The First Covenant and the Second Covenant

It has been quite a while since I have shred anything on this site, but I perceive it may be time to begin again.

This is a piece that I wrote quite a while ago on Hebrews 12:18-24 where the writer of Hebrews is comparing the First Covenant (the Law) and the Second Covenant (the Blood of Yeshua (Jesus).

As has been my practice in the past,  please contact me if you find and error according to the Bible.

Hebrews 12:18-24

The Mountain of Fear and the Mountain of Joy

18 You have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that is burning with fire; to darkness, gloom and storm; 19 to a trumpet blast or to such a voice speaking words that those who heard it begged that no further word be spoken to them, 20 because they could not bear what was commanded: “If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned to death.” 21 The sight was so terrifying that Moses said, “I am trembling with fear.”

22 But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly,23 to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, 24 to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.

When we accept Yeshua ben-Elohim (Jesus, Son of God) as Adonai (Lord) of our lives, where have not arrived at spiritually?

If we look at Hebrews 12:18-20 provides the answer:

  1. A mountain that can be touched.
  2. A blazing fire
  3. Darkness.
  4. Gloom
  5. Storm
  6. Blast of a shofar
  7. A Voice that whose words made those who heard it beg that not another word be spoken to them

When we accept Yeshua ben-Elohim (Jesus, Son of God) where have arrived spiritually?

If we look at Hebrews 12:22-24 Adonai (the Lord) provides the answer.  It is as follows:

  1. Mount Zion.
  2. The city of the living Elohim.
  3. The heavenly Jerusalem
  4. Myriads of Angels
  5. A joyful gathering
  6. The assembly of the first born
  7. To Elohim the Judge of all
  8. To the spirits of the righteous ones made perfect.
  9. To Yeshua
  10. To the Mediator of the new covenant
  11. To the sprinkled Blood that speaks something better than the blood of Abel.

The writer of Hebrews takes the beginning of Chapter 12 to speak about the discipline of Adonai (the Lord) for the believer.  At the end of this chapter he takes a turn to a new area.  The Hebrews that had become followers of Yeshua (Jesus) would have been well aware of the differences between the First Covenant (delivered through Moses) and the Second Covenant (delivered by the Blood of Yeshua (Jesus)) To the Hebrews the difference of the two Covenants would have been as different as day and night.  He writes to remind them where they are spiritually since they have turned their lives over to Yeshua (Jesus).  One must remember the writer is addressing those of the Hebrew faith.

Earlier in this book, the writer began this differentiation. Nowhere that I could find in First Covenant are the Hebrews ever referred to as sons of God (I could be wrong).  In the Second Covenant, however it is laid out in Hebrews 2:5 – 18.  They are referred to as “sons and daughters” and ‘brothers and sisters”:

10 In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered. 11 Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters. 12 He says, “I will declare your name to my brothers and sisters;
in the assembly I will sing your praises.”

Furthermore, In Paul’s writing to the Galatians, it is stated:

Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” Galatians 4:5-7

So now he begins to again demonstrate the differences between the First Covenant and Second Covenant by reminding them of how the First Covenant was delivered in comparison with the Second Covenant which was initiated by the Blood of Yeshua ha-Mashiach (Jesus Christ).  He begins by comparing the mountain which signifies both Covenants.  In the First Covenant, it was mountain that can be touched.  It was a physical thing.  It represented things of the earth.  In the Second Covenant, it called Mount Zion, a reference to the spiritual representation of the Kingdom of Elohim (God).

Next he calls it a blazing fire for the First Covenant.  It is a thing that invokes fear and is unapproachable. For the Second Covenant he calls it “the city of the living Elohim (God)”.  It is a place where we will live with Elohim (God) forever.  Elohim (God) will be approachable instead of a “blazing fire”.

He continues by describing where the First Covenant was as a place of “darkness”.  There was no light at the giving of the First Covenant.  Things were hidden.  They were needed to be sought out and to be grasped after.  In the Second Covenant it is “the Heavenly Jerusalem”.  This is place that is always engulfed with light.  It is described as not needing the sun or moon because the “Lamb” will be its lamp.

The next description the writer is gloom to describe the first covenant.  The entire law which was handed down to Moses covers much more than the Ten Commandments.  I will not take the time to go into detail on this, but I challenge you to go into Exodus and Leviticus and find all the laws that applied to the First Covenant.  Furthermore, when the writer of Hebrews, through his study and learning, realized the Law was created to point to sin and the ability to attain perfection through the total obedience of the Law was unattainable.  I cannot speak with certainty, but his own life as a Hebrew and his attempt to follow the law may have led him to this conclusion even before he became aware of the Gospel. The Second Covenant provides joy instead of gloom as it provides total forgiveness for sin.

The word “storm” is used to signify the conditions on Mount Sinai when the First Covenant was delivered.  It is described as “thunder and lightning”.   Again it was sign to be feared.  If you look at one of the key events of the Second Covenant, the conditions were that of sound of a mighty rushing wind that filled the whole house.  Note it says it was a sound; therefore it was the sound that filled the whole house.  But there was no storm of anything that would cause fear.  This is a big difference.

He continues to describe the sound when the First Covenant was delivered as a “Blast of a shofar”.  The sounding of a Shofar could symbolize a call to battle from among other things. Was that what the writer was saying in this description, that the First Covenant would be a call to war for the individual, a war between doing what the Law required and the self-seeking of the Human condition?  I will ask you to seek the Lord on this.  As mentioned above, the Second Covenant had the sound of a “rushing wind”.  One of the uses of the wind in biblical times was during the wheat harvest, where they would thresh wheat and then toss it in the air to separate the wheat from the chaff.  If you look in the bible, this is often used to symbolize the removal of the bad or unusable from the good or usable.  This is a good description what happens during the discipleship process of the Second Covenant.

The last descriptive is “A Voice that whose words made those who heard it beg that not another word be spoken to them”.  Remember it is stated in various places that a person could see the Face of Elohim (God) and remain alive.  Just the sound of the Voice of Elohim (God) in the delivery of the First Covenant was one that the people could not receive.  It frightened them.  In the Second Covenant, it speaks of a “joyful gathering”.  This is much different than the dread that was felt at the voice of Adonai (the Lord). In the Second Covenant here is instance after instance where Adonai (the Lord) speaks to individuals covered under the Second Covenant and there is no sign of fear or dread as Adonai (the Lord) speaks.

In some of further descriptions of the Second Covenant, the writer notes that “a Myriads of Angels” accompanies the Second Covenant.  In the First Covenant, there was no mention of angels in these verses (although earlier in Hebrews it does speak of the First Covenant being

“spoken through angels” Hebrews 2.2).  Remember in the Bible angels are described as “Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation” in Hebrews 1:14.  The Second Covenant speaks of having ministering spirits to serve us.  The First Covenant does not have this condition.

The Second Covenant was also characterized as “The assembly of the first born”.  This was a comment of a new group that Adonai (the Lord) would claim to be His in the stead of the Hebrews.

It also lists the participants in the Second Covenant, Elohim (God) the Judge of all, the spirits of the righteous ones made perfect, Yeshua (Jesus), and the Mediator of the new covenant.  In the delivery of the First Covenant, it did not mention any participants in the Covenant, but required obedience to the Law without exception. In the Second Covenant we will see Elohim (God) face to face and those that we knew here on earth that accepted the Lordship of Yeshua and better yet, they will be completely perfect.   Finally Yeshua (Jesus) Himself will be there to greet us and He will show himself as the Mediator that bridged the gap between Elohim (God) and mankind so we can participate in this Second Covenant.

Finally it speaks of “the sprinkled Blood that speaks something better than the blood of Abel”.  We come to full realization of the Blood that was shed to cleanse us of all unrighteousness when we enter the Second Covenant.

So why was the writer making all these comparisons after speaking of the discipline of Adonai (the Lord)?  From the viewpoint I have, it was to give another reason not to be complaining or disheartened by this discipline.  It is as if he is saying to the Hebrews “Even if we are being disciplined and it appears to be tough, do not complain.  Look at what we have now in the Second Covenant in comparison to the First Covenant.” Furthermore if you refer back to the “great cloud of witnesses” in Hebrews 11 and the trials they went through, you must also take into consideration that all those people mentioned were under the First Covenant, not the Second.  It was also a point of reference and comparison to give another viewpoint of how we are to accept and handle Adonai’s (the Lord’s) discipline.

Okay, who can trace their heritage back to Abraham?  I did not think anyone could.  So if we are considered “gentiles” and this was written to Hebrews, why should it concern us?  If the Hebrews who were the chosen people of Elohim (God) were to draw the conclusion that the discipline of Adonai (the Lord) under the Second Covenant was to be endured without complaint because it was highly superior to the First Covenant, we who were not even considered during the First Covenant, should have even less to grumble about since we have been offered a Covenant that far surpasses anything we had had in our past history.

So when the discipline of Adonai (the Lord) comes into life, and it will, if you are true sons and daughters reflect on these things and do not grumble.

 

A.S. Discilple

 

How close is America to Jeremiah 15?

Jeremiah 15 – New International Version (NIV)

Then the Lord said to me: “Even if Moses and Samuel were to stand before me, my heart would not go out to this people. Send them away from my presence! Let them go! And if they ask you, ‘Where shall we go?’ tell them, ‘This is what the Lord says:

“‘Those destined for death, to death;
those for the sword, to the sword;
those for starvation, to starvation;
those for captivity, to captivity.’

“I will send four kinds of destroyers against them,” declares the Lord, “the sword to kill and the dogs to drag away and the birds and the wild animals to devour and destroy. I will make them abhorrent to all the kingdoms of the earth because of what Manasseh son of Hezekiah king of Judah did in Jerusalem.

“Who will have pity on you, Jerusalem?
    Who will mourn for you?
    Who will stop to ask how you are?
You have rejected me,” declares the Lord.
    “You keep on backsliding.
So I will reach out and destroy you;
    I am tired of holding back.
I will winnow them with a winnowing fork
    at the city gates of the land.
I will bring bereavement and destruction on my people,
    for they have not changed their ways.
I will make their widows more numerous
    than the sand of the sea.
At midday I will bring a destroyer
    against the mothers of their young men;
suddenly I will bring down on them
    anguish and terror.
The mother of seven will grow faint
    and breathe her last.
Her sun will set while it is still day;
    she will be disgraced and humiliated.
I will put the survivors to the sword
    before their enemies,”
declares the Lord.

On his Facebook posting “Pearls Without Swine” my friend and brother, Mike Lavis, recently posted his concern that America is in serious trouble and in need of serious prayer.  I do definitely agree with him, but I also wonder how close America is to being in the same condition the Hebrew Nation was in when what is written in the book of Jeremiah in chapters 14 and 15 was written.

In Chapter 14, there is also more written about what was about to happen to the Hebrew Nation.  In verses 10-12 it is written:

10 This is what the Lord says about this people:

They greatly love to wander;
    they do not restrain their feet.
So the Lord does not accept them;
    he will now remember their wickedness
    and punish them for their sins.”

11 Then the Lord said to me, “Do not pray for the well-being of this people. 12 Although they fast, I will not listen to their cry; though they offer burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them. Instead, I will destroy them with the sword, famine and plague.”

and it continues in verses 17 and 18:

17 “Speak this word to them:

“‘Let my eyes overflow with tears
    night and day without ceasing;
for the Virgin Daughter, my people,
    has suffered a grievous wound,
    a crushing blow.
18 If I go into the country,
    I see those slain by the sword;
if I go into the city,
    I see the ravages of famine.
Both prophet and priest
    have gone to a land they know not.’”

With what has happened in this nation recently, are we beginning to see the judgement that was pronounced upon the Hebrew Nation coming to America? America seems to coming apart at the seams with internal unrest and division in many more places that I have ever seen in my 63 years of life.  What happened in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s pales in comparison to what I now see in America.

Careful study of what is being said to cause division in this country clearly will reveal it is a spiritual attack that his nation has never seen before.  The statements made by those inciting this division and the effect on the populace, when examined, are sometimes so ludicrous that it is hard for a thinking, rational individual to image how the rhetoric is not only being spewed, but also accepted by some and promoted by others.  Much of it is just absolute lies and fabrications that are easy to see through.  Other statements are loosely woven together scenarios that what dissected actually have no connection to the supporting events at all.  This is the exact tool Satan used to deceive Eve in the Garden of Eden from the beginning of the human existence and he has used the same tools throughout human history.

Therefore, I can only conclude this a spiritual attack on one of few nations whose foundation was built on Judea-Christian doctrine and from its foundation looked to the Creator for the establishment of the governing system.

But we have fallen far from that pinnacle, and now it seems most, but not all, of America’s governing officials follow a different path and not that of Adonai, the One the American government was based on.  As I observe what recent legislation and court decisions (say the past 40 years) I again and again see things that are in exact opposition to the tenets that have been left to us in the Word of God.

And the populace applauds and cries for more and more….

Also, the government has also been promoting itself as “the source” for “all good things” rather than promoting that “all good things come from above”.  This has even blinded many of those who claim to be followers of Messiah, as they expect the government to meet their needs, rather than the members of the Body of Messiah, through the provisions of Adonai.

Recently, I overheard the conversation of two people who are true intercessors and they both expressed that they don’t even know how to pray anymore.  One stated she was down to just praying for God’s will in the situation. This is probably one of the most poignant indicators that America may rapidly be advancing to the condition that the Hebrew Nation was in the book of Jeremiah.

I think there still may be time, but I believe it is closing quickly…

Please feel free to comment or refute..

A. S. Disciple

What does the word broken mean to you?

What does the word broken mean to you? If a refrigerator will not keep food cold, we say it is broken.  Of if when you were a kid your bicycle had a flat tire, we could say it is broken.  If your car will not run, it could be called broken.  On a finer detail, if one of the door handles of the car does not work, we say that door is broken.  Because the door of the car is broken we could say the car is broken.

If we look at the above illustrations, something that is broken is not able to perform the duty it was intended to perform, or it does not perform it in the most optimum manner.

While you could put food into a broken refrigerator at it would hold it, that refrigerator does not provide the means to accomplish what it was designed for.

Likewise, you might be able to ride the bike with a flat tire, but it would not be as safe or as fast as it would be if it had two good tires. Also, if anyone has ever driven a bike with a low or flat tire, it takes much more effort to get where you need to get to than if it had two good tires.

With the car, if it was not running you could still sit in it to keep out of the rain, but that was not the purpose for which it was created. You might have someone tow it or push it to get it somewhere else, but that was not what the designer had in mind when he created it.

If you have ever had a car with a broken door handle, especially if it is on the driver side, while the car is still functional to take you from location to location, it becomes very bothersome to enter through the passenger door to get behind the wheel. Or maybe you have to leave the window open so you can work the inside handle to get in.  Then you go shopping, window down, and a brief storm comes. The end result is one wet seat at least or possible more damage if the rain is bad enough to affect the electrical system.  Even a worse case scenario is because the window is down, there is no sense locking the door and someone decides they want to acquire the stereo in the car or the car itself providing for partial or total loss.

I guess the work broken in this sense can mean several different levels of difficulty from not being able to provide any service at all, to providing only a small piece of the intended purpose which actually does not meet the real need, to not working as efficiently or safely as it was intended, to creating a condition that provides inconvenience while the majority of the device works. Or worse yet, if something is broken on a larger device it could lead to more damage or even complete loss because one part was broken.

But how else can the word “broken” be used?

I was raised in a city environment which was not a rural setting. But we moved to more rural area and my daughter wanted a horse, we had to make sure the horse was “broken”.  Now thank God I had at least some exposure to the country, otherwise I probably would have been looking for a horse with three legs or something.

What does the work “broken” mean when it comes to dealing with it horse. It means someone took the time and effort to take that animal which did not want to have someone else on its back trying to control it, and convince it that is its purpose.  It is having that horse surrendering its will to the one who is to be in control.  It is the first step that must be accomplished for that animal to provide the service for which it is intended.  It is also the first requirement for that horse to be trained.

I have been told, when you break a horse, you want to break its will, not its spirit. If you break the spirit of the horse, likewise it will not provide the maximum effect, for which it is created, or it will just go through the motions while demonstrating no life or energy to the task it is asked to do.  It will just sort of walk along to carry you, but will not gallop to provide the level of speed and power the rider desires to have under him.

What does “broken” mean to the Church, which is the body of Christ? We use the term brokenness, but what does that mean?

I would say if you look at the Church as a whole today, it is “broken” because it is not “broken”.

Let us turn to a couple of verses. In Acts 2:42-47 it is written:

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

This is the first description of a body of believers functioning together. I know these verses might seem a bit radical to some, but it is what the word of God states.  I know in my own life I am a long way from this “practical” application of the word.

I know in my own personal life I worry much more about “WIIFM” more often than what is happening in someone else’s life. What is “WIIFM”?  Five simple words:

WHAT’S

IN

IT

FOR

ME?

Secondly, lets us look at a description of an early church meeting that the Apostle Paul was describing. In I Cor. 12: 7 – 11 it is written:

Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to   another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues.  All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.

Another scripture that should be examined is I Cor. 14:26 where it is written:

What then shall we say, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each    of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. Everything must be done so that the church may be built up

In very few church meetings do you find much of what is described here happening. I have nothing against the traditional church and how it operates, but I do see some lack in this aspect.  It just thrills me to see the way a traditional body of believers can reacted if the pastor takes some time off.  Various people handle various duties.  On brother will opened in prayer, the worship team will lead the congregation in praise and worship, someone will share a testimony, another will pray over the offering, someone else will preached, and someone else will close the service.  This would be an example of the Body functioning as it should.  I realize that this can happen on a smaller level in an assembly on a regular basis.  But sadly, this is not the case in many church gatherings.

Can we agree that from the description of something that is “broken” with  a meaning that something is not functioning to its designed function or is not functioning fully may indicate that the Church is broken?

But why is that? It is because the Church and its individual members are not broken in that sense that a horse needs to be broken.  That is why there is an Old Testament verse that is very fitting to describe what needs to occur, Psalm 51:17 where it is written:

My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise

The Lord’s desire is to break us just as someone would break a horse. He wants us to surrender our will to his.  Just as with a horse, we cannot even begin the initial training processes unless we go through the initial breaking process.  Only then can the Lord begin to train us to the useful purpose He has us in mind to do.  And as this training continues, He will continue to use the breaking process to further develop us for the purpose He has in mind, which is to benefit His Body, the Church.

What we see in the Church today is much self will. It is of utmost importance to find out what the will of God was for any assembly of believers and to pray and fast as individuals to see what God has for us not only as a body but as individuals.

I believe the call to the Church universal is for brokenness and for revelation. I also believe the Body of Christ is sorely lacking in both of these areas.  Without brokenness our will will not allow God’s will to advance.  Without revelation from the word of God, we will not see God’s plan for His Church.

But what does this brokenness look like? It is a surrendering of your will.  It is not a work, it is surrender.  It is saying with the contrite heart, Lord I desire your will not mine.

One example that the Lord brought to mind was Peter’s fishing expedition in the Gospel of John 21: 1 -11 where it is written:

Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Galilee. It happened this way: Simon Peter, Thomas (also known as Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. “I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?” .

  “No,” they answered.

 He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.

Max Lucado in his book “He Still Moves Stones” gives a unique insight into this passage:

Peter is a seasoned fisherman and knows the best time for fishing is over. Someone calls from shore to cast his net out the other side, and although Peter is quite tired from a long night of casting and reeling in nets, he submits his will to this request.  The result was a so great a catch the nets are overfill. 

Peter submitted his will to the request because some small part of him sensed a revelation to do it and he obeyed the request over his will.  We often miss small revelations in our day to day walk and even when we do sense them often our will blows it off saying, “It’s stupid to do that, I have been fishing all night…”.  Therefore we miss out on not only sharing a meal with our Lord as Peter did, but also on the great catch of fish he has for us.

I want to tell you about why it is so important to see that it is a function of surrender and not works for brokenness for reach its full affect of those around you. This is a little out there so please be patient with me.

Do you remember the scripture in Mark 14:3 where it is written:

While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head

The story is of a woman that was going to anoint Jesus for His death with expensive perfume.  The verse states the perfume was in an alabaster jar that was sealed.  Now from some research, I found out that the alabaster jar that contained the perfume was most likely very beautiful.  When you read that the jar needed to be broken, it indicates first this vessel was of a considerable value, was of one piece, was sealed and was probably the work of a very skilled craftsman.  I see this vessel as an indication of an assembly of believers that looks very good and very proper.  They cross all their tees and dot all their I’s.  They are skilled craftsmen at creating the vessel, but the higher value is what is in the vessel.  So they look at the alabaster jar and feel it is too valuable to be broken.  It is only however when that jar which we consider to be of value is broken that the higher value is exposed and the usefulness of that jar is seen as just a container for the pure nard and not the pure nard.  What I am trying to say is we can work real hard to make the alabaster jar and then miss its purpose, first to contain the more valuable nard, that is the very Spirit of the Lord, and that it has to broken for its full purpose to be realized.

I want to share with you how the Lord brought this message to mind. One night after I was done with my quiet time and read my bible, I was crawling into bed and Lord brought two verses to my mind.  The first one was Luke 22:19 where it is written:

 And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”

The second was I Cor. 12:27 where it is written:

Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.

We are the body of Christ. We have been given to each other, but we must be broken, just as the bread which was offered in that first communion service was.  Only in that way can we form a Body that is a “body given to you”.  If we do not serve each other in brokenness it is of no value.

In closing I ask that you pray and ask the Lord to expose the areas of your life that need to be broken, so that you can realize your full potential in the body of believers. I know I have not as of yet been completely “broken” so I likewise will join you in this prayer.

A. S. Disciple

 

Matthew 6,9-13 Lord’s Prayer in Greek

Sometimes it is very interesting to look at the original Greek and the translation of the Greek words that were used.

We have all read the “Lord’s Prayer” from the book of Matthew, Chapter 6. I had an urge to look at the original Greek from an Interlinear Study Bible source which provides the Greek along with the English (in this case the King James Version translation of the Bible) along with the all the translation options of the Greek Word that was used.

I may be wrong, but I believe that the Greek words carry a much wider meaning occasionally than the English words they were translated to. I also believe listener in the original Greek would have subconsciously reviewed all the optional meanings of the Greek word.

With this being said, I have extracted the Matthew 6:9-13 and broke it down and inserted all the possible translations for the original Greek word after the English translated word that carried multiple readings.

I find that reading though all the optional translations can provide so optional depth of meaning to the English translation and provide a different or more intense meaning.

I hope you enjoy the comparison.
Our Father

  1. generator or male ancestor
    1. either the nearest ancestor: father of the corporeal nature, natural fathers, both parents
    2. a more remote ancestor, the founder of a family or tribe, progenitor of a people, forefather: so Abraham is called, Jacob and David
      1. fathers i.e. ancestors, forefathers, founders of a nation
    3. one advanced in years, a senior
  2. metaph.
    1. the originator and transmitter of anything
      1. the authors of a family or society of persons animated by the same spirit as himself
      2. one who has infused his own spirit into others, who actuates and governs their minds
    2. one who stands in a father’s place and looks after another in a paternal way
    3. a title of honour
      1. teachers, as those to whom pupils trace back the knowledge and training they have received
      2. the members of the Sanhedrin, whose prerogative it was by virtue of the wisdom and experience in which they excelled, to take charge of the interests of others
  3. God is called the Father
    1. of the stars, the heavenly luminaries, because he is their creator, upholder, ruler
    2. of all rational and intelligent beings, whether angels or men, because he is their creator, preserver, guardian and protector
      1. of spiritual beings and of all men
    3. of Christians, as those who through Christ have been exalted to a specially close and intimate relationship with God, and who no longer dread him as a stern judge of sinners, but revere him as their reconciled and loving Father
    4. the Father of Jesus Christ, as one whom God has united to himself in the closest bond of love and intimacy, made acquainted with his purposes, appointed to explain and carry out among men the plan of salvation, and made to share also in his own divine nature
      1. by Jesus Christ himself
      2. by the apostles

which art in heaven,

  1. the vaulted expanse of the sky with all things visible in it
    1. the universe, the world
    2. the aerial heavens or sky, the region where the clouds and the tempests gather, and where thunder and lightning are produced
    3. the sidereal or starry heavens
  2. the region above the sidereal heavens, the seat of order of things eternal and consummately perfect where God dwells and other heavenly beings

Hallowed be

  1. to render or acknowledge, or to be venerable or hallow
  2. to separate from profane things and dedicate to God
    1. consecrate things to God
    2. dedicate people to God
  3. to purify
    1. to cleanse externally
    2. to purify by expiation: free from the guilt of sin
    3. to purify internally by renewing of the soul

thy name.

  1. name: univ. of proper names
  2. the name is used for everything which the name covers, everything the thought or feeling of which is aroused in the mind by mentioning, hearing, remembering, the name, i.e. for one’s rank, authority, interests, pleasure, command, excellences, deeds etc.
  3. persons reckoned up by name
  4. the cause or reason named: on this account, because he suffers as a Christian, for this reason

Thy kingdom

  1. royal power, kingship, dominion, rule
    1. not to be confused with an actual kingdom but rather the right or authority to rule over a kingdom
    2. of the royal power of Jesus as the triumphant Messiah
    3. of the royal power and dignity conferred on Christians in the Messiah’s kingdom
  2. a kingdom, the territory subject to the rule of a king
  3. used in the N.T. to refer to the reign of the Messiah

come

  1. to come
    1. of persons
      1. to come from one place to another, and used both of persons arriving
      2. to appear, make one’s appearance, come before the public
  2. metaph.
    1. to come into being, arise, come forth, show itself, find place or influence
    2. be established, become known, to come (fall) into or unto
  3. to go, to follow one

Thy will

  1. what one wishes or has determined shall be done
    1. of the purpose of God to bless mankind through Christ
    2. of what God wishes to be done by us
      1. commands, precepts
  2. will, choice, inclination, desire, pleasure

be done

  1. to become, i.e. to come into existence, begin to be, receive being
  2. to become, i.e. to come to pass, happen
    1. of events
  3. to arise, appear in history, come upon the stage
    1. of men appearing in public
  4. to be made, finished
    1. of miracles, to be performed, wrought
  5. to become, be made

in

  1. upon, on, at, by, before
  2. of position, on, at, by, over, against
  3. to, over, on, at, across, against

earth,

  1. arable land
  2. the ground, the earth as a standing place
  3. the main land as opposed to the sea or water
  4. the earth as a whole
    1. the earth as opposed to the heavens
    2. the inhabited earth, the abode of men and animals
  5. a country, land enclosed within fixed boundaries, a tract of land, territory, region

as it is in

in, by, with etc.

heaven,

  1. the vaulted expanse of the sky with all things visible in it
    1. the universe, the world
    2. the aerial heavens or sky, the region where the clouds and the tempests gather, and where thunder and lightning are produced
    3. the sidereal or starry heavens
  2. the region above the sidereal heavens, the seat of order of things eternal and consummately perfect where God dwells and other heavenly beings

Give

  1. to give
  2. to give something to someone
    1. of one’s own accord to give one something, to his advantage
      1. to bestow a gift
    2. to grant, give to one asking, let have
    3. to supply, furnish, necessary things
    4. to give over, deliver
      1. to reach out, extend, present
      2. of a writing
      3. to give over to one’s care, intrust, commit
        1. something to be administered
        2. to give or commit to some one something to be religiously observed
    5. to give what is due or obligatory, to pay: wages or reward
    6. to furnish, endue
  3. to give
    1. to cause, profuse, give forth from one’s self
      1. to give, hand out lots
    2. to appoint to an office
    3. to cause to come forth, i.e. as the sea, death and Hell are said to give up the dead who have been engulfed or received by them
    4. to give one to someone as his own
      1. as an object of his saving care
      2. to give one to someone, to follow him as a leader and master
      3. to give one to someone to care for his interests
      4. to give one to someone to whom he already belonged, to return
  4. to grant or permit one
    1. to commission

us this day

  1. this (very) day)
  2. what has happened today

Our daily bread.

  1. word found in the phrase
    1. the bread of our necessity
    2. the bread that suffices for each day

Bread:

  1. food composed of flour mixed with water and baked
    1. the Israelites made it in the form of an oblong or round cake, as thick as one’s thumb, and as large as a plate or platter hence it was not to be cut but broken
    2. loaves were consecrated to the Lord
    3. of the bread used at the love-feasts and at the Lord’s Table
  2. food of any kind

And forgive

  1. to send away
    1. to bid going away or depart
      1. of a husband divorcing his wife
    2. to send forth, yield up, to expire
    3. to let go, let alone, let be
      1. to disregard
      2. to leave, not to discuss now, (a topic) 1c
  2. of teachers, writers and speakers
      1. to omit, neglect
    1. to let go, give up a debt, forgive, to remit
    2. to give up, keep no longer
  1. to permit, allow, not to hinder, to give up a thing to a person
  2. to leave, go way from one
    1. in order to go to another place
    2. to depart from any one
    3. to depart from one and leave him to himself so that all mutual claims are abandoned
    4. to desert wrongfully
    5. to go away leaving something behind
    6. to leave one by not taking him as a companion
    7. to leave on dying, leave behind one
    8. to leave so that what is left may remain, leave remaining
    9. abandon, leave destitute

us our debts,

  1. that which is owed
    1. that which is justly or legally due, a debt
  2. metaph. offence, sin

as * * (word not translated into English)

as: as, like, even as, etc.

*_*: and, also, even, indeed, but

we forgive

  1. to send away
    1. to bid going away or depart
      1. of a husband divorcing his wife
    2. to send forth, yield up, to expire
    3. to let go, let alone, let be
      1. to disregard
      2. to leave, not to discuss now, (a topic) 1c
  2. of teachers, writers and speakers
      1. to omit, neglect
    1. to let go, give up a debt, forgive, to remit
    2. to give up, keep no longer
  1. to permit, allow, not to hinder, to give up a thing to a person
  2. to leave, go way from one
    1. in order to go to another place
    2. to depart from any one
    3. to depart from one and leave him to himself so that all mutual claims are abandoned
    4. to desert wrongfully
    5. to go away leaving something behind
    6. to leave one by not taking him as a companion
    7. to leave on dying, leave behind one
    8. to leave so that what is left may remain, leave remaining
    9. abandon, leave destitute

our debtors.

  1. one who owes another, a debtor
    1. one held by some obligation, bound by some duty
    2. one who has not yet made amends to whom he has injured:
      1. one who owes God penalty or whom God can demand punishment as something due, i.e. a sinner

And lead

  1. to bring into, in or to
  2. to lead into

us not into

into, unto, to, towards, for, among

temptation,

  1.  the trial of man’s fidelity, integrity, virtue, constancy
    1. trial, proving: the trial made of you by my bodily condition, since condition served as to test the love of the Galatians toward Paul (Gal. 4:
  2. an experiment, attempt, trial, proving
      1. an enticement to sin, temptation, whether arising from the desires or from the outward circumstances
      2. an internal temptation to sin 1b
  3. of the temptation by which the devil sought to divert Jesus the Messiah from his divine errand
      1. of the condition of things, or a mental state, by which we are enticed to sin, or to a lapse from the faith and holiness
      2. adversity, affliction, trouble: sent by God and serving to test or prove one’s character, faith, holiness
  4. temptation (i.e. trial) of God by men
      1. rebellion against God, by which his power and justice are, as it were, put to the proof and challenged to show themselves

but

  1. but
    1. nevertheless, notwithstanding
    2. an objection
    3. an exception
    4. a restriction
    5. nay, rather, yea, moreover
    6. forms a transition to the cardinal matter

deliver

  1. to draw to one’s self, to rescue, to deliver
  2. the deliverer

us from

  1. of separation
    1. of local separation, after verbs of motion from a place i.e. of departing, of fleeing, …
    2. of separation of a part from the whole
      1. where of a whole some part is taken
    3. of any kind of separation of one thing from another by which the union or fellowship of the two is destroyed
    4. of a state of separation, that is of distance
      1. physical, of distance of place
      2. temporal, of distance of time
  2. of origin
    1. of the place whence anything is, comes, befalls, is taken
    2. of origin of a cause

evil:

  1. full of labours, annoyances, hardships
    1. pressed and harassed by labours
    2. bringing toils, annoyances, perils; of a time full of peril to Christian faith and steadfastness; causing pain and trouble
  2. bad, of a bad nature or condition
    1. in a physical sense: diseased or blind
    2. in an ethical sense: evil wicked, bad

The word is used in the nominative case in Mt. 6:13. This usually denotes a title in the Greek. Hence Christ is saying, deliver us from “The Evil”, and is probably referring to Satan.

For thine is the kingdom

  1. royal power, kingship, dominion, rule
    1. not to be confused with an actual kingdom but rather the right or authority to rule over a kingdom
    2. of the royal power of Jesus as the triumphant Messiah
    3. of the royal power and dignity conferred on Christians in the Messiah’s kingdom
  2. a kingdom, the territory subject to the rule of a king
  3. used in the N.T. to refer to the reign of the Messiah

and the power,

  1. strength power, ability
    1. inherent power, power residing in a thing by virtue of its nature, or which a person or thing exerts and puts forth
    2. power for performing miracles
    3. moral power and excellence of soul
    4. the power and influence which belong to riches and wealth
    5. power and resources arising from numbers
    6. power consisting in or resting upon armies, forces, hosts

and the glory,

  1. opinion, judgment, view
  2. opinion, estimate, whether good or bad concerning someone
    1. in the NT always a good opinion concerning one, resulting in praise, honour, and glory
  3. splendour, brightness
    1. of the moon, sun, stars
    2. magnificence, excellence, preeminence, dignity, grace
    3. majesty
      1. a thing belonging to God
        1. the kingly majesty which belongs to him as supreme ruler, majesty in the sense of the absolute perfection of the deity
      2. a thing belonging to Christ
        1. the kingly majesty of the Messiah
        2. the absolutely perfect inward or personal excellency of Christ; the majesty
      3. of the angels
        1. as apparent in their exterior brightness
  4. a most glorious condition, most exalted state
    1. of that condition with God the Father in heaven to which Christ was raised after he had achieved his work on earth
    2. the glorious condition of blessedness into which is appointed and promised that true Christians shall enter after their Saviour’s return from heaven

for ever.

  1. for ever, an unbroken age, perpetuity of time, eternity
  2. the worlds, universe
  3. period of time, age

Amen.

  1. firm
    1. metaph. faithful
  2. verily, amen
    1. at the beginning of a discourse – surely, truly, of a truth
    2. at the end – so it is, so be it, may it be fulfilled. It was a custom, which passed over from the synagogues to the Christian assemblies, that when he who had read or discoursed, had offered up solemn prayer to God, the others responded Amen, and thus made the substance of what was uttered their own.

The word “amen” is a most remarkable word. It was transliterated directly from the Hebrew into the Greek of the New Testament, then into Latin and into English and many other languages, so that it is practically a universal word. It has been called the best known word in human speech. The word is directly related — in fact, almost identical — to the Hebrew word for “believe” (amam), or faithful. Thus, it came to mean “sure” or “truly”, an expression of absolute trust and confidence. — HMM

Words have meanings, and there are meanings to words… (Part 20– Concerning Evangelists)

Another of the “gifts” or individuals that are empowered through and by the Holy Spirit is the “evangelist”. The “evangelist” is listed along with the other individuals that are empowered through and by the Holy Spirit that Christ (Messiah) gave to the Church in Ephesians 4:11-13 where it is written:

               So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

The Greek word that the English word “evangelist” is translated from is euaggelistes. In Mickelson’s Enhanced Strong’s Dictionaries of the Greek and Hebrew Testaments, the meaning of the Greek word is as follows:

               G2099 εὐαγγελιστής euaggelistes (ev-an-ğe-liy-stees’) n.: a proclaimer of the good news of redemption through Jesus (i.e. proclaimer of the gospel of Jesus). [from G2097] KJV: evangelist;  Root(s): G2097

This specific Greek word is used in only two other places in the Scriptures. The first is in Acts 21:8 where it is written:

               Leaving the next day, we reached Caesarea and stayed at the house of Philip the evangelist, one of the Seven

The other place in the Scriptures this Greek word can be found is in 2 Timothy 4:5 where it is written:

               But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.

While these two verses mention specific people (Philip and Timothy) they do not give an explanation of the functionality of the individual that is empowered through and by the Holy Spirit with the gifting of being an “evangelist”. To discover what the functionality of an “evangelist” is one must look at the Greek word that is the root word that the word “evangelist” is translated from.  That Greek root word is euaggelizo. In Mickelson’s Enhanced Strong’s Dictionaries of the Greek and Hebrew Testaments, the meaning of the Greek word is as follows:

               G2097 εὐαγγελίζω euaggelizo (ev-an-ğe-liy’-zō) v.; 1. to bring good news.: 2. “evangelize.”; 3.(especially) to proclaim the good news of redemption through Jesus (i.e. the gospel).; [from G2095 and G32]; KJV: declare, bring (declare, show) glad (good) tidings, preach (the gospel); Root(s): G2095, G32

To further expand on this word, let us look at root words in the Greek that make up this Greek word. The first one is eu.  In Mickelson’s Enhanced Strong’s Dictionaries of the Greek and Hebrew Testaments, the meaning of the Greek word is as follows:

               G2095 εὖ eu (ev’) adv.; (adverbially) well.; [neuter of a primary eus “good”]; KJV: good, well (done)

The second Greek word that is another root is aggelos.  In Mickelson’s Enhanced Strong’s Dictionaries of the Greek and Hebrew Testaments, the meaning of the Greek word is as follows:

               G32 ἄγγελος aggelos (an’-ğe-los) n.; 1. a messenger.; 2. (especially) an “angel” of God.; 3. (of evil, Satan) a demon.; 4. (by implication) a person carrying forth a message from God, i.e. a servant (a disciple, pastor, elder, prophet, etc.).; 5. (also, by implication) a thing or event carrying forth a message from God, i.e. a hardship (pestilence, wind, etc.), or an animal (donkey, locusts, etc.).; [from aggello “to bring tidings” (possibly derived from G71)]; KJV: angel, messenger

By examining all the Greek words associated with the word “evangelist”, the functionality of the individual that is empowered through and by the Holy Spirit with this gifting is to bring forth the word of the Gospel of Jesus (Yeshua) for the forgiveness of sins through the death and resurrection of Jesus (Yeshua) and by proclaiming the requirements of receiving that forgiveness of sins. The requirements are the individual seeking forgiveness must repent and follow the requirement of taking upon themselves the Lordship of Jesus (Yeshua) over their lives. The individual must give up ownership of their own lives and declare that they are now under the direction of God through the Holy Spirit.  To capsulize, the function of an “evangelist” is to preach the Word.  It would be a reasonable conclusion that this preaching would be directed to those that are not a part of the Church.

It can be noticed that this may be another individual with this gifting is also one that travels to other locations than the geographical location of their local Church. I think this conclusion can be reached as Timothy is instructed to “do the work of an evangelist” and it is well documented in the Scriptures that Timothy travelled both with Paul and also without Paul to various locations.

It cannot be concluded that this is only an individual that travels. I believe by the definition of the functionality of this individual that is empowered through and by the Holy Spirit with this gifting would dictate that they would perform the same duties in the geographical location of their local Church.  They would be the prime individual or individuals with the spreading of the Gospel in that specific area.  This should be conducted not only when the local Church assembles together, but also out in the marketplace or general population of the geographical location of that local Church.

It must be also concluded that within the local Church there is a difference in duties and responsibilities to those who are gifted by the empowering of the Holy Spirit with the responsibility of providing different “gifts”. A san example, the “evangelist’s” main responsibility would be to the unsaved, while the individual who are gifted by the empowering of the Holy Spirit in “teaching” would be responsible to teach those who are already part of the local Church so they could grow into maturity.  When the local church assembles, each of the individual who are gifted by the empowering of the Holy Spirit in their specific “gifting”, that is prophets, teachers, evangelists, those who speak in tongues, those that interpret tongues, those with ability to move in the area of healings, those that have the ability to perform miracles, those with a ministry of helping others, and those that are shepherds, must be given the freedom to provide for the local Church the “gift” they have been endowed with for the good and growth of the local Church.  This however needs to be done under the guidance and the direction of the Holy Spirit and done without any hint of individual importance or pride.  This responsibility will be performed by the “elders” of the local Church as they hear from the Holy Spirit and discern the direction the Holy Spirit is leading that specific local Church, that is that geographical location.

Once again I seek any comments, based on the Scriptures, and especially any differing viewpoints on this subject.

A.S. Disciple

Words have meanings, and there are meanings to words… (Part 18– Concerning Guidance or Administration)

The position of “guidance or administration” that God has placed in the Church is another subject that is seldom taught on. This is a position that is once again mentioned in the same place in the scriptures as apostles and prophets. To bring it once again into remembrance, let us again look at 1 Corinthians 12: 28-30 it is written:

               God has appointed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then those who perform miracles, those who have gifts of healing, those who help others, administrators, and those who speak various kinds of languages. Not all are apostles, are they? Not all are prophets, are they? Not all are teachers, are they? Not all perform miracles, do they? Not all have the gift of healing, do they? Not all speak in other languages, do they? Not all interpret, do they?

The Greek word that is used for “guidance or administrator” is kubernésis. In Mickelson’s Enhanced Strong’s Dictionaries of the Greek and Hebrew Testaments, the meaning of the Greek word is as follows:

               G2941 κυβέρνησις kubernesis (kï-ɓer’-nee-sis) n.; 1. pilotage, steering.; 2. (figuratively) sound guidance (within the assembly).; [from κυβερνάω kybȇrnáō (of Latin origin, to steer)]; KJV: government

It can be noted that the root Greek word is given and translated in the main translation reference. That meaning is to steer which would mean to give direction to an object or an assembly of people.

It is to be noted that this the other gifting that is not mentioned in this list of individuals that are the ones that have been empowered by the Holy Spirit to provide “gifts” for the Church. While the gift of “helping” could be concluded as a gift the entire Church is to participate in, the gift of “guidance or administrator” would be applied to those who would act in this capacity.  By studying the Scriptures, the gift of “guidance or administrator” would fall in the responsibility of two groups of the local Church, that being the Elders and Deacons.  Both of these positions were discussed in earlier sections of this series, but as a reminder, let us quickly review the responsibilities of these two groups of individuals in the early Church.

In reference to the position of “elder” In 1Timothy 5:17 it is written:

The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching.

In this verse we see some of the duties of the “elders”. They are to “direct the affairs of the church”.  They are to oversee and steer the local Church in the direction the Holy Spirit is leading.  They are do this only under the leading of the Holy Spirit, and if this would be the course of action to be taken, they would also the assistance of two of the other groups that were gifts to the Church, that being the apostles and prophets.  The “elders” however would be the final authority for the direction of the Church.  With this heavy responsibility, it can be clearly understood why there were multiple “elders” in each Church community or cities and why they needed to be in one accord before providing direction for the local Church.  They would need to weigh heavily on what any “apostle” that was dispatched to that local Church had advised them to do (either by a personal visit or in the form of correspondence).  It is to be remembered however that he final direction for the local Church was at the hands of the “elders” and not the “apostle”.

In a similar way, this group of “elders” would need to take into account the messages delivered by the “prophets” who were operating under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. These “prophets” could be either within the local Church or under the influence of the Holy Spirit could be sent to this local Church from a different Church.  The “elders” would need to use discernment to determine the direction of the local church from the messages received from the “prophets”.  Once again the direction of the local Church is not determined by the “prophets” and what they receive from the Holy Spirit, but the “elders”.

Another interesting point to ponder upon is that the “elders” were always appointed from the members of that particular church (city) and never brought in from one location to be an “elder” in another location.

While the “elders” are responsible for the spiritual well-being and direction of the local Church, there is another group that is responsible for the physical needs of those in the local Church and therefore also they provide “guidance or administration”. While this position within the local Church was discussed earlier, let us once again review their responsibilities.

By once again reviewing what is written in Thayer’s Greek Lexicon, the Greek word that is translated as “deacon” which is diakonos is probably the way the traditional Church would think of for that word and probably the intended original meaning for the position in the local Church. That translation is “a deacon, one who, by virtue of the office assigned him by the church, cares for the poor and has charge of and distributes the money collected for their use”

The initial verse of Scripture which many are familiar with is Acts 6:1-4 where it is written:

In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Hellenistic Jews among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food. So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, “It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. Brothers and sisters, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.”

In this section of Scripture, it is to be noted while the exact Greek word diakonos is not used the term “to wait on tables” uses a derivative of the same Greek word which is diakonein.

Referring to these verses of Scripture, the “deacons” were to look after or maintain the physical aspects of the local Church, while both the “elders” and “apostles” were to concern themselves with the spiritual growth and development of the Church, the “elders” maintaining the local Church and the “apostles” the extended Church.

According, once again according to Thayer, “This indicates a group of individuals under the word”. The word is also used in this manner to indicate a group of individuals within the local Church Philippians 1:1 where it is written:

To all God’s holy people in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons

I bring this second verse to mind as a reminder that the position of “deacon” was in every local Church.

The final decision for the physical needs of the local Church lies with the “deacons”. However, as it was in the case of the “elders”, the “deacons” were to make the decisions concerning the physical needs of the local Church not in a vacuum, but after prayerful and careful consideration of the advice they received from others, that is the “elders”, “apostles”, and “prophets”.  This could be of extreme importance if the “prophet” had received knowledge from the Holy Spirit of some pending time of lack that may be occurring in the future in either the local Church or some other Church that they were to assist.  Again this would be a heavy responsibility and I believe that is why a multitude of “deacons” were appointed in each local Church and that they worked together in one accord and did work as individuals.

Again the “deacons” were to perform the gift of “administration” on the level of the physical needs of the local Church as the “elders” were to perform the same gift of “administration” for the spiritual needs of the local Church. Notice there was a clear defining point of the separation of the responsibilities and duties.  The “deacons” did not have the responsibility of the spiritual leadership and the “elders” did not have the responsibility of the physical need leadership, but both groups only provided leadership within their realm of responsibility.

In searching though the Scriptures, the only place the Greek word kubernesis which is translated as guidance or administration or even as government in the King James Version is in 1 Corinthians 12:28.  With this being acknowledged, I believe the proper interpretation of the gift of “guidance or administration” lies with the description of those who had the responsibility for the direction of the local Church, both spiritually and physically.

As usual, I seek any comments, based on the Scriptures, and especially any differing viewpoints on this subject.

A.S. Disciple

Words have meanings, and there are meanings to words… (Part 19– Concerning Tongues and Interpretation of Tongues)

Words have meanings, and there are meanings to words… (Part 19– Concerning Tongues and Interpretation of Tongues)

First a warning that this is a rather long post and it will take some time to read and discern what is written….
The ability of an individual to speak in either an unknown (heavenly) or known language and the ability of that same individual or another individual to translate or interpret what was said that God has placed in the Church is subject that has been a subject of discussion in all of Church history. This is an ability that is once again mentioned in the same place in the scriptures as teachers, miracles, healing, helping others, and administrators. To bring it once again into remembrance, let us again look at 1 Corinthians 12: 28-30 it is written:

         God has appointed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then those who perform miracles, those who have gifts of healing, those who help others, administrators, and those who speak various kinds of languages. Not all are apostles, are they? Not all are prophets, are they? Not all are teachers, are they? Not all perform miracles, do they? Not all have the gift of healing, do they? Not all speak in other languages, do they? Not all interpret, do they?

The Greek word that is used for “Tongue” is glossa. In Mickelson’s Enhanced Strong’s Dictionaries of the Greek and Hebrew Testaments, the meaning of the Greek word is as follows:
G1100 γλῶσσα glossa (glōs’-sa) n.; 1. the tongue..; 2. (by implication) a language.; 3. (specially) a language not naturally acquired.
When a search is done on the number in the Mickelson’s Enhanced Strong’s Dictionaries of the Greek and Hebrew Testaments that is referenced to the Greek word glossa, there are 47 different New Testament verses that contain the Greek word glossa and the word is translated as “tongue” in the King James Version, but the word has different implications.
The first implication of the Greek word glossa would be of the physical member of a human body, or a symbol of such. Some of the verses that use this implication of the Greek word glossa would be:
1. Mark 7:33 and 35 where it is written:
After he took him aside, away from the crowd, Jesus put his fingers into the man’s ears. Then he spit and touched the man’s tongue. He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, “Ephphatha!” (which means “Be opened!”). At this, the man’s ears were opened, his tongue was loosened and he began to speak plainly

2. Luke 1:64 where it is written:
And his mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue loosed, and he spake, and praised God
3. Luke 16:24 where it is written:
And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
4. Acts 2:3 where it is written:
And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
5. Acts 2:26 where it is written:
Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope
6. Romans 3:13 where it is written:
Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips
7. Romans 14:11 where it is written:
For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God
8. James 3:5 – 8 where it is written:
Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. (This verse also uses the implication of the spoken word)
The second implication of the Greek word glossa would one of the spoken word. Some of the verses that use this implication of the Greek word glossa would be:
1. Romans 14:11 where it is written:
For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.
2. Philippians 2:11 where it is written:
And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
3. James 1:26 where it is written:
And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
4. Revelations 16:10 where it is written:
And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain
The third implication of the Greek word glossa would one of a language, either that is or was used on earth or an unknown or heavenly language. Some of the verses that use this implication of the Greek word glossa would be:
1. Mark 16:17 where it is written:
And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
2. Acts 2:4 where it is written:
And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
3. 1Corinthians 12:10 where it is written:
To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues
4. 1Corinthians 12:28-30 where it is written:
And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret? But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way
5. 1Corinthians 13:1 where it is written:
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
6. 1Corinthians 13:8 where it is written:
Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away
7. 1Corinthians 14:2-28 where it is written:
For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries. But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort. He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church. I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying. Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine? And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped? For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle? So likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye shall speak into the air. There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification. Therefore if I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be unto him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh shall be a barbarian unto me. Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church. Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret. For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful. What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also. Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest? For thou verily givest thanks well, but the other is not edified. I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all: Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue. Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men. In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord. Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe. If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad? But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all: And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth. How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying. If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret. But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God
8. 1Corinthians 14:39 where it is written:
Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues. Let all things be done decently and in order.
9. Revelations where it is written:
And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation
10. Revelations where it is written:
And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations
11. Revelations 14:6 where it is written:
And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,
12. Revelations 17:15 where it is written:

And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues

In the context of this series which is examining the gifts (both as individuals and demonstrations of power) let us investigate the third implied meaning of the Greek word glossa as it both applies to this series and has been a topic of discussion since the earliest times in the Church, but the reason for discussion has changed.

We can see much of the discussion point in the early Church was centered on the Church at Corinth. By referring to the verses above (for the sake of space, I will not repeat the text in this section) it can be determined that the physical displaying of this gifting had become an overwhelming part of the gatherings that the Corinthian Church had when they came together.  It can be implied by what Paul writes in 1Corinthians 14, that speaking in tongues was not only encouraged in this Body of believers, but was almost required as a significant part of their coming together.  It appears from Paul’s comments that it may have been the most stressed point of the gathering.  If we examine some of the verses in the Scriptures, one may be able to understand how this imbalance may have occurred.

If we first look at when the Church   first became filled the Holy Spirit, the actual individual impartation of the Holy Spirit to the individual was in the symbol of “cloven tongues like as of fire”. The second observation that can be made is the initial physical display that the Holy Spirit had “filled” the individual was that they began to speak in “tongues” or other languages. It was a significant event in the early Church and the importance that the symbol of “cloven tongues like as of fire” produced an ability to speak in other languages should not be missed. These two events when pulled together could have caused a misinterpretation of level of importance speaking in tongues that some had in the early Church. The conclusion of some of the members of the early Church could have arrived at is that this is the most important manifestation of the gifts that the Holy Spirit had provided the Church. This viewpoint however was not correct and the Church had lost sight of the vision that the Church was a “Body” and for a “Body” to be fully functional as designed no part of that body is less significant than any other. This make-up of the “Body” not only applies to the physical members of the “Body”, but also to the “gifts” or manifestations of the Holy Spirit.
This misconception could have been even argued from another occurrence in the early Church, which is the addition of the Gentiles to the “Body of Believers”. The events surrounding this other significant event in the early Church are spoken of in Acts 10. I will not include that portion of Scripture because of the length, but I challenge everyone to carefully read the account of this event. For the first time in the early Church there is a Holy Spirit event to reach out to the Gentiles. Peter brings forth the Word and the symbolic event that occurs is that even while Peter is still speaking, the entire group of Gentiles accepts the Word of the Lord and as a sign of their acceptance of Jesus (Yeshua) as Lord and Savior begin to speak in “tongues”.
The combination of these significant events could have led to the misconception of the supremacy of the manifestation of “tongues” in the Corinthian Church.
Paul however speaks of restoring a balance to the Corinthian Church. One of the subjects Paul speaks on is in 1 Corinthians 14:22, where he reminds the Church that “tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not”. This I believe is a reference to what was spoken of in Acts 10. If a group of unbelievers had come together to hear the Word of the Lord, and some of the group had received the Word and accepted Jesus (Yeshua) as Lord and Savior, a sign that they had done this might have been that they would have spoken in “tongues” and this would have been a sign to those that had not believed and thus indicating a separation in the group.
Paul touches on another subject that in an attempt to provide “balance”. He calls attention to another “gift”, that is prophecy, as being a more desirable gift. He goes into great lengths examining and explaining the differences in these two “gifts” and how they would affect any gathering of Believers. Paul never discounts importance of the “gift of tongues” but encourages it saying “forbid not to speak with tongues”.
Some of this same misconception has continued even into the universal Church today. There are groups within the Church that believe that “tongues” is the sign that someone has been baptized in the Holy Spirit since this was the physical manifestation that occurred at both the initial infilling of the disciples during the time of Pentecost as spoken of in the second chapter of Acts and the initial sign that was also manifest when the first gentiles received the infilling of the baptism of the Holy Spirit in Acts 10. However by further examining the Scriptures, especially 1Corinthians 12:28-30 which is quoted previously, it can be determined that that this is a false conclusion. Paul compiles a list of the “gifts” of the Holy Spirit empowers people with and then asks if everyone has been bestowed these “gifts”. The implied answer is no. Paul is commenting that although all are not apostles, those that are not empowered by the Holy Spirit in this “gift” but are possibly empowered by the Holy Spirit to be a teacher are to be no less considered empowered by the Holy Spirit. In the list of “gifts”, the question is asked “Do all speak in tongues?” Once again the implied answer is no. The conclusion would be if one was empowered by the Holy Spirit with the “gifts of healing”, but did not “speak in tongues” that person would be considered to have received the infilling of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, while “tongues” may be a considerable indicator that a person had received the infilling of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, it is not the only or initial indicator.
Another area of contention is that the gift of tongues is not currently in operation at this time of the Church. The basis of this contention is summed in two areas of Scripture from the same area we have been discussing, that is 1 Corinthians.
The first scripture that people that call out is in 1 Corinthians 13:8-12 where it is written:
Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
The point this group will stress is on that the mentioned “gifts” that the Holy Spirit has bestowed to the Church will either fail, cease or vanish when the “perfect is come” and use the reasoning that when the Scriptures were compiled and completed there was no longer any need for these gifts. First, let us look at one of the “gifts” that the Holy Spirit has bestowed spoken of in this verse that is “knowledge”. The Greek word for “knowledge” is gnosis. In Mickelson’s Enhanced Strong’s Dictionaries of the Greek and Hebrew Testaments, the meaning of the Greek word is as follows:
G1108 γνῶσις gnosis (gnō’-sis) n.; 1. knowing (the act).; 2. (by implication) knowledge.; 3. (emphatically) absolute knowledge (i.e. an exhaustive knowledge without error; not merely subject to or based on personal observation or perception; actual rational truth, not merely that which is based on or bound only by sight and experience; such knowledge comes from Yahweh).; 4. (the entity) Knowledge herself.
Can any claim that since the Scriptures were compiled and completed, that “knowledge” has vanished? I would think not.
In further examination of this section of the Scriptures, let us examine another of the set of words that is used which is “perfect is come”. In the New International Version, this set of words is translated “but when completeness comes”. The Greek word that is used for this set of words is teleios. In Mickelson’s Enhanced Strong’s Dictionaries of the Greek and Hebrew Testaments, the meaning of the Greek word is as follows:
G5046 τέλειος teleios (te’-lei-os) adj.; complete.: {(neuter as noun, with G3588) completeness; in various applications of labor, growth, mental and moral character, etc.}: [from G5056]; KJV: of full age, man, perfect; Root(s): G5056; See also: G3588
Intent of this Greek word is even more amplified if the two root word from the Greek are examined. The first is telos. In Mickelson’s Enhanced Strong’s Dictionaries of the Greek and Hebrew Testaments, the meaning of the Greek word is as follows:
G5056 τέλος telos (te’-los) n.; 1. (properly) the point aimed at as a limit.; 2. (by implication) the conclusion of an act or state (a termination).; 3. (literally, figuratively or indefinitely) a result.; 4. (immediate, ultimate or prophetic) a purpose.; 5. (specially) an tax or levy (as paid).; [from a primary tello “to set out for a definite point or goal”]; KJV: + continual, custom, end(-ing), finally, uttermost; Compare: G5411
The second root word in the Greek is ho. In Mickelson’s Enhanced Strong’s Dictionaries of the Greek and Hebrew Testaments, the meaning of the Greek word is as follows:
G3588 ὁ ho (ho) t.; ἡ he (hee) [feminine]; τό to (to’) [neuter (each with various inflections)]; 1. the.; 2. (of a proper name) not expressed in English (i.e. the Adam, the Jesus).; 3. (by context) the one.; 4. (also) the thing.; 5. (possessive) not expressed in English (i.e. the book of him, his book).; 6. (genitive preceding infinitive, when expressed) for it (i.e. for it not to rain, James 5:17). otherwise, it is redundant as “the one” to do.; 7. (nominative pronoun) he, they, she, it (rarely expressed in English. see Matthew 2:5 and Mark 14:64).; 8. (implied possessive pronoun, by Hebraism) his, her, its, their.; 9. (rarely) some.; 10. (in an idiom) sometimes not expressed in English.; 11. (rarely, with G3844) (personal) belongings.; {sometimes to be supplied, at others omitted, in English idiom}; [the definite article]; KJV: the, this, that, one, he, she, it, etc.
If the context of the writing in 1 Corinthians chapters twelve through 14 is examined Paul is always referring both individuals and their “gifts” to the Church. If that is the case, then the best representation for the root word of ho would be most probably the one listed as “8. (implied possessive pronoun, by Hebraism) his, her, its, their”. If that is combined with the second listed translation of the Greek root word telos which is “the conclusion of an act or state (a termination)” the meaning of the phrase would most probably refer to the perfection or completeness of the Church, not to the compilation of any book, even the Scriptures. If this would be the conclusion that is arrived at then by examination of the Church today, one could be asked if the Church has reached “the conclusion of an act or state (a termination)”, the answer would have to be no.
This viewpoint I believe was also shared by Paul as he writes in Philippians 3:12-14 where it is written:
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus
One of the reasons that some in the Church may have difficulty with the “gift of tongues” Paul alludes to in 1Corinthians 14:14 where it is written:
For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful.
It takes a level of trust and reliance on the Holy Spirit which may be troubling to some since praying in “tongues” is done outside of the realm of the natural man’s mental abilities. It requires a surrender of ones will to the complete control of the Holy Spirit when one either prays or delivers a prophetic message or a “word of knowledge” in “tongues”.
Even though it was an area of possible misuse in the Church of Corinth, Paul had one further admonishment on the subject of “tongues”. Paul states the following in 1Corinthians 14:39 where it is written:
Therefore, my brothers and sisters, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues
In conclusion, I would need to comment if the “gift of tongues” was not meant for the current Church, then by inference all the listed “gifts” listed in 1Corinthians chapters twelve through fourteen would not be needed by the current Church including “Pastor” and “Teacher” and we know that this is not the situation.
Once again I seek any comments, based on the Scriptures, and especially any differing viewpoints on this subject.

A. S. Disciple

Words have meanings, and there are meanings to words… (Part 16– Concerning Healings)

Another one of the positions God has placed in the Church is that of “Healings”. This is a position that is once again mentioned in the same place in the scriptures as apostles and prophets. To bring it once again into remembrance, let us again look at 1 Corinthians 12: 28-30 it is written:

               And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues.  Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret?

The Greek word that is used for “healing” is iama. Once again referring to Mickelson’s Enhanced Strong’s Dictionaries of the Greek and Hebrew Testaments, the meaning of the Greek word is as follows:

               G2386 ἴαμα iama (iy’-a-ma) n.; a cure (the effect).;  a healing.; [from G2390]; KJV: healing;                Root(s): G2390

The root word for this Greek word is iaomai.According to Mickelson’s Enhanced Strong’s Dictionaries of the Greek and Hebrew Testaments, the meaning of the root Greek word is as follows:

               G2390 ἰάομαι iaomai (ya’-o-mai) v.; to heal, cure. {literally or figuratively}; [middle voice of                apparently a primary verb]; KJV: heal, make whole.

Even examining the Greek root word, the meaning is very simple. It is act of restoring health and as Mickelson points out this can be a literal or a figurative healing according to the root Greek word.

What is interesting, however is the Greek word that is used as a noun is only used in 1 Corinthians 12:9, 1 Corinthians 12:28 and then again in verse 30. Since it is used as a noun, rather than a verb that the Greek root word from which it is based on, this word is used to describe a specific ability and not the act that is performed by this ability.  Therefore, it is indicating that this ability that the Holy Spirit empowers to an individual since it is noun based, rather than an action.

A major component of the method that Yeshua (Jesus) used to demonstrate that he was the Messiah (Christ, The Anointed One), was through a multitude of “healings”. Since these “healings” were the act of “healing” and not the description of the ability to “heal”, we will look at where the root Greek word, iaomai, is used.   Let us just look at a few of the verses of Scripture where this is written about. As a matter of fact, Yeshua (Jesus) proclaims what His ministry is to be in Luke 4: 18 – 21, where it is written:

               And he came to Nazareth, where he was brought up; and as his custom was; he went into the synagogue on the sabbath, and stood up to read. And there was delivered to him the book of the prophet Isaiah, and having opened the book, he found the place where it was written, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me, to heal the broken-hearted, to proclaim deliverance to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To publish the acceptable year of the Lord.” And having closed the book, he gave it again to the servant, and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he said to them, “This day is the scripture fulfilled in your ears.”

In this proclamation from the Book of Isaiah, Yeshua (Jesus) states He is to heal the broken-hearted.  This would be the figurative type of “healing” that is expressed in the root Greek word.  This however was not the only type of “healing” Yeshua (Jesus) performed.  He demonstrated His Power a multitude of times in literal healings with tangible, visible results.  There are many verses in the Scriptures that provide this information, so we will examine only a few of them.  In Luke 5: 17-26, it is written:

               One day as Jesus was teaching, some Pharisees and teachers of the Law happened to be sitting nearby. The people had come from every village in Galilee and Judea and from  Jerusalem. The power of the Lord was present to heal them. Some men were bringing a paralyzed man on a stretcher. They were trying to take him into the house and place him in front of Jesus. When they couldn’t find a way to get him in because of the crowd, they went  up on the roof and let him down on his stretcher through the tiles into the middle of the room, right in front of Jesus. When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Mister, your sins are forgiven.”  The scribes and the Pharisees began to argue among themselves, saying, “Who is this man who is uttering blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” Because Jesus knew that they were arguing, he asked them, “Why are you arguing about this among yourselves? Which is easier: to say ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say ‘Get up and walk’? But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” Then he told  the paralyzed man, “I say to you: Get up, pick up your stretcher, and go home!” So the man immediately stood up in front of them and picked up what he had been lying on. Then he went home, praising God. Amazement seized all the people, and they began to praise God. They were filled with fear and declared, “We have seen wonderful things today!”

Another area of the Scriptures where Yeshua (Jesus) had performed a “healing was in Luke 8:43 – 48 where it is written:

               A woman was there who had been suffering from chronic bleeding for twelve years. Although she had spent all she had on doctors, no one could heal her. She came up behind Jesus and touched the tassel of his garment, and her bleeding stopped at once. Jesus asked, “Who    touched me?” While everyone was denying it, Peter and those who were with him said, “Master, the crowds are surrounding you and pressing in on you.” Still Jesus said, “Somebody touched me, because I know that power has gone out of me.” When the woman saw that she couldn’t hide, she came forward trembling. Bowing down in front of him, she explained in the presence of all the people why she had touched Jesus and how she had been instantly healed.  Then he told her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace.”

In both of these examples, Yeshua (Jesus) performed these acts of “healing” to show that He had come from the Father and that He was the Messiah (Christ, Anointed One). In the first section of the Scriptures that is alluded to above, it brought about the response of the people praising God.  But, o-f even more significance, He had used this act of “healing” to declare He had the authority to forgive sins.

This ability to “heal” was not only embodied in Yeshua (Jesus) alone. Even before His death and resurrection and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, Yeshua (Jesus) sent his original twelve apostles to perform acts of “healing”.  This is written about in Luke 9: 1 – 6 where it is written:

               Jesus called the Twelve together and gave them power and authority over all the demons and to heal diseases. Then he sent them to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. He told them, “Don’t take anything along on your trip—no walking stick, traveling bag, bread, money, or even an extra shirt. When you visit a home and stay there, and go out from there, if people don’t welcome you, when you leave that city, shake its dust off your feet as a testimony against them.” So they left and went from village to village, spreading the good news and healing diseases everywhere.

If we again look to a reference point that was given in the section of this writing on “miracles”, that this ability was to continue in the Church let us refer to in John 14:12 where it is written:

               “Truly, I tell all of you emphatically, the one who believes in me will also do what I am doing.   He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.

This of course is evident in the accounts that are written in the Scriptures after the empowerment of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Let us examine, once again a few of these instances that are mention beginning in Act 3: 1 – 10 where it is written:

                 Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, [being] the ninth [hour]. And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple; Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms. And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us. And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them. Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have given I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. And he took him by the right hand, and lifted [him] up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God: And they knew that it was he which sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple: and they were with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him. And as the lame man which was healed held Peter and John, all the people ran together unto them in the porch that is called Solomon’s, greatly wondering.

The result of this act of “healing” was not only the restitution of the physical abilities of an individual that was clearly recognized as being a cripple, but it was followed by a declaration declaring from where this power of “healing” had come. Even more than that, in the same way the Yeshua (Jesus) had declared His authority to forgive sins, the same claim is declared as Peter address the crowd after the crippled man is healed in Acts 3: 11 – 21 where it is written:

               While he was holding on to Peter and John, all the people came running to them in what was called “Solomon’s Colonnade”. They were dumbfounded. When Peter saw this, he told the people: “Fellow Israelis, why are you wondering about this, and why are you staring at us as if  by our own power or godliness we made him walk? The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—the God of our ancestors—has glorified his servant Jesus, whom you betrayed and rejected in the presence of Pilate, even though he had decided to let him go. You rejected the Holy and Righteous One and asked to have a murderer released to you, and you killed the source of life, whom God raised from the dead. We are witnesses to that. It is his name—that is, by faith in his name—that has healed this man whom you see and know. Yes, the faith that comes through Jesus has given him this perfect health in the presence of all of you. “And now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance like your leaders. This is how God fulfilled what he had predicted through the voice of all the prophets—that his Messiah would suffer. Therefore, repent and turn to him to have your sins blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord and so that he may send you Jesus, whom he appointed long ago to be the Messiah. He must remain in heaven until the time of universal restitution, which God announced long ago through the voice of his holy prophets.

In these verses is contained the key element that should be followed by anyone that the Holy Spirit has empowered with the gifting of “healing”. It can be observed that Peter immediately transfers all credit of this ability to perform a “healing” to the Source of the “healing” that is God himself in the person of the Holy Spirit.  Peter and John do not ask to be honored or recognized for this ability, but instead firmly states it is not in their own power or ability the “healing” had occurred.  The person that the Holy Spirit has “gifted” must always give recognition to the Source of the “healing” and take no credit for anything that has occurred.  Furthermore, it is the responsibility of the individual to proclaim Yeshua (Jesus) as the Messiah (Christ, Anointed One) as this is the actual primary reason for these “healings”, that is the proclamation of the Good News that Yeshua (Jesus) is the Messiah (Christ, Anointed One) and that through Him is the forgiveness of sins and the passageway to the Kingdom for those who would choose to be His disciples.

Another section of the Scriptures that verifies the stated reason for the gifting of “healing” is Act 9: 32 – 35 where it is written:

               Now when Peter was going around among all of the disciples, he also visited the saints living     in Lydda. There he found a man named Aeneas who was paralyzed and had been bedridden for eight years.  Peter told him, “Aeneas, Jesus the Messiah is healing you. Get up and put away your mat!” At once he got up, and all the people who lived in Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord.

Once again the primary reason for the “healing” was to enforce the fact that Yeshua (Jesus) is the Messiah (Christ, Anointed One) and the secondary reason is the restoration of the individual. Notice once again the Peter defers all credit to Yeshua (Jesus) and deflects all glory to Him.

From the Scriptures referenced in this section, several conclusions can be arrived at. The first is that the gift of “healing” and that there are individuals that have been empowered by the Holy Spirit with this gifting should (and is) still available to the Church today.  The second is the primary reason for this gift is for the declaration that Yeshua (Jesus) is the Messiah (Christ, Anointed One) and only through Him is the forgiveness of sins.  Thirdly, the individual that has been empowered by the Holy Spirit with the gifting of “healing” must not call any attention to themselves, but instead must forward all recognition and credit to God who is the only One to have the Power to perform healings.  Fourthly, the individual must declare that they are nothing special and not any different than any of their brothers or sisters in the Church but are only a vessel that the Holy Spirit moves through.

As usual, I request and desire any comments or differing opinions or ideas solely based on the Scriptures.

A. S. Disciple

Words have meanings, and there are meanings to words… (Part 17– Concerning Helping)

The position of “helping” that God has placed in the Church is one that is seldom taught on. This is a position that is once again mentioned in the same place in the scriptures as apostles and prophets. To bring it once again into remembrance, let us again look at 1 Corinthians 12: 28-30 it is written:

               And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues.  Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret?

The Greek word that is used for “helping” is antilepsis by examining what is written in Mickelson’s Enhanced Strong’s Dictionaries of the Greek and Hebrew Testaments, the meaning of the Greek word is as follows:

               G484 ἀντίληψις antilepsis (an-tiy’-lee-psis) n.relief.; [from G482]; KJV: help; Root(s): G482

The root word for this Greek word is antilambanomai. Once again referring to Mickelson’s Enhanced Strong’s Dictionaries of the Greek and Hebrew Testaments, the meaning of the root Greek word is as follows:

               G482 ἀντιλαμβάνομαι antilambanomai (an-tiy-lam-ɓa’-no-mai) v.; 1. to take hold of in turn, i.e. to relieve.; 2. also to participate.[from G473 and the middle voice of G2983]; KJV: help, partaker, support; Root(s): G473, G2983

By examining both the original Greek word and, the gifting of “helping” is an act of providing relief for an individual or possibly a situation that has arisen. By then examining the root word in Greek, the meaning becomes magnified.  In the translation provided for the root word in Greek, it is described as “to take hold of in turn, i.e. to relieve”.  This translation can be possibly can be best illustrated by imagining an individual carrying a heavy pack on their back and someone coming along to provide relief from the burden by taking it on themselves for a period of time (to take hold of in turn).But then the individual who the Lord has commissioned to provide this “helping” does not take ownership of the burden.  Instead they provide a period of relief while realizing this is not their permanent burden to bear and that it is owned by the individual who has the burden.  This must also be evident to the individual that has been saddled with the burden, and if required it must be explained that the whole of this burden is the responsibility of individual that has been given it.

This will provide three points of clarity to the community of the Church. The first being, when called by the Holy Spirit that we are to provide relief as need.  Let it be noted that the “helping” must be at the prompting of the Holy Spirit as these are spiritual gifts to the Church and not as a human reaction to a situation. This is situation that will require prayer and discernment to know what, if any, relief is to be provided and how long it is to be provided for.  Without the complete guidance of the Holy Spirit, damage can be done to both the situation and the individual if the relief given is either too much or too little and too short or too long.  The effects of this damage can be devastating to the individual as either it will leave them still at a point where they do not have the resources to bear the burden and/or are at a time where they cannot bear the burden given because they have not attained sufficient time to recoup the required strength to carry the burden. On the other hand if too much relief is provided or relief is provided beyond the allotted time frame as directed by the Holy Spirit, the individuals whose responsibility it is to bear the burden may become dependent on others bearing the burden that was destined to be their responsibility.

The second point of clarity is that when an individual in the Church is saddled with a burden, they must acknowledge it is their burden to bear. They must not demand or even have expectations that others will provide relief for the situation.  No root of bitterness must arise if they are left to bear the burden on their own.  There is to be no expectation that those who have the resources (either physically, mentally, or spiritually) to provide relief are required to provide relief to them personally, nor are they to actively seek this relief outside of what the Holy Spirit has enabled them to petition individuals for such relief. This is a delicate balancing point as another may not realize the individual has a burden that requires “helping” or on the other end of the spectrum the individual may become a ”dripping faucet” with their constant mentioning that they have a burden to bear that they could require some relief.  The individual with the burden must also actively pray and seek discernment as to the reason for the burden, whether it is to develop patience, break a spirit of pride that has its origins in self-reliance, provide a demonstration of reliance of the members of the Church on one another to provide for each other to the outside community as a sign of the change of heart that has occurred to the individuals of that Church community or any other reason that the Holy Spirit may provide for the burden.  In this assessment of the reason for the burden, the individual may also just be told to “trust and obey” with no clear reason provided for the burden.

The third point of clarity arises from the second translation or meaning of the Greek root word, which is “also to participate”.  It is the responsibility of all the members of the Church “to participate” with the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  If you refer to the Scriptures again in 1 Corinthians 12: 28-30 where it is written:

Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret?

You will notice that two of the gifts to the Church are not mentioned in this list of individuals that are the ones that have been empowered by the Holy Spirit to provide “gifts” for the Church. One of them is “helping”.  Could this possibly be a reference that this “gift” is to be provided by all in the Church as the Holy Spirit provides direction? This conclusion would fit well with the second meaning of the Greek root word, “to participate”.  If this conclusion can be arrived at, then the entire Church is “to participate” with the administration of this gift.

To those who are prompted by the Holy Spirit to perform the gift of “helping”, further insight of the responsibility can be understood by examining the two Greek words the Greek root word of “helping” is constructed from. Those two words are anti and lambano. The Greek word anti carries a meaning of:

               G473 ἀντί anti (an-tiy’) prep.; 1. opposite.; 2. instead (of).; 3. (commonly) for (retribution or replacement of).; 4. because (of).; 5. (rarely, as the resulting consequence) in addition to (i.e. additionally as a result of; as a continual replacement, replenishment, or recompense in like  manner).; 6. (Note #1) (In John 1:16, “in addition to” elliptically expresses the resulting                inexhaustible grace as both the consequence of and the derived benefit based on the magnitude of the initial act of grace, the Redemptive Sacrifice of the Lamb, Jesus the Lamb of God.  It is not  merely grace for grace as a replacement, nor grace upon grace as a linear stack or reserve.  It is       a whole realm of grace in addition to the grace we naturally comprehend).; 7. (Note #2) (its  corollary, as seen by the lake of fire, would be expressed as wrath in addition to wrath, as  inexhaustible and unquenchable. Even greater is the magnitude of grace that continually engulfs the Redeemed).; {Often used in composition to denote contrast, requital, substitution, correspondence, etc}; [a primary particle];KJV: for, in the room of

while the Greek word lambano is translated as:

               G2983 λαμβάνω lambano (lam-ɓa’-nō) v; 1. (actively) to take.; 2. (passively) to receive.; 3.  (objectively) to get hold of (with the hand).; {in very many applications (literally and figuratively);  whereas G1209 is rather subjective or passive, to have offered to one; while G138 is more   violent, to seize or remove}; [a prolonged form of a primary verb, which is use only as an alternate in certain tenses]; KJV: accept, + be amazed, assay, attain, bring, X when I call, catch, come on (X unto), + forget, have, hold, obtain, receive (X after), take (away, up)

When the meaning of these two words is combined, the attitude of the one that is to provide “helping” under the guidance to the Holy Spirit comes into a clear focus. The individual is to have the exact opposite expectation and feeling of one who would receive anything.  In simpler terms, the one providing the “helping” must never expect to receive anything in return for their obedience to the Holy Spirit in providing relief to another individual.  This expectation must also include any recognition or acknowledgement of the act that provided the relief.  This in is complete alignment with what is spoken of in 1Corinthians 4: 7 where it is written:

               For who makes you superior? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not receive it?

There is no “helping” that an individual can provide that has not been provided by the Father. If it has been provided for by the Father, then it did not originate in the individual, therefore the individual does not have true ownership of the item or items that will provide relief.  Individuals are only to be stewards of what has been provided and therefore that is to be no boasting or prideful talk when one provides “helping” since it did not originate in them.

While the Greek word for “helping” is only used in 1 Corinthians 12:28, the root word antilambanomai appears in Luke 1:54 where it is written:

               He helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful, according to the promise he made to our ancestors— to Abraham and his descendants forever.”

This was part of Mary’s Song of Praise that she spoke when was visiting Elizabeth and the recognition that she was pregnant with Yeshua(Jesus).

Another of the places the Greek root word is found is in Paul the apostle address to the Ephesian Elders in Acts 20: 32 – 35 where it is written:

“I am now entrusting you to God and to the message of his grace, which is able to build you up and secure for you an inheritance among all who are sanctified. I never desired anyone’s silver, gold, or clothes. You yourselves know that I worked with my own hands to support myself and those who were with me.  In every way I showed you that by working hard like this we should help the weak and remember the words that the Lord Jesus himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

The third place the Greek root word translates as “partakers” in the King James Version and in the International Standard Version as “benefit” is found is in 1Timothy 6: 1 – 2 where it is written:

                              All who are under the yoke of slavery should regard their own masters as deserving of the highest respect, so that the name of God and our teaching may not be discredited. Moreover, those who have believing masters should be respectful to them, because they are fellow believers. In fact, they must serve them even better, because those who benefit from their service are believers and dear to them. These are the things you must teach and exhort.

In summation the gift of “helping” should not be considered in any way a minor gift in comparison to those mention in Acts 28 such as apostle, prophet or teacher, but should be held as in high esteem as these aforementioned gifts. It is a true act of servanthood and must be looked at in that way.  Yeshua (Jesus) is quoted in Mark 9:35 where it is written:

               So he sat down, called the Twelve, and told them, “If anyone wants to be first he must be last of all and servant of all.”

And since this is a gifting of servanthood, it must be viewed in this way.

Also, prayer and discernment must be required to properly provide this gifting of “helping”. It is far too easy to allow human emotions to affect what decisions are to be made in the dispensing of this gift, both in the lack of action and excess of action.

The one with the burden must take ownership of that burden and act in accordance with the guidance of the Holy Spirit in reference to the burden given.

As per usual any differing views based on Scripture are greatly appreciated and requested.

A. S. Disciple

Words have meanings, and there are meanings to words… (Part 15 – Concerning Miracles)

Words have meanings, and there are meanings to words… (Part 15 – Concerning Miracles)

Another one of the positions God has placed in the Church is that of Miracles. This is a position that is once again mentioned in the same place in the scriptures as apostles and prophets. To bring it once again into remembrance, let us again look at 1 Corinthians 12: 28-30 it is written:

               And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues.  Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret?

First thing to notice that both “miracles” and “gifts of healing” are written about in these verses. Therefore I would make the assumption that the two are separate and different.  So let us examine what the word “miracles” is and where else that same Greek word is used in the Scriptures.

The Greek word that is translated as “miracles” is dunamis.   From Mickelson’s Enhanced Strong’s Dictionaries of the Greek and Hebrew Testaments the following about this word is found:

               G1411 δύναμις dunamis (d̮ï ’-na-mis) n. 1. Force; 2. (specially) miraculous power; 3. (usually by implication) a miracle itself. {literally or figuratively}. [from G1410].  KJV: ability, abundance, meaning, might(-ily, -y, -y deed), (worker of) miracle(-s), power, strength, violence, mighty  (wonderful) work. Root(s): G1410

The exact same Greek word is used in the Scriptures where Yeshua (Jesus) after His resurrection informs His apostles to wait for the Holy Spirit to empower them. These verses are Acts 1:4-8 where it is written:

               While he was meeting with them, he ordered them, “Don’t leave Jerusalem. Instead, wait for what the Father has promised, about which you heard me speak. For John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit a few days from now.”  Now those who had gathered together began to ask Jesus, “Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?” He answered them, “It is not for you to know what times or periods the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes   on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

The root word from which this Greek word is based is dunamai. Again referring to Mickelson’s Enhanced Strong’s Dictionaries of the Greek and Hebrew Testaments the following the root word is found:

               G1410 δύναμαι dunamai (d̮ï ’-na-mai) v.; to be able or possible.[of uncertain affinity].  KJV: be able, can (do, + -not), could, may, might, be possible, be of power

From the root word, it can be derived that one who is gifted in “miracles” has been empowered and has the ability to perform acts by this empowerment that are not of the natural or usual realm. These individuals are used as a vessel through whom the Holy Spirit flows to provide supernatural acts to the Church and world as divinely appointed by God.

This same Greek word is used is various places in the Scriptures pertaining to the acts which Yeshua (Jesus) performed while on the earth.  There is a reproach that is given by Yeshua (Jesus) concerning the lack of repentance in accordance with the mighty miracles He performed in the in the cities of Chorazin Bethsaida and Capernaum in Matthew 11:20-23 where it is written:

               Then He proceeded to denounce the towns where most of His miracles were done, because they did not repent:  “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles that were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented in sackcloth and ashes long ago! But I tell you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you. And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? You will go down to Hades. For if the miracles that were done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until today. But I tell you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.”

Again this same Greek word is used in Matthew 13:54 where it is written:

               He went to his hometown and began teaching the people in their synagogue in such a way that they were amazed and asked, “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miracles?”

Since this Greek word is the same in the description of the “miracles” Yeshua (Jesus) performed and as one of the “gifts” to the Church, can a conclusion be drawn that these miraculous acts that Yeshua (Jesus) performed still should be able to be performed by those whom the Holy Spirit as empowered with this ability? What would be the purpose of the demonstrations of these “miracles”?  Would it not be to lead people to repentance by an awesome display of God’s power?  Was this not what the cities that were mentioned in Matthew 11: 20-23 were condemned for?

There are actually very definite references in the Scriptures to what the actual “miracles” Yeshua (Jesus) had performed. They covered a range of events in which the natural was superseded by the supernatural.

With this being said, let us examine what some of those “miracles” looked like. The first miracle Yeshua (Jesus) performed was at a wedding ceremony in the town of Cana.  It is documented in John 2: 1-11 where it is written:

            On the third day of that week there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee. Jesus’             mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine ran out, Jesus’ mother told him, “They don’t have any more wine.” “How does that concern us, dear lady?” Jesus asked her. “My time hasn’t come yet.” His mother told the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” Now standing there were six stone water jars used for the Jewish rites of purification, each one holding from 20 to 30 gallons. Jesus told the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” So they filled them up to the brim. Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the man in charge of the banquet.” So they did. When the man in charge of the banquet tasted the water that had become wine (without knowing where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew), he called for the bridegroom and told him, “Everyone serves the best wine first, and the cheap kind when people are drunk. But you have kept the best wine until now!” Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee. He revealed his glory, and his disciples believed in him.

On this occasion, the very first miracle Yeshua (Jesus) performs is to supply what is required to meet a shortage of a supply of a very important item at a wedding celebration. The end result was “His disciples believed in Him” The miracle was meeting a natural need through supernatural provision.

Two of the other “miracles” that Yeshua (Jesus) performed once again was focused on supplying what was lacking in the natural by supernatural means. In both these occurrences there was a need for food to be supplied to a large number of people and there was inefficient amount of supply in the natural to meet that need.  The first of these to “miracles” are documented in Matthew 14:14 – 21 where it is written:

               When he got out of the boat, he saw a large crowd. He had compassion for them and healed their sick. When evening had come, the disciples went to him and said, “This is a deserted place, and it’s already late. Send the crowds away so that they can go into the villages and buy food for themselves.”  But Jesus told them, “They don’t need to go away. You give them something to eat.” They told him, “We don’t have anything here except five loaves of bread and two fish.” He said, “Bring them to me.” Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and blessed them. Then he broke the loaves in pieces and gave them to his disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. All of them ate and were filled. Then the disciples picked up what was left of the broken pieces, twelve baskets full. Now those who had eaten were about 5,000 men, besides women and children.

The other similar “miracle” is in Matthew 15:32 – 39 where it is written:

               Then Jesus called his disciples and said, “I have compassion for the crowd because they have already been with me for three days and have nothing to eat. I don’t want to send them away without food, or they may faint on the road.” The disciples asked him, “Where in the wilderness are we to get enough bread to feed such a crowd?” Jesus asked them, “How many loaves of bread do you have?” They said, “Seven, and a few small fish.” Ordering the crowd to sit down on the ground, he took the seven loaves and the fish and gave thanks. Then he broke them in pieces and kept giving them to his disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. All of them ate until they were filled, then the disciples picked up what was left of the broken pieces—seven baskets full. Now those who had eaten were four thousand men, besides women and children. After he sent the crowds away, he got into a boat and went to the region of Magadan

In review all three of these significant “miracles” Yeshua (Jesus) performed were to meet specific physical needs. This type of “miracle” still does occur in the Church today, but it is seldom recognized or openly spoken about.

The other significant “miracle” performed by Yeshua (Jesus) was one where they very laws of nature are defied. One of the most famous of these miracles is where Yeshua (Jesus) not only walks on the water, but calls out Peter to join Him.  We see this in Matthew 15:22 – 33 where it is written:

               Jesus immediately had the disciples get into a boat and cross to the other side ahead of him, while he sent the crowds away. After dismissing the crowds, he went up on a hillside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone. By this time the boat was in the middle of the sea and was being battered by the waves, because the wind was against them.  Shortly before dawn Jesus came to them, walking on the sea. When the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified and cried out, “It’s a ghost!” And they screamed in terror. “Have courage!” Jesus immediately told them. “It’s me. Stop being afraid!” Peter  answered him, “Lord, if it’s you, order me to come to you on the water.” Jesus said, “Come  on!” So Peter got down out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came to Jesus. But when he noticed the strong wind, he was frightened. As he began to sink, he shouted, “Lord, save me!”  At once Jesus reached out his hand, caught him, and asked him, “You who have so little faith, why did you doubt?” As they got into the boat, the wind stopped blowing. Then the men in the boat began to worship Jesus, saying, “You certainly are the Son of God!”

Another “miracle” that Yeshua (Jesus) performed that demonstrated that He had command of the very elements of nature is in Matthew 8:15 – 27 where it is written:

               When Jesus got into the boat, his disciples went with him. Suddenly a violent storm came up on the sea, so that the boat began to be swamped by the waves. Yet Jesus kept sleeping. They      went to him and woke him up. “Lord!” they cried, “Save us! We’re going to die!” He asked them, “Why are you afraid, you who have little faith?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds    and the sea, and there was a great calm. The men were amazed. “What kind of man is this?” they asked. “Even the winds and the sea obey him!”

What is of interest is there is another Greek word that is translated as “miracle” in the Scriptures and that word is “semeion”.  This separate Greek word in Mickelson’s Enhanced Strong’s Dictionaries of the Greek and Hebrew Testaments is referred to as follows:

               G4592 σημεῖον semeion (see-mei’-on) n.;  an indication, a sign;  (especially, supernaturally) a miraculous sign.; (also) a signature.  neuter of a presumed derivative of the base of G4591. KJV: miracle, sign, token, wonder. Root(s): G4591

This is to be noted, for this word is different than the word used in 1 Corinthians 12: 28-30 and what is even more interesting, it is often tied to instances of healings.

The performance of miracles does trace all the way back to the time of Moses. The account of the signs and wonders that were displayed at the command of God to display to Pharaoh His awesome powers so that the Hebrew people would be set free is well documented in the book of Exodus.  Just one example would be Exodus 7:9 where it is written:

              When Pharaoh is speaking to you, saying-, Give your sign or miracle, then you will say to Aaron, Take your rod and fling it before Pharaoh that it may become a snake.

In this instance, the reason for the miracle was the same, so there would be repentance and what God required to happen would occur.  In this case, it was the repentance of Pharaoh (even though it was temporary) and the freeing of the Hebrew people.

In the age after the resurrection of Yeshua (Jesus) we see that “miracles” were still being performed. There is an account of Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch, who was a member of the court of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians.  Philip is given a directive by the Holy Spirit in Acts 8:26 – 29 where it is written:

               Now an angel of the Lord told Philip, “Get up and go south on the road that leads from Jerusalem to Gaza. This is a deserted road.” So he got up and went. Now there was an  Ethiopian eunuch, who was a member of the court of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians. He  was in charge of all her treasures and had come up to Jerusalem to worship. Now he was returning home, seated in his chariot, and reading from the prophet Isaiah. The Spirit told Philip, “Approach that chariot and stay near it.”

The result of the obedience of Philip is the Ethiopian eunuch, after Philip explained the meaning of the Scriptures to him becomes a believer and is baptized. Then Philip miraculously is transported to another city, as to intensify the action that has taken place and clearly demonstrate this was a supernatural event.  This is documented in Acts 8:38 – 40 where it is written:

               As they were going along the road, they came to some water. The eunuch said, “Look, there’s some water. What keeps me from being baptized?” So he ordered the chariot to stop, and Philip and the eunuch both went down into the water, and Philip baptized him. When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away. The eunuch went on his way rejoicing and did not see Philip again. But Philip found himself at Azotus. As he was passing through that region, he kept proclaiming the good news in all the towns until he came to Caesarea

Another mention of “miracles” by the disciples is in Acts 8:12 – 13 where it is written:

               But when Philip proclaimed the good news about the kingdom of God and about the name of Jesus the Messiah, men and women believed and were baptized. Even Simon believed, and after he was baptized he became devoted to Philip. He was amazed to see the signs and great miracles that were happening.

In this reference it is a disciple known as Philip, who was also a “deacon”, that was known to perform “miracles”. Again the purpose of these “miracles” was to lead to repentance.

There are also “miracles” that are attributed to Paul who was an apostle (Saul of Tarsus). In Acts 19:11 – 12 it is written:

               God continued to do extraordinary miracles through Paul. When handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched his skin were taken to the sick, their diseases left them and evil spirits went out of them.

In this reference the miracle attested to was the transfer of the ability for the expulsion of diseases and evil spirits from an individual that was “gifted” by the Holy Spirit in that area to an inanimate object that provided the same results as if the individual was present. It is to be noted that the “miracle” was not the healing or removal of evil spirits, but the transfer of the ability to perform this from an individual to an inanimate object.

In reference back to the “miracles” that Yeshua (Jesus) performed and that transfer of that ability to the Church Yeshua (Jesus) informs Philip, who was one of the original “apostles”, in John 14:12:

               “Truly, I tell all of you emphatically, the one who believes in me will also do what I am doing.   He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.

It can be concluded that the gift of “miracles” and those gifted in the ability to perform miracles as they are being used as a vessel by the Holy Spirit should be happening in the Church today with its sole purpose to demonstrate the power of God that will lead people to repentance. It must be noted once again, that those gifted in this ability must not draw attention to themselves, but pass all credit and acclaim to the One that actually provides the “miracle”, that is God through the person of the Holy Spirit.

As per usual, and comments or differing viewpoints based on the Scriptures are welcomed and encouraged.

  1. S. Disciple