Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Pentecost In The Now!

When the Feast of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Without warning there was a sound like a strong wind, gale force—no one could tell where it came from. It filled the whole building. Then, like a wildfire, the Holy Spirit spread through their ranks, and they started speaking in a number of different languages as the Spirit prompted them.

There were many Jews staying in Jerusalem just then, devout pilgrims from all over the world. When they heard the sound, they came on the run. Then when they heard, one after another, their own mother tongues being spoken, they were thunderstruck. They couldn't for the life of them figure out what was going on, and kept saying, "Aren't these all Galileans? How come we're hearing them talk in our various mother tongues?

Parthians, Medes, and Elamites; Visitors from Mesopotamia, Judea, and Cappadocia, Pontus and ASIA, Phrygia and Pamphylia, EGYPT and the parts of LIBYA belonging to Cyrene; Immigrants from ROME, both Jews and proselytes; EVEN CRETANS AND ARABS!

"They're speaking our languages, describing God's mighty works!"

Their heads were spinning; they couldn't make head or tail of any of it. They talked back and forth, confused: "What's going on here?"

(Acts 2:1-12 - The Message)

In my "Pentecost" painting at the top of the page I connected three powerful images...the Holy Spirit...the world...the Tower of Babel...what's your take on that?

...and here's an acrostic I just wrote...I may use it for a sermon outline next month on Pentecost Sunday...


P - ushing limits

E - mbracing diversity

N - etworking nationals

T - ranscending culture

E - mpowering believers

C - ommunicating truth

O - vercoming divisions

S - eeing globalism

T - aking dominion

...All over the world, the Spirit is moving....are you ready for it?


Avatar said...

Proselytes, Cretans and Arabs, oh my! [that was probably wrong, apologies to the offended]. I was checking out Crete/Cretans on Wiki and noted that John Aniston (Jennifer Aniston's dad) is a Cretan. I don't know if HE is or not, but if I'm reading correctly, it appears the big deal with Cretans may have been that they were Muslim? if so, uh, wow.

I had "20 Questions" in my spirit, now I know why. I want to go deep on this one. Will be back.

Wordsmith said...

To me the painting represents the triumph of Holy Spirit over the events that took place at the Tower of Babel. Pentecost was a grand reversal of the judgement that fell at the tower. God restored the ability of creation to communicate in a common language...His language. Praise God! The whole earth will be filled with HIs glory!

DoubleBack Alley said...


I love the tower of Babel, always have. Every time I see a rendition of it, I think of the great epics of Hollywood. Griffith's "Intolerance" and deMille's "Ten Commandments"(in which several actors nearly drowned to which deMille replied, "Do you need a moment?") and King of Kings.

Even in cinematic interpretation, the truth of the imagination of man comes through vividly. It would be wonderful if someone with the Christ consciousness could portray the upper room experience. I feel it now.

I think it is interesting that each of the manifestations in your portrait interconnect. Blasphemy aside, isn’t it wonderful that Mans’ imagination is the foundation for everything? Without a created being that could manifest imagery, nothing else would exist. Think of the leap from Cro-Magnon and Piltdown man to the seers and thinkers of Egypt, Greece, and Israel in terms of personifying God.

I believe we are making a similar leap of faith in this day and age. Negative, no-seeing, know-it-alls are losing their grip on folks who want more from the Father of Lights. Lights who illuminate the membrane that separates the tower from the world and the world from the Spirit. We see through a glass darkly, but we are about to be know, even as we are known. I want to know more and am glad to be connected to body that is full of light, even as the eye is full of light.

Hey buddy, gotta light?

Ain’t God Good?

Lisa said...

The painting represents to me mans attempt to be close to God. It was futile self fullfilling and about controling God and controling man. Pentecost is Gods way of bringing man unto him perfectly by His Holy Spirit Lovingly and without being controled by a human or group of humans. All who partook of Pentecost were there on their own accord from all walks of life willing setting aside their differences for the sole purpose of seeking Gods Grace Love and Spirit. All Nations all tongues all colors all belief systems. All united in one glorious place. The lion laying with the lamb.

Donald said...

The thing that impresses me the most about the Tower of Babel story is the fact that God said that “They” needed to intervene because there was NOTHING that the people could not do once they joined forces and set their minds to complete a task. That says a lot for human potential. It doesn’t seem that God had a problem with human tenacity so much as he had a problem with misdirected human tenacity.
I believe that we still have the ability/potential to do ANYTHING that we set our minds to do. The good part about it now is that with the Holy Spirit, our actions can be directed properly. God didn’t really have a problem with the synergism that the people exercised during the Tower of Babel fiasco, it was the misdirection. I believe he desires us to not only be single-minded individually, but to be single-minded corporately as well. With the Holy Spirit’s guidance that can be realized. If we can get that going on, I doubt we would have to worry about Him “bustin’ up” that party.
On a lighter note, I guess I need all you fine folks to pray for Her Majesty and me because we will be celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary tomorrow (4-9-08) and since we only live a hop and a skip away from New Orleans, I guess we will be going over there because somebody told us that there are one or two good restaurants to choose from. Eat your heart out folks.

Kettly said...

Dear Bishop,

What a Day what a Night!
Wow! Do you know? Do you Realized how amazing the glory of God is in you?
How can you say you don’t change? You may not feel that now. But you will.

“So God created humankind in His image, in the image of God he created them”
(Gen. 1:27).

Yesterday in Church Fritz and I was looking at what the Lord was showing us
He shows us your Father, You, and Judah. I did not understand what’s the view of this vision represent until Fritz says to me he heard like Trinity. While in Church last night the vision of this morning came back to me. The word Trinity fritz said keep running down my mind, all day yesterday after the Services. (This verse came to my mind), “lest we make man in our image, in our likeness. (GEN.1:26). The vision that I saw in the services last night was the same as this morning, exepect Judah, was not there.

Bishop, I pray that you hear me by the Spirit. The same for the other bloggers that will be reading these comments.

I spent all day praying, because of what the Lord revealed to me concerning You, Dad Swilley and Judah. First I thought no that’s my own thought, and I said kettly this is a blasphemous thought, how does this kind of thought find its way inside my head. That’s just too much for me to handle. (I am only saying this, because the Lord has given me permission to do so).

So, this evening, the Lord said to me what is blasphemous about what AM I revealing to you? Don’t you trust My Spirit that’s inside you? I said yes Lord with all my heart and soul. He said to me trust your spirit kettly, and don’t be afraid of this revelation I Your Father is revealing to you today.

He said you saw and heard right. Yes! I did say to fritz like Trinity! What I mean by that is just that. “Let’s make man in our image, in our likeness”. Why would I say I AM the I AM. You are the I am too. I AM the King of kings, and you are the little king. If everything I AM you are! So, why couldn’t your Bishop, his Dad and his son Judah represent their trinity?

That’s when I understand the full meaning of the vision yesterday.
Bishop, He said your father equipped you, with his words to go to Korea, the same way He equipped His Son Jesus to come into this world when He did. As your father is proud of you, so is He, Was and still is with Jesus, and you.

Bishop, you’ve a Christ like Compassion. (Matthew 9:36). When He saw the crowd, He felt compassion for them, because they were weary and worn out, like sheep without a shepherd.___Jesus Christ is our Savior and our example for how to live the obedient life God desires. His greatest act of compassion was laying down His life for us (John 19:15).
The Father has lavished His love on us, and that is our motivation to show Christ like love to others.

Dad Swilley said last Sunday to be a servant for God. He said,” if God is called you to do something He is equipped you to do it.-God is never called anyone of us, and giving us
And an assignment without proving the necessary ability to carried out”. Thank You, for making a Difference in my (our) life, (lives), and everyone else in Korea. You and Pastor Debye have touched these people lives and left an impact on them. To have them say the Swilley’s are not so different from us after all, all of us need want and are searched for the same thing the” Love of God.”(1Thessalonians 3:9) says: how can we thank God for in return for all the joy we experience because of you before our God.

P.S. When you decided last night to serve us communion, I feel like Jesus Himself was the one serving us communion. And boldly said I want to commune with you all.

God Bless,
• Kettly

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

Really good stuff, people...you are all visionaries and communicators...

Those of you who know B. Tommy Smith should check out his post under yesterday's article and give him a little shout out...I think it would be good for him to hear from some homies...

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

...and Donald, does that mean you're not coming Sunday?

Anonymous said...

what I get from that is that you can't build yourself to up to God, you canit even get to him through to him by the world system, but the only way you can't get to God is through the Holy spirit.

Donald said...

No-o-o, we plan on being there Sunday. I know New Orleans has a bad reputation, but we should be fully recuperated by then,...hopefully. We're just going over there tomorrow to hang out awhile and then come home tomorrow night.
I may not be at work on time Thursday morning, but I'll make it sometime or another.

Teezy313 said...

Lovin the acrostic Bish! It basically sums up CITN in 9 two letter phrases!

When exactly is Pentecost Sunday btw? I sooooo wanna be ITB

Ebony said...

1) Teezy, it's the third Sunday in May (the same Sunday as the Church anniversary)

2) I know you're not big on "end times" doctrine, but when I saw your acrostic, and thinking about the Korea trip, it just seems to me that Joel 2:28 is being fulfilled. His Spirit is being poured on ALL FLESH, and those who hunger and thirst for him will be filled!

Anonymous said...

sorry for mistakes in e-mail.

what I mean't was you can not build your way up to God, or get to him through the world systems. But the only way you can get to him is through the
Holy Spirit.

tracy said...

The Earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof-every knee shall bow and the Holy Spirit has got it all covered!

Scribe38 said...

Good Evening Family:

Very moving picture of the Pentecost. As the Spirit of the Lord abides with us, He said He inhabits the praises of His people while setting up and dwelling with us right where we are. Isn't that awesome how we would only be able to reach and have access to God because He has made Himself available and desires as much to touch, connect, and commune with us as we hunger and thirst to come into His Presence... A meeting of ONE MIND, the Mind and Heart of God that reaches from the Throne of Glory as HE calls out to us and we answer the call. The Lord said, If MY NAME, (My Presence) be lifted up, I shall draw all men near unto me. We are God's lights of the world... just as a candle is lit by a fire source, the Holy Spirit illuminates Himself within us and it is our assignment to light up the environments within our sphere of influence and never allow anyone else to extinguish our light. Therefore, as we stir up the gifts of God within us, we are fanning the flame and carrying the torch, as God "pours out His Spirit upon all flesh.

Don't allow your light to go out and when the flame flickers and the sparks attempts to die / fizzle out, Ask the Holy Spirit to relight your pilot by using His fuel source. Amen.

God spoke to me several years ago and said: "Tell my people that I shall meet them wherever they are, all they need to do is just start walking!" (I suppose this is how He leads us to the lands that we know not of, just as He did with Abraham...) Selah...

P.S. Thank you all who continue to lift me up in prayer as we stand on one accord belieivng God for RIGHT NOW Miracles and immediate breakthrough for my Family. I love you all!

Tom said...

Bishop,I love your connection between Babel and Pentecost,I've always seen them as some how connected.Babel seems to celebrate symestry,every one being the same,looking,acting,and sounding alike.It also seems to celebrate man's acheivment,his ingenuity,his skill and hard work.

Pentecost on the other hand seems to celebrate diversiety,every one being their individual self,everyone coming to the same conclusion but by many differnt expressions.Also instead of mans hard work,it's God's grace and favor that comes to the fore front at Pentecost.It's something God is giving us,not something we have earned.

I see Pentecost as God reversing all the confusion and division of Babel,by unifying everyone in diverseity by the Spirit.All can sing,"How great is our God",no matter their background or the language they speak.