The story or Genesis gives us the information about man being created in the image of God, yet like animals, naked, innocent and not knowing what is good and evil. Man disobeyed God to choose good and evil for himself, leading to suffering, pain and death. This is the gist of the creation and fall of man in the garden of Eden. But what actually happened ‘literally’ is something we may never know or we may not be able to bear them now.
What is grace and mercy? Translations often can be misleading and sometimes misses out the rich meaning found in the original language. In this post, we will explore the two words – grace and mercy. This is very important because, the word ‘grace’ was not once used by Jesus Christ, but always taught to be merciful. Grace means favor, not undeserved favor. Mercy is disgrace and shame and showing mercy is to remove the reproach of others.
Understanding different covenants in Scripture are key to understand their promises and fulfilment. God never made a covenant with children of Israel to give them the promised land but with Abraham. Israel must surely plucked off from the land according to the curse of law and it promises no second return from exile as in 1948. Based on what covenant did Jews return to their homeland? This post will explore each of the covenants in the Scriptures.
The thirty-seventh chapter of Ezekiel is about the vision of the Valley of Dry Bones and God explaining it’s meaning. God raised Israel from the grave, put His Spirit and made it alive, being witnesses of this prophecy being fulfilled today.
Jesus taught that forgiving is so important that if we fail to do so, our sins will also not be forgiven by God. But John writes about Jesus teaching to retain sins. A closer look at the quote of Jesus reveals that the details of that event was clearly wrong due to John’s recollection of the event later. Hence, we must forgive others and not to retain sins as all the synoptic gospels say.
The gospel of Matthew contains 20 verses and the gospel of Mark contains 8 verses compared to the gospel of Luke and John which has more than 50 verses. The supposed contradictions on Christ’s Ascension are not really contradictions but the details of each event went into separate gospels, what the author felt as important to them. Jesus did meet His disciples first in Jerusalem but also in Galilee where He ascended and asked them to wait in Jerusalem.
In the gospel of John, the Holy Spirit was breathed upon Christ’s disciples by Him on the day of His resurrection in Jerusalem. But, in the gospel of Luke and in Acts, we see the Holy Spirit came upon with a sound from heaven on the day of Pentecost, after Christ had ascended. Based on what Jesus spoke earlier as in the gospel of John and what happened on the day of His resurrection we can conclude the particular event on how the Holy Spirit was given in the gospel of John is incorrect.
Christ forgave the sins of many and healed their sickness because of their own sins and of demons. However, we cannot find any birth-related sickness due to inherited curses for forefather’s sins except the born blind who was healed for His glory and not for sins. Scripture says that all birth related sicknesses are from God and Christ is not against it. Until the new heavens and earth, let us be careful in not doing iniquity which brings curses upon our descendants.
While sins cause sickness, sins also makes the Spirit of God to depart for the Holy God cannot dwell on uncleanness and sin. If the Holy Spirit is departed, there is no protection from God and demons can enter a man. It not only causes sickness but sometimes bring more wicked spirits and cause far beyond suffering. The only way to stop unclean spirits from entering us is to receive the Holy Spirit and not to sin. We must not be a friend of the world or sinners to get tempted in their sins, but submit to God and resist the devil.
Satan, demons and unclean spirits can enter and posses a person. Spirits of demons can be referred as unclean spirits. Satan on the other hand simply means adversary. In Scripture, it is used for the Angel of the LORD, when He stood on the way of Balaam as a satan to him, used against the enemies of Israel and also used for unclean spirits. In the gospels, demons, unclean spirit and satan in context of being against God, all are used synonymous to each other.