Encouraging words of life from the Word of life

Was the Holy Spirit & Christ on earth at same time?

At Jesus’ baptism, the Holy Spirit descended upon Him. Matthew 3:16 says, “And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him. (cf Mark 1:10 and John 1:32)

He was in John the Baptist when Mary was still carrying Jesus in pregnancy. Lu 1:41  And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost. (Luke 1:15)

He was in Simeon when Jesus was a visiting the temple as an infant. Luke 2:25-26 says, “And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.

Jesus was filled with the Spirit when going into the wilderness. Luke 4:1 says, “And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness.”

 

If the Holy Spirit was around while Jesus was on earth, why does Jesus’ say in John 16:7 that the Holy Spirit would not come if He did not depart.

The Holy Spirit was in the world and working in lives before and during the time of Jesus. However, only after Jesus left did the Holy Spirit take on the additional role of Comforter to the church, which did not exist prior to Jesus building it.

Did the Holy Spirit dwell in believers living before Christ’s birth?

Yes. Romans 8:9 says, “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” Believers living prior to the birth of Jesus belonged to God and so must have had the Spirit of God dwelling in them.

Isaiah 63:11 says, “Then he remembered the days of old, Moses, and his people, saying, Where is he that brought them up out of the sea with the shepherd of his flock? where is he that put his holy Spirit within him?”

Ezekiel 36:27 says, “And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.”

Ezekiel 3:24 says, “Then the spirit entered into me, and set me upon my feet, and spake with me, and said unto me, Go, shut thyself within thine house.”

Elihu says in Job 32:18 “For I am full of matter, the spirit within me constraineth me.”

Exodus 31:3 says, “And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship….”

Exodus 35:31 says, “And he hath filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship….”

Just prior to the conception of Jesus Christ, Luke 1:67 says, “And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied….”

Discipleship takes two

Learning to follow another’s instructions requires accepting and acting on His ideas and commands. Without acceptance or practice, on the part of the learner, of the teacher’s training, there is no discipleship. Hence, discipleship requires two: the teacher and the pupil. A teacher without a willing pupil is not discipling, and a pupil without a teacher is not being discipled.

Disciples of Jesus Christ follow Him in obedience to His first command, love Him. Jesus, as the teacher, instructs His pupils by way of three resources: His Word, His Spirit, and other disciples in His church. In order to avoid losing disciples, Jesus, in John 21, emphasized to Peter that the criteria to feeding His sheep was to love Him. In this way, disciples of Christ can disciple others for Christ and say follow me even as I follow Christ (1Cor 11:1).

Thus, defining Christian discipleship requires mention of both the teacher and the pupil and all three resources God uses to make disciples.

The Nephilim

Who are the Nephilim?

The Nephilim are claimed by some to be a race of people that are human and angel chimeras. Chimeras are combined creatures of two different kinds. The name derives from the transliterated Hebrew word for giants in Genesis 6:4. Some think that the giants mentioned in this verse cannot be human. However, Numbers 13:33, uses the word again saying, “And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.” This refers to giant humans. And there is no mention of how much giantism was present in these people. Today, there are very big people called giants but they are human. Another problem with the chimera claim is that Genesis 1 states that God created all kinds of plants and animals to produce seed of their own kind. Kind produces kind. Angels and humans are not of the Continue Reading

When was Jesus crucified?

The events surrounding the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ have puzzled people in more ways than one. The puzzle being considered here is how Jesus was buried for three days and three nights between Friday late afternoon and pre-dawn Sunday morning. A quick count of days reveals that there are only two nights and one day between Friday afternoon and Sunday morning. This is puzzling because Jesus said in Matthew 12:40, “For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” You see, Jesus specified three days and three nights rather than generalize the time by saying, “about three days.”

In order to get an accurate counting of days and nights, consider the Continue Reading

Where is Jesus?

The morning of the resurrection of Jesus Christ had many wondering, ‘Where is Jesus?’

When Mary Magdalene was weeping at the empty tomb, John 20:13 says that the angels asked “… her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.”

Then, unbeknown to her at the moment, Jesus walks up to Mary Magdalene and asked “… her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away” (John 20:15).

Before Mary Magdalene sees Jesus, John 20:2 records that Mary ran “… to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him.”

After hearing what Mary had to say, Peter and John then took off for Continue Reading

Eden of the Bible

“The Garden of Eden” by Thomas Cole, 1828 (public domain).

  1. What does the name Eden mean? According to Strong’s lexicon, it means pleasure.
  2. Was Eden a garden planted by God? No. It was an area in which God planted a garden in the east side of Eden (Genesis 2:8). Isaiah 51:3 refers to this as the garden of the Lord.
  3. Where was the garden located? In Eden on the east side (Genesis 2:8).
  4. Why did God create the garden in Eden? This was the location He placed man to live and work (Genesis 2:8). It was a garden of pleasure for man and God, a place where all needs were fulfilled.
  5. Was man allowed to travel outside the garden? Genesis 1:26 indicates that he was free to do so to fulfill his responsibilities to God saying, “And God blessed them, 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.” However, after the fall of man, entrance into the garden was forbidden.
  6. How much territory did Eden cover? The Bible does not answer this question.
  7. How were the plants in the garden of Eden watered? Genesis 2:6 says that, “there went up a Continue Reading

The tree of life

The Fall of Man by Lukas Cranach in contast to the tree of life. This work is in the public domain in the United States, and those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years or less.
The tree of knowledge brought death.
  1. What is the tree of life mentioned in the Bible? A tree made from the ground (dust of the earth), pleasant to look at, good for food, located inside the garden of Eden and in the paradise of God, and is representative of life that is in Jesus Christ.
  2. What is the purpose of the tree of life? The tree represented the gift of eternal life that comes from knowing and partaking of Jesus Christ.
  3. Why is there a tree of life? The tree of life is a contrast to the tree of knowledge of good and evil. The former is God’s gift for nourishment to sustain life. It represents life in Christ, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil represents death under the law. The fruit of the latter is forbidden. In the Continue Reading

Creation Evangelism

I’d like to outline an approach to using creation in your evangelism.

  1. Evolution has blinded people from seeing truth, from hearing the Gospel, and from being saved.
  2. Darwin gave the world an explanation for how species came to exist without God. Philosophers like Thomas Huxley argued that the origin of all things could be explained without God.
  3. Rom 1:21-25 describes how and why false thinking like evolution darkens the mind saying, “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the Continue Reading

Over Twenty-five Million Plus Souls Will go to Hell This Year!

In real numbers, between 25,941,000 to 51,882,000 people go to hell every year! How were these numbers derived? In 1998, 2,337,256 official deaths were registered in the United States, or 864.7 deaths per 100,000 people.1

 

Total death rate

How does this translate into worldwide mortality? If we assume 864.7 deaths per 100,000 people as a representational average across the entire world’s population—somewhat of a grand assumption considering the variance in mortality rates across the world today, but it will serve to illustrate the point—and using the fact that there are approximately six Continue Reading