Acts 1:1-11 NIV
Jesus Taken Up Into Heaven
1In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach 2until the day He was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles He had chosen. 3After His suffering, He presented Himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that He was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the Kingdom of God.
4On one occasion, while He was eating with them, He gave them this command:
“Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5For John baptized witha water, but in a few days you will be baptized withb the Holy Spirit.”
6Then they gathered around Him and asked Him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”
7He said to them:
“It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by His own authority. 8But 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.”
9After He said this, He was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid Him from their sight.
10They were looking intently up into the sky as He was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them.
11 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, Who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen Him go into heaven.”
Who Wrote Acts?
The book of Acts is a sequel to the Gospels, specifically the Gospel of Luke. The book is written as an investigative report of the acts of the apostles following the ascension of Jesus. The opening verse of Acts links the book to the Gospel of Luke:
“In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach until the day He was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles He had chosen.”
The book of Acts is dedicated to Theophilus just as the Gospel of Luke (former book). A comparison of the writing style of Luke and Acts suggests they were written by the same person. There is no evidence to suggest anyone other than Luke the physician and companion of Paul wrote the Gospel of Luke. Therefore, the same Luke is likely the author of Acts.
Even the most critical scholars tend to agree Luke was the author of Acts. Those who object have never been able to identify anyone else as a potential author. Therefore, we must conclude Luke was likely the author of Acts.
Who was Theophilus(“Loved by God”)
The fact is that we really do not know who Theophilus was, which is why there are several different theories as to who he might be. No matter how much evidence there may or may not be for each theory, the simple fact is we do not who Theophilus was because the Bible does not identify who he was.
While each of these theories holds possibilities, it seems most likely that Theophilus was a high-ranking or influential Gentile for whom Luke wanted to provide a detailed, historical account of Christ and the spread of the gospel throughout the Roman Empire. Whether this Theophilus was a wealthy relative of Caesar, an influential government official, a wealthy benefactor who supported Paul or Paul’s Roman lawyer does not really matter.
We cannot know for sure who Theophilus was, but we can know what Luke’s intentions for writing were. His stated reason for writing to Theophilus was “that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught” (Luke 1:3-4). Luke wrote an historical account of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ and detailed the spread of Christianity throughout the Roman Empire. His intention was to give Theophilus certainty that the “things he had been taught” were indeed true and trustworthy.
How Does the Lord Come Again?
“This same Jesus, Who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen Him go into heaven.”
We do not know when the Lord will come. All we know is “He will come soon.” How soon? We do not know either.
But we do know how He will come – “This same Jesus, Who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen Him go into heaven.”
Isaiah 19:1 prophesies;
“A prophecy against Egypt: See, Jehovah rides on a swift cloud and is coming to Egypt. The idols of Egypt tremble before him, and the hearts of the Egyptians melt with fear.”
Let us wait earnestly for His return while keeping ourselves pure and blameless as the Bride of the Lamb.