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Acts 1 v 6 - 8

In the three years Jesus spent in ministry He was always labouring under one huge disadvantage: He preached the coming of the Kingdom of God, but He meant one thing by this and those who listened to Him assumed that He meant something completely different. Although Israel was only 120 miles long and 40 miles wide, the Jewish people felt that they were destined for special privilege and worldwide power and so were committed to thinking of the coming of the Messiah as a time when they would once again-they had a short period of influence and domination during the reigns of King David and Solomon-dominate the world.

Jesus' view of the coming of the Kingdom can be taken from His model of prayer to the disciples: 'Your Kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven', He meant a society which would seek to do God's will as perfectly as it was done in heaven! It would be a Kingdom founded on love not power.

This was only attainable through the agency, work and power of the Holy Spirit. We have reminded ourselves that the Holy Spirit was present before Christ and we also know that God is eternally Father, Son and Holy Spirit; but there came a special time when believers experienced that power which had always been present and en masse.

The power of the Holy Spirit was not there to make them feel good, but to enable them to be Christ's witnesses in different areas of the world-first Jerusalem, then Judea, then Samaria, then the whole world will come to hear about Jesus Christ.

They were to become witnesses to the fact that Jesus was the Messiah: they were to stand in courts of Law, before many people, in places where their lives were threatened and proclaim that Jesus is the Son of God, and as the Greek word for witness and martyr are the same, they must be prepared to die if necessary.

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