"Astounding!" "Dumbfounding!" "What is the meaning of this?" "What is happening?" These were the startled expressions coming from the mouths of a crowd of several thousand on the Day of Pentecost nearly two thousand years ago. Those who uttered these words of astonishment were mostly Jews and proselytes, with a sprinkling of Romans and other gentiles among them, who were gathered in Jerusalem for the Feast of Weeks, or the fiftieth day following the offering of the wave sheaf. All knew it was the "Feast of the Firstfruits," and that it was celebrated "on the morrow after the seventh Sabbath" following the wave sheaf ceremony. But none had the slightest inkling of what was to happen on this momentous day. They were shocked, startled, puzzled! Then, by the thousands, they tearfully crowded around Christ's apostles, asking to be baptized! They repented in droves at the inspired preaching of the apostles, who wore flickering, brilliant crowns of flame! Read, in your own Bible, of the miracles that took place on the first Pentecost after Christ's resurrection––of the miracle of Pentecost!
A swarthy trader from Egypt, who was half Jewish, began speaking in a sardonic whisper to the Arabian standing next to him. "They have got to be drunk with new wine!" he said. The Arabian watched as the trader made a circling motion around his head with his index finger and rolled his eyes derisively. He didn't understand a word the Egyptian–Jew had said, but he got the message. A Phrygian camel driver laughed, gestured toward the disciples who were in full view, and said, "I'd like to know how they do it--I mean, how is it that they manage to have all those flames flickering around their heads, and not a hair singed?" Neither of the other men understood the Phrygian, until a Levite from Media, who was skilled in all three languages, translated for each of them. "They can't be drunk, seeing it's only about 9:00 in the morning, and there isn't a wineshop open in the city--but tell me this, how is it that each of you are understanding what these men have been saying, when they are speaking in my language?" The Egyptian looked startled, and the Arabian's mouth dropped open. The Phrygian camel driver laughed, "Oh, no. Impossible! They, every one of them, have been speaking in my tongue--which is surprising, for not many in Jerusalem know the dialect of Phrygia!" The word had spread like wildfire throughout the city: "A miracle! A miracle! Some of the followers of that man Jesus, who claimed to be the Messiah, are standing there with their hair on fire, and speaking in about sixteen different languages and all of us are hearing them in our own dialect!" When the excited babble of voices came to Peter, after most of the other disciples had addressed the crowd, Peter stood up, gestured for silence. His hair was blazing; flickering tongues of flame were leaping over his head like a golden corona; yet, there was no damage to his head or hair! "Men of Judaea, and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let this be understood! Listen to my words! These men are not drunken, like you think they are, seeing it is only the third hour of the day. "But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; 'And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy.'" The Phrygian nudged the Arabian, who looked at the Median Levite. "Did you understand that?" The Phrygian asked no one in particular. The linguist from Media rapidly asked each the same question, and all nodded vigorously, their eyes wide with wonderment. "Something is going on here--something I can't explain!" the Levite said to them. "We'd better listen!" Can any of us truly imagine what it must have been like for the large crowd of people from all over the Mediterranean world to have been assembled in Jerusalem on that momentous day? Can we picture, for even a moment, the astonishing sight, the astounding words that were spoken, or the excitement and wonderment that swept over the audience? One of the most stupendous miracles of all time was taking place before their astonished eyes, and filling their ears. It was the miracle of Pentecost, when God's Holy Spirit was first made available to the human race; when the "other Comforter" Jesus Christ promised (John 14:26) was sent to mankind.
Readers of The Plain Truth are aware that the calendars that most Christian and Jewish Observers follow are wrong. God's calendar is perfect, and the same holidays fall exactly the same time each year. Today is the 50th day since the Feast of First Fruits (The last day of Passover Week). For Christians, Pentecost is a holiday on which we commemorate the coming of the Holy Spirit on the early followers of Jesus. Before the events of the first Pentecost, which came a few weeks after Jesus’ death and resurrection, there were followers of Jesus, but no movement that could be meaningfully called “the church.” Thus, from an historical point of view, Pentecost is the day on which the church was started. This is also true from a spiritual perspective, since the Spirit brings the church into existence and enlivens it. Thus Pentecost is the church’s birthday. Pentecost is actually the Christian version of the old Greek and Latin name for the Jewish Festival of Weeks (Hebrew חג השבועות Chag ha-Shavuot) which can be found in the Hebrew Bible. It is called by that name in Exodus 34:22 and Deuteronomy 16:10. It is also called the Festival of Reaping (Hebrew: חג הקציר, Chag ha-Katsir) in Exodus 23:16, and Day of the First Fruits (Hebrew יום הביכורים, Yom ha-Bikkurim) in Numbers 28:26. Jews traditionally read the Book of Ruth at Pentecost, as the story links with the grain harvest theme of the festival.
The biblical narrative of Pentecost is given in the second chapter of the Book of Acts. Present were about one hundred and twenty followers of Christ (Acts 1:15), including the Twelve Apostles (i.e. the Eleven faithful disciples and Matthias who was Judas' replacement) (Acts 1:13, 26), his mother Mary, various other women disciples and his brothers (Acts 1:14).
Their reception of the Holy Spirit in the Upper Room is recounted in Acts 2:1–6:
And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other languages, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.
Jewish Christianity in Jerusalem.
Many scholars see strong evidence of a connection between the Essenes and the early Christian Church. Pharisees and Sadducees are frequently referred to in the Gospels, but the Essenes are not so easily recognized. One has to look closely to see that they are referred to as "devout men" and appear several times. The aged Simeon in the temple is called a devout man. Acts 2:5 mentions that "there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven." Acts 8:2 tells that "Some devout men buried Stephen, and made loud lamentation." It was an assembly of "devout" men who recognized the fact that Peter had a message of the Lord. "But the Jews incited the devout women of high standing and the leading men of the city" (Acts.13.50). Ananias in Antioch was a devout man (Acts 22:12).
By Bob Barney: Here are two speeches, of many. Long, sometimes tedious, we have highlighted important aspects of his words, but please take the time to read and understand what this man had to say. His words were from God, he was a prophet, military genius and the greatest American of the 20th century! MacArthur also cautioned the young President Kennedy to avoid a U.S. military build-up in Vietnam, pointing out that domestic problems should be given a much greater priority. Kennedy was said to have come out of the more than three-hour meeting 'stunned' and 'enormously impressed'. unfortunately, the President didn't listen to his warning and 59,000 Americans paid the price. MacArthur and his second wife, Jean Faircloth, spent the last years of their life together in the Penthouse of the Waldorff-Astoria. After his death Jean continued to live in the Penthouse until her death. The couple are entombed together in downtown Norfolk, Virginia; their burial site is in the rotunda of a memorial building/museum (formerly the Norfolk city hall) dedicated to his memory, and there is a major shopping mall (MacArthur Center) named for him across the street from the memorial. According to the museum, General MacArthur chose to be buried in Norfolk because of his mother's ancestral ties to the city. Today, literally hundreds of millions of people owe their freedom, their way of life, and there prosperity to this great man. Ironically most of these people do not know it, or even know his name today. He wrote the Constitution of Japan, which forbade that country to ever have a military again. That nation's wealth and security is because of this man alone! Many today deride the General, call him a demagogue. He was vain, arrogant and sometimes aloof, but what separates him from those monsters like Hitler who have some of those same attributes is his belief in the true God, and God's divine guidance over him. He knew it, and trusted it. Once when his staff were dodging bullets, scrambling for safety behind a jeep, they peered out to see MacArthur, standing tall and totally unafraid of the situation.... "Doesn't he think he can get killed," a staffer asked the other.
The instant reply from his aide in horror, "Goddamn it, of course he does'nt!"
When his wife asked him (after failing to win the nomination for President) "What kind of President will Mr. Eisenhower make?" He replied... "I think a good one! He was the best orderly that ever worked for me!" Today, his prophetic words are haunting now more than ever....
Listen to the general, in his own words. he wrote all of his speeches himself!
Here is a US Holiday that actually has AMERICAN ORIGINS and didn't come from some pagan ritual in 2000BC! Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service. There are many stories as to its actual beginnings, with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day. There is also evidence that organized women's groups in the South were decorating graves before the end of the Civil War: a hymn published in 1867, "Kneel Where Our Loves are Sleeping" by Nella L. Sweet carried the dedication "To The Ladies of the South who are Decorating the Graves of the Confederate Dead" (Source: Duke University's Historic American Sheet Music, 1850-1920). While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it's difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day. It is more likely that it had many separate beginnings; each of those towns and every planned or spontaneous gathering of people to honor the war dead in the 1860's tapped into the general human need to honor our dead, each contributed honorably to the growing movement that culminated in Gen Logan giving his official proclamation in 1868. It is not important who was the very first, what is important is that Memorial Day was established. Memorial Day is not about division. It is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all.
General John A. Logan Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, [LC-B8172- 6403 DLC (b&w film neg.)]
Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war). It is now celebrated in almost every State on the last Monday in May (passed by Congress with the National Holiday Act of 1971 (P.L. 90 - 363) to ensure a three day weekend for Federal holidays), though several southern states have an additional separate day for honoring the Confederate war dead: January 19 in Texas, April 26 in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi; May 10 in South Carolina; and June 3 (Jefferson Davis' birthday) in Louisiana and Tennessee.
Jimmy Stewart was one of the most prolific actors of the 20th Century, yet there was another lesser known side to the Hollywood legend, that of war hero. James Maitland Stewart, who lived from May 20, 1908 – July 2, 1997, was an iconic American film and stage actor with a distinctive voice and everyman personality that made him instantly recognizable. Over his 70 year film career, he starred in numerous films and stage productions, many of which are now considered classics. He was widely known for portraying down-to-earth, middle class characters with everyday life challenges, which was much like his own personality.
During his distinguished military service, Stewart attained the rank of major general (two stars) and received many awards for his valor, including the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Force Distinguished Service Medal, Presidential Medal of Freedom, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, French Croix de Guerre, and the Army Commendation Medal. Ultimately, the prolific actor and war hero retired from the Air Force in May of 1968.
US President Bill Clinton (center with hand up), first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton to right of photo; their daughter Chelsea Clinton to left. On procession in public. The President, First Lady, and Chelsea on parade down Pennsylvannia Avenue on Inauguration day, January 20, 1997. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
It explained how the foundation’s “Global Initiative” designated some $2 million to help a “for-profit company party-owned by Clinton friends.”
“Under federal law, tax-exempt charitable organizations aren’t supposed to act in anyone’s private interest but instead in the public interest, on broad issues such as education or poverty,” the report said.
The beneficiaries included “a current and a former Democratic official and a close friend of former President Bill Clinton,” the report said.
In the Bible, the story of Israel's exodus from Egypt is filled with awesome images. Usually, we have to depend on Hollywood animation to be able to visualize just exactly what some of the events that happened then looked like. The parting of the Red Sea, the Burning Bush and the Pillar of God... You say, "the Pillar of God? What's that."
Here is the story in the Bible... Exd 13:21 By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travelby day or night. Exd 13:22 Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people. What is a pillar of cloud? Well it obviously looked like a tornado in a desert! At night God stood by them as a pillar of flame, all the way to heaven as far as the eye could see! What an awesome sight to behold! Just imagine, people camping right next to a tornado that did not harm them. It stayed stationary for days at a time, then when it started to move, all of the people would FOLLOW IT! What many of us do not realize is that the God in the pillar was none other than Jesus Christ! Christ was with the church in the wilderness, Paul tells us so in 1 Corinthians 10:9. Also remember, Christ identified himself being the God of Moses in the eighth chapter of John, when the Jews asked him who he was he said, "Before Abraham was I AM!" When Moses asked God his name, he said "I AM that I AM, tell the people that I AM hath sent thee." Jesus, in his day was telling the people that he was I AM, in Hebrew 'Hayah!' The personal name of Jesus! Jesus is Hayah Yahweh (I am The Everlasting One, or literally, I AM, 'I AM that I AM'). None other than Jesus Christ in His pre-human existence was the God of what we call the Old Testament. God the Father NEVER uttered one word or appeared to anyone in the Old or New Testament! How do we know this? Jesus said so! Read John 5:37 for the shock of your life, "And the Father who sent me has himself testified concerning me. You have never heard his voice nor seen his form..." Is there any clearer proof? The Bible is a light to our feet, a lantern to our paths, with which the God's love has provided us. It testifies of Christ. It is to us, like the pillar was to the Israelites. Listen to that voice which cries, "I am the Light of the world; he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the Light of life," John 8:12. Jesus Christ alone, as shown in the Bible, "is the Way, the Truth, and the Life," John 14:6. Follow that pillar, as the Israelites did to His pathway to eternal life.
Look at the COMPLETE Video below, from ABC news. I think this is as close as we will ever get to see just what that Pillar of God looked like. This video also explains why the hard hearted Israelites kept on rebelling and fighting God. Yes, the sight was awesome, but then people said, "awe, it was just a tornado!" So they sinned again. I guess they forgot that a natural tornado doesn't blow for forty years! Watch this video, ESPECIALLY the last 45 seconds to experience what the children of God saw! ...
The NFL awarded Super Bowls to Atlanta, Miami and Los Angeles, three cities that made significant financial investments in new stadiums or recently upgraded an existing one.
Atlanta will host the game in 2019, followed by Miami (2020) and Los Angeles (2021), it was announced Tuesday at the NFL owners meetings.
Atlanta will host its third Super Bowl, but the first at its new $1.4billion stadium which opens in 2017. The previous two were at the Georgia Dome.
Miami will have its record-setting 11th Super Bowl following a $450million stadium renovation.
Los Angeles, which gets the relocated Rams this season, has not hosted a Super Bowl in the area since 1993 in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. The game will be played at the new $2.6billion stadium in Inglewood, California, which opens in 2019.
Tampa Bay and New Orleans were also in the running to host a Super Bowl.
Daniel Shaver, 26, was killed in the hotel he was staying in for work
Cops in Mesa, Arizona, were told someone was pointing a gun in a window
Officer 'ambushed Shaver's room, ordered him to crawl to him, shot him'
Shaver 'was heard begging for his life'. He was unarmed when he was shot
Footage released on Tuesday shows moments leading up to his death
But crucially it omits the moment he was shot and begged for his life
Police in Arizona have released an edited bodycam video of the night an unarmed father was shot dead by cops, although it crucially omits the moment he was killed and begged for his life. The shaky footage, published publicly on Tuesday, fails to show the moment Daniel Shaver, 26, was shot dead by officer Philip Brailsford in Mesa on January 18. Shaver, a married father-of-two from Texas, was in the city for business relating to his work in pest control. Police were called to his hotel after reports that someone was pointing a gun from a window on a high-up floor in La Quinta Inn & Suites on East Superstition Springs Boulevard. Though Shaver carries two pellet guns with him for work, he was unarmed at the time.
In the footage released by police, all that can be seen or heard in the video is the armed response team ordering guests on the fifth floor to get out their rooms as they surrounded Room 502, Shaver's room.