Foreword:

Ever wonder what God might have to say to YOU today? Here are things to ponder, and things to receive into your heart. If you have a question, put it in the comments. I respond as much as I can.

A note for all my readers: I've been experimenting with YouTube videos for Bible teaching for a while, and I'm working through Revelation here. My YouTube videos are currently short studies in Matthew, and at present I'm posting videos on Revelation as well. Both appear on the blog, which is turning into a Vlog. I encourage you to subscribe to my YouTube channel for better coverage.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

The Problem of Acts, Part 2

Acts connects the physical world and the spiritual world, and places them in constant interrelation with each other, so that events that happen in one world influence events that happen in the other.  Heaven and earth are connected in Acts 1 and 7; angels and men are connected throughout the book. Connection between believers and the Holy Spirit is continuous in the book of Acts.
Consider:
The FIRST event in the book of Acts is an appearance of Jesus to the disciples, and His ascension into heaven, attended by both angels and men.  During that event, He promises that the Holy Spirit will enter their world, inundating them with His presence and power.
Just think.
What would you do if you awoke one morning to angels talking? Or if you watched a man ascend into heaven, attended by angels, who spoke to you?  This was not commonplace, but happened frequently.
And then if you awoke about 2 months later, went to your prayer meeting, as you were accustomed, and at 9 AM, just after breakfast, you were inundated (baptized) by the Holy Spirit, who immediately overwhelmed you with His presence and power, and then gave you spiritual gifts, starting with a gift of praise that made other people able to understand you in their own languages, the languages of their childhood?
And all this time, others were seeing visions, hearing the voice of God, and generally contacting the world of God, the angels, and the Spirit Himself?
Just suppose YOU had that sort of contact with God and the spiritual world.
You're living in the book of Acts.
And of course the point is, Why not you? Why not now?  

Friday, August 1, 2014

The Problem of Acts...

The book of Acts essentially flies in the face of "modern Christianity."  The reason?  Acts connects the spiritual and physical worlds in a definite way, and lets us know that they are not really separate.  Fast forward to the modern world, where even the idea of "God" is something of a joke amongst "civilized" folk, and you'll see a complete denial of the spiritual world as it's clearly presented to us in the book of Acts. Who ever heard of angels talking to people?  Or a "Spirit" communicating to those who believe in a certain religion?
Modern Christianity is part and parcel of this problem, since most branches (except the Pentecostal/Charismatic) almost completely reject this view of the spiritual world.  Don't believe me?? Then go to church.  Nearly any church.  It's all about what you can do for yourself, or how you have to work really hard to be a good Christian, or some other thing (usually true) that involves your personal effort.  On the other hand, Acts presents a completely different world--a world full of angels, demons, the Spirit, miracles, gifts, visions, tongues, and so on.
"Modern" Christians have pretty much eliminated this view of life from their perspective, since it would conflict so deeply with the rationalistic society in which we live, and because a perspective that allows the free work of the Spirit leaves many things unexplained, like, "Why didn't Uncle Henry get healed? He died of emphysema."  These are things for which the believer in the spiritual world, and the Holy Spirit's present work, have no ready answer, and since we don't, we move away from the plain meaning of Acts, and offer the weak substitute that, "the days of the apostles are over..." so why is that?? How do we know?  When you examine the evidence, it's clear that Acts clearly presents a world that Christians should understand and walk in, but do not.  Why that is, will be the subject of a couple of blog posts.  For now, read Acts, and just ask yourself:  Why not now? Why not here? Why not ME?  I suggest that you will find no real answers to these questions, except made up ones that never satisfy.