Monday, November 8, 2021

The AMAZING HOPE that saves us!

Why Hope is a Virtue?

And that too a strong one!

By Atul Kumar

Red: “Let me tell you something, my friend. Hope is a dangerous thing. Hope can drive a man insane.”

Andy Dufresne: “Remember, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.”

Red: “I remember thinking it would take a man 600 years to tunnel through the wall with it (rock hammer). Andy did it in less than 20.”

(From The Shawshank Redemption)

What is hope?

Hope is an instinct — for survival and progress.

Hope is the most poetic virtue in its essence. In hope, expectations and imagination unite together to draw an attractive (or less repulsive) picture of the future.

God has placed hope in our hearts, and without it, all is vanity. We busy ourselves arranging the little pieces of life, hoping that it will all make sense one day. It is in hope that we suffer pain and misery, knowing that soon it will be over (strength alone will surely fail us if we are hopeless). It is in the hope of success that we begin all extraordinary and improbable endeavours. Truly, Dostoevsky said, “To live without hope is to cease to live”.

But we do not understand hope, at least not as much as we ought to. And it doesn’t do us much good. It, many times, leaves us grappling for faith when all we can afford and need is hope. Sometimes, it is painfully mysterious to cry out, “Lord, help my unbelief,” with a hopeless heart, and receive no answer.

It is a mistake to consider hope as underdeveloped faith; and, in its power, as merely a shadow of faith. On its own, we do not value hope very much, but it is essential and irreplaceable.

Hope is like having a compass in the middle of the ocean — it doesn’t show us the desired shore, neither the perfect way to it, nor the difficulties on the way and how to overcome them, but it shows the direction to the shore, without which we will indeed be lost. “Hope” is the thing with feathers. (Emily Dickinson)

There is an ocean of mist between hope and its object, which our rational minds cannot see through. Hope, the thing with feathers, flies from our hearts to those faraway places and brings back a vision of possibilities. It is an echo of our expectations, reflected back by distant realities.

So, hope lets us live for possibilities that we cannot see or dare to believe yet. Hope does not reveal the shape or substance of things we hope for but betrays the possibility of their existence. It does not reveal how our dream will be fulfilled and what steps we need to take; it just reveals the dream and leaves the rest to take care of itself.

And who knows, it may be hope that gives birth to those possibilities in the first place.

To hope against hope 

Of the many Christian virtues, three stand out — love, faith, and hope. 

And of these three, hope is least understood, most neglected, and its virtue and power mostly overlooked. We well know God as God of love but only faintly as God of hope. 

We accuse ourselves if we fall into disbelief or become loveless, but becoming hopeless is not fussed about so much. Not so, in the Bible. The distress of Job, apart from his suffering, was that his hope was cut off. So he gathered all that remained of his confidence and declared to himself and his accusers, “Though He slay me, I will hope in Him…” (Job 13:15, ESV). 

And when the Psalmist’s soul fainted, he said, “My soul faints for Your salvation, but I hope in Your word” (Psalms 119:81, NKJV). From what it seems, hope is the virtue of a dejected, depressed, and fainting soul that has nothing but hope. And should we deny ourselves of it? God forbid! When we are helpless prisoners of our circumstances, let us choose to be prisoners of hope. And when Christ visits us, for surely He will, and finds our soul like a smoking flax with no glowing fire of faith, instead of quenching it, He will honour the flickering hope and save us. 

Who among us doesn’t know the doctrine that we are saved by faith? But experience shows us that we are saved by hope as well (Romans 8:24, NKJV). …But hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance (Romans 8:24,25, NKJV). 

And that is what makes hope a virtue. As Chesterton said, “Hope means hoping when things are hopeless, or it is no virtue at all… As long as matters are really hopeful, hope is mere flattery or platitude; it is only when everything is hopeless that hope begins to be a strength.” And as the Bible commends Abraham, “Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations…” (Romans 4:18, KJV) 

So let us not think that hope is the imaginative luxury of an idle mind or wild fantasy of a dejected one, for so it is not. And since reasons are many that we become hopeless, we ought to consciously hope for the light beyond the present darkness and glory beyond the present suffering. The hope that we afford ourselves in God, will never make us ashamed but will surely bring forth its fruit in due season. “We glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation works patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope: and hope makes us not ashamed…” (Romans 5:4,5, KJVAE) Moreover, let us rejoice in the hope of the glory of God (Romans 5:2).



About the Author: Atul Kumar is a Christian. Witness for Jesus Christ and His immense power to transform lives. Ph.D. in Cancer biology. Interested in Philosophy and Psychology.

Monday, June 22, 2020


By Atul Kumar

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:” — (Ephesians 2:8)

By faith in Jesus Christ, we are saved. Salvation is the end of religion and faith in the Saviour, is the means to achieve that end. Everything that God offers can be received by faith. The Bible says that nothing is impossible with God and also that nothing is impossible to the man who believes in God.

God becomes available in all His glory, power, wisdom and love to the man who believes in Him. Even little faith in the Almighty God is sufficient for Him, to act in the life of the believer. However, little doubt is not same as little faith. Therefore the Bible says, “If a man ask, let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord” (James 1:6-7).

Also, “Without faith it is impossible to please God: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6).

Jesus was often grieved by the lack of faith in His disciples, who stayed with Him continually. One of the instance is written in the book of Mark in the Bible. “On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side (of the sea).” Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!”

And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?”” (Mark 4:35-40) It is difficult for many of us to understand, that when His own disciples became doubtful, how can we continue to believe without failing.

However, Jesus was also amazed at the great faith of several people, who had not been with Him personally. In the book of Matthew in the Bible we read such as instance. “Then Jesus went out from there and departed to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And behold, a woman of Canaan came from that region and cried out to Him, saying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed.” But He answered her not a word. And His disciples came and urged Him, saying, “Send her away, for she cries out after us.” But He answered and said, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Then she came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, help me!” But He answered and said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.” And she said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.” Then Jesus answered and said to her, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.” (Matthew 15:21-28).

Jesus noticed such cases of doubt and great faith and He still finds people of both kind among us. There are people who, in spite of all the evidences in front of them become doubtful. And there also also who see the evidence which is hidden to others and believe in Jesus. After Jesus died and on the third day rose again, He was seen by His disciples. But one of them, Thomas, was absent at that instance. When the other disciples told him, that they had seen the Lord, he replied, “Unless I see in His hands the  print of the nails (a sign of His crucification), and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side (where He was pierced with a spear, when He was on the cross), I will not believe.” After eight days Jesus appeared to his disciples again. Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.” And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:24-29).

Why do we disbelieve so easily? How can we continue in faith in Jesus Christ without failing?

What is faith?

The Bible says that, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”(Hebrews 11:1). Many people, including several Christians think that, faith means to believe in something without evidence and even contrary to the evidence.

Such a thing is not possible. You cannot make even one human being believe in this way, in anything. A person who does not see the need to be saved and who does not recognise that Jesus is the Saviour, cannot believe. He may be persuaded and he may agree to the Christian religion, but until he sees the evidence, he cannot truly believe. To please some person or society, he may fool others and himself and think that he believes, but if he has not seen the evidence himself, he believes not. Faith without
evidence is not possible.

The same is true with those who deny the existence of God. They do so without any evidence and hence their belief is very shallow. Most often, the real cause of disbelief in God has moral issues at its bottom. A person would not subject to moral authority of God and therefore he justifies himself by saying, “There is no God”. This belief is also supported by unrighteousness and scandals among the professors of religion. The name of God is blasphemed because of those who call upon His holy name in vain.

Surely they will not be without guilt. Anyways, those who deny God, do not profess such things because of any evidence which they have, of the non existence of God. That’s why the Bible says, ‘The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God”’ (Psalms 14:1).

Not that he thinks it through but he says in his heart, as if by saying again and again, his belief will be strengthened. It does strengthen in a way, but it’s not a real belief. He is not sure. He has no evidence. In a similar manner, many Christians also don’t think, but only say, “That there is God”. They say unto Jesus, “Lord! Lord!”, but they only say. In reality, they don’t believe, because they have never seen or experienced the evidence themselves.

We cannot love by force, neither can we believe by force. The mind will refuse and revolt at such forcefulness. Our mind is actually less flexible than we imagine. When our eyes are exposed to an object, it’s image is formed on the retina involuntarily and the image is processed involuntarily by our minds. In the same manner sweetness, beauty, scent etc. are recognized involuntarily. When our mind perceives some evidence from the respective senses and mental faculties, it must of necessity believe that evidence. It has no choice. It’s an involuntary act of mind.

Therefore, the meaning of faith is to believe the truth, as and when it is presented to the mind. Many people blame God for their lack of faith. They consider that they don’t believe in God because truth has been hidden from them and that’s why they have not seen it. They imagine that, if a clear evidence is presented to them they will most certainly believe in God.

In a similar manner, many Christians believe that being doubtful about God is not a sin. They think that they can do very little to help it. They imagine that somehow God has not given them the gift of faith and therefore they continue in the state of doubt and unbelief. They pray for more faith but their prayer is not answered because of lack of faith. They acknowledge their condition very frankly that their faith is very little. They consider it as a sign of true humility to accept such things. But the truth is far from it. You cannot cover a sin with a pretended virtue. We read in the Bible, “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God” (Hebrews 3:12). We see it clearly, that unbelief is considered as evil and to confess it with a grin doesn’t make it any better.

Where is the evidence? 

The evidence of God is everywhere. The Bible says that, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard” (Psalms 19:1-3). The evidence for infinite power and wisdom of God is overwhelming in all creation. And the evidence of God’s holiness and moral authority is written in our own conscience. The laws of God are written in the heart of every man and his own conscience bears witness to it (Romans 2:15).

There is nothing under the sun which can satisfy the heart of one man. But the desire for satisfaction lies in every heart. That is an evidence that, we are not created for ourselves and this world but for God, and in Him alone we will find satisfaction . Self- condemnation in the conscience of the unrighteous man, is an evidence that all his self- justification will not work when He will be judged by God. In whichever direction we go, the evidences are unmistakable. These evidences appear to be imaginary to many people. But the more anyone applies his mind to these evidences, he finds them to be very real, as real as anything that he perceives through his eyes. The problem is that these evidences are not attended to by our physical senses but mental faculties.

As we stated earlier, an evidence must be attended to and perceived and understood. A man who ignores such evidences without paying due attention to them, is morally accountable for his ignorance. However, if any person approaches God in sincerity, more evidence is presented to him because it is the will of God that all may come to the knowledge of His salvation.

I think that it is a great fraud that we are not taught how to or how not to pay our taxes in school. It must be a compulsory subject for all. I believe it is left out intentionally, and that too not with good intentions. However compared to it, it is inhuman that mental science is not even mentioned in schools. Don’t confuse it with moral science, in which they taught us the stories about best friends and thirsty crows. Mental science and moral science are two different subjects with their own domains. However, understanding of the former is very helpful in the understanding of the later. All of us have a great mind which God has given us. But all of us don’t know how it works. It is a great darkness and a most subtle work of the devil, to have us so engrossed in our emotions that we forget that we ought to think and understand things correctly. Most of us don’t know that our minds operate according to its own laws.

The most obvious and most important fact about the working of our mind, is the dependence of attention upon the will. In other words, what we attend to, is directly under the control of our will. We are all aware of it, but most of us never thought about it in such clear terms. We are all conscious of our ability to command our attention from one topic to another, as we choose. Surely there are objects which force themselves upon our attention, but even in such cases we are able to turn our attention from them.

Now this ability, this great ability is foundational to our moral responsibility towards God, concerning our understanding, ignorance, opinions and beliefs.

How does our will affect our understanding and beliefs? Jesus Christ did many miracles which His adversaries could not deny. They never tried to do deny them. But instead they closed their eyes to the implications of His miracles and teachings. They blinded themselves by deciding that they are not going to believe in Him, whatsoever evidence might be presented to them. That they are not even going to look at those evidences. The Bible says that, “Faith comes by hearing”. In the case of Thomas, faith came by seeing. It has been already stated that it is impossible to believe without evidence.

However, simple presence of evidence is never sufficient. It must be heard, it must be seen, it must be attended to. The evidence must be perceived, which might never take place, unless the evidence is attended to. The final act of belief might be involuntary. But the acts before this final step require that the evidence presented must be given due attention.

I believed because, Jesus Christ came next to me and revealed Himself clearly to my mind. I had no doubt and I believed without any effort. But before that happened, I had accepted my moral accountability to God and His moral authority over myself. I repented and cried unto God and by the grace of God, I did not resist His working in my heart. As I believed in the evidence presented to my mind, more evidence was perceived. I realized that God has forgiven my sins and I began to have fellowship with Jesus Christ, through whom I have power over sins. I saw clearly that, I received a new life through the death Jesus Christ on the cross and that this new life belongs to Him.

Not falling from faith.

The Israelites were in bondage in Egypt for more than 400 years. They had forgotten the God of their fathers practically. However, God had promised Abraham, that he would not forsake his children. God remembered them and sent Moses to bring them out from under the slavery of the Egyptians. The Egyptians refused to let them go. God showed them great evidences of His power, and forced the Egyptians to free them. The Israelites believed in God. There was none in Israel who did not believe in God at that point of time. However, after 40 years only two faithful people remained, out of all those who came out of the land of Egypt.

The story of their backsliding is provided with all the necessary details. First they believed in God, and they were thankful. They rejoiced in the freedom which God had brought them into. Their mind was full of gratitude and faith. But after sometime they backslid, when their minds were turned aside by their desires and lusts. Whatever our minds are full of, is reflected in our moral character. Our mind and morality go together.

They had seen all the evidence that they could have imagined, but after some time they neglected it. Once they neglected the evidence that God had shown them, it was very easy and in fact natural for them to fall back to their older ways. The Bible says, “Now the mixed multitude who were among them yielded to intense craving; so the children of Israel also wept again and said: “Who will give us meat to eat? We remember the fish which we ate freely in Egypt, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the
garlic” (Numbers 11:4-6). They murmured, committed idolatry and tempted God with fornication and adultery. They became unrighteous and corrupt.

Therefore, it has to be remembered by the Christian, that as long as he looks at Jesus Christ by faith, he is invincible. He will neither falter nor fail. He shall not even be moved by the many temptations. But as soon as he turns away, his fall is inevitable. “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:1-2).

Therefore a Christian must fix his attention on the things above and continue in the conviction of their great and eternal reality. He must not ignore the greater moral responsibility which is his, because he has already become aware of the reality of God and His nature. From now on, he must humble himself to the great truths which have dawned upon him and he should not let them slip away. He should mediate upon the
Word of God, which is the eternal truth. In proportion to his attention, his understanding of godly things will increase. He will come to know the ways of God and understand the mind of God. When he does so, great spiritual realities will be revealed to him, according to the divine principle, “Whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him”(Matthew 13:12). However, if his attention is focused on the things of this world, naturally he will be captivated by them and find them more real and he will be entangled by them.

Peter walked on the water as long as he was looking at Jesus, but when his eyes were turned away, he feared and began to sink. Neglect of evidence and faith always comes first for a Christian and then only he falls. The Bible says, “Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward; how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation.” (Hebrews 2:1-3). Let us continue steadfast, in faith in Jesus Christ.


About the Author: Atul Kumar is Christian. Witness for Jesus Christ and His immense power to transform lives. Ph.D. in Cancer biology. Interested in Philosophy and Psychology.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Desert Experiences, Why God?

How God Works Through Desert Experiences

By Mark Altrogge

God leads every believer into the desert at one time or another.

Well, maybe not every believer. I can’t give you a Bible verse that says that. But in over 30 years of pastoring, I’d say God leads most believers into the desert at one time or another.

Moses spent 40 years in the desert before God raised him up to lead Israel out of Egypt. As soon as God delivered Israel from bondage in Egypt, he took them into the desert. David did a lot of desert time hiding out from Saul before God made him king. And the Spirit drove Jesus into the desert after his baptism for 40 days.

Lots of circumstances can be “deserts.”

A prolonged sickness can be a desert. Moving to a new place or joining a new church where you don’t know anyone can be one. Being stuck in a miserable or boring job instead of the fulfilling career you had hoped for can be a desert. A rebellious child or an unbelieving spouse can be a desert.

When we’re in the desert, it can feel like God’s not doing anything. Or he’s set us aside. But God is always at work. He uses desert experiences in many ways, as we see in Dt. 8:2-6:

Deserts humble us

And you shall remember the whole way that the LORD your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you (v 2)

Deserts reveal what is in our hearts

Testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not. (v 2)

Deserts teach us to live by God’s Word

And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD. (v 3)

Deserts teach us that God can provide for us in any circumstance.

Your clothing did not wear out on you, and your foot did not swell these forty years. (v 4)

Deserts teach us to fear and obey God

Know then in your heart that, as a man disciplines his son, the LORD your God disciplines you. So you shall keep the commandments of the LORD your God by walking in his ways and by fearing him. (v 5-6)

When Moses, Israel, David, and Jesus were in the desert, God was preparing them for something greater. If you’re in the desert right now, know that God is at work in your life. Don’t despair. Trust God. He’s doing great things in you.

Mark Altrogge

Mark Altrogge is the original triple threat: singer, songwriter, pastor. He has been the senior pastor of Sovereign Grace Church of Indiana, PA for over 25 years, and is the author of many well known worship songs such as “I Stand In Awe”, and “In The Presence”. When not pastoring or writing songs, Mark can be found consuming vast quantities of coffee. Unfortunately, Mark is not particularly gifted in the area of athletics.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

3 Days/3 Nights On The Cross To Resurrection, Is It 72 Hours?

Were The Three Days And Three Nights That Jesus Was In The Grave A Full 72 Hours?

There has been a long standing debate over the meaning of Matthew 12:40, “for just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so shall the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” In my opinion, the evidence supports the traditional view that Jesus was crucified on Friday afternoon and was in the grave part of Friday (the day of preparation cf. Luke 23:54-55), all of Saturday (Luke 23:56), and part of Sunday, the first day of the week (Luke 24:1). Some of the evidence for this is as follows:

(1) To us, three days and three nights generally means 72 hours, but we must understand the Bible historically and culturally. For the Jewish mind, this could mean any part of the first day, all of the second day, and any part of the third day. This is obvious by comparing Esther 4:16 and 5:1. Esther mentioned fasting for three days and nights and said that she would then go into the king, which she did, but 5:1 tells us clearly that it was on the third day that she went into the king, not after three days or on the fourth. This simply illustrates the way the Jews reckoned time.

(2) Further, the statement “after three days” could mean to the Jewish mind “on the third day” since any part of that day was considered the third day (cf. Matt. 27:63-64). Note the statements, “after three days” and securing the tomb until the third day. More will be said on this below.

(3) But on the third day could not mean on the fourth day, i.e., after a full 72 hours. Compare Luke 24:1 with 24:21. We read that they arrived at the tomb “on the third day” and then in verse 21 it is stated that “it is the third day.” This would be impossible to say if Jesus had stayed in the tomb for a full 72 hours for it would then be the fourth day. His resurrection would have had to be after the third day and on the fourth.

(4) Also, “the day of preparation” (Luke 23:54) could only refer to Friday before the Sabbath since no work of any kind could be done on the Sabbath, the seventh day. On other Sabbaths, holy days, domestic work could be done like making fire and cooking. No special preparation was needed for those Sabbaths or holy days, but not so on “the High Sabbath.” We might also note that the “day of preparation,” the Greek paraskeue, means Friday in modern Greek. See Ex. 16:22-23. The point here is that Friday is the only day a preparation day was needed as a preparation for the Sabbath, our Saturday.

(5) In several passages (the majority, about 4-1) it is said Jesus would rise “on the third day.” If the resurrection occurred after a full 72 hours (3 days) it would have been on the fourth. Compare Matt. 16:21; 17:23; 20:19; Luke 24:7, 21, 46; 1 Cor. 15:4. See below also regarding the use of the dative case here.

(6) In my mind, comparing all that is said in Luke 23:54-24:1 and John 19:31, settles the issue because of the day of preparation, Friday, being needed to prepare for a special high day or high Sabbath along with the fact the women came to the tomb on Sunday morning which is described as the third day.

(7) Finally, the Jews who heard the Lord use the phrase “three days and three nights” in Matt. 12:40 did not seem to necessarily understand a full 72 hours. Compare their comment in Matt. 27:62-64.

62 Now on the next day (i.e., the High Sabbath, Saturday), which is the one after the preparation (i.e., Friday), the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered together with Pilate, and said, “Sir, we remember that when He was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I am to rise again.’ 64 “Therefore, give orders for the grave to be made secure until the third day, lest the disciples come and steal Him away and say to the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,’ and the last deception will be worse than the first.”

Note, they said, “until the third day, not until the fourth.” Matthew could have used a Greek construction here which would have stressed through (duration) the third day, but using the preposition eo„s with the genitive, it basically meant “till or up to” and does not stress the idea of duration meaning “through.” The genitive case typically stresses during, at, or within a time range. Had the accusative been used alone or with a different preposition, it could have stressed extent or duration of time.

It is probably significant that “Every occurrence of the ‘the third day’ with reference to Jesus’ resurrection in the Gospels is put in the dat. (dative case) without an accompanying preposition” (Dan Wallace, Greek Grammar Beyond the Basic, Zondervan, p. 156). The significance of this is that nouns used in the dative case like “the third day” express a point in time rather than duration of time. So it means, “at a point in time, on the third day.”


There was darkness on Friday the Crucifixion day from noon till 3pm.

• Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour. - Matthew 27:45.

• Luke 23:44-45

44 And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour.

45 And the sun was darkened, and the curtain of the temple was torn in the middle.

That means He died during the Friday night technically.


This reinforces the fact that He died on Friday and not Thursday.
You can read the Bible commentary to verify this :


Read John 19:31

The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.


The next day was not just a Sabbath day but a special Sabbath day for it was the Passover week. That means the next day was Saturday and that puts the crucifixion on the Friday and NOT THURSDAY. To make it more authentic, it states that they wanted to take down the body before the Sabbath began

And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath was coming on. - Luke 23:54

Then the Resurrection is clearly stated as the FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK. To the Jews the week begins on Sunday after the Sabbath rest.

The first day of the week came Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulcher, and saw the stone taken away from the sepulcher. - John 20:1

Matthew 28:1
After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb.

Mark 16:1
When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so they could go and anoint Jesus' body.

Luke 24:1
On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women came to the tomb, bringing the spices they had prepared.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Feasts of Israel

Jesus In The Jewish Feasts

Question: "How did Jesus fulfill the meanings of the Jewish feasts?"

Answer: The way in which Jesus fulfilled the Jewish feasts is a fascinating study. In the Hebrew Scriptures, the Jewish prophet Amos records that God declared He would do nothing without first revealing it to His servants, the Prophets (Amos 3:7). From the Old Covenant to the New, Genesis to Revelation, God provides picture after picture of His entire plan for mankind and one of the most startling prophetic pictures is outlined for us in the Jewish Feasts of Leviticus 23.

The Hebrew word for feasts (moadim) literally means "appointed times." God has carefully planned and orchestrated the timing and sequence of each of these seven feasts to reveal to us a special story. The seven annual feasts of Israel were spread over seven months of the Jewish calendar, at set times appointed by God. They are still celebrated by observant Jews today. But for both Jews and non-Jews who have placed their faith in Jesus, the Jewish Messiah, these special days demonstrate the work of redemption through God’s Son.

The first four of the seven feasts occur during the springtime (Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, and Weeks) and they all have already been fulfilled by Christ in the New Testament. The final three holidays (Trumpets, The Day of Atonement, and Tabernacles) occur during the fall, all within a short fifteen-day period.

Many Bible scholars and commentators believe that these fall feasts have not yet been fulfilled by Jesus. However, the “blessed hope” (Titus 2:13) for all believers in Jesus Christ is that they most assuredly will. As the four spring feasts were fulfilled literally and right on the actual feast day in connection with Christ's first coming, these three fall feasts, it is believed by many, will likewise be fulfilled literally in connection to the Lord's second coming.

In a nutshell, here is the prophetic significance of each of the seven Levitical feasts of Israel:

1) Passover (Leviticus 23:5) – Pointed to the Messiah as our Passover lamb (1 Corinthians 5:7) whose blood would be shed for our sins. Jesus was crucified on the day of preparation for the Passover at the same hour that the lambs were being slaughtered for the Passover meal that evening.

2) Unleavened Bread (Leviticus 23:6) – Pointed to the Messiah's sinless life (as leaven is a picture of sin in the Bible), making Him the perfect sacrifice for our sins. Jesus' body was in the grave during the first days of this feast, like a kernel of wheat planted and waiting to burst forth as the bread of life.

3) First Fruits (Leviticus 23:10) – Pointed to the Messiah's resurrection as the first fruits of the righteous. Jesus was resurrected on this very day, which is one of the reasons that Paul refers to him in I Corinthians 15:20 as the "first fruits from the dead."

4) Weeks or Pentecost (Leviticus 23:16) – Occurred fifty days after the beginning of the Feast of Unleavened Bread and pointed to the great harvest of souls and the gift of the Holy Spirit for both Jew and Gentile, who would be brought into the kingdom of God during the Church Age (see Acts 2). The Church was actually established on this day when God poured out His Holy Spirit and 3,000 Jews responded to Peter's great sermon and his first proclamation of the Gospel.

5) Trumpets (Leviticus 23:24) – The first of the fall feasts. Many believe this day points to the Rapture of the Church when the Messiah Jesus will appear in the heavens as He comes for His bride, the Church. The Rapture is always associated in Scripture with the blowing of a loud trumpet (I Thessalonians 4:13-18 and I Corinthians 15:52).

6) Day of Atonement (Leviticus 23:27) – Many believe this prophetically points to the day of the Second Coming of Jesus when He will return to earth. That will be the Day of Atonement for the Jewish remnant when they "look upon Him whom they have pierced," repent of their sins, and receive Him as their Messiah (Zechariah 12:10 and Romans 11:1-6, 25-36).

7) Tabernacles or Booths (Leviticus 23:34) – Many scholars believe that this feast day points to the Lord's promise that He will once again “tabernacle” with His people when He returns to reign over all the world (Micah 4:1-7).

Should Christians celebrate these Levitical feast days of Israel today? Whether or not a Christian celebrates the Jewish feast days would be a matter of conscience for the individual Christian. Colossians 2:16-17 tells us “Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.” Christians are not bound to observe the Jewish feasts the way an Old Testament Jew was, but we should not criticize another believer who does or does not observe these special days and feasts (Romans 14:5).

While it is not required for Christians to celebrate the Jewish feast days, it is beneficial to study them. Certainly it could be beneficial to celebrate these days if it leads one to a greater understanding and appreciation for Christ’s death and resurrection and the future promise of His coming. As Christians, if we choose to celebrate these special days, we should put Christ in the center of the celebration, as the One who came to fulfill the prophetic significance of each of them.

Friday, March 9, 2012


Should Tithing Be Compulsory In The Church?

Question: "What does the Bible say about Christian tithing?"

Answer: Many Christians struggle with the issue of tithing. In some churches tithing is over-emphasized. At the same time, many Christians refuse to submit to the biblical exhortations about making offerings to the Lord. Tithing/giving is intended to be a joy and a blessing. Sadly, that is sometimes not the case in the church today.

Tithing is an Old Testament concept. The tithe was a requirement of the law in which all Israelites were to give 10 percent of everything they earned and grew to the Tabernacle/Temple (Leviticus 27:30; Numbers 18:26; Deuteronomy 14:24; 2 Chronicles 31:5). In fact, the Old Testament Law required multiple tithes which would have pushed the total to around 23.3 percent, not the 10 percent which is generally considered the tithe amount today. Some understand the Old Testament tithe as a method of taxation to provide for the needs of the priests and Levites in the sacrificial system. The New Testament nowhere commands, or even recommends, that Christians submit to a legalistic tithe system. Paul states that believers should set aside a portion of their income in order to support the church (1 Corinthians 16:1-2).

The New Testament nowhere designates a percentage of income a person should set aside, but only says it is to be “in keeping with income” (1 Corinthians 16:2). Some in the Christian church have taken the 10 percent figure from the Old Testament tithe and applied it as a “recommended minimum” for Christians in their giving. The New Testament talks about the importance and benefits of giving. We are to give as we are able. Sometimes that means giving more than 10 percent; sometimes that may mean giving less. It all depends on the ability of the Christian and the needs of the church. Every Christian should diligently pray and seek God’s wisdom in the matter of participating in tithing and/or how much to give (James 1:5). Above all, all tithes and offerings should be given with pure motives and an attitude of worship to God and service to the body of Christ. “Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7).

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Who are the 7 Spirits of God?

The Operation of the Seven Spirits of God

1. the Spirit of LORD
2. the Spirit of wisdom
3. the Spirit of understanding
4. the Spirit of counsel
5. the Spirit of power
6. the Spirit of knowledge
7. the Spirit of the fear of the LORD

"Before the throne, seven lamps were blazing. These are the seven Spirits of GOD." The seven lamps of fire, buring before the throne, we defined as "the seven Spirits of GOD." We have already seen this description in Revelation 1:4, where John was apparently referring to the sevenfold characteristics of the HOLY SPIRIT as revealed in Isaiah 11:2...

The seven Spirits do not mean seven different Spirits, but the seven characteristics of the One HOLY SPIRIT. It should be borne in mind, however, that these characteristics are not limited to HIS role in heaven, HIS role during the Tribulation, or HIS role during the Chruch Age, but are an eternal part of the HOLY SPIRIT. Therefore, when we are filled with the HOLY SPIRIT, in addition to the fruit of the Spirit found in Galatians 5:22, we should expect to manifest these characteristics--wisdom, understanding, counsel, power, knowledge, and reverence for the LORD.

From "Revelation Unveiled" by Tim Lahaye Part 2, 11. The Throne of GOD (Rev. 4-5).