Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Pentacost (Acts 2:1-21, John 21:17, Revelation 6:9-11, Mark 13:32-37)

"My idea of a blood moon"
Just a Photoshop'd version

© Karen Kyle Ericson, all rights reserved.

I've never seen a true "Blood Moon."  So I thought this might be what it would look like.  It is a bit scary.

I was reading this chapter in Acts and realized there's some pretty interesting stuff happening right now.  The 21 Christian martyrs shot by terrorists were from Assyria.  If you remember the story of Jonah, he was sent to Assyria to prophesy for God.  But he hated the Assyrians so much he didn't want to go and ran in the other direction. After a few uh challenges with God he finally went and reluctantly, painfully, did his job.  The Assyrians repented and worshipped Yahweh, our God.  But it was before Christ.  Somehow the Assyrians converted to Christianity.  

There was a statue created about Jonah in this region.  Jesus called Peter "son of Jonah." Remember the name, "Simon, Son of Jonah?"
17 He said to him the third time, 
Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?”
And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You."
(John 21:17 NKJV)
This was after he had denied Jesus 3 times.  It kept bugging me that they were Assyrian Christians.  Then I remembered Jonah, Jesus and Peter.  I believe the Apostle Peter was the disciple that may have led these people to Christ!  It's a small world isn't it?  It's like God is giving us some encouragement today about the truth in the Bible.  He hasn't forgotten His Word.  

There's something else that seems to fit with all this from Revelation:  
9 When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. 10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” 11 Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.
(Revelation 6:9-11 NKJV)
Ok then there's this interesting turn of events as well.  We've been experiencing what's called, "Tetrads,"  It's where there is a complete eclipse and the moon turns blood red.  It's known as a "Blood Moon."  When this happens Israel is usually blessed.  The Blood Moon is mentioned in verse 20 of this chapter.  In the year, 2015, there will be a blood moon on April 14 and October 8.  It will be interesting to see what happens if anything : )

So here we are in Acts.  This is Pentacost.

Acts Chapter 2

God wasn't finished after the Upper Room.

1 When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

5 And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. 6 And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language. 7 Then they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, “Look, are not all these who speak Galileans? 8 And how is it that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born? 9 Parthians and Medes and Elamites, those dwelling in Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya adjoining Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretans and Arabs—we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God.” 12 So they were all amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “Whatever could this mean?”
13 Others mocking said, “They are full of new wine.”

This is what is known as, "Speaking in Tongues."  It is a gift of the Holy Spirit in the Bible it's the least of the gifts.  Some people believe that prayer in tongues is sacred.  It's a language that only God knows.  I tend to be more conservative.  I've put my foot in my mouth so many times I have no desire to pray and do the same!  I tend to believe this gift was meant for us to be able to communicate with people who don't speak our language.  Like the people in verses 5-10 above.  There are some great missionary stories of being able to speak to natives in foreign countries with no training.

14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words. 15 For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. 

16 But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:
17 ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God,
That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh;
Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
Your young men shall see visions,
Your old men shall dream dreams.
18 And on My menservants and on My maidservants
I will pour out My Spirit in those days;
And they shall prophesy.
19 I will show wonders in heaven above
And signs in the earth beneath:
Blood and fire and vapor of smoke.
20 The sun shall be turned into darkness,
And the moon into blood, (happening this year)
Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.

21 And it shall come to pass
That whoever calls on the name of the Lord
Shall be saved.

We don't know when Jesus will return.  The Mothers of the Martyrs were very happy to know their sons could be a part of God's plan.  None the less it's still sad, and scarey.  God promised to provide all of our needs.
32 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33 Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is. 34 It is like a man going to a far country, who left his house and gave authority to his servants, and to each his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to watch. 35 Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming—in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning— 36 lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. 37 And what I say to you, I say to all:  Watch!"
(Mark 13:32-37 NKJV)
 (Acts 2:1-21 NKJV)

Dear Heavenly Father,
I lift up those in the middle east who are being tortured as a form of terrorist sport.  I pray You will bring peace.  I pray You will step into the center of this situation and make it stop.  Confuse the bad guys and open their eyes to what they have become.  Help the middle east find it's way to stop all the craziness.  Please bless the nations with good things.  Restore the joy of our salvation and renew a right spirit within.  We are so looking forward to Your return when there will be no more evil and bloodlust in the world.  I pray for wisdom in the USA as we select a new President.  Help us make a good choice that would please You and bring us back to being America land of the free, home of the brave.

Our Father in heaven,
Reveal who you are.
10 Set the world right;
Do what's best––
  as above, so below.
11 Keep us alive with three square meals.
12 Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.
13 Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil.
You're in charge!
You can do anything you want!
You're ablaze in beauty!
  Yes. Yes. Yes.
(Matthew 6:9-13 Message)

In Jesus' Name I pray, Amen 

 This fun song is from Lauren Daigle
Lauren Daigle, How can it be (link)

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