Category Archives: Spirituality
(Ver 1.4) This is Part 1 in a series of advanced spiritual Bible lessons on the revealed subject of God’s Divine Spiritual Laws, Systems and Legal Proceedings. Are there spiritual laws found in heaven? Is there a heavenly courtroom? Are there trials that have taken place in this heavenly realm? If yes, who is the judge? Who is the one that brings charges and against who are the charges addressed at? There are so many things to learn from the Bible that we will not abe able to answer every question in one Bible study. To attempt to do so would do each answer an injustice.
It has always been my priority to teach what God has given to me for free and give it to others without any charge. If you knew my heart you would understand that I don’t only want to teach you what God has given to me, but I also desire to teach you a better way to study and learn from His glorious Word. Hopefully, the LORD has used me to teach you how to fish for yourself and not just for me to feed you a fish for a single day.
Like many other lessons that I believe the Lord has given to me, today’s Bible lesson should be viewed as a very advanced spiritual topic intended for Christ followers that are fully committed to grow to become a spiritually mature student of God’s Word able to partake of spiritual meat. Please judge if you meet this requirement before continuing to read this lesson further. It is one of my greatest heart’s desires to not offend or cause any newborn or spiritually immature Christian to stumble or fall causing them to depart from the LORD. I believe that the Apostle Paul wrote with this same quality when he said I would have liked to feed you meat but you were unable to receive it and therefore I could only give you milk. Ok that was my paraphrase of 1 Corinthians 3:2. But, I believe the hidden heart of Paul’s message contained in that verse is that of one of his greatest desires for his students to grow up spiritually. I believe Paul desired people to grow up so that they were able to receive a much stronger spiritual message of truth. Then I believe Paul wanted for each of them to go and spread his message from the word of God to others with the same love for people. Please judge for yourself before you continue.
We in the United States have three branches of Government. These three are a Legislative Branch, an Executive Branch and a Judicial Branch. This was the idea framed by our founding fathers of our nation and they were mostly Christians that I believe modeled their government beliefs on God’s Bible principles. I believe this was not by chance or accident but rather by divine design. I believe God placed His hand on their efforts and blessed them to know things way beyond their natural ability.
In this lesson we are going to focus upon God’s Judicial Branch found in heaven and how the earthly U.S. court system is a pattern of that which God originally designed. Maybe you did not realize that God’s heavenly spiritual government (Kingdom) had a Judicial Branch? If you have read the Bible, I am really not sure how this fact has escaped you but if you search for it you will find that it is very true from Genesis to Revelation. For example, in the Bible the LORD God reveals Himself as the Most High Righteous Judge in so many verses. A named existence of a Heavenly Superior Divine Judge implies very strongly that there also must be found present laws, a courtroom, some legal proceedings and rules, lawsuits, trials, a plaintiff or a prosecuting attorney, a defense attorney and a defendant. I will prove to you using the Bible that these all exist in a form or pattern using the Bible. I will also teach you that there are innumerable court cases that are taking place every day including today right this moment while you are reading about them. Wow, that should at least peak your interest a little bit to desire to learn more about God’s revealed truth.
If you have read very much of the Bible you should already know who the Heavenly Judge is and that is certainly the LORD God and Jesus Christ according to Genesis 18:25, Acts 10:42 and Hebrews 12:23 to list just three of many confirming witnesses of truth. But, there are also so many new implied questions that need to be answered. Who is the plaintiff or prosecuting attorney bringing the charges and cases against someone in God’s Court System? I’ll tell you right now it is Satan and I will prove this later in the lesson. Who is the defendant being charged or sued? I’ll tell you up front again that you are the one being charged by Satan and I will prove this with scriptures also. We will also begin to learn about the charges being made to God by Satan. This should interest you because we will learn that it is our human wrong actions here on the earth that open the door for Satan to bring a lawsuit against us.
Is there a defense attorney in this trial? If so, who is the defense lawyer in the case? I’ll tell you right now we have access to a legal defense team ever since the LORD Jesus Christ died and was resurrected from the dead. You can be introduced to this part of the message by reading an older Bible lesson that I wrote called “Understanding How to Make Jesus Your Legal Advocate Right Now”.
I’m sure you must be asking “How can there ever be a spiritual case of law being brought into a heavenly trial to be heard by God for a Christian if Jesus has truly paid for every sin that we have ever committed or could ever commit in the future?” Many would say “I thought we were not under law but under grace therefore can there really be a spiritual trial now before we die?” Others ask the question “I thought the only judgment was after we die according to Hebrews 9:27?” We know from reading the end of Revelation that there will be a Great White throne Judgment but I believe that there are also other named judgments that will occur after death and even now before death. If there is a judgment that can take place before we die, “What could be the charge brought against a forgiven saved Christian?” These are complex deep questions to answer and God gives us the revelations in the Bible if we dig for them and find them. Seek and you will find, knock and it will be opened to you and ask and it will be answered (Mat 7:7).
This Bible lesson is a response to a question raised by a good reader doing their homework. They asked the question concerning a message being taught within certain churches that appear to conflict with what is taught in other areas of the Bible. The controversy comes from a modern extreme Grace teaching that is being taught that since Jesus paid for all of our sins, past, present and future there are no longer any consequences for committing any sin or any need to ask for any future forgiveness of a sin. In other words sin is presented to be harmless without any negative penalties. In fact at least one very popular grace preacher teaches we do not even need to ask for forgiveness for any sin and they explain away 1 John 1:9 using illogical natural human reasoning to be written to only unbelievers. But this is certainly not what the Lord has taught me about a better way of Bible interpretation and more specifically sin. This Bible study series will address this topic using several ignored scriptures that must be balanced with the doctrine being misrepresented by some extreme unnamed grace teachers.
You see I do certainly believe that Jesus died once for all sin that has ever been committed, is being perpetrated today and will occur tomorrow. We know this truth from verses like Romans 6:10, 2 Corinthians 5:14 and Hebrews 10:10 to name a few foundational truths on this subject of the comprehensive power of the blood sacrifice of the Lord Jesus. I will say it again for emphasis, I am a very firm believer that there was one sacrifice for every human sin and no further sacrifice was or is necessary. However, we cannot ignore other verses that declare very plainly that the sin of even Christians can still have some major potential consequences. Please do not misunderstand what I am teaching. I am not saying every little sin we commit can cause something significantly bad to occur nor am I teaching that a Christian can lose their salvation by committing a sin. But, I am definitely teaching that Satan is looking at each of our lives very closely to gain an access and entry into our lives to kill, steal or destroy us (John 10:10). That is exactly what we will learn next.
SATAN IS SEARCHING FOR A LEGAL WAY IN
There is another part of the extreme Grace message that must be addressed immediately. While it is true that Satan was defeated by the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus, it does not mean that he is not presently trying everything in his power (and he is still very powerful) to get you to fall away from Jesus or not produce any savable fruit to be harvested by Jesus. We need to study the parable of the sower and I wrote about this awhile back so I will not repeat it all here again. Just understand that every soil type in the parable “heard” the word of God and only one group produced any harvestable fruit. Satan successfully destroyed the harvest in every other soil type. Satan desires access into our lives after we hear the Gospel and are saved by believing, accepting and confessing Jesus as our LORD (Romans 10:9-10). There must be some insight given by God that shows us what grants Satan access to be victorious over some and not over others. We could talk about this a long time but we need to get to one of the foundational verses for the lesson:
1Pe 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
We are starting with a verse that was written directly to “saved born-again” Christians. I take this verse personally as an inspired word of warning written to me and so should you. It is so very clear to me that Satan desires to devour every Christian but can’t. What is it that allows Satan access to attack some Christians and not others? If you do not believe you can do anything to grant or permit the devil access into your life to devour, you have definitely been deceived by an extreme grace teacher. It would be very stupid for the LORD God to inspire Bible writers to warn us about something that could not occur and God is not stupid!
I am now going to begin to introduce you to God’s heavenly court system. There are four main participants in every court case. Those that are the accused can also be known as a defendant, the defense attorney may be present, the prosecutor also known as the plaintiff and then the Judge. Many know of these truths better than others. But, these are the basic main participants of every trial in this natural world and these are all parallel truths for the divine heavenly court cases going on today also.
Notice what I just said. I said this is happening everyday of your life here on the earth. I say this because I believe that every day Satan is looking (seeking, searching and plotting to gain access) using a legal charge to accuse and condemn us with. I want to go back to 1 Peter 5:8 and give you one of the key words that will help us verify one of the key principles that I am teaching. The primary word is “adversary”. This Greek word is G476 and it literally means “your opponent in a court trial”. According to this verse Satan is bringing a legal lawsuit before God on a daily basis in order to gain access to someone (even a Christian) to devour them. What this verse implies is that God must judge the “access demand” to be just in order for Satan’s entry to be legal. Wow, that does not sit well with a lot of modern extreme grace teachers. But, I’m sorry it is what the Bible says, not me.
This Greek word G476 translated as “adversary” occurs in the New Testament only in four verses and it is always applicable to a legal battle between two opponents in a court of law. You may look up these verses to verify these truths by reading verses in Matthew 5:25, Luke 12:58 and Luke 18:3. In every case there is a stated defendant, an adversary and a judge. While there is no legal counsel it may be assumed or implied based upon our knowledge of how natural court cases transpire. We will look deeper to verify the identities of the spiritual participants in God’s heavenly court cases very shortly. But, please understand that God’s word selection of G476 establishes a direct word and subject association to a court trial case that must also be occurring in 1 Peter 5:8 and this is a very critical lesson to learn and apply in a better way of Bible interpretation. See how a word selected by God is used in other verses and it will help to establish the definition in the verse in question.
Based upon 1 Peter 5:8 we can learn by implied reference who the defendant is and who the plaintiff is. Since the verse was a written warning to us in the church, that makes Christians the direct implied defendant being charged. We then can certainly see very plainly that since the devil is stated to be our “adversary” we know clearly that he is the one bringing the case before the Judge. Therefore, the case is being brought up before the implied Judge (God) by Satan in order to accuse us and gain access to attack us.
Let’s get another verse to help us verify this truth. After all God instructs us to use the mouth of two or three witnesses to establish every truth which is another best practice to correctly interpret the Bible. Again this truth must be occurring in a judicial spiritual courtroom before God the Spiritual Judge. I believe that God will always require at least two witnesses to establish every case truth. Please turn in your Bibles and read the following verse found in the Book of Revelation:
Rev 12:10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
Wow, this verse is of such great significance to our Bible subject that I cannot emphasize it strongly enough. I would like to begin by stating the fact that this verse is a future prophecy that has not yet occurred. We know this by the fact that God tells the author John in Revelation 4:1 to come up to heaven in order to be shown things that will occur in the future. I am a firm believer that everything in Revelation 4 to the end of the book is future prophetic statements that have not yet occurred. I also believe that they are written in Chronological order of occurrence. Therefore, since Revelation 4 through 11 has not occurred Revelation 12 has also not occurred.
What does this verse say? We must really read the context in order to discover the true identity of one of the central figures being named and discussed in this verse. We can read back a few verses in Revelation 12: 7 to begin to learn that Satan is also called the ancient serpent and the great dragon as figuratively speaking titles. Satan has also just been cast down out of heaven after a significant spiritual war. Let’s read these verses to verify where Satan will be cast out of. Turn in your Bible and begin reading with verse 7 to get the more complete revelation of what is going to occur very soon:
Rev 12:7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
Rev 12:8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
Rev 12:9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
Here are the future prophesied facts given to us by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. First, a spiritual war will occur. It is definitely a spiritual battle and not a natural conflict. Second, the participants of the war are spiritual beings. There is Michael and his angels defending heaven against the dragon (Satan) and his angels attacking heaven. Third, Satan and his angels lose the battle. Fourth, God states that Satan has ONLY NOW lost his place (right and ability) to enter back into heaven ever again in verse 8. What does this teach us? Verses 7 and 8 are teaching us by implied truth that before this event occurs Satan HAD FULL ACCESS and the ability to come and go from and to heaven any time that he wanted. Why do you think this was granted? I personally believe it is because of two main factors. The first factor is that God is just and that God must honor His Word. I believe we are about to learn more by a deeper study that the access granted was for the purpose of putting God’s people aka. Christians on trial.
We now should know that Satan had access into heaven very clearly from the statements found in verses 7 through 10. Now, look at what Satan is called in verse 10. Satan is referred directly by the Word of God to be the “accuser”. In fact the name Satan literally means “adversary”. Remember that “adversary” means “your legal opponent in a law case” and this firmly connects us back to 1 Peter 5:8. The Greek word translated as “accuser” is a very synonymous legal title to “adversary”. An accuser (Greek word G2725) is literally defined by Strong’s as someone that brings a compliant of law before a judge to gain an advantage over an opponent. I added the last part of that definition simply because that is what is being implied by the definition. Why would Satan come up to heaven before the LORD GOD’s court to accuse a “brother” in Christ? It would be extremely wise to give that question a lot of thought before answering quickly.
I believe God is telling us from verse 10 of Revelation 12 that Satan came up to heaven before Him both night and day to bring up complaints and charges against the people of God. We learn this truth by applying the key word “Brethren” to make it personal to Christians in the family of Jesus Christ. The Greek word translated as “brethren” is found over 300 times in the N.T. It can be used for natural or spiritual brothers. But, we use the context to understand that it must be “spiritual brothers” because everything else in the chapter appears to use natural symbols to point us to spiritual truths. I can see this and I pray you can also. You can search your Bible for G80 to learn how Paul and other N.T. writers applied this term “brethren” to the church family members.
Brethren here in this verse 10 must also be interpreted as those that are still living here on the earth since Satan was just thrown down form the spiritual realm of heaven back to the earth in a great fury of rage to wage war against those still not in heaven. I understand that there will be a lot of people that call themselves Christians that will not agree with what the Lord is teaching us here today. But, I’m not responsible to make anyone believe the Bible. All that any teacher can do is to present the facts given and then let the reader decide what they wish to believe for themselves.
While we are on verse 10 of Revelation 12 we must see and learn the second legal word term being mentioned. This term is the Greek word G2723 that was translated as “accused”. Let me review the part of the verse statement that I wish to emphasize. God says here “which accused them before God day and night”. Wow, this is critical to understand. This Greek word G2723 literally means “to be a plaintiff” in a court case. This word plainly means to bring a charge of offence/crime against a defendant. This is clearly describing spiritual court cases that were taking place 24 hours a day where God was the stated judge, Christians were the stated defendants and Satan was the stated plaintiff bringing the charges. All of this legal activity stops after Revelation 12. According to Revelation 12 these spiritual court cases do not cease until half of the tribulation’s seven years have gone by. That literally verifies to us that they are happening right now as you are reading this lesson believe it or not.
BIBLE EXAMPLES OF SPIRITUAL TRIALS
I will end this lesson today with three examples of spiritual trials that have taken place. The first one is a trial that occurred before Jesus was ever born on the earth. I am talking about a trial that is found in the oldest book of the Bible, the book of Job. The story of Job probably occurred way over 4000 years ago. My best guess would be sometime after Noah and before Abraham.
I am not going to go through every verse that I could, but I would recommend that you go and reread Job chapter 1 using the information we have learned in this lesson so far to verify that this is an example of a literal court case being waged against Job a righteous man. In fact it would be good to read the entire book of Job looking at it from a legal court perspective.
This case is being brought before God by Satan who is bringing charges up against him to the Judge. We learn by reading Job 1:6 that the trial definitely takes place in heaven as we have learned he had access to heaven from reading Revelation 12. Satan appears before God and the omniscient Judge asks him two questions. The first question in verse 7 is where have you come from? You know God knows the answer but he asks the question for our benefit to connect us directly with vital information found in 1 Peter 5:8. Remember what this verse said? Satan answers the question truthfully and states he has just come from going to and fro in the earth. Do you now see the direct connection to 1 Peter 5:8? Your adversary the devil (Satan) goes about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. God is giving us direct connected insight into Job’s court case by connecting us with a verse that helps us to understand the legal procedure taking place in heaven.
The second question asked by God to Satan was “Have you considered my servant Job”. Omniscient God understands that Job was why Satan came up to heaven to start this court case. Satan then asks God a question “Does Job fear God for nothing?” This is the beginning of Satan’s introductory opening statement for his case against Job. Any way I am not going to go through this all in depth in this lesson . But, please understand and apply what we have learned from 1 Peter 5;8 and Revelation 12. “Your adversary the devil goes about the earth like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour” and “Satan accused them before God night and day”.
We also learn from reading and studying Job that God informs Satan that he has access to devour Job (all that he has is in your power Job 1:12) and this is what proves that Satan won that court case. Satan obviously has found someone that is able to be devoured.
Satan then goes about Job’s life and kills, steals and destroys a great portion of his family and possessions. It was a very clear victorious court case won by the devil over a righteous man on the earth.
But, what won the case for Satan? I will let you into a couple of significant clues to why the court case was easily won by Satan. There are at least two major things that Job did to open the door in the hedge of protection that God had placed around him. First, it says in Job 3:25 that Job said “the thing that I greatly feared has come upon me”. This verse informs us of the presence of “fear” in Job’s heart and it was this spirit of fear that helps open the door for Satan to win a case against him. Fear is the opposite spiritual force of faith and without faith it is absolutely impossible to please God (Heb 11:6). Therefore, fear is not a connecting force to God but it must be considered an attracting force of Satan.
The second mistake Job made was pride. The Bible says that God resists the proud but gives grace unto the humble (James 4:6). If you read the book of Job you will find that Job was found guilty of judging God and judging others (his friends) without sufficient knowledge to do either. We should be able to understand that judging others and God is a clear sign of pride. Job spoke many things that he was later rebuke by God for saying.
We learn these truths by reading the rest of the book of Job where he is speaking to his friends and later when God speaks to him. Notice in Job 38:2 that God asks Job a question “Who is this that darkens counsel with words without knowledge?” Here is a very good verse that informs us of another legal term. A “Counselor” can be applied to a person of law or legal advice in a courtroom trial. Perhaps you have seen this before. What I am trying to say here is that words spoken in judgment of others without full knowledge can be an access point for Satan to win a judgment against you.
I have said enough about Job to get you started. Now, let’s go read another example court case that transpired only about 2000 years ago.
The second spiritual trial that I want to point out from the Bible occurs while Jesus walked the face of the earth in the flesh with His 12 disciples about 2000 years ago. We will begin reading in Luke 22 and verse 31:
Luk 22:31 And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:
Reading only the English language translation we miss so very much of the stated truth. Jesus is talking directly to Peter and calls him by name twice to emphasize the critical importance of the next statement to follow. Satan as we learned from Revelation 12 and 1 Peter 5 was the direct adversary seeking access by legal complaint against the human Peter in this case. Therefore, we understand that Satan is the plaintiff in this statement of Jesus. The key word that must be examined with deeper understanding is the Greek word G1809 and it is incorrectly translated as “desired” in this verse. While it is true that Satan desires to get to us all but that is not what the Greek word that was selected and written was intended to have been spoken by Jesus. This Greek word literally means “to demand for trial”. Jesus is warning Peter that he has done something that Satan believes gives him access to sift him like wheat. Perhaps you should do a little research about how wheat is sifted. Sifting of wheat is definitely not a nonviolent or peaceful act. Anyone sifting wheat represents someone using their power, ability and force over the wheat being sifted to remove some good from the bad. It would be good to learn more about this but that is not my primary subject. I just want us to focus on the legal issues that must have occurred to give Satan the right to “demand” by a trial to have access to Peter’s life. But, we later learn after this verse that Jesus (Peter’s implied attorney) prayed that Peter’s faith would not fail. This does not mean that the sifting would not take place it only means Jesus asked the Father to help Peter come through the trial’s verdict being rendered. It would be great to go and study more about what Peter may have done to be sifted but I don’t really have the time in this lesson.
A MODERN DAY TRIAL
I am not able to go into every sin that a person can commit in order to be bought into spiritual court by Satan the accuser but I will end this part of the lesson with a third true life firsthand experience of this reality that I experienced a few years ago. This testimony concerns the life of my father. I learned of it by living it and hearing from others about it and I trust the testimony of those witnesses that have shared it with me. My father was a pastor for several years. I grew up attending his churches and hearing him preach his sermons.
My father was going to his second Bible school to learn and expand his knowledge of God and the Bible by attending good classes with great teachers. In his second year of this Bible school attendance in the first semester, he was sitting and taking notes when suddenly the man of God giving the lesson stopped and looked right at my father. God was giving the instructor a vision of a great dark cloud resting above the head of my father. The instructor knew from experience what this meant. He knew it was a death cloud that was warning my father that he would die soon. The Bible instructor called my father to the front of the class before all the other students. He put his hand on him and rebuked death and prayed for him. But, the instructor then asked my father to come see him privately so that he could share what else the LORD had given to him in his warning. I was not present when all of this occurred but my mother was in the class and she is one of the primary witnesses to the story and my mother was not a liar. She recounted this testimony after my father died.
I guess you already know that my father did not ever go and see the Bible teacher in private to hear the rest of the warning message from the LORD. A couple of months later my father had a stroke and was carried unconscious in an ambulance to a local hospital. My brother was home when all of this happened and he can testify to the truth of this part of the story. My father died a few days later after being transported. He never regained consciousness. He died like the Bible teacher warned he would.
The Bible teacher performed the funeral for my father and after the funeral my mother learned the rest of the message directly from the teacher that prayed for him. The Bible teacher informed my mother that God had told him to warn my father about his love walk with people. I should rather say that it was a lack of his love that concerned him more. Jesus gave us in the church a new commandment of LOVE and this is one way that Satan gained access into killing my father through his disobedience. I believe very firmly that because my father was not walking in love towards others that Satan brought him up on trial. I believe very firmly based upon spiritual laws that God tried to warn my father by even giving someone a vision of what was about to happen even before it happened. Like the prophet that warned the king in the Old Testament to get his house in order for you shall surely die, the same occurred for my father. However, the king in the Old Testament repented and prayed and he was granted more years on the earth. I believe this was what was happening with my father also. If he had repented and changed he might have lived a much longer life.
But, my father did not cooperate or may not have believed the warning or may have even wanted to go ahead and die. We don’t know the reason why he did nothing to prevent Satan’s attack. But that is what happened to him. The thief came into his life and killed my father just as John 10:10 states.
There was also another door that my parents opened to allow Satan access into their lives in this spiritual court case. After they were first married and before I was born, they went to a fair where they were just having fun. They ran across a fortune teller/palm reader tent and went in to play Satan’s deceptive game in ignorance. The fortune teller informed my mother that she had a long life line and would live a long time on the earth, but when she looked at my father’s hand she told him he would die young. I believe this foolish act set spiritual laws into motion and gave Satan a plot and a plan to bring up before God in my father’s trial. Had my father not gone into the fortune teller based upon his knowledge of God’s word this may have changed his life significantly. Had he rebuked the words spoken over him this may have also changed his life significantly. But doing nothing is certainly the worst option that anyone can choose. My mother informed me of all this after my father had died.
My father was barely 44 years old when he died. My mother lived to the age of 80 and the palm reader’s words both came true. Become aware of the things that can open the door for Satan before it is too late. Dabbling in the occult, fortune tellers, Ouija boards and the like, I believe opens the door for Satan to bring you before God’s court system. Spiritual laws are put into motion by words spoken by us, over us or about us. I believe that if we do not renounce them and rebuke them they will become seeds that grow and produce thorns and thistles in our lives.
Psa 43:1 Judge me, O God, and plead my cause against an ungodly nation: O deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man.
This was only a basic overview and introduction of a much deeper subject. There are many other things to learn on this subject of God’s divine justice system. I do appreciate your time in reading and studying the Bible on this website. There are many other lessons that can be freely accessed by searching or clicking on topics and dates. May God bless and keep you until the return of our LORD and Savior Jesus Christ.
If you would like to continue reading in this series you may click here for “Part 2“.
(Ver 1.2) Today’s lesson is Part 2 in an advanced Bible study series about one of the most potentially controversial subjects in the New Testament Bible of “Understanding the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and Speaking in Tongues”. If you read the first lesson then you already understand that these lessons will be very different types of Bible teachings than what you might have expected when you started reading. However, I believe that the first lesson was a really good introduction to the topics and that it was certainly firmly based upon what the Bible says on the subjects. If you did not get to read Part 1, I would highly recommend that you go back and start there because it contains the basic foundational information for everything else that comes after it. To ignore it, would be like someone attempting to take a very advanced math course in college without first sitting through the basic math course prerequisites. I guess you can tell that it has been a long time since I posted any Bible lessons. I would love to tell you that I was on vacation, but that would not be correct. Satan has been attacking my family for the past several months in many new creative ways. I guess Satan is just not happy with anyone sharing the Gospel truth for free to everyone on the internet. Some people think that ministers of the Gospel never have any problems but that is not Biblical. Paul was beaten five times with 40 – 1 lashes, three times he was beaten with rods, once he was stoned, was in ship wrecks 3 times and on and on I could go. A real minister’s life is not a life free from opposition. Satan is still alive and well in the world trying to kill us all. I would appreciate your prayers whenever the Lord places us upon your mind. I greatly appreciate your efforts in Bible study and the loyal time that you spend reading my website. Thank you for everything!
In the first lesson I introduced the subject by providing some very straightforward definitions for the Greek words “tongues” and “baptism” and introduced some brand new Bible study concepts and methods on how to approach the subject research. I have attempted to outline that the steps for correct Bible study is like solving a very complex jigsaw puzzle with a sequence of logical phases and processes to follow and I really hope that everyone fully grasped those concepts. I continued this Bible study by searching for every occurrence of the Greek word G1100 translated as the English word “tongues” and I believe that this is always an important first step to any Bible Study. Then I analyzed the information given in each of these verses within their context of the surrounding verses to learn what they say and how they apply. I know I did not include every one of those 47 verses in that first lesson, but that would have caused me to write an entire literal book in one Bible lesson and that lesson was already the longest lesson that I have ever done on this site. Fortunately 47 verses are not very many verses to read and to study and we will get to several more of these verses as we continue later in this series. Today’s lesson will be a more in-depth study of the subject verses found in the first two chapters of Acts along with several new verses on the subjects from other books of the Bible in the New Testament.
The key to understanding any subject in the Bible is always dependent upon us searching, finding, reading, assembling and studying every verse in the Bible that contains it, references it, describes it, defines it, or even implies it indirectly. I call this becoming a Sherlock Holmes type of Bible study Christian. This change in attitude to become a Bible detective causes us to look for every hidden clue in every verse that we can find. It causes us to have to assemble all of the facts and then to put them together correctly like the puzzle. It is a very complex and detailed oriented approach to try to see everything that God has revealed in His Word and this is why so many fail to understand the Bible. If we do not make this type of diligent search effort to perform these detailed study discovery steps, we will end up with a very limited scope of selective theological knowledge based more upon our human ignorance of the subject rather than on the full revealed truth of God’s Word. Limited knowledge of any subject in the Bible is a basic reality for every Bible student both novice or experienced. I heard this analogy of the Bible the other day and it warrants repeating in this lesson. The Bible is not a book of word trail mix that we can select from and eat only the words that we like and then ignore the words that we do not care for or do not want to believe in. This is why it is essential to learn to eat the entire package of God’s word. You still can only do this by taking one bite at a time.
We all begin to study the Bible because we desire to overcome our human ignorance. The primary problem with having limited knowledge is that this will always result in a discriminatory doctrinal teaching that lacks the important completeness and uniform scriptural balance of the subjects. If anyone of us knew everything in the Bible on a specific subject we would not need the Bible, Bible teachers or the Holy Spirit to help guide us into knowing His wonderful truth. Only after learning the whole truth can we eliminate our ignorance enough to understand a subject but until then we all still need to study to find some more clues to munch on. Do you desire to become a true Bible study detective? I hope that you do! Taste and see that the Lord is good. Let me go through one more analogy of Bible study before we get into the subjects of “tongues” and “baptism”.
Learning the truth is comparable to climbing a very tall mountain like Mt Everest. We all start out at the same bottom ground level of Truth Mountain in absolute ignorance not knowing anything about what waits ahead of us to learn or how difficult the climb might become. As the Holy Spirit guides us up the mountain side and we study to learn the subject, we are attempting to rise to the higher informed spiritual level of the information presented. This is what God calls “renewing your mind” (Eph 4:23) with a new spiritual perspective of how God understands the subjects. Mind renewal is nothing but a transformation from your old carnal way of thinking to see the spiritual point of view of God’s hidden information. We will all struggle during the climb and each will need to possess spiritual, mental and physical endurance in order to climb this complex truth mountain; taking it step by step learning every new fact that we can grasp. If we do not tire or give up and quit along the way simply because we think that we have arrived at all of the truth that we need to know, then we will all eventually rise to reach the summit peak of truth and thus for the first time achieve the same uniform complete view of the entire subject. Until we all reach this summit peak of complete knowledge and understanding, we each will have our own limited perspective view of the subject from the side of the mountain that we have chosen or were hopefully led to climb up on. This is exactly why there are currently thousands of Christian denominations today in the world with every one of them disagreeing with the others on the opposing sides of the mountain. Each denomination has climbed up only part of the way on their side of the mountain of truth leaving them in an incomplete viewing position and many have stopped moving forward and upward to see any other new perspectives on the subject. Still others like myself continue to climb and learn and we will become the ones that will know the truth and this knowledge of the truth will be what sets us free (John 8:32). I also believe that this is why we need to extend some love and mercy for those that do not see the same verses of truth exactly like we do. It could be that they just need to rise higher to see our viewpoint or it could be we need to rise higher to see their view point, so it does not do any good to criticize them or call them liars because that only reflects upon our own ignorance and our own lack of arriving at the summit peak. Many Christians are doing the best that they know how with their limited knowledge. I just wish we would all keep climbing.
During this Bible study I have been attempting to teach you my Bible study techniques while I am teaching the subjects. I call this my attempt at teaching you how to fish rather than just giving you a one-time fish dinner to eat. This makes my teaching job considerably more challenging but I believe it will be a worthwhile endeavor for both us. It is funny that this approach to teaching will eventually put me out of a job. If I give you all of my secrets, methods and techniques you will be able to do exactly what I do using the same approaches. However, God told me “freely you have received therefore freely give” (Mat 10:8) so that is what I am doing. I am withholding no secrets, no hidden techniques or any hidden methods. The only thing that I cannot teach you is what I have learned from over 20 years of experience. I can however teach you some of my mistakes and help you not to do likewise. After you learn how I study the Bible you should become a very similar clone Bible teacher applying your personality to it and together we can all reach the world with God’s Word.
CONTINUING THE STUDY OF BAPTISM AND TONGUES
The two primary keywords that initiated the study were “baptism” (G908) and “tongues” (G1100). From these two direct words, I showed you that there are other related words such as “baptize”, “baptized”, “baptizes”, “mouth”, “languages”, “lips”, “sounds” and some other variations of synonyms of the base form of these words that also need to be included in the complete search. I further said that baptism implies water, emersion and I linked in several other concepts like rivers that also should be included in the complete study. I believe that as we find these related verses containing these subjects we will observe still other related keywords that are also important to include in the study in order to understand their association to the primary subjects. For example, we talked about the subject of fire in the last lesson and we will definitely expand on that subject in more depth today in this lesson.
I want to re-emphasize that we cannot always depend upon the English translations of words to relate two verses together. When I search the Bible I many times start with the English words just to find a verse but then I usually switch and continue the search for related verses using the original Hebrew or Greek words. As I stated in the first lesson, some Greek and Hebrew words are translated into many different English words. Some different Greek and Hebrew words are translated into the same English word. God chose specific words for very specific reasons. Every word found in scripture is not placed into the verse by accident, chance or by human selection. We must view every scripture as the inspired Words from God given to man for a direct purpose. Then we need to find what the purpose was for that word to be placed into the verse. It sounds easy but it can get rather difficult.
This next part of the lesson might be a partial review of several points in the first lesson, but I believe they are essential to understand so I wanted to go through them with some new subject emphasis. As part of this review process I want to explore the main subject verses found in Acts 1 and 2 again to point out what else we need to know from them since this was the beginning of the church age and the first manifestation of a brand new type of Spiritual Baptism sent down from heaven and the first major spiritual experience poured out upon the entire church. The primary goal of this part of the study will be the accumulation of all of the important scriptural facts (clues) on the subjects of tongues and spiritual baptism. Let’s start with Acts 1:4:
Act 1:4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.
Act 1:5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.
Here we have Jesus directly speaking to us in the church, so this is very important information. Jesus begins by telling us that this is the “promise” of the Father that He has told us about. Right there we understand that this was a previously prophesied future event written from a long time ago based upon Amos 3:7. God says in Amos 3:7 that nothing will be done without Him first revealing it to His prophets. That would actually be a great study to do. Where, was this promised spiritual event prophesied and how did God state it so that it was not clearly presented or understood by the casual reader. Did you notice that Jesus had to tell them about it and describe it to them in order for it to be understood? Did you ever ask yourself how did John the Baptist know about this coming spiritual baptism and the disciple understudies of Jesus did not? Clearly John must have known based upon something that the Spirit of God had shown him that was written in the Old Testament. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that Jesus ever told John about this fire from heaven that was to come. You can however find verses that the Spirit of God filled the mother of John when he was still in his mother’s womb (Luke 1:15 & 41). Remember what I just said, because this is where we will be going later in this lesson.
This is a very good time to stop and ask why? Why, was it necessary for Jesus to tell us what was written? Why could it not be read by anyone directly in the O.T. and automatically understood by everyone? According to things like this found in the Bible, we can easily see that people really do not have much of an understanding about what the O.T. is about, do they? Jesus told the Jews to search their scriptures for in them they believed they had eternal life but then He said these are those that testify of me (John 5:39)! Why didn’t they already know this? Can’t they read? They had most of these O.T. books for 1500 years. What Jesus was saying to them, is that I’m found there but I’m hidden and you will not locate me unless you search for me diligently. Uh oh, here comes the stated need for us all to become the Sherlock Holmes type of Christian again. This concept pattern is repeated for every spiritual truth and subject in the O.T. None of them are self-evidently presented so that they can be understood by the unsaved reader, the casual reader or the natural mind unless God opens it up to them for them to see it and God does do this if their hearts are honest in their intentions to know Him like John the Baptist.
In verse 5 Jesus contrasts two different types of baptism truths using this one statement. I know I introduced you to this concept in lesson 1, but this is so critical that I’m going to say it again. Discovering spiritual things correctly in the Bible is the greatest stumbling block to carnal minds. Jesus just clearly stated that there are two revealed kinds or types of baptism found in the scriptures. Which one God is speaking of where is one of the greatest challenges to rightly dividing the Word of Truth? I’d like to say this as gently as possible. This is one of the greatest reasons why people do not understand things in the Bible correctly. God calls several different things by the same name and that makes them significantly difficult to separate. For example, if you have read my other lessons you already know that there are three separate distinct cities named “Jerusalem”. The name Jerusalem occurs in around 767 verses of the Bible. How do you know which Jerusalem that God is speaking of by reading any one verse? One Jerusalem is a natural earthly city in the Middle East. One Jerusalem is a heavenly spiritual city where the throne of God is located. Still another coming New Jerusalem is both of the other two cities combined into one new one. Multiple cities named Jerusalem makes it very complex to determine the correct city being spoken of when reading any isolated verse. I do not have the time to explain this, so if you want to learn about this concept more completely go and read the Bible lessons on “Hiding the Truth in Plain Sight” and the “Spiritual Family of God” to help get you started.
This information from Jesus in Acts is some of the most important that you can find on this subject of baptism because He is revealing the existence and the difference between two opposing realities of truth. One baptism truth was described as John’s natural water and the other baptism of truth being the promise of the Holy Spirit’s baptism where there is no natural physical water substance present. Clearly they are not the same and clearly what was coming is greater than what has already been in the past. Both are named types of “baptism” and that is the challenge that most face with their incorrect interpretations thinking only naturally ignoring the greater spiritual side of the truth. We cannot fail to understand the spiritual truth and continue to believe that the natural truth will save us. I know a lot of people that are heavily focused in on the natural truths and almost completely blind to the spiritual truths of the Bible. From these two verses we have the following basic facts given:
- This was a commandment directly from the mouth of God spoken to the church.
- This spiritual baptism was a hidden O.T. promise of God in Heaven for His N.T. people.
- The Spirit of God will be the one that baptizes us and not any human man.
- This Spiritual baptism is not a water baptism but it is still called by the same name.
- The Spiritual is clearly greater than the former water baptism experience and contains implied supersession.
- At the time of this spoken statement by Jesus no one being spoken to had yet experienced this type of baptism before since they were required to wait for it in Jerusalem.
Reading down in chapter 1 you will see some more important information about this coming event. Jesus stops to answer an unrelated question from his naturally thinking disciples in verses 6 and 7 but then He continues in verse 8 to tell them about the coming spiritual baptism that He needed to speak of:
Act 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
Here is another key verse with very specific instructions. Jesus made four important points here and I’ll start with the third point first. Jesus said to them “after the Holy Spirit comes upon you”. This means that they had not already had this experience even though Jesus had already breathed on each of them and told them to receive the Holy Spirit in John 20:22. Therefore this is further confirmation that this is something brand new that had not ever been given to them before. Then notice the part of the phrase that says “come upon you”. That is directly and inversely not an entering into them. Do you understand the difference between drinking water and wearing water? That is exactly what is being stated here. I’ll talk about this a little more in a bit, but just take note of the stated detail fact here.
Let’s back up to the first significant point in this verse. Jesus begins the statement by saying “you will receive”. Receiving is the correct counter action response to someone giving you something good like a valuable gift. If there is no willing giver or good gift then there is no need for any receiving action. What if I handed you a rattle snake and said this is for you. If you do not like snakes then that is nothing that you will want to receive. Therefore Jesus has just implied that this gift from God is worth you receiving and thus a very good gift from God. Wow I believe that was worth you reading the entire lesson for if you have never received this experience.
What if the giver does not give you a choice but to receive? Can the gift given still be “you receiving it”? I do not see how this is possible, any gift must be freely given and freely received or it becomes an act of forced acceptance. Therefore God must be the one that is going to freely give us the gift and we must be the ones that freely receive this good gift. This statement from Jesus presents both a personalization for the gift and accountability to receive the gift. In other words this gift is for me personally if I choose to accept it. There are always at least three possible responses to every free good gift that is presented to you. 1). You can receive it gratefully, enjoy and use it, 2). you can receive it reluctantly, not being impressed and not use it, or 3). you can simply ignore it, walk away and not accept it all. The attitude of the precipitant will always matter in any gift exchange. The gifts from the Holy Spirit are also this way in your life today. Evaluate your attitude and check up on what you think about the gift that God is offering you before you walk away or receive it.
This statement “you will receive” is an example displaying God’s infinite loving character and divine nature. God does not ever force a man or a woman to take what He has freely given to them as a gift from His divine sovereign grace. Forced gifts are never actually true gifts. I think you understand that don’t you? Obamacare in the U.S. is nothing but the forced gift of health care whether you want it or not, can afford it or not and that is not a freewill choice of any American to receive it as a free good gift. Salvation is a free gift from God presented to all of humanity that can be freely rejected by anyone in that group. In order for a person to be saved, that gift of free salvation must be freely received to make it effective. If you have not received salvation the Bible way, then you are not saved. In other words, you have a major answerable part to play in order to possess the spiritual gifts of God. The gift of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is this exact same way. God’s Spiritual Baptism, if not received by the saved Christian will also be easily missed.
I would highly recommend that you go and read the Strong’s definition for the Greek word (G2983) translated as “receive”. The definition for this powerful word literally means “to take” or “to get hold of”. Both of these definitions denote personal actions that are required for possession to become effective. It would be like me placing a package on the table and saying this gift is for you. You are now required to come, take hold of it, open it and possess it. If you choose to walk away from it instead then the gift is not known to you and you will do without. Therefore the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is not an automatic event that God is responsible for making happen in a Christian’s life. If you want this gift you have something to do to get it or take it.
Here is the time for the second point in Acts 1:8, which is also critical to understand. Jesus said after the Holy Ghost comes upon you and you receive (take hold of) Him, He will give you a new never before possessed power from on high. Without the baptism of the Holy Spirit there is no significant power of God in a believer’s life to help change them or to help others. Without this power people are easily influenced, swayed, deceived, defeated and controlled by the devil. This power from God is critical to have as a Christian. Without the power of God, you are a natural human working in only your own ability and no match for Satan and his abilities. Let’s study the Greek word dunamis (G1411) that is translated as “power” in this verse. We get our English word “dynamite” from this Greek word. This Greek word has the meaning of “force”, “mighty work” and “ability”. It can also mean “miraculous power” which is always greater than natural power. It gives us the implied meaning that this is how miracles from God can occur. That makes perfect logical sense to me since this is a spiritual gift from God’s Holy Spirit who is all powerful and omnipotent. Are you lacking the power of God to help people? If you are you need this gift immediately.
Now we get to point 4 from Jesus, the reason for God giving us this power and I already implied it in a preceding statement. Jesus said with this newly acquired power, you will become my witnesses in the whole earth. The antithesis truth would be “without this power you will not be able to witness to anyone”. Now do you see why I said you will not be able to fully help other people see the truth without first receiving this gift from God? You see this gift of spiritual baptism is a partnership arrangement where God’s Spirit works in us and through us to help the people in the world to see the truth. Every preacher of God needs this gift or they are going to fail. Every Bible teacher of God needs this gift or they will have nothing of value to say. Every evangelist of God needs this gift or they will not reach the world. I’ll go one further and say every believer in Christ needs this gift or they can fail to overcome the enemy. So let’s recap the major points from verse 8:
- The Holy Spirit’s Baptism must be received (taken) by the Christian or they will never possess it.
- The Holy Spirit Baptism is a separately received experience from the initial believer’s experience of being born again of the Spirit of God.
- The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is a very good gift worth receiving.
- The Holy Spirit’s Baptism is an external coming upon of His Spirit as opposed to the entrance within the spirit of man experience at the New Birth.
- After being baptized with the Holy Spirit a Christian will receive “power” (ability to do miracles) from God.
- This power is not natural or physical power but rather God’s spiritual power.
- The primary reason for God giving us this gift was so that after receiving this power from God people could become God’s “witnesses” to every nation.
- Therefore the number one reason for the baptism of the Holy Spirit is for you to bring the light of the Gospel and God’s power to get people saved and delivered from this world of darkness.
All of this that Jesus prophesied in Acts 1 is exactly what occurs in the church age beginning in Acts 2 and continuing until today. After God poured out His Spirit on the church and they received power, this was the beginning of the global church outreach ministry. The Gospel was first preached in Jerusalem and then spread to the rest of the world. If you have not experienced this baptism in a similar Bible way that they did then you have failed to be obedient and follow in what Jesus commanded the church to do and receive. No I’m not saying that you have to go to Jerusalem and tarry or wait for the power of God to be poured out again. What God did for the church there at the first, is still available for everyone, everywhere in the church still to receive! God’s timing and your physical location are no longer relative factors for receiving the gift. Let’s quickly review a few important verses from Acts 2 to see the recorded facts in this gift that was given and their receiving again:
Act 2:2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
Act 2:3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
Acts 2:1 says that the church was all in place in one accord on the day of Pentecost. They were being obedient to God’s Word and this is always the beginning of receiving God’s promise. We should know by now that this was the prophesied Baptism that was sent down from heaven as Jesus had foretold to them in Acts 1 and before. This baptism came at first like the sound of a rushing mighty wind. That is actually very relevant information. A “rushing wind” is a synonymous term for a moving spirit in the Bible. In fact the Greek word G4151 (pneuma) translated as “Spirit” in the Bible has the definition in Strong’s as being a “current of air” or “a breeze”. Clearly God is using figurative language in verse 2 to describe a spiritual outpouring experience sent down from heaven. You might or might not hear the same sound today when you receive. More than likely you will not since the Spirit of God is here already on the earth in this gift capacity and He does not need to be poured out in this same manner again. However there are verses in the Bible that imply God will pour out a greater portion of His Spirit during the end of the Church age like He did during this beginning of the church age. These are verses that speak of the Spirit falling like rain from heaven on the early church as the former raim and upon the end of the church as the later rain (James 5:7). Therefore I believe that the Spirit of God was initially poured out to get the church started and that He will again be poured out in a greater measure to help the church go out victoriously.
I did not hear this rushing mighty wind when I received, so that is definitely not an important factor for you receiving today. I believe that God was simply announcing the entrance of the Spirit from Heaven into the church that day. Then notice again the key word in verse 3 of “tongues” G1100 being connected directly to the new keyword fire (G4442). As you may recall I showed you where John told Jesus that he needed to be baptized of the Lord and John claimed that this experience was to be done with God’s spiritual fire (G4442). I find it very fascinating that God’s spiritual baptism experience is described as spiritual fire which is a direct antithesis or contradiction to John’s natural baptism of water. Natural fire is always quenched, suppressed or extinguished with water. However, you must also realize that God has also called the outpouring of the Spirit rain. So we have another challenge to resolve. God is giving us a paradox of is it rain or is it fire or can it be both depending upon the perspective? The baptism of the Spirit of God must be a spiritual rain of God’s spiritual fire. Why is God sending spiritual fire? That is a really excellent question. When you study the Bible if you do not ask God andy questions, you will never learn the truth.
I think that this would be an excellent time to describe fire. Natural fire is a very hot substance and a major source for natural heat. Fire can be a consuming force that also eliminates all of the consumable substances. I guess I should rephrase that because fire is a transforming substance that converts solid wood fuel into various gases and ashes. This consumption is more of a transformation process from a solid substance into gases leaving only the loose reduced solid ash. God is described to be a “consuming fire” (Heb 12:29) in the Bible. The same Greek word G4442 is used in both Hebrews 12:29 and Acts 2:3, so they are directly connected together by God’s word selection. If God’s Spirit is a consuming fire and He was poured out upon the church as the spiritual form of fire, for what purpose would this have been done and what was accomplished by this work? What can be found in the natural human experience that needs to be burnt up, consumed, and eliminated with God’s baptismal fire experience? Wow, we could preach on that for a long time. The human life is weighed down with self-indulgent works of the flesh. Before being saved and baptized with the Spirit of God, people are entirely focused upon “what is in it for me”. I believe that you can begin to see that there are numerous old habits that need to be dropped from your life in order to fulfill what God wants you to be. That is the beginning of what I am talking about with God consuming and transforming you by His Spirit.
Peter as you may recall went from denying Jesus three times nearly 50 days earlier to standing up before thousands in Jerusalem after experiencing this spiritual baptism and receiving the witnessing power sent from God in heaven. What was consumed, burnt up, taken away from Peter that allowed this rapid transformation from coward to bold preacher? I believe that it was the removal of his fear mostly. Suddenly his spiritual eyes had been opened to see God, Jesus and the truth differently. Suddenly the Spiritual things of God became more real and of greater importance than his fear of death, the Jews, the Romans, etc. Peter would eventually be crucified upside down because he felt he was unworthy to die like Jesus did. That is firm confirmation that he was no longer afraid of death to deny his Lord in public again. That is pretty awesome stuff. I am getting ahead of myself in this chapter but you can read ahead in the chapter to see that it happened this way.
What I am attempting to do is to show you a simultaneous multiple work from one spiritual experience from God. This demonstrates that God is multi-talented and more than powerful enough to accomplish concurrent actions with one spiritual action. I learned this concept when studying the Bible quickly. If you only look at God as being single-threaded you will miss the majority of what is accomplished. Take the death, burial and resurrection of Christ for example. If you believe that Jesus died to only save us and that is all then you have just ignored the many other things that were accomplished in the same work. Let’s review a verse that I quoted to you in the first lesson but also now show the following verse in context to see how it fits with the subject of this fire sent from God:
Mat 3:11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:
Mat 3:12 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.
John as we know said God will baptize us with fire, but then does not stop talking. John continues the subject in the next verse and this is a very interesting new symbolic association to bring into the symbolic fire subject spiritual baptism discussion. God is being described now as the Supreme Judge. But, God is also the one that will purge or eliminate everything that is not desirable or righteous in His eyes from our lives. This symbolic representation is much different than the separation of the sheep from the goats given to us by Jesus in other parables. God is not speaking of the evil people being separated from the good people here in Matthew 3:12. You see a single wheat plant is a large stalk of various useable seed components called the wheat and unusable waste by-products called the chaff. The good parts of the plant need to be separated from the bad pieces of the plant and the bad parts were usually burnt up or consumed by a fire. Since no human is yet perfect, God is saying we are the wheat plants that need to have the chaff burnt away from the good fruit that will be gathered into God’s barn and saved. Do you understand the separation now and why the fire of God is being used symbolically? Now we need to go and find what these chaff parts are defined as in the Word of God to see what will not remain with us throughout eternity. If we search for the key term of fire (G4442) in the N.T. we should find the following descriptive text describing something being burnt up from a believers life:
1Co 3:10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
1Co 3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
1Co 3:12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
1Co 3:13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.
1Co 3:14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
1Co 3:15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
The central theme in this discourse is the subject of Christian works. That understanding eliminates the works of evil people or non-Christians from the equation or discussion. Thus God is discussing Christian works (good and bad from a single plant) like He was talking about two types of substances similar to chaff and wheat in Matthew. Works is one of those complex subjects found in the Bible that confuse many Christians. We are told that no Christian is saved by their works (Eph 2:8-9), however the Bible appears to say that we were saved by grace through faith so that we can do good works for God (Acts 9:36). According to these verses, these good works that we should be doing build upon the foundation of Christ’s works. Uh oh? That makes us (the Christians) co-laborers and the common builders of the same spiritual house of God established by the Lord Jesus Christ. God says our works will be placed into the fire (Spirit of God) and what remains will be what we are rewarded for. What we see being developed here is that the Holy Spirit was given to us in the church in Acts 2 to help us produce these good works that will last. This corresponds with our ability (power) to become witnesses for God from Acts 1:8. If you have never been baptized with the Holy Spirit since you have become a Christian, how can you expect to do any lasting good works without His direct guidance and assistance? That is one of the main problems with carnal Christians today. They are trying to do good works in their own human efforts apart from God and God says these will be consumed with fire leaving no eternal rewards. That is a major problem for some. Let’s see another verse statement from Jesus about works:
Mat 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
According to this verse Jesus is expecting good works from the church. God says for us to let our light shine so that our good works may be seen before the nations and these works should bring glory to God (and not us). Here is still the problem, doing some good works is not necessarily doing God’s works. How would you define good works? It is a very relative term that can be viewed from many different perspectives. What is good to you may or may not be what is good to God. We must go to the Word of God in order to determine the definition for good works. Bill Gates gives large sums of money to help fight disease in world countries. Is that the good works of God? Or will those works be burned up and not remain? I do not know if Bill Gates is a Christian but I can observe who gets the praise and glory for his works and it is not the nations glorifying God that I can see. I think I have spent enough time in this lesson on the subject of God’s fire and your works. I tried to introduce you to something new to think about in this lesson and I believe that I opened the door for a lot more study on these subjects later. Let’s get back to Acts 2 and continue with verse 3.
Act 2:3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
Notice in verse 3 of Acts 2 that this Spirit of God sat upon them and did not enter into them. This is further confirmation that matches what Jesus said will happen to them in Acts 1. This is technically a new very complex subject since the Spirit that “sat upon them” is from a relative unstated perspective that can be adjusted depending upon application or definition of who “them” is describing. The Greek word translated as “sat” is very literal and it is used many times in the Bible when someone would sit on the ground or in a chair, seat or a throne. This act of sitting is of course symbolic for another greater spiritual truth. Jesus is described in the Bible as being seated on the throne in heaven. This denotes a position of rest and power. The Bible says God waits for His enemies to be made his footstool (Heb 10:13). The preceding verse in Hebrew 10:12 again states that Jesus is seated and uses the same Greek word (G2523) that was used in Acts 2:3. Therefore God is connecting the verses together to inform and teach you something new. If God sits upon you what is the symbolic message given? God is stating that we are now His kingdom where He reigns. Jesus is now seated in heaven, but His Spirit is now seated upon us. Do you understand that message?
Let’s do a quick review of the human triune make-up of a man/woman. A man was created as a spirit being that has a soul that lives in a physical body. We understand this concept from many verses in the Bible, but one is from Genesis 2:7 where God forms the body of the man Adam from the dust of the ground to be the physical container and then God breathes His Spirit into his nostrils to cause his body and soul to become alive. That single verse mentions all three human component parts of a created man. Now using that information if God sat upon a man, what part of the man did God sit down on? According to the Bible we know that God is a Spirit (John 4:24). Therefore, God is not flesh, even though God became flesh in the man Jesus Christ (John 1:1-14). However, flesh Jesus is now seated on the throne in heaven and is not physically present on the earth at this time. So Jesus is not physically sitting upon me today and has never sat upon anyone in the Gospels. That only leaves the Holy Spirit as a possible candidate for who sat upon me when I was baptized and that actually matches the scriptures that we have been studying precisely. This spiritual baptism is performed by the Holy Spirit in the unseen spiritual realm. Therefore the Spirit of God is the entity that sits upon us and we must define where this occurs more completely.
If the Spirit of God sits upon the triune designed human being, where exactly does He sit? Was it externally upon the flesh container, internally on the intermediate mind/soul layer, or deeper inside upon the core of the human spirit of the man/woman? I will tell you plainly that it was upon our spirit. The carnal flesh is a temporary dwelling place holder for the eternal spirit and soul and the current body will not be saved. It would make little sense to me for God to sit upon our flesh if your spirit does not gain any benefit being inside the flesh. Understand and apply the symbolism given, if God is sitting upon your flesh then God is now in control of your flesh and you should know from you own physical actions that this is not true. What you do in the flesh is still your personal responsibility. Do you understand that? I could give you a lot of Bible verses to confirm that statement but let’s move on for now. This is also why Christians can be entered and attacked by demons in their flesh.
The human mind/soul is an internal intermediate component placed between our external body and our internal spirit that we are commanded by God to renew (Rom 12:2). Therefore the mind is mostly a thought realm designed for human management. I do not see any logical reason for the Holy Spirit to sit upon our thoughts it would make God the ruler of our mind and that will conflict with Romans 12:2. God is not a mind, God is not a thought, God is still a Spirit and therefore the soul of man does not fit where God is ruling either. That only leaves the inner eternal spirit of man as the only other possible location for the Spirit of God to be sitting upon and ruling. I therefore have concluded that the Spirit of God now sits between the internal core spirit, soul and the external human flesh. In order to understand these spiritual concepts we are going to have to stop thinking naturally. Jesus stated something very important that should be included in this discussion of where God is located in a human.
Luk 17:21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.
Jesus reveals to us new spiritual information from a human perspective where the kingdom of God is now located. Jesus said if you are looking externally for God’s kingdom you are searching for Him in the wrong place. God is now inside of us living in our spirits seated upon our spirits if you have been baptized with the Spirit of God. Your spirit is the location for the eternal kingdom of God. I found another very important verse that is also very relevant to this discussion of where the Holy Spirit sits during the spiritual baptism and I want to introduce you to what it says right here:
Gal 3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
Keep in mind what water baptism is. Water baptism was the body putting on and wearing water externally. Therefore, this spiritual baptism of the Holy Spirit would be of the same type but internally within us by us “putting on” Christ. Wow, did you see what that verse says and how it fits precisely with our study at this point of the lesson? If you are putting on Christ in baptism as this verse states what does that literally mean? Let’s examine the definition of the Greek word translated as “put on”. This Greek word is the Strong’s number G1476 and it means to “invest in clothing” or “to sink into a garment”. Did you hear that? What happened to you when you were water baptized? When you were water baptized you sank into and under the water and put on the water externally as your clothing or covering. That is what is being described to us in this verse precisely. Keep in mind what the people in the Bible wore predominantly. They walked around in robes that went from the shoulders to the ground. These garments were slipped into and then worn externally as a covering. That is what is being described by this verse.
We have been baptized into the Spirit of Christ Jesus and now wear Him as our robe of righteousness. That is a very great profound truth presented to us in the Bible. To be baptized into Christ in this verse is clearly not a natural water experience. But, the natural water experience describes the unseen spiritual experience that we can now understand more clearly. Therefore water baptism further defines the spiritual experience to help us understand what is taking place internally in the unseen spiritual man. I really hope and pray that you are getting these concepts built into your spiritual understanding on what God is doing. Are you wearing Christ today? Have you been baptized into Christ today? If you haven’t ever spoken in tongues before, I can tell that you are not and have not and thus your spirit is walking around naked.
I hesitate to tell you about my personal experiences, but I believe that this will be a benefit to some. You should never base your faith on the experience of a man, but should only learn to believe what the Word of God says and expect that to be what you experience. My personal experience of the Holy Ghost baptism was based upon what we have just read about in all of these preceding verses. Therefore I have scriptures to back what I am about to tell you that happened to me. I spent my early Christian life powerless and I tried to do things in life in my own power. I quickly found out that life was getting out of my control and that I needed help from God. I had grown up with people speaking in tongues all of my life in church. God tried to get me to receive at a church camp one year and I was really close but resisted out of ignorance. When I finally came to the end of myself, I asked God to fill me with the Holy Spirit. I started listening to cassette tapes on the subject of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and how to receive the gift. I prayed and sought God for several days. One night going to bed with my wife I was laying in her arms with her hands on me and I felt the strangest new sensation. Something (God) new inside of me became like a river that was overflowing and it came out from my belly in the form of words that I had never learned or spoken before. You see I did not know that my wife had received this gift a short time before me. She did not tell me about it or say anything to me about it. The Spirit of God had been working to answer my prayer a long time before I even knew it. God had led my wife to two Christian ladies and they prayed for her and she received the gift of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues.
After I received the baptism of the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues, the Spirit of God manifested inside of my body in the form of tangible perceptible heat, fire like a spiritual flame. In the center of my chest region I could sometimes feel this heat or flame of the Holy Ghost fire so strong that it was distracting to the extreme. At this time I can only conclude that I needed this natural experience to teach me about what was occurring spiritually since I hardly understood any of these scriptures at all. Before I was baptized in the Holy Ghost I understood barely anything of the entire Bible. After the Holy Spirit came upon me and I felt this internal spiritual flame inside of me I started seeing new things in the Bible that I had never seen before. This experience of God changed me more than anything else that I have ever experienced from God. Do not misunderstand what I just said. Being born again was the first most important factor for my eternal security, but without the second baptism experience of the Holy Spirit I would not have had the power or ability to teach you about either of them.
I cannot guarantee you that God will do for you exactly what and how He did it for and to me since I’m not God. I can guarantee you based upon His word that He will come upon you if you ask Him and that you will speak in tongues when He does this. I do not know if everyone feels the flame of fire like I did or if I was a unique case. If you would like to tell me about your experience, I would be glad to learn about it and how it was either similar or different than my experience that I just shared with you. I have felt this fire in my chest now for well over 20 years and still do on many occasions like right now as I type. I value the manifested presence of the Spirit of God inside of me and I know you will also if you ask Him to clothe your spirit with His Spirit.
We have been going through a lot of new spiritual information on these subjects using many of the verses that I have already touched on in the first lesson along with some new verses that were not found in the first lesson. I hope that you are following why I am doing this to teach what the Bible says. But, here now is one of the key verses that I was working up to for you to see today:
Act 2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
The Bible says that “they” were “all” what? God says they were “filled” with the Holy Ghost and that is the brand new keyword phrasing that we will need to grasp, fully, understand and add to our search list of topics to study. Normally when we think of something being filled we think of the natural concept of an empty pitcher or a cup that we can pour water into until it overflows. When the formerly empty pitcher or cup overflows we know that it has been filled to capacity. It is the same principle when putting gas into your car. You do not technically know that it is actually full until it spills out and you cannot put any more into the tank. Here is where we begin to get into new complex aspect of the baptism subject using a brand new perspective and description of a fresh creative process of the Spirit of God. Keep in mind that this is just a new perspective to the same subject of external baptism that we have previously looked at. If water baptism is an outward immersion and not the internal filling how can we resolve that definition and balance it with what we are observing with this statement of being “filled” to overflowing. Can you see the potential conflict and paradox that is being presented? We need to ask God a really deep question right about now. How can the Spirit of God both sit upon us and fill us at the same time? Wow, I think this is going to be tough to explain and probably harder for some to understand.
I’m going to ask you to think again and try to visualize and answer this question, how can you fill something and sit on something simultaneously? The only way that this is logically possible is when what you are filling and what you sitting upon are two different things. Think of it this way. What if you had a pitcher container within another pitcher container? Could you fill one outer pitcher container while sitting upon the other inner pitcher container? Let me ask you to think of your body as being one outer container with your mind being another in between container and finally your spirit being the inner-most container. Earlier I described your body not being alive until the inner spirit container has been occupied by your spirit. But, using this analogy we must also consider your mind as an empty container which would be void of knowledge until information is placed in it either good or bad. I can also see where each container compartment can be filled separately and not effect the other. Ok, I warned you that this was going to get deep.
Using my analogy of multiple levels of containers within containers I can see where Satan can attack a human at potentially three levels of human existence. Physical attacks of Satan may occur with manifestations of sickness and disease and this will be the outer level of his oppressive attack realm. The mind is a secondary level and he can cause you mental illness here in this realm or simply cause people not to be able to see the truth using vain imaginations and contrary or opposing thoughts against the Word of God. Now spiritual possession would be the utmost control of an individual. This level of control is not possible for Christians since our spirits are the dwelling place for the Spirit of God. You see in the Bible God says “Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world” (1 Jn 4:4). Did you notice that God says I’m in you here and that this is different than being upon you in Acts 2? Did you also notice that God says I’m not in those that are in the world and someone else is? This someone else is the devil. Let me try to clarify some of these statements using more verses in the Bible.
1Co 6:17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.
Here we have a statement of unity that occurs between the born again man and God as they become one spirit. If we are “one in spirit” with the Lord God then no devil can enter into our spirit to dwell also. Spiritual demon possession is not possible for a real born again Christian. This is also why I said that the in-dwelling of the Spirit of God is not the same thing as the “sitting upon” baptism of the Spirit of God that we are studying. It also helps us to understand why the sitting upon is necessary. We need the power of God to help us in both the soul and physical body arenas. This does not mean that we cannot be attacked in our mind or our body, but again greater is He that is in us that he that is in the world. We draw upon the God that is inside of us and rest in His ability to deliver us. Since we are now on the subject of being “filled” with the Spirit of God I want to tell you that this act of filling is nothing new just occuring in the church age. We have already observed where John the Baptist was filled from his mother’s womb with the Spirit of God. So being filled is not the new part for the church, the speaking in tongues is the only new part that was never given before and we will talk about that more as we go. Let’s go to the Old Testament and see more men filled with the Spirit of God and what occurred when this happened to them:
Exo 28:3 And thou shalt speak unto all that are wise hearted, whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom, that they may make Aaron’s garments to consecrate him, that he may minister unto me in the priest’s office.
These are types and shadows of what was coming to the church. These were said to be wise hearted men filled with the Spirit of God. What does that mean? It means that God gave them an ability that they did not previously possess. It means that God’s Spirit sitting within them was able to give their mind and their bodies’ supernatural power to accomplish the plan of God. Remember that none of these men are born again with the Spirit of God living in their spirits (one spirit) like the church. Wisdom is a form of knowledge application that produces great or positive results in the world. I am describing a mental process that allowed these people in the O.T. an ability that they could not have achieved without God’s direct help. We can see that the Spirit of God gave to them knowledge, understanding and wisdom to create things in this world with their hands in work and labor. Wow, I think we are tying up many of the loose ends that I have left hanging today in this lesson. We are beginning to see why the Spirit of God desires to baptize us. Can you see it? Let me give you another O.T. verse that helps to confirm my point:
Exo 31:3 And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship,
God again says this, but much more directly in this statement. God says they have been given knowledge, understanding and wisdom by the Spirit of God for all manner of work. Wow, again and double wow! God is saying it is my Spirit that will help you to do good works on the earth. Apply these Old Testament examples and extend the pattern into the New Testament church. Take these natural abilities and make them spiritual abilities. God is saying it is His provided knowledge that we require. It is His provided understanding that we must possess. Then God says it is His provided wisdom that will allow us to become the good workers, laborers and witnesses to every nation.
I have gone very long in this lesson and I believe I need to wrap it up here. I pray that you are grasping the concepts. I believe the Spirit of God gave me this message for you and that Satan is not very happy with me doing it. I think I will end with a synopsis of the Acts 2 concepts that I just went through.
- The Baptism of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament was an event that had never taken place at anytime previously in Biblical or human history.
- As stated before this spiritual baptism was given to the church by God to be the fulfillment of the promise that He made to His new covenant people.
- The Baptism of the Spirit of God was sent down from heaven by Jesus after His ascension into heaven.
- The first recorded occurrence of divine Spiritual baptism in the church age was described in Acts chapter 2. But also this was not the last.
- This experience was described by God as cloven tongues of fire that sat upon each of them.
- God’s spiritual baptism is the outpouring of His supernatural spiritual rain called the fire from heaven.
- God’s fire was given to the church to help us to eliminate and overcome the works of the flesh and teach us how to do the good spiritual works of God.
- The experience was given to the entire church for the corporate benefit of the whole body of Christ to achieve a greater purpose of God’s plan.
- Being filled with the Spirit of God is the same as being baptized with the Spirit of God they are just two different names, perspectives and views of the same event.
I know I said more than those few points, but you can go back and reread it again to get more out of it. Thank you for reading and studying the Bible. We will explore more of God’s word in the future. Keep us in your prayers and be blessed in all the works of your hands as the Spirit of God fills you with the Spirit of Wisdom.
(Ver 1.5) Today’s lesson is Part 1 in a brand new Bible study series about “Understanding the Subjects of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and Speaking in Tongues”. This will be a very different lesson today for I will change my approach in how I teach in this lesson to give you some new additional information that I have never gone into before in any depth. While teaching you this subject I will simultaneously teach you how I studied this subject in the Bible. You will learn about many of my basic Bible study methods and tools. I think this will really help some people to learn how they can improve what they are finding in the Bible. Have you ever thought or felt like you do not have enough power or ability to do what God has called you to do? Have you ever thought or felt like you lack the ability to be a witness for Jesus to lead people to the saving grace of Christ? Do you struggle with your Christian walk and feel frustrated when you read the Bible not understanding what the words are saying? If you ever have felt like any of those then it is very possible that what you lack is the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. I pray that you will read this lesson in its entirety before you write it off as a matter not from God. I will warn you up front that this will be a long lesson, simply because I need to cover a lot of information.
I often ask myself, do I want to be popular with everyone on the internet or do I want to tell people the truth no matter what it costs me? Today’s advanced spiritual lesson will either enlighten you or highly offend you. I am about to find out very fast how spiritual you are and how hungry you are to know more about God, His Spirit and His Truth. I could also learn how carnal you are to know more about Satan and his lies by you unsubscribing from my lessons. Nevertheless we will find out for sure one way or the other. I will either loose many carnal readers and subscribers today, or I could also help you to learn something new about the greatest single thing that has happened to me and helped me more than anything else since I was saved and accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord many years ago. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is the only reason that I am even able to do this Bible study website for you today. Without the awesome gift of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit I would be void of any of the knowledge of God, I would be lacking the teaching anointing of God to share His word and I would be completely unable to understand anything spiritual found in the Bible. Therefore, I am totally dependent upon God’s gift of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and His anointing for anything that I accomplish that brings a blessing to you on this website. I hope and pray that you can see my sincerity in giving the Spirit of God any and all of the credit and all of the glory for everything that I teach you, because it is not about ME!
INTRODUCTION TO THE TONGUE
This subject today has divided many churches while creating many other new ones. I have never directly addressed this subject because I knew it was so controversial and offensive to so many people. I personally never want to offend anyone and I could have sent this Bible study to the one person that asked me a question on the subject in private. But, I know when one person asks me a question there are many others with the same question, but not the bravery to ask. Therefore, since I received the brave question directly on this subject, I will be bold and brave enough to attempt to answer it for anyone else that wants to learn about it from the Bible spiritual perspective. My reader sent me this question “where in the Bible does it say that tongues come from the Baptism of the Holy Spirit”. From this question we need to first ask “what is speaking in tongues”, “where does it come from” and then ask “what is the Baptism of the Holy Spirit”. Finally we need to determine if speaking in tongues is related to the baptism of the Holy Spirit. So in this lesson series I will attempt to answer these very difficult, complex and controversial questions to help you to understand that God has something greater for you if you have never been baptized in the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in other tongues. Let’s begin by looking up the word “tongues” and find the definition found in the Strong’s Concordance for this Greek word:
G1100 – γλῶσσα glōssa
Of uncertain affinity; the tongue; by implication a language (specifically one naturally unacquired): – tongue.
This Greek word that is translated in the N.T. as “tongue(s)” is defined literally as a “tongue”. It is very difficult to miss that from what was written in the definition. However, the definition is brave enough to extend the literal definition to also include a figurative meaning that is much deeper. The reference is given to us in this definition that a tongue refers to a spoken language and further goes into more depth to break it down into a naturally acquired language versus an implied antithesis supernatural gift of language. But, we are not ready to go there yet, just remember what Strong’s just said to you. Let’s get a dictionary definition of the literal definition of the word “tongue” to see what that reveals to us:
Anatomy. the usually movable organ in the floor of the mouth in humans and most vertebrates, functioning in eating, in tasting, and, in humans, in speaking
You can observe by the definition that this word “tongue” refers to the human organ found in the lower part of the mouth of humans and vertebrates. As you can also read, this mouth organ called a tongue is one of the central components necessary for human speech and thus providing the reason why it was figuratively used to imply a language spoken as we read from the Strong’s definition. Therefore either definition is a possible application depending upon the Greek word’s usage and the context found in the surrounding Bible verses. This Greek word G1100, occurs 50 times in the N.T. in 47 verses. Therefore, “tongues” is a definite subject found in the Bible. However, 47 verses is not a great number of occurrences for any dominant subject of the New Testament that includes 7959 verses. 47 verses is less than one percent of the New Testament and all this teaches me is that this is not a dominant subject of the New Testament. However, some of the least mentioned subjects in the Bible are the most important ones for you to know, like the virgin birth. You cannot find but a very small number of scriptures that describe this virgin birth, yet this single event is the foundation for the rest of your salvation. Without the virgin birth of Jesus you are not saved and Jesus was just a man like any other man. Take the Greek word translated as “resurrection”. This word only occurs 40 times in the New Testament, so “tongues” occurs more frequently than the word “resurrection”. Therefore, do not ever judge by the number of occurrences in the Bible of a subject to try to determine if it is a subject that is important or not. There are just too many Bible subject exceptions found to try to make the frequency of occurrence the factor for the dominance of a subject.
Let’s analyze the usage of the word G1100 in the New Testament. This Greek word G1100 is used in both the plural sense and the singular sense again based upon the context. In some verses this Greek word is clearly used as a reference to the literal human mouth organ (Mark 7:33, Luke 16:24) and in many other verses it is clearly used as a reference to a single spoken language (John 5:2, Acts 26:14). Finally the Greek word is also used to describe a group of languages that many people speak using this organ (Rev 10:11, Rev 17:15). I have just given you 3 examples of English word variance from a single Greek word and any of them are potential correct interpretations depending on the context and usage. Therefore, this means we need to use a certain level of deductive reasoning and logic to understand what is being communicated in each verse where this word is found. We of course must also use the guidance of the Holy Spirit every time we study the Bible (John 16:13). Never omit God from your Bible study and always allow Him to guide and direct you into all truth.
The exact English term “speaking in tongues” is not found in the Bible. However there are several variations of this phrase that are directly found in several scriptures (Mk 16:17, Acts 2:4, Acts 10:46, Acts 19:6). These verses also give us a fourth usage of the word “tongues” in the Bible. The implied meaning in these verses is that people can speak in many different languages and not just the dominant one that they were taught when they grew up as a child. As we can clearly see, “speaking in tongues” is definitely a subject found in the Bible. To attempt to preach that speaking in tongues is not found in the Bible would clearly be a fallacy or fantasy approach to the Bible based upon the scriptural evidence that I have just presented to you.
From our definitions found in the dictionary and the Strong’s Concordance we should be able to understand that the term “speaking in tongues” can also be transferred or interchanged with a synonymous phrase “speaking in languages”. A spoken language will be an important aspect to consider when studying this subject of tongues. If I ramble, stutter or stammer out sounds that are not recognizable words to anyone, there is no way that you can call my sounds a language. Any viable language must incorporate grammatical rules of structure and understandable recognition by a hearer. Do you understand what a language is? A spoken language always requires someone to listen and to understand or it cannot be defined as a language. It goes back to what an old proverbs says about “if a tree falls in the forest, does it make a sound if no one is present to hear it”. I know people can talk to themselves, but even in talking to yourself, you must understand the words that you just spoke for it to be a known and valid language. The reason I am introducing this concept to you is because the Bible presents us with a new concept when people speak known verses unknown languages. I guess that is not a rocket science statement that I just made. If I don’t know Spanish and you and your friend are speaking in Spanish, then I know that you two understand it, but I do not. Therefore Spanish might be just an unknown language to me, but not to you.
The Greek word translated as “tongues” is a noun and it can be and often is further qualified with restrictive or limiting adjectives such as “known” or “unknown” to describe a type of language that can either be understood or not understood respectively by the hearer. I hope that you understand the usage of adjectives in the grammatical syntax. An adjective is used to describe a noun and how it is related to a specific type of the noun. The net result of this adjective usage is the elimination of all other types of the noun that are not being included or mentioned in the statement. There are actually many verses that have adjective modifiers before the noun “tongues” and these are all very important to note because they convey descriptive qualities that limit the broad scoped definition. You will observe God’s use of adjectives in several verses of the Bible. For example, the known Hebrew tongue (language) is referenced directly in 6 different verses in the New Testament in John 5:2, Acts 21:40, Acts 22:2, Acts 26:14, Rev 9:11 and Rev 16:16. But, also note this fact in the Bible, that some adjective qualifiers were added by the translators and are not found in the original text and these should be considered more carefully before your acceptance. For example, the translators added the word “unknown” before the noun “tongues” in 1 Corinthians 14:2, 14:4, 14:13, 14:14 and 14:27, because they believed that this was the implied meaning of the Greek word context and I would have tended to agree with them if we were only viewing the statement from the human perspective. Clearly what is being stated in 1 Corinthians 14 is about people speaking in unknown human languages and we will learn this when we get to them later in this series. However just because someone speaks in a tongue that is unknown to men does not mean that it is unknown to God. This is exactly why God could not put the adjective word “unknown” in front of the word “tongues” in these 6 verses. We need to begin to learn to see the Bible from the author’s perspective and leave the human perspective as of secondary importance. I just went though some very basic information that will become the foundation to the rest of this lesson series. I hope you are grasping the basics, because this subject only gets more complex from here. For example, let me introduce another new concept to you in the next section.
GUARD THE GATE OF MY MOUTH
Psa 141:3 Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.
I once did a Bible lesson about spoken words and their relationship to human gates and spiritual guards. If you have not read this series of lessons about spoken words I would highly recommend it. You see, the human body was designed by God as a physically structured unit of limitations which keeps your spirit hidden on the inside while keeping other things on the outside. The body is like a walled barrier but it also has portal openings that I call gates that allow access into and out of this natural world. Without these God given gates we (our spirits) would not be able to survive or live on this physical planet. In this verse in Psalm 131:3, God refers to one of these gates as being your lips. If your lips are closed nothing exits and nothing enters. The Hebrew word in this verse translated as door literally means a swinging gate with hinges. Depending on how you count the human gates you will find that most bodies normally have between 6 and 10 gates. The number varies depending on how you count or combine the gates and if you are a male or a female. Females always have one gate that males do not possess. Where the variation of count comes from is how we count our ears as either being one sound receiving gate or as two separate gates that provides us with stereo reception. The eyes are also a stereo gate concept that produces a three dimensional image and could be counted as two eye gates, but both eyes could also be labeled as our vision and counted solely as one gate. The nose also has two openings but they merge internally into a single air passage and these two units could be called the human smell organ. Therefore the number of human gates will vary depending upon your perspective. Do you understand my introduction to human walls and gates? If you do, then you should be able to define what a gate is now.
A gate is an opening in a structure like a building, a wall, a fence, that allows something or someone entrance or exit depending on the type of gate and the design of the gate. For example, when I crossed the border into Mexico from San Diego, I passed through a one-way gate that would not allow me to re-enter back into the USA through the same opening. Therefore this gate was purely one way only and I could only pass from the USA to Mexico through this gate. That is exactly what I am teaching you about the gates in the human body. Some of the gates of the human body are entrance gates, some gates are exit gates and still other gates are both. The human body gates are either one way or two way openings by God’s designed pattern. This means certain human body gates allow entry only like the eyes and the ears, while other body gates allow exit only like the body parts that eliminate human waste and still other human gates permit two way accesses for the entrance of something and the exit of something else that is usually different. For example let’s take the mouth. The mouth is definitely one of these two-way types of gates found in the human body that some things enter in and other things exit out. We can breathe oxygen in through our mouths but, then exhale carbon dioxide out also from the same mouth gate. What entered in is not exactly what came out. We can also drink in water through the mouth as well as take in food to our stomachs through our mouth gate which is supposed to be a one way path to our stomach. However, there is one more very important thing that exits from the mouth and these are your words that you speak. Where do spoken words come from? That is something you may not understand fully and that is another part of this lesson that you need to grasp immediately. Let’s find out from Jesus where your spoken words come from:
Mat 12:34 O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.
I pray that you can receive what Jesus is teaching you. Your spoken words come from your inner being and Jesus called this your heart, but that is just another concealed term for your spirit. The Greek and Hebrew words translated as “spirit” can also be defined as “wind” or “breath”. Both wind and breath are moving air particles. How do we speak? We breathe air in and then this air moves out from our lungs to produce vocal sounds. Therefore, moving voiced air and spirits are clearly connected together. Keep that in mind as we continue our study. The heart cannot be a reference to your blood pump organ since words do not originate from there directly. Therefore, the term heart must be more a reference to the “center” or “core” of your being. It would be like me saying the heart of an apple, the heart of a tree or the heart of a watermelon. It is the spirit that makes you a human and very different than any animal on the planet. What am I trying to teach with this part of the lesson? My point is to tell you that your spoken words exiting out of your mouth gate are an external expression point for your internal unseen spirit. That is an extremely important concept found in this subject on speaking in tongues. Spoken words will always come from your spirit no matter what the words are. Where then do you think the words that are spoken came from if someone spoke in tongues right now and you could hear them? If you said their spirit, you would be exactly correct, but also don’t forget a person’s spirit is joined to God’s Spirit and He dwells in them if they are born again. Uh oh? Now where do you think these words could potentially come from if I speak in tongues? I think I’m shaking you up to change your perspective on things, if you can see what I am saying. We will eventually get to this in our study, but we must wait to learn a few more things first.
We should be able to see now that God created the human mouth as a multi-purpose gate. One of the primary purposes for the existence of our mouth is to allow what’s on the inside in our spirit to come to the outside in the natural realm. I just gave you the foundation for why speaking in tongues, is so important and why Satan does not want you to do this under any circumstance. This is why Satan fights speaking in tongues and even uses deceived Christians to do it. Let’ talk briefly how Satan fights against tongues in the church next.
INTRODUCTION TO FALSE TEACHINGS ON TONGUES
I’m not going to go into any great depth on the myriad numbers of false teachings surrounding this subject of “speaking in tongues”. There are just too many of them and their doctrinal backing in the scriptures is just too weak for me even to mention them as being legitimate. However I will briefly mention a couple of prominent erroneous teachings found today. There are a few modern carnal churches that teach an erroneous doctrine that speaking in tongues occurred in the Bible, but it has since ceased after the end of the initial church age. Therefore, in this doctrine of tongues no one today should be speaking in tongues for any reason. I honestly do not have a clue what they base their beliefs upon but that is what I heard them say. Of course there are other churches that teach speaking in tongues is a gift from God given to only a select few people to communicate with the people in other countries like a missionary traveling to Africa and they like to quote verses, out of context found in Acts 2 to help verify this doctrine. Therefore, in this group only certain Christians need this gift and this explains why they don’t have it or want it. Finally, there are other churches that take the whole subject of “speaking in tongues” to another extreme level and try to say that this only comes from the devil and only people full of the devil will ever speak in tongues. That is one of the stupidest beliefs that I have ever heard taught in a church. Clearly they do not know God nor understand their enemy the devil. To ignore parts of the Bible to believe something else entirely not found in the Bible is very foolish. You cannot find one scripture that says Satan causes people to speak in tongues. Therefore throw this belief away quickly.
In all of these false teaching the net result is the elimination of tongues from the believer. I personally do not care what these false teachers teach because I know differently from the Word of God and from my own personal experiences with my God that “speaking in tongues” is very real and it is for me today. You of course can do whatever you like and believe anything else you like. As I stated earlier I’m not going to go through any verses that these people try to take and explain them in this lesson. If you believe in one of these false doctrines and you want to tell me why, I probably will not even read your comment because I know the truth. When you know the truth, the lies are made extremely obvious.
I guess I will address one more false teaching that is prevalently taught in some churches today. Some churches that do not understand the Baptism of the Holy Spirit teach that when you are saved you receive the Spirit of God into your spirit and this is all of the Spirit of God that there is. Therefore they stop seeking for anything else from God after salvation. This is actually one of the greatest deceptions taught by a church. This teaching keeps people from the greatest event from God since their salvation and it will keep them in a state of Christian wilderness existence that does not allow them access into the Promised Land. Using the O.T. typology of the children of Israel coming out of Egypt as a pattern of our salvation of Jesus saving us from the world, we can observe many truths in this story. Just as Moses led the children of Israel out of natural slavery, Jesus saved us from the spiritual slavery of Satan. However, being saved from Egypt, Satan and the world did not end the story, did it? Unless you learn to fight to enter into the Promised Land you will be destined to die in your salvation wilderness not achieving the victory that God had already given to you. Where were the children of Israel for 40 years? They were in the wilderness lacking water. What is baptism? Does it not involve water? Do you see any connections here? Was there any lack of water in the Promised Land? Are you seeing what I am saying in making this comparison? This is exactly why the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is the next step after your salvation from Egypt. Do you want to be victorious? If not, stop reading now, leave my website and go find some other Bible teachers to scratch your itching ears.
HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE AND THE SUBJECT OF TONGUES
People need to first realize that there is no single verse in the Bible that states any of God’s most important spiritual truths plainly, clearly and obviously. If you want one single Bible verse that says speaking in tongues is the baptism of the Spirit of God and this comes after your salvation you will be very disappointed that this is not in the Bible. However that does not mean that the truth is not found in the Bible in multiple verses and that is why many fail to find the truth because they do not search for all of the occurrences of a given subject being studied in the Bible. Reading the Bible is NOT studying the Bible, but studying the Bible does involve you reading. Spiritual truths are certainly found in the Bible, but they are all cleverly concealed from the natural viewpoint of the human mind by God’ design (1 Cor 2:14). If God and the Bible presented every spiritual truth in a plain self-evident text book format with bullet points and itemized lists of prioritized information, man would have no choice but to believe the truth of God. However, God created man to have freewill and since man was created with this predominant feature, no spiritual proof or written evidence in the Bible was clearly given about God’s existence or any other truth that would override this human right of choice. If you do not understand that God conceals things for us to find in the Bible I would recommend that you go and read Proverbs 25:2 to start with and then go find all the other verses that confirm this truth.
Every spiritual truth given to us by God is concealed in multiple layers of natural word verses and historical information in the Bible that must be searched, found, assembled together correctly and understood spiritually. I just described Bible study to be a known process with steps. Do you know what Bible study is like? Bible study is exactly like putting a complex natural jigsaw puzzle together. If you have ever put a complicated natural puzzle together, you should be able to transfer these skills, this basic knowledge and this puzzle experience to your personal spiritual experience of how you should be studying the Bible. If not, go and buy yourself a complex puzzle of at least 1000 pieces and see how long it takes you to solve. If you want the jigsaw puzzle to be more like the Bible, make the puzzle at least 5000 pieces with different front and back pictures. If you can learn to solve natural puzzles you can learn to study the Bible. The same concepts and challenges presented in puzzle solving are incorporated by God in a written word format puzzle. God gives us many spiritual facts randomly in some very isolated distributed verses in the Bible and these are the individual puzzle pieces needed in solving the bigger mysteries.
Did you solve the puzzle yet? If not why are you still reading my Bible lesson? I’m serious you need to stop and solve a natural puzzle before you continue reading my Bible study. To begin solving a natural puzzle you should usually lay out all of the pieces face up or picture side viewable. Of course if both sides are printed with different pictures then this further complicates the solution process. A double sided puzzle is more like the Bible since the Bible contains both natural truths and spiritual truths using the same words. I will liken this initial step of taking out the puzzle pieces and laying them on the table to be like you reading the Bible without studying it. Most new Christians only read the Bible and that is the entire effort that they extend with understanding it and that is why they are greatly confused and easily deceived. One of the next steps in puzzle solving could be to study the big picture on the box to learn it intimately the best that you can from memory. The more you can remember the more the Holy Spirit can bring certain verses up to you when you are reading other verses in the Bible to show you how they are related pieces of the puzzle. Only by understanding the big picture can you begin to try to understand the finer detailed pieces of the puzzle and where they fit. I believe seeing the big picture in puzzle solving is like the part of Bible study where you learn and list all of the known central basic themes of the Bible. For example, one of the greatest central themes of the entire Bible is God and Jesus and therefore the entire Bible must relay or convey this information in some way. Another central theme of the Bible is love and there are many reasons why I say that. Another central theme found in the Bible is faith and again there are many reasons why I say that. You see if you don’t even know all of the main themes in the Bible, how can you learn to solve the details like “speaking in tongues”? The next logical part of puzzle solving can be to begin to sort or organize all of the pieces. This is the beginning of the time consuming work part of Bible study. It is definitely a detailed oriented step and it is not always fun, but the benefits are very great when you understand why are you doing it.
As you then begin to sort through each of the 5000 pieces of the puzzle this is like you searching for related verses in the over 31,000 verses of the Bible that contain the subject that you are studying. In puzzle solving you might look for the shape of the piece to be a straight edge or not a straight edge piece as your first basic sort. After finding all of the straight edged pieces then you could look for non-straight edge pieces that have similar colors or patterns and begin to further organize these pieces into smaller groups of categories together. In Bible study sorting verses is a word based effort and not picture, shape or color based. You will discover related verses if God uses the same Greek or Hebrew word in both verses. Notice that I did not say the same English words. There are just too many translation problems for you to use the words of human translators to relate verses together. This is why we look up the Greek words and the original Hebrew Words to see where they are used by God. God selected and designed the original text, the translated text is man’s ideas of what they thought God said and many times they got it wrong.
You can also find related subject verses if God quotes the Old Testament verse in the New Testament. The repetition of the same words is one of the dominate ways that God links subject verses together. Also note that where the New Testament quotes an Old Testament verse, it many times will explain what the Old Testament meant and this is always very important information. Here is another secret that I will let you in on. The Old Testament was written in Hebrew and the New Testament was written in Greek. Why did God do this and how do we find related subjects that cross between the Old and New Testaments? This is where you must find a verse in the New that quotes a verse in the Old. Now using this quote you can legitimately tie Hebrew words directly to Greek words using a one for one correlation. We now can see everywhere a subject is repeated in both predominant sections of the Bible using this technique to link them.
But, God is also very tricky and He can use a totally different word to describe the same subject. For example, God uses approximately 6 different names for the sun in the Bible. The sun is a concealed reference to Jesus in the Bible and He is a well hidden subject using word titles like “day star”, “the greater light”, “dayspring”, “morning star”, “Sun of Righteousness” and “the true light”. This is how you must study the Bible and if you do not study the Bible this way you are probably very lost in what you know. Learn and understand that every piece of information given to us by God only fits correctly together in one way to give us the correct big picture solution. Many preachers have tried to take and force unrelated Bible facts and pieces of information together but their big picture doctrine will always fail the truth test. Preachers that try to make two unrelated topics fit together by forcing them are never going to produce the correct harmonious big God TRUTH picture of what God was attempting to say to us. I pray you are learning something about Bible study and God.
What I am doing today in this lesson is an attempt to help you by giving you some clear clues in how to study this subject in the Bible. I have been doing this from the beginning of the lesson without mentioning all of the steps, but now I am trying to teach you using a step by step approach to Bible study in order to tell you what we are doing so that you can learn to look for some of these new methods that might help you to see God’s Word more clearly in your personal studies. So I have two goals in this single Bible lesson. I want to first teach you how I study the Bible and learn a new subject and then I want to teach you what God reveals on this subject of tongues and baptism in the Bible. In other words I’m going to teach you how to fish first rather than doing all of your fishing for you and feeding you the fish that I have caught on the subject of what to look for in the Bible on “Speaking in Tongues” and the “Baptism of the Holy Spirit”. Let me help you correlate the Bible to be a very complex puzzle by giving you some more known facts. Remember what I said earlier, that a very complex natural jigsaw puzzle will have at least 1000 pieces or more and one more like the Bible will have at least 5000 pieces. The more pieces the larger the puzzle and the more potentially complicated it will be to solve. I think if you own a Bible, you can understand that it is not a small book with limited information. But, let’s review some of the known facts about the KJV Bible that you need to consider in your future Bible studies:
BIBLE STATISTICS (King James Authorized):
- Number of books in the Bible: 66
- Chapters: 1,189
- Verses: 31,102
- Words: 783,137
- Letters: 3,116,480
- Different Hebrew Words: 8,674
- Different Greek Words: 5,624
- Different English Words: 12, 143
Reviewing the facts of the Bible reveals this is definitely way beyond the level of an extremely complex puzzle based upon the numbers alone. Searching in over 31,000 verses that contain over 700,000 words for related words and subjects is going to take you a lot of time. I believe that each verse is like one piece of a puzzle. But how do these 31,000 verses fit correctly together and what do they mean individually or by combining them correctly does that ever change the invidivual understanding of the single piece? Now we must also understand that there are more levels of complexity than the sheer numbers of words and verses involved in the search. These other complexity factors are also not as easily calculated or recognized. For example, there is God’s use of riddles, parables, symbolism, allegory, typology, shadows and I could go on and on. The complexity found in the Bible is by far over the heads of many readers and it can be as overwhelming as you trying to solve a 5000 piece jigsaw puzzle without ever solving a puzzle before in your life.
CONTINUING OUR BIBLE STUDY
How would you begin to study this subject in the Bible? Has your approach changed since I introduced you to the puzzle solving approach? There are probably more approaches to Bible study than there are to anything else in the church and thus the main reason for the confusion that exists in the church with the existence of thousands of denominations. Rarely can you find people teaching this subject of how to study the Bible correctly; therefore everyone is forced into learning by a trial and error approach. This is actually a great mistake; it is like learning how to parent as your kids are growing up. Trial and error is never a great approach to doing anything and we all do it because we are forced to by our ignorance. The wiser approach to Bible study is to learn from someone that you can see has achieved a level of sound methodology from what they teach. By them being led by the Spirit of God and through many years of trial and error study they can quickly teach you the mistakes to avoid and the secret things that will help you not to repeat them and waste your time. If what I teach appeals to your spirit, then the way that I study my Bible might also appeal to you. You are the judge of what I teach and how I arrived at what I teach, if anything I say fits you then use it, if not no harm done.
When I do any Bible study now, I always do it using my computer exclusively. Before PC’s were invented and became cheap, I previously studied using my leather bound paper Bible book and a very large heavy book concordance, but now I have learned that computers are the most efficient study tool available to man. The digital power of the computer allows us to do things that were not possible using paper books only. A Bible program can contain 12 or more different translations and present them all to you for you to read and compare. Every good Bible software program uses a database format to store the information and every word is indexed and can be searched and referenced immediately. You can search the digital copies of the Bible using specific key words, phrases, Greek words, Hebrew words, definitions, synonyms and combinations of any of the above. If you don’t have a Bible program on your computer, get one now because many of them are FREE! I recommend one called eSword and you can find it easily if you Google it. Downloading it and installing it is not that difficult. Just do it!
Beginning any Bible study I always list the subject key words that I am attempting to study. The primary key words in this Bible lesson might be “tongue”, “tongues”, “speaking”, “speak”, “baptism” and “Holy Spirit” to name a few of the obvious words. Of course Bible study is way more complicated than this and beginning your study correctly only comes from repeated experience and being led by the Spirit of God. I have also learned from God that He uses multiple names, titles, descriptions, symbols and even many indirect references for the same subject in the Bible. This technique makes finding every reference considerably more difficult. For example, let’s analyze the subject of the human tongue. As we have already learned this literal word for the human tongue organ can also be used by God as an implied language or even multiple languages. So right there we need to expand our Bible search to include that additional subject and all the possible synonyms. Do you know what a synonym is? This is like God using 6 different names for the sun with them all being correct simultaneously. Synonyms are interchangeable words that have very similar meanings. Finding all of the possible synonyms for a subject is one of your greatest challenges.
There are also other parts of Bible study that make learning God’s truth an extended effort of deep research because of the hidden intelligence and complexity of our God. Depending upon God’s desire to hide the spiritual information the wording of certain subjects in the Bible can be easily missed reading the surface text only by the use of indirection. Indirection is the lack of specific straightforwardness when speaking words. I am describing to you that God wrote many indirect hidden references to many subjects found in the Bible. For example, what produces sound from the human body? You can come up with many names or descriptions for this sound producer and we could call it a mouth, a tongue, your lips, your voice, your speech, your vocal chords and probably several other terms that you have not even thought of yet. These would all be examples of direct references using synonymous terms. However, God can also hide information in the Bible using indirect or implied statements that do not have any of these direct keywords that you are searching for in the Bible about the mouth but the verse can still be about this subject. How do you search for scriptures on “tongues” when it does not mention tongues directly? That is just one more of the challenges presented to us in the Bible for us to overcome. Let me give you a quick example of a verse with indirection that you could read over and over and never see what God is saying and how it is related to the subject of “speaking in tongues”:
Joh 7:38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
Do you believe on Him? According to Jesus in this verse, you should be speaking in tongues if you are a believer. Oh, I know you don’t see it, but that is what this verse is about. This verse is simply a hidden indirect reference to the subject of speaking in tongues and because you do not understand what it says you miss it. Jesus said out of your belly or the inward part of your physical being, which is another hidden reference to your spirit, will flow rivers of living water. What exactly do you think that God is talking about in this verse? It is impossible to take this verse as being a literal statement from God. Therefore, it must be a symbolic statement from our God with concealed information presented in it. As a general rule of Bible interpretation you always take the Bible literally except when you cannot, like in this verse. Jesus was not saying that you are going to throw up your dinner or your beverage even though this is where those substances go after being swallowed. However, Jesus was definitely saying that something will come up and out from your mouth that will produce life. Words and air are the only two substantive things that can legally exit from the human mouth by God’s design. Anything else that exits or comes out of the mouth was not by God’s design. Therefore, these “rivers of life” that exit must be related to our spoken words. Since my mouth is connected to my belly this verse must be about my words that I speak, but not just any words will qualify, these words must produce life. I could try to explain this verse, but I really do not have the time in this lesson. Just try to understand for now that this verse is a hidden indirect reference about you speaking in tongues and when you finally receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit you will finally know by your own experience what God was saying to you in this verse. Until then you are not going to have a real clue about it and you will have to either reject what I just said or believe it by faith.
WHAT IS BAPTISM?
Let’s shift the focus and subject from tongues, language and spoken words to the subject of baptism. What is baptism? If you are a Baptist you know at least partially what it is because they teach a part of the baptism truth very strongly. Baptism is a New Testament revealed concept. There are some hidden references to it in the Old Testament but they are usually cloaked in symbolism, typology or allegory. Baptism was introduced for the first obvious time by John the Baptist in the Gospels. John was of course the prophesied forerunner of Christ that led the way to Christ. John would go into the river Jordan and take people with him and there he would fully submerge them under the water raising them back up again for the remission of their sins (Luke 3:3). I find it very interesting that the Holy Spirit led me to end the last section talking about rivers coming out from our mouth to now John standing in a river to baptize someone. Do you think this was a accident? Do you see a potential connection? This water baptism of John was an act of outward repentance of the sinner participant that was being baptized. In fact this statement about repentance is found repeatedly in the Gospels and “repentance” and “remission” are two new words that we might need to add to our complete study of this subject. The act of repentance will always be a forerunner to salvation. The act of remitting our sins was an accomplished work of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Ok, here is where we again need to come up with all of the related subjects and synonymous words to search for in the Bible. If baptism is one of the main subjects, what other related words are also important to include in the study? We must include “baptizer”, “baptize”, “baptized”, “baptizing”, “Baptist” and probably several other related words like “water”, “bath” and “washing”. By searching our Bible for these words, we will learn how they are used, where they are used and why they are used; expanding our knowledge of the complete subject. By doing this type of research we will potentially find many related clues to learn from God’s word, helping us to solve the greater puzzle. Every verse containing any subject content is a possible puzzle piece that you need to research to learn how and where they fit in the big picture. Keep this in mind as we continue. Since I have already done this research I will skip this part of searching the many verses and give you a few of the important ones that I found. If you don’t believe me, you should do the steps that I omitted and verify them. Try to see what God says about the subject baptism here in this verse:
Act 11:16 Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost.
When I searched for the 5 Greek words that are related to baptism, I found approximately 100 verses with this subject in it. How did I find the 5 Greek words? I searched the Bible dictionary for a partial word “bapti” and told it to give me all of the Greek words that contain this partial word in the definition anywhere. Perhaps you did not know that you could do that, but that is the power of computers at work. The 5 Greek words that have “bapti” in the definition are G907, G908, G909, G910 and G3067. This search of the dictionary covered many of the words that I was looking for about “baptism”. I then took these 5 specific Greek words and searched the entire N.T. and said give me any verse that has any of these 5 words in it. I’m not going to go through each word and discuss them here; you can do that for yourself.
Out of the 100 verses that were returned with one of these Greek words being present, I found that over 50 of them are found in the Gospels and this makes sense to me because John first introduces us to this subject there. The next most popular book with this subject content is the book of Acts with 23 verses and then the rest of the verses are spread out in the letters written to the church. It is important to read them all, but it is also important to see what other information is given in each of these verses to help you to learn the more complete subject. For example, here in Acts 11:16 is found one of the most critically important verses about the entire subject of baptism that I found. This verse is located in one of the most unlikely places in the N.T. Hidden here in the middle of the book of Acts, God reveals and compares two separate variations of one named noun truth called “baptism”. If you had not searched your Bible for all of the variations of the word “baptism”, you might have easily bypassed this verse and missed one of the most important new revelations from God on the subject.
Here in this verse God is revealing that there is more than one kind of “baptism”. Did you know that? If you did not know this then you just learned something that will change you forever. One was called “John’s Baptism” and one is called the “Baptism of the Holy Spirit”. One baptism was done by the hands of human men and one is done only by the hands of almighty God. One is totally natural in water and the other is completely spiritual. This single truth alone changes almost every other place in the N.T. that speaks of “baptism” and forces us to rethink what we are seeing. Do you understand what I am saying? You see if there was only one kind of baptism in the whole Bible, then it is extremely simple for us to understand it. However, God just introduced us to a new type of baptism that is different, done differently, performed by different individuals and suddenly the complexity has more than doubled even if they are both called “baptism”. Are you learning anything yet? I am about to rock your Bible study world. God is revealing that there are two dimensions of truth. Wow, did you hear what I just said? Can you even wrap your mind around this concept? One truth realm is called the natural and this visible truth parallels but also reveals to us the other truth realm called the spiritual which is unseen by human eyes.
I had some people write me a comment a while back trying to tell me that people can’t be saved and go to heaven unless they are fully water baptized in the name of Jesus like the Bible clearly states. I told them NO that is not what the N.T. clearly teaches us and I based my statement upon my knowledge of verses like this one that they must be either unaware of or ignoring because it does not fit with their beliefs. I said the Bible says “We look not at the things that are seen, but the things that are unseen, for the things that are seen are temporary, but the things that are unseen are eternal” (2 Cor 4:18). If you can see someone getting water baptized that is an external inferior temporary thing that God commands us NOT to even look at now. Why then do some Christians still want to look at this temporary external water baptism as being a requirement for their eternal salvation if it should not be viewed according to God? They love to look at the external things because they are carnal, naturally thinking individuals being people who are ignorant of God’s spiritual internal truths. God told the prophet Samuel “Look not on the outward appearance of the man, because the Lord does not see men as men see them, I look upon their heart” (1 Sam 16:7). I tried to argue with them and ask why are you looking at the outside to determine what is saved on the inside, are you God? Obviously they are not God, because God is only viewing the inside of the man to determine his salvation. But, I learned quickly that I was wasting my time arguing with an un-teachable brick wall type of Christian.
These temporary naturally seen things were created and given to us by God to teach us about the unseen eternal spiritual things, that we have never seen and can never prove exists. That is the absolute truth and there are no other hidden reasons for the natural to exist that are relative for this discussion. Therefore, quit looking at the natural realm and giving it your priority over God’s Spirit, what He does or has done and accomplished in the spiritual realm. Your natural water baptism is not ever going to save you and if you think it is you might be on your way to hell already. I know I just lost a bunch of readers with that blunt statement. But I would rather standalone telling you the truth than stand in your crowd on the way to hell with you. You see I know this because I have been baptized by the Spirit of God. Since my God did this for me and to me, I now completely understand that there is nothing that you can ever try to do with your natural water baptism that is greater than what He did for me with His Spirit. Again if you have not experienced this work of God you will not understand what I am saying and you can be happy with your natural water and miss the Spirit of God. Since the Bible commands us to establish every truth in the mouth of two or three witnesses, we technically need another verse that states there are two kinds of baptism that exist, so I’ll give you another verse found in the Bible spoken to us by the Lord Jesus Christ:
Act 1:5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.
I believe that you can read this verse and see that Jesus is again comparing what was coming in a few days to that which has already been in the past. Which one do you believe is greater? Which one do you believe is more important for your salvation? Why do you think Jesus did not tell them to wait to be baptized in water so that they could be saved after His resurrection? Which one did Jesus command them to wait for? I know probably all of the disciples were technically baptized before by John so they have already experienced the natural water type of baptism, but that still does not prove that the spiritual baptism of the Holy Spirit is dependent upon the natural occurring first. Since I have found no verses that reveal a dependent relationship between the two, it would be wrong to create a doctrine of baptism dependence without literally two or three verses stating this direct dependence. But, you can still believe whatever you like.
Also notice that what Jesus was describing in this verse to His disciples was a baptism that had not taken place for them or to them. Therefore I can legally call this a new baptism and that would be a completely truthful statement. Do you understand this point? The baptism that was about to happen in a few days later from this statement was not the baptism that had occurred in the past to them. However, since this new baptism is to be done by the Spirit of God, it is only understandable by us observing what was previously done externally in water. Being baptized by the Holy Spirit is clearly a spiritual experience and when Jesus spoke these words to His disciples it had never occurred before to them. These are very important points, and that is why I am repeating myself. I guess I should clarify that this spiritual baptism was one that Jesus had personally experienced before, but no one else in the Acts 1 and 2 had this experience that I have found. I know this truth from two facts found in the Gospels. First, when Jesus was water baptized by John in the river, immediately after coming up from the water, the Spirit of God descended from heaven upon Him in the form of a dove. Therefore, Jesus was baptized spiritually immediately after being baptized physically by water. Let me show you the verse:
Joh 1:32 And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.
This verse is describing an Old Testament form of one of the spiritual baptisms from the Holy Spirit as it was being experienced by the Lord Jesus who is the future stated head of the church. The Spirit of God is clearly observed by John to be descending out of heaven and in this experience the Spirit of God appeared as the form of a dove which rests “upon” Jesus. This is actually very important information to take notice of. This is describing a spiritual baptism from the Holy Spirit upon a natural man and this is exactly a pattern of what Jesus was describing that would be happening to the disciples in Acts 1:5. Therefore, the disciples had already technically witnessed a spiritual baptism even though they did not fully understand it before they experienced it in Acts 2. I want you to pay attention that when the Spirit of God came upon Jesus that Jesus was not yet risen from the dead and thus no new birth had yet taken place. I believe that this proves a form of spiritual baptism existed in the Old Testament prior to it being introduced to the church in the New Testament. I will discuss this further in future lessons in this series. I also said that there were two references in the Gospels to Jesus being baptized with the coming baptism and here is the other verse that you need to read carefully:
Mat 20:23 And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father.
Jesus told His disciples that they would soon be baptized with the same baptism that He had experienced. Wow, that is an awesome statement from God. This is one of those Bible references that can only be interpreted correctly using the new knowledge that there are two different kinds of baptism described in the Bible and Jesus had already experienced both of them, but no else could until Jesus was raised from the dead. In this verse I believe that Jesus was speaking about the coming spiritual baptism of the Holy Spirit, since everyone else present had already been water baptized at this point in time. Do you see it? Logically speaking, it is impossible for Jesus to be speaking about the natural water baptism, because it would not make any sense.
OK let’s recap again what we have just learned about baptism from all of these verses in Acts, Matthew and John. We have observed two references in the book of Acts where God describes two separate kinds of baptism. These are completely unique and distinct types of the same named action but being clearly a different kind of experience for each involvement or participation. The first baptism was one being entirely natural in water and the other coming baptism was one being totally spiritual done by God without getting physically wet. We just saw that Jesus experienced both of these, but no one else living in the church had this second experience until a few days after Acts chapter 1. This further reveals to us that what John did with water was not what God was going to do to the coming church even though they are both called baptism. The entrance of this information brings us knowledge about a new spiritual baptism that supersedes the old natural baptism. From the knowledge of these new facts, that means whenever we read a verse about baptism, baptizing, being baptized or any variations of these words we need to understand which experience God is describing. If God says it is “John’s baptism” then you will immediately understand it was the natural baptism done with water and the hands of men. If God says the baptism of the Holy Ghost, then we can also know with great confidence that this verse is about a spiritual experience done by our God. If the verse says only “baptism” without qualification, it could be either type of baptism being described or referenced especially if there is no mention of water. This part of the Bible study might have been some of the most important information that you have learned so far in this lesson, so hang on to it and don’t let it go. Let me show you one verse example that people like to quote proving we must be water baptized.
Act 19:5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
Do you see any problems with this verse now that you know that there are two kinds of baptism? If you back up in the chapter you will discover these men were previously baptized by John in water for the repentance of their sins. Why then would it be necessary for them to go back into the water again? Of course we can clearly see that it says that we need to be baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus and this is why many people have reasoned the need for another water baptism that is necessary for their salvation to become valid to be done in the name of Jesus. But notice that no natural water is mentioned here in Acts 19:5, there is no mention of getting wet, there is no human man called to be the baptizer in this verse, and there is no qualification given to us of this being a type of “John’s” baptism; therefore to try to make this verse say that they were water baptized again in Jesus’ name is ridiculously creative human reasoning. That would clearly be adding to the verse and making it say what it does not say. Reading the context in the very next verse it says that Paul laid his hands on them and they spoke in tongues. Could that possibly be the baptism that they were given in Jesus’ name? I don’t have time to prove every scripture. Just read them and then notice what they say and more specifically what they don’t say. Don’t add your own definitions or interpretations to them; just see if there is any direct mention of water being present and then ask if it could be a spiritual baptism that was done by God. If you immediately see that they are speaking in tongues it cannot be anything but the baptism of the Spirit of God. Change your perspective and quit being so single threaded and narrow minded that there is only one kind of baptism mentioned in the Bible. We have clearly learned that there is not one but at least two types of baptism mentioned in the Bible.
ARE YOU SPEAKING IN A NEW TONGUE?
Let’s go back to the subject of “tongues” again since that is where my discussion of baptism ended. Let’s do a search again for this Greek word G1100 in the N.T. I will tell you that there are at least 5 Greek words that have something to do with the word “tongue” in the definition, but I am for now not going to address any of these other words. If you do the search for G1100, you will remember that this word only appears in 47 verses in the N.T. and that is not that many. This makes it much easier to go and read every verse to see what they are saying. If the subject of tongues appeared in 500 verses, that would be too many to read them all and remember what they said. One of the key verses that might stand out to you in your search is this one found in the book of Mark. Let’s read it carefully and notice what Jesus said to the church:
Mar 16:17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
Many have tried to take this verse and remove it from the Bible. However, I know for sure that it is an excellent statement from God and that it should be there. Jesus said we would speak with “new tongues” and this is definitely not us learning to speak a new language that we can understand as in going to language school. Therefore, we need to ask when does this occur and how does this occur? Before we go there, let’s examine two other Greek words found in this verse. The first Greek word is translated as “speak” and it means to utter words, talk, to preach or to say. This of course is the human mouth vocalization skill with articulated audible words. Speaking involves us producing sound waves that can be heard by those that are nearby. Therefore, the word “speak” introduces us to a new concept that involves producing sound and that is a whole new very important subject to put in your vocabulary. I believe that we need to include the keyword “sound” in our Bible study to see what clues are given to us by God on this subject. Does God link sound to our study anywhere? We could do a search and find out what God says or we can just remember that word and keep it in our mind as we go forward looking for links.
We have already looked up the noun “tongues” in this verse and it literally means “tongues” so I will not repeat that part of the introduction. But, notice the noun qualifier adjective that precedes this word “tongues” in this verse. This reference to spoken tongues in Mark 16:17 is restricted to or limited by the adjective “new”. “New” is the stated opposite or antithesis of something being “old”. This verse is not saying that we will get a physical tongue transplant; God is saying by the inclusion of the word “new” that we will begin to speak in new languages that we have not ever heard of or learned to speak before. The Greek word translated as “new” literally means a “fresh” language. This clearly distinguishes this language from any of the old languages that we might already know and speak right now. It would be like me saying I bought a new car today. A new car means it is not my old car that was sitting in my driveway yesterday. If you speak English today that means this new language that you will speak cannot be English. Do you understand what I am saying? Do you believe in Jesus? If you do, then Jesus said you should be speaking languages that you never spoke before, right now! So how do you do this? Are we supposed to go out and buy a new language course and start studying something new, learning to speak it? No that is not what God is saying at all. That would be the works of your flesh and not the works of the Spirit of God. But that is exactly how many carnal Christians try to interpret it. Let’s go find out how they did this in the early church and this should reveal how we do it today since we are in the same body and the church as they were. We can only find this information by continuing to search in the Bible for the keyword “tongues” or “G1100” and see where else it is mentioned in the N.T. and I found these verses almost immediately:
Act 2:1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
Act 2:2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
Act 2:3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
Act 2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Let me recap quickly the context of these verses and why this is so important. In chapter 1 we already saw one verse where Jesus said the baptism of the Holy Spirit will be coming to you in a few days. Jesus actually commands His disciples in chapter 1 of Acts to wait in Jerusalem until they are endued with power from on high. This is actually more important than you know and probably why you do not have the power of God working in your life right now. After Jesus tells the disciples this, He ascends into heaven and there He remains until He comes to take His church out of this world. However, in chapter 2 of Acts this is the few days later that Jesus was describing. The early church was being obedient to Jesus and they had gathered together in an upper room in Jerusalem waiting for this supernatural spiritual baptism that was promised by God. We should now understand the context of these verses in Acts 2 and we should know that these people that were present in the upper room represent the entire church body at this period of time on the earth. Do you understand that? There were no other saved church members on the earth that were not present in Acts 2. Technically there are already saved church members in heaven during this event, but I do not have time to explain that. Just understand that everyone else in the world not present in the upper room represent the lost unbelievers that need to be added to the church and that would include you and me in future terms since we were not yet born during this event.
Reading these verses very carefully in Acts 2 you should be able to notice some things that I have already introduced you to. First,notice that this event was described as a “sound” that came from heaven in verse 2. This information gives us “sound” as a direct keyword link to what we learned about speaking audibly in tongues earlier in Mark 16:17. The location of heaven connects us to where this sound originated from and that is also very critical to understand the source as being from God. What we see is the mention of heaven just like the baptism of Jesus in Matthew that we read when the Spirit of God descended like a dove. So these verses have immediate relevance based upon our keyword association and our previous knowledge that God is in heaven. If a sound came from heaven what was the result of this sound after it entered into the earth’s atmosphere? What we begin to observe in these verses is another repeated pattern found in the Bible in more than one place. For example, in Genesis 1, you can see that God was speaking repeatedly and then something in the natural realm came into manifestation. For example, God saw darkness and said “Light Be” and then light was in the natural. This is exactly what is happening in Acts 2 whether you understand it or not.
God is revealing that being Baptized with the Spirit of God started with God sending a sound from heaven from the spiritual realm and this spiritual sound that was sent resulted in an external sound manifestation being heard in this natural realm. While this does not say that God spoke directly, I believe exactly that this is what occurred in Acts 2. Where do sounds from God come from? Perhaps it is time for a new Bible verse:
Mat 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
Here we have a verse spoken by Jesus revealing that God has a mouth and that He speaks words audibly. These words according to Jesus produce life in us. What did I quote earlier that Jesus said? Remember I said “Out of your belly shall flow rivers of life”. Uh oh? I think we are finding more puzzle pieces that are falling together in harmony. This river that comes out of our mouth that produces life has to be the Words that were spoken by God. I mean what else is there that creates life? So does this mean we memorize the Bible and speak these words to produce this life? That is certainly one interpretation or possibility, but not the whole truth either. How else can we speak God’s words? We’ll that is where speaking in tongues comes in and we will get there eventually.
Did you understand what I just said? Do you know that this is practically how everything from God works? God is a Spirit and what He speaks in the spirit realm will cause things in the natural realm to vibrate. Uh, oh? I really do not want to get too technical here but sound waves are the root fundamental substance to everything that exists in our world. If you can see it, touch it, taste, hear it or smell it, it has the root of being a sound wave created by God’s words. Sorry that was another side trip; but I believe that it was an interesting point to consider. What we are observing here in Acts is that a sound came from heaven and then something happened in the natural realm that was externally evident!
Before I go to the next point, let’s notice that this sound sent from heaven filled the physical place where the entire early church was assembled and that it “sat” upon “each” and “everyone” of them in verse 3. Isn’t this exactly what the dove did to Jesus in the Gospels? Learning this fact alone proves that whatever happened to all of them should be what happens to everyone else that comes into the church later since God did not omit anyone or selectively give this gift only to a few of them. Do you see that and can you agree? Are you in the church? Do you speak in tongues? This is why I called the church teaching of selective tongues to only missionaries a very false doctrine. If you do not speak in tongues now then you are missing what God gave to the whole church in Acts 2. If the entire church was supposed to speak in tongues in Acts 2, then the entire church is still supposed to speak in tongues in Acts 29. Oh maybe you did not understand what I just said, there is no Acts chapter 29 in the Bible; we are the church writing Acts 29 right now. Nowhere in Acts is it stated that speaking in tongues ceased or was terminated, so do not believe that it has or you will miss it.
This is really not complicated, but it is an easily missed truth and one truth that is widely ignored by many Christians. Then notice that this sound that fell from heaven is also described to us using some new descriptive phrasing called “tongues of fire” in Acts 2:3. Why, is fire so important and why is this word even included in these verses or even mentioned at all with the same Greek word G1100 tongues? Here is another secret clue that God is trying to teach you. “Fire” is directly linked to “tongues” in this verse and that produces a new “keyword” to search for in our Bibles for us to learn a totally new subject and see some more puzzle pieces and how they fit together. Are you learning how to study the Bible? It is much more complicated than you thought isn’t it? When I searched the N.T. for “fire” I found something that is definitely important and completely related to our subject discussion. Here is the reason that “fire” is so important to see and why God included it here in this chapter of Acts:
Mat 3:11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:
Here we have another hidden key to what is happening to the church in Acts 2. John the Baptist says “I baptize you with water, but He that comes after me, He will baptize you with the Holy Ghost fire”. Here again we have an additional confirmation to the existence of two different types of baptism. Since John is speaking in this verse we can clearly understand that one was his baptism that was done with water. The other future prophesied baptism was one that would be done by Jesus and this is not done with natural water but with spiritual fire from the Spirit of God. Fire and water are natural opposites but yet we can be baptized with either and they are called the same type of act. God directly connects the Holy Ghost baptism with the events that are happening to the early church in Acts 2 with the key word “fire”. Now we can see that was happening to the early church was the Baptism of the Holy Spirit that Jesus told them to wait for in Jerusalem to receive. Since Jesus went back to heaven and sent this fire from heaven we can know that this was the prophesied baptism just spoken of by John the baptist. John was clearly pointing people to the coming baptism as being greater than what he was doing. This is exactly how you must study the Bible and every subject in the Bible looking for clues to connect together.
Why has God been comparing or contrasting between John’s water baptism and the spiritual baptism of fire that we just read about in Acts 2 that came from the Spirit of God? It is because the external water baptism teaches us what God was about to do in the internal part of us with His Spirit. We can only understand the internal by observing the external. Is this too complicated? Just understand that the fire being referred to in Acts 2:3-4 is the Baptism that was spoken of by John in this verse in Matthew 3:11. Now let’s go back to Acts and learn another confirmation for this truth by what God says to us.
Did you notice in Acts 2:3 that the Spirit of God sent from heaven as a sound and a fire did not enter into them, but rather “sat upon” each of them? This is actually a very relative distinction to observe. It is the stated difference as if I poured a cup of water on your head as opposed to giving you a cup of water for you to drink internally. Which cup of water experience is more representative of water baptism? Normally the water that you wash with is not the same water as what you drink? They both are clearly water, but one is for external use and one is for internal use. Both of these participations of water are two completely different experiences of the same substance. This is exactly what is being taught in this lesson about God’s Spirit. Being born of the Spirit of God internally is not the same event as being baptized with the Spirit of God and if you think it is you are deceived. This reference found in Acts 2:3 cannot be the New Birth when the Spirit of God entered into the man’s spirit to abide forever and I can prove that using the scriptures. Go back to the book of John and reread the events after the resurrection of Jesus. Jesus appeared to the disciples and He said and did this to them all:
Joh 20:22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:
You still have a lot to learn if you do not understand that what comes out of the mouth of God is from the Spirit of God. When Jesus breathed on these disciples He tells each of them to receive His Spirit into them. This is when they were born again and this occurs only a few days after the resurrection of Jesus and over 40 days before the day of Pentecost that occurs in Acts 2. Why if Jesus gave them the Spirit of God in John 20 do they still need to wait in Jerusalem for more of the Spirit of God in Acts 2? You really need to ask God some very specific questions when you read these little details in the Bible or you are going to miss out on the most important thing that could happen to you since being born again. What we are observing are two experiences of the same Spirit. One is a spiritual birth and the other is a spiritual baptism. Don’t confuse them and don’t mix them up in reverse order.
Acts 2:3-4 is clearly describing to us that the baptism of the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues is the same event but it is also not the indwelling of the Holy Spirit internally because it was an external spiritual emersion poured out upon them from heaven. The Spirit upon you is not the same as the Spirit within you even though He is the exact same Spirit in both experiences. This is no different than us washing with water or drinking the water, both are different water experiences of the same substance. One is for our external benefits and the other is for our internal benefits. Technically we can survive wihtout the external, but we will not survive without the internal. However without the external expierence, we will be stinky and smelly Christians. Therefore, God left nothing out and gave us both. I’ll end my current Acts 2 part of the discussion pointing out this fact. Did you notice that in Acts 2:4 that God used the exact same two Greek words that we just looked at earlier when Jesus was speaking to us in Mark 16:17? These two words were “speak” and “tongues”. God’s usage of the same two exact Greek words again connects this event to the other verse in Mark 16 directly. God does this on purpose to provide you with more solid clues for you to see and learn the truth. In Mark 16 Jesus said you will speak with “NEW” tongues meaning this was not any of the previous “OLD” tongues that you already possessed, knew or even understood. The term “NEW” means something not in your previous possession or it would not be new to you. That is exactly what happened in Acts 2. Here in Acts 2 God uses the adjective “other” tongues and that makes them different than previous tongues using a different but similar word statment. Jesus said it would happen before it happened and then it happened. Sound like God doesn’t it?
I really think I have gone long enough in this lesson even though there is so much more that I could teach you on this subject. I covered a lot of new information in this lesson. We certainly learned that spiritual things and natural things exist in unison, but the natural always precedes the spiritual so that we will be able to understand the spiritual. I also changed my approach in this lesson to include more study methods for searching the Bible to find God’s distributed clues. If you can learn how God has written the Bible it will greatly help you in all of your future study efforts. I hope that you understood how I linked God’s spiritual baptism to speaking in tongues. This event was actually the first thing that God did for the church in Acts 2. This heavenly baptism is why everything else in the book of Acts occurs. Without the baptism of the Holy Spirit and them speaking in tongues in chapter 2 no other chapters would have been written. I hope you understand how the Power of God was necessary for what is written. Jesus told the disciples to wait in Jerusalem for this power and we are also required to receive this power from God to accomplish what He needs us to do. Peter went from denying Jesus 50 days before to preaching to 5000 to get them saved. That was the result of the power of God being received by Peter. This same power will still do that for you also.
I will do another lesson in this series eventually, but first I want to see what the reaction to this one is to find out if it was really worth all of my time and effort that I spent on it. If everyone has been offended by this lesson and leaves, I am not sure if it was worth me teaching it. I do hope that you at least benefited with the parts of the lesson that dealt with my Bible study techniques and methods. If you have any questions or comments you are welcome to leave them and I will attempt to respond either in public or in private. Thank you for your time in reading and studying the Bible today, God will richly reward you for your effort. God Bless!
If you would like to continue to read in this series on the Holy Spirit baptism please go to “Part 2“.
(Ver 1.3) This is “Part 1” in a series of lessons on the subject of “Spiritual Warfare”. This is a new subject for me and a lesson designed for the benefit of those who have been attacked by Satan and do not understand why it has occurred or what to do about it to keep it from happeing again. Many new Christians are immediately attacked and persecuted because Satan wants to stop God’s Word from developing in their spirits and becoming mature and fruitful. New Christians are the most vulnerable and usually do not know what to do about this and do not generally understand why God even allows this to even happen to them. There are many complex factors involved in understanding this problem and I will attempt to at least give you an overview of what is happening in the spiritual realm and why it can occur and what you can do to overcome it.
Within any battle that we face it is always best to first recognize that we are in a battle. Not knowing that we are in spiritual battle is the number one reason why Christians do not fight the enemy. This is the basic fact that allows us to prepare and face this enemy that we cannot see with our physical eyes. Since we are born physical beings on this planet and we grow up dominated by our flesh realm senses we are forced to learn about the reality of spiritual things in order to become effective in this hidden unseen realm. Too often we find that our senses rule our world and guide our lives. If something hurts you physically you learn not to do that anymore. If something feels good or tastes good you learn to do that again. However there is an unseen part of you that is the real you and this being is your spirit inside your physical body. If you are a Christian this is where God resides also. The spirit world is more real than the natural world the Bible says. God tells us that the natural world is “temporary” and the things that are unseen in spiritual world are those that will be eternal (2 Cor 4:18). One of the first things that you need to understand is that we are in a spiritual battle and not a physical battle. People many times want to protest abortion clinics or homosexual events and act like this is doing some good. These people who are doing these ungodly things are just deceived individuals who are being guided by spiritual forces that are behind them. Therefore, your picket signs and protests are not doing anything to solve the real spiritual problem. It is like a doctor who is treating the symptoms and ignoring the cause of the disease. Your focus is on the wrong things.
2Co 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
You can clearly see that God tells us that we are in a war. However God does not tell us that it is a physical war with guns and swords. We as Christians should be fighting this war differently than people in the world fight wars. This is the greatest deception that Satan has over many Christians, they are focused on external things and ignoring internal things. God tells us in this verse that “terrorism” is not our war as Christians. The United States has been in a war against terrorism for almost 10 years now. We will never win that war with guns. If you go and kill a few terrorist, there are soon 10 more to take their place. This is because of the spiritual forces that are backing them.
2Co 10:4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;
God tells us that we have spiritual weapons of war at our disposal. However, God tells us that these weapons are clearly NOT physical weapons like guns. Your gun will not do you any good against a spiritual enemy that you cannot see. Satan has too many ways of fighting you supernaturally and no physical weapon will do you any good against these spiritual war techniques used by Satan. I recently heard about a man in the U.S. that was obtaining natural guns and weapons to help Jesus fight the devil when Jesus returns. This man’s ignorance of spiritual things will only make Christians appear as extremist fools to the world. Let me give you a scripture that informs us when this spiritual battle that I have been talking about begins.
Heb 10:32 But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions;
God tells us a key battle technique of Satan. Satan attacks you when you are the weakest and most vulnerable. Sometimes it appears to you to be seemingly overwhelming opposition and this is by design. Since new Christians do not understand why they are being attacked many times they give up and turn back to their old life styles and ways of thinking and then Satan has won. This verse in Hebrews tells us that a new Christian when first given “illumination” is attacked the hardest. This is when they are the weakest, simply because they do not know how to fight this enemy. Jesus tells us in Mark 4 that Satan comes immediately to steal the word of God from the hearts of people who have just heard the good news (gospel) of Jesus. By attacking them early and often with overwhelming force they are many times easily overcome. Mature Christians should be smart enough to know this and help new Christians overcome these attacks, but many Christians are too self-centered to see what is going on beyond their four walls. Ignorance is a Christian’s greatest weakness. Keep Christians ignorant and they will be no threat to Satan. Let’s research the spiritual weapons at our disposal in this battle that I mentioned earlier. I’ll begin with a verse Romans 13:
Rom 13:12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.
One of the other most important things to know is that there are two kingdoms of operation in our world today. This is the root of all spiritual battles that we face. There is the kingdom of darkness and the kingdom of light. These are the kingdoms of Satan and God respectively. As you can see God tells us in Romans 13:12 to put on the armor of light. Light is of the Day and darkness is of the night. I wrote a series of lessons on the subject of “Understanding Night and Day” and if you do not understand these spiritual kingdom concepts you should go and read them quickly. The weapons of Light are the spiritual weapons of our warfare being spoken of in this passage. It is important to realize that Christians are no longer within Satan’s kingdom of darkness, but yet we still war against this spiritual kingdom daily. When this transfer of spiritual kingdoms occurred was when you believed in Jesus Christ and confessed Him as your Lord as it stated in Romans 10:9-10. Because of the transfer of kingdoms we have a new ruler and Satan no longer rules our life unless we permit him or allow him to do so either intentionally or unintentionally. Being in the Kingdom of Light gives you new power over the kingdom of darkness. Light always conquers darkness in the natural realm but you need to learn how this works in the spiritual realm. We fight this kingdom of darkness in the spiritual realm by taking up God’s spiritual weapons of light which we will now get into in more depth:
Eph 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
God again commands us (Christians) to put on His armor so that we can fight and win this spiritual battle that we are clearly in ALL together. I want you to go and read 1 John 1:5. This verse declares that God is Light and in Him is no darkness. Therefore when we put on God’s armor we are putting on the armor of Light. Do you understand this? Satan is the devil and the lord of the darkness that we are arrayed against and it is clearly not the people of this world that we fight against. However Satan does use people to get to us and we may talk about that in more depth in the future. This verse in Ephesians teaches s me why killing terrorist is not the complete answer to our evil problem in this world. You see God wiped out everyone in the world 4500 years ago in the flood of Noah except for 8 righteous people and because we still have Satan in the world, evil and wickedness is almost as great as it was in the days of Noah. However, do not make me out as a pacifist either. I believe that we must defend our country with guns and weapons at the same time that we use these spiritual weapons of God to attack the root causes of the problem. If you want to be a pacifist you will soon discover that evil doers will not be afraid of coming to your city to do you harm.
Eph 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Again God tells us very clearly that people are not the root cause of the evil problems that we face on the earth. God again tells us that the rulers of the darkness of this world are those that we are at spiritual war with. These are clearly spiritual enemies and not physical ones that we can perceive with our 5 senses. If you notice this verse says that we fight against the rulers of the darkness of this world. Those are simply Satan, his demons and the fallen angels that rule kingdom of darkness. I would also like you to notice the Greek word “powers”. This Greek word is G1849 and it literally means superhuman force or power. This is obviously not any natural or physical strength or power and must be considered to be a spiritual power of great ability. Not knowing that your spiritual enemy has any spiritual power is probably a good reason why Christian people are not fighting against him. If we keep reading in this chapter we find out what these spiritual weapons of light consist of that we are to put on to use against our spiritual enemy Satan:
Eph 6:14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness
The first weapon is the weapon of truth. This means you are at least required to learn the truth. Only by you knowing the truth, will you not be easily deceived. To know the truth is more involved than you just reading your Bible. It requires you studying the Bible and you digging into the deep things of God’s Word. You can very easily know some basic truths and not understand the more advanced things that will get you out of the jams that you are in right now. Learning always starts with reading, but study is necessary to gain understanding. Only by you gaining understanding can Satan never steal the truth that is in you. The next weapon on the list is called the “breastplate of Righteousness”. This first involves you knowing who you are in Christ. You need to go through your Bible and read the New Testament letters written to the church and see what you have and what you are in Christ. Christ is your Righteousness! It is only by His Righteousness that we have any righteousness. Go through the letters written to the church and learn and memorize the words that say “In Christ”, “In Whom” and similar words of association. This will help to identify your position and the free gifts of association being given to you as an heir of salvation.
Eph 6:15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
Every weapon of our warfare if you haven’t noticed goes back to the Word of God in some form or fashion. God’s Words are always at the root of everything that we do, say and live. I think I said this already, but the spiritual battle is over the Word of God being resident in you. Look at this verse speaking of your feet. God says put the “Gospel of Peace” on your feet. The Bible tells me that God waits for His enemies to be made His footstool (Heb 1:13, Heb 10:13). Where are God’s feet in the earth today? These feet are in the Body of Christ who is the church and the spirit of God is within us. So if God is going to “bruise the head of the serpent Satan” with someone’s feet today, how is God going to do that?
Rom 16:20 And the God of Peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.
This verse written to the Church informs us that it is our feet that God will use to bruise Satan’s head before Jesus returns for us. This implies we are to go out from this world as victorious. How is the God of Peace going to do this? Only by us putting the Gospel of Peace upon our feet will He do this. You can see that we are back to the Word of God again. The Gospel of Peace is certainly the Word of God being preached to the world. The message of salvation, the message of deliverance, the message of emotional and physical healing and the message of safety. These are key definitions of the Greek word “Sozo” (G2982) that is translated as “make whole”, “save”, “deliver” and “heal”.
Eph 6:16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
The next weapon in the Armor of Light is the shield of Faith. This is supposedly the most important weapon to defend off the satanic attacks. Faith is probably one of the top three subjects to study in the Bible in my opinion. But, what is Faith? Faith is based upon believing the Word of God. So we are again back to reading and studying the Bible. The Bible tells us that “Faith” comes by hearing and hearing comes by the Word of God” (Rom 10:17). When the devil attacks you God says you should be firmly grounded in the Word of God for all of your defensive armor of God. We can now look at the final two items found in the Armor of Light and one of these is the only offensive weapons we possess if you exclude the Gospel of Peace on our feet.
Eph 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
To take the helmet of Salvation means to “receive” salvation which was freely given to us. I’ve aready told you the definition of “salvation” from the Greek. Again we are back to the basics of the Word of God. You heard the Gospel which was the Word of God preached for Salvation and you accepted it and believed the truth and now you are saved. Finally, the last weapon is called the Sword of the Spirit and this is plainly called the “Word of God”. You have to study the Bible to figure out what this means. Jesus said the “Words that I speak they are Spirit and they are Life” (John 6:63). So the words that Jesus spoke were the Sword of the Spirit from his mouth. In Revelation 1:16, 2:16, 19:15 and 19:21 Jesus is described as having a sword coming from His mouth that He uses to eliminate those that oppose Him in the end of the world. We can clearly understand that this symbolic sword represents the Words of God being spoken. To take the Sword of the Spirit in our armor means to speak what God has written in His book called the Bible. When you speak the Word of God your words carry the same power as if God spoke them. For example, if someone is coming against you in an attack, you could say “No weapon formed against me will prosper” (Isa 54:17). This is putting the Word of God in your mouth to counter what Satan is trying to do against you. You do not go up and say this to a human being, remember they are not your problem. You say this in the privacy of your home to Satan who is the root cause of the attack. Do you understand this?
Eph 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
The very next verse in this context is also a key part to the successful spiritual fight that you are in. When immersing yourself in the Word of God you also pray the Word to get God’s wisdom and assistance on the matter you are facing. This next verse in Ephesians says “Praying Always”. That means never ceasing to pray. Pray when you study the Bible, and pray when you are not studying the Bible. There should not be a time during the day when you are not open to pray to God or open to hear from God. I have been doing a series of lesson on Angels and today I stopped that to answer a reader who was being attacked by Satan. But, there are multiple times in the Bible, where God sent angels only after people prayed. This means that if they had not prayed, there would have been no angels sent. I believe prayer is an essential part of your continuing relationship with God. This verse also places special emphasis on a particular type of prayer that is called “Praying in the Spirit”. This of course is not a popular subject in some churches in America and they have no clue what this even means. Some think it is just an extra praying with added emphasis, ability or time. However, this is not what it means. Praying in the Spirit is praying in tongues and if you have never done this you are missing out on one of the most powerful ways that God has to communicate through you the perfect will of God. You see God is smarter than you are and since you do not know everything and do not know how to pray perfectly in every situation that you face, God gives us a method that will never fail. You of course have the choice to not believe me and do it your way and remain at the level that you are at right now. However, if you want more of God and to know Him better, then ask Him to fill you with His Spirit and see if it does not radically change your life, like it did mine.
I guess that is enough for one day on how to counter the attacks of Satan. I know I did not cover everything in complete detail and I did not include everything that you should learn. However, I try to do the best that I can in the limited time and length format that I have. Please allow me to quickly recap the spiritual weapons of your warfare:
- The Belt of Truth (The Word of God is truth John 17:17)
- The Breastplate of Righteousness (Jesus the Word of God is our Righteousness)
- Gospel of Peace upon our feet (the Word of God given for our salvation)
- The Shield of Faith (Rom 10:17 Faith comes by hearing the Word of God, there get faith in God’s to build your shield).
- Helmet of Salvation (By grace ye are saved through faith Eph 2:8 again pointing us back to hearing God’s Word).
- Sword of the Spirit (plainly defined to be the Word of God).
- Praying in the Spirit.
Understanding that you are in a spiritual war is the first place that you need to arrive at. Understanding who your enemy is, is the next place to step up to. The next thing is for you to take up the armor of God that you has been given to you and make good use of it. The next thing that you should clearly understand is that the Battle is all about the Word of God. Satan is attacking you to take the Word of God from you. If he allows the Word of God to get in you, then you are an extremely dangerous person that can use this Word to come against him. Therefore, spiritual warfare is fought with spiritual weapons against a spiritual enemy. Finally praying is another key element to the spiritual fight that will allow you to be successful in life. I hope and pray that I have given someone out there some level of help in what they are facing in life today. It would be the greatest testimony of all if I can do that alone. God Bless!
(Ver 1.5) This is now Part 2 of a series of important Bible lessons on the subjects of spiritual truths and realities. I had a reader try to tell me that the story in the Bible about Moses and Elijah appearing with Jesus on the mountain top was a vision that Peter, James and John experienced and therefore in a vision anything is possible. The entire context of his message comment was an attempt to explain away the reality of the existence of spiritual beings after their physical/natural death. These types of people are simply very ignorant and deceived by the devil into believing lies. They do not want to believe that people are spiritual beings that exist after death because they would rather believe that they go into a state of unconscious sleep until judgment day comes and God awakens them. They are attempting to justify their deception of the false “soul sleep” theology by explaining away what the Bible actually says on the subject either directly or indirectly. This is a common ploy of deception used by Satan, either ignore those things in the Bible that do not conform or fit with your version of the truth, or attempt to explain them away using your limited intellectual knowledge and human reasoning. There arises a great problem with this type of wrong thinking. We can easily find verses that contradict a soul sleep belief. People, without understanding what they are saying believe that my God was and is a willing participant to visions with lies of deception being embedded within them. They said that God can give people a vision of anything, like fairies, monsters, fantasies, imaginary figures or whatever simply because He likes to teach us something and it would be OK and acceptable for God to behave this way since He is clearly the sovereign God. All of his comment was a response to my explanation of “Is there Life after Death for Seeing Spirits” lesson that was recently written on that important subject. If you have not read this lesson you should go back and start with that lesson first, because I will not repeat any of it here. Because these people want to believe you go to sleep when you die, they try to explain away Moses and Elijah appearance with Jesus as a vision fantasy. Today’s lesson is on the subject of visions and it is directed at those who want to know the truth.
INTRODUCTION TO SPIRITUAL VISIONS
So today’s lesson is about the subject of spiritual visions and what they are! God will further discuss today in this lesson the purpose that His vision are given to people. We will learn today that there is more than one kind of spiritual vision. We will also discover that there are other types of a vision possible for other purposes. We will research and discover the truth using the Bible and ignoring the words of deceivers. According to the “deceived individual” a vision is simply an apparition or a fantasy of Biblical and Godly proportions where anything goes. So according to this person, God can communicate with people saying anything He wants to and even lie to them using a vision not found within reality. However, my Bible says that “It is impossible for God to lie” (Heb 6:18). In Titus 1:2 it says God cannot lie. Therefore according to written scripture there is absolutely no way that a vision from God can be a party to a lie or untruth in any way or form. Because people do not want to know the truth, they make up excuses to explain away the truth and they present them to fools who buy into them like they were eating candy. What a crazy mixed up world that we live in. It is just way too easy for Satan to deceive some people (Rev 12:9).
So what is a spiritual vision? In order to understand something we need to define it first. A vision occurs when a natural man is given a view into the spiritual realm either past, present or future. A vision is not a normal human experience. A vision is most definitely a gift from God by His sovereign choice that allows natural people to see unseen spiritual things, places, events, angels and people. However, these spiritual things are never fabrications or fantasies because they are more real than the natural things that we can see all around us. God who is a Spirit (John 4:24), created the natural world as a pattern after the spiritual world that He already lived in. It was the Supreme God of the spirit world that created this natural world.
2Co 4:18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
The things that we perceive with our five natural senses are called the “Temporary” things of this world. This verse then contrasts the temporary things with the greater eternal things. What are eternal things? They are not natural things so they have to be supernatural things. These are spirits and the world that they live within. These are the eternal things and beings that God is comparing to natural seen things. Because people cannot see, feel taste, hear or smell the spiritual realm normally they do not believe that it exists. But, this is by God’s design and purpose not to allow man to know that he is a spirit being living in a temporary natural body, until after they are either saved or dead. Even after a person becomes a Christian they can still be a very “Carnal” Christian and still be flesh dominated.
Heaven is a very real spiritual location and place and existed way before the earth and the natural universe existed. What I am going to do today is to use the Bible to show you God’s usage of visions and see what we can learn from them. By standing firmly only on the Word of God and understanding what it says, is our only hope for not being deceived like some of these people that try to write me crazy responses, like they were trying to help me not to be deceived. I have learned better than to ignore God’s truth in order to follow a lie, I know who my God is and I know what His Word says, so I’m going to stand with Him and ignore the opinions of people.
THE FIRST VISION
The very first mention of a “vision” in the Bible comes in the Book of Genesis. This account is God speaking to Abram. If God is the one giving this vision then we know that God is communicating truth to Abram and these are not the words of any fantasy or fairy tale. Abram is able to perceive and understand the spoken words of God and here is this first mention of a vision in the Bible:
Gen 15:1 After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.
So obviously God is lying to Abram and just telling him something He wants to trick him with. If you are spiritually blind this is what you might believe. If that is what you choose to believe then you might need to go read somebody else’s blog. What we can clearly see is that God holds a conversation with Abram in this chapter and informs him of what will happen in his life on earth and in the future to come. If you read the whole chapter you can clearly see that God gives Abram a covenant and reveals what will happen to his seed. These are spoken prophetic Words from God and not lies. There are no lies written here in this chapter because these are all of the true facts that will soon happen to Abram. God is not participating in a fantasy with Abram. It is very critical to note and learn the reason for the vision being given was for God to speak to a natural man named Abram. God did this by opening his spiritual eyes to see and hear something coming from the greater spiritual realm. God speaking to natural men with visions will become an established pattern of truth as we continue in this lesson. Please note that there is no other reasons given for the vision, do you understand this? Let’s look at another mention of “visions” in the KJV O.T. Bible.
ANOTHER CONFIRMATION FOR VISIONS
I am going to move to the book of Old Testament book of Numbers next. Here we should see God’s usage of visions and the further confirmation reason for their application usage. Remember in the Bible that God says let every word of truth be established in the mouths of two or three witnesses and that is exactly what I will do. Let’s read Numbers chapter 12 and verse 6:
Num 12:6 And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream.
God clearly informs us of how He uses visions to communicate to His servants the prophets. The prophets of God would receive spiritual information directly from God Almighty in the form of both visions and dreams. Again we see the only reason for God giving a vision to a human man is for God to speak to them. This means it has to be the truth, if it is coming from God. So I brought up dreams because this verse mentioned that God also uses them to communicate with people on the earth. I do not believe that every human vision or dream can only originate only from God, after all there are other spiritual beings that are alive and well on this planet. I have heard people say in church that they saw someone who they thought was Jesus and he appeared to them, but what he said to them tried to make them do something that the Bible did not say or confirm. So that type of vision could be the possible deception of the enemy Satan. The Bible says that even Satan can transform himself into an “angel of light” in order to try to deceive us (2 Cor 11:14). The only reason why Satan would transform himself is to be seen in a visual form. This clearly implies a vision into the spiritual realm. Therefore, if you do not know what the Bible says, you are an easy prey for this type of deception. I will tell you this plainly that God will never tell you anything in a vision that is contrary or opposed to the written Holy Word of God.
As you can clearly see in the above verse in Numbers 12:6, God uses visions to make Himself and His words known to people. So is God going to trick you with a false vision? Is God going to deceive you with a lying vision? Or is God going to speak ONLY the truth in a vision? What would make God known to us? I believe that only the truth is what comes from a vision from God for Him to make Himself known to us. So if Peter, James and John had a vision of Moses and Elijah speaking to Jesus was it fictional or real? I believe it has to be more real than anything we experience on the earth. The spiritual realm is not fictional, if it is, then God is a fictional character and I know much better than that. One of the key points to deception is to discredit the truth. Satan uses this ploy very often by inferring that God is the one that lies to people and that he is the one speaking the truth! This was his deception to Eve and he hasn’t come up with anything new for you either.
TYPES OF VISIONS
There are more than one type of vision in the Bible and in fact there are at least two types of visions that I have found in the Bible. One type of vision I will call an “Open” vision and the other type of vision I will call a “Closed” vision. Let me briefly show you the difference between these types of visions using the Bible. For example in the book of Job God says the following.
Job 33:14 For God speaketh once, yea twice, yet man perceiveth it not.
Spiritually unaware men have a great difficulty in hearing the voice of the Spirit of God. Either their minds are cluttered with busy natural stuff or their mouths are opened too wide and speaking with empty words instead of listening for God. In either case, God does not interrupt your life and your agenda because He wants to say something to you. God is a Gentleman who does not rudely butt in on what you are doing and interrupt you. If you think He does, you are wrong. In Job this verse tells us that men and women have a great difficulty in perceiving the spoken Words of God. God can be speaking to you and you never even understand that it was God. One solution to this problem is God’s usage of dreams also called night visions while you are sleeping. This is an example of a closed spiritual night vision:
Job 33:15 In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon men, in slumberings upon the bed;
As you can clearly see in this verse, God is saying that I will come to you in the night while your body rests and sleeps, because you did not hear me during the day when you were awake and busy. When you are in a deep sleep, your mind is usually very quite, you are not busy moving or talking and you can more easily hear what the Spirit of God wants to speak to you. Why is this possible? It is only possible because your spirit inside our sleeping natural body never sleeps. Just because your body sleeps does not mean the real unseen you ever sleeps. Only deceived people believe that spirits can sleep. While your body is asleep and your mind is not preoccupied, your spirit can hear directly from God in a night vision or a dream.
Job 33:16 Then he openeth the ears of men, and sealeth their instruction,
God says that He is able to open the ears of the man in the night sleep so that he is able to hear the instructions from God. This is an example in the Bible of a closed spiritual vision. There is a key word given to us in this verse, and it is “opened”. This does not mean that the man was deaf and was unable to hear physically. It is only talking about the spiritual ears of the man being opened so that he can hear with his spirit. This type of vision is usually very personal and it is God speaking directly to your spirit for normally your benefit only. I guess it is important to note that even in a closed vision of the night, God must open something in order for you to hear it or see it.
So let’s contrast the difference between closed visions and an open vision. An open vision would be one that was in the likeness of the one experienced by Peter, James and John when they all saw Jesus speaking to Moses and Elijah on the mountain top. They were not sleeping, they were fully awake and they could clearly all see into the spiritual realm of reality concurrently something that they would have missed otherwise. If there was a third party watching this experience they would have seen Peter, James and John in a trance like state with their eyes fully wide open. But, these external observers would not have been able to perceive the presence of either Elijah or Moses unless God opens their eyes to see them. Let’s look at an example of this in the O.T.:
Num 24:4 He hath said, which heard the words of God, which saw the vision of the Almighty, falling into a trance, but having his eyes open:
An open vision is usually one that occurs with your natural eyes wide open. When this type of vision occurs to you the people around you usually do not see what God is showing you in the spiritual realm, they only see you in a trance like state of existence. You are usually the only one that perceives the message from God sent from the Spiritual Realm. This is a method of God that allows you to see into the real spiritual world and it definitely is not a fantasy event of any type.
There are just many examples in the Bible of this type of vision and I will only give you one more example in today’s lesson. I just cannot go through every mention of the word in the Bible, it would take too long. The next story that I want to touch on is the story of Elisha in the O.T. book of 2 Kings. In this story the servant of Elisha comes to him and tells him some really bad disturbing news, he thinks. He tells Elisha that they are surrounded by the enemy and on the verge of their death. However, Elisha did not fret with this news or get worried in the least little bit. Why was this? What made Elisha able to see the situation differently than his servant? Remember that Elisha was God’s prophet and what did we read in Numbers about God speaking to His prophets? All Elisha did was this:
2Ki 6:17 And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.
Open the eyes of my servant so that he can see that there are more for us than there are against us. To open your eyes, does not mean your physical eyes were closed or blinded, his physical eyes were seeing fine the natural things that they were faced with. What Elisha was requesting for God to do was to open his spiritual eyes to let him see into the spiritual realm in order to see that there were flaming chariots of fire all around them. This was an example of an open spiritual vision of view into a real set of angels of God riding in chariots of fire. These angels were not “make believe” and these angels were not fantasy; they were simply seen only in the real spiritual realm and this the truth from God. So people, who want to believe lies, can go and explain away these real spiritual things in the Bible with their human reasoning for other spiritually ignorant people to devour.
CONCLUSION – FALSE VISIONS
I’ll wrap this lesson up for today with one final verse to consider. We have learned there are at least two types of visions, one open and one closed. We have observed that God’s visions are only given because God wants to speak truth to a natural man about things that he may not have been able to perceive otherwise. Now I want to briefly address a part of the subject that I alluded to earlier about false visions from other spiritual beings.
Jer 14:14 Then the LORD said unto me, The prophets prophesy lies in my name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false visionand divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart.
God clearly tells us that He does not give anyone “False” visions so that they can preach lies to the people of God. Did you understand what God just said? Do you understand why and how this applies directly to the vision that Peter, James and John had? If the vision of Moses and Elijah was not real and the truth then it was a fabricated lie and must be called a false vision. This would be a deception that God says that He is not participating in. This verse clearly teaches us that God gives people only visions of truth and spiritual reality. God will not give anyone a fantasy vision, a fairy tale vision or an imaginary vision of fiction. That would make God a liar and this is not my God and never will be.
People who want to believe lies will ignore vital scriptures in the Bible that conflict with their erroneous beliefs. These scriptures were placed there by God to teach us the truth and every scripture on the subject of visions must be balanced with the other scriptures on the subject. This is basic correct Bible interpretation. Only when we allow the Bible to interpret itself can we come close to actually understanding the truth. The next time anyone gives you a verse and tries to tell you that it is not a real vision from God of truth you should respond with the Bible.
It is very interesting to note, do you know that it does not matter what you believe? It does not matter if you are right or if you are wrong? Wow, I probably just blew someone’s mind saying that. I guess I should rephrase those statements, because it does matter if what you believe is the truth for your salvation. But, what I meant to say was your version of the truth does not change the reality of the actual God given and intended truth. God is not going to change to fit and conform with your personal beliefs. God is not going to change His truth to align with your version of the truth. God is a constant, never changing, eternal God that only projects the truth in His word to those who want to see it. To those who are not interested in God’s truth, they are permitted to be deceived and follow their own misconceptions. This is the only way that God can give everyone a free will and a right to make a fair choice in this life.
I had another confused reader try to ask me, why can’t there be multiple choices available to the afterlife? In other words he seemed to think that people are all so different in this current world, so therefore God will allow them all to be different in the world to come. While people will not be identically cloned robots in the afterlife and they will be completely unique we must understand that an anything goes moral mentality and the freedom to commit sin, will not be a direct part of God’s future plan. This type of thinking was the erroneous philosophy of an all-inclusive religion of tolerance and acceptance called “Universal Salvation” where everyone will be in heaven even if they never made Jesus their Lord here on this planet. I have other Bible lessons that address this so I will not repeat them here. But these are false lies of Satan also that will send people to hell because they think they do not have to repent and get saved. There will be no evil in the afterlife for those that are saved because there will be no tempter to test us. Satan will be cast into the lake of fire and will not be able to tempt anyone. God help us all to see the truth.
If I were you I would become hungry and thirsty to know the real truth. Only by being open minded and examining the Bible closely to verify everything that you believe is true, can you ever be assured that you have not been deceived. If you are not willing to change when the truth is presented to you then you are in trouble. Pray and ask God to show you the truth, He is the teacher and will confirm to you the truth. Base your faith only on the Bible and not on anything that a man teaches. Thank you for taking the time to read and study the Bible and I hope this lesson will help someone to understand spiritual visions. God Bless!