Sunday, July 29, 2012

Philip whisked away from the Eunuch

I'm reading through the book of Acts. What an incredible first few years our forefathers in the faith had! What an amazing ministry of the Holy Spirit! I'm so humbled by the mighty acts, the Holy Spirit's wisdom and purity, and the consistency with which they always proclaimed Christ crucified as the Good News to all the world. What a foundation we have in Him!

Of course, I have rapture on my mind every second, lol. I'm reading about Philip, the first missionary and evangelist. He was raptured. Not snatched up to heaven, but snatched away to another city by supernatural means. In the verse below, we see him in the city of Samaria.

"Now those who were scattered went about preaching the word. Philip went down to the city of Samaria and proclaimed to them the Christ. And the crowds with one accord paid attention to what was being said by Philip when they heard him and saw the signs that he did. For unclean spirits, crying out with a loud voice, came out of many who had them, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed. So there was much joy in that city." (Acts 8:4-8)

A few verses later, we read,

"Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Rise and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is a desert place." (Acts 8:26).

Gaza was far. I haven't been able to get miles or kilometer directions specifically. In using the scale, it seems to be about 60 miles as an estimate. A long walk. While at Gaza, Philip met the Ethiopian eunuch. Philip began to preach the Good News to him--

"And as they were going along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “See, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized?” And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him. And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord carried Philip away, and the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing. But Philip found himself at Azotus, and as he passed through he preached the gospel to all the towns until he came to Caesarea." (Acts 8: 36-40). Above, Alexandre-Denis Abel de Pujol: "Philip baptising the Eunuch of the Queen of Ethiopia on the road from Jerusalem to Gaza," 1848

I love how the Spirit phrased that, "Philip found himself..."

Can you imagine Philip's surprise? Here he is talking with the Eunuch, dipped him in the water, and as they arise before the drops were off them both, Philip vanished! And I am sure it was the blink of an eye and he found himself in a totally different city! Azotus, I believe, is today's Ashdod, about 20 miles north of Gaza.

Were his clothes still wet? Did he say, "Hey! What happened? Where am I?" Was he deposited along the side of the road and had to ask a passerby, maybe a guy with his goats or his burro, "Excuse me sir, can you tell me where I am?" LOL, how disorienting.

Remember all these bible guys were real men and women. The 'greats' like Abraham and Moses, to the barely mentioned like the Eunuch, had supernatural things happen. How difficult it must have been to process it all.

People tend to think that in the New Testament times that supernatural things happened constantly. They didn't. Not even in the Old Testament times did supernatural things happen constantly. Until Jesus came, no miracle, sign, or supernatural event had occurred for at least 400 years. Many, many generations. Even John the Baptist, as fierce as he was, never did a miracle. When Jesus began his miracles people were astonished partly because His miracles were such standout events. No one had seen the likes of it ever before. The learned few had only read about them in the ancient scrolls.

So Philip is suddenly whisked away to a new city. Was he thinking, "Gee, if the Spirit could whisk me 20 miles from Gaza to Ashdod, why did I have to walk the 120 from Samaria to Gaza in the first place?' I don't mean to be flip about it, but I am always remembering these were regular guys, so they thought regular thoughts. Left, Philip taken away, Johann Christoph Weigel, 1695

Did the person Philip asked where he was think Philip was a nut? Did Philip even ask? Maybe he recognized the place. What did he do then? The bible says he went on his way to Caesarea, preaching all the way. MacArthur's commentary says Caesarea is probably where Philip lived. It is 60 miles from Ashdod.

In just a very few verses the Spirit reveals:

--supernatural powers to work God's plan at will
--rejoicing in receiving the Good News
--obedience from both the Eunuch and Philip to the Spirit's prompting
--the joy of reading the word and the necessity for teachers to explain it
--an angel
--another soul whom we will meet in heaven: the Eunuch. We will finally learn his name.
--God's mercy in convicting those who love Him to receive His Spirit unto salvation
--the importance of prompt obedience in evangelism and missions

I'm sure you can find much more than I can  in those verses too. His treasures are inexhaustible.

When we are raptured I know we will not have any questions. He will call for us with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and suddenly our minds will be glorified and we will know exactly where we are going and where we are, and why. We will be part of that group whisked away to heaven because of our repentance we stand on the holy and blood soaked ground of Jesus that He shed to be the atoning propitiation for our sins. He is the only reason we will be part of that group.

Jesus saves! Read the bible, it is worth looking at every jot and tittle. Have a blessed day in the Lord, and if you're not in the Lord, why not? It's great!

4 comments:

  1. http://denver.cbslocal.com/2012/07/29/a-rare-mountain-tornado-touches-down-near-mt-evans/

    Thought you might find this interesting. A tornado touched down near Florissant, Colorado about 25 years ago and did some damage to about 3 or 4 acres of trees. I think of it every time we drive past that mountain side. Elevation around 9,000 ft +/- . Have also watched funnels form in the Wet Mountain Valley of Colorado, but none touched down (close, but not completely) - elevation 8,500 ft or more. Have never heard of one as high as in this report before.

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    1. Hi Anonymous,

      Thank you! That was very interesting indeed! It is rare at that elevation. The highest elevation ever was Rockwell Pass in Sequoia CA in 2004 at 11,600 ft. Another high-elevation tornado was observed in 1999, 2000, and 1987. The last one was 8500-10000 feet. That seems to be IT for reports on high elevation tornadoes. They are rare!

      Thanks for letting me know of this latest one to be added to the pantheon of rare weather phenomena.

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  2. I truly enjoyed reading this blog. I have been so curious about Philip being snatched away while ministering. Everything that God does is so amazing. God bless you :o)

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    Replies
    1. Hi Tam!

      I am totally fascinated by that little scene, too! I wrote about it here--
      http://the-end-time.blogspot.com/2012/07/philip-whisked-away-from-eunuch.html

      May God bless you also :)

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