JOEL’S PROPHECY PROVIDES “BOOKENDS” FOR THE CHURCH AGE

CHURCH CONCEIVED AT PENTECOST

“After all of this I will pour out my Spirit on all kinds of people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your elderly will have revelatory dreams; your young men will see prophetic visions. Even on male and female servants I will pour out my Spirit in those days.Joel 2:28-29

Pentecost, The Outpouring of Holy Spirit and The Feast of Harvest ...

CHURCH COMPLETED AT THE DAY OF THE LORD

I will produce portents both in the sky and on the earth– blood, fire, and columns of smoke. The sunlight will be turned to darkness and the moon to the colour of blood, before the day of the LORD comes—that great and terrible day! Joel 2:30–31

Peter’s understanding of Joel’s prophecy construes it as “bookends” of the church age. The first part with the pouring out the Spirit on all people at Pentecost is a sign that God is doing a new redemptive work as the church age is conceived.

When the second part of the prophecy happens, it is a sign that the church age is completedThe consistent message in Scripture concerning the celestial disturbance event is their function to signal the future two-fold event of the deliverance of the saints and the impending day of the Lord’s wrath (see Luke 21:25–28; Matt 24:22–31; Mark 13:20–27; Rev 6:12—8:5; Joel 2:31). Luke and Matthew are shown below but makes sure you check out Revelation 6:12 to 8:5.

And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.” Luke 21:25-28

Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” Matthew 24:29-31

LIVING ETERNAL NOW

Jonathan Edwards resolved “that I will live so as I shall wish I had lived when I come to die.”

Before he died, he helped spark the First Great Awakening, became president of the College of New Jersey (later Princeton), and is widely considered America’s greatest theologian.

Edwards was right to live each day in light of his death: he died at the age of fifty-five from the then new smallpox vaccination.

Those who lived in days of plague, influenza epidemics, smallpox, polio, and other infectious outbreaks learned from personal experience what we need to remember: we are “a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes” (James 4:14). This is because “our days on earth are a shadow” (Job 8:9).

We are one day closer to eternity than ever before. And we have only today to be ready. What if it we died today? Dr. Jim Denison is the founder of the popular Denison Forum. He suggests preparing to die is the best way to live.

And this is eternal life, that they may know You the only true God and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” John 17:1-3

READY FOR JESUS RETURN
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THE WINNER OF VOICE 2020

Pastor Todd Tilghman sings the Mercy Me song “I Can Only Imagine” during the Finale Performances on The Voice. He sings it with the passion you can only express if you truly believe the words you are singing. Todd does and He won THE VOICE 2020. What a testimony!

GREAT ADVICE FOR EMPLOYERS AND EMPLOYEES ON MANAGING COVID19

Wez Hone has initiated a great presentation from Mark McCrindle. Mark is an award-winning social researcher, best-selling author, and influential thought leader, and he is regularly commissioned to deliver strategy and advice to the boards and executive committees of some of Australia’s leading organisations.

Christians should understand that God is still on the throne. What does God want to achieve with Covid19, certainly to test Christians on how they will serve their communities.

CORONAVIRUS GOD’S WAKE UP CALL

John Piper has written an excellent book, Coronavirus and Christ. The following is a few excerpts from the book. The audio book is below.

The coronavirus is God’s thunderclap call for all of us to repent and realign our lives with the infinite worth of Christ. The coronavirus is not unique as a call to repentance. In fact, all natural disasters-whether floods, famines, locusts, tsunamis, or diseases-are God’s painful and merciful summons to repent. We see this from the way Jesus responds to disaster in Luke 13:1-5: “There were some present at that very time who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And he answered them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”

God’s message for the world in this coronavirus outbreak. He is calling the world to repentance while there’s still time.
Let’s be more specific. What does repentance mean? The word in the New Testament means a change of heart and mind. Not a superficial change of opinion, but a deep transformation so that we perceive and prize God and Jesus for who they really are. Jesus described the change like this: You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. (Matt. 22:37) Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. (Matt. 10:37) In other words, the most fundamental change of heart and mind that repentance calls for is to treasure God with all that you are and to treasure Jesus more than all other relations.

What God is doing in the coronavirus is showing us- graphically, painfully-that nothing in this world gives the security and satisfaction that we find in the infinite greatness and worth of Jesus. This global pandemic takes away our freedom of movement, our business activity, and our face-to-face relations. It takes away our security and our comfort. And, in the end, it may take away our lives. 
The reason God exposes us to such losses is to rouse us to rely on Christ. Or to put it another way, the reason he makes calamity the occasion for offering Christ to the world is that the supreme, all-satisfying greatness of Christ shines more brightly when Christ sustains joy in suffering.

This is what it means to repent: to experience a change of heart and mind that treasures God in Christ more than life. 

“Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you” (Psalm 63:3). This was Paul’s faith. It was true in life and death. In life, because Christ is the sweetness of every pleasure, and better than them all. And in death, because “in [God’s] presence there is fullness of joy; at [his] right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11).

UNITY IN THE SPIRIT AT PENTECOST

Only when Christians have unity in the Holy Spirit will we begin to function as the true Body of Christ.

We must remember the night before Jesus was crucified He prayed for the unity of all believers. John 17:11,21-23

At the first Pentecost, the disciples were in a time of united prayer when the Holy Spirit came in a mighty demonstration of power. They were all baptised with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit did not just come upon a few of them or only upon the twelve disciples. All 120 of them experienced the
same Baptism.

Let’s pray now that Pentecost 2020 being celebrated Sunday, May 31st will be a time when we ask God for a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit to equip us to truly function as the Body of Christ in the unity that only the Holy Spirit can endow.

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The Holy Spirit came to live within each of them

They all began to speak in languages that they had never learned. Cloven tongues of fire sat upon each one of them. The Body of Christ today must experience this unity of the Spirit. We must be baptised, once again, into one body, one mind, and one accord. We have failed to realise the tremendous power that emanates from being in unity. When we do, the world will see the greatest release of the miracle-working power of God that it has ever seen. We will be living, walking manifestations of God’s miracle-working power.

ASK FOR A FRESH OUTPOURING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT THIS PENTECOST (SHAVUOT)

As we count down the days to Shavuot, we need to remember what God promised in Acts 2:17-18. It says,In the last days, I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh.” God wants to empower us to fulfil Jesus end times command “And this gospel will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations and then the end will come.” Matthew 24:14

Shavuot marks the time when the Lord gave instruction to His people at Mount Sinai. It was also when the Holy Spirit came in power to equip and empower us to do the work God requires us to do and to ensure that we stay aligned with Him in His Kingdom purposes.

It is time to prepare your heart for something new as Shavuot approaches. The Holy Spirit wants to do a new thing in your life. He is always doing something new, sadly, so often it is chastening. He can do so much more if we desire more of Him.

Pentecost, The Outpouring of Holy Spirit and The Feast of Harvest ...

Are you ready to receive the new thing?

Let us not forget what Jesus reclaimed for us at Passover. God is ready to move us into new levels. Come receive fresh oil and new wine.

REPENT & ASK

Repentance cleanses you, prepares you to move into new levels of faith. Repent of unbelief, doubt, and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal any false teachings that are operating in your life. He is your counsellor, comforter and teacher. Come into agreement with God’s Word, know He is sovereign in all things.

TRUST & OBEY

The words of the old hymn now come to mind “Trust and Obey for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey.”

If you have not already planned to celebrate Shauvot/Pentecost can I suggest you get together with a few of your trusted brothers and sisters in Christ to do so. I am confident He will launch many of you into a new level of service for Him which also means a new level of intimacy with Him.

GOD IS EQUIPPING MEN AND WOMEN OF ALL AGES FOR “LAST DAYS” MINISTRY

Acts 2:17-18 says,In the last days, I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh. Your sons and daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. Even on my bondservants, both men and women, I will in those days pour out My Spirit and they shall prophesy.

You are not left out, this Scripture is inclusive of all people. If you are not experiencing Acts 2 manifestations of the Holy Spirit in your life like those on the Day of Pentecost, I want to encourage you not to measure revival or your personal relationship with God strictly by visible manifestations. In fact, one of the most distinctive signatures of revival is a renewed hunger for God and a deep desire to find your identity in Him. Pursue God with all your heart and He will come in. He is always at the door.

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” Revelation 3:20

Man knocking on the door. Stock Vector - 91216822

Here are a few ways Kris Vallotton of https://krisvallotton.com recommends for you to experience revival and refresh your relationship with God: 

  1. Hang out with people who are alive and well in God (even if they may be having manifestations you’re not having). You may have heard me joke about having the “statue of liberty anointing,” meaning it seems like everyone around me is often powerfully touched by God while I seem unaffected! Check out this short clip of a sermon where I share what God directly said to me about being moved by God.
  2. Share your faith and testimony with others. Psalms 119:99 says, “I have more insight than all my teachers, For Your testimonies are my meditation.” This simply means that when you allow your history with God to counsel you, rather than your fears or any other thing, you will indeed grow in stature and wisdom. Allow your testimonies to be your counsel. Share them with others, and witness the power that you’ve been given. 
  3. Be humble. You were born to be amazing—in the very image and greatness of God. I find that one of the biggest deterrents for owning your God-given greatness is the fear of stealing God’s glory. If you don’t want to steal God’s glory, then here’s some good news: you ain’t that big! And get this… the truth is you can’t steal something that was given to you (John 17:22)! For more on humility, check out a recent podcast of mine, Humility is the Way Forward

In these “last days”, I believe you will experience the demonstration of God’s power in your life because, as we’ve learned, God is pouring everything out on “one generation”—all flesh; He is not withholding anything from you. As a Believer, you are a walking encounter of the living God. You are the embodiment of God’s revival. 

PROOF OF ISRAEL’S LONGSTANDING CONNECTION TO ITS LAND

An ancient horned Israelite altar dating back 3,000 years that was in danger of being destroyed will now be protected after having been damaged by recent building activity at the site, Makor Rishon reported.

The altar, hewn from stone, is one of only three discovered in Israel to date and the most perfect of them, according to Prof. Yoel Elitzur of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, who discovered the altar 17 years ago together with attorney Doron Nir-Tzvi.

Elitzur has struggled for a year to protect the altar in the wake of construction in the area that has damaged it. At one point, a metal cable was attached to one of the horns. Also a large stone fell on it damaging two of the horns, Makor Rishon reports.

3000-year-old horned Israelite altar discovered in Samaria earns protection
Its dimensions fit those mentioned in the Bible (“five amot long and five amot wide… and make horns upon it”).

The altar is located in Givat Harel in the Binyamin region of Judea and Samaria. It has a flat surface for sacrifices and four horns, one on each corner. Its dimensions fit those mentioned in the Bible (“five amot long and five amot wide… and make horns upon it”).

Several weeks ago, the settlement of Givat Harel and the Binyamin Regional Council took an interest in the altar. The large rock that had damaged it was removed and they are developing the area as a tourist attraction.

“The discovery of the altar is profound expression of our meaningful connection to the land. It’s evidence before the whole world of our historical right to Judea and Samaria,” Binyamin Regional Council head Israel Gantz told the paper.

Also noteworthy is that the altar is located at the base of a slope and not on the hilltop as in keeping with pagan worship in which altars were place on the tops of mountains and hills.

Prof. Elitzur is also trying to save one of the other altars, the one located in the Shimson Industrial Zone. He discovered a few months ago that the altar is in danger of being lost due to the industrial development around it.