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1MY DEAR THEOPHILUS, in my first book I gave you some account of all that Jesus began to do and teach

2until the time of his ascension. Before he ascended he gave his instructions, through the Holy Spirit, to the messengers of his choice.

3For after his suffering he showed himself alive to them in many convincing ways, and appeared to them repeatedly over a period of forty days talking with them about the affairs of the kingdom of God.

4On one occasion, while he was eating a meal with them, he emphasized that they were not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for the Father's promise. "You have already heard me speak about this," he said,

5"for John used to baptize with water, but before many days are passed you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit."

6This naturally brought them all together, and they asked him, "Lord, is this the time when you are going to restore the kingdom to Israel?"

7To this he replied, "You cannot know times and dates which have been fixed by the Father's sole authority.

8But you are to be given power when the Holy Spirit has come to you. You will be witnesses to me, not only in Jerusalem, not only throughout Judaea, not only in Samaria, but to the very ends of the earth."

9When he had said these words he was lifted up before their eyes till a cloud hid him from their sight.

10While they were still gazing up into the sky as he went, suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them

11and said, "Men of Galilee, why are you standing here looking up into the sky? This very Jesus who has been taken up from you into Heaven will come back in just the same way as you have seen him go."

12At this they returned to Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives which is near the city, only a sabbath day's journey away.

13On entering Jerusalem they went straight to the upstairs room where they had been staying. There were Peter, John, James, Andrew, Philip, Thomas, Bartholomew, Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, Simon the Nationalist, and Judas the son of James.

14By common consent all these men, together with the women who had followed Jesus, Mary his mother, as well as his brothers, devoted themselves to prayer.

15It was during this period that Peter stood up among the brothersthere were about a hundred and twenty present at the timeand said,

16"My brothers, the prophecy of scripture given through the Holy Spirit by the lips of David concerning Judas was bound to come true. He was the man who acted as guide to those who arrested Jesus,

17though he was one of our number and he had a share in this ministry of ours."

18(This man had bought a piece of land with the price of his treachery, but his body swelled up and ruptured, so that his intestines poured out.

19This fact became well known to all the residents of Jerusalem so that the piece of land came to be called in their, language Akeldama, which means Field of Blood.)

20"Now it is written in the book of psalms of such a man: Let his habitation be made desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his office let another take.

21"It becomes necessary then that whoever joins us must be someone who has been in our company during the whole time that the Lord Jesus lived his life with us

22from the beginning when John baptized him until the day when he was taken up from us. This man must be an eyewitness with us to the resurrection of Jesus."

23Two men were put forward, Joseph called Barsabas who was also called Justus, and Matthias.

24Then they prayed, "Thou Lord, who knowest the hearts of all men, show us which of these two thou hast chosen

25to accept the ministry of an apostle which Judas forfeited to go where he belonged."

26Then they drew lots for these men, and the lot fell to Matthias, and thereafter he was considered equally an apostle with the eleven.

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