Acts 2

Acts 2: The Gift of Tongues

                On the day of the Pentecost many people gathered together in one place. During this meeting “…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 fire, and it sat upon each of them.” (Acts 2:2-3) So, we are told that the Holy Ghost came down and put on them the ability to speak in tongues. So what exactly does it mean to speak in tongues? We continue to read; “…they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Acts 2:4) Some believe today that speaking in tongues means that the Spirit of God comes down and causes you to lose control of your physical body and spew nonsense that only the Spirit can understand. Is this speaking in “tongues”? No. We continue to read; “…every man heard them speak in his own language.” (Acts 2:6) So what does it mean to speak in tongues? To literally speak in other languages, for example in Spanish you would say “lenguas” for languages, but “lenguas” also translates as “tongues”.

However, some gathered believe that those speaking in tongues are only drunk, why? Because they don’t believe that God can give someone the power to communicate in other languages. I personally can say that the Gift of Tongues is real, I served as a Missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and found that I could learn Spanish a lot faster than if I were to try on my own. The Prophet Joel spoke to the unbelievers; “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.” (Acts 2:17) Joel brought up a good point, God has the power to do anything, including giving the Gift of Tongues or causing someone to have a vision. Joel prophesies of the coming doom in the last days and encourages those that are gathered (and more importantly those living in the Last Days) to “…that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Acts 2:21) Does this mean that to be saved, all we have to do is accept Christ in our lives? No. If we go back and read in Matthew, Jesus taught; “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 7:21) So, accepting Christ in our lives is only the first step, Salvation was never easy… but yet again it wasn’t easy for Christ to die for all of our Sins, the least we can do is follow His commandments.

Joel explains that Jesus was take and tried by wicked men to be beaten, and die on the Cross with no crime. The Apostles that Jesus had called recount what Joel had prophesied in days of old. The Apostles continue to teach those gathered about Jesus and their message “…pricked in their heart…” (Acts 2:37) so much so, that they turned to Peter and asked how they might return to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and he responded to those gathered; “…Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” (Acts 2:38)

The people did as the Apostles had directed them and many were baptized and did receive the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands, by the Authority given to the Apostles. Many departed of their belongings and gave to those in need and “Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” (Acts 2:47)

Joel 1-3 + Summary of Joel

Joel 1-3 + Summary of Joel

Summary of Joel:

Joel is a Narrative and Prophetic source of wisdom. The prophet Joel wrote the book around 841-835 B.C. sometime before the fall and exiles of the Northern and Southern Kingdoms. The book discusses Joel himself, and the people of Judah. Its purpose was to call the Southern Kingdom to repentance or prepare for the coming judgment and Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

•    In chapter 1: Joel compares the destruction and judgment of God like a plague of locusts. This is the warning and penalty for disobedience and evilness.

•    In chapters 2-3: God calls His people to repent and return, if not, they will all be judged. The promise and deliverance of the Lord is given. He will restore the land and his people.

Chapter 1: Gather the House of the Lord

The word of the Lord came to Joel, who was the son of Pethuel. A plague of locusts come upon Judah:

“That which the palmerworm [the larva of a tineid moth] hath left hath the locust eaten; and that which the locust hath left hath the cankerworm [the striped, green caterpillar of any of several geometrid moths] eaten; and that which the cankerworm hath left the caterpillar eaten” (Joel 1:4).

The drunkards weep, because the nation of locusts has laid waste of the vine. Everything has withered.  There can be no grain or drink offering to offset the Lord’s anger. Joel urges the people to repent with wailing, sackcloth and a fast. The rivers have dried up, and the animals suffer in the drought.

Chapter 2: The Second Coming

“Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain… for the day of the Lord cometh, for it is night at hand;” (Joel 2:1)

The Second Coming of Jesus Christ is described as a day of darkness and gloominess, like the morning clouds spread over the mountains. In the last days you will see a land like the Garden of Eden before you and a desolate wilderness behind you.

“The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining:” (Joel 2:10) The Lord, however, gives voice before His army. He commands the people; “…turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning:  And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evils.” (Joel 2:12-13)

The Lord will be zealous for His land, and pity His people, removing the northern army to a barren and desolate land. The Lord will pour out His Spirit on all flesh;

“Fear not, O land, be glad and rejoice: for the Lord will do great things….I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten… And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God… my people shall never be ashamed.” (Joel 2:21;25-26) The Lord will restore that which is taken away from man in this life. He will also bless those who love and praise His name. In the last days, when Jesus comes for the Second time, those who are righteous shall be glad and should not fear His coming. At His Second Coming… Blood and fire and pillars of smoke will be seen; the sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood.

Chapter 3: The Last Days at War

All nations, who have scattered and cast lots for the Lord’s people, will be gathered in the Valley of Jehoshaphat and judged. God warns the nations that He will retaliate against those who have mistreated His people, and looted His gold and silver. The nations must prepare for war, beating their plowshares into swords and their pruning hooks into spears. The sun and the moon will go dark and the stars will cease to give light.