The Importance of Fasting – A Comparison of Mark 9:29 in English Bible Translations

MAR 9.17-18 And one of the multitude answered and said, Master, I have brought to You my son, who has a dumb spirit; And wherever it overtakes him, it tears at him: and he foams, and gnashes with his teeth, and pines away: and I spoke to Your disciples that they should cast it out; and they could not.

MAR 9.28 And when He came into the house, His disciples asked Him privately, Why could we not cast it out?

Mark 9:29 And He said to them, this kind can come out by nothing, except by prayer and fasting.

Many versions of the Bible leave out “and fasting”. Yet, it is in the original language and is vitally important for the people of God today.

As some communities in our nation grow in unbelief and welcome paganism within our borders, spiritual warfare also grows. God’s people are feeling this impact, even at times in their own homes.

I can personally attest to an attempted spiritual infiltration in my home, brought in by a guest on more than one occasion who had an unseen attachment. Sometimes those ‘attachments’ attempt to cling unless godly homeowners know how to detach them! Fasting with prayer cleared the air for us very quickly on every occasion needed.

People of God, we must be ready to go the distance, to apply all of the Lord’s teaching to stand strong against the enemy.

Because teaching on fasting is scarce in some halls of faith and is missing from Mark 9:29 in many versions of Scripture, I want to show the reader the difference between English translations below on just that verse.

My resource is BibleGateway.com. It is easy there to compare ALL English versions against each other in one click.

Please know I do not wish to disparage versions that don’t include the reference to fasting, just to make the reader aware that differences do exist among translations which occasionally lose significant meaning in Scripture. Know the tools you have free at your fingertips that can help ensure you understand a verse more completely.

By the way, my personal favorite is Young’s Literal Translation. It is not for everyone as it is written in old English, but it has a reputation for being one of the closest, if not the closest to the original Hebrew and Greek. Another powerful tool I use for research is a Kindle version of the King James which includes links to Strong’s Bible dictionaries. There are few better ways to see original language than to have those links at your fingertips. I wish publishers would come out with more Kindle versions with links to Strong’s. Having those links to original language helps make us more bullet-proof against misinterpretations.

Mark 9:29 in all English Translations from BibleGateway.com: https://www.biblegateway.com/verse/en/Mark%209:29

All translations including ‘fasting’ in bold. Translation references at bottom.

KJ21
And He said unto them, “This kind can come forth by nothing but by prayer and fasting.”
ASV
And he said unto them, This kind can come out by nothing, save by prayer.
AMP
He replied to them, “This kind [of unclean spirit] cannot come out by anything but prayer [to the Father].”
AMPC
And He replied to them, This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer and fasting.
BRG
And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.
CSB
And he told them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer.”
CEB
Jesus answered, “Throwing this kind of spirit out requires prayer.”
CJB
He said to them “This is the kind of spirit that can be driven out only by prayer.”
CEV
Jesus answered, “Only prayer can force out that kind of demon.”
DARBY
And he said to them, This kind can go out by nothing but by prayer and fasting.
DLNT
And He said to them, “This kind can come out by nothing except by prayer”.
DRA
And departing from thence, they passed through Galilee, and he would not that any man should know it.
ERV
Jesus answered, “That kind of spirit can be forced out only with prayer.”
EHV
He said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out, except by prayer and fasting.”
ESV
And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.”
ESVUK
And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.”
EXB
Jesus answered, “That kind of spirit can only be forced out by prayer.”
GNV
And he said unto them, This kind can by no other means come forth, but by prayer and fasting.
GW
He told them, “This kind of spirit can be forced out only by prayer.”
GNT
“Only prayer can drive this kind out,” answered Jesus; “nothing else can.”
HCSB
And He told them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer [and fasting].”
ICB
Jesus answered, “That kind of spirit can only be forced out by prayer.”
ISV
He told them, “This kind can come out only by prayer and fasting.”
PHILLIPS
“Nothing can drive out this kind of thing except prayer,” replied Jesus.
JUB
And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.
KJV
And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.
AKJV
And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.
LEB
And he said to them, “This kind can come out by nothing except by prayer.”
TLB
Jesus replied, “Cases like this require prayer.”
MSG
He answered, “There is no way to get rid of this kind of demon except by prayer.”
MEV
He said to them, “This kind cannot come out except by prayer and fasting.”
MOUNCE
And he said to them, “This kind cannot come out except by prayer.”
NOG
He told them, “This kind of spirit can be forced out only by prayer.”
NABRE
He said to them, “This kind can only come out through prayer.”
NASB
And He said to them, “This kind cannot come out by anything but prayer.”
NCV
Jesus answered, “That kind of spirit can only be forced out by prayer.”
NET
He told them, “This kind can come out only by prayer.”
NIRV
He replied, “This kind can come out only by prayer.”
NIV
He replied, “This kind can come out only by prayer.”
NIVUK
He replied, ‘This kind can come out only by prayer.’
NKJV
So He said to them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.”
NLV
He said to them, “The only way this kind of demon is put out is by prayer and by going without food so you can pray better.”
NLT
Jesus replied, “This kind can be cast out only by prayer.”
NMB
And he said to them, This kind can come out no other way but by prayer and fasting.
NRSV
He said to them, “This kind can come out only through prayer.”
NRSVA
He said to them, ‘This kind can come out only through prayer.’
NRSVACE
He said to them, ‘This kind can come out only through prayer.’
NRSVCE
He said to them, “This kind can come out only through prayer.”
NTE
‘This sort’, replied Jesus, ‘can only be cast out by prayer.’
OJB
And Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach (Jesus) said to them, This kind of gerush shedim (spirit) is accomplished only by davening (prayer) with tzomot (fasting).
TPT
He answered them, “This type of powerful spirit can only be cast out by fasting and prayer.”
RGT
And He said to them, “This kind can come forth by no other means but prayer and fasting.”
RSV
And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.”
RSVCE
And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer and fasting.”
TLV
And He said to them, “This kind cannot come out except by prayer.”
VOICE
Jesus: That sort of powerful spirit can only be conquered with much prayer [and fasting].
WEB
He said to them, “This kind can come out by nothing, except by prayer and fasting.”
WE
Jesus said to them, `This kind of bad spirit does not come out unless people talk to God and fast.’
WYC
And he said to them, This kind in nothing may go out [This kind may not go out in any thing], but in prayer and fasting.
YLT
And he said to them, `This kind is able to come forth with nothing except with prayer and fasting.’

Translations:

21st Century King James Version (KJ21) Copyright © 1994 by Deuel Enterprises, Inc.
American Standard Version (ASV) Public Domain
Amplified Bible (AMP) Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.
Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC) Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation
BRG Bible (BRG) Blue Red and Gold Letter Edition™ Copyright © 2012 BRG Bible Ministries. Used by Permission. All rights reserved. BRG Bible is a Registered Trademark in U.S. Patent and Trademark Office #4145648
Christian Standard Bible (CSB) The Christian Standard Bible. Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible®, and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers, all rights reserved.
Common English Bible (CEB) Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible
Complete Jewish Bible (CJB) Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved; Contemporary English Version (CEV) Copyright © 1995 by American Bible Society
Darby Translation (DARBY) Public Domain
Disciples’ Literal New Testament (DLNT) Disciples’ Literal New Testament: Serving Modern Disciples by More Fully Reflecting the Writing Style of the Ancient Disciples, Copyright © 2011 Michael J. Magill. All Rights Reserved. Published by Reyma Publishing
Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition (DRA) Public Domain
Easy-to-Read Version (ERV) Copyright © 2006 by Bible League International
Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV) The Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV), New Testament & Psalms ©2017
English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
English Standard Version Anglicised (ESVUK) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.
Expanded Bible (EXB) The Expanded Bible, Copyright © 2011 Thomas Nelson Inc. All rights reserved.
1599 Geneva Bible (GNV) Geneva Bible, 1599 Edition. Published by Tolle Lege Press. All rights reserved.
GOD’S WORD Translation (GW) Copyright © 1995 by God’s Word to the Nations. Used by permission of God’s Word Mission Society.
Good News Translation (GNT) Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society
Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB) Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers, Nashville Tennessee. All rights reserved.
International Children’s Bible (ICB) The Holy Bible, International Children’s Bible® Copyright© 1986, 1988, 1999, 2015 by Tommy Nelson™, a division of Thomas Nelson. Used by permission.
International Standard Version (ISV) Copyright © 1995-2014 by ISV Foundation. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED INTERNATIONALLY. Used by permission of Davidson Press, LLC.
J.B. Phillips New Testament (PHILLIPS) The New Testament in Modern English by J.B Phillips copyright © 1960, 1972 J. B. Phillips. Administered by The Archbishops’ Council of the Church of England. Used by Permission.
Jubilee Bible 2000 (JUB) Copyright © 2000, 2001, 2010 by Life Sentence Publishing, Inc.
King James Version (KJV) Public Domain
Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV) KJV reproduced by permission of Cambridge University Press, the Crown’s patentee in the UK.
Lexham English Bible (LEB) 2012 by Logos Bible Software. Lexham is a registered trademark of Logos Bible Software
Living Bible (TLB) The Living Bible copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson
Modern English Version (MEV) The Holy Bible, Modern English Version. Copyright © 2014 by Military Bible Association. Published and distributed by Charisma House.
Mounce Reverse-Interlinear New Testament (MOUNCE) The Mounce Reverse-Interlinear™ New Testament (MOUNCE) Copyright © 2011 by William D. Mounce. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. “Reverse-Interlinear” is a trademark of William D. Mounce.
Names of God Bible (NOG) The Names of God Bible (without notes) © 2011 by Baker Publishing Group.
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE) Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved.
New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
New Century Version (NCV) The Holy Bible, New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
New English Translation (NET) NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://netbible.com All rights reserved.
New International Reader’s Version (NIRV) Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998, 2014 by Biblica, Inc.®. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
New International Version – UK (NIVUK) Holy Bible, New International Version® Anglicized, NIV® Copyright © 1979, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
New King James Version (NKJV) Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
New Life Version (NLV) Copyright © 1969, 2003 by Barbour Publishing, Inc.
New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
New Matthew Bible (NMB) Copyright © 2016 by Ruth Magnusson (Davis). All rights reserved.
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised (NRSVA) New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicised Edition, copyright © 1989, 1995 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Catholic Edition (NRSVACE) New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicised Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993, 1995 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE) New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
New Testament for Everyone (NTE) Scripture quotations from The New Testament for Everyone are copyright © Nicholas Thomas Wright 2011.
Orthodox Jewish Bible (OJB) Copyright © 2002, 2003, 2008, 2010, 2011 by Artists for Israel International
The Passion Translation (TPT) The Passion Translation®. Copyright © 2017 by BroadStreet Publishing® Group, LLC. Used by permission. All rights reserved. thePassionTranslation.com
Revised Geneva Translation (RGT) © 2019 by Five Talents Audio
Revised Standard Version (RSV) Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (RSVCE) The Revised Standard Version of the Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1965, 1966 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Tree of Life Version (TLV) Tree of Life (TLV) Translation of the Bible. Copyright © 2015 by The Messianic Jewish Family Bible Society.
The Voice (VOICE) The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.
World English Bible (WEB) by Public Domain. The name “World English Bible” is trademarked.
Worldwide English (New Testament) (WE) © 1969, 1971, 1996, 1998 by SOON Educational Publications
Wycliffe Bible (WYC) 2001 by Terence P. Noble
Young’s Literal Translation (YLT) by Public Domain

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Does God Really Pour His Spirit upon All Flesh? A Review of Joel 2 and Acts 2

For years now, we’ve been hearing teachers from various halls of Christian faith quoting Joel 2:28 and Acts 2:17, declaring that God is pouring out His Spirit upon “all flesh”, meaning all of humanity. They cite examples of cases where non-believers had dreams of Jesus and then came to faith.

While these cases are wonderful and awe-inspiring, they are not proof the Holy Spirit is poured upon “all flesh”. Allow me to explain why this particular teaching is a misinterpretation of the Joel and Acts passages.

Take a look at the wording of the Acts passage from the KJV translation:

Acts 2.16-18 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh*: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on My servants and on My handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy.

Ok. So, the KJV makes it sound like the Spirit will be poured upon “all flesh”. Case closed, right?

Well, not so fast. What did the original language say? Who is the audience? For, that reveals intention. And, what is the context around the phrase or sentence in question?

First, let’s look at the definition of the word for “flesh” in Greek: “sarx”.

*Definition of Sarx from Strong’s:
(g4561) σαρξ, — sarx; probably from the base of (4563) (σαροω); flesh, i.e. the meat of an animal, or the body… as the means of kindred…
1. flesh
2. the body a. the body of a man b. used of natural origin, generation or relationship

So, “flesh” is half of the original meaning, but with the broader definition from Strong’s Bible dictionary, we see there is more to the story, a 2nd half, “the body”, which implied kindred, or relationship. This narrows the scope to people in relationship with God, His family, not all mankind. With these two shades of the same word, is it one over the other? How do we choose?

Let’s return to the passage to better understand the audience and context.

When we glance a little further back from our phrase in question in both Joel 2 and Acts 2, we see each author was addressing the people of God.

In Joel, he is addressing the nation of Israel. In Acts, Peter is addressing the new believers, the followers of Christ.

Plus, note the wording immediately following God’s declaration of outpouring His Spirit:
“…your sons and your daughters will prophesy… your young men, your old men…”. The word, “your” means those belonging to the audience, again, the people of Israel in the Old Testament and the new believers in the church.

Taking it another step further in subsequent verse, Acts 2:18, God goes even further to clarify: “on My servants and My handmaidens will I pour out My Spirit…”

God was reiterating the object of the outpouring of His Spirit – upon His servants, His body, His people.

We can conclude by translating sarx within this passage as, “the body”, either instead of, or in addition to, “flesh”. This does not contradict but rather complements the tone in the rest of each passage.

Bottom line: God’s promise of outpouring His Spirit was to His people, not to the whole world.

Originally from the prophet, Joel, this prophecy of His outpoured Spirit was fulfilled starting with the disciples at Pentecost. Remember, Jesus promised the Comforter would come to His followers after His Ascension.

And did He! He came and began filling the new believers, aka the body of Christ, from that point forward, giving them His gifts, empowering them for life and ministry. Just as He continues to fill each new believer today!

Perhaps there does appear to be a fresh outpouring of His Spirit in recent years, an awakening of His people and prophecy. If so, no doubt for the purpose of strengthening His body to once more sweep the world for another great harvest, and to face the challenges of the last days before Christ’s return.

At the same time, over decades there has been a shallowing in many branches of God’s people in America, a diluting of Biblical truth. And there is a wide and growing division between the people of God and an ever-darkening world hardening their hearts to His salvation, and even His reality! This division has swept Europe and is gaining ground in America.

What do we do? We ask His help to purify our lives, daily surrender, and pursue loving relationship with our Savior and the filling of His Spirit every day. What can God do with a child of His fully surrendered to His power and grace? Reach the world!

In closing, I will say we can agree with the teachers referenced at the start with one caveat: All mankind is impacted by His outpouring upon His body. For, it is when His people are fully yielded into His mighty hands that He can then use us for maximum reach to “all flesh”.

Jesus, fill us anew today, as we trust You and give ourselves into Your capable hands. Strengthen and use us to reach every last person on earth before You return! Amen.

Scripture and Definition taken from:
Strong, James. A Complete Bible Reference Study Library (4 in 1): [Illustrated]: KJV Bible with Strongs markup, Strongs Concordance & Dictionaries, Lexicon Definitions, and Bible word index (Kindle Locations 104192-104209). Bestbooks. Kindle Edition.

Will Elijah Come Again? No, Elijah has already come.

This is written to counter a recent article circulating the net claiming the people of God should expect Elijah to come back to earth before the Return of Christ. It is not the first time I have heard this teaching, and it is false! Realize, it is important to challenge such teaching, for if we are not grounded in truth, we make ourselves vulnerable to deception in the end times.

Here is the background. At the beginning of Matthew 17, Jesus was transfigured before Peter, James and John. They witnessed Him transform into His true, glorious form, where Scripture tells us ‘His face shone like the sun and His clothing became white as light’.

Appearing alongside Jesus were the spirits of Moses and Elijah. Peter in his enthusiasm offered to make booths for each of them, momentarily failing to realize Who should have been his only priority. God’s voice came from heaven in response, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Listen to Him!”

So often, just like Peter, we slide off point in attempting to interpret the will of God and His Word. The focal point, the bullseye if you will, is always Messiah. Any movement, however slight, off center of Him misses the mark.

You see, Moses and Elijah appeared along with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration to make a point. The most revered prophets of Judaism were with Jesus! Then God made sure everyone present understood which of them was solely Lord and Master: His Son!

The circulating article I mentioned at the start, conjectured that when Elijah returns in the end times, he will likely ‘restore’ traditions of Judaism before the return of Christ. Oops, he missed the mark and the priority, that being Christ, not Judaism!

Now, I love teaching that helps us understand our Hebraic roots and connects Old and New Testaments. It helps us put all the pieces of the Scriptural puzzle together, and when it is done right, it points us to our Savior again and again. This is already happening through great scholars today like Messianic Rabbi Jonathan Cahn, for one.

But, any teaching that the people of God must return to traditions or especially laws of Judaism is strictly false and misleading. The New Testament declared the law obsolete. Paul explained it once served as a ‘nanny’ to the ancient people of God, and was retired at the cross. We now have our Bridegroom and His Spirit to guide us. To crawl back to the nanny is absurd and offensive to Him!

Back to Elijah. Should we expect him to come again, to restore Judaism and usher in the end times before Christ returns? No. Jesus, in Matthew 17, makes it very plain that Elijah already came a second time, and His mission was none other than to point the way to Christ.

Listen in to His conversation with the disciples:

MATTHEW 17:10-13

His disciples asked him, ‘Why do the scribes say Elijah must come first?’ And Jesus answered them, ‘Elijah certainly comes first, and restores all things. But I say to you, Elijah has already come, and they did not know him, and have done to him what they wished. Likewise also the Son of man shall suffer at their hands.’ Then the disciples understood that he spoke to them of John the Baptist.

Friends, I do not pretend to fully understand how John the Baptist was Elijah. Was he a literal reincarnation of the ancient prophet? Or, did he possess a symbolic spirit of Elijah, bring back the same message as Elijah? I cannot say, and have heard it taught different ways.

But, the core message is clear. Jesus informed us no matter how you look at it, Elijah’s message did echo on earth a second time through John the Baptist before the ministry of Christ began.

This leaves us with a solid conclusion: Elijah is not coming yet another time. For, the focal point in time for which the prophet Elijah and John the Baptist were prepping us was Jesus’ ministry/death/resurrection, not His end-time return.

The time of the cross was the most important moment in human history! Within that pivotal event lies the identity of our Savior, that He gave everything for us, and that He became the only way through Whom we can be restored to the Father.

Once more, hear the words of God the Father, and then listen to those of His Son, as He instructed!

This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Listen to Him! (God, the Father; Matt 17:5)

I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. (Jesus; John 14:6)

Before closing, let’s reflect once more on the message of John the Baptist, for it is most certainly needed today!

MATTHEW 3:1-3

In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness and saying, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.’ This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: “A voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for Him’.”

John did what was prophesied and prepared the way for Jesus to be received by His people. And Jesus brought the kingdom of heaven to earth, as John declared.

Will you recognize the focal point of the entire Bible, and of history: Jesus our Redeemer and Messiah, and know and trust Him today?

A Study on Healing in the New Testament

Healing… before the Cross/Resurrection:

In the Gospels, before the Cross, healing was apparently used mainly as a tool of evangelism, to draw the people and convince them of the power in Christ, His divinity. Christ, Himself, healed ALL who came to Him. In addition, He gave each of the twelve disciples the gift of healing as part of their evangelical mission.

Christ healed everyone (Matt 4):

And Jesus was going about all Galilee teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the reign, and healing every disease, and every malady among the people,

and his fame went forth to all Syria, and they brought to him all having ailments, pressed with manifold sicknesses and pains, and demoniacs, and lunatics, and paralytics, and he healed themMatthew 4:23-24 Young’s Literal Translation (YLT)

Disciples were all given healing gift (Matt 10):

And having called to him his twelve disciples, he gave to them power over unclean spirits, so as to be casting them out, and to be healing every sickness, and every malady.

`And, going on, proclaim saying that, the reign of the heavens hath come nigh;

infirm ones be healing, lepers be cleansing, dead be raising, demons be casting out — freely ye did receive, freely give. Matthew 10:1,8 (YLT)

Healing… after the Cross/Resurrection:

After the Resurrection, in the new, growing church, it is apparent the gift of healing was given to select, but not all believers, as demonstrated below in 1 Corinthians 12.

for to one through the Spirit hath been given a word of wisdom, and to another a word of knowledge, according to the same Spirit;

and to another faith in the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healings in the same Spirit;

and to another in-workings of mighty deeds; and to another prophecy; and to another discernings of spirits; and to another [divers] kinds of tongues; and to another interpretation of tongues:

[are] all apostles? [are] all prophets? [are] all teachers? [are] all powers?

have all gifts of healings? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?

and desire earnestly the better gifts; 1 Corinthians 12:8-10; 29-31 (YLT)

In modern day, whether in person or through the testimony of documentaries such as those made by filmmaker, Darren Wilson [Finger of God, Furious Love, Father of Lights, etc], we can see evangelical teams witnessing on the streets around the world and healing the sick and lame. There are times not everyone is healed, however. It seems to be determined by the will of the Spirit for His purposes.

Yet, it also seems there are some unique individuals who are able to heal every person they lay hands on. This would indicate they have the gift of healing, specifically.

Perfectly in line with Scripture, we might conclude God can use anyone to heal when He wishes to reach the lost. However, some in the body of Christ possess the gift of healing to benefit both the body of Christ and non-believers.

Revelation 12 Study

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[Readers, this post is very informal, and may not be final. It is my personal notes from studies I did on September 23, October 5, and October 21, on Revelation 12.]

9/23/2017

September 23, 2017, was a day the constellations demonstrated the Revelation 12 passage:

REV 12.1 And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: REV 12.2 And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.

On September 23, I saved a screenshot (above) from my cell phone app, StarTrackerLite, which shows in real time the positions and movement of the stars and planets. The constellations show Virgo (i.e., the ‘woman’) with the sun at her neck, the moon at her feet, etc, just as Rev. 12 described.

Studying that photo, I noticed two things.

  1. The position of Jupiter does make her look pregnant, or as if she is giving birth! Jupiter is the ‘King’ planet, so Virgo is pregnant with the King! That makes the identity of Virgo, Mary, and in greater, symbolic terms, ancient Israel! She was the one who brought Christ forth into the world. However, she is also the one who KNOWS He is the King. Therefore, through the birth, the woman transforms to become Israel of God, the family of God, now followers of Messiah.
  2. Note the position of constellation Virgo – under the constellation Leo. Virgo is literally ‘following’ Leo in her trajectory. Again, the symbolism of Virgo as Israel of God, following Leo, the Lion. The Bible tells us Christ is the Lion of Judah! The constellations, in sync with Scripture, identity Virgo as those following Christ.

The significance of the above in relation to Rev. 12, I believe, is that ultimately, the woman who will be under attack by the ‘dragon’ is going to be Israel of God, in modern times the body of Christ, His church.

10/5/2017

Studying Rev 12:6, trying to make sense of the ‘wilderness’ to which the ‘woman’ flees for protection from the dragon for ‘1260 days’.

Researching definitions of ‘wilderness’ in Greek, in Strong’s Bible dictionary. All shown below.* Note, most interesting is the comparative word in Strongs, #5561. See below in blue.

Oddly, upon studying these word meanings, a song started ‘playing’ in my head: ‘This land is your land, this land is my land, from California to the New York islands… from the Redwood forest to the gulf stream waters… this land was made for you and me.’ 

Hmmm. I haven’t thought of that song in perhaps years. A message from the Spirit? He often speaks to me by putting songs in my mind.

America certainly did fit the descriptions (from Strong’s for ‘wilderness’, see below) at the time the colonists came… She was ‘an expansive land, largely unpopulated (at the time), between two limits…’ (either way you look at it we are still between two limits: 2 oceans on east/west coasts… 2 neighbors on north/south coasts).

America happens to contain the densest population of the followers of Messiah… so far, still a land of religious freedom. If America is potentially the land made to protect the ‘woman’, then what does the ‘1260 days’ really mean?

And when is that time ‘up’?

10/21/2017

Rev 12:13 And when the dragon saw that he was cast forth to the earth, he pursued the woman who did bring forth the male, rev.12.14 and there were given to the woman two wings of the great eagle, that she may fly to the wilderness*, to her place, where she is nourished a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent; rev.12.15 and the serpent did cast forth after the woman, out of his mouth, water as a river, that he may cause her to be carried away by the river, rev.12.16 and the land did help the woman, and the land did open its mouth and did swallow up the river, that the dragon did cast forth out of his mouth; rev.12.17 and the dragon was angry against the woman, and went away to make war with the rest of her seed, those keeping the commands of God, and having the testimony of Jesus Christ. (YLT)

Revelation 12:13-17 again mentions the wilderness, a land which protects the ‘woman who brought forth the male’ for a period of time. Having established I believe the woman to represent both Mary and Israel of God… or, all who follow Christ, then it may be logical to presume the land which houses the largest numbers of His followers might, in fact, be just that land.

In these last centuries, the primary land protecting Christians has been America. Is it a coincidence Rev. 12 mentions the eagle helping the woman get to the wilderness land that protects her, and America’s national symbol is the American Bald Eagle?

Indeed, if you consider the words above from Revelation 12, America fits the description. She was an expansive, largely uninhabited land at the time of her founding, she has taken in the largest number of Christian refugees, prevented persecution of Christians within her borders and provided a safe and prosperous place for them to live and thrive. Certainly, there are other countries that also continue to protect Christians, but none more pronounced than the U.S. in the last nearly two and a half centuries.

As to the very specific, albeit cryptic, reference to ‘a time, and times, and half a time’, during which the land is able to protect the woman, we need to consider the meaning. There are many who have taught in solidarity this is a reference to the 3 1/2 years of the tribulation. But, could it also (or instead) be referring to the few hundred years one nation has offered refuge and protection to the people of God in the last centuries?

IF the land is America, if we agree she has protected the largest number of Christ-followers as indicated in Revelation 12… we can look at the dates the first Christians fled to her in search of religious freedom and see if the years since then might come anywhere close to fitting into the ‘time, times and half a time’ pattern.

First, there was a lost Colony that first arrived around 1585 (Approx. 432 years from present.) The enduring Colonies were established beginning 1607, with Jamestown, a business venture. (Approx. 410 years from present.)

Puritans arrived Plymouth in 1620, desiring to start a new, pure church, fleeing the corrupt church of England. (Approx. 397 years from present.)

Based on the numbers above, 450 years fits the pattern of a ‘time, times, and half a time’. With that in mind, the above 3 scenarios would yield 18 years, 40 years, or 53 years remaining, respectively.

This is just something to think about, by no means a conclusive study. It is merely one possibility to ponder. I’ve learned over the years, prophetic passages can apply to multiple events or time periods, so one meaning does not necessarily cancel out another.

Research, from Strong’s Bible dictionaries:

*Wilderness: (g2048) ερημος, — er’-ay-mos; of uncertain affinity; lonesome, i.e. (by implication) waste (usually as a noun, (5561)* (χωρα) being implied): — desert, desolate, solitary, wilderness.

Transliterated: eremos;  Pronounced: er’-ay-mos of uncertain affinity; TDNT 2:657; adjective Trans & freq in the AV- wilderness 32 times, desert 13 times, desolate 4 times, solitary 1 time; 50 occurrences of Greek word in AV

1. solitary, lonely, desolate, uninhabited a. used of places 1. a desert, wilderness 2. deserted places, lonely regions 3. an uncultivated region fit for pasturage b. used of persons [Also, ominously:] 1. deserted by others 2. deprived of the aid and protection of others, especially of friends, acquaintances, kindred 3. bereft a. of a flock deserted by the shepherd b. of a woman neglected by her husband, from whom the husband withholds himself.

*(5561) χωρα, — kho’-rah; feminine of a derivative of the base of (5490) (χασμα) through the idea of empty expanse; room, i.e. a space of territory (more or less extensive; often including its inhabitant): — coast, county, fields, ground, land, region.

Transliterated: chora;  Pronounced: kho’-rah from a derivative of the base of 5490 through the idea of empty expanse; n f Trans. & freq. in the AV- country 15 times, region 5 times, land 3 times, field 2 times, ground 1 time, coast 1 time; 27 occurrences of Greek word in AV,

1. the space lying between two places or limits. [Blogger’s note: could that be between 2 major oceans, OR with 2 border neighbors?? Does any other country in the world fit this description?]

2. a region or country i.e. a tract of land a. the (rural) region surrounding a city or village, the country b. the region with towns and villages which surround a metropolis 3. land which is ploughed or cultivated, ground.

All quoted verses and research from:

God; Strong, James. A Complete Bible Reference Study Library (4 in 1): [Illustrated]: KJV Bible with Strongs markup, Strongs Concordance & Dictionaries, Lexicon Definitions, and Bible word index (Kindle Locations 122365-285296). Bestbooks. Kindle Edition.

Ninevah Fasted and God Spared Disaster

Most of us are familiar with the story of Jonah and the whale. You remember, how Jonah didn’t want to do what God asked of him, so God sent along a large fish to swallow Jonah and carry him to the very place he didn’t want to go. Of course, he spent three days and nights in the belly of the fish where he got his heart right first.

That’s the story most of us were taught as children in Sunday School. But there is another miracle in the story we probably don’t remember as easily, maybe an even bigger one than a large fish swallowing a human who lived to tell the tale!

It is the miracle of fasting, accompanied by prayer and repentance. And how this powerful combination of sincere spiritual submission changed God’s mind!

Recall, the reason God wanted Jonah to go to Ninevah in the first place was to warn them His judgment was coming. He had gotten sick of their rebellious ways and was giving them, well, 40 days by the time Jonah finally got there. Only 40 days till disaster.

When Ninevah got this warning from Jonah, the second miracle happened. They believed him. And they repented, began fasting and praying! All the way up to the King, all the way down to the least of the kingdom believed and repented, fasted and prayed!

Then there was a third miracle: God changed His mind! He spared them and did not bring the disaster to their shores.

Friends, the power of getting right with God is huge. There is nothing like total submission and letting God know you are serious, that you will even deny yourself pleasure and risk a little discomfort to seek Him, to be right with Him.

Let’s learn from the story, the whole story of Jonah and Ninevah. American children of God, we’ve been warned by precious saints like Rabbi Jonathan Cahn in his profound book, The Harbinger. A time of judgment is headed our way. Surely it is already touching our shores as the edge of a hurricane.

It is not too late. But, the time is now to repent, fast and pray for our nation.

Please join us on May 5th, 2016, fasting 24 hours and praying for our nation, in conjunction with National Day of Prayer. Check previous posts (and future ones) for details.

God bless you!

Jonah Warns Nineveh of God’s Judgment

Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time, saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it the message that I tell you.” So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly great city, three days’ journey in breadth. Jonah began to go into the city, going a day’s journey. And he called out, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” And the people of Nineveh believed God. They called for a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them to the least of them.

The People of Nineveh Repent and FAST

The word reached the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, removed his robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. And he issued a proclamation and published through Nineveh, “By the decree of the king and his nobles: Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything. Let them not feed or drink water, but let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and let them call out mightily to God. Let everyone turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands. Who knows? God may turn and relent and turn from his fierce anger, so that we may not perish.”

God Changes His Mind

10 When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil way, God relented of the disaster that he had said he would do to them, and he did not do it.

Jonah 3  English Standard Version (ESV)