Mineral Wells Index
Special to the Index
The Mineral Wells Wednesday Bible Study Club met for its first meeting of the new year on Jan. 8, 2014 at the Black Horse Restaurant. Mrs. Carolyn Evans served as both hostess and lesson leader.
Mrs. Evans recently travelled in Ireland where she visited Kylemore Abbey, Kylemore, Connemara, County Galway, Ireland. Kylemore Abbey is a Benedictine Monastery founded in 1920 by Benedictine Nuns who fled Belgium in World War I. Mrs. Evans opened the lesson with a prayer from the Kylemore Abbey:
Help me live this day,
To lean upon Your great
To await the unfolding
Of Your will,
To meet others,
To face tomorrow,
The lesson for this meeting is the second chapter of Acts and Luke is believed to be the author of the book.
There are three great Jewish Festivals to which every living Jewish male residing within twenty miles of Jerusalem was legally bound to attend: Passover, Pentecost and the Feast of the Tabernacles.
Pentecost is the setting for this second chapter of Acts. Pentecost means the 50th or Feast of Weeks and it falls on the 50th day after Passover. Pentecost occurs at the beginning of June.
Because of the good weather at this time of year there is an international crowd in Jerusalem.
It was forbidden to do everyday work because of the religious holiday. This particular Pentecost was ten days after Jesus ascended into heaven.
Pentecost, or the Feast of Weeks, is significant in two ways: 1) it commemorated the giving of the law to Moses on Mt. Sinai and 2) Agricultural importance.
At Passover, part of the first crop of barley was offered to God and at Pentecost, two loaves were given symbolizing the safe gathering of the harvest.
The first four verses describe the sudden sound of rushing wind from heaven and tongues of fire that appeared above the disciples’ heads.
They were filled with the Holy Spirit and appeared to speak in other tongues.
Luke writes that the visiting Jews were attracted to the disciples and amazed because they could hear about the works of God in their native tongues.
Actually, the disciples were most likely speaking in tongues – an ability that was greatly coveted at the time.
Luke, a gentile, confused speaking in tongues with speaking in foreign languages.
In this passage of Acts, for the first time a mixed crowd was hearing God’s word in a heartfelt manner which they could understand.
The Power of the Spirit gave the disciples a message that could reach everyone.
There were those that doubted and thought the disciples were just “filled with wine.”
Peter quickly dismissed this thought by telling the crowd that they were not drunk as it was only the third hour of the day – about 9:00 a.m. – much too early in the day to drink.
What had just happened was the fulfillment of the prophesy of Joel who told that God would send the Holy Spirit in the final days.
One of the basic ideas of the Old and New Testaments is “the day of the Lord.” What does this mean? The Jews were convinced that they were God’s chosen people. This was interpreted to mean they were chosen for special privilege among the nations.
They were a small nation with a long history of disaster.
It was becoming evident they would never reach the status they deserved as the chosen people
They were reaching the conclusion that what they could not do for themselves, God must do.
They were looking forward to the day God would intervene directly in history and raise them to the honor that they deserved.
This day of intervention was “the day of the Lord.”
The Jews divided all time into two ages:
1) Present age – evil and doomed
2) Age to Come – Golden age of God
The time in between these two ages was to be the “day of the Lord.”
The first signs of the New Age would be terrible – compared to labor pains.
It would come suddenly. The world would be shaken to its foundations – a day of judgment and terror.
The prophetic books of the Old Testament and much of the New Testament describe that day. In verses 14-21 of Acts, Peter is saying to the Jews: “For generations you have dreamed of the day of God, the day when God would break into history. Now, in Jesus that day has come.”
A short business meeting was conducted by President Sarita Monroe. The meeting adjourned with the group’s Closing Prayer.