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Jun 10

Pentecost and The Last Days

Pentecost and The Last Days
“…In the Last Days, I will pour out of My Spirit…”
                                                          (Acts 2:17)

The question that is on everyone’s mind these days is, “Are we living in the Last Days?” Well, regardless of the timeline of prophetic events; and every prognostication concerning the Lord’s return, the feast of Pentecost celebrated in the year that Jesus ascended provides a definite answer. “Yes! We are in the last days.” 

In order to understand the full ramifications of this particular Day of Pentecost, we need to understand what it meant to Israel throughout Biblical history. Most Christians today equate Pentecost with “speaking in tongues”. While this phenomenon did occur on this occasion, there are other important aspects to the significance of this feast that we need to understand. 

Pentecost was associated with several aspects of the life of every Israelite. It was known as the Feast of Firstfruits; the Feast of Ingathering or Harvest of the wheat crop. The manifestation of speaking in tongues provides another symbolic truth and an actual fact that is the reversal of something that happened in Genesis. I’ll get to that in a moment. 

Since Pentecost, the Firstfruits of redeemed mankind was offered to the Father (just as the ceremony called for through Israel’s history). Who was the Firstsfruit? Jesus, of course. He was the “firstfruit” from the dead. The church (all 120 believers in the Upper Room) was the firstfruit of the “wheat” harvest. Remember, the kingdom of heaven is like wheat sown in the field (Matt. 13). The Harvest has been continuing since this event for 2,000 years! Yes, that indicates that the Last Days began that long ago.  Pentecost also points to something God initiated in Genesis. He had given Adam and Eve the Dominion Mandate to “multiply, replenish the earth and subdue it…” However, mankind soon failed as indicated by the building of the Tower of Babel. Mankind wanted to make a “name for itself” so the Tower to reach the heavens was built. God was displeased; came down and “confused” the languages of the people. They then split up and formed communities wherein the same language was spoken.

On this particular Pentecost, the people heard the wonderful works of God spoken in their native languages! God REUNITED the languages of the world at that time! Isn’t it amazing how God, through Christ and the Spirit’s outpouring, inaugurated the completion of the Dominion Mandate once again? Now, the Great Commission is the new Dominion Mandate where we are to proclaim the wonderful works of God to the entire world. As a sign that the entire world is to be united in Christ, believers everywhere will “speak with other tongues” (Mark 16:17). The Last Adam succeeded where the first Adam failed!

Beloved, we are living in the greatest time the world has ever seen. This is Harvest time! It’s time to extend the Kingdom of God everywhere, bringing all the nations to the Lord. Let’s spend our lives, talents, gifts and treasure to be sure that this takes place. As we celebrate Pentecost Sunday this month, let’s ask the Lord to use us to win a lost world to Him; demonstrating the power of the Holy Spirit in the process!

In Jesus’ Name!

Pastor Damian

 

Feb 27

Nourishment from Heaven

“Nourishment From Heaven”

“Jesus replied, ‘I am the Bread of Life…” (John 6:35a)

What are we living for?

We work, strive and expend so much time, energy, effort to obtain what we need to survive.  But we don’t only want to survive, we want to thrive! We work as if there will come a day when we don’t have to work any longer; we can rest in what we have labored for and stop working. But, deep down inside, we really don’t expect that day to come. After all, these are difficult times; and the reality of present economic circumstances make it almost impossible for us not to expect that  we’ll be working forever!

In verse 27 of chapter 6, Jesus tells His disciples, “…not to labor for the bread which perishes…” What does He mean? Doesn’t He know we have to work to survive? Of course He knows we have to work. However, He is saying in this passage that there is something greater we must spend our energy seeking— the eternal life that the Son of Man can give you…(John 6:27 NLT). How do we do that?

The illustration Jesus refers to in this passage is the manna that God gave through Moses to the Israelites in the wilderness.  How did Israel survive in the wilderness on manna? They had to gather it. They had to gather it every day, except on the Sabbath. They gathered as much as they needed for their families.  Their daily need for bread was met (anything extra turned to worms). So how do we spend our time and energy as it relates to the “Bread of Life”? We must believe in Him.  That is, we must earnestly seek Him; follow Him; obey His commands; live by His teachings.  This is what will bring us the eternal life that He promises. We accomplish this BY FAITH!

Here is the pattern for us; we must MAKE THE EFFORT (gathering) to seek Him. We must do so DAILY. Every day we must seek Him out and fellowship with Him. We cannot do this for tomorrow’s supply.  We cannot live on yesterday’s supply.  We must seek Him out as our Daily Bread. We must do so with such priority as if our lives depended on it.

So beloved, as we walk through the “wilderness” of this world—and it is a wilderness—let’s seek the Lord daily with all our hearts, minds and strength. Let’s believe on Him; following His commands, imitating His life and allow His Life to flourish in us by the power of the Holy Spirit. As we do this, we will come to possess that life which He came to give us. We will live like never before and be able to say with the Apostle Paul, “…I live by the faith of the Son of God Who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Gal. 2:20)


May the Lord bless you and your family continually.

In Christ,

Pastor Damian

 

Jan 04

The Year of Jubilee

 

The Year of Jubilee

 

“…they and their children are to be released in the Year of Jubilee…” (Leviticus 25:54)

 

             What are you believing for 2014? For your own life? For your family? For your friends? What is it that is weighing on your heart to see resolved, to see restored, to see eradicated, to see fulfilled?  

             In the above scripture, God was instituting a season of release for His people Israel.  It took place every 50 years. During this time, those who had to go into slavery to pay a debt, etc. were released from that enslavement. Those who had to sell their property for some reason, had it returned to them.  The land received a year’s rest from production and God provided for His people during that time. This was a season of celebration and was appropriately named “Jubilee”!  

             Now in this NT era, we have Jesus, Who is our Jubilee every day!  He is our Messiah and our Savior.  He is our Lord!  As it says in Isa 61,  He came to proclaim the Good News to the poor, to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim freedom to the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners. He came to comfort all who mourn, give a crown of beauty for ashes, a garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. He came to proclaim the Year of the Lord’s favor!  

            Are you or a loved one broken hearted? Do you or someone you know need some good news? Are you feeling trapped and stuck in a habit or behavior or way of thinking and believing that is destructive?  

            There is Good News! Jesus is still in the releasing business.  Jesus is still setting the captives free, He is still binding up the broken hearted and releasing from darkness those held in prisons.  He is still comforting those who mourn and giving crowns of beauty for ashes!  How? Through you and me! His Church! 

            In 2014, let’s begin to believe that we have received all of the above for ourselves, for our spouses, our children, our family members and for those who are suffering around us.  

            Let’s believe for our own Jubilee and for God to use us as a vessel of Jubilee to those we know and love, as well as, for those we don’t know. For those we meet on the street or in the store. For those on our jobs or in our schools.  For those who deliver our mail or make our coffee.  

            Let’s celebrate Jubilee this year as often as we can and with as many people as we can!

 

In Christ, 

Pastor Nancy