I am the LORD that healeth thee: By Jacqui Julyan
This morning 26th July 2016 the LORD gave me a WORD to share. The time was around 12 noon. I pray, that the Holy Spirit will give you ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to the church.
Humble yourselves under the Mighty Hand of God. For I am to visit many peoples for their sin against Me. For I am the LORD that healeth thee. For My Ways are not your ways, for My thoughts are not your thoughts. I speak to those who have eyes to see and ears to hear. Come away .. Come away touch no unclean thing. I counsel you to walk in My Ways by My Holy Spirit a gift given by My Father. I say touch no unclean thing. For I am Holy. I, the LORD your God am a Holy God.
For many claim to walk in My Spirit, yet their lives are barren of fruit. I speak now to many 'fig trees', for I have spoken and now I am to destroy. For My Word is Holy and each or any unclean thought that is contrary to My Word I will refute. For I desire mercy not sacrifice. Judge NOT! Condemn NOT! For I did not come into this world to judge but to save the lost to bring them unto Me, yet by your lives you have pushed them away. I am the Good Shepherd and I lay down My life for My sheep.
Come away .. Come away My Church is polluted! It is filthy in sin, in idolatry, in fornication for it has embraced the world, yes even unto My Church!
I desire fruitful lives and any branch that does not produce any fruit unto My good works, I will chop off and throw into the fire.
Oh senseless people! You are a brutish people unable to accept correction from the LORD, ye have copied the world! Not only that, you have brought in the profane things into the Church! You are married and become one in FLESH to the world! Am I not to judge this with all righteousness!?
For those who walk and live by My Spirit, you are unashamedly slaves unto righteousness, you delight to walk in My Ways. Continue, I speak now tenderly to you, humble yourselves, even more under My Rod, for it shall be unto you a comfort in these tribulations to come that I am to bring. Truly I tell thee, I am to shake the heavens and the earth such as never been seen before. Wait upon Me, My Beloved, for I am the Author and Finisher of your faith. I will complete the Good work I started within you. You will finish the race I set before you. Do not fear, do not be alarmed, and yet again I speak do not be deceived or distracted by those things around you, for the sins of many will increase as with wickedness.
Come away .. Come away . touch no unclean thing. I speak again to those who are WILLING to walk in My Statutes. Are you walking in your ways or Mine? Are you works your works or Mine? Are they to glorify yourself or Me? Consider carefully My Ways, study the motivations of your heart before Me. Humble yourselves before Me? Wait upon Me. Are you truly willing to serve Me, follow Me and forsake ALL? Are you willing to become a fool in order of My Name? Are you willing to become slaves for the sake of righteousness and holiness?
For I tell thee the truth, except a man be born again, purged by My Hand and made clean by My Word he cannot SEE neither ENTER into the Kingdom of God. Do NOT be deceived. For it is by My Word My Holy Spirit that cuts through unclean thoughts and actions that do not honour Me.
It is a time of DEEP repentance, not just lip wisdom. Do not be fooled for I test a man's thoughts and ways and lay them bare before Me. Nothing is hidden from Me. I know the secret of ALL men's hearts thoroughly and conclusively for before the world began I saw thee, I knew thee before even the foundations of the world. I brought you forth into this world. I tell thee you are surrounded by wickedness and it has come unto My Church, My Bride and it has been classed as Holy, yet it is profane.
The Fire of My Word pierces the heart and brings everything out. My Holy Word brings conviction, deep conviction of sin, for I am the One who purges a man's heart. I have called many to repentance, yet it has been lip service and their lives and the fruit of their lives still abound in wickedness and they continue to walk in sin and filthiness. They are as dirty rags before Me. No unclean thing can stand before Me. I, the LORD am a Holy God, you are standing on Holy Ground. Many are dregs at the bottom of a smeared wine glass.
My Name, the Holy One of Israel, is used in such profanity and vanity that it is dishonoured before men and scorned, but know this My people I am NOW to visit you for your sins. I will require an answer from you who walk in your own ways and not in the way of Holiness.
I am to bring upon the whole Church the FEAR of the LORD and I urgently counsel you to seek My Face. For those whom I love I correct. If you do not receive My Counsel know that it is by your own free will and choice. I have given you time to repent, but I am to come as a time of reckoning. Many branches of My True Vine are to be cut off and thrown into the fire and this will happen before the End, NOT at the End.
For those who truly humble themselves before Me, those who walk according to My Ways and follow My Statutes I continue to counsel you still. Continue in your ways towards Me, walk and live by My Spirit daily. Seek My Face continually and daily. Do NOT go ahead of Me, for I am the Commander the Angel of Hosts, for without Me you can do NOTHING!. There is much work ahead of you. My People have been deceived by their own wicked hearts and dressed My Truth with Falsehood. Their own foolish ways, which belong to this world have NOT come from the Kingdom of God. For the Kingdom of God is NOT of this world. I did NOT come from this world, I came down from Heaven, from the Father of Lights to do the will of Him who Sent Me. I am in enmity with so many!
Wake up! .. Wake up!
Come out! . Come out! ..
Those whom I love I rebuke. This IS the Day, THE season, this IS the time of True Repentance, a Great Rebuking to My Church to forsake their unholy ways with the world and walk and live in My Spirit and Ways.
I counsel you, choose TODAY whom you shall serve, yes, the FEAR of the LORD is to descend upon the House of God for they have NOT sought Me with tears of repentance.
Truly the FEAR of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.
I say, Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. Do NOT be deceived, God cannot be mocked. Look neither to your neighbour, neither to your friends and family. For each man is responsible for his own sin and walk with Me. I am the LORD.
I urge you and counsel you with all urgency to humble yourself under the Mighty Hand of God for I am to reveal My Holiness for who can bear it? My Wrath is to come upon those who profess and use My Name in vain but walk in the filthiness of their sins, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life.
Come away .. Come away .
I urgently counsel you, for the Time is at Hand seek My Face, humble yourselves. I am coming soon!
I, Jesus speak PLAINLY, I do not hide the Truth but reveal and bring out everything that is covered. Will I find faith on earth?
Yes, I am the LORD that healeth thee and I counsel you to hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church for the time is very short.
All articles written by jacky julyan email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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A Sure Cure for Narcissism (Thoughts on Psalm 18) By Wayne Davies
American baby-boomers have been labelled the "Me Generation" for our narcissistic tendencies and devotion to self-actualization, self-fulfillment and self-realization. But according to Scripture, every person and every generation is guilty of such self-absorption.
Why else would Paul tell the first century Roman Christians, "Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment" (Romans 12:3). We are wired to look around and tell the world, "Look at me. See what I've done!"
When reading the Bible it can appear that godly people are drawing unnecessary attention to themselves. In Psalm 18, for example, David is rehearsing his victory over enemies who had hounded him for years.He says, "I pursued my enemies and overtook them. I did not turn back till they were destroyed. I crushed them so that they could not rise; they fell beneath my feat" (Psalm 18:37-38).
It sounds like David is taking the credit for a great accomplishment. And if these were the only verses in this psalm, one could conclude that David was quite full of himself.
But such is the danger of taking a passage out of context. When we read the entire psalm, we find David praising God repeatedly for His role in the conquest. The Lord had promised David that he would become the King of Israel, and eventually this promise was fulfilled only because God made it happen.
Listen to how David gives credit where credit is due:
"You armed me with strength for battle; you made my adversaries bow at my feet. You made my enemies turn their backs in flight, and I destroyed my foes" (Psalm 18:39-40). Yes, David destroyed his foes because God intervened and provided the strength and military savvy to pull it off.
Over and over in Psalm 18 you'll see that God is the focus. He is the subject of almost every sentence, the One doing the saving, delivering, empowering and sustaining of David.
"It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he enables me to stand on the heights. He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze" (Psalm 18:32-34).
Reality check: When you experience success, who gets the praise? How easy it is for us to take credit. After all, we did something, right? We studied hard and earned that degree. We worked hard and got that promotion. We exercised ourselves to the point of exhaustion and finished the race.
Ah, how easy it is to look at life with the eyes of our fallen flesh!
Yes, we are capable of great things. But where did we get the resources? Who made us and put us here? Who gave us the breath of life and the opportunity to wake up day after day with good health and ample provision of food, clothing and shelter? Who endowed us with a mind to think and legs to walk and hands to use?
Ah, when we look at life with the eyes of faith, everything changes.Instead of seeing what a great human being I am, we sing with David:
"You, O LORD, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light. With your help I can run through a barricade; with my God I can scale a wall" (Psalm 18:28-29).
Yes, God is the source of our strength, whether we realize it or not. Every breath we take is a gift from His gracious hand.
David realized that. How about you?
May the words of Jesus resonate in our hearts every day: "Apart from me, you can do nothing" (John 15:5).
By the way, do you enjoy reading the Psalms?
To get your free copy of my book "Sweeter Than Honey, More Precious Than Gold: Meditations on Psalm 119" visit http://www.GodWroteTheBook.com.
Brought to you by best-selling author Wayne Davies . . . dedicated to helping you read, study and understand the Bible.
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LOST By Steve Countryman
One meaning of the word lost isunable to find one's way; not knowing one's whereabouts. Being lost is a condition and shouldn't be a choice!
If you're lost in life then you're wandering about aimlessly, searching for the unknown, searching but not finding. There is a void in your life that you continuously try to fill but can't, nothing satisfies the emptiness of that void. The unsaved often spend their lives, time, money and resources trying to fill it without success. Even backslidden Christians fall prey to the lies and schemes of the evil one. Trying to fill that emptiness with any lie Satan suggests. Longing to satisfy only that which God can satisfy! The Father of Lies will tell you everything but the truth and anything that will drive you further from God!
Picture yourself stranded out in the middle of a desert. It wasn't your plan to get lost. You thought that you saw something and tried to go and investigate it but before you knew it you became lost. If you stay on God's path and His ways then you can't get lost. But the Devil is always trying to distract you from God's path. He knows that if he can get you to stray just a little from God's path then you're only a few steps away from being lost.
When you realize that you're lost fear can set in then panic comes. For those who have given up have decided to stay in fear and panic, death awaits them. But for those who make up their minds and are determined to survive salvation is on its way. You have to make that decision. For those who are determined they hope against hope to be rescued, to be found, to be saved, to be spared.
For those who have given up they believe the lies of compromise, the false promise of something better than what God has promised. Compromising what you believe will separate you from God's Word but never His love. It all starts off the same way; you take a little of the lie of compromise and mix it with what you believe and what the Bible says to fit what you want to hear. Then you just keep adding more and more of the lies of compromise until what you now believe doesn't resemble anything close to what the Bible says. You have now diluted and polluted the gospel beyond recognition! You have become lost by choice.
We are all born into this lost unsaved life. We make the decision to stay there or to be "saved", the work of the cross. From that point on we are a new creation and if we end up lost for having taken our eyes off of Jesus then we become lost by choice. Hosea 4:6 "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me; Because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children."
Lost by choice means that you believe the lies. The lies that present themselves like mirages and fake pools of water to the lost in the desert; they are meant to keep you lost. But being found and rescued is easier than you think. For God knows where to find you and He accepts you just as you are. But are you trying to be found? Do you want to be found? Too often someone says that they want to be rescued but don't really mean it. Instead of building a signal fire to help draw attention, are you just sitting in your troubles? Do you just halfheartedly wave at any rescue opportunities that may be passing by? Are you trying to be rescued or just going through the motions?
Being rescued, found and saved cannot take place with conditions. You cannot place conditions on the One who rescues you if you truly want to be rescued and delivered. Delivered from addictions, rescued from abusive relationships, spared from bad decisions, free from sinful habits, saved from eternal damnation and given a life with true purpose and meaning! It is about having faith in the One who has faith in you! Trust in God's Word to help guide you as you allow the Holy Spirit to lead you through life's daily challenges.
My name is Steve and I was born and raised in a good Christian home in Phoenix Arizona. In 2004 God spoke to me to let me know that He would start sharing things with me that I would share with others. Little did I know how powerful and meaningful those things would be! Thank you Lord!!
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Let Jesus lift you By DENNIS RHODES
2Sa 9:1 Now David said," Is there still anyone who is left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan's sake?" 2Sa 9:3 Then the king said," Is there not still someone of the house of Saul, to whom I may show the kindness of God?"" And Ziba said to the king, There is still a son of Jonathan who is lame in his feet."
That son of Jonathan was Mephibosheth the grandson of King Saul who had tried for years to kill David. Mephibosheth means 'Dispeller of Shame'. Not only does this boy's name cover him in shame but he is also lame in both feet.
His name means to BE ASHAMED and to BE DISAPPOINTED.
How many can stand in his shoes today and know what it is like to be ashamed of themselves, and to be disappointed with themselves? Maybe you are ashamed of things you have done? Maybe you carry shame because of things your family has done? Is your dad in Jail? Do your parents fight all the time? These kinds of things bring a feeling of shame to us, a wounding. Shame can be in our life and we do not even know why.
Maybe like Mephibosheth your feet are lame? He was dropped as a baby. You might not remember things that happened to you as a baby, but your Father God does. Some of us carry shame from birth. My dad wanted to have me aborted and told my mum when she discovered at 16 she was pregnant. She refused and her mum looked after my mum until I was born. All my life I carried shame around like a label on my heart. But when I brought all that hurt before the Lord and forgave my dad in prayer God's love and kindness came flooding in. He wants to show His kindness to you too. He is really into making those who are lame walk again.
Maybe you are disappointed in how your life turned out? That's what Mephibosheth felt I am sure. That is what his name means. Many carry a sense that they are a disappointment to others. They feel that they have disappointed their parents, their friends, their family, their wife, their husband. They live under a constant sense of being a disappointment. As a teenager I showed a fair bit of promise at school. I was getting high B grades in English at the half year mark in my final year of high school. But during the last half of the year I hung around with some older guys and smoked dope and didn't study, went surfing instead, and got 32% for my final exam in English! I carried that feeling of being a disappointment for decades until the Father showed me His kindness again and again.
Shame and disappointment cripple our walk as people whether we know Jesus or not. It makes us lame.
The word in 2Sam9:3 is "nakeh" and it means: smitten, that is, (literally) maimed, or (figuratively) dejected: contrite, lame.
So descriptive of so many of us! Dejected! So many youth are dejected, maimed and broken inside. Many are taking their own livesBUT King Jesus the son of David is scouting around looking for someone to show His kindness to. King David was an amazing manlike the Lord Jesus, those who were dejected were drawn to him. The maimed and crippled came to Jesus because they could feel His love for them and sensed no condemnation from Him. David was like that. Would that we were all like that hey? We have this same Jesus in our heartsthe One who has compassion and said,
Luk 14:13 But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind. Luk 14:14 And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you; for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just."
The kindness of God seen in King David is truly transformational! The Hebrew root meaning of the word for kindness has in it the idea of nodding the head and neck to an equal. Did you hear that!!?? The King wants to shower His love upon you and raise you up to an equal place with Him. This is the humble heart of our Saviour Who is always lifting others up. But will you accept that exaltation from the Lord?++ Or does the shame get in the way? ++ Oh I pray right now that His love saturate your fearful heart and you allow Him to touch your hurts. The compassion of Jesus is reaching out today to all who are lame and broken, to all who are filled with shame and disappointment..He does not say much, He just wants to embrace you with His love. Jesus paid the penalty we could never pay. Our sins and lawless deeds were piled up upon Him. Not only our sins , but also our sickness and pain and poverty(the results of sin) were all put upon Him. He is our substitute, He carried it all upon Himself because He loved you that much! It was the Father's will to crush Him with the weight of our sin and the horror of God's rejection.
He did it for us, He did it for you! God went looking for someone to show His kindness to, someone undeserving, someone lame in their life. Is that you today? Do you see that your life is lame and broken even though you may be a success in the eyes of the people around you? God sees those with broken hearts and wants to lift you up out of the ash heap of sin today.
Mephibosheth did not do anything to deserve this kindness from King David. It was all David's doing based upon a covenant that he had previously made to his friend Jonathan. My friend, God has made a covenant as well. He made it with His Son Jesus Christ' blood. This is the covenant I will make themHe said I will have mercy on their unrighteousness and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember NO MORE Heb 8:12
Because of that covenant God is searching for sinners, those who know they are lame and broken, those who know they are completely unable to live the life, really and truly. His love is reaching out to you today.
Are you one who He can lift up out of the miry clay today and seat at the Kings table?
Think about it. Say yes to God today. Admit your need of Him friend. Be blessed and healed in Him of your lameness! Prayer Lord Jesus thank you for coming out to look for me, because I have been hiding myself away from life and from people! Lord I have felt so alone at times, so broken and even so disgusted with myself!
Lord I need you! Take my lame feet and heal them, take my bitterness and wash it clean, take my disappointment with myself and with life and turn it into joy. Lord I forgive all those who hurt me and degraded me. I bring it all to Your blood and I wash it there. Lord here I am pour Your kindness upon my life! Pour your goodness on me! Make me brand new and set my feet on straight paths that lead to my birthright. All my mistakes I give to You! All my shame I give to You! I leave it on the cross. I accept my place at your table, in Your heart, by Your side. Thank you Lord Jesus! Thank you. I Bless you!
WHERE IS HE?
2Sa 9:4 "Where is he?" the king said to him. Ziba said to the king, "He's there, in the house of Machir son of Ammiel, in Lo-debar." 2Sa 9:5
So King David sent word and brought him from the house of Machir son of Ammiel, from Lo-debar.
Indeed I say again.. WHERE IS HE?!
Where is the one I want to show kindness and favour to? Says the Lord. Mephibosheth was in the house of Machir. This young man was in the house of mâkar which means: to sell, literally as merchandise, into slavery, or figuratively to sell away, to sell self.
He was the last of Saul's line and he was being kept at a salesman's house as merchandise, a commodity! Here is a picture of being sold as a slave into bondage to the Evil one. This young man's soul was bruised and dejected and had not known the validating experience of being treated as an equal with other men. I wept as I read my previous post realising how this young man has been me. The joy of His acceptance filled my heart and soothed and healed over the old soul wounds of shame and disappointment.
When we feel that we are only merchandise or a commodity that God will use some day or maybe discard when He is finished with us , we have the wrong concept of His heart. So many live in this bondage to slavery Paul wrote about in Romans 8. It is crippling! It is the house of shame. It is no life to live!
Rom 8:15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father." Rom 8:16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, Rom 8:17 and if children, then heirsheirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.
This is our God! This is our king! The One who rejoices to lift us up with Himself and to seat us at His table as His joint heirs. He is looking and He says with compassion and genuine concern, "Where is he?" "Where is she?" Where is _? put your name in the blank. When you are not coming to commune with Him anymoreHe says where is he? When your heart is filled with shame and dejection He is looking for you and coming for you.
He will come right into the house of Machir, the sleezy salesman and rescue you from there. He paid the full price for you, He redeemed you with His blood and you are His property. He did not buy you to be His slave though. No. Jesus bought you to be His equal and to sit at His table enjoying His food and wine. Oh the grace of God that is in His eyes for us. The love that burns in His eyes for you that will NOT TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER! He says I want to promote you to my table, I want to exalt you son or daughter, and immediately shame jumps up between us and protests.
No Lord not me! I am a sinful man. I will disappoint You, I will let you down! Don't you know how weak and foolish I am!?
What does He do in response? He looks straight into your eyes with full acceptance and full knowledge of you and He just smiles. He smiles that smile that makes you crumble into a heap in His arms. Soon you are not crying but laughing uncontrollably with joy. The joy of His acceptance of you even though you know He knows all things about you. You try to tell Him again of your mistakes and He just increases His smile into your spirit and you are being turned inside out with Love and more love and wooooooooooeeeeeeeeeee!
How can it be that my Saviour would love a wretch like me?!
So this Mephibosheth, the dispeller of shame, as that is the meaning of his old name is about to be visited with the love and kindness of God as he languishes like a long forgotten cracked pot that failed to sell in the Christmas sale years ago. He is ashamed and disappointed, dejected and forlorn. It is said that Machir the salesman is the son of Ammiel. Now things are starting to look up!
Ammiel means people of God. A people, a tribe, a congregation. Here was Mephibosheth living alone in the house of Machir but he was about to be surrounded by the sounds of people all around. He was about to have a change of environment. Instead of lonliness brought about through his inward shame and disappointment he is about to be lifted up and virtually adopted by David into His palace and into the heart of his family.
Isn't that exactly what has happened for us?
This young man who in one day lost his grandfather and his father in the battle, has grown up with such inner pain is about to find restoration at the Kings table. Something else. It is said that he was living in a place called Lo debar. The name means pasturelessand also: "no fold" as in a sheep fold. In other words Mephibosheth was in the wilderness, without any sheepfold or protection, or any food to sustain his soul. It is a bleak picture, but one that describes what shame and bitterness do in a life.
2Sa 9:5 So King David sent word and brought him from the house of Machir son of Ammiel, from Lo-debar. 2Sa 9:6 Then Mephibosheth, son of Jonathan son of Saul, came to David, fell on his face and prostrated himself. "Mephibosheth!" David said. "Behold your servant!" he answered. "Don't be afraid, " David said to him, " for I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the land of your grandfather Saul, and you will always eat bread at my table." 2Sa 9:8 Then he bowed down and said, " What is your servant, that you should turn to look at such a dead dog like me? " TLV
Such a wonderful scene of God's restoration unparalleled in Scripture! David restores his dignity and his honour, he takes no notice of his shame but lifts him up with his word. The word of a King is powerful! Look at those words and let them become yours.
Don't be afraid! I will surely show you kindness, favour, blessing which will lift you up.
I will restore all that has been lost, all the dignity and honour and wipe away all the years of devouring.
I will seat you at my table and you shall eat from me says the King- ALWAYS!
The story finishes with a happy ever after ""But Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, for he ate at the king's table regularly, though he was crippled in both his legs."" 2Sa 9:13 Hallelujah!!!
So friend Where are you? As the King says "Where is he? where is she?"
"Quickly, go out and gather them into my house and seat them at my table! Take off their shame filled clothes and put upon them righteous linen for they are welcome at My house, they are all my children and I will dwell among them and they shall walk with Me, for I delight in the sons of men and would that all come to Me."
Lord I accept your kindness towards me. I accept your desire to want to lift me up higher. I accept your desire to promote me to your right hand. I accept gladly! Thank you Lord for looking upon me in my lowly state and lifting me up. I accept it, where once I ran from it. Shame is no longer controlling my heartI open wide the doors to your love I welcome your healing touchyour tender look. I love you Father.
A believer since 1989, traveled and ministered the gospel in India and Uganda, encouraging the church and winning the lost. Am a dad and husband living in south west Western Australia
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Baptism in the Holy Spirit Is for New Christians By Max Aplin
One of the hallmarks of traditional Pentecostalism is the belief that there is a clear distinction between being regenerated, i.e., born again, by the Holy Spirit and being baptized in the Spirit. As far as I am aware, before Pentecostals first came on the scene at the beginning of the 20th century, there is no evidence that any Christians previously held this belief.
Instead, up until the end of the 19th century all Christians seem to have taken the view that is shared by the majority of believers today, which is that there is an overlap in what we mean by regeneration and what we mean by baptism in the Spirit.
I side firmly with the majority view on this issue. And I think I am right in saying that Christians who define themselves as Pentecostal are increasingly moving away from the (unbiblical) view of traditional Pentecostalism towards the mainstream view, and this is a very welcome development.
As well as holding that regeneration and Spirit baptism are separate things, many traditional Pentecostals also believe that it is normal for Christians to first be baptized in the Spirit at some time after their conversion. Those who take this view believe that although it is God's will for all Christians to be regenerated when they are converted, often they should not expect to be baptized in the Spirit until later, when they have reached a certain level of spirituality that makes them ready for Spirit baptism.
Most Christians, by contrast, believe that it is God's will for Christians to experience both regeneration and Spirit baptism when they receive the Spirit at conversion, and that there is no need for a believer to reach an advanced level of spirituality before he or she is baptized in the Spirit.
In this article I will argue for this majority view. I am convinced, as most Christians are, that if someone has saving faith in Jesus Christ, then he or she is ready for Spirit baptism, and I will try to demonstrate this from Scripture.
To prevent this article from becoming too long, I will not spend time discussing exactly what we mean by baptism in the Spirit. Nor do I intend to spend time defending the majority Christian view that regeneration and Spirit baptism are overlapping things. My focus will be specifically on the timing of the Spirit baptism of new Christians.
I have noted that traditional Pentecostals understand regeneration and Spirit baptism to be separate things, and I have said that I do not take this view. I have just said too that I will not spend time trying to defend my view on this point against that of traditional Pentecostals. Some readers might be wondering, therefore, whether I will be able to discuss the timing of Spirit baptism without discussing whether regeneration and Spirit baptism overlap.
I believe I will be able to do this. Importantly, in what follows I will simply be focusing on baptism in the Spirit and asking if the Bible teaches that this takes place when people become Christians. None of my arguments will depend on how we understand the relationship between Spirit baptism and regeneration.
Let's turn, then, to the biblical evidence on this issue. Does Scripture teach that Christians should expect to be first baptized in the Holy Spirit at the time of their conversion or at some later time? The following points are relevant to the discussion:
(1) In Acts 1:1-11 Luke tells us that on the day the risen Jesus ascended to heaven, 40 days after His resurrection, He said to the 11 apostles (Judas Iscariot no longer being with them):
'. . . you will be baptized in the Holy Spirit not many days from now.' (v. 5)
There is no doubt that we should understand Jesus' prophecy of Spirit baptism in 1:5 to be fulfilled in the events of the day of Pentecost, related in 2:1-13, about 8 or 10 days after Jesus' ascension (depending on what calendar was being followed). Not only do the events of Pentecost involve the Holy Spirit in a powerful way, but the timing of these events fits perfectly with the 'not many days from now' in the prophecy. The events of the day of Pentecost, then, involved Spirit baptism.
In Acts 1:15 we are informed that on one occasion between Jesus' ascension and the day of Pentecost about 120 Christians were gathered together. Therefore, when 2:1 tells us that on the day of Pentecost 'they were all together in the same place', it makes sense to think that there were probably about 120 believers present. The number is very unlikely to have been much less than that. The point I am making is that many Christians were present to experience what happened on that day.
In Acts 2:4 Luke tells us that on the day of Pentecost the Christians who were gathered 'were all filled with the Holy Spirit'. There are two points to make about this:
First, we have already seen that the events on the day of Pentecost involved Spirit baptism, so the reference to being filled with the Spirit in this verse must therefore involve baptism in the Spirit.
Second, note how this verse tells us that 'all' the Christians present were filled with the Spirit.
Summing up all the above points, then, Acts tells us that on the day of Pentecost all the many Christians who were present were baptized in the Spirit.
Importantly, this was the occasion on which baptism in the Spirit first became available to Christians, and we are told that all the 120 or so believers who were present were baptized in the Spirit at this time. There is not as much as a hint in the text that any of these Christians was not ready for Spirit baptism.
The events of the day of Pentecost, recounted in Acts 2:1-13, therefore count quite strongly against the view of those Pentecostals who say that today new converts are often not ready for Spirit baptism.
(2) It is sometimes claimed that a comparison of John 20:22 and Acts 2:1-13 shows that we should expect many Christians today not to be baptized in the Spirit until some time after their conversion.
In John 20:22, which refers to a time before the risen Jesus' ascension to heaven, we are told that He breathed on the 11 apostles and said, 'Receive the Holy Spirit.' And Acts 2:1-13, as we have seen, tells us how the 11, along with the other Christians present, were baptized in the Spirit.
Pentecostals often argue in this way: The apostles received the Spirit for regeneration at the time referred to in John 20:22; they were then baptized in the Spirit on the day of Pentecost; their experience of being regenerated and later baptized in the Spirit shows what is normal for Christians.
Comparing these two passages actually involves some quite complex interpretive issues, and, to cut a long story short, I reject the view that the apostles were regenerated before the day of Pentecost. However, for the sake of argument let us assume that they were actually regenerated before Pentecost and that they were then baptized in the Spirit on that day.
Even if we make this assumption, however, it is crucial to recognise that the situation of the 11 apostles was highly unusual and in no way parallel to the situation of someone who has become a Christian since Pentecost. Spirit baptism was not available before Pentecost, so it was impossible for any follower of Jesus to be baptized in the Spirit before then.
Therefore, even if we were to assume that the apostles were regenerated before they were baptized in the Spirit at Pentecost, what happened to them would tell us nothing about what is normal for those who have become Christians since Pentecost.
(3) In Acts 2:38, after the events surrounding the Spirit baptisms on the day of Pentecost, Peter says to the crowd:
'Repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.'
There are two good reasons for believing that receiving the Spirit in this verse involves baptism in the Spirit:
(i) In Acts 8:15-19, as is widely agreed, receiving the Holy Spirit involves baptism in the Spirit. And 10:47 refers to Cornelius and his relatives and friends receiving the Spirit, while the same event is referred to in 11:16 as being baptized in the Spirit. Given that in 8:15-19 and 10:47 receiving the Spirit involves baptism in the Spirit, it would be very surprising if receiving the Spirit in 2:38 did not involve baptism in the Spirit.
(ii) The context of 2:38 strongly suggests that receiving the Spirit in this verse involves baptism in the Spirit. First, Peter's words in 2:38 are spoken immediately after the events of 2:1-13, which involve Spirit baptism; therefore, when he talks of receiving the Spirit in 2:38, we would most naturally expect him to be referring to something that is of the same general order as what has just happened in 2:1-13, i.e., as an experience that involves baptism in the Spirit. Second, in 2:17, 18 and 33 Peter has explicitly referred to the Spirit in connection with the Spirit baptisms that take place in 2:1-13; therefore, since nothing in the context suggests a change of focus, it makes sense to think that his next reference to the Spirit, in 2:38, also involves baptism in the Spirit.
We should have no hesitation in saying, then, that the receiving the Holy Spirit that Peter refers to in 2:38 involves baptism in the Spirit.
Importantly, Peter's words in 2:38 strongly imply that receiving the Spirit (which involves baptism in the Spirit) is something that can be expected to happen immediately after the repentance and water baptism he refers to, i.e., immediately after conversion. 2:38 cannot reasonably be interpreted in such a way that receiving the Spirit is understood to be something that often takes place at some time after people become Christians.
Acts 2:38, therefore, stands as a strong piece of evidence that baptism in the Holy Spirit is something that we can expect to take place at conversion.
(4) It is sometimes argued that the Bible portrays the apostle Paul first being baptized in the Spirit a few days after his conversion.
In Acts 9:3-8 Paul has his encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus, and then at least three days later (v. 9) he is filled with the Spirit, i.e., baptized in the Spirit, after Ananias comes to visit him (see vv. 17-18).
In v. 17 Ananias addresses Paul as 'brother', and it is sometimes claimed that his use of this word, a word common in the New Testament to refer to fellow Christians, shows that Paul became a Christian at the time of his experience on the road to Damascus. This passage therefore shows, the argument goes, an example of someone who becomes a Christian, yet who is not baptized in the Spirit until later.
This argument does not hold up under scrutiny, however. In the repeat account of Paul's time with Ananias that is found in Acts 22, Ananias tells Paul to 'Get up and be baptized, and have your sins washed away' (v. 16). This shows clearly that Paul is not portrayed being forgiven, i.e., becoming a Christian, until the time he is with Ananias.
The word 'brother', used by Ananias in 9:17 and 22:13, should either be understood as an address by one Jew to another, or possibly as anticipating Paul's soon becoming a Christian. Regardless of which of these options is correct, Acts portrays Paul becoming a Christian and being baptized in the Spirit at the same time.
(5) In Acts 10:24-48 (also 11:12-16) Cornelius and his relatives and friends are baptized in the Spirit at the time they become Christians.
(6) Those who claim that baptism in the Spirit does not typically take place at conversion often point to Acts 19:1-7. In this passage we read of a group of about 12 men who are baptized in the Spirit when Paul lays hands on them.
In v. 1 the men are described as 'disciples' at the time Paul meets them, using the Greek word mathetes, a word that is used elsewhere in Acts only to refer to Christians. Furthermore, in v. 2 Paul asks the men if they had received the Holy Spirit when they believed. These facts, it is argued, show that the men in question are portrayed as already Christians when Paul meets them.
This, however, seems unlikely. In v. 4 Paul tells the men that John the Baptist told people to believe in Jesus. Then in v. 5 we learn that when they heard this they were baptized (in water) in the name of the Lord Jesus. Although it is not entirely clear, it seems much better to suppose that these men are not portrayed becoming Christians until they meet Paul. In this case, their baptism in the Spirit (v. 6) happens at the time of their conversion.
The discussion so far has provided us with strong biblical evidence that we should expect new Christian converts to be baptized in the Holy Spirit at the time of their conversion. There is, however, one further passage that needs to be considered, Acts 8:5-17.
Pentecostals rightly point out that in this passage new Christian converts in Samaria are not baptized in the Spirit until some days or weeks after their conversion. So, what are we to make of this? Does it disprove my contention that baptism in the Spirit is for new Christians? Actually it doesn't, for two reasons.
First, this is the only narrative in Scripture where we learn of people who are first baptized in the Spirit at a time that is later than the day they become Christians (other than those who became Christians before the day of Pentecost, who are not comparable to those who have become believers on or after that day, because Spirit baptism was not available before Pentecost). Nor does any other scriptural passage teach or imply that we can expect Spirit baptism to take place after the time of a Christian's conversion. Given all the passages that we looked at above, which connect Spirit baptism and conversion, my contention that baptism in the Spirit is for new Christians therefore stands at least as a general principle of Scripture.
Second, there is no suggestion in Acts 8:5-17 that the Christians in Samaria had to wait until they reached a certain level of spirituality that qualified them for Spirit baptism. 8:14-17 says simply that when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God they sent Peter and John to them, who laid hands on them so that they would receive the Holy Spirit (which involved baptism in the Spirit). The text implies that becoming a Christian is all the qualification that is needed for being baptized in the Spirit.
It seems that in the case of these Christians in Samaria, for some mysterious reason the apostles Peter and John were needed to lay hands on these Christians for them to receive and be baptized in the Spirit. Presumably Philip the evangelist, who evangelised them, was not able to do this himself. I don't know why that is. But essentially these believers in Samaria can be regarded as new Christians at the time they were baptized in the Spirit. And we can be confident that they were eligible for Spirit baptism simply because they had become Christians.
If there was at least one occasion in the first century, when, for some mysterious reason, there was a delay in new Christians being baptized in the Spirit, then maybe similar situations will occasionally be unavoidable today. But according to Scripture the general pattern is for believers to receive Spirit baptism at the time of conversion. And the Bible nowhere even hints that Christians need to reach any sort of advanced spiritual status before they can be baptized in the Spirit. Being a genuine Christian is all that is needed.
I would therefore encourage those Pentecostals, who think it is normal for Christians not to be baptized in the Holy Spirit until some time after conversion, to reconsider their theology. In fact, according to the Bible, this is highly abnormal. Spirit baptism is for new Christians.
Finally, I would like to say a few words about how I think traditional Pentecostal theology of baptism in the Spirit originated. Why did the first Pentecostals come to sharply distinguish between regeneration and Spirit baptism, when, as far as we know, all Christians before them believed that these things overlap? And why did many of the first Pentecostals claim that Christians should often not expect to be baptized in the Spirit until some time after their conversion?
It seems to me that this theology originated when Pentecostals misinterpreted their experiences of the Spirit. I think that the following happened:
Many Christians had sudden advances in their (genuine) experiences of the Holy Spirit some time after they had become believers; they correctly regarded these advances as involving baptism in the Spirit; they correctly believed too that they had been regenerated by the Spirit when they had become Christians some time before; but they wrongly concluded from this that God's normal procedure is to give regeneration and baptism in the Spirit in separate stages.
I would suggest that although these Christians experienced a much deeper baptism in the Spirit at some point after being first regenerated than they had at regeneration, this was not because it is God's normal plan to separate regeneration and Spirit baptism.
Rather, I suggest, the main reason this happened was because something was wrong at the time of their conversion, in one or both of two ways. Either they did not have hands laid on them as a means of God imparting the Spirit to them (Acts 8:17; 19:6; Heb 6:2) when they should have had, and/or they wrongly believed that today God does not impart the gifts of the Spirit listed in 1 Corinthians 12:8-10. Then, later, when they had hands laid on them or they were open to being given gifts of the Spirit, they had a deeper experience of the Spirit. Something of this sort happened to me myself.
Even when God's will is done regarding the laying on of hands at conversion, and even when Christians are open to being given gifts of the Spirit at that time, it is of course true that believers often come to experience new gifts at some point after their conversion. I am also convinced that sometimes - perhaps often - it is not God's will to give a new convert any of the gifts of 1 Corinthians 12:8-10 at the time of their conversion, even if they are open to receiving them. So I am sure that some of the sudden advances in the Spirit experienced by Christians at a time after they are first regenerated are not because anything was wrong at the time of conversion. But I do think that these advances mainly occur because of the two problems I mentioned in the previous paragraph.
Incidentally, I think that instead of saying that people in this category are regenerated at the time of conversion and then baptized in the Spirit some time later, it is better to say that at conversion they are regenerated and also baptized in the Spirit in a limited, stunted kind of way, and that later on they are baptized in the Spirit much more deeply. This allows us to recognise that there is an overlap between regeneration and baptism in the Spirit.
Please also see my related article:
Should Laying on of Hands Accompany Christian Water Baptism?
Google: Max Aplin "Should Laying On"
I have been a Christian for over 25 years. I have a Ph.D. in New Testament from the University of Edinburgh. I am a UK national and I currently live in the south of Scotland.
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RAPTURE ON "STOP": MUCH PROPHECY IS STILL MISSING BEFORE RAPTURE CAN COME? By Eugene Lopatynsky
When Jesus returns for His Bride (true church, rapture) IT SHALL BE AS IN THE DAYS OF NOAH.
Do we have ALL THE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE DAYS OF NOAH present now?
Many characteristics of increasing sin are now already clearly in place. But the main, giant occurrence necessary to compare our time with that of Noah is manifestly missing.
WHAT IS MISSING IS THE "PARADIGM SHIFT", MAN BECOMING "GOD", THE "GENETIC QUANTUM LEAP" so hotly expected by all Masonry, Illuminati, Rosicrucian circles and "New Age", using their current terminology. It has indeed happened before the flood, in the day of Noah. Today it is still manifestly missing. According to these brotherhoods this is a great secret. But the Bible explains this "secret" freely to all interested.
ALSO MISSING IS DANIELS PREDICTION OF THE LAST EMPIRE OF "TEN TOES OF IRON, MINGLING WITH CLAY". It isn't here yet. They say there was a MINGLING in Noah's day, until only a handful of non-mingled people were left. If life before rapture is to be as in the days of Noah, then the MINGLING OF MAN WITH DEMONS would also be missing.
MAN BECOMING GOD ("GIANTS SEEDS OF SATAN" OR "HALF DEMONS") IS STILL MISSING? IF SO, WHO ARE THESE GIANTS, WHAT IS THEIR HISTORY AND WHY CAN'T WE SEE THEM NOW? (Except, just maybe, occasionally reported as occupants of enormous stature of 'flying saucers'?)
God said that Noah was "just in his generations". What does that mean? Why not say "just" (righteous) and leave it at that. Why say "just in his GENERATIONS"?
Why does every human civilization have a history of GIANTS and detailed reports of a whole pantheon of HALF-GODS in all their original religions? Why do ALL OF THEM have ACCOUNTS OF "GODS" FORNICATING HUMAN WOMEN AND BEGETTING HYBRID CHILDREN, who were GIANTS and very extraordinary? Study the Greek religion, Roman religion, Babylonian, Egyptian, Hindu, Chinese, Inca and all others ALL OF THEM have nearly identical accounts. These accounts are about strange beings, which were or are still their gods.
Did Michel Angelo paint a pagan painting on the ceiling of the Sistine chapel, in Vatican? Supposedly it represents the creation of Adam. But the OLDER MAN (father figure) has his left arm about a young, NAKED GIRL, who has no shirt on. Did he paint Zeus and Hercules? It cannot be our Holy God. Look it up, examine the painting, on the internet.
PREDICTION OF MINGLED SEED
WHY DID SATAN TELL EVE "YOU SHALL BE AS GODS"? DID HE MEAN HALF-GODS, OR MORE PRECISELY, HALF-DEMONS?
Genesis 3: 14-15 :
14 And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed .
15AND I WILL PUT ENMITY BETWEEN THEE AND THE WOMAN, AND BETWEEN THY SEED AND HER SEED; IT SHALL BRUISE THY HEAD, AND THOU SHALT BRUISE HIS HEEL.
A SEED is the MINGLED DNA, the offspring of two different parents.
CONSIDER, SATAN'S DEMONS ARE NOT SATAN'S OFFSPRING; THEY ARE SATAN'S ASSOCIATES, OR FOLLOWERS. THE HYBRIDS RESULTING FROM DEMONS FORNICATING HUMAN WOMEN ARE THE OFFSPRING (SEED) OF DEMONS.
In this sense, an offspring of Satan himself, personally, and a human woman, is evidently the coming antichrist, the "capstone" on top of the pyramid on the dollar bill. That indeed would be the SEED OF SATAN. If you believe the Bible, you cannot get past that. God says that there will be an offspring of Satan; seed means mingled genetics in a natural child, an offspring. What will the rest of Satan's associates, the demons, be doing at the same time?
Most "modern bibles" have already replaced "CORNERSTONE OF THE FOUNDATION" (CHRIST) with that the Masonic "CAPSTONE OF THE ARCH" (ANTICHRIST). Look up "Bible Mutilation", a must reading for every Christian, in christianarticles.net. Every reference regarding GIANTS has also disappeared, or is disappearing, in recent, modern "bibles". Why?
The offspring of GOD and one perfectly HUMAN woman (not any angel) is Christ, the very man of very man and very God of very God.
Who and what will be the personal offspring of Satan?
HISTORY OF MINGLED SEED
The FIRST INVASION of demons fornicating human women before the global flood resulted in the destruction of all "mingled mankind", 4400 years ago. These unions produced the GIANTS, Nihilim (Naphalim), Raphalim and their satanic descendents. This attack was so effective against mankind, that God's remnant was reduced to only 8 people with uncorrupted genealogy.
The corruption was not just spiritual; it was GENETIC (non-human mingling with human). Our Savior could not come out of a pestilential, satanic gene pool. There is no resurrection for these Nihilim (Naphalim), Raphalim, Check the Bible.
This event happened twice already in the history of mankind. But nobody ever teaches this history, eh? All of "mingled mankind" perished in a worldwide flood because of it, and that's not history? How do you suppose all these fossils, oil and coal happened to get under a half mile of mud, globally?
THE SECOND TIME Satan was more careful. But he same thing happened and Israel replaced the demonic GIANTS in Canaan. But not all of them. All pagan religions tell details of man having sex with demons, begetting hybrid offspring, who were worshiped as gods. That's the old Greek religion, Hindu religion, Chinese religion, Roman, Babylonian, Persian religion. The contagion was global. IT IS THE RELIGION OF THE GIANTS, still going big guns today.
This is the HISTORY and DESCRIPTION OF THE GIANT HYBRIDS, recorded, during entire millennia, as DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE ANCIENT RELIGIONS of every civilization on this earth. Their religion, they say, is alive and well today and underlies, in part or whole, every cult, every paganism, and the religion of every so called "secret society".
FUTURE: IMMINENT APPEARANCE OF MINGLED SEED?
The THIRD INVASION is still future, but probably very near. Satan is to receive the key to the bottomless pit the demons imprisoned there will ASCEND FROM BELOW and demons still free will be banished to the earth FROM ABOVE. Something like the waters during the global flood, but this time it's not waters, it's a flood of demons. That is the expected paradigm shift, the genetic "quantum leap" for mankind. Or, at least, WHAT THEY WILL DO TO HUMAN WOMEN will be the "quantum leap". Some fun coming, eh?
Then it will be as in the days of Noah. Will now all prophecy be satisfied before the rapture can come?
BUT HOW ABOUT DANIELS PREDICTION OF THE LAST KINGDOM OF THE TEN TOES?
And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken.
And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, THEY SHALL MINGLE THEMSELVES WITH THE SEED OF MEN: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.
Consider what God is saying, "THEY SHALL MINGLE THEMSELVES WITH THE SEED OF MAN"! Something non-human--- will mingle itself with human seed. The non-human part will be as different from man as iron is from clay.
The final kingdom, described by Daniel, of the 10 kings (toes-see Daniel) will be composed of hybrids, foreign DNA, SOMETHING NOT OF THE SEED OF MAN MINGLING WITH THE GENETIC MAKEUP (SEED) OF MAN.
Why would God say that? Unless God really means that the seed of non-man (not human) will mingle with the seed of man (human). If you believe the Bible, you cannot get past that.
Good man marrying bad women? Got any more jokes?
Will the demon hybrids represent the IRON in this union of the coming DANIEL'S TEN TOES KINGDOM, the global government divided into 10 territorial regions, or kingdoms? And neither will have much love for the other. Good luck, Bub.
The final outcome of all this you can find in the biblical description of the Apocalypse. Remember, the Apocalypse is literal, unless the Bible itself defines a symbol or an obvious comparison. There is a danger of inventing non-biblical things, by "spiritualizing" biblical descriptions "away". This would be not be much different than mutilating the Bible directly.
According to God's Word, ancient history is staring you in the face, from the rapidly approaching future. Man is hurtling toward it even as you read. GOD SAID THE DISASTER AND SUFFERING WILL BE GREATER THAN ANYTHING IN PAST HISTORY WAS, OR EVER SHALL BE.
____NOTES FOR BIBLE READERS__
SONS OF GOD refers to everyone originating from the direct hand of God, whether still good or gone bad. First man Adam and all Angels (good or bad), are included here. Their children are not called sons of god, but sons of man or hybrids (giants, offspring) of demons and human women.
Compare this to the term SOUL- it refers to spirit, whether good o bad.
"STARS" are references to angels, good or bad.
"WATCHERS" is a reference to demons searching "whom they may devour", in the best tradition of their hero, Satan. GOD HAD ESTABLISHED PROTECTION AGAINST THESE FOR WOMEN UNDER AUTHORITY OF THEIR HUSBAND OR FATHER. Their evidence was a covered head in the Temple. Check the Bible.
SEXUAL INTERCOURSE is described in the Bible as "to know her", "COMMIT FOLLY", sometimes "come unto", "go into her" or "discover or uncover nakedness". FOLLY has been eliminated in all modern language "bibles" the purveyors of these "bibles" do not want YOU to know that God charges ANGELS with SEX.
GIANTS , NIHILIM, RAPHALIM does not refer to occasional miss births. Rapha Malech is Hebrew for ANGEL. It refers to Fallen Angels, Sons of God turned against God, Demons producing hybrid offspring with human women. They have been judged, have neither resurrection nor salvation.
Look it up BUT USE KING JAMES BIBLE, or translate original Textus Receptus. All modern Bible versions have been altered already. Can you imagine why? The very word GIANTS has been, or is still being, deleted. FOLLY (immoral intercourse with human women) has been removed in "Modern bibles" (small b) and the sexual, adulterous aspect of it covered up. Verify with Strong's Concordance.
Why does GOD CHARGE FALLEN ANGELS WITH SEXUAL INTERCOURSE IN JOB 4: 18-19 (King James):
"BEHOLD, HE PUT NO TRUST IN HIS SERVANTS; AND HIS ANGELS HE CHARGED WITH FOLLY".
FOLLY IS IMMORAL SEXUAL INTERCOURSE WITH HUMAN WOMEN:
Compare the exact wording in Gen. 34:7 (King James): " And the sons of Jacob came out of the field when they heard it: and the men were grieved, and they were very wroth, because he had wrought FOLLY in Israel in lying with Jacob's daughter: which thing ought not to be done."
Or in Deut. 22:21 (King James): "Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father's house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die: because she hath wrought FOLLY in Israel, to play the whore in her father's house: so shalt thou put evil away from among you."
Look up FOLLY in Strong's Concordance. There are HUNDREDS OF REFERENCES FOR FOLLY! The word FOLLY is NOT changed in any way in Strong's Concordance. Take a look: Jos 7:15; Jdj 19:23; 1 Sa 25:25; 2 Sa 13:12; Psa 85:8, etc." Folly" is changed in "modern language bibles". Why? Who will profit, in future, by this?
Translate only from Textus Receptus. To have an idea what is happening NOW with all the MODERN LANGUAGE BIBLES, examine "BIBLE MUTILATION" in christianarticles.net. This is an absolute MUST for EVERY Christian, who considers the Bible important. Please, please, look it up!
Genesis 6: 1-5
And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them,
2 That the SONS OF GOD saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.
4 There were GIANTS in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the SONS OF GOD CAME IN UNTO THE DAUGHTERS OF MEN, AND THEY BARE CHILDREN to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.
5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
RAPHA Malech in Hebrew is ANGEL. Raphalim, plural, is describing evil, fallen angels and/or their children. These have no resurrection. The "sons of God", who rebelled against God, are identified above. If you still doubt hat, read again Genesis 3:15. What do you suppose God is talking about? Hybridization clearly happened. There are a host of biblical references to support the above. No need to repeat everything here.
Only one man, the first, ADAM, is called the son of God, because he came directly from the hand of God. Adams offspring is always referred to as son of man. Why do you suppose Jesus had to become the son of man?
There is a multitude of Bible references on this subject, too numerous to treat here. Read about Israel's battles in the Promised Land. Whom were they fighting? Puny people like themselves? The Jews were like grasshoppers among them, the cities were walled unto heaven. Many Christian writings deal with the issue of demon hybrids effectively. Pastor Mike Hoggard has a series of well documented DVDs on the subject. Use your internet. Certainly don't wait for the established mass media to inform you.
Free press? I would want to laugh, if it weren't so horribly, fatally disastrous. Freedom of press? That "freedom" is simply "control by ownership" , a handful of man and organizations owning the mass media, and effectively controlling what the American people think. What do you suppose it means during political and presidential elections?
A messenger is of no account, only the message is important. In spite of two Doctorates in Science consider me a nobody, who is very grateful for your visit to www.remnantonly.info and www.mygodsremnant.info
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The Problem of Natural Evil By Robert Hawes
On December 26, 2004, the third most powerful earthquake ever recorded struck in the Indian Ocean, near the Indonesian island of Sumatra. The quake was so intense that it shifted the North Pole about one inch to the east and slightly increased the rotation of the Earth, thereby shortening the length of a standard day by 2.68 microseconds. It also generated a tsunami that struck the surrounding coastlines, killing over 200,000 people and displacing nearly 2,000,000 more.
This unfortunate incident is a prominent example of what is sometimes referred to as 'natural evil': a reference to human suffering caused by processes in natureearthquakes, fires, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, volcanoes, etc. Few things are as terrifying as when our very environment seems to turn against us, and this has often raised the question of why God would place us in a world with such hazards. Why does he allow natural disasters to claim so many lives, especially those of innocent children? What purpose can there be in it?
The Good Earth
In considering this question, it's necessary to understand that conditions on Earth are exceedingly mild compared to the conditions we observe on other planets. In fact, to our knowledge Earth is uniquely suited for life. Our planet is located in what is sometimes referred to as the Goldilocks Zone (so named because it's "just right") of a stable, mid-sequence star, in an ideal position relative to the other planets of an ideally-balanced solar system, and within an ideal location in an ideal type of galaxy. If we were much closer to or farther from our sun, weather conditions on Earth would make life much more difficult than it is today. If we orbited a star in a binary system, or we were closer to the giant planets of our solar systemsuch as Jupiter and Saturngravitational stresses on the Earth could produce earthquakes far more frequent and ferocious than we can presently imagine. If our atmosphere were thinner, cosmic radiation and surface temperatures could quickly and easily prove lethal to every living thing on the planet.
These and a host of additional factors we could list demonstrate that Earth is an exceedingly privileged little world. Harsh conditions are the norm throughout the universe; to our knowledge, Earth is the lone exception. For this reason, it's a mistake to think that God has placed us in a harsh environment. On the contrary, we have every reason to believe that he has placed us on the best real estate in the universe.
Why natural disasters then, if Earth is such a wonderful world?
Earth is an active planetit must be in order for life to exist here as comfortably as it doesand this continuous activity, while beneficial, occasionally builds to what we might call "pressure points," which must be alleviated. Tornadoes and hurricanes are spawned by shifting weather patterns that are part of the overall planetary balance. Earthquakes are caused by shifts in the plate tectonics that make up the crust of the Earth. This shifting of the crust quite literally recycles the surface of the planet, creating an ideal environment for life. Tsunamis are caused by massive, sudden upheavals that displace enormous amounts of seawater, such as happens when earthquakes occur at sea. The water flows outward and then back again as the ocean reacts to the disturbance and establishes a new equilibrium.
Disasters result when these events directly impact human communities, but forces and processes in nature do not "kill" in the sense that human beings kill. There is nothing deliberate or malevolent about them. They are not "evil."
Still, might we not wonder why God allows these things to impact human populations? Has he deliberately left us in harm's way?
There are a few things to keep in mind here.
To begin with, based on what scientists have learned about Earth's past, it is evident that we live in a comparatively stable and mild time in our planet's history (and in the history of the universe, for that matter). One can imagine how things might be different if human beings had to contend with major geological upheavals or populations of large predators, such as dinosaurs. Needless to say, under such conditions we would not have reached the level of civilization we have achieved.
Next, we should reflect that, according to the biblical record, humanity has departed from the purposes God originally ordained for it, and in losing direct access to its creator, has undoubtedly forfeited protections it might otherwise have enjoyed.
The book of Genesis illustrates this for us in detailing the care God took of Adam and Eve when they were created:
"And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted" Genesis 2:8-10a (KJV)
While some believe and teach that the entire Earth was a paradise when Adam was first created, Genesis 2 actually suggests that paradise was restricted to the Garden of Eden, which God specially created to be a habitation for man. Eden was not the entire world, but only a particular region, and the garden was only a part of Eden. Note that Genesis 2:10 says that a river went "out of Eden, to water the garden." This necessitates that the garden did not comprise the whole of Eden.
God did pronounce a curse on the "ground" when Adam sinned, but the nature of the curse was very specific:
"Cursed is the ground because of you; in toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you; and you will eat the plants of the field; by the sweat of your face you will eat bread. Till you return to the ground, because from it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return." Genesis 3:17b-19
This is often taken to mean that God cursed the Earth to the effect that it should produce thorns and thistles, and that it did not produce these things prior to Adam's fall, but this conclusion cannot be derived solely from the text. Note that, when God pronounced the curse, he followed it with: "in toil you will eat of it all the days of your life." The Septuagintthe Greek translation of the Old Testamentrenders Genesis 3:17 this way: "cursed is the earth in your labors." (NETS)
Remember that, in Genesis 2:8-10, we're told that God caused "every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food" to grow in the garden. In other words, God prepared the ground of the garden to readily yield fruit-bearing plants and trees, although Adam still had a responsibility to tend it (Genesis 2:15). After the fall, however, God cursed the ground that he had formerly blessed. The ground would no longer produce its fruit easily. Instead, it would readily produce nuisance plants. Adam would be reduced to hard labor in order to survive, and in the meantime would be forced to eat whatever was growing wild around him.
Thus the curse placed upon the ground here was not a general curse on all of the Earth or the universe, both of which, according to the teachings of some, are "fallen." It was a specific curse on the ground, and was meant to render man's labor more difficult.
God also cursed man with death, as he originally warned he would do when he first instructed Adam and Eve not to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil (Genesis 2:16-17). Note how this curse was implemented, according to Genesis 3:22-24:
"Then the Lord God said, 'Behold the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forevertherefore, the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which he was taken. So he drove the man out; and at the east of the garden of Eden he stationed the cherubim and the flaming sword which turned every direction to guard the way to the tree of life."
God implemented the curse of death upon Adam by depriving him of access to the Tree of Life. From this, it appears that Adam was not created to be naturally immortal. His life was dependent upon access to the Tree of Life, without which he ultimately died. It does not appear that God cursed Adam's body in some way in order to ensure his death; he simply deprived him of what was necessary to sustain him indefinitely. To argue otherwise, one must read assumptions into the Genesis account, which seems quite straightforward when taken literally here.
I make these points in order to demonstrate that we do not live on a "bad" Earth that God changed from its initial state in order to cause us grief, but rather that we as a race have lost the place of particular favor that was once intended for us. There is no biblical reason to believe that God changed the Earth from its original "good" creation state, creating thorns and thistles only after Adam sinned. Remember again here that the Garden of Eden was a special place, even before Adam's fall. Thorns and thistles were almost certainly a part of the environment outside of the garden, although the curse may have caused them to become even more virulent.
Some argue that plant and animal death are also due to the fall of man, citing Romans 5:12, where the apostle Paul writes, "for by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin," but in this passage Paul specifically says that death "passed upon all men because all have sinned." Man is the subject here, not all of nature.
Furthermore, plant and animal death is actually beneficial to the planet as a whole, in spite of the emotional reaction people may have to it. The assumption that it cannot have been part of God's original plan for his "good" creation is just that: an assumption.
For one last point here, consider that, not only did God initially place Adam and Eve in an especially ideal environment, he intended that they should have "dominion" over the Earth:
"And God blessed them [Adam and Eve], and God said unto them, 'Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth." Genesis 1:28 (KJV)
The Genesis account fully leads me to believe that this planet was to be our "project." God gave us a good world, but intended for us to make it even better, to learn how to use its resources and become its masters. Among other things, we might have learned better ways of anticipating violent storms and earthquakes, or better building techniques to withstand them, or possibly even ways of alleviating them. Adam's experience in Eden might have prepared mankind to cultivate vast portions of the Earth's surface, almost assuredly in ways that have not yet occurred to us, and in cooperation rather than competition. Mankind might now be dispersed across the Earth in an entirely different manner, one more conducive to living in harmony with our environment. Unquestionably, the plant and animal kingdoms would also have benefited from mankind's enhanced understanding and stewardship of the globe. Perhaps even favored pets might have been granted increased longevity as a benefit derived from a better understanding of the nature of life.
How much might God have taught us about mastering our world, and even curing diseases and repairing genetic abnormalities, had our first parents not rebelled, thereby cutting us off from intimate fellowship with the creator of all things? As it stands, the world sometimes seems like a harsh place to us because we do not enjoy the position of supremacy that we were meant to have in relation to it. Man is trying to get by as best he can in a world that he does not fully comprehend and which he cannot fully master.
The Suffering of Innocents
Invariably, the problem of evilin either its moral or natural formsgenerates discussion concerning the suffering of innocents, children in particular. Even if we're willing to concede that man has fallen from his intended place in relation to both God and the world, it seems unfair to us that children should also bear the burden. Why would God permit this?
This is a complex subject, but I will highlight a few areas that I believe are worthy of consideration:
First, as discussed previously, God has given human beings the freedom to make moral choices. In order for true love to exist, the choice to give it or withhold it must also exist. Thus, God has given us a framework within which both good and evil choices are possible, and children are as subject to this framework as adults. If it were not possible to act in an evil fashion toward children, it would also be impossible to truly love them and do good to them. The choice is ours, as is the responsibility for the choice in light of God's promise to judge all mankind.
Furthermore, this matter of choice not only applies to decisions that we deliberately makefor instance, the choice to show kindness or malice in a given situationbut also to what we might consider "incidental" choices, in which children are affected more in terms of the natural consequences of our actions.
For instance, if we make poor health, financial, or lifestyle choices, our children are affected as much as we are. When parents divorce, their children have to live with the fallout, including the emotional pain. If mom or dad commits a crime and is sent to jail, the children are not exempted from the negative consequences that may result to the rest of the family, such as loss of income or loss of a home. If a man decides to get drunk and then go out and drive with his family in the car, and ends up plowing into a tree at ninety-miles-an-hour, his children will suffer right along with him through no fault of their own.
Yes, God has provided the framework in which such choices are possible, but the responsibility is ours.
Second, we should evaluate our attitude toward God. Do we really seek him? Do we really care what he thinks or what his will for our lives might be? Are we willing to lay aside our own plans and submit to his will? Are we teaching our children to seek God? What sort of example are we setting for them?
The sad fact of the matter is that humanity is pretty well going about its business as if God doesn't exist, and God has allowed us to experience the natural consequences that result from this approach to life. "You will search for me and find me," he has said, "when you search for me with all of your heart." But for the most part, we have chosen to give our hearts to other things, such as the pursuit of material wealth and pleasure. What right do we have to live as if there is no God, and then immediately expect him to bail us out of whatever trouble we find ourselves in? What right do we have to expect him to show up and explain himself in times of crisis when we don't care to hear what he has to say in the meantime?
Even many of our religious practices are more about rituals, feelings, cults of personality, self-righteousness, and social obligations than about knowing God and giving him preeminence in our lives. We often honor him with our lips when our hearts are far from him, and God cares nothing for this empty form of acknowledgment. What he values is a heart that truly seeks him.
Our children have been given to us. They are our responsibility. And we have effectively immersed them in a godless world by the choice to pursue other things. The negative consequences of this are no different than in any other area of life and experience. In great part, we have chosen to live without God, and he has allowed us to do so. The result has been tragic.
On the other hand, God has often shown mercy to those who are truly seeking him, and per the biblical account, has delivered them from potential tragedy.
In the book of Genesis, God warned Pharaoh in a dream that years of famine were coming to Egypt, and he provided Joseph to interpret that dream and to devise a plan to bring Egypt safely through the crisis (Genesis, chapter 41). He delivered a prostitute named Rahab from the destruction of Jericho in return for the kindness she showed to two Israelite spies (Joshua, chapters 2 and 6). He delivered three Hebrew teenagers from death in a Babylonian furnace, and later the prophet Daniel from death by lions (see Daniel, chapters 3 and 6). He warned Mary and Joseph that King Herod would try to kill the infant Jesus, and told them to flee to Egypt (Matthew 2:13-15). He delivered the apostle Peter from prison and almost certain death in response to the prayers of believers (Acts, chapter 12).
Nor is that "all in the past." God continues to watch over his people today. He does not always intervene in their circumstances, just as he did not always intervene even in biblical times, but there are noted instances where he has done this.
I remember hearing the story of a missionary whose life was spared when villagers who had been sent to kill him in the night retreated without even confronting him. Later, after one of them was converted, he explained to the missionary that he and those with him had seen large men standing outside of the missionary's home with drawn weapons, and this is why they had left him alone that night. The missionary should have seen these men, but he saw no one.
A few years ago, I came across the testimony of a Christian who was cleaning out his garage one day, and was about to pick something up when he distinctly heard a voice telling him not to touch it. He went and got a broom to move the object and discovered Black Widow spiders nesting underneath of it.
And for one last example, I will provide a personal testimony.
My oldest son, Jamesnow seventeen years oldis severely autistic and non-verbal. A number of years ago, when he was perhaps nine or ten years old, my wife left to visit relatives while I stayed home to care for James. I became very ill one night while she was gone, and fell into a deep sleep. Unbeknownst to me, my son got up out of bed and got in the bathtub and started playing. Like many autistic children, he loves playing in water, and this is usually harmless as long as it's supervised. But at the time, I had no idea what was going on; I was dead asleep and had a loud box fan running.
How long he was in there, I don't know, but I was woken from sleep by a man's voice calling my name and telling me I needed to wake upthere was no one else in the house at the time, and no radio or TV playing. I woke immediately and heard my son in the bathtub of our master bathroom, jumping up and down with the shower turned on. He could easily have slipped and hit his head on the side of the tub or on one of the faucets, and as sick as I was at the time, I might not have been aware of his situation for hours. By the time I got up, it might have been too late.
I'm sure that skeptics could offer any number of alternative explanations for the examples I've provided here. It would be impossible to objectively prove that God did, or did not, intervene in these circumstances, and so I do not pretend to offer them as definitive proofs. I offer them merely as circumstances consistent with biblical examples of divine interventions, and I think even skeptics would have to agree that God, if he does exist, must surely be capable of such things. We may quibble over why God chose to intervene in these situations and not in others, but that takes us back to the issue of divine knowledge and motivations. Without knowing what God knows, how can we stand in judgment over him in regard to what he should, or should not, have done in given situation?
The point is this: as a race, we are seeking just about everything but God, when he has promised that it is those who seek him with all of their hearts who will find him.
If we live as though there is no God, is that his fault or ours?
**Quotations marked NETS are taken from A New English Translation of the Septuagint, 2007 by the International Organization for Septuagint and Cognate Studies, Inc. Used by permission of Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.
Robert Hawes is the author of "In Search of God: A Look at Life's Most Essential Question," as well as many articles on various subjects ranging from politics to theology and Christian apologetics.
His blog is: http://takeupyourcross73.blogspot.com
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APPARITIONS OF WOMAN WITH CHILD? By Eugene Lopatynsky
From four thousand years ago you encounter statues of a woman holding a child, statues which were worshiped in practically all the devil infested religions of the world.
Do you think, for a moment, they were worshipping Mary and Jesus, within pagan religions, thousands of years before Christ? They were worshipping idols of Samirabis holding Tamuz (baby Baal), and all corresponding variations thereof, within all early civilizations.
The whole thing, they say, actually started in the Garden of Eden, when the ultimate deceiver, betrayer and destroyer walked out as the temporary god (small g) of this world (2 Cor. 4:4).
What was God's prophecy to both of them, to the woman and to Satan, at that time?
Gen. 3: 14-15
14And the LORD GOD said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed.
15And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and BETWEEN THY SEED AND HER SEED; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
The only way Satan could procreate HIS SEED is evidently by means of a human woman. Satan's demons are not his (Satan's) offspring, they are Satan's associates. The HYBRIDS resulting from demons fornicating human women are the offspring of demons. Every SEED mentioned in the Bible involves a mingled DNA, according to its KIND. The word KIND is used here instead of species; is used to identify all variations capable of procreation within an existing genetic platform.
Now, what might the rest of all this mean?
There are some people who understand it to mean the following: One human woman is apparently to bring forth the CHILD of the Most High God within a prophesied perfect genetic lineage from Noah to Abraham, to King David, to Mary. The SON of God (as offspring of God and a virgin woman Mary) will "bruise" the head d Satan himself.
Many secret societies apparently are holding out the hope of man becoming god (small g), not by any fairytale of evolution, but by genetic 'up- breeding', by interbreeding with demons.
Some future woman will apparently give birth to a genetic offspring of Satan, and the offspring is expected to be similar to the GIANT Nephilim and will represent the "capstone" on the pyramid of the dollar bill. Most "modern bibles" (small b) have already replaced "cornerstone of the foundation" (Christ) with the Masonic "capstone of the arch" (Antichrist).
Twice already, in the history of mankind, did demons have sex with human women. Before the flood, only eight people were left with un-mingled, purely human genealogy. After the flood the same thing happened within the "Promised Land", producing the GIANTS (Nephilim, Raphalim, Emins, Zamzumins, etc). Please look up "RAPTURE CAN NOT APPROACH UNTIL PROPHECY COMPLETES", in christianarticles.net. Just click on my name to find it.
The first hybrid invasion was removed by the flood of Noah, the second, within the Promised Land, was removed by "conquest" (actually by God's direct intervention in combat) but unfortunately (through Israel's refusal) the hybrids were incompletely removed. The third infestation is prophesied for Daniels Ten Toes Kingdom of "iron and clay" and will usher in the Apocalypse. Look it up (Bible).
The same symbol of a woman bringing forth a 'Messiah' is thus used by both opposing sides. It represents the intervention of God to save humanity from evil. To the Luciferians, it similarly represents the intervention of Satan within mankind to perpetuate forever institutionalized cruelty and injustice. If you object to saying cruelty and injustice, then what do you suppose the Luciferians teach and practice now?
To Christians, it is forbidden to use this symbol (or any symbol) as an object of worship (Exodus 20: 4-5). The enemies of our God do not have comparable restraints.
Now, what about the contemporary phenomena of apparitions of a woman and child and the messages given on these occasions, which are reputed to be NON-BIBLICAL or clearly ANTI-BIBLICAL?
Additionally, what about reports of a 'baby Jesus' appearing during apparitions? The only body of Christ Jesus, supplied by Mary, NO LONGER EXISTS from the time of resurrection. It has been REPLACED completely by a new, ADULT, eternal, glorified body which is a marvel of marvels. The old body obtained from Mary, and certainly any previous CHILD BODY for Jesus, no longer exist at all. Why would they, as separate bodies, continue to exist?
Who then, appears in all these "modern apparitions"? You decide.
In every instance of the Religion of the Giants, now enduring in every so-called Secret Society and taught in their higher degrees, the future genetic mingling of demons (they say CELESTIAL part) with man (they say TERRESTRIAL part) is taught to be the final hope of mankind, as a supreme elevation of mankind to 'godhood' (or half demon-hood) and this teaching is kept as a great secret. But the Bible explains this secret freely to everybody interested.
According to Daniels Ten Toes Kingdom there will be no love lost at all between the Hybrid Giants (Iron) and humans ('puny' Clay). The Luciferians don't seem to realize that in every issue and future encounter ONLY THE HYBRIDS WILL PREVAIL. Tremendous future hatreds and resentments would appear inevitable.
The THIRD DEMONIC INVASION is still future, but probably very near. Satan is to receive the key (permission) to the bottomless pit the demons imprisoned there will ASCEND FROM BELOW and demons still free will be banished to the earth FROM ABOVE. Something like the waters during the global flood, but this time it's not waters, it's a flood of demons. That is the expected paradigm shift, the genetic "quantum leap" for mankind. Or, at least, WHAT THEY WILL DO TO HUMAN WOMEN will be the "quantum leap". Some fun coming, eh?
According to God's Word, ancient history is staring us in the face, this time from the rapidly approaching future. Man is hurtling toward it even as you read. GOD SAID THE DISASTER AND SUFFERING WILL BE GREATER THAN ANYTHING IN PAST HISTORY EVER WAS, OR EVER SHALL BE.
A messenger is of no account, only the message is important. In spite of two Doctorates in Science consider me a nobody, who is very grateful for your visit to www.remnantonly.info and www.mygodsremnant.info . Have a surprise.
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The Truth As I See It by Jack Corcoran
As I see it
By Jack C. Corcoran
Pontius Pilate asked the question, "What is truth?"
Jesus, the Messiah, said in John 14:6 "I am the way, the truth, and the life."
Jesus, the Messiah, said in John 8:32 "The truth shall set you free."
And without a doubt, I believe the Bible is the truth; the Word of God. Therefore, I believe it when it says, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life." And this verse is referring to Jesus, the Christ (Messiah).
I use the word Messiah, which is the meaning of the Greek word, Christ, because many people believe that the name Christ is Jesus' last name. I recall reading somewhere that there are people who actually believe that Mary and Joseph were Mr. and Mrs. Christ. That is wrong!
As I said, and according to Strong"s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, the word, Christ, is a Greek word meaning "the Messiah". And, according to Strong's, the word Messiah is Hebrew for king or priest. In Revelations 17:14 Jesus is called King of kings; and the writer of the Book of Hebrews refers to Jesus as our High Priest.
Jesus is our redeemer. Romans 6:23 says that "the wages of sin is death." And Romans 5:8 tells us that "God demonstrates His own love for us (recall John 3:16) in this: while we were still sinners, the Messiah died for us." He paid our wages; He is our redeemer.
Throughout the Bible prophecies in the Old Testament and eyewitness accounts in the New Testament we learn that Jesus lived, died, and was raised from the dead by God the Father and He is seated at the right hand of God the father.
And because I believe all of this as I have just stated and I will be passing on to you in future writings more of why I believe I must be obedient to the Word as written in the Book of Ephesians, chapter five and especially verses 3 - 5 and 11.
Most of the Scriptures I will be using from here on are taken from the New International Version of the Holy Bible (NIV). Some may come from another version and, if so, I will make note of it.
So, let's begin
Ephesians 5: 3-7
"3 But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people. 4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. 5 For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy personsuch a person is an idolaterhas any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God's wrath comes on those who are disobedient. 7 Therefore do not be partners with them."
And verse 11 "Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them."
This is my reason for writing: to expose these evil deeds of darkness because the truth, as I see it, is these evil things are destroying our beloved nation, the United States of America.
For this first message, I would like to hone in on just verse 3 and it is my sincere hope and prayer that you read with an open mind.
I believe that sexual immorality is, at least, partly to blame for what is happening in our country right now as I write.
A friend and I were discussing the wide spread use of porn on the internet and it led me to what I am about to share with you. For two whole days after our conversation I actually cried my heart out to God; I couldn't even eat; I couldn't sit down and listen to music; I couldn't do my favorite thing and play games on my PC because no matter what I tried to do, The Spirit of God kept interrupting me with these thoughts: Sexual immorality is running rampant in this country and causing a massive breakdown of morality and God is angry.
I started by going online and actually went in to two of these sites that promote sexual immorality; Craigslist and Adult Friend Finder. As I perused these two sites I became increasingly amazed and frightened.
Amazed at the massiveness of this stuff and frightened because I know God is angry. And He should be. Just two sites and I only browsed parts of them. These two sites are set up to allow their members to pick and choose from an array of categories so I only went through a few of them because I could only stand so much.
They allow you to choose your state, where you live; and they allow you to pinpoint exactly which part of the state you are interested in. So, I chose a fifty mile radius of my zip code.
Then you choose which category of which there were at least twenty different categories such as male for male, female for female, male for couples, female for couples, male for transvestites and so on; I think you get the picture.
I picked the category of "Casual Encounters" and went through the listings of just male for male and female for female and male for couples. Folks, within fifty miles of my zip code, I came up with a total of 6,078 on Craigslist and 10,916 on Adult Friend Finder. That's over 17,000 people looking for immoral sexual encounters just within a fifty mile radius of my zip code.
Did you know that there are at least 297 cities in the United States that have a population of more than 100,000? No, I didn't either until I Googled it but, can you imagine if all these cities have the same amount that I just found, from only a fraction of the choices on these two sites, looking for immoral sex?
I'm not even close to being good at math but I wish someone with the math skills could figure this out. I'm willing to bet there are more than 5 million people in this country on just these two sites and how many sites are there?
Now here is what absolutely sickened me. In my research and using Google and Wikipedia, I found these statistics. The United States Department of Justice states that "At any one time there are estimated to be more than one million pornographic images of children on the internet. And the average age is eleven.
They estimate that there are over 100,000 websites. Every second $3,075 is spent on porn; EVERY SECOND! 28,258 viewing porn and every second of the day there are an estimated 372 people on the Adult websites in the USA. EVERY SECOND!
And there is a new porn video created every 39 minutes.
And God's word says to "Have nothing to do with the deeds produced by darkness, but instead expose them.
We think we are getting away with it but we are not getting away with anything. The Bible tells us that God knows our hearts and our very thoughts. It also tells us that God is slow to anger but you can see for yourself what He did when He finally had enough.
Read about the city of Sodom and see what God did. Read the story of Noah and see what God did. Read the stories of Israel and see what God did. And now, look at today's news. For example, just follow the Trump rallies and look at all the violence; the hatred; and the death toll in this country. Look at the number of police killings in the past few years. OMG! You can't even use a toilet in peace.
And I truly believe that God is allowing these things because He is angry! And it will only get worse if we, the people, don't get serious and look toward heaven and beg His forgiveness.
The Bible says to repent
The Bible says to confess your sins
The Bible says to confess Jesus as Lord
The Bible says to believe in His Name
The Bible says to believe that God raised Him from the dead
The Bible says to obey the will of God
The Bible says in Ephesian 5:3 "But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity,"
Now listen to me; I'm not just talking to those who don't believe; I am talking to you people who go to church every Sunday. I've been in your churches and I have seen it firsthand. I spent two years in seminary and I have seen, with my own eyes, the so-called men of God in all their glory. I have stories to tell but, not now. This, what I am writing today, is a wake-up call to the church.
I have been in churches where the preacher spends an entire forty minutes without ever opening a Bible. And lately, I have been in churches where the majority of the congregation doesn't even bring a Bible. They depend on what is being cast onto a screen. Have you ever read Acts 17:11?
"Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true."
You cannot; you should not put your entire trust on what is being put before you. You must open your Bible and read it for yourself. At least take notes; write down the Scriptures being cast upon the screen and read it for yourselves. I'm not trying to belittle the work of the good pastors and Bible teachers out there; but I am trying to make you use your head as the Bereans did. Make sure what you are being taught is the truth.
I'm willing to bet that a great majority of you go to church on Sunday and forget all about it through the week. How many of your unchurched friends even know what you stand for? For that matter, how many of you even have unchurched friends? Jesus did! And the church leaders of that day hated Him for it. Jesus said it's the sinners who need a physician. (Luke 5:31)
The church has given up its job. We no longer share the Word of God. We hide inside our concrete walls. We should be standing up against our enemies; the enemies of God But we don't and he is stomping us into the ground so that we are irrelevant.
And because of it, we have this massive breakdown of morality.
But now, for the good news. Revival is in the wind. There are rumors of revival
One headline says "Extraordinary revival in L.A. and Orange County high schools" (Google this headline and read the whole story)
Another headline tells us that "Revival Rocks West Virginia School, Surrounding Towns" (Google revival in W. VA.)
Look, it's on opposite ends of the country. Can it close in on the rest of us?
It's up to us to grab hold of it; to bring it to your churches. Each one of you; every single one of you is a potential carrier of these rumored revivals. I'm doing my part by writing this material. What will you do?
What are you willing to do to keep our country from total destruction? It all begins with prayer; honest, earnest, tear-jerking prayer. I know; I spent several days crying out to God asking His forgiveness, confessing my sin, and begging His help.
And one morning I awoke with all of this on my heart. And as I began my search of those web sites, God began putting these words into my head.
I will continue to pray and continue to follow His lead in my writing. And I will share it with you as quickly as I receive it. Please pray with me and pray for me as I dare to write the truth.
May the Lord God bless you and keep you in His loving care.
I am your faithful servant and friend
Jack C. Corcoran
I'm a retired cop, now working as a security supervisor. My wife and I live in a small farming community in SE Indiana. My first novel was self-published in 2006 and I am currently working on two more.
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Do the Dead Return to Visit the Living? By Robert Hawes
"Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God..." - 1 John 4:1
Recently, I came across a disturbing idea being advocated by some well-known Christian authors whom I otherwise respect: namely, the notion that there are "godly ghosts," that is, spirits of dead Christians who sometimes return to visit the living. Evidence cited in favor of this idea includes the fact that Christian author C.S. Lewis believed that the spirit of his dead wife returned to comfort him in the wake of her passing, as well as a tale recounted by J.B. Philips concerning how the ghost of C.S. Lewis appeared to him, encouraging him when he was working on his translation of the New Testament. In another recent example, the father of popular Christian TV minister Perry Stone claimed that the ghost of a friend appeared to him and commissioned him for the ministry. Other examples could be cited as well, including various stories in which the godly dead allegedly returned to help the living in some way or to settle affairs they were unable to conclude in life.
In keeping with this, "godly ghosts" theorists argue that it's possible that not all spirits of the departed reside in either Heaven, Hades (the NT equivalent of Sheol), or "Abraham's Bosom"; instead, they speculate that some human spirits may be roaming the earth in a type of limbo (possibly what the Bible terms "outer darkness"), and that this may be why people have reported that ghosts often seem confused, tend to be found near places where tragedies have occurred, and usually appear sorrowful and tormented.
The Bible certainly teaches that there is what we might call a "spirit world," an unseen realm in which both good and evil spirits operate, and it is clear from scripture that these spirits interact with mankind to various degrees; but I have to caution that there is absolutely no scriptural justification for the belief that spirits of the dead can or do return and manifest themselves to the living. It is my belief that all encounters with what are believed to be "ghosts" are actually demonic manifestations designed to deceive mankind into accepting delusions about the spirit world and the questions surrounding life after death.
- Scripture Forbids "Calling up" the Dead
Leviticus 19:10 and Deuteronomy 18:10 specifically forbid consultations with mediums: those who communicate with the dead on behalf of the living (what we call "Necromancy" today):
"Do not turn to mediums or spiritists; do not seek them out to be defiled by them. I am the Lord your God."
"There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead."
Thus it seems very unlikely that God would permit, or even facilitate, that which he has strictly forbidden.
Nevertheless, one proponent of the "godly ghosts" theory argues that such verses prove that communication with the dead must at least be possible, otherwise God would not have forbidden it, but this is not necessarily the case. As we can see from Deuteronomy 18:10, God forbade contact with persons who were involved in a number of occult practices, including calling up the dead, but he did not offer commentary on the validity of those practices or on how they were performed. A surface reading of the text might lead one to believe that occult practitioners have some sort of natural ability that enables them to successfully divine, perform acts of witchcraft, or to cast spells, but other passages of scripture suggest that these things are actually accomplished by the power of demons.
A ready example of this is Acts 16:16-21, where Luke provides of an account of how the apostle Paul cast a spirit of divination out of a slave girl who "was bringing her masters much profit by fortune-telling" (KJV). After the demon was cast out of the girl, she no longer had the power of divination (Acts 16:19).
For this reason, it is entirely likely that "the dead" that are conjured in the practice of Necromancy are actually demons, and not departed spirits at all. Indeed, in I Samuel 28, when King Saul was trying to communicate with the departed prophet Samuel, he specifically sought out a woman that had "a familiar spirit"in other words, a demon (I Samuel 28:7). Obviously, Saul thought that the practice itself was validthat is, that mediums were actually able to conjure the deadbut it's clear from his words that he realized that a demon was necessary to facilitate it. Strangely enough, he does not seem to have considered that the demons involved in contacting the dead might not be mere facilitators, but might actually be impersonating the spirits they were supposed to be contacting. It seems rather odd to trust an evil spirit to act in good faith, but Saul was desperate at the time (more on this later).
Thus, it seems unlikely that God issued the command to avoid those who "call up the dead" because they are actually able to do it. It seems more likely that he gave this commandment in order to keep his people from being deceived by evil spirits.
- Scripture tells us that the Dead are not aware of the World of the Living
"For the living know they will die; but the dead do not know anything, nor have they any longer a reward, for their memory is forgotten. Indeed their love, their hate and their zeal have already perished, and they will no longer have a share in all that is done under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 9:5-6
"Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might; for there is no activity or planning or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol [the grave] where you are going." - Ecclesiastes 9:10
"Do not trust in princes, in mortal man, in whom there is no salvation. His spirit departs, he returns to the earth; in that very day his thoughts perish." - Psalm 146:3-4
If, as the Bible indicates, the dead are not aware of what takes place in the world of the living, it's rather difficult to see how they could be contacted, conjured, or otherwise summoned by mediums from the living world. How can you hear or respond to a voice from a reality that is hidden to you? Indeed, for those who believe that the story of the Rich Man and Lazarus in Luke chapter 16 represents an actual account rather than a parable or an allegory, the situation becomes even more complicated:
"Now the poor man died and was carried away by the angels to Abraham's bosom; and the rich man also died and was buried. In Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far away and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried out and said, 'Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus so that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue, for I am in agony in this flame.' But Abraham said, 'Child, remember that during your life you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus bad things; but now he is being comforted here, and you are in agony. And besides all this, between us and you there is a great chasm fixed, so that those who wish to come over from here to you will not be able, and that none may cross over from there to us.'" - Luke 16:22-26
It's difficult to understand how spirits of the dead could be summoned to return to the world of the living when they are incapable of crossing a physical barrier between two different parts of their own domain! If the story of the Rich Man and Lazarus references actual events, then it is clear that spirits of the wicked dead cannot leave the confines of their imprisonment in Hades, and that even spirits of the righteous dead cannot simply come and go as they please. Angels carried Lazarus to Abraham's Bosom, implying that he could not reach that place on his own from the world of the living, and thus making it almost certain that he could not return on his own, either.
Furthermore, note that the rich man asked Abraham to return Lazarus to the world of the living in order to warn the rich man's brothers about the place of torment that awaited them beyond the grave. He did not ask that Lazarus be permitted to contact the living, but rather that he be sent to them. This strongly implies that the dead cannot communicate with the living from the underworld; at least it is certain they cannot initiate contact from there, and thus it is also highly doubtful that they can be conjured from there by the living.
- Saul and the "Ghost" of Samuel
What then of the story of Samuel's spirit being called up by the witch of Endor in I Samuel 28? Was this the true spirit of Samuel, or a demonic impostor?
The account in I Samuel 28 is controversial, and for good reason. In this account, the Philistines were readying themselves for battle with Israel. Saul, who had long been in rebellion against God, was desperate for help, but God was not answering him, and the prophet Samuelwho had anointed Saul king over Israel and used to serve as a guide to himwas dead. So in his desperation, Saul asked his servants to find a woman who could call up the ghost of Samuel for him.
Then said Saul unto his servants, 'Seek me a woman that has a familiar spirit, that I may go to her, and enquire of her.' And his servants said to him, 'Behold, there is a woman that has a familiar spirit at Endor.' - I Samuel 28:7 (KJV in modern English)
Once again, a "familiar spirit" is another term for a demon. In other words, Saul wanted his men to find a demon-possessed woman for him to inquire of, with the expectation that the spirit within this woman would contact Samuel and that Samuel would speak to him through the woman. In other words, he was looking for a medium who would speak to him for Samuel just as people ask mediums today to convey the words of dead relatives and friends at séances. Another word for this is type of intermediary contact is "channeling." This is exactly the type of activity that God had forbidden in the Law of Moses, and it was at least one area in which Saul had been obedient to God, as he had nearly wiped out the mediums in Israel. Indeed, he was forced to disguise himself so that the medium would not recognize that he was the king, and he had to assure her that she would not be punished:
"Then Saul disguised himself by putting on other clothes, and went, he and two men with him, and they came to the woman by night; and he said, "Conjure up for me, please, and bring up for me whom I shall name to you." But the woman said to him, "Behold, you know what Saul has done, how he has cut off those who are mediums and spiritists from the land. Why are you then laying a snare for my life to bring about my death?" Saul vowed to her by the Lord, saying, "As the Lord lives, no punishment shall come upon you for this thing." - I Samuel 28:8-10
Saul then asked the woman to bring up Samuel for him, and the Bible records that, "when the woman saw Samuel, she cried with a loud voice." Many have supposed that she cried out because she was expecting a demon and was startled when it was actually Samuel who appeared, but a careful reading of the text does not support this. Consider for a moment: What is the very first thing the woman said to Saul after she cried out?
"You are Saul."
Again, Saul had killed all of the mediums and sorcerers in Israel, and as we saw in verses 8-10, initially the medium did not even want to perform this act of necromancy for fear of her life. She cried out because the spirit within her revealed that the man who had come to her was actually the king she feared so greatly.
Moving on, there is another important detail in this story that we should note: the witch never identified Samuel by name. When Saul asked her what it was that she saw, she told him: "'I see a divine being [Hebrew - elohim]...an old man coming up, and he is wrapped with a robe.' And Saul knew that it was Samuel, and he bowed with his face to the ground and did homage." The witch did not identify Samuel, and Saul did not actually see this spirit; Saul assumed that the spirit was Samuel based on the medium's description; and given that the woman was a medium, the spirit would have spoken through her as well, just as spirits commonly speak through mediums today.
Are we really to believe that Samuel took his robe to Hades with him? Was Samuel an old man in spirit form? I believe it is more plausible that the demon deceiving Saul presented itself in a form that Saul would recognize: as the old man whom he had known in life.
It has been argued that the text itself identifies Samuel, but I would remind readers that this account was written down based on the testimony of those who were with Saulnone of whom actually laid eyes on this spirit. I am not arguing that the text is in error; only that it is an account that was based on the testimony of witnesses. It is, undoubtedly, an accurate account of what they believed took place and how things appeared to them. This is a type of chronicle, a Hebrew government record, not a divine revelation.
There are similar examples of this sort of perspective in scripture:
In Genesis 18, the Lord appeared to Abraham with two angels, yet the text repeatedly refers to all three of them as "men," which is certainly what they appeared to be to Abraham, Sarah, and Lot, as well as the men of Sodom, who also saw them and referred to them as "men" (see Genesis 19:5).
Moses records for us in Exodus 33 that God appeared to him, covering Moses with "his hand," and allowing Moses to see his "back parts" but not his "face"; yet other scriptures indicate that God is "invisible," "a spirit," a being without physical form, and that no one has ever seen him (John 1:18; 4:24, Colossians 1:15, and I Timothy 1:17). Clearly, God appeared to Moses in some sort of representation, a physical manifestation, but not his true essence. Yet, on the surface, the text appears to read as if God actually has a physical body.
When Mary Magdalene saw Jesus after his resurrection, she initially thought he was the gardener (John 20:15).
In Mark 16:5, the women who came to the garden tomb on the morning of the resurrection saw "a young man" when they looked into the tomb. Luke 24:4 mentions "two men" at the tomb. John 20:12 makes it clear that the "men" the women saw at the tomb were angels, but in the other accounts they are actually called "men." This does not mean that Mark and Luke were in error, just that they recorded what the women literally saw and reported themselves.
These accounts also demonstrate to us that spirit beings can assume physical form, appearing, speaking, and even eating as human beings do. Thus it is entirely possible for an evil spirit to have impersonated Samuel. Again, I remind the reader here that Saul assumed that the entity the medium contacted was Samuel, and even today occultists warn practitioners of the magical arts that spirits often lie and misrepresent themselves. Indeed, in I Kings 22:19-23, God actually permitted a lying spirit to speak through the mouths of prophets in order to lure King Ahab to his death.
Furthermore, consider that Samuel was one of the most righteous men spoken of in the Old Testament. In Jeremiah 15:1, God places him in the same category as Moses, who was the greatest of all of Israel's prophets. Would such a righteous man have broken the commandment of God by communicating with Saul through a demon-possessed witch when God had specifically forbidden this practice, knowing that witchcraft is particularly detestable to God? Would God himself have facilitated this kind of contact in violation of his own commandment?
Neither of these options seems likely.
What then of the fact that the spirit told the truth when it prophesied that Saul would die in battle the following day?
Demons are notorious liars, but they do not always lie. The Pythian priestesses of the ancient world were renowned for their ability to predict events and "see" at a distance, and were even consulted by kings. The slave girl that the apostle Paul cast the demon out of in Acts 16 must have been correct at least part of the time, otherwise she wouldn't have made her owners very much money! Consider also that the Egyptian priests who opposed Moses and Aaron were able to perform genuine miracles, yet they did not do so by the power of God. And again, remember how an evil spirit was used to do the will of God in 1 Kings 22. It's clear from the account of Saul and the witch of Endor that "Samuel's" prophecy of doom absolutely unhinged Saul (I Samuel 28:20-23), and probably aided in his defeat the next day.
- Other Alleged "Ghosts" of the Bible
- A Ghost on the Water
"Immediately He made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side, while He sent the crowds away. After He had sent the crowds away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray; and when it was evening, He was there alone. But the boat was already a long distance from the land, battered by the waves; for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea. When the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, "It is a ghost!" And they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, "Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid." - Matthew 14:22-27
The Greek word translated "ghost" here is "phantasma," which Strong's defines as meaning: "an appearance, an apparition, spectre." The KJV renders this word as "spirit." Young's Literal Translation renders it "apparition."
Does this passage constitute biblical proof that ghosts exist, because this is what the disciples believed they were seeing?
It certainly demonstrates that Jesus' disciples believed in what we could call "ghosts" or "apparitions," but it does not tell us what they believed these things to be. It does not seem that they believed them to be good, however, as their immediate reaction was one of fear. It is also evident from other passages of scripture that the Jews knew that demons existed, and it may well be that they assumed that a "phantasma" was a visible manifestation of such a spirit. People in the Bible tended to react in fear when angels appeared to them as well, though, so it is difficult to say for certain what they may have believed a "phantasma" to be. The text does not offer commentary on this subject.
Furthermore, even if the disciples believed that a "phantasma" was indeed the spirit of a dead person, this does not mean that they were correct in that belief. The Jews of Jesus' day were mistaken about a number of things, as Jesus demonstrated in his disputations with the leaders of the day. Indeed, the Bible tells us plainly that the sect of the Sadducees did not believe in spirits at allnot even in angels. Greco-Roman culture, which dominated Judea at this time, was, as the apostle Paul comments in the book of Acts, "very superstitious," and the Bible is clear that the Jews were prone to picking up the beliefs and practices of the nations that surrounded them. Belief in ghosts as spirits of the dead may have been part of the superstitions they had absorbed from the dominant culture of the day. Since at least the time of the Exodus, they had believed that mediums could summon the dead, and even this was likely a belief they had picked up from the Egyptians (Egypt being the primary home of the "Mystery" religions at that time).
- The Appearance of Moses and Elijah
Three of the gospelsMatthew, Mark, and Lukedescribe an event known as the "transfiguration," when Jesus was revealed in glorified form in the presence of Peter, James, and John. All three gospels also agree that Moses and Elijah appeared with Jesus at this time. Does this then prove that spirits of the departed do in fact return on occasion?
Jesus himself partially answers this question for us in Matthew 17:9 "As they were coming down from the mountain, Jesus commanded them, saying 'Tell the vision to no one until the Son of Man has risen from the dead."
Jesus referred to his transfiguration, and the accompanying appearance of Moses and Elijah, as a "vision." "Vision" is translated from the Greek word "horama," which can refer to "spectacles" in terms of unusual sights (such as how Moses' sighting of the burning bush is referred to in Acts 7:31), symbolic representations (such as Peter's vision of the sheet lowered to him from heaven in Acts 10), and to glimpses of the future (such as Paul's vision of Ananias healing him of blindness in Acts 9:12, and the vision of the man from Macedonia saying "Come over and help us," in Acts 16:9).
So, given the three possible usages of "horama," which was the transfiguration? Was it a "spectacle," a symbolic representation of some kind, or a glimpse of the future?
There are some clues that I believe provide the answer.
Six days prior to the transfiguration, Jesus told his disciples: "Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom" (Matthew 16:28). Matthew then immediately relates the transfiguration story in chapter 17, verses 1-13. All of the original twelve apostles are dead, so Jesus could not have had in mind his actual second coming when he said this, given that his coming has not yet taken place. Furthermore, he said "some of those standing here." Some, not all. And, of course, he took only three of the twelve with him when he went up onto the mountain.
In light of this, it makes sense that, when Jesus referred to some of his disciples not experiencing death until they had seen him coming in his kingdom, he was referring to Peter, James, and John witnessing his transfiguration. Therefore, the vision of his coming must have been a glimpse of his future glory. This would also mean that the vision of Moses and Elijah was also a glimpse of how they would appear in the future, given that human beings are not glorified until the time of the resurrection, when Christ comes again:
"And, behold, two men were talking with him; and they were Moses and Elijah, who, appearing in glory, were speaking of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem." Luke 9:30-31
"When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then you shall also appear with him in glory." Colossians 3:4
"So also is the resurrection of the dead. It [the body] is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory" I Corinthians 15:42-43
Peter refers to the transfiguration in II Peter 1:
"For we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, such an utterance as this was made to him by the Majestic Glory, 'This is my beloved son, with whom I am well pleased'and we ourselves heard this utterance made from heaven when we were with him on the holy mountain. So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention" II Peter 1:16-19
This is also what he is likely referring to in I Peter 5:1 "Therefore I exhort the elders among you, as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed"
Peter testifies that he saw exactly what Jesus said "some" of his disciples would see prior experiencing death: that is, the Son of Man coming in his kingdom, a glimpse of the glory yet to be revealed.
In other words, there is every reason to believe that what Peter, James, and John saw during the transfiguration was a glimpse of the future, of Christ glorified and of Moses and Elijah also glorified as they will be during the Millennium, after the resurrection. It was confirmation of Jesus' identity and of his mission. It does not require that the ghosts of Moses and Elijah were actually present at the time; indeed, how could it, given that it presents Moses and Elijah "in glory" when neither has yet been resurrected?
In my opinion, there is no biblical reason to believe that "spirits of the dead" can or do return and contact the living. In fact, I believe this is a very dangerous idea. It is my conviction that all "ghosts" are demonic spirits bent on deception.
One "godly ghosts" advocate I engaged with some time ago protested against the idea that all ghosts are demons by arguing that it made no sense for a demon to pretend to be C.S. Lewis and appear to J.B. Philips in order to encourage him in his translation of the New Testament. Why would a demon do a good deed by encouraging a Christian minister in his work? Why would a demon appear to Perry Stone's father in the guise of a friend and commission him into Christian ministry?
In reply, I ask the following: why would a demon cause the slave girl of Acts 16 to follow Paul and his friends around, saying to the people of the city: "These men are bond-servants of the Most High God, who are proclaiming to you the way of salvation."?
Were Paul and his fellow disciples servants of the Most High God? Yes. Were they proclaiming the way of salvation? Yes.
So why would an evil spirit bear witness to the gospel? That it did so is beyond question. Evidently, demons can and will do what we consider to be good things when it suits them.
The question is, why?
One answer readily suggests itself: a demon might tell the truth, or possibly appear in the guise of a "ghost" to do a good deed, if, by doing so, it can gain the confidence of those who hear of it, and thereby set them up for deception in the future. The slave girl of Acts 16 had a solid reputation as an accurate fortune teller, and was respected in the eyes of the people of the city. Her apparent testimony to the truth of the gospel could have presented a trap for new Christian converts in the city, as they would have been predisposed to believe what she said. The demon working through her could then have begun to lead them astray, thereby perverting the gospel and destroying the work that was being done in that region.
By the same token, Lewis, Philips, and Stone are well known in Christian circles, and are respected by many. Their association with ghostly phenomena lends the subject a kind of credence it could not otherwise enjoy, and thereby presents a great danger. If Christians, particularly leaders and respected authors and speakers, are led to understand that their dead Christian friends and relatives may well be able to interact with them"Hey! It happened to J.B. Philips!"they could be opened up to powerful demonic deceptions. They might even begin to seek out such experiences on their own. I could even see the rise of "Christian mediums," those with prophetic gifts who could take it upon themselves to contact the dead on behalf of believers, thinking it a "safe" means of facilitating such communications.
What new "revelations" might these "ghosts" bring? What new ways of interpreting scripture? What guidance might they offer? I'm sure it will sound wonderful at first, and may be packed with scriptural truths, just as the girl in Acts testified accurately regarding Paul and his gospel message. Satan is a master con man, and con men are willing to string a victim alongsometimes for long periods of time, in what is known as the "long con"until the time comes when they can spring their trap with maximum payoff. It may well be that the evil spirits that make inroads into the church through ghostly revelations will exercise great care in sticking close to the scriptures for a long time, and will not deviate significantly until they have their audiences thoroughly deceived and an especially good opportunity to destroy large numbers of believers presents itself.
Think it can't happen?
"But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons." I Timothy 4:1
The height of this falling away will take place during the Great Tribulation. While discussing the terrors and pressures of those days, Jesus warned us that "false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect" (Matthew 24:24). Believers under great strain during those days will be tempted to rely more on the word of respected Christian authorities than on the Word and Spirit of God (already a serious problem in the church), and if those they are depending upon to guide them are under the influence of evil spirits (as Paul warned in I Timothy 4), the result could be catastrophic for many.
The biblical record teaches that the dead are unaware (at the very least of what occurs in the world of the living), and is particularly clear that when God wants to send his people a message, he does so through human prophets, by the Holy Spirit, or by the hand of an angel. There is no record of him sending a "ghost" to deliver a message to a living person. The idea of "godly ghosts" is extra-biblical and, in my opinion, extremely dangerous.
- Unless otherwise noted, all scripture quotations are taken from the New American Standard Bible.
Robert Hawes is the author of "In Search of God: A Look at Life's Most Essential Question," as well as many articles on various subjects ranging from politics to theology and Christian apologetics. His blog is: http://takeupyourcross73.blogspot.com.
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