
When Jesus died on the cross, He rose again on the 3rd day. After His resurrection, He was on this earth for 40 days and testified of the Kingdom of God (Acts 1:3). Today's main text are the words Jesus spoke right before His ascension when He answered questions from His disciples. They asked, “Lord, is it this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6). Jesus replied, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority” (Acts 1:7). What are these times and epochs? Let us study about the redemptive administration that is contained in these expressions.
Times and epochs that Father has fixed already
The word “times” in Greek is chronos which means "ordinary time" that refers to "human time." The word “epoch” in Greek is kairos which is referring to "God’s time." Human time flows and within this human time, God intervenes with a special providence. The point and time where God intervenes is referring to kairos, meaning the time is fulfilled or the time has become full (Mark 1:15). Jesus Christ came when the fullness of the time came, and God sent forth His Son (Gal 4:4). Thus, the expression “the fullness of the time came” is chronos, referring to the ordinary time of mankind. Here, God’s time and man’s time have to meet each other.
Secondly, the word “fixed” in Greek means that God is the one who fixed this time in the past which will happen according to the purpose that God has already planned beforehand (Eph 1:9). Fox example, God informed Noah of the flood. Likewise, when the time comes, God will surely inform us of the end time. That is why we have this hope. Just as God informed Noah of the end, God will also inform us when the fullness of the time comes (Matt 24:37-38).
The Word that is timely
The most beautiful Word is the timely Word, meaning when someone says the proper thing, that is a great joy (Prov 15:23). Every “time” and “epoch” in redemptive history vary from time to time. But in each generation of redemptive history, God already provided the Word that is timely for that time and epoch. Fox example, the time had come for Noah to build an ark and give a timely Word (Gen 6:14). Also the time came that Noah needed to enter into the ark and God gave a timely Word (Gen 7:1). Likewise today we must also proclaim the Word that is a timely Word. God gives a timely Word for every time and epoch. Only when we deliver the message that is fit for the time can the message become a delightful, beautiful timely word according to God’s redemptive administration..
Receive the Holy Spirit and proclaim redemptive history
After Jesus declared to His disciples that it was not for them to know, He commanded the last commission. He said, “When the Holy Spirit has come upon you; you shall be my witness in all the earth” (Acts 1:8). This is the last commission that Jesus gave to the disciples. In this commission, the Holy Spirit must first come upon us. Thus, upon the disciples of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit must come. The Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus in the bodily form like a dove (Luke 3:22). Jesus said that when the Holy Spirit comes to you as a helper whom Father will send, He will teach and make you remember all things (John 16:13). That’s why whenever we deliver the Word of God we must always kneel down before God and ask in prayer that Father will send us the Spirit of truth, the helper and the Holy Spirit.
Secondly, we must receive the power (Acts 1:8). The word “power” in Greek is dunamis which is like the power of a dynamite when it explodes. We must receive this power as we proclaim the word of redemptive history so that the listener can explode within themselves, shattering all the power of darkness and doubt.
Thirdly, we must become witnesses (Acts 1:8). A witness is a person who witnesses or someone who sees first. We are the witnesses of the Word of the Father (1 John 1:1). When you see something that is extraordinary, naturally you want to testify about it (1 John 1:3, 5). We must truly proclaim the Word for the sake of the Lord Jesus Christ. The word “witness” in Greek is martus meaning “martyr” or “martyrdom.” So as we proclaim the Word, from this day on let us become true witnesses of the Word eternal and put our life on the stake so that we can become acknowledged by our Father God as true witnesses of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Conclusion: The ones who look towards God’s times and epochs are the ones who first proclaim His Word (Acts 1:8-9). Jesus commanded the disciples to go out and be witnesses for now is not the time to look into the sky intently (Acts 1:9-10). God is commanding us right now to truly become witnesses of the gospel which God has entrusted us with and preach to all nations and then the end will come (Matt 24:14). Therefore let us truly rise up and become Father’s witnesses by putting our own lives on the stake so that Father will praise us as good and faithful servants.