• THURSDAY, MARCH 31, 2022 | LENTEN SEASON 1 Corinthians 14:13–25 13 For this reason the one who speaks in a tongue should pray that they may interpret what they say. 14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful. 15 So what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my understanding; I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my understanding. 16 Otherwise when you are praising God in the Spirit, how can someone else, who is now put in the position of an inquirer, say “Amen” to your thanksgiving, since they do not know what you are saying? 17 You are giving thanks well enough, but no one else is edified. 18 I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you. 19 But in the church I would rather speak five intelligible words to instruct others than ten thousand words in a tongue. 20 Brothers and sisters, stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults. 21 In the Law it is written: “With other tongues and through the lips of foreigners I will speak to this people, but even then they will not listen to me, says the Lord.” 22 Tongues, then, are a sign, not for believers but for unbelievers; prophecy, however, is not for unbelievers but for believers. 23 So if the whole church comes together and everyone speaks in tongues, and inquirers or unbelievers come in, will they not say that you are out of your mind? 24 But if an unbeliever or an inquirer comes in while everyone is prophesying, they are convicted of sin and are brought under judgment by all, 25 as the secrets of their hearts are laid bare. So they will fall down and worship God, exclaiming, “God is really among you!” Episcopal Church. 2016. Book of Common Prayer (1928) Daily Office Lectionary. Bellingham, WA: Faithlife.
    1. The Association Interdenominational Assembly of Churches changed its name for Franciscan Abbey of the Immanu-El Communion of Love
      1.  — Edited

        Holy Spirit came in the form of fire tongues

        Speaking in tongues!

        Just utter that phrase among Christians, and you elicit a wide variety of reactions, sometimes very strong reactions. Bible studies and sermons on speaking in tongues have been written or preached by the thousands on the subject — some for it, some against it, and some uncertain. Many Christians ask a legitimate question: “Is speaking in tongues for today?”

        Historically, speaking in a tongue (glossolalia) by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit was common among Christians in the first-century Church, then seemed to fade out gradually in succeeding centuries. In the very early twentieth century there came a resurgence of this biblical practice, most notably in Topeka, Kansas, and in revival meetings on Azusa Street in Los Angeles.

        From those and other places of spiritual renewal came many of today’s leading Pentecostal denominations. Subsequent movements in which speaking in tongues was a prominent feature included the Latter Rain revival, the mid-20th-century healing ministries, the Full Gospel Businessmen’s Fellowship, and the Charismatic Renewal. In this latter movement especially, the biblical doctrine of the baptism with the Holy Spirit, with the initial evidence of speaking in tongues, spread broadly into both the Roman Catholic Church and many Protestant denominations.

        By the early 21st century, speaking in tongues (the theological term is glossolalia) — that is, languages unknown to the speaker, given by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit — had become broadly if not universally accepted within worldwide Christianity. Although sensationalism is still taught in some denominations, many portions of the worldwide Church today have once again come to embrace one of the historical ancient landmarks of the Church that Jesus created.

        But historical and anecdotal testimonies, as interesting as they may be, are still secondary. The Bible must be the source of primary importance in establishing the present-day validity of speaking in tongues. So to that treasure trove, the Bible, we will now turn to answer the question: “Why should we speak in tongues?”

        Mark 16:15-17 He [Jesus] said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues.

        The verses above are from Mark’s account of Jesus’ Great Commission. It was Jesus Himself who initiated the subject of speaking in tongues in the New Testament. He said that it would be a “sign” that would accompany believers as they went into all the world and preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Some ask: did Jesus speak in tongues? The Bible is silent on that. However, the Bible is not silent on what Jesus said about tongues for His followers: "...those who believe...will speak in new tongues."

        • So our first reply to the question “Why speak in tongues?” is that Jesus endorsed the practice. Jesus said that speaking in tongues is one of the signs that “will accompany those who believe.”

        At this point, it will be helpful to examine several portions of Scripture in the book of Acts (see the three quotes below) that speak of being “baptized with” or “filled with” the Holy Spirit. As we will see, on all three occasions believers who were said to be filled/baptized with the Spirit immediately spoke in tongues. This is the biblical pattern. When believers are baptized with the Holy Spirit, they begin to speak in tongues.

        Acts 1:4-5; 2:1-4, KJV And, being assembled together with them, [Jesus] commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saithe he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.... [2:1] And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord 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 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.

        The sound of a mighty wind ... tongues of fire ... all 120 speaking in tongues! This was the first New Testament day of Pentecost after Jesus’ resurrection. He had prophesied to His followers that they would be “baptized with the Holy Ghost” (1:5). This occurred some few days later on “the day of Pentecost” (2:1), when it is said that “they were all filled with the Holy Ghost” (2:4) and manifested this by the evidence of speaking in tongues (2:4). As a point of interest, because this happened on “the day of Pentecost” (2:1), those who have received this baptism with the Spirit, with the evidence of speaking in tongues, have often in modern times been called “Pentecostals”.

        Compare verses 1:5 and 2:4. We see that the Bible uses the terms “baptized with the Holy Ghost” and “filled with the Holy Ghost” as synonyms for the same biblical experience. And the discernible evidence of that baptism with the Holy Spirit was their speaking in tongues. This same evidence will be seen again in Acts, chapters 10 and 19 (below).

        But before looking at Acts 10, let’s take one more look at Acts 1:5 (KJV) — “John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.” Jesus made a clear distinction between water baptism and baptism with the Holy Spirit. They are not one and the same. Now on to Acts, chapter 10.

        Acts 10:44-47 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God. Then Peter said, “Can anyone keep these people from being baptized with water? They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.”

        Some Gentiles had assembled in Cornelius’s house to hear Peter preach. While Peter was still speaking, the listeners received the Holy Spirit and began to speak in tongues. And how did Peter and his companions know that they had received “the gift of the Holy Spirit”? The answer is in verse 46: “For they heard them speaking in tongues.” Again, as in Acts 2, the evidence of their having received the gift of the Holy Spirit was their talking in tongues.

        In Act 1 and 2 we saw the first group in Jerusalem being “baptized with ... filled with the Holy Spirit.” Peter certified that these Gentiles in Acts 10 had received the identical experience — “They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.” So Acts 2, the first New Testament day of Pentecost, was not a one-time occurrence. To the contrary, Peter asserts that these Gentiles had received the identical gift of the Holy Spirit.

        Peter recounts this again in Acts 11:15-17 — “As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit came on them as he had come on us at the beginning. Then I remembered what the Lord had said: ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ So if God gave them the same gift as he gave us, who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to think that I could oppose God?” The Gentiles in Acts 10 received the “same gift,” the same baptism with the Holy Spirit, that the 120 had received in Jerusalem (in Acts 2). And in both instances they manifested the identical evidence — they immediately spoke in tongues.

        And notice once more (vss. 10:47-48 above) that Peter made a clear distinction between water baptism and their having received the Holy Spirit.

        Acts 19:1-6 While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples and asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” They answered, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” So Paul asked, “Then what baptism did you receive?” “John’s baptism,” they replied. Paul said, “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” On hearing this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.

        Here is a third clear instance in the book of Acts — along with Acts 2 and Acts 10 just studied above — where believers received the baptism with the Spirit and spoke in tongues. So we have a consistent bible pattern — believers who are baptized with/filled with the Holy Spirit will immediately speak in tongues.

        • These three clear instances in Acts 2, 10, and 19 illustrate that speaking in tongues is the Scriptural evidence of the baptism with the Holy Spirit.

        Acts 19:1-6 (quoted just above) brings us another important insight. Notice that the apostle Paul considered these believers to be baptized disciples. Paul’s question establishes the fact that it is perfectly appropriate to ask a water-baptized Christian, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” There is a clear difference between being “born of the Spirit” (John 3:5) and “baptized with the Holy Spirit.” They are entirely different Greek words. The context — they spoke in tongues in verse 6 — shows that Paul’s question “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” was asked in the sense of “Have you water-baptized disciples been baptized with the Holy Spirit yet?” That is a valid question to ask any believer.

        In sum, our Scripture texts in Acts 2, 10, and 19 reveal a consistent pattern:

        • There is a baptism in water, and there is a distinct baptism in the Holy Spirit.

        • Those who receive the baptism with the Holy Spirit give evidence to this by speaking in tongues.

        Acts 2:4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

        KJV: ...as the Spirit gave them utterance.

        Why speak in tongues? — It gives us an ever-present opportunity to submit to the leading, the direction, the enablement of the Holy Spirit. We do the speaking, but the Holy Spirit actually enables us to do so by prompting us with the words to speak in a language not known to us. This humble, willing submission of our vocal organs to the Holy Spirit’s leading will stand us in good stead as we open ourselves to other facets of the Holy Spirit’s direction and guidance and to His spiritual gifts.

        Acts 11:15-18, KJV And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning. Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost. Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as he did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God? When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.

        Why speak in tongues? — It demonstrates the reality of God in the life of the one speaking in tongues. At this early stage of the New Testament Church, the original Jewish Christians in Jerusalem were still doubtful that the Gospel should even be preached to the Gentiles! Peter corrected their error by telling the account of his preaching to the Gentiles at Cornelius’s house, and of those Gentiles receiving the Holy Spirit and talking in tongues. This dramatic event convinced the skeptics in Jerusalem, and they acknowledged that God had indeed “granted repentance unto life” (18) to the Gentiles. The fact that the Gentiles spoke with tongues was sufficient evidence for the Jewish Christians to discard centuries of anti-Gentile sentiment and to embrace them as fellow Christians.

        Acts 19:2a, 6 [Paul] asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” ... [6] When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.

        • The baptism with the Holy Spirit opens the door to other spiritual gifts from the Holy Spirit — here, “they...prophesied.”

        Jesus Himself was conceived by the Holy Spirit (Matthew 1:20). But at about age 30 at River Jordan, Jesus was anointed and empowered by the Holy Spirit (John 1:32-33 with Acts 10:38). Only after this distinct experience of the Spirit did Jesus do his first miracle, at the wedding feast of Cana (John 2:11).

        It is the Holy Spirit anointing, which comes in the baptism with the Spirit, that tends to release in the recipients a greater flow in the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

        1 Corinthians 12:7, 10 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good... [10] to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues.

        • The companion gifts of the Spirit — tongues and interpretation of tongues — are manifested in church services “for the [church’s] common good.” We will look at the subject of tongues in church services in greater depth in chapter 14 of this epistle (below).

        1 Corinthians 14:2 For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God. Indeed, no one understands him; he utters mysteries with his spirit.

        There is an ability to speak in tongues (glossolalia) that is given to all who receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit, as shown in our earlier discussions of Acts chapters 2, 10, and 19. 1 Corinthians 14:2 gives us an additional reason why Spirit-baptized believers should speak in tongues — “Anyone who speaks in a tongue ... speak[s] ... to God.”

        • That is, speaking in tongues is a God-given way for believers to “speak to God.” As such, it is a valuable asset in our prayer life, along with speaking to God in our own native language (which is English for me).

        1 Corinthians 14:2, 14-15a For anyone who speaks in a tongue ... utters mysteries with his spirit [KJV: ‘in the spirit’].... [14] For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful. So what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my mind.

        Praying in tongues is praying “in” or “with the spirit.” There is a praying in the known language, comprehended by our minds. And there is also a “praying in the spirit” — that is, praying in tongues — inspired by the Holy Spirit and not understood by our minds.

        1 Corinthians 14:4 He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church.

        • Why speak in tongues? — The one speaking in tongues is edified, built up. Some have wrongly read this as Paul minimizing the importance of tongues. But Paul is making two positive comments here: (1) speaking in tongues edifies the individual, and (2) prophecy spoken in the church edifies the church. It is a good thing for both individuals and the church to be edified.

        1 Corinthians 14:5a, 39 I would like every one of you to speak in tongues.... [39] Therefore, my brothers, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues.

        Why speak in tongues? — The great apostle Paul spoke very favorably of the practice: “I would like every one of you to speak in tongues.” Even further, Paul gave an admonition that, sadly, is disobeyed in many churches of our day: “Do not forbid speaking in tongues.” Yet many pastors in our day — even in some Pentecostal churches! — do exactly this, contradicting the Scriptures by telling their congregations that tongues are not for them, or are "lesser gifts," or are not for this day and age.

        1 Corinthians 14:5, 12-13 I would like every one of you to speak in tongues, but I would rather have you prophesy. He who prophesies is greater than one who speaks in tongues, unless he interprets, so that the church may be edified.... [12] So it is with you. Since you are eager to have spiritual gifts, try to excel in gifts that build up the church. For this reason anyone who speaks in a tongue should pray that he may interpret what he says.

        • Why speak in tongues? — The spiritual gift of tongues (1 Corinthians 12:10), when coupled with the companion spiritual gift of interpretation of tongues (1 Corinthians 12:10), edifies and builds up the church.

        On many occasions and in various congregations I have heard someone bring forth a message in tongues in church. This was followed by the gift of interpretation. And the net result in each case was that the people present were edified and built up.

        In the Scripture just above, the apostle Paul declares that “He who prophesies is greater than one who speaks in tongues, unless he interprets.” So if there is a tongue with interpretation, Paul is saying that the value is roughly equivalent to prophecy.

        1 Corinthians 14:14-15, KJV  For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful. What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.

        • Why speak in tongues? — It helps us to have a balanced prayer life and a balanced worship experience. Paul endorses both “pray[ing] with the spirit and ... pray[ing] with the understanding.” Interestingly, in this direct context of tongues, the apostle also encourages singing with both the spirit and the understanding.

        1 Corinthians 14:16-17 If you are praising God with your spirit, how can one who finds himself among those who do not understand say “Amen” to your thanksgiving, since he does not know what you are saying? You may be giving thanks well enough, but the other man is not edified.

        • Why speak in tongues? — When speaking in tongues, “you may be giving thanks well.” As we have seen (Acts 2:4), tongues are a language inspired by the Holy Spirit. The speaker does not know the content of what is being spoken. But God does! And the Spirit of God can inspire a wide variety of content in the tongue spoken — including “giving thanks well.”

        1 Corinthians 14:18 I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you.

        • Why speak in tongues? — It was apostolic practice. Paul spoke in tongues. On the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4), the original apostles of Jesus (less the traitor Judas, Acts 1:13-15) were part of the group that received the first outpouring of the Spirit, with the immediate evidence of speaking in tongues.

        Paul thanked God for the God-given ability to speak in tongues. And he desired the same experience for all believers — (14:5) “I would like every one of you to speak in tongues.”

        1 Corinthians 14:26 What then shall we say, brothers? When you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. All of these must be done for the strengthening of the church.

        • Why speak in tongues? — Tongues with interpretation are an appropriate part of an edifying New Testament church service. Verse 26 lists the most important parts of a church service — praise/worship (“a hymn”), the ministry of the word (“a word of instruction”), and the gifts of the Spirit (“a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation”).

        And Paul declares that “all of these must be done for the strengthening of the church.” Sadly, in our day the typical church accepts some of these — praise/worship and the ministry of the word — and rejects the various gifts of the Holy Spirit, including tongues and interpretation. If we want “strengthened” churches, we will include the word, worship, and gifts of the Spirit in our church services.

        In conclusion, it will be informative to see that there are a variety of manifestations of tongues in the bible. Remember that, although the language may or may not be understood by listeners, in all instances recorded in Scripture, the tongue being spoken was supernaturally given to the speaker by the Holy Spirit and was not understood by the one speaking. Listed below are a variety of bible terms for the practice of glossolalia, or speaking in tongues:

        • “new tongues” (Mark 16:17)

        • “other tongues” (Acts 2:4)

        • “different kinds of tongues” (1 Corinthians 12:10, 28)

        • “diversities of tongues” (1 Corinthians 12:28, KJV)

        • “tongues of men and of angels” (1 Corinthians 13:1), that is, human languages and angelic, heavenly languages ("tongues of angels")

        • unknown tongues — “an unknown tongue ... no man understandeth” (1 Corinthians 14:2, KJV)

        To summarize, why then should we encourage speaking in tongues today, in the 21st century?

        • Jesus said that believers would speak in tongues (Mark 16:17).

        • Tongues certify and give evidence that the person is baptized with the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:5; 2:1-4; 10:44-46; 11:15-17; 19:1-6).

        • Speaking in tongues is a good opportunity to submit to the Holy Spirit’s leading (Acts 2:4).

        • Tongues demonstrate the reality of God in the speaker’s life (Acts 11:15-18).

        • The baptism with the Holy Spirit, evidenced by speaking in tongues, opens the door to other gifts of the Spirit (Acts 19:2,6).

        • Tongues with interpretation are “for the [church’s] common good” (1 Corinthians 12:7, 10).

        • Speaking in tongues is speaking to God (1 Corinthians 14:2a).

        • Praying in tongues is praying “in” or “with the spirit” (1 Corinthians 14:2, 14-15).

        • The speaker in tongues is edified (1 Corinthians 14:4).

        • The apostle Paul expressly approved of tongues (1 Corinthians 14:5a, 39).

        • A tongue followed by an interpretation edifies the church (1 Corinthians 14:5, 12-13).

        • Tongues allow us a balanced prayer and worship life, both with the spirit and with the understanding (1 Corinthians 14:14-15).

        • When speaking in tongues, you may be giving thanks well to God (1 Corinthians 14:16-17).

        • Speaking in tongues was apostolic practice (1 Corinthians 14:18 and at Pentecost).

        Tongues with interpretation are an appropriate, strengthening part of an edifying church service (1 Corinthians 14:26).

        In closing, I mention the often-asked question: "Is speaking in tongues biblical?" The bible itself answers that clearly. Jesus Himself, in Mark 16:17, said that speaking in tongues would characterize Great Commission believers. And more than 15 other New Testament verses refer to speaking in tongues in a favorable light. From the bottom of my heart I commend to you the words of the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 14:5: “I would like every one of you to speak in tongues.”

        Please see our related bible study on speaking in tongues (glossolalia) as the initial evidence of the baptism with the Holy Spirit as well as our sermon on Evidences of the Spirit-Filled Life.

        by Pastor James H. Feeney, Ph.D. All rights reserved www.jimfeeney.org

        1.  — Edited

          Forgetting Our Father

          Sunday, June 21st of 2020

          I heard minister Brett Blair saying that in his younger days when his children were small, he would have family meetings. These meetings were to discuss chores and family matters, trips, etc. Yet, he admitted, when he would call these meetings, the expression on his children's faces would usually be: "what have we done wrong now." Finally, he said, my wife pointed out to me that the tone in my voice when I called these meetings were solemn, the tone he used when he disciplined his children. Thus, they responded with apprehension. Thought it, I wonder if that is not similar to the response that many people have when they have a meeting with God. 

          They come to him with the feeling: Well, we must really be in trouble now. Despite all of the talk that we do in the church about how God loves us, I get the distinct impression that many feel that God just puts up with them. I have even talked with some people who drew a distinction between Christ's love and God's attitude over the years. They see Christ as the One who holds back the wrath of an angry God. The impression is that, if it were not for Christ, God would love to get his hands on us.

          Or I heard from my own father saying: "We use a soldier and God the same way only when we need it". Remember, "Our Father who is in heaven" . Today I miss my dad. soldier is in heaven with our heavenly Father. My father die a few years ago in a long term residence hospital.

          Today is Father's Day. Our most fervent prayer is that when our boys and girls look at their Dads, they see God's love reflected in their dad's eyes. Of course, not every dad is a great dad. In fact, dads don't get much respect in our society nowadays. It's not always easy to be a dad, but we know that we have many fine dads in our church family, and we give God thanks for them. 

          In today's lesson from Matthew's Gospel, verses 29-31, Jesus says something quite remarkable about his Daddy. After all, that is what he called his Heavenly Father "Abba", Daddy. Christ is sending his twelve disciples out into the world where He knows they will experience not only the opposition but also persecution. He gives them these instructions: "So do not be afraid of them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed or hidden that will not be made known. What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs. Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell . . ." Then he adds these beautiful words of comfort: "Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father's care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows."

          We have heard those words so often that we probably have lost a sense of how amazing they are but think about it. There may be millions of sparrows in the world. The sparrow is such a common bird and so numerous that often it is considered a pest. But sparrows can be found nearly everywhere on earth. From New Delhi, India to Santiago, Chile; from London, England to Sydney, Australia; they are, indeed, ubiquitous. Some studies indicate that, due to climate change, there are fewer sparrows than there used to be. In fact, a survey published last Fall in the Journal Science reported that there are nearly 3 billion, yes, I said billion with a b, 3 billion less birds altogether than there were half a century ago, probably for a variety of reasons. We live in a complicated environment. Among those most threatened, according to the survey, are sparrows. Still, the number of sparrows in the world is quite staggering.

          Now think about Christ's statement: "Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father's care." Could God possibly care that much about one tiny sparrow among the millions that fill the sky? And think of his second statement: "And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered." Now some of us don't have as much hair as we once did. But Jesus is saying that God's knowledge of each of us is so extensive (or should we say intensive?) that God knows every hair on our head. Wow, that's amazing!

          In your festivities for Fathers' day have a thought for your Father in heaven, may this Father bless you with all the love that you need and deserve...

          Rev. Eric Michel Archbishop

          Please read Tanya post of father's day in Nova Scotia Prayer Group https://faithlife.com/iaoc-e-nova-scotia/activity

          1. Long time didn't spend time in here, the IAoC is setting up a website in Africa that take care of all my time in which I had to put 2 other site on old... to visit the site name EMMI Africa Churches Association at http://churchesassociation.africa/
            1. Trinity

              Sunday June 7, 2020 Trinity Sunday

              1 Corinthians 12:4-6 

              4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.

              Ephesians 4:4-6 

              4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call, 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

              Colossians 1:15-17 

              The Preeminence of Christ

              15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities, all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

              John 14:9-11 

              9 Jesus answered, “Philip, I have been with you for a long time. So you should know me. Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father too. So why do you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The things I have told you don’t come from me. The Father lives in me, and he is doing his own work. 11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me. Or believe because of the miracles I have done.

              Philippians 2:5-8 

              Learn From Christ to Be Unselfish

              5 In your life together, think the way Christ Jesus thought.

              6 He was like God in every way,

                but he did not think that his being equal with God was something to use for his own benefit.

              7 Instead, he gave up everything, even his place with God.

                He accepted the role of a servant, appearing in human form.

              During his life as a man,

              8   he humbled himself by being fully obedient to God,

                even when that caused his death, death on a cross.

              John 10:30-36

              30 The Father and I are one.”

              31 Again the Jews there picked up stones to kill Jesus. 32 But he said to them, “The many wonderful things you have seen me do are from the Father. Which of these good things are you killing me for?”

              33 They answered, “We are not killing you for any good thing you did. But you say things that insult God. You are only a man, but you say you are the same as God! That is why we are trying to kill you!”

              34 Jesus answered, “It is written in your law that God said, ‘I said you are gods.’ 35 This Scripture called those people gods, the people who received God’s message. And Scripture is always true. 36 So why do you accuse me of insulting God for saying, ‘I am God’s Son’? I am the one God chose and sent into the world.

              If you search for Trinity in the Bible, you will not find anything. As a modern person of the 21st century, you will turn around and use Google or Bing to find the Trinity in the Bible. Bring bring out those six verses mentioned above. It is hard to understand with the reason the meaning of those verses. That is why we had so many false teaching over millenniums that the heretics use to discredit the Trinity.

              Oneness Pentecostal

              The Christian doctrine of the Trinity (Latin: Trinitas, lit. 'triad', from Latin: trinus "threefold") holds that God is one God, but three coeternal consubstantial persons or hypostases, the Father, the Son (Christ), and the Holy Spirit, as "one God in three Divine persons". The three persons are distinct, yet are one "substance, essence or nature" (homoousios). In this context, a "nature" is what one is, whereas a "person" is who one is. The subset of Christianity that accepts this doctrine is collectively known as Trinitarianism, while the subset that does not is referred to as nontrinitarian. Trinitarianism contrasts with positions such as Binitarianism (one deity in two persons) and Monarchianism (no plurality of persons within God), of which Modalistic Monarchianism (one deity revealed in three modes) and Unitarianism (one deity in one person) are subsets.

              While the developed doctrine of the Trinity is not explicit in the books that constitute the New Testament, the New Testament possesses a "triadic" understanding of God and contains several Trinitarian formulas. The doctrine of the Trinity was first formulated among the fathers of the Church as early Christians attempted to rationalize the relationship between Jesus and God in their scriptural documents and prior traditions.

              Modalistic Monarchianism (also known as Oneness Christology) is a Christian theology that upholds the oneness of God as well as the deity of Jesus. It is a form of Monarchianism and, as such, stands in contrast with Trinitarianism. Modalistic Monarchianism considers God to be one while working through the different "modes" or "manifestations" of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Following this view, all the Godhead is understood to have dwelt in Jesus from the incarnation. The terms Father and Son are then used to describe the distinction between God's transcendence and the incarnation (God in immanence). Lastly, since God is a spirit, it is held that the Holy Spirit should not be understood as a separate entity but rather to describe God in action.

              Modalistic Monarchians believe in the deity of Jesus and understand Jesus to be a manifestation of Yahweh, the God of the Old Testament, in the flesh. For this reason, they find it suitable to ascribe all worship appropriate to God alone to Jesus also.

              Theologian and Church historian Adolf von Harnack first used the term modalism to describe a doctrine believed in the late 2nd century and 3rd century. During this period, Christian theologians were attempting to clarify the relationship between God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Concerned with defending the absolute unity of God, modalists such as Noetus, Praxeas and Sabellius explained the divinity of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit as the one God reveals himself in different ways or modes:

              God revealed as the creator and lawgiver is called "the Father."

              God revealed as the Saviour in Jesus Christ is called "the Son."

              God revealed as the one who sanctifies and grants eternal life is called "the Spirit."

              By the 4th century, a consensus had developed in favour of the doctrine of the Trinity, and modalism was generally considered a heresy.

              Modalistic Monarchianism is accepted within Oneness Pentecostalism. Oneness Pentecostals believe in the deity of Jesus and understand Jesus, the Son of God, to be a manifestation of the God of the Old Testament, Yahweh, in the flesh. When Jesus was on Earth, he referred to God as his Father since God caused his conception through the Holy Spirit. They also believe that, since God is spirit, the Holy Spirit is used to describe God in action. In this way, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are considered titles about the one God, not descriptions of distinct individuals.

              Because Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are maintained to be titled, Oneness Pentecostals believe that they fulfill the commandment of Jesus in Matthew 28:19 to baptize in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit by baptizing solely in the name of Jesus Christ. Because Jesus is the name given for salvation (Acts 4:12), they would argue that this led the Apostles in the book of Acts fulfilling the commandment of Jesus by baptizing in the one name of the one God, Jesus.

              Much of their theology attempts to begin with an Old Testament understanding of God to understand what the first Apostles would have believed about Jesus. They also seek to avoid the use of theological categories produced by Platonic-Aristotelian epistemologies instead of telling the story of redemption through narrative. Thus, the distinction found in the New Testament writers between God the Father and Jesus is understood to be from the attempts to identify God the Father and Jesus together, rather than to separate them more than necessary.

              The theology of the World Mission Society Church of God and its youth representing group ASEZ is another example of modalism. They believe that"'God' coherently refers to God the Father throughout the Bible. Apostle Paul, the writer of Philippians and Romans, testified that God the Son Jesus is in very nature God, indicating that He is God the Father Jehovah, who was born in the flesh." They believe that, later on, the Holy Spirit came on the human form to be revealed as Ahnsahnghong, who they believe is God the Son of Jesus Christ: "Following the Bible, God the Holy Spirit must also have a name. The name of the Holy Spirit is Ahnsahnghong. Ahnsahnghong is the Holy Spirit because He fulfilled the prophecy of the one to come and remind us of the truth Jesus taught. So, God, the Holy Spirit Ahnsahnghong is God the Son Jesus Christ."

              In addition, the Old Testament has also been interpreted as foreshadowing the Trinity, by referring to God's word (Psalm 33:16), his spirit (Isaiah 61:1), and Wisdom (Proverbs 9:1), as well as narratives such as the appearance of the three men to Abraham. However, it is generally agreed among Trinitarian Christian scholars that it would go beyond the intention and spirit of the Old Testament to correlate these notions directly with later Trinitarian doctrine.

              Some Church Fathers believed that a knowledge of the mystery was granted to the prophets and saints of the Old Testament and that they identified the divine messenger of Genesis 16:7, Genesis 21:17, Genesis 31:11, Exodus 3:2 and Wisdom of the sapiential books with the Son, and "the spirit of the Lord" with the Holy Spirit. Other Church Fathers, such as Gregory Nazianzen, argued in his Orations that the revelation was gradual, claiming that the Father was proclaimed in the Old Testament openly, but the Son only obscurely, because "it was not safe, when the Godhead of the Father was not yet acknowledged, plainly to proclaim the Son".

              Christians have interpreted Genesis 18–19 as a Trinitarian text. The narrative has the Lord appearing to Abraham, who was visited by three men (Gen 18:1-2). Then in Genesis 19, "the two angels" visited Lot at Sodom. On the one hand, the interplay between Abraham and the Lord/three men/the two angels on the other was an intriguing text for those who believed in a single God in three persons. Justin Martyr, and John Calvin similarly, interpreted it such that Abraham was visited by God, accompanied by two angels. Justin supposed that the God who visited Abraham was distinguishable from the God who remains in the heavens, but was nevertheless identified as the (monotheistic) God. Justin appropriated the God who visited Abraham to Jesus, the second person of the Trinity.

              Augustine, in contrast, held that the three visitors to Abraham were the three persons of the Trinity. He saw no indication that the visitors were unequal, as would be the case in Justin's reading. Then in Genesis 19, two of the visitors were addressed by Lot in the singular: "Lot said to them, 'Not so, my lord'" (Gen. 19:18) Augustine saw that Lot could address them as one because they had a single substance, despite the plurality of persons.

              Some Christians interpret the theophany's or appearances of the Angel of the Lord as revelations of a person distinct from God, who is nonetheless called God. This interpretation is found in Christianity as early as Justin Martyr and Melito of Sardis and reflects ideas that were already present in Philo. The Old Testament theophany were thus seen as Christophanies, each a "pre-incarnate appearance of the Messiah."

              How to explain the concept of the Trinity?

              It’s hard to explain the Trinity no matter what example, word picture, or illustration you might choose.

              As taught in our Catechism, the Trinity is a mystery. It reflects on the relation of the three persons to the divine essence that all analogies fail us. We become deeply conscious of the fact that the Trinity is a mystery far beyond our comprehension. It is the incomprehensible glory of the Godhead.”

              If the Trinity is such a mystery, why study it? We research and learn about the Trinity because it has implications for the very heart of the Christian faith.

              Archbishop Eric Michel

              Source:en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trinity, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modalistic_Monarchianism

              1. Sunday May 29, 2020 Pentecost Worship Reading: Acts 28:16-20 Revised Standard Version (RSV) 16 And when we came into Rome, Paul was allowed to stay by himself, with the soldier that guarded him. Paul and Jewish Leaders in Rome 17 After three days he called together the local leaders of the Jews; and when they had gathered, he said to them, “Brethren, though I had done nothing against the people or the customs of our fathers, yet I was delivered prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans. 18 When they had examined me, they wished to set me at liberty, because there was no reason for the death penalty in my case. 19 But when the Jews objected, I was compelled to appeal to Caesar—though I had no charge to bring against my nation. 20 For this reason therefore I have asked to see you and speak with you, since it is because of the hope of Israel that I am bound with this chain.” John 16:7-13 King James Version (KJV) 7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. 8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 Of sin, because they believe not on me; 10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; 11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. 12 I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. 13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
                1. 2 Chronicles 7:14

                  The classic example and promise in the New Testament is Jesus’ allegory of the vine and the branches. You remember in that He tells us who God is and who He is in relation to God, then He tells us who we are in relation to Him and He says, “If you abide in me and my words abide in you” Those are the conditions. If we meet those conditions, he says, ask whatever you will and it will be done for you.

                  We are followers of Jesus Christ desiring the healing promised in 2 Chronicles 7:14. Our hope is in Christ alone.

                  1. CHURCH & MINISTRIES

                    Memo: May 10, 2020 started our new adventure with Faithlife.com, two weeks now...

                    The Christian Post: United Methodist Church sets new date for conference expected to debate homosexuality stance.

                    In a religious context, sin is an act of transgression against divine law. Sin is associated with the corruption of a being through acts which are wicked or destructive, such that can cause a being to fall from grace and divine providence. While sins are generally actions, any thought, word, or act considered immoral, selfish, shameful, harmful, or alienating might be termed "sinful".

                    Homophobia encompasses a range of negative attitudes and feelings toward homosexuality or people who are identified or perceived as being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT). It has been defined as contempt, prejudice, aversion, hatred or antipathy, may be based on irrational fear and ignorance, and is often related to religious beliefs.

                    Are we not all children of God???

                    As pope, Francis (wikipedia.org) has repeatedly spoken about the need for the church to welcome and love all people, regardless of their sexual orientation. Speaking about gay people in 2013, he said that "the key is for the church to welcome, not exclude and show mercy, not condemnation." In July of that year, he said "If someone is gay and is searching for the Lord and has good will, then who am I to judge him? The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains this in a beautiful way, saying…: 'no one should marginalize these people for this, they must be integrated into society.

                    Bishop Spong says: "I have made a decision. I will no longer debate the issue of homosexuality in the church with anyone. I will no longer engage the biblical ignorance that emanates from so many right-wing Christians about how the Bible condemns homosexuality, as if that point of view still has any credibility. I will no longer discuss with them or listen to them tell me how homosexuality is "an abomination to God," about how homosexuality is a "chosen lifestyle," or about how through prayer and "spiritual counseling homosexual persons can be cured".

                    (https://walkingwithintegrity.blogspot.com/2009/10/manifesto-from-our-friend-bishop-john.html on Blogger no copyright mentioned).

                    According to some Christians referring to 1 Corinthians 8:6 "yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist" and Colossians 1:16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities, all things were created through him and for him". is that include gays?

                    Now the arguments comes with John 1:12–13. 12 "But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, the gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God". according to this God created us all but we are not all God's children...

                    I know personally lots of LGBT persons that are devoutly Christians and as accepted Jesus as their Lord and Saviour, what can we add more to it?

                    Homosexuality's should be nothing else than a fact, a fact of life, nothing more. 

                    Equal Rights for Homosexual and Bisexual Persons.

                    Some nations are very tolerant of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, and Transgenders, while some are extremely punitive. In June 2009, Lithuania passed a law banning information about homosexuality and bisexuality from places where youths can see it. Uganda is proposing a death penalty homosexuals and prison sentences for failure to report them. Less accepting areas of the world are the United States and Africa. Canada has a high acceptance level and permits gay marriages. The three nations that have the highest acceptance scores and allow gay marriages are the Netherlands, Spain, and Belgium.

                    Homosexuality is a sin, Leviticus 18:22, "Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable. And Romans 1:26-27, "26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error". 

                    What happen of the great commandment, name used in the New Testament to describe the first of two commandments cited by Jesus in Matthew 22:35–40, Mark 12:28–34, and Luke 10:27.

                    In Mark, when asked "which is the great commandment in the law?", the Greek New Testament reports that Jesus answered, "Hear, O Israel! The Lord Our God, The Lord is One; Thou shalt love thy Lord, thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind", before also referring to a second commandment, "And the second is like unto it, thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." Most Christian denominations consider these two commandments to be the core of correct Christian lifestyle but not good enough for homophobe churches.

                    What does the Bible really say about sex?

                    Given the controversies over same-sex marriage, homosexuality, and gender-bending now raging in our culture, what is the biblical pattern for human sexuality?

                    The gift of sexual activity, as presented in the Bible, is consistently located only within the context of the marital covenant. Joined to each other within this monogamous covenant, the man and the woman may be naked, and not ashamed (Gen. 2:25). The consistent witness of the biblical writers is that sexual relations are limited to this covenant relationship. All forms of extra-marital sexual activity are condemned, including premarital sex (fornication). Adultery is expressly forbidden as a particularly dangerous and damaging insult to the marriage and to the glory of God. (Ex. 20:14, Deut. 22:22, 1 Cor. 6:9-10). At the same time, the husband and wife are ordered to fulfill their marital duties to each other, and not to refrain from sexual union (1 Cor. 7:2-5).

                    The reality of sexual brokenness is also addressed. The pain and shame of adultery, for example, are demonstrated in the account of David's sin with Bathsheba. Paul's horror in learning of sexual sin among the Corinthians occasioned some of his clearest teachings on sexuality and holiness. At the same time, the Bible points to salvation and the atoning work of Christ as the ground of our sexual healing and the promise of forgiveness. As Paul reminded the Corinthian Christians, "such were some of you," listing the sexually immoral, adulterers, and homosexuals (1 Cor. 6:9-11). The tense of the verb is critically important in this text, for the "such were some of you" serves to underline that Christians cannot continue in such sins.

                    The biblical writers affirm sexuality as a part of our embodied existence. As human beings we are sexual creatures, and as sexual creatures we are called to honor God with our bodies. Within the context of the marital covenant, the husband and wife are free to express love for each other, experience pleasure, and join in the procreative act of sexual union. This is pleasing to God, and is not to be a source of shame.

                    No debate accept and love your neighbour as thyself...

                    Galatians 6:1 Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. If you really consider a homosexual as a sinner, your position is "treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector".(Matthew 18:17)

                    Rev. Eric Michel Archbishop


                    1.  — Edited

                      Acts 2 The Holy Spirit Comes at Pentecost

                      Sunday May 31st, 2020

                      The Howling

                      In the Cambridge Dictionary, the definition of “howl” or “howling” provides three options: 1) wind blowing hard and making noise 2) a dog or wolf sound 3) a communal noise made by a group of people.

                      Lori Wagner found interesting that in defining “howl,” the wind came first. But then, perhaps our idea of what a “howl” is comes from our experience in nature. In fact, in the movie, “Frozen,” Elsa sings, “The wind is howling like the swirling storm inside,” as she describes her emotions creating a tumult inside of her, much like a howling wind around her. The sounds around us often help us to define what we are feeling inside, emotionally and spiritually.

                      I like to think of the “howl” we read about in Acts 2 today, likewise, as a celebration. God’s primal “voice” howls through the disciples’ upper room and beyond, filling all present to saturation with the joy and freedom of the Holy Spirit. God not only is celebrating Jesus’ evangelistic mission cry and God’s victory over all the earth but the resilience and natural bonding of the human spirit, the primal love and communal nature of the true disciples’ soul. In that instant when the Holy Spirit’s howl touched down, humanity was united in something bigger than themselves, bigger than their politics, their viewpoints, even their languages. Nothing could separate God from kindness or humankind from itself, but all are joined in an ecstatic, primal shout of collaborative, supernatural joy.

                      Imagine for a moment how that must have sounded when that Holy Spirit howl filled the entire house! The sound seemed to come directly from the heavens, a sound like a fierce, howling wind, resonating through the very walls. The onset of that howl brought visuals too –flames seemed to alight on the heads of those present. They glowed with Holy Spirit fire. And immediately their spirits were filled, provoked, and energized into vocalizations of their own –they could speak the languages of all those around them, those they would seek out in mission to proclaim Jesus’ salvation. All dialects of the earth were united in that single primal howl.

                      Today, on this day of Pentecost, you are part of that communal message of God to all people. You are a beloved son or daughter of God, blessed in Jesus’ name and invited to participate in His mission. You are united in the Holy Spirit and the Unity of Christian of all denominations.

                      We encourage you to join in your communal howl. An utterance of joy and victory, of happiness, love, friendship, and freedom, acknowledging that no matter what happens on this earth, the human spirit can never be quenched, because the Holy Spirit is our healing elixir and our uniting bond. Howl, people of God. In your howling lies your healing.

                       Stephen P. McCutchan says that It is common to speak of Pentecost as the birthday of the church. He wants to add to that the image of marriage. As most of you are aware, marriages do not just happen with the signing of a contract. There is the courting period, and the public declaration of engage­ment before the formal ceremony takes place that lifts the im­portance of the couple's commitment to each other. Even the for­mal service does not make a marriage.

                      A marriage without a period of courting is based on blind chance. It may work, but the percentages of its success are greatly lessened. A marriage without the public declaration and ceremony may work as well, but it also tends to have an ephemeral quality. It is as if somehow the couple is not sure enough to publicly and pridefully declare to the world that they are committed to working out the delicate and difficult dimensions of a truly intimate rela­tionship. The public ceremony invites a larger community to celebrate the couple's declaration of commitment to each other and support them in fulfilling that commitment.

                      A marriage is developed as we live out that commitment to each other, discovering our differences, our commonality, and de­veloping that third something that did not exist until we came to­gether. There are moments of joy, friction, boredom, and ecstasy as a couple begins to utilize every experience as an opportunity to deepen their relationship.

                      Those same sorts of dynamics are present in a healthy church community. Like in a marriage, members of a church discover that they carry into the community a lot of unconscious assumptions having to do with values, relationships, roles, and responsibilities. When I am counselling a young couple in preparation for marriage, I often suggest that they are entering into something like the for­mation of a new architectural partnership whose first contract is to design a new community. Fresh out of their respective schools of architecture, replete with all of the individual quirks of their pro­fessors who trained them, they enter into their new project with full enthusiasm.

                      Soon they begin to notice points of tension and disagreement over apparently trivial things. They need to be aware of and openly discuss that their training came from different schools of architecture. In those schools, they absorbed, unconsciously, dif­ferent customs, values, and manners of working that each assumes to be generally true of everyone. Since they understand what they be­lieve is generally acceptable truth, they see as irrational behaviour or resolute stubbornness the partner's insistence on doing it a dif­ferent way.

                      Those same tensions often occur in a church among members and between members and their pastor. Each acts on assumptions and customs that they believe to be accurate and cannot understand any reason for changing. It is only as they learn to value the presence of various assumptions that they will begin to build a truly healthy church.

                      With that image in mind, let us turn to Pentecost. As he men­tioned, Pentecost has often been referred to as the birthday of the church. The book of Acts records that the disciples and followers of Jesus were gathered together in Jerusalem following the cross's events. Most likely, they were a mixed, disorganized, fright­ened group of people. Their hopes had been raised so high by this man Jesus, then dashed to pieces by his execution as a criminal on the cross. Then some among them spoke of having experienced Jesus alive again. But even if that were so, he was not among them now to give them direction. The world outside seemed cold, inhos­pitable, and unresponsive. If people would not listen to Jesus and have rejected both him and his message, what hope was there for this small, frightened group of people to have any effect on the world?

                      Aware of their many weaknesses, confused as to their role in the world, and disoriented as to the direction they should move, they gathered for Pentecost's feast. Pentecost was the Greek name for the second of the three great religious feasts of the Jewish year. It was originally an agricultural festival celebrating the completion of the harvest, something like our Thanksgiving. As Israel became more urbanized, it became a time to celebrate the renewal of the covenant or agreement between God and God's people.

                      Then, after years of the Jewish people celebrating this Pentecost festival, a mixed group of frightened Jews who had followed Jesus sought to rededicate themselves as part of the people of God. They wanted to make a new beginning as followers of "the way" in which Jesus had instructed them. Like their Jewish ancestors before them, they wanted to reflect upon their covenant with God and to seek a new direction for their life together.

                      Acts 2 is the second chapter of the Apostles' Acts in the New Testament of the Christian Bible, this chapter records the events on the day of Pentecost, about ten days after the ascension of Jesus Christ.

                      The biblical narrative of Pentecost is given in the second chapter of the Book of Acts. Present were about one hundred and twenty followers of Christ (Acts 1:15), including the Twelve Apostles, Jesus' mother Mary, various other women disciples and Jesus' brothers (Acts 1:14). Their reception of the Holy Spirit in the Upper Room and their empowerment to speak in tongues are recounted in Acts 2:1–6:

                      Verses 1–6 1When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. 2 And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3 Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability. 5 Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. 6 And at this sound, the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each.

                      While those on whom the Spirit had descended were speaking in many languages, the Apostle Peter stood up with the eleven and proclaimed to the crowd that this event was the fulfillment of the prophecy of Joel (in Book of Joel 2:28–29): " ... I will pour out my Spirit...". (Acts 2:17).

                      Verse 15 For these are not drunk, as you suppose since it is the third hour of the day. The third hour of the day (about 9:00 AM): Peter explains that it is only breakfast time.

                      Verses 16–21 16 But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: 17 In the last days it shall be, says God, that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. 18 Even on My menservants and maidservants, I will pour out My Spirit in those days; and they shall prophesy. 19 And I will show wonders in heaven above and signs on the earth below: blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke. 20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and glorious day of the Lord comes. 21 And whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. The extended quotation from Joel 2:28–32 (LXX) is to support that this event is something predicted in Scripture, and it clarifies some points about the apostolic proclamation.

                      The Christian holiday of Pentecost, which is celebrated the 49th day (the seventh Sunday) after Easter Sunday, commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and other followers of Jesus Christ while they were in Jerusalem celebrating the Feast of Weeks, as described in the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 2:1–31).

                      The holiday is also called "White Sunday" or "Whitsunday" or "Whitsun", especially in the United Kingdom, where traditionally the next day, Whit Monday, was also a public holiday (since 1971 fixed by statute on the last Monday in May). In German, Pentecost is called Pfingsten, developed through contracting the Greek term pen[te]k[os]te, and often coincides with scholastic holidays and the beginning of many outdoor and springtime activities, such as festivals and organized outdoor activities by youth organizations. The Monday after Pentecost is a legal holiday in many European countries.

                      Pentecost is one of the Great Feasts of the Eastern Orthodox Church, a Solemnity in the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church, a Festival in the Lutheran Churches, and a Principal Feast in the Anglican Communion. Many Christian denominations provide a special liturgy for this holy celebration.

                      Scholars believe that Pope Leo, Sermons 75 – 77, were given on Pentecost Sunday. In these sermons, Pope Leo discusses Macedonianism dating to the 5th century, which the Catholic Church denounced as heresy because it considered the Holy Spirit inferior to the Father and Son, thereby undermining the Trinity. He also denounces Manichean doctrine on the Holy Spirit, which taught that the Holy Spirit was present in Mani. Pope Leo discusses other Catholic doctrines about the Holy Spirit, especially emphasizing the Spirit's relationship to the Father and Son of the Trinity and the Catholic Church. He draws an analogy between Jewish practices and the Christian feast day: "As once to the Hebrew people, freed from Egypt, the law was given on Mt. Sinai on the fiftieth day after the sacrifice of the lamb, so after the Passion of the Christ when the true Lamb of God was killed, on the fiftieth day from his Resurrection, the Holy Spirit came down on the apostles and the community of believers." Pope Leo calls this the Second Covenant and says that it is established by the same Spirit who has set up the first. He describes the Holy Spirit's descent upon the disciples on Pentecost as the fulfillment of a long-awaited promise.

                      This year it falls during the COVID-19 pandemic.

                      Tragedy can strike so quickly and capriciously. While going about our everyday lives, in a moment, in the blink of an eye, the world can be changed. Natural disasters: tsunamis, earthquakes, floods, tornadoes. If you have avoided tragedy at this point in your life, thank God that you have been spared, but consider yourself lucky. 

                      Today as a world, we are dealing with the COVID-19 virus and the uncertain nature it has brought to our everyday lives. Recognize it is only a matter of time.

                      On this Sunday of Pentecost, Christians worldwide are away from their church due to the COVID 19 infections, and we need to keep our distances from other Christians. With me pray God for the end of this epidemic, COVID-19 is a death threat that has already made unenjoyable on many lives. Celebrate the Lord, who gives endurance and restores vitality, now and always.

                      Pray with us with Eric Michel Ministries International

                      Bill Bouknight's prayer

                      let's pray:

                      "Lord, you who permit my grief

                      Are the only one

                      Who can assuage it?

                      I wonder...

                      Do you permit grief

                      That I might learn

                      To be content

                      With nothing less

                      Then the comfort of God?

                      Whatever the reason

                      One thing I am learning:

                      You make it useful to me

                      All that you permit.

                      So, dear God

                      Though a great ache

                      Wells within my heart

                      I ask you to grip my life.

                      Empower me to go

                      From depth to depth with You

                      Until I am a wounded healer.

                      Bringing your comfort to others

                      As you are now comforting me.


                      Rev. Eric Michel Archbishop

                      Source for Bible Verses: Wikipedia.org