By: Rev. Jay Werman
Text Based: 2 Kings 2:1-14
a) We will explain about stages of spiritual growth and how to identify myself in any of those levels.
b) How to grow and what are the elements involved in it.
c) How to grow in the inward man using the word of God.
d) What are the evidences of spiritual growth.
e) Principles established by God in his Word that produce changes in the inside and the outside.
f) The main point is to identify why I’m not growing in my inward man and how to correct it using what God had provided.
g) Most of our issues and problems come from the lock of spiritual growth.
In 2 Kings 2:1-14 we will draw a spiritual application based on the places where these two men of God were sent before one of them was taken to heaven. Let me make clear that when we study the scriptures and try to interpret a particular passage, it should be understood that there is only one interpretation, which is what the writer (inspired by God) of that particular book intended to reveal. The interpretation of that particular
passage may be “Literal or Allegorical”, depends on what God wanted to communicate to those whom He addressed. We can use or extract different applications from those verses but keep in mind that the application is limited to the context that surrounds it and you should never distort the biblical language to try to justify actions that compromise all principles and laws established by God.
Let’s apply what we had already mentioned and establish a parallel between the place where Elijah and Elisha went and the levels of spiritual growth.
There are 3 different locations in 2 Kings 2:2-7: “Bethel, Jericho and Jordan”. These 3 locations can be used (in a limited sense) as a reference to represent believer’s spiritual levels but it has to be within the biblical context of the passage.
Bethel: For example, represents the place of “the vision” in Genesis 35:1-15. Observe several key words in these verses:
“And God said unto Jacob, arise, go up to Bethel”. v. 1
“And he built there an altar, and called the place Elbethel: because there God appeared unto him, when he fled from the face of his brother”. v.7
El Bethel means “The God of the House of God”. Which was the place where God revealed Himself to Jacob. According to The Brown-Driver-Briggs’s dictionary
The stages of spiritual growth are as follow:
– First stage is Born Again (Beth-El). Here is where everything starts for us. God not only places his divine nature in us (John 3:15; 5:39; 6:54; 10:28; Rom. 6:23; Tit. 1:2; 1 John 5:13) but at the same time He placed his vision in our new spirit.
– The second stage is when we start to obey God’s word (Jericho) and rely our dependency on God more than our old way to deal with problems and issues. After we are born again, we must receive instructions (musar) about the new life we have received aligned with the word of God. Read Proverbs 1:2-8; 6:23; 8:10; 12:1; 13:18; 15:33; 19:27.
– The Hebrew word “musar” is used 50 times in the Old Testament and is
translated “correction (8), instruction (30), chastening (3), chastisement
(3), bond (1), chasteneth (1), check (1), discipline (1), doctrine (1),
rebuker (1) according to The Brown-Driver-Brigg’s dictionary.
– The Third stage is when we understand God’s purpose and we had surrendered to it (Jordan). As a born again Christians we are suppose to produce fruits that redounded to God’s glory. Mat 3:10; 7:17-19; 12:33; 13:8, 26; 21:19, 34; Mar 4:7-8, 29; 11:14; 12:2; Luke 1:42; 3:9; 6:43-44; 8:8; 13:6-7; 20:9-10; John 4:36; 12:24; 15:2; 15:4-5, 8, 16; Act 2:30, Rom 1:13; 6:21-22; 15:28, 1 Co 9:7; Gal 5:22; Eph 5:9, Phi 1:22; 4:17, Heb 12:11; 13:15, Jam 3:18; 5:7, 18; Rev 22:2
3 different places with 3 different meanings in 2 Kings 2:1-14
Explaining “Beth-El” as a Level of Spiritual Growth:
Beth-El represents the place where God gives us his vision (plan and purpose for us). At the moment when we received Jesus as our Lord and Savior, he placed a vision (purpose) in our spirit, which it will develop as we grow in the inward man. 1 Samuel 3:1 reveals a clear truth where it says:
“And the child Samuel ministered unto the LORD before Eli.
And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; there was no open vision”.
The manifestation and contact with Jehovah was sporadic at those days, which made it so precious. In this in mind, observe the verse 7 which says:
“Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, neither was the Word of the LORD yet revealed unto him”.
2 things are exposed in those verses:
– Where the Word scares there’s no vision from God.
– In order to really know God, His Word has to be revealed by the Holy Spirit.
Note: “The Word of the Lord was precious in those days” means “because revelation, prophecies, visions, and contact with Jehovah was SCARCE and therefore valuable”.
Beth-El implies that we must let God’s Word to take over our lives so that we can comprehend the purpose of God for us. Paul wrote the following to the Corinthians “But we have the mind of Christ”. 1 Cor. 2:16. It basically means that “we know the plans and purposes of God for us”. And Jesus expressed the same line of thought when He said in Mat. 6:33 “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness”.
Beth-El is where we received a calling to work on a plan and purpose of God for our lives, which in the language of the biblical text means: we have received a vision from God. This is the first stage of the Christian life. God is expecting His children to grow in the inward man until we reach a maturity life. Ephesians 4:12-16.
In 1 Peter 2:1 we found 5 elements that will stop spiritual growth:
“Malice, guile, hypocrisies, envies, and evil speaking.”
Also in 1 Peter 2:2 it tells you how to grow in your inward man:
“As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the Word, that ye may grow thereby”.
The passage points out that the only way to grow spiritually is by taking the
unadulterated milk of the Word of God, which is “The pure doctrines of the gospel and line up with the new covenant in Christ”. In Mark 4:2 says “And he taught them many things by parables, and said unto them in his doctrine”. Only the doctrine of Jesus can “transform and change your life”. Compare James 1:21; Romans 12:2
By allowing and receiving the unadulterated word of God you will grow as follow:
1- In knowledge 2 Peter 3:18
2- Into Christ ion all things. Eph. 4:15
3- Into a holy temple. Eph. 2:21
4- Like a cedar of the Lebanon Ps. 92:12
5- Like calves in the stall. Mal. 4:2
6- In grace. 2 Peter 3:18
A “newborn baby” is a direct reference to the experience expressed by Jesus in John 3:1-10 and also in 2 Corinthians 5:17 where it expressed the fact that we are born again.
In Colossians 3:16 says:
“Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord”.
- “Let” implies that you have to “accept voluntarily”. In James 1:21 we see the same line of thoughts “receive with meekness” and in 1 Peter 2:2 says “desire”. Compare with Rev. 3:20 where the reference in there is to Christian churches.
- “Dwell” is used metaphorically to “dwell in one and influence him” (for good).
- “richly” means in the language of the text “metaphorically abounding, abundantly supplied; abounding (rich) in Christian virtues, gifts and eternal possessions. Jesus said in John 6:63 “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life”. The Word of God is the “spiritual food” provided by God for which we will grow “unto a perfect man” (mature person) Eph. 4:13. Jesus said in John 4:32: “But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of. Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat? Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work”. We are born again and received God’s nature to do God’s will, and to accomplish what we are here for. There is nothing that will bring us more satisfaction than to do God’s purpose with us. This is one of the great principles established by God in His Word.
The second stage: is when we start to be obedient to God’s word (Jericho) and our dependency is on God more than our old way to deal with problems and issues.
“But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy
communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds”. (Col 3:8-9)
- But now ye (as well as all other true believers) also put off all these – All these which follow, as being also inconsistent with God’s calling.
- Anger, wrath – Eph 4:26. The two words appear together in Rom 2:8; Eph 4:31; Rev 16:19; Rev 19:15. The word rendered “anger” is rather chronic, that rendered “wrath” rather acute – an outburst.
- Malice – Eph 4:31. The Greek word sometimes bears the sense of evil, ill, in general; e.g. Mat_6:34. But in lists of vices (compare here Rom 1:29, Tit 3:3; 1Pet 2:1) it means what we mean by “malice.”—It is the vice which lies below anger and wrath, as a root or spring.
- Blasphemy – Mat 9:3. The word here seems to mean all injurious and calumnious speaking – whether against God or man.
- Filthy communication (which comes) out of your mouth – Lewd, indecent, and immodest discourse; Eph 4:29. The conversation of the pagan everywhere abounds with this and which, though it is applicable to all speech that is unsavory, unedifying, idle, and useless, and may be properly enough said of flattery, lying, cursing, and swearing; yet chiefly regards obscene language, unchaste words, and filthy talking, which tend to encourage and cherish the sin of uncleanness in any of its branches, flattery, lying, cursing, and swearing; yet chiefly regards obscene language, unchaste words, and filthy talking, which tend to encourage and cherish the sin of uncleanness in any of its branches.
This is the stage of our spiritual lives when “God shapes us to formed Christ in us”. Since we were born again and received a new spiritual nature, God started a “breaking through process” to remove all those things that are an obstacle and are holding you back. One thing you need to be aware of, is that the devil and his demons are your number one enemies and they will get in the way so that you get discourage and not accomplish the purpose of God in you. Paul spoke about the levels of maturity in 1 Corinthians 13:11;
“When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things”.
The Greek word used for a child is “ne pios”, which means “not speaking, that is, an infant (minor); figuratively a simple minded person, an immature Christian”, according to The Strong’s Hebrew and Greek dictionary.
“I thought as a child” Better as margin, I reasoned. The same Greek word is used here as in 1Co 13:5, ‘thinketh no evil.’
“when I became a man, I put away childish things”, Rather, since I have become a man, I have brought to an end the things of the child, referring, not so much to the act which put away these things, as to the fact that they had been put away finally and irrevocably.
We need to put away;
- Speaking like a child.
- Understanding like a child.
- Thought like a child.
Extracting the essence of what the apostle is saying in this passage, we must grow and leave behind all those things we’ve been dragging on before we were born again.
How do I put away those things? Growing in the inward man through the Word of God. The Greek word used for “put away” is “katargeo” and it means that “a superior and more complete stage will take over those that are put down”, in the same sense that adult hood replaced childhood. The whole point is that we must leave behind all the immature stages and move on to what is more excellent. Reading the context of this passage is clear the behavior of this believers.
At Gilgal (v.1-2) at Bethel (v.4) and Jericho (v.6) Elisha frankly told Elijah “I will not leave you”. After that, Elijah did not try to persuade him to stay at any place, indicating that he had merely tested Elisha.
The expression “The Lord hath sent me to” indicates that Elijah was just following in obedience the instructions of The Lord. Obedience has to be learned and it’s part of the process of spiritual growth. In Hebrew 5:8 says;
“Though he were a Son, yet learned he
obedience by the things which he suffered”
The third symbolical stage: is called “Jordan”. The word in Hebrew is “yardên” which means “a descender” or “One that descends”. It represents when we are submerged (figurative) into Christ and all our being (spirit, soul and body) is controlled by God through our spiritual growth (complete understanding of His will for us). This stage is a very slow process and it requires a spiritual understanding of how it works. In our last class I mentioned about how obscured was the definition of “Soul” in the O.T. because of the sinful nature of men. Eph 2:3; Rom. 6:23; Gal. 2:15. In the N.T. it is a totally different matter because now we had received a new nature through the price that our Lord Jesus paid for us. 2 Pet. 1:4. Our will, emotions, intellect, mind and reason are parts that conformed our soul. We must surrender all these areas to God in order to be in harmony with His plan and purpose for us. Observe what Jesus said in Mat. 16:24;
“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me”.
Let’s explain the key words of this passage:
- “if any man will come after me” – it refers to accept Jesus as the One that had paid the price and because we believe it we are born again. John 3:3; 2 Cor. 5:17; 1 Pet. 1:23. Using a “Parallel” reference this stage represents “Beth-El”. All the benefits of the new pact in Christ are concentrated on individual decision and following certain conduction. Jn. 3:16; 1 Tim. 2:4; 2 Pet. 3:9; Rev. 22:17. God will never force or put pressure to obligate a person to do His will but rather He will persuade that person in love and kindness.
- “let him (the born again) deny himself” – the Greek word for “deny” is “aparneomai” which has the following definitions according to Thayer’s Greek dictionary:
1.1. to affirm that one has no acquaintance or connection with someone
1.2. to forget one’s self, lose sight of one’s self and one’s own interests
“Take up his cross, and follow me” This is an expression that had cause confusion not because is confusing but rather because of the misuse and misunderstanding of what the expression meant when the writer wrote it. The context plays a great significance in the extraction of the original meaning taught by Jesus in this case. Wrong doctrines and false teaching had been the result of the wrong use of this expression, which Jesus never meant to be used in such way. Some have even have teach incorrectly that term “cross” in the text means caring a “sickness or affliction”, that such of line of teaching violated God’s plan to redeem humanity from the cursed that came because of Adam’s transgressions. Read Rom 5:12; Gal. 3:13. When we use the term “cross” related to Jesus is means “The reason or purpose He came to accomplished” (read John 4:34; 6:38), in other words “the specific mission He came to do”. The term use related to a believer it has the same meaning but connected to the term “deny himself” which it means, “all your personal ambitions need to be put aside and let God be the first one in your heart”. “Take the cross” within the context of the text implies “to do the commission you have received from God”., which includes “His plan and purpose”. Observe that in Luke 9:23 is even more specific when it says; “and take up his cross daily, and follow me”.
After we are born again (Beth- El) we are instructed by the Word of God to follow Jesus footsteps in obedience (Jericho). Read Luke 9:62; John 14:15. Then we are heading toward our goal, which is “surrendering our will to God” (Jordan). Paul experienced it when he spoke in Galatians 2:20;
“I am crucified (my personal ambitions) with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me (to do God’s will): and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me”.
That should be the objective of every born again Christian, all our personal agendas, plans, ambitions, aspirations, etc. must be replace by God’s purpose in us. Jesus knew this when he faced a big decision in his earthy life just days before his crucifixion. We read in Luke 22:42;
“Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done”
“Remove” means “to lead aside from the right course or path, to carry away”. Jesus knew that the only way for Him to do His father’s will was by surrendering all to the One He trusted all his earthy life. In a figurative way Jesus needed to cross the “Jordan” and rely on God the Father. Read Heb. 5:7. And also He said in John 12:24;
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit”
If Jesus wouldn’t die at the cross He wouldn’t never die, because he never had experienced sin in his life and according to Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death;” But He came to put his own life to rescue the human race and restore everything. John 15:13. Jesus obtained the Victory not at the cross but rather at the garden of Gethsemane where He literally surrendered His will to the father’s will. The Jordan represents for us those moments when we must surrender to our lord all and rely on his perfect will. Every born again Christian will face with the decision whether to follow his/her own plans or to do God’s purpose. We won’t experience the fullness of God’s presence in us until we won’t let go and bury in the depth of the Jordan our own ambitions.
Only through spiritual growth we can reach a point where we can allow God to take control not only of plans and goals but our entire lives. It’s a process that might take years to accomplish it for some, others are not that privileged, no because they didn’t have the same opportunity but because the chose not to surrender to God’s perfect will.
One thing has to be clear, be belonging to God since the moment we received Jesus as our Lord and Savior. We are just partakers of the life of Christ and the remaining time we are on this earth has be live to reflect His power and glory.
Spiritual growth is the more critical part of our Christian lives and keeping people from growing in the inward man is one of the reasons why the devil had introduced false doctrines, fallacies, humanism, heresies, etc. since the church got corrupted and mixed up with pagans rituals (From the 300s when Constantine the Roman Emperor). We need to be diligent in acquiring the pure spiritual knowledge that comes by the revelation from The Holy Spirit as is described by Paul in Eph. 1:17-18 that says;
“That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints”. Read and compare to John 5:39; 14:26; 15:26.
In 2 Kings 2:1-14 we will draw a spiritual application based on the places where these two men of God were sent before one of them was taken to heaven. Let me make clear that when we study the scriptures and try to interpret a particular scripture, it should be clear that there is only one interpretation, which is what the writer (inspired by God) of that particular book intended it. The interpretation of that particular passage may be “Literal or Allegorical”, depends on what God wanted to communicate to those whom He addressed. We can use or extract different applications from those verses but keep in mind that the application is limited to the context that surround it and you should never distort the biblical language to try to justify actions that compromise all principles and laws established by God.
Let’s apply what we had already mentioned and establish a parallel between the place where Elijah and Elisha went and the levels of spiritual growth.
There is 3 different locations in 2 Kings 2:2-7; “Bethel, Jericho and Jordan”. These 3 locations can be used (limited) as a reference to represent believer’s spiritual levels but it have to be within the biblical context of the passage.
Bethel: For example represents the place of “the vision” in Genesis 35:1-15. Observe several key words in these verses:
“And God said unto Jacob, Arise, go up to Bethel”. v. 1
“And he built there an altar, and called the place Elbethel: because there God appeared unto him, when he fled from the face of his brother”. v.7
El Bethel = “The God of the House of God”. Which means; the place where God revealed Himself to Jacob. According to The Brown-Driver-Briggs’s dictionary.
The stages of spiritual growth is as follow:
1- Born Again (Beth-El): Here is where everything starts for us. God not only places his divine nature in us (john 3:15; 5:39; 6:54; 10:28; Rom. 6:23; Tit. 1:2; 1 John 5:13) but at the same time He placed his vision in our new spirit.
2- The second stage is when we starting to be obeying to God’s word (Jericho) and our dependency on God more than our old way to deal with problems and issues. After we are born again, we must receive instructions about the new life we have received align with the word of God. Read proverbs 1:2-8; 6:23; 8:10; 12:1; 13:18; 15:33; 19:27
The Hebrew word “musar” is used 50 times in the Old Testament and is translated:
“correction (8), instruction (30), chastening (3), chastisement (3), bond (1), chasteneth (1), check (1), discipline (1), doctrine (1), rebuker (1) according to The Brown-Driver-Brigg’s dictionary.
The Third stage is when we understand God’s purpose and we had surrendered to it (Jordan). As a born again Christians we are suppose to produce fruits that redounded to God’s glory. Mat 3:10; 7:17-19; 12:33; 13:8, 26; 21:19, 34; Mar 4:7-8, 29; 11:14; 12:2; Luke 1:42; 3:9; 6:43-44; 8:8; 13:6-7; 20:9-10; John 4:36; 12:24; 15:2; 15:4-5, 8, 16; Act 2:30, Rom 1:13; 6:21-22; 15:28, 1 Co 9:7; Gal 5:22; Eph 5:9, Phi 1:22; 4:17, Heb 12:11; 13:15, Jam 3:18; 5:7, 18; Rev 22:2
May our God keep blessing you and yours!
THE LIVING WORD CENTER, INC.
By Rev. Jay Werman
In-depth teaching of the ministries taught in the Scriptures.
The first thing we need to do is to extract the meaning of the word “ministry” according to Scriptural context.
Mat 20:26 “But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister”.
The Greek word used for minister is “diakonos”, which means has the following definitions:
- One who executes the commands of another, especially of a master, a servant, attendant, minister
- The servant of a king. Mt 22:13
- Servants of feasts. John 2:5-9
- A deacon, one who, by virtue of the office assigned to him by the church, cares for the poor and has
charge of and distributes the money collected for their use as it is described in Acts 6:5-6
- It is used of “preachers of the gospel”. 1 Cor 3:5; 2 Cor 3:6; 6:4; 11:23.
- “diakonos” is used in 2 Cor 11:15 in reference to “the ministers of satan”, which purpose is to forged,
deceive and to fake the true work of ministers of God.
Nowadays the concept of a “Minister” has been corrupted and no longer is used to “serve others” as it is meant
by Jesus in Mat 20:24-28. Any person called by God to do any specific work is with the purpose of “serving,”
whether ministering to God or to others.
The definition of “ministry” will be subject to the context in which it is used and by the calling that is upon
such ministry. Let’s explain first why Jesus brought up the concept of “minister” among the disciples and then
we can comprehend the usage of the word “minister” as used by Jesus according to Mat 20:24-28.
In Mat 20:20 “Then came to him the mother of Zebedee’s children with her sons, worshipping him, and desiring
a certain thing of him”. The name of the mother of these 2 disciples is “Salome”. Compare Mat 27:56 with Mk 15:40.
Mat 20:21 “And he (Jesus) said unto her (Salome), What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant that these my
two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom”. What she is asking is that
her 2 sons to be seated in the highest position in the Messiah’s millennial reign. Compare with Mk 10:35-37.
The Greek word used for “Kingdom” is “basileia”, which means “Having the right or authority to rule over a
Mat 20:22 “But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall
drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, we are able”. Jesus
taught complete against seeking to be the greatest, they should have known this before they asked. Compare
Mat 18:1-10; 20:16. Observe their answer “They say unto him, we are able”. Meaning they were willing to go
through anything for “honor and position”, as many still do today. Look at the attitude of Daniel when the
king offered gifts to him if Daniel was able to interpret the writing on the wall. Dan 5:17.
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.” This passage speaks about of some prerogatives that The Father have
and The Son doesn’t. Compare with Mk 13:32; John 8:28; Acts 1:7. Obviously, this must be understood under
the redemption plan of God to redeem humanity.
This particular request from Salome and her sons provoked Jesus to explain what is the right concept of being
the greatest in the kingdom of God. Anyone who calls himself “minister” and doesn’t have the attitude of
being a Servant, such person hasn’t comprehended the purpose of his calling. We need to find out what is
the real concept of being a “Minister of God” and follow it. There’s a lot of polluted and corrupted ministers,
whose purpose is to be served by others and being placed in the highest position. Such people have already
received their own reward. If we don’t use “spiritual discernment” in our lives and ministry, we will end up
on the same path them. Spiritual discernment will help you to distinguish what is the motivation that moves
others to do what they do. 1 John 4:1.
Now, notice what happens when the other 10 disciples find out about the request of Salome and her 2 sons.
Mat 20:24 “And when the ten heard it, they were moved with indignation against the two brethren”. The
carnal reactions of the disciples are very noticeable. Satan took advantage of this situation to divide the disciples.
But Jesus right away moved to correct the issue and established the right concept of what really means to be
Mat 20:25 “But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion
over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them.”
- “The princes of the Gentiles”. Nations whose rulings are not aligned with God’s purpose. Pagan nations
which purpose to enslave others for their own gain.
- “Exercise dominion over them”. Which means “to hold others in subjection”. The term literally means
“To subjugate others by terrorizing and oppressing”. They are called Tyrant and oppressors. Just like the
Egyptians treated the nation of Israel when they were captives. Gen 15:12-14; Ex 1:7-14; Acts 7:18-19.
God will be the Supreme ruler of planet earth again, once all the enemies of God are defeated. 1 Cor 15:25
“For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet”.
Mat 20:26 “But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister.”
The idea expressed by Jesus is the opposite of what the pagans do. The principle here is that we must serve
others to be rewarded by God and not the other way around. If this principle is not the basis of a ministry,
then we are instead working under a pagan principle, as many still do today. Jesus even expanded this principle
in the next passage, which says;
Mat 20:27 “And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant.” The Greek word used for
“chief ” is “protos”, which means “First in time or place, first in rank and Principal or Honor”.
Mat 20:28 “Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a
ransom for many.” This is the perfect example of having the right motivation to serve others. Until this principle
is fully comprehended, we won’t achieve as church the purpose of our calling and ministry.
What is the definition of a calling? Let’s see what the Scriptures say:
Heb 3:1 “Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest
of our profession, Christ Jesus”.
The Greek word used for “partakers” is “metochos”, which means “sharing in, partaking or a partner (in a work, office, dignity)”. It is used in the same sense Heb 3:1; 14; 6:4; 12:8. Every born again Christian has a heavenly calling, the earthy Israel had an earthly calling and both are in a different covenant and ethnic group. 1 Cor 10:32. The heavenly calling means that there will be no restriction when ruling under God’s government. In fact, the expression “heavenly calling” Heb 3:1, implied “an invitation to embrace a heavenly calling”. That applied to everyone who had been born again and it is part of the body of Christ. Also, Heb 3:1 made a reference to:
- “Jesus heavenly calling” which made him better than Moses. Heb 3:1-6; Dt 18:15-19; John 1:17.
- Mentioned Jesus as “The Apostle” and a “High Priest”. Heb 3:1
- Php 3:12 “Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus”. “ Follow after” from the Greek means “to make to run or flee, put to flight, drive away”, from the Greek word “dioko”. It is related to a “full commandment to follow after; someone”.
- Php 3:13 “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before”. 3 things are extracted from the text itself:
“This one thing I do”. V 13. Have a clear objective mind set.
“Forgetting those things which are behind”. V 13. “Forgetting” meaning, “no longer caring for it” why? New creature in Christ. 2 Cor 5:17
“No condemnation for those who are in Jesus Christ.” Rom 8:1.
- Php 3:14 “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus”. “I press” comes from the Greek word “dioko” as “I follow” in V 12 and it has the same meaning.“Toward” means “through out” or “according to” from the word “kata”. “ The Mark” comes from the Greek word “skopos” which means “the distant mark looked at, the goal or end one has in view.” Used only in this passage. The prize” comes from the Greek word “brabeion” meaning “the award to the victor in the games, a prize.” It is used in the same sense in 2 Cor 9:24.
Rom 11:29 “For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance”.
The application of this passage can be used as follow:
– As relates to the gifts and calling of Israel as a nation, in which God will fulfill all his promises. Jos 21:45; 1 Chr 16:15; Jer 31:35-36; Ezek 36:22-23; Hosea 5:16; 6:1-2; Mat 24:35; Rom 4:21; 2 Tim 2:13; Heb 6:13-18 and James 1:17 says “The Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning”. God does not change!
– As relates to any person that has received a “gift or calling” from God, to do a specific work. If such person failed to follow that calling but repents and comes back to God with a sincere heart, God will restore him to the early stage. The Greek expression “without repentance” basically means “not repentant of or un-regretted”, which implies that “God doesn’t change his mind as if He made a error”.
Eph 4:4 “There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling”
It refers to “Unity in our calling” as it is expressed in the context of the passage.
“Ministerial gifts”. Definitions and functions of each one of them given to the church.
We will explain only the ministries that are based in the Scriptures and not any man made positions, which will produce nothing but losses, to be expanded upon further on this study.
Eph 4:11 “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers”.
Here we have the 5 major ministries given to the church, which are aligned with the calling. We will define these 5 ministries and later the rest of them.
- The Apostle: From the Greek “apostolos”, which means “a delegate, messenger, one sent forth with orders”. Under the meaning of Scriptural text an apostle is “one that had been sent forth with a special abilities and powers to act and represent other”. Another complementary definition is “That one that has been sent is completely backed up and supported by the one who had sent him”. It basically means that the apostle counts with God support in every step of his mission and calling. The word “apostle” is used 81 times in the Scriptures. Observe what is it stated in Luke 6:13:
“And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles”.
Compare with Mat 10:2, Mar 6:30, Luk 6:13; 9:10; 11:49; 17:5; 22:14; 24:10; Act 1:2, 26; 2:37, 43; 4:33, 36; 5:12, 18, 29, 34, 40; 6:6; 8:1, 14; 9:27; 11:1; 14:14; 15:2, 4, 6, 22-23; 16:4; Rom. 16:7; 1Co 4:9; 9:5; 12:28-29; 15:7, 9; 2Co 11:5,13; 12:11; Gal 1:17; Eph 2:19-20; 3:5; 4:11; 1Th 2:6; 2Pe 3:2; Jud 1:17; Rev 2:2; 18:20; 21:14.
“The high calling of God” implies the type of calling we have received as born again Christians. It is related to all Christians and not just a few people, as some teach today. The Greek word used for “calling” is “klesis” which means “of the divine invitation to embrace salvation of God” and it is used in Rom 11:29; 1 Cor 1:26; 1 Cor 7:20; Eph 1:18; 4:4; Php 3:14; 2 Th 1:11; 2 Tim 1:9; Heb 3:1; 2 Pet 1:10. and Eph. It is used as “vocation”.
– Responsibilities, roles and abilities of The Apostle:
Compare Mat. 10:10; 28:19-20; Mk. 3:14-15; 6:7-13; 16:15-20; Lk. 9:1-5; 24:47-53; Jn. 20:22-23; 21:15-19; Acts 1:4-8.
The apostle has the ability to perform in all 4 ministries mentioned in Eph 4:11. This in ONE OF THE SIGNS that prove that a person has an “apostle ministry”, because IT IS NOT A TITLE. That’s why we need to TEST THEM according to:
Rev 2:2 “…and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars”.
Many falsely used a title of “apostle” in the early church and many still do today but they were tested by using “Spiritual discernment”. 1 Cor 12:10, 1 Jn 4:1. Jesus said the following absolute truth:
Mat 7:16 “Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?”.
The principle applies to the ministerial gifts, which is “each tree will produce according to his kind” and Gen 1:11 expressed the same idea.
24 Apostles mentioned in the New Testament:
- Jesus Christ. Heb 3:1
- Simon Peter. Mat 10:2
- Andrew, the brother of Peter. Mat 10:2.
- John. Mat 10:2
- James. Mat 10:2.
- John and James are called “the sons of Zebedee”.
- Thomas. Mat 10:3
- Philip. Mat 10:3
- Bartholomew. Mat 10:3. Philip and Bartholomew were brothers.
- James. Lk 6:16
- Judas. Lk 6:16. James and Judas were “the sons of Alphaeus”.
- Matthew. Mk 2:14; Lk 6:15
- Simon Zelotes. Lk 6:15
- Judas Iscariots. Mat 10:4
- Barnabas. Acts 13:1-3; 14:4, 14; Gal 2:9; 1 Cor 9:5-6
- Andronicus. Rom 16:7
- Matthais. Acts 1:16
- Junia. Rom 16:7
- James. Gal 1:19; 2:9; Jas 1:1Timothy. 1 Th 1:1; 2:6
- Apollos. 1 Cor 4:6-9
- Silas. 1 Th 1:1; 2:6
- Titus. 2 Cor 8:23
- Paul. Gal 1:1; 2:8
- Epaphoditus. Php 2:25
– Evidence that confirm that someone is called to the apostle ministry:
Operates in all the ministries mentioned in Eph 4:11, which basically means that such person moves in the following ministerial areas:
- Preacher Ministry. Operates as a Ministry of evangelism by bringing people into Christ. Mat 11:1
- Teacher Ministry. Operates as a Ministry of teaching by forming people in Christ. Acts 5:42
- Prophet Ministry. Operates as a Ministry of the Prophet by acting and moving in the gifts given to that specific ministry. All the gifts of Revelations, which are the gifts that use to “reveal an event that is connect with past, present or the future”. These gifts will be defined and explained in detail when we study “The gifts of the Holy Spirit to the Body of Christ”. The apostle will “rise and teach” prophets by guiding, forming and instructing them in the use of these gifts.
- Pastoral Ministry. Operates as a Ministry of a Pastor by forming in different areas those that are called by God to execute this particular ministry.
Overall, The apostle has these abilities given by God to develop in a healthy way the Body of Christ.
Operates in ALL the ministerial gifts, All the gifts of the Holy Spirits as it is expressed in 1 Cor 12:8-10 and in the 7 ministries of the Holy Spirit given to the church. Isa 11:2. Nowadays this ministry had become a “fruitless” a title and position.
As we keep defining and explaining the others ministries, the responsibilities and commission of the ministry of the apostle are expanded with more details.
- The Prophet: From the Greek word “prophētēs” which means “one who, moved by the Spirit of God and it’s a channel and instrument.” Who solemnly declares to men what he has received by inspiration, especially concerning future events and in particular such as relate to the purpose of God. In the Scriptures there are 2 types of Prophets:
- Prophets that spoke God’s message: These prophets appeared in the Scriptures as “vessels of God” with a specific message. Prophets like Samuel Acts 21:10; Nathan 2 Sam 7:2; 12:25, Abraham is called a “prophet” Gen 20:7. Elijah and Elisha were in charge of “school of the prophets” mentioned in 1 Sam 10:5, 10-12; 19:20-24; 1 Kings 12:29; 13:1-32; 20:35; 2 Kings 2:2-15; 4:1, 38; 5:22; 6:1-7; 9:1. Judges 6:8-10; 1 Sam 22:5. John the Baptist Mat 11:1-13; 14:4; 21:26; Mk 11:32; Lk 20:6. Jesus is mentioned as “prophet” Mat. 21:11, 46; Lk 7:16; 24:19; Jn. 4:19; 7:40; 9:17; Agabus Acts 21:10, among others. “The inspiration gifts” through which God says something to the church. 1 Cor 12:10. We will define and explain each one of these gifts when we study the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
- Prophets that wrote God’s message: Prophets that were inspired by God to write a divine prophetic message that will reveal God’s purpose for man. Prophets like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Samuel, Ezekiel, Daniel, David’s writings like Psalms and he is called a prophet Acts 2:30, Moses was called prophet. Dt 34:10. God inspired the Scriptures. 2 Tim 3:16, which basically means that the writers of the scriptures had a special influence upon them at the moment when we were writing the divine message.
Responsibilities, roles and abilities of The Prophet:
One thing we need to understand is that the role of the prophets in the Old Testament is different than the one in the New Testament. So, the focus of this section will apply to only to the prophet ministry
that is given to the body of Christ in Eph. 4:11. Why? Because of the extensive material of the subject.
The main role of the ministry of the prophet is to be a communicator of God message, which involve the use of the following gifts:
1 Cor 12:10 “To another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues”.
Anyone who claims to be a prophet and doesn’t have the manifestation of the gifts is an impostor or false prophet. The following list of characteristics that will will help you to identify false prophets:
- a. By the interior spiritual state: Mat 7:15-20
- b. By demonic power or influence: Mat 7:22; 24:24; Acts 8:9-13; 13:6-13; 16:16-24; 2 Th 2:8-12; Rev 13:1-18; 16:13-16; 19:20.
- c. By the type of fruit produced for their doctrinal teaching: Mat 7:15-20; 12:33-37; 15:1-9; 1 Tim 4:1-6; 6:3-5; 2 Tim 3:1-8; 4:1-4; 2 Pet. 2.
- d. By the outer behavior. Mat 5:20; 6:1-24; 7:15; 23:1-33; 2 Tim 3:5. Jesus warned us about this type of false prophets that will rise in the latter days:
Mat 24:11 “And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many”.
Mat 24:24 “For there shall arise false Christ, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect”. Compare with Micah 3:5
The lord rebuked the church of Pergamos for they allowed the influences of the doctrine of the Balaam the prophet, which put obstacles before Israel and to commit fornication. Rev 2:14; Num. 22, which can be compared with 2 Pet 2:15; Jud 1:11. This tells us that we have to search the Scriptures and compare any doctrine we hear or read if such is consistent with what God had said in His own word. Jn 5:39.
The prophet ministry has the responsibility to give God’s message with transparency and without pollution or corruption that the message might absorb while been given by the Holy Spirit. The apostle Paul spent one chapter of the first letter to the Corinthians to explain how the prophecy must be taken from The Holy Spirit and given to the church. 1 Cor 14.
– Evidence that confirm that someone is called to the prophet ministry:
» Operates in all “the inspiration and revelation gifts” mentioned in 1 Cor 12:8-10, which basically means that such person moves in the followings ministerial areas:
- Operate in “the inspiration gifts”, which are as follow: Prophecy, different kinds of tongues and interpretation of tongues. 1 Cor 12:10. Through these gifts God says something. 1 Cor 14:22
“Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe”.
- Operate in “the revelation gifts”, which are as follow: Word of wisdom, word of knowledge, and discerning spirits. 1 Cor 12:8-10. Through these gifts God reveals something Basic elements that follows any prophet messages, which will determent if such message comes from The Holy Spirit.
1 Cor 14:3 “But he (the prophet) that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort”.
The Holy Spirit does not inspire any prophecy out this context.
No man, nor organization, nor university can give a prophet ministry. The scriptures say about it that ONLY Jesus gives ministry.
Eph 4:11 “And he (Jesus) gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers”.
Any person that had received a position or title from man it is totally useless. 1 Cor 3:10-15
To be continue…
Victory Upon The Cross!
Biblical based: Mat. 27:4; MK. 15:28; Lk. 23:34; 2 Cor. 5:21; Gal. 3:13; 4:4.
God promised to restore humanity back to their original state, through the virginal birth a Jesus and to defeat Satan and his kingdom of darkness.
“And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” Gen. 3:15
“Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” Isa. 7:14
“Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil.” Heb. 2:14
In the book of Micah 5:1-2 speaks of God’s guarantee for the restoration of men and the Messiah’s first coming…”yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be the ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from old, from everlasting”. We must understand that God was the only one that could redeem (to buy back) humanity. That’s why He developed a plan of redemption from the very beginning. Gen. 3:15. Before we get in depths about Jesus dead, burial and resurrection, we need to comprehend what the prophecy of Micah said.
– The Messiah was prophesied to come from the tribe of Judah. V. 2; Gen. 49:10. It was fulfilled literally when Jesus was born. Mt. 1:1-18; Lk. 3:23-38; Heb. 7:14; Rev. 5:5.
– The person who was to be born from the tribe of Judah was to be God – An eternal being whose goings forth have been from old, to everlasting. Micah 5:1-2; Isa. 9:6-7; Jn. 1:1-3, 14; Heb. 1:8; Rev. 1:8; 2:8; 22:13. Jesus as man had a beginning, was begotten, and was brought into being, but as God, He had no beginning, was not begotten, and did not come to being. Read Acts 13:33. He always existed as God. Psalm 90:2; Jn. 1:1; Heb. 1:8. The prophecies relate to the birth of “The Son of God” are directly connected to the Humanity of Jesus, not to His deity. Psalm 2:7-8 refers to the birth and ministry of the Messiah, and it is also used by Paul in Acts 13:33. “Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee”. The expression “this day” refers to the day the Jesus was born of a virgin. Isa. 7:6-7. God became a father when Jesus was born of Mary. Mt. 1:20. Even more, in Jn. 1:14 says “the only begotten of the father”. Jesus always will be “the only begotten Son” of God. V. 14, 18; 3:16, 18; 1 Jn. 4:9. No man can ever be “begotten or born” in the same sense as Jesus was. Read Mt. 1:18-25; Lk. 1:34-35. All those who had received Jesus as Lord and Savior, had received a different type of sonship, which is based in “Adoption through Jesus” and not based under the same qualifications as Jesus came. John 10:1-2 expressed that only those who had entered through the door (being born) into the sheepfold (earth) but climberth up some other way (like satan did when he deceived Eve), the same is a “thief and a robber”. As the Son of God, He came to offer His blood in sacrifice for us. Jesus was born of a woman according to Gal. 4:4, which gave Him the right to operate in the earth. The angel told Mary…”and, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus.
“He shalt be great, and shalt be called The Son of The Highest: and the Lord God shalt give him the throne of his father David”. Lk. 1:31-32.
Let’s explain Philippians 2:6-7, which details Christ humiliation:
- “Who, being in the form of God”: The word for “being” used from the Greek language is “huparcho”, which is translated “being” v. 6. It implies “existing; subsisting”, Christ existed as “God” from all eternity. Compare Isa. 7:14; 9:6-7; Mic. 5:2; Jn. 1:1-2; Heb. 1:8; Rev. 1:8-11. “Form of God”; The Greek word is “Morphe”, which is used as “The outward form by which a person or thing strike the vision; the external appearance, or shape”. Is also used in Mk. 16:12 related to Jesus physical appearance. This part of the passage should read “Who, subsisting in the form of God (in which He had revealed to all celestial beings)”.
- “To be equal to God”: This settles the idea that some religions have about Jesus not being divine, or some others thinks that He was an angel. Jesus was 100% God and 100% man, unique in His class.
- “But made Himself of no reputation”: The word from the Greek is “Kenosis”, which is extracted from “Kenoo”. It means the following “to empty out, drain, make empty”. Applied to Christ indicated; He laid aside equality with or form of God. It basically means; “Jesus put aside all His powers, abilities, and attributes as God, when He came was born as man. He was still God but operating same as Adam when God created him. Jesus is the perfect example of how Adam walk before he betrayed God. Gen. 1:26-29. God gave him “dominion” over all the creation. Christ knew that Men were created with enough abilities to overcome satan’s attacks and He came to prove so. Jesus walked in His early ministry under the power of the Holy Spirit to do all the miracles, and never used His divine powers. He said, “…He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father”. Jn. 14:12. This passage states that Jesus didn’t used His divine abilities and attributes, otherwise how could he said that we can do the same works as he did and even greater? Its possible with the power of the Holy Spirit. Read acts 10:38; 1 Pet. 2:21. His divine nature, powers, abilities and attributes were still in Him but He never used them, especially to defeated satan and his kingdom of darkness. Mt. 12:28; Lk. 4:16-21; Jn. 8:28. The book of Hebrew stated that Jesus even learned obedience by the things he suffered. Heb. 4:14-16; 5:7-9.
In the book of Luke we found a passage that give us light of when Jesus started to get ready to fulfill His mission. We read in chapter 9:51 “ And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he steadfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem”. Closing one phase of his mission, which is his earthly ministry and focusing in accomplish his real mission for what he came; to taste death for all mankind so that all those who believe in his sacrifice will receive a new life. Read Mt. 20:28; Mk. 10:45; Gal. 1:4; 1 Tim. 2:4-6; Tit. 2:14; 1 Pet. 2:24; 3:18; Rev. 1:5. If we keep reading Lk. 9:51-53 Jesus was rejected by the Samaritans, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem. Later in the following passages the disciples wanted to retaliate against the Samaritans. Lk. 9:54-56.
Details related to the spiritual warfare that Jesus experienced in the Garden of Gethsemane:
Mat. 26:36-46; Mk. 14:32; Lk. 22:39; Jn. 18:1.
– The word Gethsemane means “the oil press”, and it was a favorite place of retirement when Christ was at Jerusalem. Lk. 22:39; Jn. 18:2.
– Jesus took these 3 disciples who had witnessed His transfiguration. Mt. 17:1-8; and now they witnessed His agony in the Garden. Lk. 22:44, 53.
– Mt. 26:39 expressed the spiritual warfare that Jesus went through. The idea in these passages is that the devil tried to kill Jesus before he could get to the cross, but God heard His prayer and saved him from death. Read Heb. 5:7; Lk. 22:43-44. If Satan could have succeeded in getting rid of Jesus from the time He was born to the cross, Satan could have defeated God’s plan of redemption. Jesus Needed to get to the cross to fulfill all the prophecies and to spoiled satan’s evil plan by triumphed over them. Col. 2:14-17; 1 Pet. 2:24.
– Mat. 26:42 refers to “the cup of death on the cross”.
– Mat. 26:45 the hour or period of time for Jesus to accomplish the redemption’s plan. Mk. 14:41; Lk. 22:14; Jn. 2:4; 7:30; 8:20; 12:23, 27; 13:1; 17:1.
In Mat. 26:1 Christ ended his public ministry to the people of Israel and being his period of sufferings. Also, in the same book of Matthew Christ announced his death and in each time a new detail is added. Mat. 16:21; 17:22; 20:17, 28.
God saw in the future Judas Iscariot betraying Jesus in Psalm 109. This Psalm contains 16 sins and 20 characteristics of the wicked man.
Death by crucifixion was one of the most cruel and shameful deaths that could be devised or conceived. It is supposed to have been invented by Semiramis, queen of Nimrod, who founded the Babylonian system of mysteries. Read Rev. 17:5. Crucifixion was a Roman practice inflicted only upon slaves and the worst criminals. The person was nailed to the cross, each hand extended to the utmost stretch. Then, the feet were nailed together, and then the cross was lifted and dropped into a hole with a violence thud (stomp, bang), which disjointed the whole body. The weight of the body hung on the nails through the hands and feet. A victim was left on the cross until physical pain and untold sufferings.
– Prophecies fulfilled at the cross in depth.
In the book of prophet Isaiah we found a chapter that breaks down in details the suffering of the incoming Messiah. God inspired the prophet to give us a glanced of what will happen at the cross. In chapter 53 we found 36 aspects of the suffering of Jesus at the cross.
Lets get into some of the key words in depth in Isaiah 53.
- Response, reaction and reception among his people. V. 1
- “For he shall grow up before him as tender plant, and as a root out of the dry ground”. Verse 2. In this passage the prophet speaks about “Jesus childhood before the Lord”, which was foresee by the prophet. Achieved and complete in Mt. 1:18-25; Lk. 2:1-51.
- “No form”. V. 2. From the Hebrew refers to “shape, outline, figure, form, appearance’, which in the context of the text implied “that sin had disfigured or deformed his beautiful appearance’.
- “Nor comeliness”. V. 2. From the Hebrew word “hadar”, which means “splendor, honor, majestic, glory, magnificence, excellency”. At the cross there was none of this but suffering for Jesus. After his defeated death, sin and satan, He has now more that anyone else, excluding the Father and the Holy Spirit. Eph. 1:20-23; Phil. 2:9-11; Col. 1:15-18; 1 Pet. 3:22. Read Jn. 17:5.
- “He is despised and rejected of men”. V. 3. Fulfilled in Jn. 1:10-11; 8:48; 10:20.
- “Man of sorrow”. V. 3. The word used from the Hebrew refers to physical and mental pain. Used in Exodus 3:7. He carried all our sorrows. V. 3-4.
- “And acquainted with grief “. The word grief should had been translated instead; “sickness, malady, anxiety, diseases, calamity”. Jesus took them all in his own body while hanging at the cross and became our replacement.
- “Surely he hath borne our griefs”. v. 4. The word “borne” from the Hebrew is “nasa” and it ‘s used 659 times in the O.T. the usage depend upon the context where it is used. “nasa” which means; “to lift, bear up, carry away, take, cast away, erase. The idea in here is that of one person taking the burden of another and placing it on himself, in the same sense as “carrying an infant; or as the flood lifted up the ark”. Psalm. 103: 12; Mt. 8:16-17; 1 Jn. 3:5.
- “We did esteem him stricken, smitten of God and afflicted”. V. 4. “Stricken” from Hebrew “naga”, meaning, “lay the hand upon, strike violently, bring down”, smite with plague. V. 4; Dt. 21:4. It’s used as “touch” with different endings 92 times. “Smitten” from the Hebrew word “nakah” meaning, “to strike, beat, kill, punish, slaughter, slay, smite, wound, and stripe. V. 4. Isa. 10:24; 11: 4; 50:6; Zech. 12:4; Mal. 4:6. For the sin of the people He was stricken. V. 8.
- “And with his stripe we are healed”. V. 5. The word “stripe” is extracted from the Hebrew word “chaburah” which means “black and blue mark, wound, stripe”. A scourge was a Roman implement for severe bodily punishment. The whole idea of scourging was to punish the criminals before execution and not to kill, although many passed out or died when they were tortured .flogging was permitted by the law up to 40 stripes. Dt. 25:3. But was reduced to 39 stripes. 2 Cor. 11:23-25. If the scourge used on Jesus had 12 thongs and he was hit even 39 times this would make 468 stripes in his body.
- “And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death”. V. 9. In the Amplified bible version reads as follow; “…and with the rich man in his death”. What rich man the prophet refers to? Most people think is Joseph of Arimathea that provided a tomb for the body of Jesus. But we found a reference in a story that Jesus told in the book of Luke. Let’s analyze and compare details in Luke 16:19-31:
Many believes that Jesus spoke in parables in Lk. 16:19-31, but in a parable you don’t use a real person’s name like Jesus did when he mentioned “Abraham”, which made it a real story. We find details about where the souls and spirits of people go after their body dies. Spiritual suffering, eternal punishment, conscience of the soul, etc. Jesus talked about a real place using 2 real persons in his real story. Besides detailing the state and condition of those that leave the physical state or body, Jesus has something in common with one of them. Not Lazarus since he was comforted in Abraham’s bosom and in the other hand the rich man was being tormented. Where is the connection of Isaiah 53:9 between the rich man and Jesus? That Jesus will go to the place where the rich man went after he died. Jesus went to be tormented because of our sins. 2 Cor. 5:21.
“For he hath MADE HIM to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.“
– Physical and Spiritual suffering of Jesus at the cross:
There are no doubts that the physical suffering of Jesus was behind anything we can possibly imagine, but the spiritual suffering is way more intense and deep. Physical pain reaches only the body but the spiritual pain or suffering not only affect the inward person (spirit, mind, emotions, and even sometimes the will) but the body as well. Read Prov. 15:13; 17:22. Acts 2:24 speak about “pains of death” which took over Jesus at the cross when He took all our sins. Mt. 26:28; Jn. 1:29; 1 Cor. 15:3; Gal. 1:4; 1 Pet. 2:24.
– Types in the Old Testament of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus:
– The Lamb without blemish. Exodus 12:3-6; Jn. 1:29; Acts. 2:23; Eph. 1:4; Tit. 1:2.
– The blood of the animals was a symbolism or representation of the blood of Jesus. The divine principle behind the symbolism was to express that without shedding of the blood there was no forgiveness. Compare Lev. 17:11; Heb. 9:22.
– All that symbols used in the O.T. with reference to the sacrifice of Jesus at the cross pointed to His body and His blood, which needed to be perfect in order for the sacrifice to be perfect. 1 Cor. 11:23-26; whole chapter 9 of the book of Hebrews.
– The O.T. was only a “shadow” of the realities of the benefits in the sacrifice in Christ. Heb. 10:1-4.
– Jonah was a type of Christ: 1)- Jesus approved the story of Jonah and the big whale. Jonah 1:17. 2)- When Jesus said. “For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the whales belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three in the heart of the earth”. In order for Jonah to be a type of Christ he needed die in the whale’s belly. In fact, Jonah chapter 2:2 says “And I said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the Lord, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice”. It used a very interesting word from the Hebrew for “Hell”, which is “Sheol” meaning “the unseen world, the place of departed souls, not the grave where the body goes at dead”. Remember Isaiah 53:9? Jesus went to the place where the Rich man went after dead. Jonah was not miraculously kept alive, he died when he was swallowed up and then he became a true type of death, burial and resurrection of Christ. The used of “as and so” of Mt. 12:40 require the death and resurrection of Jonah in the type. Also, The Hebrew word for the expression “three days” can be used in any part of the 3 days, but when the word “nights” is used with it the term can be only mean “3 literals days and 3 nights”. It has the same meaning in here as well as in Mt. 12:40 where Jesus emphasis the time and place where he will go after dying at the cross.
– Serpent lifted up by Moses in the wilderness. Symbolism of Christ at the cross taking our Sins. 2 Cor. 5:21. Jesus to be crucified in order to fulfill the prophecy and to redeem man. Lk. 24:26, 28; Acts 3:18; 17:3. Jn. 3:15 expressed the reason for Jesus died at the cross. Jn. 5:24.
– What happened in “The three days and three nights” prophesied in the O.T. and by Jesus himself?
At the cross Jesus took all our sins, diseases, plagues, sadness, all the cursed the come because of Adam’s transgression. Paul’s said in Galatians 3:13 “Christ hath redeemed us (all those who had received Him as Lord and savior) from the curse of the law (it’s expressed in Dt. 28: 15-68), being made curse for us: for it is written, Curse is every one that hangeth on a tree”. Dt. 21:23. The same day a criminal was executed he was removed from the earth. Dt. 21:22-23.
Jesus said in Mt. 12:40 that he will go to “the heart of the earth” for three days and three nights”. Jesus was dead for “3 full days and 3 full nights”. He was put in the grave Wednesday just before sunset and was resurrected at the end of Saturday at sunset. There’s no such thing as “Good Friday” which should be changed to “Good Wednesday”. No reference in the scriptures to sustain that Jesus was buried Friday at sunset. That would make Him in the grave only “one day and one night” proving Jesus words untrue. Mt. 12:40. The Sabbath mentioned in Jn. 19:31 was not the regular Sabbath observed by the Jews people, but instead was a special Sabbath of the feast. Lev. 23:6-11. Jesus was arrested Tuesday at sunset and crucified Wednesday before sunset. In Mark 15:25 said “and it was the third hour, and they crucified him”. Third hour meaning “9:00 a.m.” and died at six hours later at 3:00 p.m. at the exact time when the Passover lambs were to be sacrifice. Mt. 27:45; Lk. 23:44-45.
– What really happened at the cross?
Jesus fulfilled all the prophecies that were written by the prophets in the O.T.
Jesus mocked by the roman’s solders:
- The solders stripped Jesus’s clothes. Mt. 27:28.
- They clothed him in purple mocking Jesus kingship. Mk. 15:17.
- Crowned Jesus with thorns mocking his kingship.
- They salute Him in a sarcastic way as “King of the Jews”. What they didn’t realize is that one day every knee will bow down to him. Mk. 15:18-19; Phil 2:9-11.
- Spit upon Him. Mk. 15:19.
- Smote Jesus on the head with a reed (stick) mocking his kingly powers and authorities. Mk. 15:19.
- Bowed their knees mock worship. Mk. 15:19.
- Stripped Jesus again and put on his own clothes. Mk. 15:20
Note: The Crown of thorns was not part of the normal crucifixion ritual. Perhaps one of the roman solder (influenced by satan) brought branches from a wild hawthorn bush with long, sharp, hard thorns. The crown of thorns might have a basket shape like so that it will cover the entire scalp. The thorns penetrated the skin and were driven more and more deeper when Jesus was struck on the head with the reeds.
– Victory of Jesus over “The sin, death and satan’s kingdom of darkness:
- Explanation of Jn. 20:17. Jesus’s first ministry; “High Priest”.
- Explanation of Acts 2:23-32.
- Jesus conquest 2 things in Col. 2:15;
- Abolished and cancelled the law.
- Defeated the executors of the law. Col 2:15 expressed the “Public defeat of satan and his armies”. Acts 3:13-18; 5:28; 1 Jn. 3:8.
- Jesus defeat death. Rev. 1:18 says “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death”. “I am” identified the person to be Christ. Acts 2:25-36; 1 Cor. 15:1-23; Col. 2:14-17; Eph. 2:14-15; Jn. 21:14. “Keys” signify “Power and Authority”. Compare. V. 18; 3:7; Mt. 16:19; 18:18; Isa. 22:22.
- Explanation of 1 Tim. 3:16
“And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was MANIFEST in the flesh, JUSTIFIED in the Spirit, SEEN of angels, PREACHED unto the Gentiles, BELIEVED on in the world, RECEIVED UP into glory.“
May our God keep blessing your life!
THE LIVING WORD CENTER, INC.
Rev. Jay Werman, Director
Topic: “Water baptism”; Symbolism of the inner change.
Text base: Acts 8:36-40
Definition: The word used in Greek language for “Baptism” is “baptidzo” and it comes
from the root “bapto” which basically means, “to dip” Luke 16:24; Rev. 19:13; Jn. 13:26.
“To overwhelm with suffering”, Mt. 20:22-23; Lk. 12:50. “To bury into (Rom. 6:3-7;
Col. 2:12) regardless of the element used”.
In the scriptures we found 7 different types of baptism:
a) John’s Baptism in water: Mt. 3; Mk. 1; Lk. 3; 7:29-30; Jn. 1:31-33; 3:23-26;
10:40; acts 1:5; 11:16; 19:3.
b) Christ’s baptism in water: Jn. 3:22; 4:1-2.
c) Baptism in suffering: Lk. 12:50.
d) Baptism in the Cloud and in the Sea: 1 Cor. 10:2.
e) Christian baptism in water: Mt. 28:19; Mk. 16:16; acts 2:38-41; 8:12-16, 36-38;
9:18; 10:47-48; 16:15, 33; 18:8; 19:5; 22:16; 1 Cor. 1:13-17; 1 pet. 3:21.
f) Baptism into Christ and his body: Rom. 6:3-7; 1 Cor. 12:13; Gal. 3:27; Col.
g) Baptism in the Holy Spirit: Mt. 3:11, 14; 20:22-23; Mk. 1:8; 10:38-39; Lk. 3:16;
Jn. 1:33; 7:37-39; acts 1:5; 11:16; 19:2-3.
3 Baptisms for believers:
I. Into Christ or His body at repentance and new birth. 1 Cor. 12:13. It’s also called
“One baptism” in Eph. 4:5 because it is the only baptism that saves the soul and
brings into the body of Christ. Jn. 3:1-13; 2 Cor. 5:17; Gal. 3:27.
II. Water Baptism after one is saved. Acts 8:12-16, 36-38.
III. The Spirit Baptism, which it can be define as “The enduement (ability or
quality) of power for service. It can take place before the water baptism (acts
10:44-48) or after it (acts 1:4-8; 2:1-11; 8:12-21; 19:1-7).
Agents used in each baptism:
- The Holy Spirit is the (Divine) agent to baptize “into Christ and into his body”. 1
- Christ is the (Divine) agent to baptize “In the Holy Spirit”. Mt. 3:11; Jn. 1:31-33.
- The Minister is the (Selected by God) agent to baptize “Into the Water”. Mt.
Infant baptism is not taught in the scriptures and it was not supported by neither of the
apostles nor the early Christians. It becomes a practice in the 5th century by the Catholic
Church. Jews people never baptized infants, they “dedicated” to the lord.
Baptism in Scripture always has the prerequisite of repentance and faith, which are
impossible for an infant, and obviously an Infant cannot outwardly express faith.
The Lord’s Supper and Baptism are both sacraments and ordinances and are the same
sign and seal, since the Lord’s Supper may not be given to unbelievers, neither should
Baptism represents more than just physical washing, but being clean and good standing
before God, and therefore regenerate (Romans 6).
Baptism represents the remission of sins, and infants are not capable of repenting. (Luke
3:3, Mark 1:4, Acts 13:24, Acts 19:4)
Baptism has been part of Christianity from the start, as shown by the many mentions in
the Acts of the Apostles and the Pauline epistles.
1 Peter 3:21 say; (Amplified bible)
“And baptism, which is a figure [of their deliverance], does now also save you [from
inward questionings and fears], not by the removing of outward body filth [bathing], but
by [providing you with] the answer of a good and clear conscience (inward cleanness and
peace) before God [because you are demonstrating what you believe to be yours] through
the resurrection of Jesus Christ”.
Water Baptism is a symbol and does not put away the filth of the flesh. Gal. 5:19-21; 2
cor. 7:1; Col. 2:11. The like figure of the baptism in water also saved us. How does it
save us? Is it the water that saves or the thing that it is a figure of? It was not the water
that saved the 8 persons of verse 20. It was the ark that saved them from drowning in the
flood. So baptism in water does not save the soul, but faith in the death, burial, and
resurrection of Jesus Christ, that which baptism is a figure of, does save the soul. Read
rom. 6:3-5; 1 cor. 15:1-4; Ephesian 1:14; col. 1:20-22. A mere figure can have no power
to save, but the reality of the figure can. What Peter is saying is that “one thing we should
have clear and that is that baptism in water does not save one from the filth or moral
depravity of the flesh. He shows it to be only the answer of a good conscience toward
God, one that has been made clean by faith in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Verse 21.
It is clear here that at baptism the conscience is already supposed to be good and clean
and baptism merely answer to it. As the waters of the flood could not have saved these 8
persons, had they not made use of the ark, so the water of the baptism does not save the
soul of anyone, but testifies figuratively to the salvation that comes by faith. Rom. 1:16;
3:24-25; 10:9-10. Compare also Acts 22:16
3 types of baptism in the New Testament:
1)- Water Baptism: which is perform by anyone who has been born again, and not only by ministers. Water baptism doesn’t save anyone, since it is a symbolism of our internal experience. In other words, baptism in water is a way or form to exteriorized the experience of being born again. When we do that in from of witnesses, we are saying by that act that we were once death but in Christ we are resurrected. The believer or minister is the instrument of God to do this act.
Let’s explain Mat. 3:13-17;
“Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him. And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
Few things involved in these passages:
“Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.” verse 13. Jesus came to John as a confirmation of a word given to him by God. Observe what John 1:33 says;
“And I knew him not: but he (The Father) that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.”
– Jesus baptism was just a symbolic expression of his sacrifice upon the cross and his resurrection.
– The baptism was performed by “immersion in water”, and NOT BY SPRINKLING WATER, as many do today.
Observe what Mat. 3:16.
“And Jesus, when he was baptized, WENT UP STRAIGHTAWAY OUT of the water”. The water baptism was done by submersion, or being submerged inside the water.
In Mark 1:10 confirmed the same meaning:
“And SRTRIGHTAWAY COMING UP OUT of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him”
In Acts 8:38-39 expressed the same position:
“And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and THEY WENT DOWN BOTH INTO THE WATER, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. And when THEY WERE COME UP OUT of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.”
The Scriptures DOES NOT SUPPORT the water baptism by sprinkling water, or by pouring a cup of water into a person. If we are going to do what the Scriptures says, we should do it right!
You are saved not by what you do or you don’t do, but by the grace of God!
“In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;” Ephesians 1:7
“That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:7-9
When we get submerged into the water, we are testifying that: “We are dead to the old lifestyle and we have a new life, through the experience of being born again”; “We are identified with Jesus in his death and in his resurrection”.
Water baptism without the experience of being born again is useless. Why is that? Because the act of being baptized into the waters it’s just a “symbolic act”, which is done in obedience to The Word of God. Observe what the scriptures says:
“But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were BAPTIZED, both men and women.” Acts 8:12
once more the Scriptures used the sequence and the appropriate or correct orden, which is “Believes” first and then after that “Baptized” also en Acts 8
“Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.” V. 35
“And as they went on their way, they came unto a CERTAIN WATER: and the eunuch said, See, here is WATER; what doth hinder me to be BAPTIZED?” V. 36
“And Philip said, If thou BELIEVEST with all thine HEART, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I BELIEVE that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” V. 37
This eunuch experience what is written in Rom. 10:9-10 and he was saved, not by the water baptism by instead by faith in the sacrifice of Jesus upon the cross.
“And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.” V. 38
– Two different baptisms in Acts 8:12-18:
“But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.” V. 12
They BELIEVED before getting BAPTIZED, which is the correct order and lineup with the Scriptures.
“Then Simon himself BELIEVED also: and when he was BAPTIZED, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done.” V. 13
That’s the order expressed by the Scriptures.
“Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had RECEIVED THE WORD OF GOD, they sent unto them Peter and John.” v. 14
Meaning they received the Word and were SAVED.
“Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might RECEIVE THE HOLY GHOST.” V. 15
(For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) V. 16
Proving that the baptism of water is DIFFERENT from the baptism into the Holy Spirit.
“Then laid they their hands on them, and THEY RECEIVED THE HOLY GHOST. V. 17
“And when Simon SAW (The visible evident) that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money.” V. 18
The Scriptures expressed that there’s a external manifestation through which people can notice the evidence of receiving the Holy Spirit.
Another passages that expressed the differences between receiving The baptism of the Holy Spirit and baptism into water. Acts 9:17-18.
“And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. V. 17
“And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was BAPTIZED.” V. 18
– Two different experiences; “He was FILLED with The Holy Spirit” and “He was BAPTIZED in water”.
Nowadays many people are struggling to follow the principles and divine directions from God, because they’re relying on the own strength and abilities, instead of relying on God’s power. Why is the reason for it? Because many are teaching that the manifestation of The Holy Spirit is not for this time but it was over in the apostle’s era. Which is something that had caused damage to many. This kinda of teaching doesn’t come from the Scriptures but rather from demonic inspiration. The Scriptures are very clear on this subject, that without the help and guidance of The Holy Spirit, we are doomed. These deceiving teachings have been infiltrated into the body of Christ by satan’s agents, which purpose is to diminished the effectiveness of the work of every born again against the works of Satan. Compare Eph. 4:14.
Jesus spoke about the effectiveness of every believer through the person of The Holy Spirit:
“And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you ANOTHER COMFORTER, that HE may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the WORLD CONNOT RECEIVE, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” John 14:16-17
Why the World cannot receive the Holy Spirit? Because of their sinful nature, they need to born again and then, they would be able to receive him. Jesus said it very clear:
“Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3
“Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” John 3:5
No religion can provide you with salvation but Jesus Christ. John 14:6.