How Could John The Baptist Be Filled With The Spirit From Birth?

A few years ago when I originally wrote this post, I did not know what I know today. Back then I said that God bent his rules, just like he did concerning death with Enoch and Elijah, and that John’s infilling was an act of sovereignty apart from faith. But an awesome verse in 1 Peter changed everything for me…

Defrosting Windows

How could John the Baptist be filled with the Spirit before he was born?

Baby John didn’t just have the Spirit come upon him or nudge him. The scripture makes it clear that John would be FILLED with the Spirit while he was in the womb.

“For he will be great in the sight of the Lord; and he will drink no wine or liquor, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit while yet in his mother’s womb”.–Luke 1:15

Several months later, we read the fulfillment of this prophecy:

When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.–Luke 1:41

Elizabeth explains and clues us in on what caused the baby to leap and why the baby reacted this way.

But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon…

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The First Person To Be Filled With The Spirit

Who was the first person recorded in scripture to have the Spirit in them…not just upon them?

Was it Bezalel, the great craftsman? Or Was it Joseph, the ruler of Egypt? One of them is questionable, but the other is a certain and sure thing. Many theologians would tell us that it was neither. They say that in the Old Testament the Holy Spirit only “came upon” people temporarily. However, in these two cases, the scriptures paint a different picture. Continue reading

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When God Hurts Us: “Why Have You Treated Us Like This?”

Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was directly asked an emotionally charged question that echoes the hearts and sentiments of many who have suffered from senseless tragedies, painful loss, and crushing disappointment.

“WHY have YOU treated us like this???” 

Don’t gloss over this. Listen again and pay attention to the deep pain and bewilderment that Mary was suffering from in this moment.

“WHY…have YOU…treated us……like this???”


What happened, and what do the Greek words tell us about what Mary was really feeling? The story is found in Luke 2:41-52

After anxiously losing Jesus for three days and nights, His parents, Mary and Joseph were extremely upset. Can you imagine? Being a responsible child, they surely thought that his disappearance was the result of some unfortunate circumstance. When they discovered that He had stayed behind by His own choice, their emotions suddenly took a different turn.

When his parents found him, they were “astonished”. Astonished may not be the best translation to use here. The Greek says they were “thunderstruck with shock”. They had thought that something had happened to Him during those three days of frantic searching, but now they discover that it was HIS ACTIONS AND INACTIONS that had brought about all of this needless stress. They felt shocked and bewildered by His decision. They felt that their trust in Him had been broken. Jesus clearly admits His decision to remain, but He had not shown them the courtesy to discuss it with them, nor given them any indication about His decision. He didn’t even ask for their permission.

Now we can see more clearly that Mary was probably feeling a lot of pain and betrayal of trust when she says, “WHY have You treated us like this???”.

She goes on to say, “Behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.” Again, the words show they felt that something unfortunate had happened to Him. The Greek calls it “intense emotional torment”.

This was a time of extreme and bare emotion. Her choice of words are indicative of people who are trying to understand what could they have possibly done to deserve this kind of treatment, this result. They are words which express feelings of betrayal and bewilderment. They seem perplexed by this thought: How could the person who they believed He was, act in this uncharacteristic manner? What have we done, and how could the Christ child do this to us? If anyone knew better than to act in this wholly inconsiderate manner, certainly Christ did. How could You do such an incomprehensibly painful thing to us?

It goes even further. Understanding all of this, I can hear what Mary is really asking. When Mary asks, “Why have you treated us like this?”, I hear her asking, “Why are you punishing us like this? Why have you broken our trust? Why did you abandon us? Why have you made us feel so unloved? Why would Love do this to us? ”

Jesus loves me this I know…

Mary wasn’t feeling it right then.

Many of you have felt the same way towards God. Why have you treated us like this?

It was a legitimate question both then and now. God’s decisions, actions, and inactions can affect us very personally and sometimes painfully. That was the truth for Mary. Notice that Mary didn’t vaguely ask, “Why did this happen”? She knew WHO was responsible and so she had a direct confrontation with Him. This event also lends to the legitimacy and veracity of Scripture: Why would you write such a thing about the Son of God unless it really happened?

What happened next was very revealing. Many of us want answers to our personal tragedies in the hope that it will bring some comfort or at least a portion of understanding. Mary got her answer, Mary got the truth. But the answer from the mouth of the Son of God did not help them understand any better…“But they did not understand what he was saying to them”. It was not a satisfactory answer for them. Nothing was resolved. I’m sure they were relieved that He was safe, but they were left with a feeling that this didn’t have to happen in this manner, and they clearly expressed they felt overlooked and mistreated in this event. “But they did not understand what he was saying to them”. After this unresolved event, would they continue to trust Him to always act with their best interests in mind?

Let’s take a look at His answer to them. Continue reading

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Jesus Said, “Don’t Go To The Gentiles”

Jesus commanded his Jewish disciples not to preach to Gentiles or Samaritans!

These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.– Matthew 10:5-6

That statement is in direct opposition to the Great Commission. What’s going on?

In addition, he made this exclusive statement: “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”–Matthew 15:24

Some people really struggle with these ethnically exclusive statements and wonder if Jesus was exhibiting racism. Others look at these passages and ask if Jesus changed His mind. Commanding your disciples to stay away from the Gentiles, and then commanding them later to go to all the nations looks like someone who has changed plans. Did Jesus really mean it when he said these things? Jesus is not a liar, so let’s look at the facts and see if we can figure out what is going on. Continue reading

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Titus: The Gospel Appeared To ALL Men? Mayans? Vikings? Seminoles?

I’m reading Titus and I see this:

For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men.–Titus 2:11

What did the Apostle Paul mean by “hath appeared to all men”? Was the Gospel presented to Scandinavian-Germanic clans in the 1st Century? The earliest records (so far) show that Willibrord first took the Gospel to Denmark in the 700’s.

This verse in Titus was written sometime around 66-67 A.D. which is only a few years before the fall and end of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. Back then, Paul said that the Gospel had been shown to all men!

What else did Paul say in regard to the spread of the Gospel?

Somewhere around 60-62 A.D. Paul said that the Gospel WAS proclaimed in all creation under heaven…

This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.–Col. 1:23.

Christianity first came to China in the year 64 when the Apostle Thomas came to Sian, China. Previously he was in India around the year 52. Other believers are said to have brought the gospel on to Japan by the year 70 AD. That was awesome, but did it mean that the Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders of Australia had also heard?

A few verses earlier, he said that the Gospel had reached “all the world”…

Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth–Col 1:6

So, had the Gospel already reached the Mayans in the “New World” in the 1st Century?

What do you think about this Gospel claim made by Paul?

But now is manifested, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the eternal God, has been made known to all the nations, leading to obedience of faith;–Rom 16:26

So how can Paul accurately assert that the Gospel was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, that it had appeared to all men, and that it had been made known to all the nations (every ethnic group), and all the world?

It’s called hyperbolic language. It is the same type of language that was used in the following Scriptures:

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.–Luke 2:1. The Greek words are “πᾶσαν τὴν οἰκουμένην” which are literally translated “all the world”. So did Luke believe that Caesar would tax the natives of South America, the clans of Norway, the Seminole tribe of Florida? Of course not.

After you, another kingdom will arise, inferior to yours. Next, a third kingdom, one of bronze, will rule over the whole earth.–Daniel 2:39. So, did Alexander the Great rule the people living in Mexico and Central America at that time?

And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven (or every ethnic people group)–Acts 2:5. Although Luke the writer of Acts states “every nation under heaven”, the detailed list (Parthians, Medes, Elamites, Mesopotamians, Judeans, Cappadocians, Pontus folks, Asians, Phrygians, Pamphylians, Egyptians, Libyans near Cyrene, Romans, Cretans, and Arabs) doesn’t go far outside of Roman influence.

And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the Spirit that there should be great dearth throughout all the world: which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar.–Acts 11:28. If Luke the writer was literal, then “All the world” would literally mean that the swamps in Florida had a famine as well.

Whenever Paul and Luke said “all the world”, they were in complete agreement. Paul and Luke’s “all the world” consisted primarily of the geographic Roman Empire. HOWEVER, there were in those days many ethnic groups of people from outside of the Roman Empire that came to visit. A great example of this would be the Magi from the East who came to visit the young Jesus.

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem— Matt.2:1

What Paul was essentially saying was that the Gospel had saturated the Roman World which would also mean that it had been presented to the multitude of Gentile people groups that had been passing through as well. He did not LITERALLY mean that it was proclaimed to EVERY creature under heavenIf you are going to stick with the claim that this is literal language, then you are going to have to also assert that Caesar was going to tax every Native American, every Asian person in the Far East, etc. You can’t have it both ways.

Here is where things get really interesting…

We know that the Holy Spirit allowed Paul and Luke to use “all the world” and “all nations” in a consistently hyperbolic way. So does the following verse break from the Scriptural pattern?

Jesus said, “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come”–Matt. 24:14

Jesus sets forth the goal to be reached. Paul says, “Mission accomplished!”

This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.–Col. 1:23. Continue reading

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Titus 2: Is It Jehovah, Jesus, or Job?

For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ–Titus 2:11-13

For me, Titus Chapter 2:13 is one of the clearest verses in Scripture stating that Jesus Christ is not just our savior, but that He is God. I realize that some folks, like the Jehovah’s Witnesses, tend to disagree with this.

So what does the latest version (2013) of the Jehovah’s Witness New World Translation Bible say about Titus 2:13? It says, “while we wait for the happy hope and glorious manifestation of the great God and of our Savior, Jesus Christ.” Jehovah’s Witnesses contend that the great God and savior are two very separate people. They believe that only the term “savior” refers to Jesus Christ. They do not believe that Jesus is the great God. They believe that Jesus is a creation of God, but that Jesus is not part of the Triune God.

So, according to the J.W.’s New World translation, Jesus Christ is the savior, but Jesus is not the great God. Interesting and mysterious…


The New World Translation of Isaiah 43:11 also states, “I—I am Jehovah, and besides me there is no savior”. That’s what my bible says too!


If Jehovah is the Only savior according to Isaiah, and their translation also states in Titus that Jesus Christ is the Savior, then who is their savior? Jehovah or Jesus? Which one died in their place? This gets fun and interesting!

Continue reading

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Are Cretans Always Liars…Still?

One of Crete’s own prophets has said it: “Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons.” 13 This saying is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, so that they will be sound in the faith.–Titus 1:12-13 

The Canon of Scripture states that Cretans are ALWAYS liars…and then it confirms it by saying, “This saying is true”. This appears to be a double whammy against the Cretans. They look hopeless in the light of unchanging scripture.

Are Cretans still nothing more than Liars? According to most recent surveys, Crete is now a Christian-influenced culture. One poll said that the island is 95% Christian and that Church plays a major role in their lives. Easter is an even bigger celebration there, than it is here in the United States.


Obviously things have changed in Crete since the days of Titus. So how do we reconcile this change with unchanging Scripture?

When the Scripture said, “this saying is true”, it didn’t stop there as a final judgment. It went on to tell how the Cretans could change. It says, “Therefore rebuke them sharply, so that they will be sound in the faith”. They were not doomed by Scripture to continue perpetually as being Liars. The rest of the Scripture passage gives them hope.

Do you see that? They had an opportunity to be “sound in the faith”. Being “sound in the faith” is a big turnaround from always being liars. Part of the reason why I felt compelled to write on this subject is because many of the other documents addressing this passage stop at the phrase “this saying is true” as the final word on the matter. Now we can see that they were offered a way to change. In light of this information, we must conclude that the word “always” which was used in the verse, was simply a generalization. If “always” was NOT a generalization, then the Cretan prophet who stated it would be a liar also, and it wouldn’t make any sense.

If you are being “rebuked sharply” like the Cretans were, then take heart. It can mean that there is still a chance that you can be changed. I am reminded of what Hebrews says about being rebuked/corrected. “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it”–Hebrews 12:11.


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