Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Acts In The Now 1:12 - 26

12. After this the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the hill called the Mount of Olives, which was less than a mile away….or was what was considered “A Sabbath Day's Walk” from the city.

13. When they arrived, they ascended the stairs up to the room where they were staying. Those present that day were Peter, John, James and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew; James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James.

14. And, without having any idea what it was exactly for which they were waiting, they all joined together in prayer, and continued to pray constantly. There were also women in the room with them, including Mary, the mother of Jesus, along with His brothers.

15. This unprecedented prayer summit continued for days, and on one of those days Peter stood up among the believers (now a group numbering about a hundred and twenty)

16. and said to them, "Brothers and sisters, we haven’t addressed this issue yet, but we must accept the fact that the ancient, Holy Spirit-inspired Scriptures had to be fulfilled through David’s words concerning Judas, who served as the guide for those who arrested Jesus.

17. We can’t deny that he was one of our number and shared in our ministry, and that he was chosen, just as we were, by divine appointment.

18. But even though in the larger picture he helped fulfill the very words of Jesus concerning His own betrayal and death, in another sense what he did was evil on a personal level. His deed ultimately manifested the will of God, but it was a betrayal of a friend, nonetheless. So because of his overwhelming sense of guilt in response to this, Judas bought a field, where he committed suicide by hanging himself…and in a bizarre and freakish twist, he actually fell headlong, rupturing his belly, and spilling out his internal organs.

19. Everyone in Jerusalem heard about this strange occurrence , so they called that field in their language Akeldama, or “Field of Blood.”

20. Peter continued, "I want to bring to your attention two things written in the Book of Psalms…one is ‘May his place be deserted; let there be no one to dwell in it,' and the other is 'May another take his place of leadership.'

21. So my interpretation is that these passages suggest the necessity of choosing one of the men who have been with us the whole time that the Lord Jesus was moving among us,

22. beginning from John's baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us in this dimension. The criteria is that one of these must become a witness with us of His resurrection."

23. So they nominated two candidates for the position of Judas' replacement, Joseph called Barsabbas (also known as Justus), and Matthias.

24. Then they prayed, "Lord, you know each of our hearts. Show us which one of these two that You have chosen

25. to take over this apostolic ministry, which Judas left to go his own way."

26. Then they practiced sortition, which was an equal-chance method of selection by some form of lottery, such as drawing colored pebbles from a bag (casting lots), or drawing straws. Matthias won the lottery, so he was added to the eleven apostles.


In The Upper Room

15 comments:

Izumi/JOY said...

v.14 - Love that they didn't know what they were waiting for, but prayed anyway.

v.15 - Appreciate the phrase, "unprecedented prayer summit". (particularly, "summit" - apex) Look how the group morphed!

v.26 - sortition. At the close of this day, I learned a new word. Thank you.

Erik said...

Balanced, insightful, straightforward.

No villain, only those, and in particular Judas, fulfilling the purpose God had for one in this drama that was initiated on a different point in the continuum. Judas connected with this role, and was Holy Spirit filled to conclude it, apparently against everything inside himself, and yet, was the one who agreed with God to do so. To complete this necessary part of the drama that so many longed for, and have found comfort in.

God is limitless. God is beyond any role, requirement, rule, dogma, prophesy. God does indulge the desired hopes, roles, dogmas. More than a millennia went into the desire for a sacrifice, a bloodletting, an unjust by human standards brutal attack against a direct avatar of God, humiliating the Creator’s recognized intertwined human focused human expression.

People in this drama needed to see God humbled for them, so they could believe. God acquiesces. God loves ALL so, even to provide such a drama for those who want this to be vulnerable with God, naked before God, as in their eyes, they perceived God naked and humiliated in human standards before them.

The Creator does not require a blood sacrifice to love, engage, forgive. God provides in love the perception needed by a specific mindset, knowing the method is not as important as the agreement, acceptance of the Peace, Joy, Righteousness that was available with pr without The Sacrifice.

I can understand the human desire for that blood, and I wonder why. I understand from God’s perspective it is never necessary, but also can understand the human desire for the perceived Ultimate Sacrifice (in human terms). We equate so much to blood, family, nationality, race, and religion. In Truth and Spirit , whether one has the same family, national, cultural, racial, or religious blood makes no difference of who they actually are. That is just ornamentation.

All of us have the same validity as an expression of God as every other. Yet, blood is important to our human selves. The blood let by Jesus is important to many of us humans, and important to God because of that. God grants us that because we need to perceive it, not because God required it. God provided the drama those of us with this mindset desired.

Judas fulfilled an act necessary to critically further the drama that unfolded and we hold dear.

Thank You Judas, for fulfilling the part we demanded and God allowed us to, so that from our viewpoint, we could accept God’s gifts that are available with or without blood, stripes, sacrifice or The Cross.

The Christ is far beyond what we perceive as Christianity. The words ‘The Christ; are not the identifier, they are words We are comfortable with. The experience many call The Christ, is present in every person in all time and exists far beyond what we call Christianity.

For what we do perceive as Christianity, Jesus, his friend Judas, the Ascension, The Crucifixion, and all that combined to make it so and follow after was for what Christians desired. God provides it anyway.

Izumi/JOY said...

God morning beloved Universe, hey Erik!

V. 15 - "about 120 days..." - an online source notes how that number is associated with a, "divinely appointed period of probation."

V.18 - "headlong" is interesting, considering 2 Cr. 10:5.

Breakfast beckons... stay right back.

Anonymous said...

Bishop,

Judas office was properly handled as spoken of in the earlier bible chapters. It;s the perditious act of hanging himself that still bothers me also. Help me Bishop is the son of perdition spoken of in John 12?

Let us then appreciate that the bad/good past is far gone. Now is the present as in a gift that we have. Whoever called, (today) NOW "present" knew a great gift that we've, but only a few have known this fact that those of us leaving in the "NOW" are enjoying a PRESENT.

Therefore like Judas was replaced by Matthias, let us replace all our evil past, economic yesterday frustrations, poor child upbringing, negative attitudes, noises of fear, the list is endless with new hope and great faith that soon and very soon things will get better.

Continued prayer was a great secret, many therefore must take note that prayer that yields lots should come from positive mind. Let us allow the perfect will of the father who has given us a new gift replacing yesterday with today, the past with NOW to abide in us. His mercies are new every morning.

We may be unsure of what exactly we're doing, but continued prayers of agreement will soon cause our bountiful providence.Some of these revelations in the world today have been far fetched/religious, manipulative. The world has been waiting for new wine in new wine skins. Like it was Peter who stood up. You've stood up to offer a Rhema of our times.I am glad many have started seeing this . Let it continue.

Love ya papa,

Pr. Ben Nadiope.

Izumi/JOY said...

Toasted cinnamon raisin bagel w/pineapple cream cheese. Yum.

Greetings, P. Ben.

V.16 - "Judas served as a guide for those who arrested Jesus", reminds me of Ps. 68:18.

V. 18 - "rupturing his internal organs" - interesting how some sources describe the intestines as affections, sensibilities, and tender mercies. (can't help comparing that to blood and water -the spear in Jesus's side)

V.19 - Judas is the Greek form of the name Jesus. Both hung from trees. Both are eternally associated with a purchase, a reward, and a field of blood.

V.26 - Matthias was added to the apostles because he won the lottery. I appreciate that his name means, "gift of God". Jesus is both.

Avatar said...

Gosh it's good to see everyone!

V.16/17 I enjoy "we haven't addressed this issue yet". May seem small, but it highlights the concept of context...gives the feel of them waiting for days and that they had probably talked about a LOT.

But V.18 is thought provoking...and brings out the human aspect...
Not just the divine. Cool.

Izumi/JOY said...

God morning beloved Universe!

V. 14 seems interesting to me again. Probably because of the story intro. (the men walked up the stairs, entered the room, and... what? Began praying. How'd that go? "Our Father..."?, like when they asked for instruction in Luke 11:2?)

V.18. I agree w/what you wrote about it being thought provoking, Avatar. So... here's something else I'm wondering. Since Jesus instructed His own disciples how to pray (the "deliver us from evil" part) doesn't that suggest that there was evil to resist?

This is not a segue; just scrolling through the posts. I've wanted to respond earlier - am now taking time to really process the sentiments. With all respect, I'm not arguing your point, Erik. (5/11 post) Luke 22:3, says that satan entered into Judas. Please help me understand how you perceive the Scripture. Do you equate satan & Holy Spirit as One?

Also, I don't understand how the Creator does not require a blood sacrifice to love, engage, forgive. Do you mean at this present time? (personally, I equate blood with Life source - a visible reminder of Creator)

I understand & agree, in that the ever living Blood is still splashed across the celestial mercy seat. (probably naive, but, I believe it's an actual thing)

I wonder about heaven's template - a foreshadow of the earth realm. If there were specific directions, patterns, blueprints; an order of OT tabernacle furniture, etc., God wanted it decorated a particular way. Exact in every detail. Yes, it must be about ornamentation. But, (I think) by His design.

Peace to all.

Erik said...

Izumi/JOY, no problem.

satan obeys God. Is an implement of God. In the process, as had been prophesied, Judas or someone had to do it to make the process happen. satan entered Judas, Judas still could say ;no; but in my mind, saw the bigger picture for the events and decided that as Jeus' very close friend he would do this so no one else had to. probably needed some satan in him to go through with the very important role for the events to unfold.

Re The Creator and blood, forgiveness, love, trust, reconciliation exist, on their own, they are expressions of God. Abrahamics (not exclusively) seem to require blood and breaking to be close to God, so God provides it, with all the rituals and symbolism that WE require.

Mercy, Love, Grace, Forgiveness does not need blood to be, to be known, to be received or given.
Especially from the un-containable, moving as God wills Creator. Many people live and have lived without requiring blood to be with The Creator.

Christianity places a lot of importance on it, and that God HAD to be crucified. God does not HAVE to do anything, but does many things because of Love and we are expressions of God. S/He is such boundless Love, that crucifixion, rituals, symbols, dogma, are permissible, but do not change The Creator's Love, just our perception to receive it.

For the Abrahamics, and others, suffering, blood, heroes and villains are important to perceive God's Love.

Those are not what causes God to Love us, God is Love, everything we can conceive it and beyond. There is no structure, cause and effect to it. God is......

Erik said...

just thought a clarification is important. The ritual, symbolism, 'The Greatest Story Ever Told' are awesome. Dogma is intriguing, the people involved in The Abrahamic traditions are inspiring.

The path leading up to Jesus, and then the exponential increase coming from a grasp of The Holy Spirit is deeply comforting and enjoyable.

The idea in The Cross (horizontal and vertical) has so much to say in our perceptions and experience.

The Lion and The Lamb, I love that. All of these and so much more can be related to, and be part of the recognition of how present The Creator is always.

That recognition is such a beautiful part of transformation.Transforming from enslaved to free, fearful to trusting, bitter to love, fretful to peace. That is what I really love.

To me, no religion, dogma, way of thought, encapsulates The Creator. There is wonder and awesomeness in each one. None come to the level of anywhere near enough value, truth, anything to support division between people because of it.

WE set the terms for what process WE will accept, interact with God by, God does not set those.

To me as long as a process, religion, dogma is enjoyed by its participants, it has purpose. When we think ours is 'God's way' forgetting WE created it and God said 'OK' WE limit our self awareness of God as WE limit others.

Which is why to me, it is important to remember WE created, scripted, spoke into existence dogma, the 'Story' we adhere to, and God gave us the authority to make it so, for who so ever will believe it, it is so, for them.

Erik said...

OK, now I am getting chatty. Apologies to anyone who is bored by this.

Religion and all that goes with it, focusing on Christianity here, (not that these qualities are exclusive to it)is so enthralling, inspiring, mystical and engaging. We create it for context in how God exists with us.

Our Spirits are from The Creator, of The Creator. Our Spirits and God together create our physical representations of our spirits, in this realm. Our physical selves want context.

When we create a religion to flow with God in this realm more fully, have structure and reference points, that help us perceive God's presence, it is so beneficial. If we (each individual) create or align ourselves to a religion to separate from our sisters, brothers, neighbors, ourselves, to deconcile (I know that is not a word) then it is not beneficial, permissible but not beneficial.

Even still, The Creator, The Grand Architect can work it into the design.

The separation and all that comes with it is not required course, it is an elective. Some excel in these courses.

The interesting juxtaposition to me is that most (if not all) faith systems have ultimate union with The Creator, feeling separated now. However many see other people who are different in thought as something less, and want to separate. As a result, they are separating from God, who they want ultimate union with. Or so it seems to me. But all are loved by God anyway, and we all are in God's presence always.

That's one of the most fun parts of The Creator to me, is that S/He is more than I can imagine, so it makes me imagine a LOT.

In fun, and playing a game with God, I try to imagine beyond imagining, saying 'I will see all of you'. God laughs, and eggs me on to try.

Izumi/JOY said...

Thanks, Erik

Re: Your last comment, I say to the Almighty, "Surprise me, today." He often does. (I don't always catch it, though.)

Your game with God causes me to question my faith. I wonder if anyone can ever see ALL of God. Do you think the 24 elders who fall down, and cry, "Holy, Holy, Holy", every time they witness a new facet of God, is only figurative writing?

I believe His Spirit/Creation is more than I can imagine. And, I daydream a lot.

Re: Interesting juxtaposition - I agree, mostly. (early conditioning maybe?) Several variations to process.

Perceiving others as different doesn't necessarily mean less. What about beyond? Or, scary? Or, brilliant? I do believe that God loves. (still, what about Romans 9:13?)

Wonder how separation from those with (perceived/misperceived) differences, alienates from God. Is it even possible? (Romans 8:39) From God-qualities, maybe?

Re: Our Spirits and God together creating a physical representation of our spirits; the physical realm wanting context - understand.

Erik said...

Hey, Izumi/JOY,

Nothing of mine should ever cause you a question of faith. To me, faith and religion are two different things. Faith is what we breathe, organic. Religion is a beautiful construct which can offer great value, but it is dependent on faith to exist, faith exists with or without religion.

My game with God is to have the broadest, biggest, deepest, highest vantage point in my spirit I can find. The challenge to see 'All' of The Creator is something so I keep imagining.

Will I see that 'All', maybe. Because ALL things are possible with God. Maybe I will have a sense of it in the peace of a troubled friend or my own eyes when transforming from struggle to peace, the next time i die and am born again?

Maybe I see the crux of 'ALL' in the shared worship at CITN, or in other events of that full on Joy, Peace, and Rightness with God worship, appreciation in a overt worship environment or not.

The 24 Elders, yeah Holy, Holy, Holy, what a great party to be at -- sure they fell down and cried, doesn't mean they didn't see. You can see a lot when on the ground crying on Peace and Joy, ESPECIALLY when it is a new facet of God. For me, those few times it came on in a torrent, I couldn't stand or really explain it. Just everything changed, and beauty, and 'yes'.

That's why I want to see more and tell God I will, I say 'All' just to see, who knows, can't hurt to ask, or make my desires known. I can negotiate, especially for THAT!

You right on perceiving different is not necessarily less, should have added that re separation part of religion 'we are right they are wrong, so we can kill them' thing. A lot of self loathing and God loathing in that kill them thing. Yikes.

Religion has a lot of beauty in it, and the words, rituals, symbols can evoke real comfort and joy.The writings are real and can be visions, perceptions, documenatry, all mixed in of people's experiences and perceptions with each other and The Spirit.

Probably a key point out of all of this is that religion is created to serve people. The individual reigns far above religion, religion is a creation meant to serve, provide value, context as desired to each person as a vehicle. People are not made to serve religion. Dogma is made to serve people, never people to serve dogma, same with rituals, symbols, etc. They do serve us so exquisitely, a way to relate to the experiencing the Joy, Love, Peace and Rightness with The Universe, to share that in a context in this realm. We can have it without religion, but religion can be a balm, a change in mindset to more easily receive. Religion serves, to be the best it can be for the individuals that particular religion touches.

I enjoy Christianity.

Like a house is made for the inhabitants, not the inhabitants for the house. A home only exists with the inhabitants.

Izumi/JOY said...

I agree that faith and religion are two different things, Erik. No worries - your perspective do not hinder my beliefs.

And, by the way... I don't mean to take up the blog w/my wonderings. So, my apologies in advance for rambling, Bish and fellow bloggers.

Agree with you about nothing being able to completely encapsulate the Creator! Yes. God is!

Karl said...

I find it interesting that both Jesus and Judas died by a type of hanging, they both laid down their own lives "by choice", and fluids came out of both of them onto the ground.

Also, when Jesus said at the last supper "..it is whoever dips the sop with me", makes it sound kinda like a lottery in a way, and then Judas is replaced later by a lottery of sorts.

I like the fact that they met in an UPPER room (higher, elevated place)

Izumi/JOY said...

One was a rabble rouser, the other a rabbi rouser.