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Wednesday, April 12 2017
The Lot That Fell Upon Matthias
"And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles"
The Book of Luke ends, and the Book of Acts begins, with the ascension of the Messiah (both "Books" were actually epistles, letters, to a man named Theophilus; see Acts: Luke's Second Letter To Theophilus and The Ascent From Bethany).
"24:50 And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. 24:51 And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven. 24:52 And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy: 24:53 And were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen." (Luke 24:50-53)
Among the first important tasks upon their return was to appoint a replacement for the traitor Judas Iscariot - who had by then fulfilled all of the prophecies that were written about him (see What Did King David Prophesy About Judas Iscariot?).
"1:13 And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James. 1:14 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.
The method of choosing the replacement was not left to favoritism, or merely some carnal-minded thug bullying his way to be a supposed "leader" (see What Do Leaders Do?). The choice was made by means of the lot - an impartial method that the Israelites had known from the early time (see the Fact Finder question below). It wasn't mere chance either: "They prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen ... And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles."
"1:23 And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. 1:24 And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen, 1:25 That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place. 1:26 And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles." (Acts 1:23-26 KJV)
Fact Finder: How was a "lottery" known to the ancient Israelites?
This Day In History, April 12
238: After the end of the three Punic Wars between the budding empire of Rome and Carthage in north Africa from 264 BC to 146 BC, the Battle of Carthage between victorious Rome's own military. The forces of Gordian II were defeated by Numidian forces of Maximinus Thrax. Gordian II was killed in the battle and his father, Gordian I, committed suicide.
240: Shapur I became king of the Sasanian Empire - the last Iranian empire prior to the invention of the Islamic religion in the fifth century.
467: Anthemius was proclaimed Emperor of the Western Roman Empire.
1204: During the Fourth Crusade (see Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy), Constantinople was taken from the Muslims by the Crusaders (see A History Of Jerusalem: Constantine and Muhammad). Constantinople was founded in 330 by the Roman Emperor Constantine, after whom the city is named (listen to our Sermon Constantine's Papacy). Centuries later, the city became the capital of the Ottoman Empire (listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire).
1606: King James of England (after whom the King James Bible is named) ordered a "Union Flag" combining the crosses of St. George of England and St. Andrew of Scotland. The origin of the Union Jack.
1654: The Ordinance of Union came into effect, uniting Ireland and Scotland with England.
1782: The British, under Admiral Sir George Rodney, won a naval victory in the West Indies over the French off Dominica.
1796: Napoleon Bonaparte's forces defeated the Austrian and Sardinian armies at the end of the Battle of Montenotte. It was Napoleon's first significant victory (see Russia Or Europe - Who Has Been The Invader?).
1861: The U.S. Civil War began when Confederate forces fired on Fort Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina.
1877: The United Kingdom annexed the Transvaal of South Africa.
1917: During the First World War (1914-1918), four divisions of the Canadian Army captured Vimy Ridge (France) from the German Sixth Army.
1928: The Bremen, a German Junkers W33, departed on the first successful transatlantic flight from east to west.
1945: U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt died at age 63. In his last weeks, he had reportedly turned "anti-Zionist" after a meeting with Arabian King Ibn Saud after the Yalta Conference. The "pro-Zionist" Presidential assistant, David Niles, later asserted: "There are serious doubts in my mind that Israel would have come into being if Roosevelt had lived" (Mr. Niles overestimated Roosevelt and the late-comers who became involved in what others had built - nothing or no one could stop the fulfillment of the prophecy of Judah's return; see A History Of Jerusalem: The British Mandate, A History Of Jerusalem: Zionism and A History Of Jerusalem: War And Peace).
1955: The polio vaccine, which was developed by Dr. Jonas Salk, was declared safe and effective.
1955: German-born Albert Einstein collapsed at home in Princeton, New Jersey from a ruptured aortic aneurysm; he died in hospital 3 days later (see also Einstein's Holy Spirit Formula).
1961: Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human in outer space when he completed the first manned orbital flight aboard Vostok 1.
1981: The first U.S. space shuttle launch, the Columbia. The vehicle completed 27 missions before disintegrating during re-entry on its 28th flight, on February 1, 2003. Seven astronauts, including the first Israeli astronaut, were killed.
The U.S. often sought to overshadow important dates of Russia's space accomplishments by choosing specific "cover up" dates whenever possible - there are too many for it to have been mere coincidence. Examples: the first U.S. space shuttle launch was deliberately chosen to be on the same date as Russia's putting Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space, 20 years earlier (see entry of 1961, above) and Sally Ride was made the first U.S. woman in space on June 18, 1983 - exactly 20 years to the day after the Russian cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman in space on June 16-19 1963.
"3:27 Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it." (Proverbs 3:27 KJV)
1999: U.S. President Bill Clinton was cited for contempt of court for testifying "intentionally false statements" in a sexual harassment civil lawsuit.
2002: A 17 year old Palestinian (see Where Is Palestine?) female suicide bomber murdered 7 people and wounded 104 at Jerusalem's Mahane Yehuda open-air market.