Print Sermon

These sermon manuscripts and videos now go out to about 116,000 computers in over 215 countries every month at www.sermonsfortheworld.com. Hundreds of others watch the videos on YouTube, but they soon leave YouTube and come to our website, because each sermon directs them away from YouTube to our website. YouTube feeds people to our website. The sermon manuscripts are given in 34 languages to thousands of people each and every month. The sermon manuscripts are not copyrighted, so preachers can use them without our permission. Please click here to learn how you can make a monthly donation to help us in this great work of spreading the Gospel to the whole world, including the Muslim and Hindu nations.

Whenever you write to Dr. Hymers always tell him what country you live in, or he cannot answer you. Dr. Hymers’ e-mail is rlhymersjr@sbcglobal.net.




THE ASCENSION OF CHRIST AND
THE OUTPOURING OF REVIVAL

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached on Lord's Day Morning, May 2, 2004
at the Fundamentalist Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles

"The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen: To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God" (Acts 1:1-3).


Please look at verse one. The "former treatise" refers to the Gospel of Luke, which was also written to a man named Theophilus (Luke 1:3). Although we do not know who Theophilus was, he is believed to have been an official of the Roman Empire who wished to know more about Christ and the new religion of Christianity. Luke wrote his gospel to explain who Jesus is and what He did.

The Book of Acts continues to present what happened after Jesus rose from the dead. Verse three tells us that Jesus

"shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them [the Apostles] forty days…" (Acts 1:3).

The Apostles were confused and discouraged when Jesus was arrested, beaten and crucified. They gave up all hope when the dead body of Jesus was placed in a tomb, which was sealed, with a Roman guard standing watch.

But Jesus rose physically from the dead, and the Apostles saw Him alive again. For the next forty days, after Christ rose from the dead, the Apostles saw Him many times. Over five hundred others saw Him after He rose as well (cf. I Corinthians 15:3-7). The resurrection of Christ from the dead became the main subject of the Apostles' preaching because they saw Him "by many infallible proofs" after His resurrection. All of the Apostles suffered greatly for preaching that they had seen Christ after He rose from the grave. All of the Apostles but John were killed for preaching Christ's resurrection. John was thrown into a vat of boiling oil and barely escaped with his life. The suffering which the Apostles went through shows that they really believed they had seen Christ after His resurrection.

The end of verse three shows that Jesus taught the Apostles "many things pertaining to the kingdom of God" during those forty days after He rose from the dead. The Apostles had thought that Jesus would set up His earthly kingdom right then. But Jesus taught them that His earthly kingdom would come in the future.

Look at verses six through eight.

"When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth" (Acts 1:6-8).

They had already received the Holy Spirit (John 20:22). But now Christ told them to wait for the power of the Holy Spirit in preaching. Then they would be His witnesses throughout the world. After Christ told them this, three great events took place.

I. First, Christ ascended back to the right hand of God in Heaven.

Please turn to Acts 1:9-11. Let us stand and read these three verses aloud:

"And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven"
    (Acts 1:9-11).

You may be seated.

Forty days after Christ rose from the dead, he took the Disciples to the Mount of Olives. "While they beheld" (Acts 1:9) Jesus went up to Heaven before their very eyes. They stood there looking up into the sky after Jesus went up, and "a cloud received him out of their sight" (Acts 1:9).

Two angels appeared to them and told them that they did not need to keep looking up at the sky. Jesus had gone back to Heaven, to be seated at the right hand of God the Father

"And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven" (Luke 24:51).

The Scofield note on Luke 24:51 tells us correctly that this was not the lower heaven, where there are clouds; or the planetary heavens, where the stars are located; but "the heaven of heavens, the abode of God" (The Scofield Study Bible, note on Luke 24:51).

We are told many times in the Bible that Jesus is now seated at the right hand of God in the heavenly abode of God. Mark said,

"So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God"
    (Mark 16:19).

Peter said,

"David is not ascended into the heavens: but he [David] saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand" (Acts 2:34).

Stephen said,

"I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God" (Acts 7:56).

Paul said,

"Seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God" (Colossians 3:1).

Again, Paul said,

"And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places"
    (Ephesians 1:19-20).

Yes, Jesus went directly up, into "the heavenly places" (Ephesians 1:20) to be seated at the right side of God.

"When he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high" (Hebrews 1:3).

The Apostles were told not to keep looking up in the sky. They were told that "this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven" (Acts 1:11). Some day soon Jesus will come back down through the clouds to the top of the Mount of Olives. That's called the "Second Coming of Christ." When He comes, it will be exactly "this same Jesus" (Acts 1:11). And He will come down from the sky exactly the same way that He went up, to sit at the right hand of God "in the heavenly places" (Ephesians 1:20). Christ will return from the sky the same way He went up. He went up. He will come down. That is the Second Coming of Christ.

II. Second, Christ's Disciples returned to Jerusalem and prayed
until the Holy Spirit was poured out in revival.

Please turn to Acts 1:12-14. Let us stand and read these three verses aloud.

"Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day's journey. And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James. These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren" (Acts 1:12-14).

You may be seated.

After Jesus ascended back to Heaven, the Apostles returned to Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives, a distance of about three quarters of a mile, "a sabbath day's journey." According to Jewish law, no one was supposed to walk more than three quarters of a mile on the Sabbath, on Saturday.

When they got back to Jerusalem, they went into "an upper room" (Acts 1:13). This was probably the same "upper room" where Jesus celebrated the Last Supper with the Disciples the night before He was crucified (cf. Luke 22:12). Judas was not there. Judas had already hanged himself for betraying Jesus. But all the other Apostles were there. So was Mary, the mother of Jesus, and Jesus' four brothers. They continued praying together in that room. Verse fifteen tells us that "about an hundred and twenty" Christians were there praying. They must have come and gone, but for several days they spent much of their time in that room praying for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit Christ had promised in Acts 1:8.

III. Third, Christ's Disciples experienced revival.

Turn to Acts 2:1-4. Let us stand and read these four verses aloud.

"And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance"
      (Acts 2:1-4).

You may be seated.

Dr. John R. Rice said,

…Pentecost came fifty days after the resurrection of Christ. If that be true, and since Jesus appeared to the disciples after His resurrection for some forty days (Acts 1:3), then, the time of waiting in the upper room and of prayer and supplication was ten days (Dr. John R. Rice, Filled With the Spirit: A Verse-by-verse Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles, Sword of the Lord, 1980, p. 61).

And, so, for ten days they prayed. Then the Holy Spirit was outpoured, and the revival began. Turn to Acts 2:4-6.

"And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language"
     (Acts 2:4-6).

The "other tongues" spoken of here are obviously "other languages." This is clear from verse eight. Look at it.

"And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?" (Acts 2:8).

Then seventeen different language-groups are listed in verses nine through eleven. Dr. Henry M. Morris points out that

These Jews from the different nations could undoubtedly speak Aramaic, for they later comprehended Peter's sermon (Acts 2:14-36), but they were amazed that the 120 Spirit-filled believers were preaching also in the language of their homelands (Henry M. Morris, Ph.D., The Defender's Study Bible, World, 1995, note on Acts 2:11).

The great miracle of Pentecost is not the incidental miracles, such as the sound of wind, or the cloven tongues of fire, or the ability to speak in foreign languages. These were only incidentals, peculiar to this particular revival. The great miracle of Pentecost was the conversion of three thousand people at once. Turn to Acts 2:41. Stand and read it aloud.

"Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls" (Acts 2:41).

You may be seated.

We can explain the gospel in great detail, but unless the Holy Spirit is working, lost human beings will not comprehend the gospel, will not be convicted of sin, and will not be converted. We see a single conversion here and there, when people trust Christ. But in revival many people are converted at once, as they were on the Day of Pentecost, the first great revival.

Have you been convicted of your sin? Have you seen your need for Jesus to save you from your sin? Will you come to Jesus, and be washed clean by His Blood?


(END OF SERMON)

Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Dr. Kreighton L. Chan: I Corinthians 15:3-8.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:

"Old-Time Power" (by Paul Rader, 1879-1938).

THE OUTLINE OF

THE ASCENSION OF CHRIST AND
THE OUTPOURING OF REVIVAL

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

 

"The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen: To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God" (Acts 1:1-3).

(Luke 1:3; I Corinthians 15:3-7; Acts 1:6-8; John 20:22)

I.   Christ ascended back to the right hand of God in Heaven,
Acts 1:9-11; Luke 24:51; Mark 16:19; Acts 2:34; 7:56;
Colossians 3:1; Ephesians 1:19-20; Hebrews 1:3.

II.  Christ's Disciples returned to Jerusalem and prayed until the
Holy Spirit was poured out in revival, Acts 1:12-14.

III. Christ's Disciples experienced revival, Acts 2:1-6, 8, 41.

You can read Dr. Hymers' sermons each week on the Internet
at www.rlhymersjr.com. Click on "Sermon Manuscripts."