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Tag Archives: the Day of Pentecost

No One Can Deny It

While they were on their way, some of the [Roman] guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened. 12 And when the chief priests had gathered with the elders and had consulted together [to develop a plan of deception], they gave a sufficient sum of money [as a bribe] to the soldiers, 13 and said, “You say this, ‘His disciples came at night and stole Him while we were sleeping.’ 14 And if the governor (Pilate) hears about it, we will calm him down and keep you out of trouble.” 15 So they took the money [they were paid for lying] and did as they were instructed; and this [fabricated] story was widely spread among the Jews, and is to the present day, Matthew 28:11-15.

Since being elected president in 2016, Donald Trump has eluded to a deep state. Initially, this accusation was nothing more than a conspiracy theory. Yet, as details has been uncovered, this group is a body of people, typically influential members of government agencies believed to be involved in the secret manipulation or control of government policy. Whether more information comes out or not, a similar organization existed during the first century. Roman soldiers conspired with the acting governor to come up with a fabricated story claiming Jesus’ disciples stole and hid his dead body.

Saying, “What are we to do with these men? For the fact that an extraordinary miracle has taken place through them is public knowledge and clearly evident to all the residents of Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it, Acts 4:16.

According to Matthew, this plot was successful as the lie was told over and over again, a growing number of people believed Jesus’ resurrection has a great hoax. As eye witnesses of the resurrected Jesus passed away, history was altered. Despite these rumors, the day of Pentecost enabled disciples to perform miracles just like Jesus. When the validity of these healings were examined by priests, members of the Sanhedrin could not deny the fact that extraordinary miracles had taken place. Fearful that first century apostles might expose their bribe, this religious deep state attempted to silence Peter and John.

Then he said to the Council, “Men of Israel, be careful in regard to what you propose to do to these men. 36 For some time ago Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody [of importance], and a group of about four hundred men allied themselves with him. But he was killed, and all who followed him were scattered and came to nothing. 37 After this man, Judas the Galilean rose up, [and led an uprising] during the time of the census, and drew people after him; he was also killed, and all his followers were scattered. 38 So in the present case, I say to you, stay away from these men and let them alone, for if this plan or action is of men [merely human in origin], it will fail and be destroyed; 39 but if it is of God [and it appears that it is], you will not be able to stop them; or else you may even be found fighting against God!” – Acts 5:35-39

During the next session of the Sanhedrin, a godly man named Gamaliel addressed this council. Gamaliel refers to a previous uprising led by a man named Theudas. When this man was killed, his movement slowly died out. Now that Jesus is no longer with us, only time will tell what will happened. If this movement is of God, there is nothing that you can do to stop it. Nearly two thousand years later, no one can deny that Jesus is indeed the promised Messiah. Although churches may come and go, the Holy Spirit is alive and well living inside the temple, bodies, of those who now believe.

by Jay Mankus

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Death Knows Where to Find You

The older you get, the presence of death becomes more of a reality.  In the past year, I have lost a cousin, aunt and father in law.  At the last funeral I attended, I received news that my wife’s aunt Rose was recently diagnosed with cancer.  Last week, Rose went home to be with the Lord.  A homecoming in heaven, but a painful reminder of our temporary status on earth.

And the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it, Ecclesiastes 12:7.

According to Solomon, our bodies are on loan from God.  The Hebrew word for Adam is Adamah, symbolic of God forming Adam’s body out of the earth.  The moment death strikes human beings, souls return back to God.  While your body is left to decay beneath the ground, your spirit awaits judgment before spending eternity in heaven or hell.

Now there are [distinctive] varieties of spiritual gifts [special abilities given by the grace and extraordinary power of the Holy Spirit operating in believers], but it is the same Spirit [who grants them and empowers believers]. And there are [distinctive] varieties of ministries and service, but it is the same Lord [who is served]. And there are [distinctive] ways of working [to accomplish things], but it is the same God who produces all things in all believers [inspiring, energizing, and empowering them]. But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit [the spiritual illumination and the enabling of the Holy Spirit] for the common good, 1 Corinthians 12:4-7.

The apostle Paul referred to human bodies as a temple.  When the Holy of holies was torn in two during the earthquake immediately following Jesus’ death on a cross, this event set the stage God’s presence to no longer be limited to a physical building.  Rather, Jesus’ resurrection and the Day of Pentecost opened the door for the Holy Spirit to enter your life.

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away,” Revelation 21:4.

In the last chapter of the Bible, John has a vision of Jesus in heaven.  Seeing the toll death takes on friends, family and relatives, Jesus promises to provide an eternally environment where they will be no more tears.  Heaven is the final destination where God will make you whole.  Since death knows where to find you, make sure your plans are secured before your time is up, 1 John 5:13.

by Jay Mankus

When the Spirit Left the Church

Most seminaries and theological institutions make a distinction between the Holy Spirit poured out on the day of Pentecost from that which exists today.  Based upon the amount of healings, miracles and spiritual revivals that takes place in the book of Acts, scholars refer to this time period as a special anointing.  Sometime after A.D. 300, the Holy Spirit experienced by apostles and disciples left the church.

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

The answer for why the Holy Spirit vanished from the face of the earth can be attributed to the influence and reign of the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great.  Prior to his conversion early in the third century, the Christian church was led by apostles, elders and laymen.  Despite increasing Roman persecution, faith flourished until some of Constantine’s edicts went into law.  One decree banned home churches from meeting.  Instead congregations could only meet in worship centers built by Constantine.

His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness, 2 Peter 1:3.

In an attempt to Christianize the world, Constantine tied pagan holidays and symbols to Christian celebrations.  While his motives likely had good intentions, this decision perverted and tainted sound theological doctrine.  Subsequently, ungodly beliefs that developed and those formed stunted the power of the Holy Spirit.  The presence of healings, miracles and radical transformation slowly faded from existence in the years following A.D. 300.  Despite these facts, the Bible talks about a pouring out of the Holy Spirit in the last days.  Although the Holy Spirit left the church initially, it doesn’t mean a spirit of revival can’t return.  May the Lord hear the prayers of the saints by bringing back the Spirit of Pentecost.

by Jay Mankus

Resting in Hope

Fifty years ago, most families consisted of a husband, wife and children.  In those days, moms stayed at home, taking care of the kids while the father was usually the main bread winner.  Over the last half century, this sight is rare, like a species of animals on the verge of extinction.  Subsequently, adults are now working nights, weekends or two jobs just to keep up with their monthly bills.  The idea of resting in hope is a fantasy for many tired souls.

Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest in hope, Acts 2:26.

On the Day of Pentecost, Peter was filled with peace.  Looking back on the last few months, the hand of God on Jesus’ life, death and resurrection began to make sense.  This clarity boosted the spirits of the disciples.  Despite Jesus’ absence following his ascension into heaven, a metamorphosis was ongoing in the hearts and minds of God’s people.  Peter attributes this reformation due to resting in hope.

Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all, 2 Thessalonians 3:16.

Stress has an opposite effect on individuals, leading to restless nights.  A by product of stress, worry induces doubt, causing minds to wonder if things will ever improve.  This is where I am from time to time, struggling to remain optimistic.  Nonetheless, when I reach low points in life, I am reminded of the promises in the Bible.  The more I hear and read these words, I begin to rest in hope.

by Jay Mankus

Project Afterlife

Yesterday,  I wrote a blog called When the Holy Spirit Takes Over.  Little did I know that these exact words were used by a doctor who helped raise a man from the dead in the pilot episode of Project Afterlife.  Following in the footsteps of It’s a Miracle on Pax Television, Destination America’s new show interviews eyewitnesses and individuals who have died for a short period of time before coming back to life.

Behold, I will bring to it health and healing, and I will heal them and reveal to them abundance of prosperity and security, Jeremiah 33:6.

About a year ago, I started a conversation with a co-worker.  Taking an unusual, yet interesting turn, this man revealed that years earlier he died and came back to life.  Arrested for underage drinking, this teenager died in the back of a cop car.  Although his memory is blurred, the next thing he remembers is waking in a hospital bed.  Due to his severe condition, the police officer never issued a ticket, giving him a second chance just as God gave this man a new lease on life.

And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven, James 5:15.

There will always be skeptics of healing, miracles and raising someone from the dead.  Especially, if you believe the Spirit pored out upon the disciples on the Day of Pentecost ceased following their deaths, limited to first century apostles.  Yet, if you check out Project Afterlife next Sunday night at 10pm eastern time, maybe your beliefs will be swayed.  Either way, sit back, listen to the testimonies shared and be open to the healing power of Christ.

by Jay Mankus

 

What Am I Suppose to Do Now?

After his suffering, Jesus presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God, Acts 1:3.

Without the resurrection, followers of Jesus would have disbanded, fearful of the same fate Jesus endured.  However, common sense, logic and eyewitness accounts of a risen Jesus weeks after his death suggest the disciples were emboldened.  When the Holy Spirit fell upon these individuals on the Day of Pentecost, this guiding light and mighty counselor laid the foundation for the modern Christian church to build upon.

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

Unfortunately, revisionist historians, time and persecution have caused many churches to disown parts of the Bible like Peter who denied his association with Jesus.  As atheistic and liberal groups turn up the heat, believers are abandoning their convictions, trying to please mankind rather than God.  Afraid of having their tax exempt status revoked, recent trials are producing a generation of wimpy Christians.  Although some are fighting on the front line, many are disenfranchised, floating from one house of worship to another.

Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ, Galatians 1:10.

Struggling to find my place in this world, one question is staring me in the face, “what I am suppose to do now?”  Although writing this blog is a good start, its independent of any church.  Thus, the church is not failing; its servants like me who are sitting on the sidelines playing Monday Morning Quarterback.  In view of this, I need to get off the bench, exercise my spiritual gifts and get back in the game.  Join me in flaming into flame the gifts and talents God has blessed you with.

by Jay Mankus

 

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