Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 February 2019 Joel 2:28.

Joel 2:28.   ​And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.
 
And after the snow and the freezing cold, come the rain and the flood! Yeh friends, flood warnings have been issued in these parts for the next couple days due to the quickly melting snow and the rain accompanying it. As they say, when it’s not one thing, it’s another! 

But that’s just life, and we have to roll with the punches, and as believers in Christ we are better prepared to do that than most of the population, so there should be no cause for overly serious concern.

Nonetheless, we’re only human and still liable to fall prey to the deceitful whispers of the enemy, which means we’re somewhat less than up to scratch this wet and rainy Monday morning. (smile) But it’s all good, for we have just the right pick-me-up to solve your problem; that’s our Monday Morning Battle Hymn; antidote of much repute! 

So without further ado, let’s get seriously, but humbly and confidently communicating with the Father. As one body now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

There you go friends, matter fixed! We’re bright and bubbly now as the Holy Spirit works in us to put a smile on our faces, strength and confidence in our hearts and souls and have us excited to go out now and work for Jesus! Wow! What a transformation can take place when the Spirit of the Lord God Jehovah goes to work in His children! There’s nothing else like it in this whole wide world! 

And that points us to God’s promise of that future event through the prophet Joel: ‘And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.’ 

And then Joel goes on to prophesy about the things that will go on during the Great Tribulation and the establishment of the earthly Davidic millennial kingdom that follows the events of the Great Tribulation. However, we’re only interested here in the pouring out of the Holy Spirit upon all flesh, and we all know that happened on the miraculous Day of Pentecost! 

What a majestic showing that was mih people! Nobody can put on a show like our omnipotent God nuh! Can you imagine sitting down in that room with the disciples, and all of a sudden you hear this sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind which then proceeded to fill the whole house? (Acts 2:2) I know they were all waiting for and anticipating the coming of the Holy Spirit as Jesus promised, but I doubt that they were expecting it to be so such a heart-stopping event. 

And the mighty rushing wind wasn’t all, for as the Good Book tells it: ‘And there appeared unto them cloven (divided) tongues like as of fire. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.’ (Acts 2:3-4) 

And can you imagine the confusion when these uneducated men from the surrounding area came out and began speaking in the languages of the different Jews who had come to Jerusalem for the big feast? They were all amazed, some even claimed that they were drunk: ‘Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.’ (Acts 2:13) 

But that’s when Peter gave his great speech: ‘ But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said, unto them, Ye men of Judea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day (9.am). But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;’ (Acts 2:14-16) And then he goes on to specify the words of our Bit and the rest of Joel’s prophecy.  

So you see friends, it’s not wise to write off any of God’s promises, especially if He doesn’t give a definite time frame, for remember His thoughts and ways and times are not like ours, so some of those promises could be earmarked for hundreds of years later, like that of the pouring out of the Holy Spirit upon all believers. 

Now I sincerely hope we have all been encouraged some this Monday morning, and that our faith has also been strengthened by this review of one of God’s great promises! So please hang in there and don’t ever give up, even when things seem like they can’t get any worse, because they can always get better when our hope and trust and faith are safely placed in our Triune God! Much LOVE!

…logic dictates…that when you’re at the bottom…the only place left to go is up…and Jesus can…and will reach down and pull you up… 

P.S. I’m chuckling here as I just realized that I passed the test, and thus have a testimony! Hear it nuh. The ole fella had a rough night, and so was one of those in the not up to scratch group today, (smile) and was really struggling to write the Bit. But I hung in, didn’t give up, and yuh see how Jesus eventually reached down and pulled me up out of the mire and helped me to write something sensible. (smile) Bless His holy name and His faithfulness! That means He can and will do the same for you too. Much LOVE!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 March 2018 Psalm 148:5

Psalm 148:5.    Let them praise the name of the Lord: for he commanded and they were created.

Seven days have passed friends, since we last visited the Lord’s sanctuary to refresh our souls and spirits. That means we are due for a refuelling today. 

So let’s all come together, gather in the Lord’s house and fellowship with enthusiasm, hope, faith, praise and worship, while He replenishes, with His word and spiritual touch, the faith we’ve used up this past week. That will enable us to go back out and work diligently and sincerely on His behalf, with a full tank of joy, LOVE, confidence, persistence and peace. 

And all of God’s children declared a loud and thankful: ‘Glory to God for His LOVING-kindness to the undeserving children of men!’ And how right we are, to give God the glory for all the magnanimous and magnificent things He’s done for us. 

Now, as always, let’s begin our praise and worship with a favourite old hymn titled ‘All things bright and beautiful.’ It was written by Cecil F. Alexander around 1848. And does it ever celebrate the Lord and His creations in nature. So let’s belt it our now through lips lined with sacrificial praise and hearts filled with enormous LOVE and gratitude to our Maker. 

‘(Refrain: All things bright and beautiful, All creatures great and small, All things wise and wonderful: The Lord God made them all.) Each little flow’r that opens, Each little bird that sings, He made their glowing colors, He made their tiny wings. (Refrain) 

The purple-headed mountains, The river running by, The sunset and the morning That brightens up the sky.(Refrain) 

The cold wind in the winter, The pleasant summer sun, The ripe fruits in the garden, He made them every one. (Refrain) The tall trees in the greenwood, The meadows where we play, The rushes by the water, To gather every day.(Refrain) 

He gave us eyes to see them, And lips that we might tell How great is God Almighty, Who has made all things well. All things bright and beautiful, All creatures great and small, All things wise and wonderful: The Lord God made them all.’

Yeh friends, ALL the beauty we enjoy in nature was made by our heavenly Father, for our enjoyment. Unfortunately though, many of us, including Christians, don’t seem to appreciate the wonder and beauty of nature. 

What can be more beautiful than a golden sunset; a full moon in full glow while stars sprinkle the night sky, or birds singing sweet songs of thanks in the early morning hours as they rise and give praise to their creator. 

Chuh! But we, the most important of God’s creation find it difficult, or even impossible to thank Him for His fatherly goodness and the beauty He’s created to enliven our earthly lives. 

Now we’re going to spend the rest of this message giving Him some of the praise He so worthily deserves. And we’ll begin with Psalm 148 – All creation to praise the Lord – from which our Bit is taken. ‘Praise ye the Lord (sing Hallelujah): Praise ye the Lord from the heavens: praise him in the heights. 

Praise ye him, all his angels: praise ye him, all his hosts. Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise him, all ye stars of light. Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens. Let them praise the name of the Lord: for he commanded, and they were created.’ (Ps.148:1-5) 

And that’s the gospel truth my brethren! The Lord commanded everything to be made that was made! Therefore everything that was made, especially man, ought to be constantly singing His praises and admiring His handiwork. And He even went a step further than just creating them: ‘He hath also stablished (established) them for ever and ever: he hath made a decree which shall never pass.’ (Ps.148:6) Glory to God friends! 

Nothing God has made shall pass away unless He wills it. Therefore ‘Praise the Lord from the earth, ye dragons, and all deeps (sea creatures): Fire, and hail; snow, and vapour; stormy wind fulfilling his word: Mountains, and all hills; fruitful trees, and all cedars: 

Beasts, and all cattle; creeping things, and flying fowl: Kings of the earth, and all people; princes, and all judges of the earth: Both young men, and maidens; old men, and children: Let them praise the name of the Lord: for his name alone is excellent (exalted); his glory is above the earth and heaven. 

He also exalteth the horn (strength) of his people, the praise of all of his saints; even of the children of Israel, a people near unto him. Praise ye the Lord (sing Hallelujah)’ (Ps.148:7-14) 

Oh my people, how awesome is our God eh! I can’t understand why we refuse to exalt and glorify Him the way we should. But this Sunday morning, as we gather to worship Him, let’s begin changing that nuh. Let’s raise up our voices and our hearts in gratitude and tenderness and LOVE and exaltation, so that He can know that we truly appreciate Him and bring a beautiful smile to His face and a glow of warmth to His heart! Much LOVE!

…by the word of the Lord…were the heavens made…and all the hosts of them…by the breath of his mouth… (Ps.33:6)

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 May 2016 Joel 2:28.‏‏

Joel 2:28.   And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.

Oh my, my, friends, another glorious day is in the offing, and we’re alive to tell the tale! Mama Mia! 

How blessed we are, that our great God chose us to see another day of earthly pilgrimage! Give Him plenty thanks and praise for His goodness and LOVING-kindness to us nuh, for He certainly deserves it. 

I don’t know about you all, but I certainly look forward to each new day, that I know will be brim full of wonderful mercies, blessings and oodles of unimaginable opportunities to LOVE others, to do good, and to be obedient to His holy will. Glory to God! 

Ohhh, what a magnificent God we serve and worship my people! 

And since today is Wednesday, let’s wail our grateful and sincere Wednesday Wail. As one wailer now (smile): ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And as fine, upstanding Christians, that is exactly what we are expected to do my brethren; be glad to be alive, have our hands strong and steadfast on the plough, looking straight ahead to the glorious future that’s promised with Christ! 

And what a future that is going to be my fellow believers! I don’t think we can really imagine or contemplate it nuh with our small, finite minds. But believe me, it’s going to be extraordinary, just like everything with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is extraordinary! 

All praise and glory be to our wonderful Redeemer! 

Now let’s continue with our Bit, which was prophesied by the prophet Joel long before that momentous day of Pentecost. ‘And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.’ 

And with the universal launching of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost Day, that aspect of Joel’s prophecy was fulfilled. And we’ll also continue looking at Simon Peter’s great sermon on that fateful day of Pentecost. We stopped yesterday where he had explained to his listeners about the crucifixion, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ. 

And after that, the Good Book declares thus: ‘Now when they had heard this, they were pricked in (cut to) their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren what shall we do? 

Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission (forgiveness) of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord shall call. 

And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward (crooked) generation.’ (Acts 2:37-40) 

Wow mih people! Peter certainly had the Holy Spirit moving and a grooving in him that day! 

And oh so many of us today deserve to hear that sermon, because too many of us have been separated from God, and will be left on the outside looking in when the day of judgement is fulfilled, unless we repent and accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. 

And as I keep reminding us, the worse thing that can ever happen to a human being is to be eternally separated from Almighty God when the roll is called up yonder! 

Now some of us might wonder what happened on that Day of Pentecost after Peter gave his great speech. Listen to the Good Book tell it: ‘Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added about three thousand souls. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.’ (Acts 2:41-42) 

Ah friends, what a feast of souls was laid out before God that day! 

Hn! Just wish nowadays that we can get three hundred, or even thirty, or some days even three. But getting people to turn to God in these sad times, when they truly need Hi most, is becoming more difficult every day because of the enemy’s stranglehold on the world, and our less than satisfactory behaviour as true Christians. 

Now here is some info from the scholars re the Apostles’ doctrine. ‘2:42. The word doctrine derives from the Latin term for teaching and refers to the content that was taught in the New Testament. The proper teaching of Scripture was called “the apostles’ doctrine,” meaning that which the apostles’ taught. 

This contrasted with erroneous teaching called “doctrines of devils” (1 Tim.4:1), meaning that teaching whose source is not God but the messengers of Satan, whose desire is to substitute false religion for Christianity (2 Cor.11:13-15). 

Illustration: The apostles’ doctrine was true, not because an apostle taught it, but because it was consistent with the Scriptures. The Bereans examined the teaching of Paul in light of the Scriptures before accepting it (17:11). Also, the church at Ephesus examined some who called themselves apostles and found them liars (Rev.2:2). 

Application: A Christian should attempt to understand and believe true doctrine, while rejecting all that disagrees with the Word of God (1 John 4:1). (First Ref. Acts 2:42: cf. Titus 3:10).’ 

Now friends, those are very important distinctions, that’s why I am always admonishing us to read the scriptures for ourselves, because that’s the only way we can know if what is being preached or taught to us is truly God’s Word. 

So please, please try and read even a little of the Word each and every day, so that your knowledge of it can be steadily improved and you will better know how to pick sense from nonsense. (smile) 

So until tomorrow, God in favour, let’s get with the Word nuh friends. And may the Good Lord bless and keep us and help us to walk safely and kindly on this our earthly pilgrimage! Much LOVE!

…if you’re not aware of what the Word says…then you’ll fall for any and every thing…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 May 2016 Joel 2:28.‏

Joel 2:28.   And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.

Welcome to another brand new day in the life friends! It means that God still has great plans for us to accomplish, other wise He would have taken us home. 

Now we got through Monday with a smile, so Tuesday should be even easier, especially when it abounds with new mercies and blessings from our wonderful Father in heaven. 

And even if the physical state of your day is rainy, or cloudy like mine, just remember that that physical aspect doesn’t really matter that much, because we ALWAYS have the brilliant spiritual light of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ shining in our hearts. Glory to God! 

And since today is Tuesday, let’s declare our Tuesday Mantra with plenty verve, sincerity and truth. All together now: ‘I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen.’ 

And that’s the gospel truth my people! What the world says and does, doesn’t define us. We are the beloved children of God! That’s who we are. And NOBODY can take that from us! 

Please remember that. Let’s write it indelibly in our hearts, souls, minds and bodies. We are the beloved children of God! Never forget it! 

But please remember too that those great privileges – a child of God, and a friend of Jesus – also carry a great responsibility; sharing Christ’s LOVE with the world. We cannot be true believers or faithful Christians until and unless we are doing that. 

Oh I know I’m preaching to the choir, (smile) but sometimes even the choir needs preaching to. Now let’s get to our Bit. ‘And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.’ 

Yes friends, we’re continuing with the Pentecost story, another great day in the annals of Christianity! Yesterday we began looking at Simon Peter’s great sermon on that most momentous day, and we’ll continue with the same today. 

After quoting the prophecy of Joel and tying it into the Pentecost situation, he then declared: ‘Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of (attested by) God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know. 

Him being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken and by wicked (lawless) hands have crucified and slain: Whom God hath raised up having loosed (destroyed) the pains (birth pangs) of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of (held by) it.’ (Acts 2:22-24) 

Hey people, just imagine Peter pontificating to that crowd nuh. Then he went on to quote Bruh David from Psalm 16:8-11, where he talks about the Lord not leaving his soul or Jesus’ in hell. 

‘Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulcher (tomb) is with us unto this day. Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne (Ps.132:11); 

He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell (Hades) neither his flesh did see corruption (Ps.16:10). This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we are all witnesses. 

Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, 

The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, Until I make thy foes thy footstool. (Ps.110:1) Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made the same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.’ (Acts 2:29-36) 

Wow friends, Peter is surely on a roll! Now here are some explanations from the scholars. ‘2:22-36. The main point of Peter’s sermon is to prove that Jesus is both God and the Messiah (v.36). Peter seeks to prove this through Christ’s miraculous works (v.22), His resurrection (vv.23-32), and His sending of the Holy Spirit (vv.33-35).’ 

And some more scholarly explanations: ‘2:27. Hell is the word Hades and does not refer to the eternal lake of fire but to the intermediate state of the Old Testament dead. In the New Testament the term also refers to the grave. Peter states that David’s words of Psalm 16:10 are a prophecy concerning the immediate resurrection of the Messiah, of whom David is a type.’ 

Ah mih people, the Day of Pentecost was indeed a red letter day in the history of Israel, also in the annals of Christianity, marking the true beginning of the body of Christ, His church. 

So please, as we go about our earthly business today, let’s contemplate the miraculous events that took place on that momentous day in Jerusalem, some two thousand years ago, and let’s also contemplate the part that the Holy Spirit has played, is playing and will play in our own lives, for that is indeed the wisdom of heaven! Much LOVE!

…the workhorse of the Holy Trinity…the Holy Spirit…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 May 2016 Joel 2:28.

Joel 2:28.   And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.

Monday, oh Monday! What a wonderful day thou art! No friends, the ole fella isn’t losing his marbles – at least not just yet. 

Monday is a great day. It gets us back into the normal running of our lives and reintroduces us to the outside world, refreshed and renewed. It allows us to socialize with a wide group of people, meet and greet all our friends and fellow workers – those we like and those we’re not so thrilled about. (smile) And above all, it means that we’re working, earning a pay cheque, and supporting our families. 

Now doesn’t that make Monday a great day? I think so. But too many of us look at Monday as a day of inconvenience; meaning we have to get up and go out to work, with all that that entails. But whatever day you have to begin work after a period of rest will pose the same problems. 

If Tuesday was the first day of the work week, we’d still be miserable and complaining. Just look at how we behave when we’re gifted with a long weekend. So, I’d suggest the sooner we begin to like Mondays, or at least not despise them as much, the sooner our lives will improve. End of sermon! (smile) 

Now to tie all of that up and give us the wherewithal we need to get up and get going, let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with plenty gusto and lots of enthusiasm. Hn, hn! 

As one majestic choir now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Now that sounded real good friends! So good that our choirmaster, Jesus, gave us a big smile and a clenched right fist salute in acknowledgement. Glory Be! 

Now all that’s left for us to do is to get ourselves involved in the ongoing battle and give the enemy heck! Kill them with LOVE and kindness! Oh, I know that is very difficult to do with some folks, but that’s what our Leader desires of us. And what our Leader wants, our Leader gets! 

And having only celebrated the day of Pentecost yesterday, when the Holy Spirit was universally introduced, it is indeed important that today we be filled with it and let it control and guide our lives as our Lord and Saviour expects. That means we can’t be wishy washy today my people. 

We have to stand up and be counted in true Christian fashion, like ole Simon Peter stood up on that first day of Pentecost and preached a marvellous sermon, based on our Bit. ‘And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.’ 

Now let’s hear some of what Peter said. ‘But Peter standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: For these are not drunken, as ye suppose , seeing as it is but the third hour of the day. But this is that day which was spoken by the prophet Joel…’ (Acts 2:14-16)  And then he went on to quote Joel 2:28-32, which includes our Bit. (Acts 2:17-21) 

And the scholars offer this important warning re Peter’s sermon. ‘2:16-21. Peter does not say that Pentecost is the fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy concerning the last days (Rev.6:12). Peter does not see a celestial cataclysm (vv.19-20). Yet it is that of which Joel speaks, because it is the beginning of that fulfillment. 

Peter did not see the Spirit coming upon all people, but he did see Him coming upon 120 (those in the room with him).  It was the beginning, but surely not the complete fulfillment. Peter understood, as we should, that the last days had already begun, even with the birth of Christ (Heb.1:2; 1 Pet.1:20).’ 

Yes friends, we are indeed in the last days, but the last days as God sees them; meaning that they are stretched out over a long period of time in our reckoning, but in His it’s not that long. And we’ll end there for today, because the rest of stuff I have to share will make it much too long. And I always have our short attention spans in mind. (smile) 

So my brethren, until tomorrow, God willing, may He bless and keep us all, grant us His peace that passes all understanding, and help us to stand strong in faith and do good works in obedience to His will. Much LOVE!

…who is the one that teaches us what to say…the Holy Spirit…who is the one that guides our way…the Holy Spirit…He is the one that makes our day…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 May 2016 Joel 2:28

Joel 2:28.   And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.

And then it was the first day of the week – Sunday – the Lord’s Day…Glory Hallelujah! That means it’s time to get our weekly God-fix! And that’s meant in a positive manner.  It’s time to hie thee to the Lord’s sanctuary and raise the roof, or if it’s outdoors raise heaven’s roof, with songs of praise and worship, of adoration and awe and reverence to our wonderful Creator! 

And the good thing about all that is that it’s not a one way street. In return we will receive God’s peace and confidence, His encouragement and assurance, His strength and steadfastness so that we can successfully face the workday world for another week. 

And all God’s children gave out a delightful and grateful shout of ‘All praise and thanks be to our awesome God, who was, who is, and who always will be! Bless His holy name! Amen.’ 

And friends, today is a special day in the life of believers; it spells the formal beginning of Christ’s church; it’s the day of Pentecost, when the beginning of God’s promise in our Bit was fulfilled. ‘And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.’  

Before this, the Spirit of God worked from the outside, came upon believers individually, temporarily, often to perform some special work. But after that, the Lord’s Spirit was going to work internally, in a permanent manner. It would come upon each and every believer and dwell within them as soon as they believed; accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour. 

And that promise from Joel was also renewed by Jesus just before His ascension, when He told the disciples: ‘And, behold I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry (stay) ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.’ (Luke 24:49) 

And the scholars explain that verse thus: ‘24:49. Here is the source of strength for effective evangelism. The promise of my Father stresses that the Spirit’s coming is not an afterthought, but an integral part of God’s eternal will. Endued conveys the picture of one being clothed with God’s enablement. Waiting is part of necessary preparation for the reception of God’s guidance and sanction.’  

And that is exactly what the disciples did; they waited in Jerusalem until they were clothed with God’s Holy Spirit, His enablement!  

Now listen to Luke describe the Day of Pentecost: ‘And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord (purpose or mind) in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.  

And there appeared unto them cloven (divided) tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.’ (Acts 2:1-4) 

Oh how great is our God, my brethren! For as Jesus also told the disciples before His ascension: ‘For John truly baptized with water, but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.’ (Acts 1:5) And so said, so done! 

Now let me see if I can paraphrase an important distinction made here by the scholars. ‘2:4. Though verse 4 mentions only the filling with the Spirit, both the filling and the baptism occurred. Christ promised that the baptism would occur (1:4-5) and Peter later affirms that it did happen at Pentecost (11:15-16). 

The filling and the baptism are two different works performed by the Holy Spirit. Note their contrasts: (1) Following Pentecost every believer receives the baptism of the Spirit (1 Cor.12:13); hence the New Testament never commands the Christian to receive it. But the filling of the Spirit is not experienced by all believers, and so is commanded (Eph.5:18). 

(2) The baptism is permanent, happening but once and for all. The filling is ongoing, occurring continuously as seen in the present tense imperative of Ephesians 5:18, that is, “Keep on being filled.” The verse commands: “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess (riotousness): but be filled with the Spirit.” 

The filling of the Spirit is the controlling influence of the Spirit within the believer. Such control is neither universal or unending, thus it must be commanded and does recur within the believers (cf.4:8,31) The baptism is the act by which Jesus, through the Spirit, at conversion brings the believer into relation with Himself and makes the believer part of God’s people, the church. The filling is the continuous experience within the Christian whereby the Spirit, who already indwells him, keeps control over his life.’ 

Ah mih people, I know that sounds somewhat confusing, but if you take your time and read it, you will eventually understand what it’s all about.  (smile) 

And we’ll conclude with some of what happened after the Holy Spirit came upon the early church. ‘And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad (this sound occurred), the multitude came together and were confounded (confused) because every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galileans? 

And how hear we every man in our own tongue (language or dialect), wherein we were born… Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God. And they were all amazed, and were in doubt (perplexed), saying one to another, What meaneth this? Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.’ (Acts 2:5-8, 11-12) 

Oh my fellow believers, that must have been a rather tumultuous day in ole Jerusalem! When you hear a bunch of uneducated Galileans speaking about God in your own language, it must give you pause for wonder. And you can’t blame those who thought that the Christians were somewhat inebriated either.  

So today, please, let’s sit and ponder what the Holy Spirit has done, is doing and has promised to do in our lives. And above all let’s try and keep our souls continually filled with Him, and thus let Him control us, for that is the epitome of wisdom! Have a blessed day of Pentecost! Much LOVE!

…what’s there to control and baptize us and keep us filled with Christ…the Holy Spirit…