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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Filled With New Wine

Filled With New Wine

"But others mocking said, They are filled with new wine. But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them, Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words. For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel:

"And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy." Acts 2:13-18

All of these words mean plainly what they describe. "Prophesy" means to foretell events and declare truth; "visions" and "dreams" mean things seen, whether awake or asleep.

WHAT DO YOU THINK? Few of us ever experience such powerful demonstrations of God's Spirit: speaking unknown languages, foretelling the future, seeing visions or dreams that become real. Is the rarity of miracles such as these a function of our modern-day lack of faith, or God's timing and purpose?

"And I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke; the sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day. And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’" Acts 2:19-21

Peter referenced the Book of Joel, quoting exactly except for an addition to the last verse:

"And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as the Lord has said, and among the survivors shall be those whom the Lord calls." Joel 2:32 (ESV)

The prophet Joel was warning the nation of Israel to return to faith and dependence upon God, before God's wrath allowed an foreign invasion that would devastate the land:

"A nation has come up against my land, powerful and beyond number; its teeth are lions’ teeth, and it has the fangs of a lioness. It has laid waste my vine and splintered my fig tree; it has stripped off their bark and thrown it down; their branches are made white." Joel 1:6-7 (ESV)

WHAT DO YOU THINK? What similarities do you see in the foreign invasion of Israel and the death of Christ?

THE MURDER OF A GOOD MAN

"Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know — this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men." Acts 2:22-23

DEFINITE:
"Horizo", to mark out or bound; from "horion" (a boundary line) and "horos" (a bound or limit)

PLAN:
"Boule", volition, advice or purpose; from "boulomai" (to will or be willing)

FOREKNOWLEDGE:
"Prognosis", forethought; from "proginosko" (to know beforehand, foresee) and "ginosko" (to know)

LAWLESS:
"Anomos", not subject to law, a Gentile, or wicked; from "nomos" (law or regulation) and "nemo" (to parcel out food or grazing)

WHAT DO YOU THINK? How can God voluntarily, willingly plan and direct the murder of His innocent Son, yet still condemn His killers as wicked? How can God not be charged with the murder?

Image courtesy of Edwin Pijpe