Changing the Times: Acts 1:6-7
“6) So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” 7) He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority;” Acts‬ ‭1‬:‭6‬-‭7‬
These two verses are fascinating. The Jewish people were looking for the Messiah to restore the Kingdom to Israel and rule the world from Jerusalem. Daniel 7:13-14; 27 and Amos 9:11-14 are prime examples of this kingdom restoration mindset.
The disciples were well versed in this kingdom restoration theology and expectation. This prompted the question; “Lord, is it at this time you are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” According to their Old Testament view of prophecy, this was the next event on God’s timetable.
In Acts 1:7, Jesus acknowledged a coming change in times and epochs. God does indeed rule over the affairs of mankind and brings changes to times, governments and earthy administrations. Revelation 20:1-10 talks about the millennium reign of Christ on earth. The restoration promised in Old Testament prophecy is coming.
But God had a mystery age not clearly revealed in the Old Testament. Paul talked about this in depth in texts like Ephesians 3:3-13 and Colossians 1:26. This is often referred to as “the church age” or “the age of the indwelling Spirit of God.”
In Matthew 16:17, Jesus talked about building “His Church.” This was a new concept for the disciples. The obvious question should have been; “What is a church?” This is the first time the word “church” is used in the Bible. No wonder Paul called it a mystery. Let me paint a broader picture of this mystery.
The concepts of the Gospel based on the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, grace, justification by faith, conversion, the indwelling Holy Spirit, spiritual gifts, the church, the bride of Christ, salvation for the Gentiles and the Great Commission are all part of the mystery not clearly revealed in the Old Testament. Christianity is a huge paradigm change from Old Testament Judaism.
There is some argument over when the church age formally started. Was it with the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ or was it the giving of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost? Most point to Pentecost.
According to Acts 1:4-5, the promise of the Father was going to change everything. It was going to mark a change in the times and the epochs. The age of the indwelling Holy Spirit for all believers was about to begin. The new focus would be on the ministry of the Holy Spirit and the body of Christ. Jesus was about to start building His Church. Times were about to change.
But here is the crucial point, the focus of this coming age revolves around the ministry of the Holy Spirit. If you want to be part of His Church, you need to put faith in Jesus Christ and then grow and mature in your walk in the Spirit. The Holy Spirit desires to do a huge work in you followed by a might work through you. Welcome to the book of Acts.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global