Holy Spirit . . .Acts 8:16

An argument could be developed on this one verse.  I looked up the expression “holy spirit” between the Bible version NIV and ESV, it seemed they agreed on just about every passage found, but one.  I was stunned, I could not figure out what word would be used rather than Holy Spirit, seemed like tough expression to alter.  After looking at the verse and the verses before and after, it’s not so much they used a different word, it’s where they used it.  The NIV, it seems to me had an effort to make more clear what had not yet come and used the word Holy Spirit again and the ESV said “for he. . .” rather than using the same expression again.  Here is a prime example where the structure of the language changed the verse but not the meaning.  

I would always challenge ourselves, when we read “a version” of the Bible, we read more than a verse to gather the meaning of what is being said, rather than challenging the accuracy or inaccuracy of its deity. 

 

Acts 8:14–17 (NIV)

14 When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to Samaria.15 When they arrived, they prayed for the new believers there that they might receive the Holy Spirit, 16 because the Holy Spirit had not yet come on any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.

Acts 8:14–17 (ESV)

14 Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent to them Peter and John,15 who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, 16 for he had not yet fallen on any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit.

Advertisements

You Of weak Faith . . .

When should we doubt our faith in God? The answer is never right. . .regardless of where we are or what has happened; whether we think God should of answered our prayers or not, our faith SHOULD not waiver, but are you like me and it does. Does it get thinner as life challenges get thicker?

I can think of a few stories in the Bible where faith was tested. The first one of course is with Joseph. His brothers sold him to be a slave. He rose to prominence, then was thrown back into prison, not once did the Bible record his rant of anger, if he ever had one. The other is of course, JOB. A detialed story of his drama, but never lost faith.

I also think of David, here he was promised to be King, yet he was stalked by his King for years and years, yet truly had done nothing to deserve it, other than Saul being jealous of David.

When, as I do now, not feeling confident in the future, not feeling deserving of what is to come, not because I don’t deserve good things to come, it’s because I feel stuck with where I am and therfore, am not doing enough to get out. I grow confused and bewildered, but then I come back to my love and faith in Jesus Christ.

I grow weary because of what I am missing, but in the end, it is not of this world I am to be of, but the next. But, right now, I don’t feel as though I am doing either any honors. So, if you happen to read this, simply put in a prayer for me, a prayer that I will hear God’s words and I will be obedient and I will be able to serve both worlds in recognition of my Father in Heaven, Jesus Christ. God Bless and Amen!

Jesus Calms the Storm

Matthew 8:23–27 (NIV)

23 Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. 24 Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”

26 He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.

27 The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”

Matthew 16:5–12 (NIV)

The Yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees

5 When they went across the lake, the disciples forgot to take bread. 6 “Be careful,” Jesus said to them. “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”

7 They discussed this among themselves and said, “It is because we didn’t bring any bread.”

8 Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked, “You of little faith, why are you talking among yourselves about having no bread? 9 Do you still not understand? Don’t you remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? 10 Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? 11 How is it you don’t understand that I was not talking to you about bread? But be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.12 Then they understood that he was not telling them to guard against the yeast used in bread, but against the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

Job 7:14

How I am feeling right now, scared, this word is not used in the NIV Bible and only once in the ESV Bible JOB 7:14.  In verses 11, he talks about how he wants to express his hurt and the bitterness of it.  And they, his friends want to scare him with visions, those that would scare him to death, than life.  He speaks of how he is being tested at every moment and won’t they leave him alone.

 

I am scared, things have happened to me and they have not gotten better.  In so many ways, if I was to tell you all, I am sure many of you would be like JOB’s friends and not in a bad way.  But, I know myself and ask myself, how am I still in this situation, why have I not improved and that acknowledgement and understanding makes me even more scared.

 

The realization is I cannot do it by myself and I have accepted that and relied on God.  Yet, I wake up each morning with eagerness, faith, love and hope, yet I go to bed each night knowing, I am in the same circumstances I have been.  I don’t feel one day closer to a solution, in fact, as each day goes by, I have started to feel, I am one day further away from one.  Like a current taking you away from the shore, but you can see the shore, the people on the shore, the fun, delight and happiness of them all.  I can’t scream out, I cannot seem to swim in, I am naked to the current and it scares me.

 

I have put it in God’s hand, I have prayed and prayed, and hoped and prayed.  I get exhausted, not from praying, but from the tunnel getting darker.  More things go wrong, more speed bumps to go over, more corners to go around, more ditches to climb out of.  I know, God did not promise me a Rose Garden, I accept that, but I know he answers prayers and it is my hope, his use of me is not to live isolated as I am.  That the speed bumps will become less an the corners less sharp and some events, any events go well. 

 

I have been stripped of so much, been given a lot too, but my life is nothing of value, at least to me.  And I don’t see how I have value to God, because living isolated does nothing to give to him.  I hope God still has a plan for me, and if his plan is for me to be where I am, I like Job, don’t really want to weather it, I am scared.

 

I don’t tell you, because I am scared.  Because there is really nothing you can do.  Telling me what to do is like telling an overweight person to eat less or exercise more, and most of us, have tried.  You can’t do anything – you can only hope and pray that SOMETHING comes up, someone decides to throw me a bone. Yet, I don’t share all that hope.  I sent out over 2000 requests for being a trainer, not one person responded back with, yes we have something, or we viewed your resume on LinkedIn and we have something for you, not one.  This makes me even more scared, because there has to be something I am doing wrong, but I don’t know and that scares me too. 

 

I am scared God does not hear me, I am scared I will not ever be a significant part of my children’s life, I am scared that I have wasted this life, that it amounts to no more than an empty seat in an arena. 

 

I question my faith, but sometimes, it just seems like I have not heard from God, I know God is in my boat, and maybe like the disciples, I have little faith.  But, they – the disciples were scared and afraid and Jesus was there, I have to admit or ask, is Jesus here with me? 

 

I guess I have provided value, without having value, then nothing would have been taken from me, so I guess I had the value of having something.  Maybe those that took it did not have value, so they stole it to have their own value.  It’s false value though, you stole it.  It’s like stealing a million dollars and saying you are a millionaire and laughing at the people you stole it from – even be willing to lend of it back to them with interest.

 

My feelings are not without merit.  All the disciples did not lead lives of luxury.  They all left immediately whatever responsibilities they had and followed Jesus, only to be persecuted throughout their lives and die violently.  But, they also had value, they did not sit idly, they spread the word of Jesus, the Good News.  I think if I was being used like that, my fear, being scared would not be developed.  That’s it in a nutshell, I feel scared because I don’t feel like I am adding value – to anyone. 

 

I heard on the radio from a Pastor, he dared those listening to pray for God to use us, he dared us to pray so, I have and I pray he will.  God Bless!

 

Job 7:11–21 (ESV)

11  “Therefore I will not restrain my mouth;

I will speak in the anguish of my spirit;

I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.

12  Am I the sea, or a sea monster,

that you set a guard over me?

13  When I say, ‘My bed will comfort me,

my couch will ease my complaint,’

14  then you scare me with dreams

and terrify me with visions,

15  so that I would choose strangling

and death rather than my bones.

16  I loathe my life; I would not live forever.

Leave me alone, for my days are a breath.

17  What is man, that you make so much of him,

and that you set your heart on him,

18  visit him every morning

and test him every moment?

19  How long will you not look away from me,

nor leave me alone till I swallow my spit?

20  If I sin, what do I do to you, you watcher of mankind?

Why have you made me your mark?

Why have I become a burden to you?

21  Why do you not pardon my transgression

and take away my iniquity?

For now I shall lie in the earth;

you will seek me, but I shall not be.”

The Second Beast

Revelation 13:11–18 (ESV)

The Second Beast

11 Then I saw another beast rising out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb and it spoke like a dragon. 12 It exercises all the authority of the first beast in its presence, and makes the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose mortal wound was healed. 13 It performs great signs, even making fire come down from heaven to earth in front of people, 14 and by the signs that it is allowed to work in the presence of the beast it deceives those who dwell on earth, telling them to make an image for the beast that was wounded by the sword and yet lived. 15 And it was allowed to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast might even speak and might cause those who would not worship the image of the beast to be slain. 16 Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, 17 so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name. 18 This calls for wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666.

 

Verses 11–18
Those who understand the first beast to denote a worldly power, take the second to be also a persecuting and assumed power, which acts under the disguise of religion, and of charity to the souls of men. It is a spiritual dominion, professing to be derived from Christ, and exercised at first in a gentle manner, but soon spake like the dragon. Its speech betrayed it; for it gives forth those false doctrines and cruel decrees, which show it to belong to the dragon, and not to the Lamb. It exercised all the power of the former beast. It pursues the same design, to draw men from worshipping the true God, and to subject the souls of men to the will and control of men. The second beast has carried on its designs, by methods whereby men should be deceived to worship the former beast, in the new shape, or likeness made for it. By lying wonders, pretended miracles. And by severe censures. Also by allowing none to enjoy natural or civil rights, who will not worship that beast which is the image of the pagan beast. It is made a qualification for buying and selling, as well as for places of profit and trust, that they oblige themselves to use all their interest, power, and endeavour, to forward the dominion of the beast, which is meant by receiving his mark. To make an image to the beast, whose deadly wound was healed, would be to give form and power to his worship, or to require obedience to his commands. To worship the image of the beast, implies being subject to those things which stamp the character of the picture, and render it the image of the beast. The number of the beast is given, so as to show the infinite wisdom of God, and to exercise the wisdom of men. The number is the number of a man, computed after the usual manner among men, and it is 666. What or who is intended by this, remains a mystery. To almost every religious dispute this number has yet been applied, and it may reasonably be doubted whether the meaning has yet been discovered. But he who has wisdom and understanding, will see that all the enemies of God are numbered and marked out for destruction; that the term of their power will soon expire, and that all nations shall submit to our King of righteousness and peace.  Matthew Henry and Thomas Scott, Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, 1997), Re 13:11.

They Did Not . . .!

Revelation 9:13–17 (ESV)

13 Then the sixth angel blew his trumpet, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar before God, 14 saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.” 15 So the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour, the day, the month, and the year, were released to kill a third of mankind. 16 The number of mounted troops was twice ten thousand times ten thousand; I heard their number. 17 And this is how I saw the horses in my vision and those who rode them: they wore breastplates the color of fire and of sapphire and of sulfur, and the heads of the horses were like lions’ heads, and fire and smoke and sulfur came out of their mouths.

Revelation 9:18–21 (ESV)

18 By these three plagues a third of mankind was killed, by the fire and smoke and sulfur coming out of their mouths. 19 For the power of the horses is in their mouths and in their tails, for their tails are like serpents with heads, and by means of them they wound.

20 The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands nor give up worshiping demons and idols of gold and silver and bronze and stone and wood, which cannot see or hear or walk, 21 nor did they repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts.

 

Verses 13–21
The sixth angel sounded, and here the power of the Turks seems the subject. Their time is limited. They not only slew in war, but brought a poisonous and ruinous religion. The antichristian generation repented not under these dreadful judgments. From this sixth trumpet learn that God can make one enemy of the church a scourge and a plague to another. The idolatry in the remains of the eastern church and elsewhere, and the sins of professed Christians, render this prophecy and its fulfilment more wonderful. And the attentive reader of Scripture and history, may find his faith and hope strengthened by events, which in other respects fill his heart with anguish and his eyes with tears, while he sees that men who escape these plagues, repent not of their evil works, but go on with idolatries, wickedness, and cruelty, till wrath comes upon them to the utmost.

Henry, M. & Scott, T., 1997. Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems.

The second wave . . .

Revelation 7:9–12 (ESV)

A Great Multitude from Every Nation

After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10 and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” 11 And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”

Verses 9–12

The first fruits of Christ having led the way, the Gentiles converted later follow, and ascribe their salvation to God and the Redeemer, with triumph. In acts of religious worship we come nigh to God, and must come by Christ; the throne of God could not be approached by sinners, were it not for a Mediator. They were clothed with the robes of justification, holiness, and victory; and they had palms in their hands, as conquerors used to appear in their triumphs. Such a glorious appearance will the faithful servants of God make at last, when they have fought the good fight of faith, and finished their course. With a loud voice they gave to God and the Lamb the praise of the great salvation. Those who enjoy eternal happiness must and will bless both the Father and the Son; they will do it publicly, and with fervour. We see what is the work of heaven, and we ought to begin it now, to have our hearts much in it, and to long for that world where our praises, as well as our happiness, will be made perfect.

Henry, M. & Scott, T., 1997. Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems.

Trust in, Faith in, Believe in . . .God!!

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

“For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord; plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6