The next question which arises is how we should understand the book of Acts. Where Luke 9:51 forms the key to understand the Gospel of Luke, so Acts 1:8 forms the key to understand the book of Acts. However, to understand Acts 1:8 one first has to understand Acts 1:6: “So when they met together, they asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”
At the end of the Gospel of Luke (24:49), the disciples were commanded to remain in Jerusalem to await the power which God would give them: “I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” Obviously the disciples (still) didn’t understand what God’s plan was and therefore they ask the question: “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” In other words, they are still awaiting an earthly kingdom instead of a heavenly kingdom.
Jesus answers them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
This verse then forms the key to understand the rest of the book, as the structure of Acts is built according to the structure of this verse:
- Acts 1-7: The gospel in Jerusalem
- Acts 8-9: The gospel in Judea and Samaria
- Acts 10-28: The gospel to the ends of the world
It is interesting to see that these three “breakthroughs” are all linked to a certain “Pentecostal” experience