Sun To Darkness, Moon To Blood

The sun shall be spurned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the coming of the Lord’s great and glorious day. Then everyone who calls on the Name of the Lord shall be saved. Acts 2:20-21

Peter references the prophecy from Joel to mark the Beginning of Jesus’ Church at Pentecost, yet the end-of-time portion of Joel’s prophecy is ahead of us which we will recognize and call on the Name of Jesus Christ our Lord. When Jesus Christ was crucified there was a time of darkness for 3 hours but it was not what Joel predicts as the Day Of Our Lord.

Peter calls his listeners to think about Joel’s prophecy because the Day Of Pentecost is similar and it is a part of God’s Plan. Now it is up to us to bring others into Jesus’ Presence so that as the Day Of Our Lord comes, the end times, then they will know to call on the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Jesus God’s Son came to us showing us three things– miracles, wonders, and signs. We know that He is Messiah and our Lord. On Pentecost Jesus’ Holy Presence is put into believer’s hearts and minds by the gift of the Holy Spirit. With the Spirit of Truth (as Jesus calls the Spirit) you are led, fed, and held in right standing with God by the power of the Holy Spirit. Spirit continues with Jesus’ miracles, wonders, and signs in your life.

God Pours Out His Spirit

Peter said, “No, this was what was spoken by the prophet Joel: In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.” Acts 2:16-17

Peter is stands, speaking to interpret God’s outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon believers of a multitude of languages. When tongues like of fire appear over their heads and they speak, and those watching hear those anointed by the Holy Spirit speak in their own languages then the onlookers do not understand. These onlookers need someone to tell them what is going on.

At times when we’re confused about things of faith or Scriptural understanding we need someone to tell us what God is doing. Prophesy, visions, and dreams are all included in Holy Spirit outpouring. When you experience these then tell another believer or believers in Jesus Christ and do not be afraid.

By the power of the Holy Spirit in your life things of God will be revealed to you. What a joy and how amazing our Heavenly Father is for us. God wants for us to be included not excluded from His activities in His Kingdom within believers. And the Holy Spirit has future information for you, fresh anointing of Spirit’s love, and you are fully involved in the Spirit’s showers of blessings.

God’s Marvelous Deeds of Power

— in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power. All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” Acts 2:12

As Holy Spirit speaks within your soul Spirit is so very personal and unique, fully engaged with your spirit– for Spirit is speaking oneness in who are as Christ’s disciples. Spirit is speaking our languages, speaking into our souls, speaking Spirit Truth. What does this mean?

Spirit is truly very powerful and mighty to speak God’s deeds with the fullness of Truth that is undergirded in love, joy, and peace of our Heavenly Father’s plentiful Love. God’s deeds of power are found in Jesus Christ. What does that mean?

Powerful is God your Heavenly Father, one with Jesus Resurrected and Spirit. When you are challenged or tempted by anyone or anything that would distance you from Christ you then shall call on the merciful and grace empowered Name of Jesus Christ and by the power of the Spirit then Jesus is amazingly swift; instantaneously responding. Look for God’s deeds of power in your life for these are through Jesus Christ present with you. Your right choices to do God’s will for the Kingdom and to witness to God’s marvelous deeds are all by the Spirit as Spirit transforms your personality, your goals, and your desires to be just like Jesus.

The Day Of Pentecost

When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. 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. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability. Acts 2:1-4

Jesus is Glorified by God again and this is the Glory which seals His Presence within us ! Remember back in our study of John when Jesus, referring to the Heavenly Father, said, “He will glorify Me, because He will take what is Mine and declare it to you.” (John 16:14). This day is His declaration, perpetual each day forward. In giving you the Holy Spirit you are able receive the declaration of all of Christ as the Holy Spirit seals you securely in Jesus Christ’s compassionate loving wonderful Presence.

The Holy Spirit within each of us is what makes us Christ’s Church united in Him. The Kingdom of God is within our hearts and minds. Now when the Holy Spirit first came on Pentecost there was a dramatic visual and auditory announcement through tongues as of fire and the violent wind. When the Holy Spirit comes to you it is an unmistakable moment of history in your life as Spirit transforms you to make within you the true connection to Jesus Christ. Sealed, Spirit refreshes you with Christ’s Presence continually. Holy Spirit praying is naturally now very personal, between you and Christ, and Holy Spirit continues to give you everything of Christ.

This day, Pentecost, is seven weeks after Jesus Christ arose from death. Believer’s Pentecost is rooted in the Jewish faith as the day that Moses was given the Law on Mount Sinai. This day of Pentecost’s fulfillment through the Holy Spirit in Acts 2 is honored in Church seven weeks after Easter Sunday,

Keep Your Faith From Failing

In those days Peter stood up among the believers (together the crowd numbered about one hundred twenty persons) and said, “Friends, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit through David foretold concerning Judas, who became a guide for those who arrested Jesus– for he was numbered among us and was allotted his share in this ministry.” Acts 1:15

What deep grief the disciples experience from the fact that Judas, one of their own, betrayed Jesus into the hands of sinners. Yet Peter had listened closely as at the institution of Holy Communion Jesus had said, “satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your own faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” (Luke 22:31).

Similarly, Jesus Christ is praying for you (affirm in John 17) and gives you the charge to strengthen your brothers and sisters in Christ once you have turned back. Peter is strengthening others as he vigilantly describes Judas, who first tried to hang himself, spills his bodily fluids onto a piece of land bought with the pieces of silver given for His betrayal. Would that Judas would have turned back from denying Jesus as he remembered that there is no sin unredeemable in our souls except the total denial of Jesus’ Presence within us.

Peter is speaking before Pentecost. They will choose Matthias as disciple and after Pentecost the Holy Spirit will instead choose Paul– to widely spread Christ’s Kingdom Good News of salvation and New Birth by the Spirit of Truth. Both disciple’s ministries are blessed by Christ. Undoubtedly, Love in Jesus Christ’s shall win in your life. To keep your faith from failing turn to the Holy Spirit yielding as Spirit takes you, shakes you, makes you better than you have to be for Christ. Stay Christ’s

Our Hearts Join In Christ’s Love

Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath day’s journey away. When they had entered the city, they went to the room upstairs where they were staying… Acts 1:12-13

A little more than a half mile away from Jerusalem is Olivet, the Mount of Olives. Why does Dr. Luke write, ‘a sabbath day’s journey away’ when this distance may be walked in less than an hour? He crafts wording this way because there were several hundred thousand people camping outside of the city during Passover. Jesus was crucified on Passover and appeared to believers for 40 days after His Resurrection— Luke (author of Acts) is reminding us of this Holy time and our Passover Lamb Jesus.

After 40 days Jesus Christ ascends into heaven and two angels speak with the disciples to say how Christ will return to us from the throne of heaven. Then the 11 men disciples and the 7 women disciples return to the comforting Holiness of the upstairs room and there they pray in oneness, praise, and waiting.

Believers will never have this particular time of waiting again. This is a one-time event in all of history. Christ gives us the Holy Spirit at the first Pentecost then all the blessings from His Promise Of The Spirit flow continually into believers who say, “In the Name of Jesus Christ, come Holy Spirit. Thank you Jesus for anointing me with your Spirit of Truth.” The Holy Spirit is what makes us Christ’s Kingdom on earth, with our hearts joined in Christ’s love for us.

Jesus Goes Up To Heaven

When He had said this, as they were watching, He was lifted up, and a cloud took Him out of their sight. While He was going, and they were gazing up toward heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. Acts 1:9-10

Before Jesus ascends into heaven His last words to you are, “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes to you,” and “you will be My witnesses.” Using the Presence of Christ, speaking His Holy Name, enjoying the strength of the Holy Spirit within your heart and mind motivates you to witness. The blessings of witness are within prayer, purity, and believing that through Christ you can do all things in Him.

In our text, Jesus goes up to heaven then becomes our heart’s strength through the Holy Spirit. Oneness with Christ grips you in His love. Love is sourced from Holy Spirit power active within you. Jesus calls your strength the Spirit of Truth. Strength is in His Church who works together so that one day every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord and Universal Savior.

Jesus Christ your Lord and Savior will return in the same way He left, at the same place. He will come riding on a cloud. Truth in prophecy from Zechariah 14:4, ‘On that day His feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives, which lies before Jerusalem on the East; and the Mount of Olives shall be split in two from East to West by a very wide valley; so that one half of the Mount shall withdraw Northward, and the other half Southward.’

Wait For The Promise Of The Father

While staying with them, He ordered them. Not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for the promise of the Father. “This,” He said, “is what you have heard from Me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” Acts 1:4-5

In our ‘Acts Of The Apostles’ Scriptures God’s Plan is launched when Jesus is truly and factually Resurrected from the dead then instructs the disciples to wait in Jerusalem, be baptized with the Holy Spirit, then spread the Spirit. This is Jesus’ commission to you personally and privately too, “Wait for the promise of the Father.” Jesus Christ Resurrected is your everything, giving His life to save you and through the power of the Holy Spirit He is victorious and magnificent in your life.

Look at the high spiritual level shown to us in Acts as truly Jesus Christ’s Resurrection is your central focus from Dr. Luke (author of Acts). Luke mentions 110 believers by name in Acts, and concentrates on Peter (chapters 1-7) then Paul (chapters 8-28). Jesus had promised the Holy Spirit in John 1:33, 7:37-39, 14:16-17, and 20:22. At Pentecost (Acts chapter 2) the Spirit is powerfully activated within believers. Every believer can be baptized with the Holy Spirit.

Old Reverend Robert Lee, Church of Scotland minister and professor of Biblical criticism at Edinburgh University, wrote in the 1800’s that the best title for Saint Luke’s book about the Apostles is, “The Acts of the Ascended and Glorified Lord.”. Lee said it best. Holy Spirit inspiration (deepening faith) by God’s Son who lived compassionately among us and who ignites faith within each and every believer through the power and influence of the Holy Spirit is given when you pray, “Come Holy Spirit, come and fill me to overflowing. I belong to Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior. Come Holy Spirit, come.” Then wait.

Books That Would Be Written

But there are also many other things that Jesus did; if every one of them were written down, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. John 21:25

After Jesus tells Simon Peter how he will die then Peter asks how beloved disciple John will die. Jesus cautions Peter that he is not to presently concern himself with his brother’s death but to keep his full focus on following Him. “Follow Me,” He commands. (John 21:22) Like Peter, loving Jesus with your heart, mind, and soul means your focused service for Him has continual moments of opportunity. Do not pass this moment by– move Christ’s emphasis here to the forefront of your life too– Christ is giving continual moments of opportunity for you to take action Following Him.

When we consider together that in each believer’s life Christ is vitally alive and so much so that if all of these activities of Christ’s are written down then we know that there would be so many books that the world itself could not contain all the books. “Can I get a witness?”the Preacher asks and each believer resounds with, “Yes! My Lord Jesus Christ Savior and Redeemer is vitally alive in my life and I have so much to say to everyone about what He is doing in my life and all around me!!” Work your witness into conversations.

Witness includes wonder and joy that Christ is energizing, healing, forgiving, righting, loving, securing, persuading, accepting, directing, renewing, motivating, and guiding, He sits on the Throne Of Heaven and at the same time lives within our hearts. Without hesitation during your service He strengthens you to live without fear, not to be afraid– to talk and commune with Him, sing of His blessings, tune your life to His heart song, and delight in His ways. Keep in mind that where you are weak He is strong and notice His Holy Spirit’s power moving among you and others. Notice His Kingdom within others.

Glorify Christ With Your Life and Death

Jesus says: “Very truly, I tell you, when you were younger, you used to fasten your own belt and to go wherever you wished. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands and someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go.” (He said this to indicate the kind of death by which he would glorify God.). After this He said to him, “Follow Me.” John 21:18-19

Disciples see death’s approach as another way to glorify Christ’s Spirit within us and have trusting confidence in Christ. Jesus advises Peter he will be martyred under Nero of Rome; A.D. 64-68. As Christ speaks of his death Peter may realize that this is not only informational but it is a gift so that he remains solid in faith. Like Peter, when each Ash Wednesday the ashes are placed on your forehead in the sign of Christ’s Cross then you are instructed to look at your death and get done for Christ was has to be done, live without fear of your tombstone, and anticipate the finishing breath of life here as you are glorifying Christ.

Glorify Christ with your life now and then when the time comes for your death Christ our Lord says, “Be not afraid.” Now there are some folks who like to know what’s going to happen, how it’s going to happen, and prepare for what is to happen. Peter is one of these. Christ knows this and allows him to know ahead of his death that he will be lead around with a belt, mocked for his faith, and he will suffer at the hands of tormentors. In our text today, Peter’s command by Christ with, “Follow Me,” instills Holy Spirit fullness of faith, hope, and His Love.

My friend, have you listened to Christ say to you, “Follow Me”? When satan tries to dredge up your sins and have you live in nagging guilt and quiet despair, in silent sadness and low down motivation, and says that you’ll never do life right for Christ then hear His Spirit within you saying, “Follow Me.” Christ’s mercy and goodness forgives and scrubs you clean; forgiven and sins forgotten. Greater is Jesus Christ within you then satan’s wiles within this world. Christ victoriously claims you, names you His disciple, energizes you with His forgiving grace and motivates you. Hold your head up, bring your shoulders back, walk and live with confidence in Christ.