Sermon 15-5-24

Reading

Pentecost Sunday

Acts 2: 1 to 4:

And when the day of Pentecost (the fiftieth day after the Passover or Easter) 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 Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

The onlookers must have been quite disturbed. So Peter explained:

Acts 14 to 18: Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day (9 am). 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 your daughters shall prophesy (Joel 2: 18), 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:

What exactly is prophecy? This is explained in Greetings from Paradise in the chapter called ‘Ecstasy’. One example given there concerns King Saul’s pursuit of David. David had fled to Ramah and was hiding with some prophets. The messengers who King Saul sent to get him returned joined the prophets who were with David and prophesied. Finally Kind Saul went himself and

1. Sam. 19: 24: And he (King Saul) stripped off his clothes also, and prophesied before Samuel in like manner, and lay down naked all that day and all that night. Wherefore they say, [Is] Saul also among the prophets?

There you go, that’s what prophets do. There were also prophetesses.

Isa. 8: 3: And I (Isaiah) went unto the prophetess; and she conceived, and bare a son. Then said the LORD to me, ….

This is how the presence of the LORD is found!!! Miriam, the sister of Moses, was a prophetess (Ex. 15: 20). The Tanakh does not mention her owner or husband. Some rabbinical literature claims that she was married to Caleb, but there is no mention of this in the Tanakh. Some even say that Hur was her son, but 1. Chr. 2: 19 contradicts this. No offspring of her is mentioned in the Tanakh. A woman in tribal society without children would certainly have been regarded as not pulling her weight in the tribe’s struggle for survival. These circumstances may well mean, that this prophetess helped others to come into the presence of God and in that course brought forth children. However, since she did this so frequently with many different men, the fathers of her children were unknown and therefore not mentioned in the Tanakh. It may even mean, that she was particularly good at bringing men close to God, since she had dedicated her life to this, while the women a man would own who would be worn out from daily labour might not be as skillful or spirited, particularly the ‘known’ women, the ones who had to bear a known heir, since their sex – life was strictly regulated by men and therefore any interference from the spirit would be inhibited.

Exodus 19 may even go as far as to ask men to save themselves up for God’s presence through abstinence. Moses said to the people:

Ex. 19: 11: And be ready against the third day: for the third day the LORD will come down in the sight of all the people upon mount Sinai.

Ex. 19: 15: Be ready against the third day: come not at women.

King James translated ‘your wives’, but the word ‘your’ he inserted and the word ishah just means woman.

There are other examples in which the presence of God is conjured up by sexual arousal. Where did Abraham’s servant put his hand in Gen. 24: 9,, when he took a very important oath. The same procedure of oath is in Gen. 47: 29. These have been discussed in Greetings from Paradise in the chapter on Ecstasy.

Now let us finish with some verses about what the spirit can do for us:

Rom. 8: 26: Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

Rom. 8: 28: And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose.

The purpose which God had imagined:

Gen. 1: 27: So God created man in his image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

The Spirit brings and holds us together in Christ:

1. Cor. 12: 12 & 13: For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also [is] Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptised into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.