Acts 1: Jesus Christ Ascends into Heaven

New Testament: Student Study guide, (2003), 94–95

Have you ever written to someone to tell them some exciting news? Luke wanted his friend Theophilus to know that Jesus Christ rose from the dead and ascended (returned) into heaven—the greatest news the world has ever known. Luke described how the Savior had extended the call to the Apostles to carry the gospel into all the world before His Second Coming. After He ascended into Heaven, angels promised the Apostles that He would return in a future day in glory. The Apostles accepted the Lord’s call to spread the gospel and ordained Matthias as a new Apostle to replace Judas Iscariot. Imagine how Theophilus might have felt receiving such news from Luke.
angels at Christ's Ascension

Understanding the Scriptures

Acts 1

Treatise (v. 1)Writing 
Infallible (v. 3)Cannot be wrong 
With one accord (v. 14)In unity 
Supplication (v. 14)Asking 

Acts 1:8—An Outline for the Book of Acts

The command Jesus gave His Apostles to be witnesses for Him “in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” forms a pattern or outline for the book of Acts: Acts 1–7 records the preaching in Jerusalem, Acts 8–9 reports the spreading of the gospel to Judea and Samaria, and Acts 10–28 tells how the gospel began to be taken to the “uttermost part of the earth.” Remember this pattern as you read Acts.

Acts 1:18—How Did Judas Die?

Matthew 27:5 and Acts 1:18 give the impression that Matthew and Luke disagreed about how Judas died. The Joseph Smith Translation shows how both are correct (see JST, Matthew 27:6).

Acts 1:26—What Are Lots?

Giving forth or casting lots was a process similar to drawing straws today. The Apostles were not, however, using a random method to choose a new Apostle. This was a method the Lord had commanded them to use in the past as a way for Him to reveal His will to them (see Leviticus 16:7–8).

Studying the Scriptures

Do activities A and B as you study Acts 1.

Activity A iconAn Assignment for the Apostles

Review Acts 1:1–8 and answer the following questions in your notebook:

  1. 1.

    How long did Jesus visit with His disciples after His Resurrection?

  2. 2.

    What did He teach them?

  3. 3.

    Why were they to remain in Jerusalem? How long?

  4. 4.

    What did they learn about the restoration of Israel at the Second Coming?

  5. 5.

    What did Jesus command them to do after they received the Holy Ghost?

Using the information in “An Outline for the Book of Acts” in the “Understanding the Scriptures” section above, write an outline for the book of Acts next to verse 8 in the margin of your scriptures.

Activity B iconA New Apostle Is Chosen

Review the account in Acts 1:13–26 of the Apostles calling a new Apostle to replace Judas, noting how they “appointed,” “prayed,” and “gave forth their lots.” Write a sentence or two about each of these key ideas to summarize what happened.