Then they saw what looked like tongues of fire which spread out and touched each person there. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to talk in other languages, as the Spirit enabled them to speak.
Verses 40 - 42: Peter made his appeal to them and with many other words he urged them, saying, "Save yourselves from the punishment coming on this wicked people!" Manyof them believed his message and were baptized, and about three thousand people were added to the group that day.
They spent their time in learning from the apostles, taking part in the fellowship, and sharing in the fellowship meals and the prayers.
Verses 43 - 47: Many miracles and wonders were being done through the apostles, and everyone was filled with awe. All the believers continued together in close fellowship and shared their belongings with one another. They would sell their possessions, and distribute the money among all, according to what each one needed. Day after day they met as a group in the Temple, and they had their meals together in their homes, eating with glad and humble hearts, praising God, and enjoying the good will of all the people. And every day the Lord added to their group those who were being saved.
The Knights Templar have long held that the Twelve Apostles were the first knights of Christ, and we continue in this tradition, though as the apostles' lesser brethren.
We will be having our own "pentecost" on the eleventh day of October, and I believe with all of my heart and soul that the Holy Spirit will be among us! What might extraordinary and spirit things that might happen during this gathering I cannot predict, but I believe that we will all be changed by this meeting, and changed for the better!
Fellowship is most important for Christians, and especially important for knights who have devoted themselves to our Lord and His church. We need to meet each other face to face, to shake hands, and to embrace each other with friendship and brotherly love.
We have been called apart from the rest of Christendom, and we have been called for a reason.
The province of the persecuted church is ours; we have been asked to bear the Cross--at least part of the way--for those who are heavily burdened and oppressed for their faith. We have all been called to take our Christian service to the "next level," a level beyond putting money in the offering plate and serving as ushers or members of committees. We are in the vanguard of those called to defend the faith, and the faith needs to be defended as never before!
The current rate of martyrdom for Christians is now projected at 159,000 per year. This, my fellow knights, is what we are called to fight against. We are called to turn back the forces of darkness, by walking a straight and narrow path of holiness and faith!
The Apostle Paul, in his epistle to the Ephesians, wrote, "Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power. Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm."
My dear fellow knights, do not doubt that the evil day spoken of by the Apostle Paul has already arrived. Very shortly we will commemorate the second anniversary of September 11th, when militant Islam raised its fist against us and smote innocent lives. That same militant Islam is adding scores to the list of Christian martyrs on every day that dawns. It is that same militant Islam that has imprisoned Chev. Rev. Masih, and that is behind the slaying of Christian missionaries and the bombings of Christian churches and schools in Pakistan and Lebanon.
But it is not militant Islam, per se, that we face. It is the powers of darkness that are behind militant Islam with which we must contend.
We are contending with no less than Satan and his fallen angels, and we must be strong and faithful if we are going to win this fight.
The Templars of old gave up their last drop of blood in this fight. They burned at the stake rather than renounce the honor of our holy order. We are not called upon to give our lives--at least not yet--but we are called upon to do whatever is in our power to stem the tide of darkness and to turn back the long night that will accompany a victory by militant Islam.
Therefore, let all of us who are in the least way able attend this convocation. Let us pray together as a body of knights, knowing that we will have the Holy Spirit in our midst. Let us expect great and extraordinary things to happen in this first meeting of its kind on these shores!
It was the will of Almighty God that brought this band together; let us band together to do the will of Almighty God!!!
I pray that all is well with you and your families, and in the cases of our beloved pastors, with their flocks, also! Please let me know your plans to attend. We are getting very close to October 11th.
Truly, the first Pentecost of the Scottish Knights Templar in the United States is approaching . . . let us prepare to meet one another in a spirit of love and friendship . . . and let us dedicate ourselves to the Order and to Almighty God for the fight that we have ahead!
Until I hear from you, may the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord; and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, be amongst you, and remain with you always! Amen!
Yours in Christ,