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The Bible Story
Transcript of The Bible Story
Once Upon an Eternity
The Human Race was Lost As Soon As It Began
God Chooses the Jews
The Rise and Fall of Israel
Jesus--A Very Personal Plan to Save the World
Based on the book "Knowing the Bible 101" by Bruce Bickel & Stan Jantz
Before time began, God existed. He has always existed. We can't explain it. That's just the nature of God.
In the ages preceding the creation of our universe, God created an army of angels who served and worshiped him
But something went wrong.
One of the angels, Satan, believed that he was better than God and organized a mutiny.
The good angels led by Michael the Archangel defeated Satan and evicted him from Heaven.
After the Creation, Satan and his allies began to roam the earth to try to thwart God's plan.
And then the Creation...
With everything in place, God created man in God's own image meaning humans would have a spiritual dimension to their lives. Adam was the first man.
Next God created Eve and He placed her and Adam in the Garden of Eden.
God commissioned them to be in charge of all His other creations and to be fruitful and multiply.
There was one restriction, they were to not eat from the "Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil" located in the middle of the garden.
Disguised as a snake, Satan told Eve that she would not die if she ate the fruit from the forbidden tree. He also said that if she did eat the fruit, she would be as smart as God.
God had given Adam and Eve a free will. They both chose to defy God and ate the fruit.
1. Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden to a life of hardship including physical death;
2. Every member of humanity is tainted by the sin of Adam and Eve and is born into a sinful world.
3. God creates a plan to bring a descendant of Adam and Eve who is also the Son of God to pay the penalty for the sins of mankind and thereby enable eternal salvation.
Cain was the first born son of Adam and Eve and he had a brother Abel. Cain worked the soil and Abel tended the flocks.
When God showed favor to an offering made by Abel, Cain became jealous and killed his brother thus committing the first crime.
For his crime, God sentenced Cain to wander the earth. However, God vowed that if anyone killed Cain such person would suffer vengeance seven times over.
After the death of Abel, Adam and Eve had another son Seth. In the eighth generation following Seth, Noah was born. During the period following Adam and Eve and continuing into Noah's time, Satan promoted evil at every opportunity and with the exception of Noah's family, the world was corrupt and wicked.
God instructed Noah to build an ark to hold him and his family along with pairs of all of the world's creatures and plants. God then caused a great flood which killed the wicked while those on the ark survived. God told Noah to repopulate the world and God said that he would never again destroy all living creatures as he had done.
God intended to implement a plan to provide a permanent sacrifice for the penalty of sin. Not just Adam and Eve's sin but for all of the sins of mankind.
As part of that plan, God would select a certain group of people to be His "chosen nation". He would reveal Himself to the entire world through this one extended family. His chosen people would be evidence of the blessings that come from obedience to God...
Here the story narrows and reads like a generational epic for the next 2000 years.
Moving forward 25 years, Abraham was now about 100 years old while Sarah was around 90 and apparently barren as they had no children. To produce a descendant, Sarah encouraged Abram to have a child with their maid Hagar who then gave birth to a son Ishmael (from whom Muhammed would be a descendant).
Eventually, Sarah gives birth to a son Isaac who would be destined to become the forefather of the Hebrew nation (aka Israelites or Jews).
God would further test Abraham's faith by asking Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac. When Abraham showed his intent to do so, God intervened and rewarded Abraham with a promise that "in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed".
Isaac had two sons--Jacob and Esau. Jacob had 12 sons who would in turn form the 12 tribes of Israel. When Jacob showed favor to one of his sons Joseph, his brothers became jealous and sold Joseph into slavery.
After their escape, the Jews camped at the base of Mt. Sinai. God called Moses to the top of the mountain and delivered to him the Ten Commandments.
During the 400 years when the Jews were in Egypt, pagan nations occupied the Promised Land. To regain their homeland required the Jews to fight the pagans. In preparation for battle, Moses sent 12 spies to scout Canaan.
Moses died and Joshua took over as general and leader of the Jews. About 1400 BC, Joshua led the Jews across the Jordan River into their first battle to capture the Promised Land.
At the end of his life, after conquering the Promised Land, Joshua divided the land among the 12 tribes of Israel and instructed each to keep control of the land by staying dedicated to God.
After the death of Joshua, God sent a series of Judges or deliverers to lead the people out of sin and back to God.
Several hundred years passed and Canaanites and Jews lived side-by-side and were either marrying each other or at war. Israel's chief rival during this period was the Philistines who occasionally dominated the area. It was an era of violence, lawlessness and immorality when "people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes." Freedom fighters like Gideon, Deborah and Samson brought only temporary relief.
Samson and Delilah
Abram was an 11th generation descendant from Noah. About 2100 BC, he lived in the city of Ur (modern day Iraq) with his wife Sarai.
...and it starts with one man and one woman that had a very special character quality--Faith.
God wanted a "chosen people" to:
1. be the recipient of God's law and holy Scriptures;
2. be an example to the pagan nations of the world;
3. be the lineage for the birth of the promised Savior.
God made a covenant with Abraham. Because of Abraham's faithfulness, God promised:
1. Abraham would be the father of a great nation.
2. Abraham and his descendants would be given a homeland in Canaan (now Israel and Palestine).
3. Through one of Abraham's descendants, salavation would be available to all of the people of the world.
Joseph's new owners took him to Egypt. God had gifted him with the ability to interpret dreams and he came to the attention of the Pharaoh who was having nightmares. When Joseph helped him, the Pharaoh rewarded him with a high government position.
Later, during a severe famine, Jacob sent his sons to Egypt to buy some food. Through Joseph, the family was reunited and saved from starvation. At the Pharaoh's invitation, Jacob's clan settled in Egypt.
The descendants of Jacob's 12 sons multiplied and over the following 400 years grew to well over 2 million people. Out of fear of being overwhelmed, the Egyptians forced them into slavery.
As the Jewish population continued to grow, the Pharaoh ordered that all newborn Jewish males must be killed by the Egyptian midwives. In the midst of all of this anguish, the descendants of Abraham (now called Hebrews) cried out to God for help.
God's rescue plan began with the birth of a Jewish baby named Moses. To avoid the death decree, his mother kept his birth a secret. When she could not keep him hid any longer, she put him in a basket and floated him in the Nile instructing Moses sister to watch him.
Pharaoh's daughter was bathing in the Nile and found the baby and became attached to him. She wanted to keep the baby but needed someone to nurse him. Out jumped Moses' sister who then recommended that the mother of Moses be selected to nurse him.
As a young man, Moses had all of the trappings of an Egyptian but he remembered his Hebrew roots. When he saw a slave master beating a Jewish slave, Moses came to the rescue and killed the Egyptian.
He thought the Jews would rally around him but they were not ready to accept him as their leader. Feeling estranged and fearing reprisal for the murder he committed, Moses fled to the desert where he lived as a reclusive goat herder.
One day while he was wandering around in the desert, God appeared to him in the form of a burning bush. God told Moses that he was God's chosen leader and that he was to bring the Jews out of their slavery in Egypt.
Moses demanded that the Pharaoh "let his people go" but the Pharaoh refused.
God then unleashed ten devastating plagues on Egypt which culminated in an avenging angel killing the first born son of every non-Jewish person and animal in Egypt. Jews marked their doorpost with the blood of a slaughtered animal which was a sign for the angel to "pass over" their house. This is the origin of the Passover Feast. Pharaoh's son is killed by the angel and he finally agrees to let the Jews leave Egypt.
However, Pharaoh then changed his mind and sent his army to recapture the Jews who are then trapped by the Red Sea. God causes the sea to part and the Jews escape.
When they returned, they reported that Canaan was "a land flowing with milk and honey" but was heavily fortified. Ten of the scouts recommended aborting the mission and two (Joshua and Caleb) recommended going forward. The people sided with the cowards.
As a result of their lack of faith, God sent the Jews wandering in the desert for 40 years until everyone over 21 years of age (except Joshua and Caleb) had died.
Moses is widely believed to have been the author of the first five books of the Bible (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy). He never made it to the Promised Land but in a series of sermons shortly before his death, reminded the Jews of God's promises to them which spurred them on to achieve their goal shortly after his death.
With the fierce and intimidating Philistines continually hounding the Jews, Israel desperately wanted a king and contrary to God's choice they selected Saul.
The last Judge is Samuel who is also the first prophet of Israel. He served as a bridge between the judges and the kings.
King Saul had the honor of being Israel's first king, but his life turned into a tragedy for one reason. Saul did not trust in God. He disobeyed God by failing to completely destroy the Amalekites and all their possessions, as God had commanded.
Sometime later, David killed the Philistine giant Goliath. Because the people made more of David's single victory than all of Saul's, Saul went into a rage and became jealous of David. From that moment he plotted to kill him.
Finally the Philistines gathered for a huge battle against the Israelites. By that time Samuel had died. King Saul was desperate, so he consulted a medium and told her to raise Samuel's spirit from the dead. Whatever appeared--a demon disguised as Samuel or Samuel's true spirit sent by God--it predicted disaster for Saul. In the battle, King Saul and the army of Israel were overrun. Saul committed suicide. His sons were killed by the enemy.
Instead of building up Israel, King Saul wasted most of his time chasing David through the hills. David, however, respected God's anointed king and despite several opportunities, refused to harm Saul.
David became king following Saul. His devotion to God was evident in the many psalms he wrote. His lifelong devotion to God never wavered although he committed some serious sins.
His most famous failure was committing adultery with a married woman named Bathsheba and then arranging for her husband to die in battle.
Despite his human failings, God used David to bring Israel to a place of glory and honor:
1. He united all the tribes under one monarchy.
2. He established the capital at Jerusalem.
3. He defeated enemies (some, like the Midianites, Amelekites, and Philistines never troubled the nation again.)
Solomon, as the son of David and Bathsheba, followed David as king. He was known as the richest and wisest man who ever lived.
But his climax of national unity and power was short-lived. Only days after Solomon's death, civil war broke out. The ten northern tribes formed their own confederacy, calling themselves Israel. The two southern tribes with Jerusalem as their capital called themselves Judah. Each was ruled by a succession of kings--some good but most as wicked or more wicked than the people.
Eventually, Israel was taken into captivity by the Assyrians in 722 BC and Judah by the Babylonians and King Nebuchadnezzar in 586 BC. The city of Jerusalem was destroyed and people in both the north and south were taken into captivity and scattered across the Middle East. This was the low point in the biblical account of the Jews.
Major Prophecies about the Messiah
1. He will be born in the village of Bethlehem (Micah 5:2)
2. He will be born to a virgin. (Isaiah 7:14)
3. He will triumphantly enter the city of Jerusalem. (Zechariah 9:9)
4. He will be rejected by His own people (Isaiah 53:1-3)
5. He will be tried in court and found guilty. (Isaiah 53:8)
6. He will be beaten and spit upon. (Isaiah 50:6)
7. He will die as a sacrifice for man's sins. (Isaiah 53:5-12)
The Bible contains many of his wise sayings and practical tips in the Book of Proverbs.
During his reign, Israel's borders reached to their furthest extent, and the nation prospered.
God had not forgotten His promise to Abraham to bring a Savior to the world through Abraham's descendants. During these years when hope had died, God continued to speak through prophets, some living in exile and others who remained in the ruins of Jerusalem.
There are 17 books of the prophets in the Bible written by 16 prophets. Jeremiah wrote Lamentations in addition to a book in his own name. Of these 16 prophets, four are considered major by biblical scholars--Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel
Isaiah's writing style is often majestic, soaring and highly visual. A prophet to the southern kingdom before Babylonian captivity, Isaiah proclaimed that the spiritual and social salvation of the Jews is available from God alone.
Jeremiah was intensely emotional and compassionate. He was the last prophet to the decaying southern kingdom and gave up family and friends for the sake of calling Jews back to God.
Ezekiel was taken captive and deported to Babylon. He went further than other prophets in stating that God is eager to forgive all of those who repent, not just Jews.
Daniel and his friends were captured in Judah and exiled in Babylon. When sentenced to death for his beliefs, God protected Daniel once sending an angel to close the mouth of lions. Daniel had visions of the future and wrote predictions about political events of his time and in the life of Christ.
The Books of Poetry and Wisdom
Poetry has been called the purest form of literary expression. Is it any wonder that the Bible, the greatest piece of literature ever written, should contain some of the most magnificent poetry ever written.
The first 17 books of the Old Testament are historical in nature. The last 17 books of the Old Testament are prophetic in nature. Between these two groupings are the five books of poetry and wisdom.
The major themes of the five books of poetry and wisdom are:
Job--suffering and faith;
Psalms--our dependence on God for help, forgiveness, praise, and thanksgiving;
Proverbs--the practical consequences of wisdom and foolishness;
Ecclesiastes--the meaning of life;
Song of Songs--the beauty and power of love.
Back to the story, within a couple of generations, the Babylonians were conquered by the Persians. Miraculously, Cyrus, King of Persia allowed Jews to begin returning to their homeland and gave them permission to rebuild Jerusalem. The ten tribes that formed the northern kingdom never regrouped.
In 445 BC, Nehemiah rebuilt the wall around Jerusalem which is the final historical event in the Old Testament.
However, life in rebuilt Jerusalem wasn't all that different than life in exile as Israel remained a servant state to foreign powers.
It soon became clear that God's first agreement with the Jews was drawing to a close:
God did not send another leader (like Moses), general (like Joshua), judge (like Gideon), or King (like David) to deliver them and make them great again.
Most troubling, God stopped talking to them. He sent no more prophets.
The first agreement (testament) was over. A worrisome silence brooded over the land.
During the 400 year plus gap between the Old Testament and the New Testament, the Jews continued to be under the authority of other empires.
Alexander the Great asserted Greek control of the Jews in Israel in about 300 BC.
By about 50 BC, Israel was part of the Roman Empire. The Jews were miserable under Roman control.
God never forgot his promise to Abraham that his descendant would be a Savior for the entire world.
1 This is the genealogy[a] of Jesus the Messiah[b] the son of David, the son of Abraham:
2 Abraham was the father of Isaac,
Isaac the father of Jacob,
Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,
3 Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar,
Perez the father of Hezron,
Hezron the father of Ram,
4 Ram the father of Amminadab,
Amminadab the father of Nahshon,
Nahshon the father of Salmon,
5 Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab,
Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth,
Obed the father of Jesse,
6 and Jesse the father of King David.
David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife,
7 Solomon the father of Rehoboam,
Rehoboam the father of Abijah,
Abijah the father of Asa,
8 Asa the father of Jehoshaphat,
Jehoshaphat the father of Jehoram,
Jehoram the father of Uzziah,
9 Uzziah the father of Jotham,
Jotham the father of Ahaz,
Ahaz the father of Hezekiah,
10 Hezekiah the father of Manasseh,
Manasseh the father of Amon,
Amon the father of Josiah,
11 and Josiah the father of Jeconiah[c] and his brothers at the time of the exile to Babylon.
12 After the exile to Babylon:
Jeconiah was the father of Shealtiel,
Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel,
13 Zerubbabel the father of Abihud,
Abihud the father of Eliakim,
Eliakim the father of Azor,
14 Azor the father of Zadok,
Zadok the father of Akim,
Akim the father of Elihud,
15 Elihud the father of Eleazar,
Eleazar the father of Matthan,
Matthan the father of Jacob,
16 and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, and Mary was the mother of Jesus who is called the Messiah.
17 Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Messiah.
The genealogy of Jesus is provided in the first chapter of Matthew. There were 14 generations from Abraham to David, 14 generations from David to the exile in Babylon and 14 generations to the Messiah for a total of 42 generations.
"In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you."
An Angel Visits Mary
Jesus is Born
Mary gave birth to Jesus in a manger in the town of Bethlehem. The birth was announced to nearby shepherds by a group of angels and a star appeared that shown so brightly that it was noticed by astronomers in a far eastern land.
The Wise Men from the east who saw the star were familiar with the writings of the Hebrew prophets and knew that a star was the sign of the Messiah. They traveled to Jerusalem and inquired about the birth of the "King of the Jews".
When Herod, ruler of Judea learned the news, he ordered all male baby boys killed. An angel warned Joseph of this and he took Jesus and Mary to Egypt, not to return until after Herod's death.
Public Life of Jesus
Not much is reported about the childhood of Jesus other than the visit He paid to the temple in Jerusalem at the age of 12 when He astounded the teachers there with His knowledge of Jewish law. Most stories about Him in the Bible start when He was 30 years old.
Jesus went to his cousin John the Baptist to be baptized. As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:16-17)
As Jesus attracted large crowds wherever He went but he tried to spend a lot of time with His 12 disciples. The disciples were a group of relatively uneducated working men who were especially close to Jesus. Jesus knew that His disciples would be responsible for carrying His message to the World after He was gone. He spent most of his three-year ministry teaching them what they needed to learn about God's plan for mankind.
Jesus Performs Miracles
The Gospels document 37 miracles that Jesus performed including:
He walked on water.
He gave sight to the blind.
He healed the lame.
He brought back the dead.
He turned water into wine.
He fed multitudes with a few fish and some bread.
Teachings of Jesus
Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Matthew 22:35-40)
Jesus' "Sermon on the Mount" is the longest piece of teaching from Jesus in the New Testament, and has been one of the most widely quoted elements of the Gospels. It includes some of the best known teachings of Jesus such as the Beatitudes, and the Lord's Prayer. The Sermon on the Mount, which is described in Matthew chapters 5-7, contains the central tenets of Christian discipleship.
Jesus Dies for Our Sins
After three years of public ministry, Jesus returned to Jerusalem for what would be the last week of His life. It was the week of Passover and the city was bustling with visitors who were so enthralled with His miraculous abilities. The religious leaders were concerned that Jesus' coronation was imminent so they plotted his death. Jesus gathered His disciples for The Last Supper and tried to explain to them that He was to be crucified.
Later that night after His betrayal by Judas, Jesus was arrested on false charges trumped up by the Pharisees.Through a series of fraudulent trials in the middle of the night, He was sentenced to death. While this was happening, as predicted by Jesus, Peter denied his relationship with Jesus three times. The next day Jesus was crucified on Calvary and within hours was dead.
...and on the third day
Jesus Ascends Into Heaven
Christianity Spreads Around the World
The First Pentecost
As Jesus instructed prior to His Ascension into Heaven, the disciples were waiting in Jerusalem.
When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. (Acts 2:1-4)
At the time, crowd had gathered outside their house. Peter spoke eloquently to them and three thousand converted that day.
Jesus had instructed the disciples to "Go into all the world with My message." Followers of Jesus became known as "Christians" and each local group became known as a "church".
Almost immediately, Christians had to sort through a serious question: Was the salvation of Jesus Christ restricted only to Jews? God revealed in a dream to Peter that neither Gentile nor Jew were to be bound by Jewish traditions. Paul would later teach "Jew and Gentile are the same in this respect. They all have the same Lord, who generously gives his riches to all who ask for them (Romans 10:12)
An incredible realization was now dawning on the church. What had started as a story of God's dealing with one "family"--the Jews, all descendants of Abraham--had now widened again to include all the families of the world.
Paul The Apostle
Opposition to Christianity mounted as the Jewish establishment refused to acknowledge Jesus as the Messiah and it conspired with the Roman government to persecute the Christians.
A Pharisee named Saul dedicated himself to stoning Christians or throwing them in jail. On one of his excursions, he was blinded by a light from Heaven and the voice of Jesus spoke: "Saul, Saul! Why are you persecuting me?... I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting.(Acts 9:4-5)
The experience was enough to make a believer out of Saul. He later changed his name to Paul and became a missionary to bring the message about Jesus to distant cities throughout the Roman Empire. Paul started many churches in those cities. The original Jesus Movement was quickly spreading to the horizons of the known world.
The primary method of distant communication in the 1st century AD was the written letter. Every letter was received with great excitement.
The New Testament contains 21 such letters called "Epistles". Epistles are not biographies of Jesus such as we find in the Gospels or a history of the early growth of the Church as we find in the book of Acts. Instead, they are personal letters written to individuals and churches in cities throughout the Mediterranean region.
The epistles written are named for the groups of people to whom he was writing (e.g. Corinthians, Romans) or an individual (Titus, Timothy). Seven of the other epistles are named after the authors (James, Peter, John and Jude). Hebrews is the only epistle written by an unknown author.
As was noted earlier, Paul started many churches throughout a wide area. The epistles that he wrote provided instruction to the people after he had left a location. Paul was a prolific author writing 13 of the 21 epistles.
The End of the World (As We Know It)
The story of the Bible begins in eternity past and it ends in eternity future.
In the last book of the Bible, the disciple John, old and in exile, wrote about visions he received from God concerning the end of the world. These are symbolic visions of hope and warning.
What should God's people keep in mind about the future:
At a time unknown to any man and when people least expect it, Jesus is going to return to earth from the heavens.
This will be a time of judgment for sins but it is also when those who have had faith in God will enjoy their reward and live with Him in Heaven for eternity.
The end of the world will also be marked by the greatest and last battle between God and Satan. God will prevail and Satan and his demon forces will be conquered forever. Sin and rebellion and death will be no more.
Through Moses, God also gave the Jews detailed rules and regulations for daily life and worship including:
1. Civil and criminal conduct;
2. Health and safety tips;
3. Ceremonies and rituals.
These rules are contained in Leviticus.
Moses and the Promised Land
The First Man
Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden
Satan Tempts Eve
Adam and Eve Defy God
Consequences of Their Sin
Cain Kills Abel
Wickedness Grows Throughout the Earth
Noah Builds an Ark, God Makes a Promise
The First of a Great Nation
God asked Abram to leave his country for a land that He would show him.
Following God's command, at age 75, Abram took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, and the wealth and persons that they had acquired, and traveled to Canaan. To mark their devotion to God they changed their names to Abraham and Sarah.
Isaac and Ishmael
The Jews Arrive in Egypt
A Leader is Born
God Calls Moses
The Ten Commandments
Joshua Captures The Promised Land
Return From Exile
God Fulfills Promise to Abraham
A similar genealogy tracing through Mary's ancestry is found in Luke chapter 3. Both Joseph and Mary are descendants of David and Abraham.
Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.""
Each of the four gospels tell the story of Jesus starting with His birth. Luke writes...
After eating, Jesus asked Peter three times whether Peter loved Him and each time Peter said yes. Jesus instructed Peter to "feed his sheep" thus publicly reestablishing their relationship and Peter's position as the leader of the church following Peter's three-time denial of Jesus prior to the Crucifixion.
Restoration of Peter
During the time following His Resurrection, Jesus appeared to the disciples who had gone fishing and caught nothing. When he directed them where to cast their net, they caught a multitude of fish.
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.” (Acts 1:3-11)
Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
New Heaven and New Earth
He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. (Revelation 21:1-7)