Acts 3:1-18 Look on us! In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up!
1 Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour. (3 p.m.). 2 And a certain man lame from his mother's womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple; 3 who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked for alms.
4 And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us. 5 And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them. 6 Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but what I have give: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. 7 And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. 8 And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God. 9 And all the people saw him walking and praising God: 10 and they knew that it was he who sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple: and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him. 11 And as the lame man which was healed, held Peter and John, all the people ran together unto them in the porch that is called Solomon's, greatly wondering. 12 And when Peter saw it, he answered unto the people, you men of Israel, why marvel you at this? Why look you so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk?
13 The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom you delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go. 14 But you denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted you; 15 and killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses.
16“And on the basis of faith in His name, it is the name of Jesus which has strengthened this man whom you see and know; and the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect health in the presence of you all.
17“And now, brethren, I know that you acted in ignorance, just as your rulers did also. 18“But the things which God announced beforehand by the mouth of all the prophets, that His Christ would suffer, He has thus fulfilled. (Therefore repent and turn to the Lord).
In 1971 we started Solomon’s Porch Coffee House on York Road in Baltimore near Woodbourne Avenue. We converted an old barber shop, hair salon into a chapel, emergency sleeping quarters, a gathering hall/classroom and downstairs we had a stage and seating for weekly music, drama, teaching and preaching. Our activities included a soup kitchen for the children in the neighborhood and some moms and dads. We had after school Sunday school every day for the kids to have a place to hang out. It was not the safest neighborhood. Our staff was made up of volunteers who came to us from various ‘Christian’ cults who needed a place to recover. In fact one cult actually rented the building next door to us thinking they could recruit from those finding sanctuary at Solomon’s Porch. We also went out street witnessing on 5 of the area college campuses sitting and talking with students, having coffee and giving out free copies of the Gospel of John. On Friday nights we used the converted basement (about 75 feet long and about 15 feet wide) with a humble stage to share the Good News by any creative means people came up with.
One night we went witnessing and we came upon a young man high as a kite. I started sharing the Gospel with him and try as he might he couldn’t focus on what I was saying. I got right to the point, “Would you like to ask Jesus into your heart to be your Lord and Savior?” He stumbled backwards and said, “Man when I look into your eyes I can see eternity!” The others with me prayed with me for this young man. When we did he became instantly sober and he accepted Jesus and we gave him a Gospel of John. In Chapter 3, we read about the same John that wrote the Gospel we gave out who went to Solomon’s Porch with Peter.
There was always something happening. This was the scenario in Jerusalem. The Temple and Solomon’s Porch was the “downtown” hangout of the day. The lame man was a part of the permanent fixtures of the pillars, porch and entrance. The gate where his helpers set him down was called “Beautiful”. Keep in mind Jesus had just risen from the dead and ascended to the Father just a few months ago and the miracle of Pentecost had occurred perhaps within a few weeks of this event.
CommunionFire has taught us that, from Emmaus, when you receive the bread that Jesus blesses and breaks and gives to you – the Holy Spirit opens your eyes and you recognize Jesus. 7 miles of Bible study and talking with Jesus could not give them the vision they needed to see and recognize Jesus in His glorified body! When your eyes are open and you do recognize Jesus in Communion something happens. When Jesus blesses the bread and the wine something happens to it. When it does, super natural events become common place.
So this man, lame from birth, who everyone knew and supported when going to Temple with loose change, asked for ‘coinage’ from Peter and John. Peter and John, being in the Spirit and led by the Spirit because they were fed in the Spirit with bread and wine from heaven “fastened their eyes upon him” and said, “Look on us”! Peter declared, “We don’t have silver or gold but what we do have we will give to you. In the name of Jesus of Nazareth, rise up and walk!” What did the lame man see when he looked upon Peter and John. He saw Jesus looking at him. When he saw Jesus strength went into him so that he could stand up and walk! Peter and John had been with Jesus. The lame man could tell because the goodness and mercy of the Lord overflowed from them onto and into the lame man. Christ in Peter and John touched the lame man through his vision. When Peter said “Look upon us” he was saying in effect let the eyes of your spirit be opened so that you can see who we see every day in Communion. When the lame man saw Jesus the miracle happened. I came alive and rose up the same way Jesus rose up from the dead. He not only rose up he started standing, walking, leaping and praising God! He was instantly and miraculously made whole with one look at Jesus. One limpse from the Son of God will change your life!
The crowds gathered and they were amazed because everyone knew this guy was lame from birth. Peter said in effect, “Why are you so amazed? You think that we did this miracle? Nope. That same Jesus that you judged, tortured, mocked, shamed and killed wants you to know how much He loves you. He did this miracle to let you know He came to save sinners not condemn them.” Peter’s preaching was so anointed and powerful because he spoke not only as a first-hand witness but as a friend of Jesus who he meets with everyday. Peter and John gathered and Jesus was with them. When the lame man looked up, he saw Jesus and Peter, knowing from the Spirit to do so, lifted the man to his feet and the Lord took it from there.
CommunionFire will bring you to your feet. Some will experience healing and some deliverance. Some will be blessed in very special ways but all who encounter the Lord at His Table will receive life, the promise of eternal life and assurance that Jesus will “raise you up on the last day”! Just like the lame man! Are you lame? Do you need to sit down at the Table the Lord has already prepared for you? One morsel of the bread from His Body and one sip from the wine of His shed blood will become a feast of healing and a river of life.
I could go on and on and I already have! The peace of the Lord Jesus be with you now and forever. The Table is set, come and dine on eternal life.
Acts 3:19-26 “SPOKEN OF BY ALL THE HOLY PROPHETS SINCE TIME BEGAN”
~ Apostles Peter & John at the Temple in Jerusalem
The Miracle led the Jewish crowds to see Jesus alive in the midst of the disciples. He had walked their streets and now He was seen among them. His ministry continued through them. He was fulfilling his ministry to the Jew first at the entryway of the Temple. Then He would go to the Gentiles. In the last days He would return to Israel to remove the scales from their eyes as He did with Rabbi Kaduri.
Repent therefore and be converted, for the blotting out of your sins, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, 20 and he may send Jesus Christ, who was foreordained for you, 21 whom heaven indeed must receive till times of the restoring of all things, of which God has spoken by the mouth of his holy prophets since time began. 22 Moses indeed said, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up to you out of your brethren like me: him shall ye hear in everything whatsoever he shall say to you. 23 And it shall be that whatsoever soul shall not hear that prophet shall be destroyed from among the people. 24 And indeed all the prophets from Samuel and those in succession after him, as many as have spoken, have announced also these days. 25 You are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant which God appointed to our fathers, saying to Abraham, And in your seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. 26 To you first God, having raised up his servant, has sent him, blessing you in turning each one of you from your wickedness.
(See Hosea 6:1-6 as well)
Let us remember that Jesus came first to serve the Good News to the House of Israel. He spent 3 and a half years preaching, teaching, story-telling, doing miracles and then suffering to the point of death at their hands.
Peter is about to disclose how this same Jesus is the one who caused the lame man to stand up, walk and leap. God’s calling card are miracles, signs and wonders. Peter’s preaching goes from Pentecostal powerful to super anointed powerful. He lays out the plan of salvation for all who witnessed the miracle in the Temple and then rolled back their concept of time and space to talk about God’s view of what was foreordained since before time began! “The time of restoring of all things” was happening before their eyes! JESUS came. JESUS conquered. Now JESUS would demonstrate that which all prophets since the beginning of time had spoken about. Moses said JESUS would be born and raised up from within the Jewish community. The “Prophet” that “God would raise up” is JESUS, Yahushua, the Savior and deliverer. Peter said, that Moses said, that You should listen (literally: to hear God's voice which prompts Him to birth faith within) to everything He says to you just as you did to me!
Then Peter repeats a strong warning from Moses that “Anyone who does not listen (literally: to hear God's voice which prompts Him to birth faith within) to Him will be destroyed (wiped out) from among the people.”
He preached at the Temple as the leaping lame man stood next to him, “All the prophets since Samuel announced this day! (Note; even until our day! legendary Rabbi Prophet Yitzhak Kaduri lived to be 108 years old and was visited by Jesus/Yehoshua for the last year of His life.)This is the day they were all prophesying about and still do. You are the sons and daughters of those prophets. JESUS has come to you physically and now He comes to you in Spirit and truth. You are the sons and daughters of the Covenant God made with Abraham saying that in his seed all the families of the earth would be blessed.”
He continued standing at the Gate Beautiful, “He has come to Israel first! To you God “raised up” His servant. (Note His preaching went from Moses calling Jesus the greatest of all prophets to now calling Him ‘servant’.) He sent Him to you to BLESS you – to turn you away from your wickedness! His preaching was powerful, strong and direct. He warned them while in the heat of the glorious miracle they all witnessed first-hand. The goodness and mercy of God had visited the Temple one more time and one more time the invitation was given. Turn from your wickedness and self-righteousness to the loving arms of your Savior JESUS CHRIST. Moses, Abraham and every Prophet spoke of Him. You saw Him with your own eyes and heard Him with your own ears and now you know He is risen from the dead and continues His ministry through those who believe.
The blotting out of sin has more to do with being in position to see Jesus instead of ignoring Him. Ignoring would have its own consequences. He was then looking upon them and us hoping we will see His heart pounding with love for us. When the Spirit is made second fiddle and your attention is diverted to focus on the cloudiness you have by holding onto the law, it brings sin into full view, it’s like blindness. Then the dark clouds of condemnation that sin produces, forges a chain making us slaves to the demands of shame, distrust, guilt, anger and fear. This is what had happened to Israel; to God’s Old Covenant people. The remedy: Repent! This is an interesting word because more is made of it than the righteousness, peace and joy that is waiting for us in the Holy Ghost when we do turn around. The power word is “conversion” or “be converted”. Let me say this another way for clarity.
A victory party is awaiting your company. Behind you is the Cross of Jesus that paid every last penny your sin demanded by the Law. If you are a believer; just say this, “I believe”, if you can or did just say this and you have faith in your heart then you are “a believer”. Repentance is the starting point of conversion. It literally means to ‘turn around and begin anew; not in your own strength but by the strength the Lord gives you. You are turned away from your sin, guilt and life of condemnation to face your golden future. One step in that direction sets your life in the right direction. When you are overcome by the love, goodness and mercy of God and respond to it – that is true repentance. His love conquers you and you yield. His peace covers you and you make it your home. When we encounter the goodness and mercy of the Lord it comes with the option to refuse it or accept it. If you accept it you are ‘a believer’ and as a believer you know first-hand what it means to be blessed.
You know what sinners feed on and the intricacies of a sinful lifestyle because that was your lifestyle before JESUS. You could probably write the book on “The life sin gave to me”. Now you are offered new life free from the power of sin, to be ruled and regulated by the goodness and grace of JESUS. It is so wonderful you bow before him and just quietly say, “Lord, you alone are worthy.”
If you accept it then you have repented. You have turned to Jesus, opened the doorway of your life and asked Him to dine with you. If you deny it you walk away and go back to the slavery of sin, death and hell. Who would walk away?
*Okay – if that part makes sense now we get to the good stuff. This is the mind boggling part of the deal.
Jesus takes over! First off, He says you see your spreadsheet of each sin, the weight of guilt you carry for each one, the debts you owe to God, others and yourself for the consequences each sin produced? Jesus starts out by sitting at your table, knowing his presence makes your mind and heart tilt because of sin overload and Jesus says, “You know what? Let me have that ledger.” Then He crumbles it up and turns to you with eyes that are fierce with forgiveness and reassurance of His authority and says, “All your sins are blotted out because I took them into my own body on the Cross so that you could become the person I intended you to be. You are now sin free and debt free and today you are set free to be the person I created you to be.”
I want you to try and think of your life in a world where there is no more sin of any kind. There is no guilt, shame or condemnation. Everyone is kind, loving and filled with the glory of the Lord. Each one has a glorified body. It is a body that defies natural law and is fully immersed in an eternal reality called the kingdom of God.
There is no more sorrow, mourning, sickness or disease. There is no more drama. This is what was drawing you. The love of Jesus is not like human love. It is a love that reaches every atomic particle and stretches out to the very depths of creation. When it touched you it changes you. The change happens without your effort. The effort is all one sided. Jesus loves us, shares His glory and fills us with the new reality of His eternal, heavenly Kingdom. The impact transforms us until it is His image that is seen in us. In fact it is constantly happening and we are transformed without saying a word about it. His love conquers ALL. When subject to Him, His presence is filled with presents! We can’t open them fast enough because there is so much given and revealed in each gift that we could become mesmerized by just one for a thousand years.
So, this one miracle of the man lame from birth who saw Jesus in the eyes of Peter and John stood up, started leaping and praising God is the manifestation of an eternal God who has eternal love that is so great He sent his Son to take care of anything in your life that would keep you from being able to stand, walk and leap into all the Lord has for you. It disturbed and caught the attention of the crowds. Now they had seen God’s goodness and mercy and the choice is theirs. Open the door or walk away.
A Description of CommunionFire from Peter in his message:
Peter said, “times of refreshing would come from the presence of the Lord!” This phrase applies to all who are believers. All who have opened the door inviting JESUS in are offered the gift of the Holy Spirit as well. When Jesus baptizes us in His Holy Spirit the ‘time of refreshing begins.’ After that the refreshing (revival, restoration, conversion, healing and transformation) continues every time you sit down at the Lord’s Table and you meet with Him.
They had witnessed the power of His love, the magnitude of His goodness and an attitude of mercy that could raise up a lame man, shoot power and strength into legs that had never walked to be able to walk and leap physically and spiritually with praise.
Could there possibly be more? Yes! That was just to get things warmed up.
Peter said times of “refreshing”. In the Greek, the word Peter used, was only used once in all of scripture (anapsuxis pronounced: anapsoozis as if ‘soothing’.) Times of “breathing easy are restored as if breathing fresh air; so as to “complete a process bringing comfort, revival and restoration after times of stress and difficulties.
Refreshing would come from: “The presence of the Lord.” (Literally means that Jesus “Lets His face to be seen spiritually”.
From http://biblehub.com/greek/4383.htm ‘prosopon’ – the countenance, appearance of the Lord. This is precisely what happens when we pause after having a morsel of the blessed bread of His flesh and a sip from the Cup of the New and Everlasting Covenant!
In her 1t Holy Communion, Doctor of the Faith St. Therese of Lisieux said that she saw the Holy face of Jesus which revealed the tenderness of God. She had Communion every day from then on for the rest of her 24 years. She said in Communion she often had ‘glances from Jesus’. He descriptions are very much like what we hear when we gather with others to Do This in Remembrance of Him. We see His face from time to time and He empowers us with an experience that becomes part of our new memory base.
Remember Peter refers to this same ‘every day in Communion’ phenomenon speaking of David’s desire to ‘see His face’. When we see Him He is not who we expect to see. He is kind and gentle and almost always smiling. He is young and filled with child-like passion. He can’t wait to show us what He has prepared for us and to tell us His secrets.
in SEVEN PARTS with Commentary
Acts 2:1-4 Baptized in the Holy Spirit and Heaven’s Fire into the New Reality
1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven like a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared to them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
My first-hand witness that Acts 2:1-4 applies to every believer until Jesus returns: What He does for one he will do for all. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever - He doesn't change. Don't ever alter your personal experiences with the Lord and always do our best to share your experiences with Him accurately.
When I saw Jesus, He placed His hands on my head as I kneeled before Him. I was thinking in English but I was thanking and praising Him in a new heavenly language! It was the language of the Holy Spirit, of the angels and of heaven. It came with the gift of the Holy Spirit given to me by Jesus. I still pray in the heavenly prayer language fluently every day. Paul says when we do, we pray perfectly. Have you ever asked Jesus to baptize you in the Holy Spirit? Need more? We all know John 3:16 but check out Luke 3:16! Jesus is ready to baptize you in the Holy Spirit and fire of tongues to all who will ask Him. This is what we see as the birth of the Church in the Upper room on the Day of Pentecost. For assurance see Luke 11:11-13.
The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is God's provision to experience the 'fire' of Communion! (John 14-17) When we feed on the bread of His flesh and wine of His blood, it is the Holy Spirit that opens our eyes to see the unseen and to hear His voice. We have access into the presence of Jesus by the Holy Spirit.
2 Corinthians 3:18, 4:18, 5:17 and Hebrews 10:17-22
Acts 2:5-16 the Miraculous & the Mockery
Was the Coming of the Holy Spirit related to Communion in the Upper Room?
5 And living there were those in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. 6 Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. 7 And they were all amazed and marveled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galileans? 8 And how do we hear every man in his own tongue, where we were born? (*see map1) 9 Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, 10 Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretans and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God. 12 And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, what does this mean? 13 Others mocking said, these men are full of new wine. 14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: 15 For these are not drunken , as ye suppose , seeing it is but the third hour of the day (9am). 16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;
My Missions teacher at Christ for the Nations, John Garlock, seemed to me to be a bit like what I imagine C.S. Lewis might have been to his students. One of his gems was, "If you want to reach the world with the Gospel go witnessing where the ships come to port!"
How brilliant was the Lord to coordinate Roman and Jewish event days on the calendars to bring people groups together on appointed days. The new tax from Caesar for example used to bring Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem at just the right time! (Bethlehem: The House of bread where the Bread of life would put on flesh, be bundled and placed in a feeding trough - a manger.)
Now, at Pentecost, the sending of the Holy Spirit, promised and explained by Jesus after introducing the New Covenant Meal of Communion in John 13-17, had come and it was a time when there were visitors from virtually every people group and language in that part of the world. How did God get their attention? - They gathered when they saw the upper room as if it was enveloped by wind and fire from heaven. Then they heard 'the locals' praying, praising, preaching and singing simultaneously with no sense of confusion.
It was so outside the box that a few observers heckled the event saying, "They're drunk!" That's all it took for Peter to stand up to the jury and give his witness. In chapter one we learned that Jesus promised "Power to Become Witnesses" of His presence. It happened immediately. Peter preached, "Wow! We are not drunk - no, this is much better than revelry, this is revelation poured out like fire into our hearts from Jesus in heaven. He has put heaven inside us and His Spirit so that we can continue to walk and talk with Him. Jesus is alive inside us by the same power that raised Him from the dead just 50 days ago!
With that the crowd pressed in and the 120 scattered among them sharing their personal witness from group to group as quickly as they were able. That same day another 3,000 believed and the Church was born! Peter said in effect, "Hey! God has been planning this for a long time... Remember what the Prophet Joel said? He preached this in his day telling his world that this this day would come and now it has before your eyes and in your ears!"
Here's a hunch. I'll bet the when the prayer meeting came to the Bread and Wine in the Upper Room - I'll bet that's when they saw the fire and heard and felt the wind of the entrance of the Holy Spirit. He filled all the room where they were sitting and they all drank deeply of the wine of the Holy Spirit. As they partook of the Bread of His Flesh it was broken to become the veil pulled back releasing the wine of His Blood. It poured into all who opened their mouth to drink. When they did, wells of living water sprung up in the lives of 120 believers who could not stop praising the Lord in a heavenly language.
Another miracle was that when they spoke in heaven's language all the thousands of observers who gathered to see this miraculous event heard their own language! They also all heard the same message. This Jesus who was betrayed, tortured, suffered and died conquered sin, hell and death for anyone who would turn to Him from their own life and believe and follow Him. Coming to Him means you believe He did what was required for all your sins to be forgiven, all your shame, guilt and condemnation to be washed away and to have His promise of eternal life!
When they heard this they were astonished and a great sense of awe began to grow among them from moment to moment.
He loved you first. He wants to give you everything He has to share starting with the gift of the Holy Spirit and heaven's language. He invites you to sit down with Him every day to feast on heaven's treasures as He offers them to you one morsel and one sip at a time. The rest of the world will think 'they must be intoxicated' to be that happy!
Acts 2: 17-18 to Prophesy, Have Visions & Dream Dreams
“And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions and your old men shall dream dreams: and on my servants and handmaidens I will pour out My Spirit in those days and they shall prophesy!”
What power changes mortals into visionaries and prophets of the Lord? Joel saw it back in his day. He could "see" the day coming. It begins with Jesus showering all who believe with His gift of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit ignites our spirit with His fire. The evidence is that He enables us immediately with the gift of language. The Holy Spirit teaches us how to speak His language and the language of angels and billions of Christians before us. The Holy Spirit then becomes the revealer of Jesus and the only one who can give us the gift of bringing all things to our remembrance when we respond to Jesus' invitation to "Do this in remembrance of Him." After Salvation and Baptisms it is Daily Communion that opens the way for us to feed on the eternal life of Jesus. That's why our relationship with the Holy Spirit is so vital. He shows us what Jesus wants us to see and He only tells us what Jesus gives Him to say to us.
So the living stones that the Lord uses to build his Kingdom are those who are empowered by the Holy Spirit through Communion, the Eucharist, and the Qurbana.
Ongoing Communion with Jesus is the cause of the new community in the early church to appear to be ‘constantly’ - in a “drunken as you suppose” state of being because: Just mere mortals are provided each day with one morsel and one sip and it is enough!
It is His blessing on it that causes the crumb to multiply as part of an eternal feast with enough left over to share with anyone and everyone. Its how living in the Spirit of the miraculous works. The sip becomes a river of life coursing through our body revealing new blessings of His great salvation at every turn. In our hearts, it creates a fountain springing up and overflowing everywhere we go gently splashing others with the reality of His grace somehow. His goodness and grace spilled from them as it overflowed from their hearts,
He is always giving others room to splash when we are near and they get to take a free test drive. We consume and are consumed. We imbibe and are intoxicated with His love. His blessing comes with a written guarantee on the table of our hearts with the ink of his blood, “I will always give you more than enough with plenty left over to share with others and will never leave you or forsake you – you always have a seat at My Table.” His blessings make us want to come back for more for we can never get enough and His promises provide a cornucopia of fruit from His Tree of Life. One bite and the meat and juices of heaven cause us to become partakers of His divine nature. The Good Shepherd is leading us constantly and more deeply into his eternal reality... one morsel and one sip at a time.
When Jesus takes anything and blesses it – it is no longer the same!
He takes it,
He blesses it,
He breaks it and
He gives it to them
Where this appears:
Matthew 14:19, 26:26, Mark 6:41, 8:6, Luke 9:16, 24:30, John 6, 1 Corinthians 11:23-26, Hebrews 10:20
It’s all about who takes it and what happens when He blesses it and breaks it (open) as in Hebrews 10:20 and gives it to them... it is always a gift! Always.
Acts 2:19-37 Your Kingdom Come and will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven!
New Life - New Lifestyle
The concealed revealed and then reflected.
The Invisible made visible and then shown!
The natural meets super natural and transforms.
"And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke: The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
You Men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of 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 hands have crucified and slain: Whom God has raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be held of it. For David speaks concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved: Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope: Because you will not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt you suffer your Holy One to see corruption. You have made known to me the way of life; you shall make me full of joy with your countenance.
Men and brethren, let me freely and speak to you of the patriarch David that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulcher 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; He saw this beforehand and spoke of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.
This Jesus God has raised up, whereof we all are 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 you now see and hear. For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he said himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool. Therefore let all the house of Israel absolutely know that God hath made that same Jesus, who you have crucified, both Lord and Christ.
Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles,
Men and brethren, what shall we do?"
The Lord shows His signature on events of importance by producing signs and wonders. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit comes with Heavenly wind and Tongues of fire that ignite the ability of everyone breathing the wind to boldly speak the language of the Holy Spirit. Joel saw this and prophesied about it. Did you ever notice that when Mary pregnant with Jesus came to see Elizabeth pregnant with ‘the greatest prophet of all the Old Covenant’ (in Luke 1), John the Baptist ‘leaped in her womb’ and she was filled with the Holy Spirit and began to prophecy in a loud voice, “The Lord is with you, blessed is the fruit of your womb!” Signs and wonders began with the visitation of Gabriel to Mary, Joseph, Elizabeth, and Zachariah; the Star of Bethlehem… it was the invisible becoming visible from the very beginning of the dawn of the New Covenant. “On earth as it is in heaven” became the new wind of heaven being released.
Peter is quickened by the Holy Spirit to declare to the crowd outside the Upper Room that King David prophesied about this moment. He too was delivering a revelation given to him in those moments. Jesus was now declared Lord and Christ, King of Heaven! King David knew this was going to happen a thousand years earlier.
So Peter witnessed to the crowd before that the Throne that was now set up in His heart and in the hearts of all those baptized in the wind and outpouring of the Holy Spirit. It was now set up on the earth in their hearts. The throne of Jesus was the throne of David, a man after God’s own heart.
Picture this with Peter and David. Jesus was raised up from the dead and then into heaven and was crowned King of Kings and Lord of Lords. God the Father took the oil of anointing just as Samuel did of David before Jesse and as it poured out over the head of Jesus it poured down through His beard to the skirts of His garments (Psalm 133) and then the wind of heaven carried the droplets of oil and the Holy Spirit from heaven to earth. As the wind arrived in the Upper Room the droplets of oil that anointed Jesus Lord and Christ in heaven, ignited! The regal authority of His throne filled the hearts of those breathing the wind of heaven and as the King sat down at the right hand of the Father in heaven He simultaneously sat down in the throne of every heart that breathed in the wind of heaven. They began to praise and worship Him as Savior and Lord with the angels and in language of the Holy Spirit with all the heavenly host.
Heaven had come to rest in the hearts of all who would call upon His name! The Kingdom that Jesus brought to them was now in them!
The Lord makes it clear through Peter and the signs and wonders of those first hours of Pentecost that prophesy, visions, dreams and revelations would continue until the return of Jesus. When He returns there would be powerful physical signs in the heavens and the earth. That Jesus would maintain complete authority until every last enemy would become his footstool.
On earth as in heaven. It has begun! It will continue until He creates a new heaven and a new earth and we see the New Covenant Jerusalem become our eternal dwelling place in Communion with the Lamb for all eternity!
Acts 2: 38-42. Day One: 3,000 + 120 = 3,120
38 Then Peter said unto them, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” 40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, “Save yourselves from this untoward generation.” 41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. 42 And they continued steadfastly in:
The Apostles' doctrine (“Christ in you the hope of glory”)
And fellowship, (as members of the New Covenant Community
And in breaking of bread, (Partaking of Communion)
And in prayers. (Agreement with God’s intentions)
Peter’s answer to “What shall we do?” is to turn from the world, self and Satan and turn to God. Believe and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ and you will receive the gift of the Holy Ghost! The he said that this promise is to you and all future generations.
The Early Church ‘formula’ for becoming part of God’s Kingdom was to baptize with John’s Baptism all that the Lord added to follow in the footsteps of the Savior. This was the line of demarcation for all that said, “I believe” and completely surrendered their life to Jesus. In those days making this decision was one of life and death. Choosing to be a Christ follower could very well cost you your life. When they were buried in the waters of baptism they went down into the watery depths, dead in trespasses and sin, and before all the world and all of heaven were raised up with Jesus a new creation into everlasting life. Alleluia. Then fellow members of this new humanity would share about and pray with each one to become baptized in the gift of the Holy Spirit. To receive heaven’s power to become first hand witnesses of the love, life and glory of Jesus Christ meant to be ready to come into the eternal presence of the Lord. That is when they experienced the King taking the throne to reveal His Kingdom to all who exchanged their worldly citizenship for eternal citizenship in the new reality of Jesus’ Kingdom.
Peter said, “This is how to be saved from this rebellious and scandalous generation.” (As it is in every generation until the lord returns.) The rhythm and the flow of each heart was tuned into the reality of Jesus ruling from within where He revealed His glory; the sharing of those revelations of Jesus as first-hand witnesses with each other as citizens of heaven; sharing Communion as often as they could from house to house and by that constant fire to unite together with the Lord and His people to move forward into a future only Jesus knew how to lead into.
There were no New Testaments. There was no Church history. The only one who knew the plan was the one who would reveal it morsel by morsel and sip by sip. Every moment of everyday there was absolute attentiveness to the leading of the Holy Spirit within the Communion. Communion is how Jesus distributed Himself as The Word of God. It is how He manifested Himself in His glory where we could each be transformed from glory to glory. Each morsel and sip became a time released miracle that would multiply between Communions, from house to house, preserving the integrity of the leadership of the Holy Spirit and the early construction of the ecclesia (those called to become believers) to become living stones the Lord would use to build His Church.
They “continued steadfastly” means that they continued doing that from which they drew their strength. They were persistent, intense and devoted to this new way of life being introduced, directed and empowered by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit orchestrated every encounter with Jesus (bringing each believer into His presence, bringing all things to their remembrance that Jesus told Him to share and gave then a constant sense of things to come. Each believer was empowered with their own sense of destiny by the constant courage given by Jesus to persevere the surrender to patient transformation and increasing strength of faith. A sense of awe grew among them as they watch how Jesus added to the New Community daily.
The New Covenant Community, The New Humanity born of the Virgin Mary was The Word become Flesh and Blood: First to save us from our sins and second to feed us until His return. The Divine Flesh and Blood that saves us also feeds us. So all 4 primary activities of the Church being born are centered on feeding on the reality of Jesus.
Their Communion-centric lifestyle was centered on a steadfast continuance in the Lord’s presence in these 4 pillars of Communion-centric praxis, life and worship:
The Apostles' doctrine: (apostolos didache) bringing constant dialog to and understanding to the remembrance of Jesus by the Holy Spirit as one morsel and sip at a time revealing: “Christ in you the hope of glory”.
And fellowship: (koinonia) Communion, Community – sharing as members of the New Covenant Community, they shared everything, spiritually and physically. Koinonia also literally means “Communion” It is a sharing of the bread Jesus gives us individually at His Table with one another. At His Table the bread starts to multiply immediately. What the Lord gives to us in the Communion Bread and Wine in secret we declare from the rooftops. There is an abandonment to the Lord and his people that is intrinsic from the new spiritual reality right down to sharing the Kingdom of God in message, mission and ministry.
And in breaking of bread: (klasis artos) this is the literal partaking of Communion. Literally ‘breaking the raised bread or lifted bread’. Jesus said, “And if I be lifted up, I will draw all people to me.” When we lift the bread and the cup before the Lord for His blessing it is then that the bread and wine presented become something else. The blessing of Jesus on this bread and wine injects, changes or makes something happen to it that Jesus calls His Flesh and His Blood. It may look and taste lie bread and wine, but His blessing changes its nature from being natural bread and wine to becoming super natural bread and wine. If Jesus calls it His Flesh and Blood then it’s probably okay for us to do the same.
And in prayers: (proseuché/euchomai) a place of divine exchange; exchange wishes. To interact with the Lord by switching human wishes (ideas) for His wishes as He imparts faith. A place to meet with the Lord, especially where there may not be sanctuary or a church building. In other words a location that is brought about spiritually. The place where we engage the presence of the Lord to worship in Spirit and truth. Prayer is anything that may happen when we are in the presence of the Lord. We come empty handed to receive what He has prepared for us.
Acts 2:43-47 Selling Out for Communion-centric Community
And a great sense of awe came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. 44 And:
all that believed were together, and
had all things common; 45 and
sold their possessions and goods, and
parted them to all according to needs. 46 And
they continued daily with one accord in the temple, and
breaking bread from house to house, and
did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,
RESULT: 47 Praising God, and having favor with all the people. And
the Lord added to the church daily those being saved.
Notice the great sense of awe is placed before and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. The awe came from each person’s encounters with the Lord. The effect of living as a communion-centric (Christ-centric) community intensified the experience of Communion with the Lord every day. When others heard about it and partook of the new life, as the Lord kept adding new people every day, they too experienced the power of the Holy Spirit to lead them into the presence of the Lord through Holy Communion.
Again, this is all new. This is the starting place and what happened in those first few days lit a fuse that would set-off explosions in the hearts of all new believers from Jerusalem to the uttermost parts of the world today. Some were recorded and the press of the Holy Spirit created the wine of the Apostles Creed. That would happen 20-30 years later so until then there was the witness of the 12, the 70 and the 120. The numbers grew quickly but one thing was clear. Those involved gave up everything to become a part. Jesus was accessible 24/7. He was all they talked about. His presence was recreating their lives. Jesus was literally turning them into living stones of praise and worship. He built them together and it was all any one of them wanted. They were constantly having Communion from house to house. They had wonderful meals together filled with praise for the Lord, testimony, love, sharing, caring and a common life that quickly became the hallmark of their lifestyle and existence as Christians.
So great was the love and presence of Jesus among them that they found favor with everyone. The excitement and passion was so great it was as if they were eating and drinking the same meal, and they were! The eternal feast had begun. Breaking bread from house to house, every morsel was Jesus and every sip His blood. This meal blessed constantly by the Lord brought Him into their hearts and lives in an ever more determined way. Jesus had become Lord and King among those who just 8 weeks earlier had cried out for Him to be crucified. In some lives I’m sure the saying could be true that those who mocked Him were conquered by Him as He looked down upon them.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. This was the plan. It always had been. Now it was in full gear and by the thousands they began to worship the Lord in Spirit and truth. As they had and as we have Communion - feasting upon His life and presence, Jesus becomes our Shiloh and Shalom.
Genesis 49:10 The scepter shall not depart from Judah, Nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, Until Shiloh comes.
Joshua 18:9 So the men went and passed through the land, and described it by cities in seven divisions in a book; and they came to Joshua to the camp at Shiloh.
Psalm 122: I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD. Our feet shall stand within your gates, O Jerusalem. Jerusalem is built as a city that is compact together: Where the tribes go up, the tribes of the LORD, unto the testimony of Israel, to give thanks unto the name of the LORD. For there are set thrones of judgment, the thrones of the house of David. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love you. Shalom be within your walls, and prosperity within your palaces. For my brethren and sake of my companions, I will now say, Peace be within you. Because of the house of the LORD our God I will seek your good.
Acts Chapter One
1 In my former book (referring to the Gospel of Luke), Theophilus (name means “Friend of God” also Luke 1:3), I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach 2 until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. 3 After his suffering, he showed himself to these men 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. 4 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 have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days will be baptized with the Holy Spirit." (Luke 3:16, Matthew 3:16) 6 so when they met together, they asked him, "Lord, are at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?" 7 He said to them: "It is not for to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on ; and will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." 9 After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. 10 They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 11 "Men of Galilee," they said, "why do stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from into heaven, will come back in the same way have seen him go into heaven."
12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the hill called the Mount of Olives, a Sabbath day's walk from the city. 13 When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying. Those present were Peter, John, James and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew; James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. 14 They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers. (12 plus in attendance – early arrivals)
15 In those days Peter stood up among the believers (a group numbering about a hundred and twenty) 16 and said, "Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled which the Holy Spirit spoke long ago through the mouth of David concerning Judas, who served as guide for those who arrested Jesus-- (Psalm 109, 69) 17 he was one of our number and shared in this ministry." 18 (With the reward he got for his wickedness, Judas bought a field; there he fell headlong, his body burst open and all his intestines spilled out. 19 Everyone in Jerusalem heard about this, so they called that field in their language Aceldama, that is, Field of Blood.) 20 "For," said Peter, "it is written in the book of Psalms,” 'May his place be deserted; let there be no one to dwell in it,' and, " 'May another take his place of leadership.'
21 Therefore it is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 22 beginning from John's baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us. For one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection." 23 So they proposed two men: Joseph called Barsabbas (also known as Justus) (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Barsabbas one of the 70 – Son of Mary Cleophas) and Matthias. 24 Then they prayed, "Lord, know everyone's heart. Show us which of these two have chosen 25 to take over this apostolic ministry, which Judas left to go where he belongs." 26 Then they cast lots, and the lot fell to Matthias; so he was added to the eleven apostles.
ACTS Chapter One: Like the book of Luke and Acts both address Theophilus – (In Greek means the friend of God). In effect this book is written to believers as a witness of the first days of the Church to the Testimony of Jesus Christ. Acts 2-28 was a very prophetic time. There were no Bibles. They spoke first-hand about their relationship with Jesus. (Revelation 19:10 tells us that the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy). So Luke, compatriot of the Apostle Paul, recorded in His Gospel all that the Holy Spirit moved his hand to write about. He wrote about all that Jesus did and taught right up to His ascension.
Luke then makes a clear statement about the resurrection. Jesus ‘showed’ Himself to people for 40 days. He appeared to them and gave them convincing proofs that He was alive. He revealed Himself and He spoke about the Kingdom of God. While eating with them He reinforced what He had told them the night He introduced the New Passover. “Don’t 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. When He arrives you will receive power to become my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria and to the ends of the earth.”
Witnesses of what?
Right after Jesus said these things there were about 500 first hand witnesses of the ascension. Jesus was taken up right before their eyes and a cloud hid Him. As they stared in amazement (maybe the same two men dressed in white who were at the empty tomb resurrection morning) now stood there again saying, “People of Galilee, why do you stand there looking at the sky? This same Jesus who has been taken into heaven will come back in the same way you have seen Him go into heaven."
Again, witnesses of what?
They had walked with Jesus. They had witnessed His whole ministry. They had seen the miracles first-hand. They had heard about the Kingdom of Heaven. So why would Jesus say, “When the Holy Spirit comes you will become my witnesses and take the stand before all the juries of the whole world to share His Testimony (at home, in your neighborhoods, in public, in everyday life, in business - wherever and whatever you do). Some would be full time witnessing to the furthest reaches of the planet.
The Holy Spirit would cause them all to become prophets declaring whatever the Holy Spirit showed them and said to them. Jesus demonstrated this His whole earthly ministry.
Now He was coming to them by way of His Holy Spirit so that the Holy Spirit could:
1) Lead them into the presence of Jesus
2) Then bring all things to their remembrance
3) And show them things to come
John spends his Gospel telling about why the Holy Spirit had to come before they could become the witnesses that the Holy Spirit would empower them to be.
Where would they find the presence of Jesus? Jesus told them in the Upper Room before He went to the Cross. In John 1; He is the Logos come in flesh. In John 6 His Flesh is the Bread of Life and His Blood is the Wine of Life. So Jesus will always be found at His Table. That is where His presence would be found. In His presence the Holy Spirit will reveal Jesus to them by opening their eyes to recognize Him (Luke 24:30-31) in what they see and hear when they partake of Him in the bread and the wine that Jesus calls His Flesh and Blood. In John 13 He reveals Himself to them as the Servant King. He loves them first. He serves them first. He is waiting for them at His Table. He wants for every believer to meet with Him one-on-one, intimately, personally and in a way that lets each one emerge from His presence with a first-hand witness. In John 14-16 Jesus talks about why He needs to leave and send the Holy Spirit. Five times He talks directly about the Holy Spirit and how He will bring all things to their remembrance right after telling them to “Do this in remembrance of Me.” In John 17 Jesus prays for the miracle of Communion and the Fire of the Holy Spirit to bring us into the full unity of faith with Him, the Father, the Holy Spirit and then, from that Communion into Communion with one another.
After watching Jesus Ascend, what do you think those who were there talked about on the way back to the Upper Room? Aren’t we already witnesses? Didn’t we see His ministry, His death, resurrection and ascension?
You mean there’s more?
Yes. Now they would find out what Jesus meant when He said, “I do nothing unless the Father shows me first. I say nothing unless the Father tells me first. All that Jesus did and said came straight from the Father. Now, when baptized in the Holy Spirit and fire by Jesus, the Holy Spirit will only show each believer what Jesus shows Him first and speak only what Jesus tells Him to tell us. Then in effect the Church will only share with others what the Lord has revealed to them and said to them.
Many do not understand this witness (Greek word "martus" where we get the word martyr). We are dead. It is no longer us that live but Jesus who lives in us. The life that we now live we live by the faith of the Son of God who died and gave Himself for us.
We are born again spiritually when we turn to the Lord and believe by giving our life to Jesus.
We are reckoned dead to this world in waters of baptism to become citizens of a heavenly country.
We are made alive in the Spirit when Jesus baptizes us in the Holy Spirit and Fire.
We are kept alive spiritually and revived by feeding on Communion at The Table of the Lord.
We are transformed from glory to glory by feeding on the presence of the Lord in CommunionFire.
a) The Bread of His Flesh opens our eyes to see Him in His glory.
b) The Wine of his Blood opens our ears to hear what He says to us.
c) The heart comprehends and gets understanding from the Spirit
d) The ever-deepening conversion happens through transformation
e) And we are made whole through transformation in CommunionFire.
It is our encounters with Jesus and our experiences as a result of being in Communion with Jesus that gives integrity to our witness. We speak what we know to be true first-hand. So Jesus was letting us all know that when we receive His baptism of the Holy Ghost and Fire, we are then in a position to relate to Him personally at His Table.
Jesus in Heaven, Holy Spirit not sent yet so Jesus' Mother leads the new family in prayer and fellowship.
When they gathered in the Upper Room after watching Jesus ascend and disappear behind the clouds it was Jesus Mother that got things going. Jesus in heaven for His coronation as King of kings and Lord of lords, meant that Mary was now Queen of the Kingdom. In Israel it was not the wife that became queen by the mother! With Jesus seated at the right hand of the Father and the believers all getting ready to be filled with the Holy Spirit, Mary said, “Let’s pray while we await the promise of Jesus and the Father. Let’s wait before the Lord and practice Communion as Jesus taught the night before His death and which He demonstrated again when He arose from the dead.” Outside of Peter having an election by lots to replace Judas Iscariot, all that were gathering at the Upper Room had the most amazing seminar. Imagine the Blessed Mother, Ever Virgin and now Queen of Heaven sharing her secrets with her friends as part of the Upper Room, “Waiting for the Holy Spirit” Prayer Conference!
Mother Mary had Communion with Jesus every day! She prepared the meals and sat down with Jesus for snack time, breakfast, lunch and dinner. Jesus was her everything. Having Communion means sitting down at the table with Jesus. So you might say Mary had Communion at least 3 times a day with God! In the beginning she was His source for food while at the same time He was the source of the mysteries of God every day.
Angels were there and for 30 years the reality of the Kingdom was in Mary's House! The King and the Queen resided together and while Mary raised her Son in the physical world enabling Him to become an adult the way the rest of us do, Jesus was preparing her for the rest of eternity as His Mother and to become Queen.
Mary had held all these things in her heart. Soon Mother was to become Queen. She was officially "Queen-in-waiting" and able to share her ‘witness’ about Jesus childhood, boyhood and what He was like as a young adult. The house probably had regular angelic visits. Jesus prepared His mother for her role as Queen of the Church and of Heaven. You must know and believe that if Mary was the very “Ark of the Covenant” for nine months, she had been more than baptized in the Holy Spirit, for it was by the Holy Spirit that baby Jesus was conceived in her womb. Mary lived in the Spirit for thirty three years! If Jesus is the chief cornerstone to the Church then she not only gave birth to the Church but was the first member of the Church, thirty three years before everyone else. Then Dear, Blessed, Mother Mary became Queen. Can you think of a better Queen in all the Universe? Who else had been made by God and was given the once in creation privilege to become the dwelling place of God for nine months? She became the model for all believers who were born again and by the new birth became the dwelling place of God. She was the first to carry God within her body.
It is just as Elizabeth exclaimed and who was probably there in the Upper Room as well, “Hail Mary full of grace for the Lord is within you! Blessed are you among all women of all time and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus!” This was a prophecy given to her at the moment she was filled with the Holy Spirit. John the Baptist, who was in Elizabeth’s womb when Mary and Jesus came into their house, lept with joy that Jesus was in the same room. It was at that moment that the “baptizer” witnessed a greater baptism while he was still in his mother’s womb. The last of the Old Covenant Prophets and according to Jesus ‘the greatest of all the Prophets”, witnessed the Birthing of the New Covenant while still in the womb.
We know that Mary Cleophas was there and Mary Zebedee and maybe even Jesus Grandmother Anna along with all of Jesus’ cousins called His brothers and the rest of the close followers and disciples of Jesus. About 120 had gathered and Queen Virgin Mother Mary, noblest of all women was set to prepare the believers to be baptized by Jesus in the Holy Ghost and in Fire. It was only after my observation about the 9 Day Holy Ghost Prayer Conference that Veronica Marie LaMena pointed out that it was this event that inspired the Roman Catholic Church that inspired the Novena Prayers. (Novenas are 9 days of prayer with a specific focus.) Of course in the Church the greatest are servants of all, a reflection of the Servant King who washed the feet of His friends the night before the crucifixion. . Mary proved to be the best example of that throughout all her life as she quietly gave life to the Son of God, raised Him and followed His every step right to the foot of the Cross.
We focus a bit on the Mother of God because so rarely do we hear about her but in the circles of fellowship with our Eastern and Western Catholic brothers and sisters. It took the early church 400 years to come to grips with these types of realities and so perhaps after 400 years of non-Catholic history, perhaps it is time for us to come to grips with the all-important role of Jesus’ Mother Mary and her role in all of our salvation history.
After nine days of fellowship, practicing Communion, prayer and waiting on the Lord the day of Pentecost finally fully arrived!