“The book of Acts is quite complicated. It is an expression of man’s first attempt to carry out the mandate of God without the physical presence of God there to steer him. It is the trial flight of the new apostles as they step into leadership. More importantly, they are in a position to bring to fruition what their Leader has spoken.
There is a great gulf between what a leader speaks and what a student understands. Just because something is taught does not mean that the lesson is learned. There are people who do not hear what is said; then, there are people who hear what they wanted the teacher to say. People don’t really get the message all at once. The apostles are grappling to see how they have successfully attained an adequate understanding of the Word of God they received. You cannot teach what you do not understand.
The apostles are now under the direction of the Holy Spirit. The Christ that was with them is now in them. The voice surrounding them now speaks from the inside. The problem with the voice on the inside is that it is not the only voice that speaks. When God speaks from within, you have to filter because there are other voices speaking also – the voices of your past, your history, your religious tradition, your own opinion and ideology. It is easy to confuse the voice of God with all those other voices.
The apostles are learning to differentiate what is God and what is them; what is God and what is their teaching; what is God and what is their personal proclivities; what is God and what is religion. Understanding God and the difference in those voices is a process that they consistently contend with. They find themselves disagreeing amongst themselves with what they heard. And the disagreements become intense and exciting. Preachers today are still debating texts. It is good to know that even those who heard Jesus directly, heard different ideas and grappled to understand. This is great news because if God were easily understood and easily diagnosed, He would not be God. God cannot be explained through intellectualism. If He could be explained, He would not be God. Anything that can be explained, can be managed; God cannot. He must be experienced; revealed; walked out in our lives and in our circumstances. Little by little, God weans us from the elementary, fundamental ideologies that started us on our way, and we graduate from faith to faith, and from glory to glory in our understanding of Him if we are not afraid to let go of what we once held as truth. You have to be willing to move beyond the truth that you were taught before…But moving beyond can be so difficult.”
Below are some bible verses that go more in depth on the topic.
“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. After 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. On 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. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to 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.” After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. “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.” Then the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the hill called the Mount of Olives, a Sabbath day’s walk from the city. When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying. Those present were Peter, John, James and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew; James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.” ~Acts 1:1-14
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” ~Isaiah 55:8-9
“In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.” ~Hebrews 5:12-14
“Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God,” ~Hebrews 6:1