Video of the Week

(Late) Bishop David Ellis, Detroit, MI
"Right Now...Let the Savior"
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Verse of the Day

What Does the Bible Say About Easter? Are Easter Eggs and the Easter Bunny Somehow Connected with Jesus Christ?

easter-bunny

Although most Christians still call the celebration of Jesus Christ’s resurrection “Easter Sunday”, the term ‘Easter’ as well as the traditional Easter Bunny and Easter eggs all have pagan roots, and the original pagan festival is still celebrated by practitioners of witchcraft today. Many Christians who become aware of the pagan origins of Easter prefer to call our celebration “Resurrection Sunday”, as a denial of the ungodly influences that surround Easter and have nothing to do with God.
 

The name “Easter” is actually a derivation of the name of a Germanic goddess called “Eostre” by ancient Anglo-Saxons, “Ostara” by ancient German pagans, and “Ishtar” or “Ashtaroth” by ancient Babylonians. This goddess was one of fertility and newness to all of the pagan cultures, but was also a goddess of sexual lust to the ancient Babylonians, and the worship of this goddess took place during the season of the Vernal Equinox, which falls at the end of March, coinciding with the Passover season. Although in differing regions and cultures the stories of the origins of the hares (rabbits) and eggs as symbols of fertility do vary, these symbols were associated with this particular goddess by all worshippers, regardless of what they called her. This pagan goddess worship affects the people of God directly in the Old Testament and indirectly in the New Testament.
 

In the Old Testament, as far back as Exodus 34:13 and Deuteronomy 12:3, “asherahs” which were phallic poles that in modern times are referred to as “May Poles”, were commanded to be destroyed, as some Israelites had erroneously begun to incorporate them into the worship of God. 1 Kings 14:15, 22-23 denotes God’s fierce anger toward the Israelites for continuing to participate in this pagan worship practice.
 

In the New Testament, we see the one and only occurrence of the word “Easter” in scripture in Acts 12:4, which is a direct result of the English translation and Roman influence on the context of the passage. The word “pascha” is the Greek word used for “Easter”, which is translated in every other place in the New Testament as “Passover”. However, Acts 12:4 describes the actions of and intents of King Herod, a ruler appointed over Judea by the Roman Senate (it was a Roman Province at that time), one who did not celebrate Passover. The holiday season for Romans and other Gentiles in that region would have been the worship of the goddess Eostre or Ostara, which is why this word would be translated “Easter”, as the time was regarded from a non-Jewish perspective.
 

So, the next time you see an Easter egg or an Easter bunny, know that these symbols were created for the worship of a pagan goddess, and the historic festival is still celebrated by Wiccans and others who are involved in witchcraft. Easter has nothing to do with Jesus Christ or his resurrection in any way, shape, form, or fashion. The only connection is the time of year in which Easter and Passover were celebrated.

What Does the Bible Say About the Holy Spirit – Is the Holy Spirit the Third Person in the Trinity, an Emotional Experience, Spiritual Enlightenment, or Something Else?

doveAlthough the issue of what or who the Holy Spirit (or Holy Ghost) is cannot be considered obscure by anyone who knows the scriptures, it is still one of the least understood concepts in Christendom. The problem with that is simply this – without the Spirit of God, or the Holy Spirit, you cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven (John 3:5, Romans 8:9), you cannot possess the revelation of God (1Corinthians 2:9-10, Ephesians 1:17, 3:5, 2Peter 1:21), and you have no hope in this present world (Romans 15:13, 2Corinthians 1:22, Galatians 5:5, Ephesians 1:13).
 
Wow – that’s sobering.
 
So, without a clear understanding of what or who the Holy Spirit is, what the Spirit does, and that means for you, you are lost. While everyone who is saved is not a Bible scholar, everyone who is saved has the Spirit (Acts 2:38-40, 5:32, 19:2-6; Romans 8:9, 1Corinthians 12:12-13, Ephesians 4:30, Titus 3:5) and the Spirit confirms his presence within a person (John 3:3-6, 14:26; Acts: 1:8, 2:4, 10:44-47; Romans 8:15-16, Hebrews 10:15-16, 1John 5:6-13). So, if you believe that you are saved but you are still confused about what or who the Holy Spirit is, according to the scriptures, you could not possibly yet be saved.
 
Even more sobering, huh?
 
It becomes clear then that knowledge of the Holy Spirit is essential to Christian faith – what or who is it, do you “catch” it or “receive” it, and what is the purpose and function of the Holy Spirit? These questions must be answered scripturally in order for people who are seeking God in these last and evil days to find salvation. There are many false prophets and false doctrines in the world, so if you do not know who God is for yourself according to the scriptures, you will be lost.
 
Let’s begin our study of who or what the Holy Spirit is by first determining who or what it is not:
 
 
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What Does the Bible Say About Suicide: Is Suicide an Unpardonable Sin?

558236_sittingThe Bible is very clear about suicide – it is an unpardonable sin. However, one must keep in mind that the issue of whether or not suicide is unpardonable would only apply to someone who has obeyed God’s plan of salvation and was living a life of sanctification (Hebrews 12:14). If a person is not saved according to Biblical standards, it simply doesn’t matter how they die because damnation is inevitable (Mark 16:16, John 3:18).
 
It is uncharacteristic of a truly saved individual to want to commit suicide in the first place. Peace (Isaiah 26:3, Philippians 4:7), hope (Romans 8:24, 2 Thessalonians 2:16) and soundness of mind (2 Timothy 1:7) belong to God’s children. Furthermore, overcoming life’s obstacles, which would include depression, is a requirement of all who would be saved (1 John 5:4, Revelation 2:11, 3:5)! Suicide is simply not an option for the children of God.
 

In 1 Corinthians 3:17, the Bible says,
 

If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

 
and in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20,
 

19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

 
It is abundantly clear that for a saved person to kill themselves would be to destroy the temple of God, which is God’s property, sanctified for his use and purpose. This sin, as all others, is recompensed with the destruction of the one who commits it (Matthew 10:28, Romans 6:23, Revelation 20:13-14), particularly because there is no way to repent (Mark 6:12, Acts 2:38, 3:19) and be forgiven after one kills themselves.
 
 
If you are struggling with depression and would like to receive the peace, hope, and soundness of mind that God gives to his children, you must first become a child of god by obeying God’s plan of salvation. For more information about salvation, use the contact form in the right sidebar to ask any questions you need answered. We are here to help :-)

What Does the Bible Say About Speaking In Tongues: Are Tongues Truly the Biblical Sign For Receiving the Holy Spirit or Are They Something Else?

325783_jesusPLEASE NOTE: This lesson is extremely long. It is not recommended that you skim through the contents or attempt to perform a brief overview. The following information requires attentive study and contemplation.
 

The issue of whether or not speaking in tongues is indeed the evidence of the presence of the Holy Spirit within a born again Christian is the topic of many religious debates. However, it usually takes years of holistic Bible study for one to be able to rightly divide the word concerning this issue. The scriptures that speak to the issue of “speaking in tongues” are written in different books of the Bible within varying contexts. So, topical study on this issue can be particularly challenging. Coming to the proper conclusion is not a matter of interpretation, but rather having full knowledge of the different circumstances involved with “speaking in tongues”. Once you know all the facts, the fog clears and the answers are revealed.
 
 

Two Different Types of Tongues

The first thing any Bible student needs to know about the issue of “speaking in tongues” is that there are two different ‘types’ of tongues, if you will – “new” tongues and “diverse” tongues. One is the evidence of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and one is a spiritual gift bestowed upon only some Christians. If you are not aware of the distinction, reading the scriptures concerning tongues can be confusing. To make this study simpler for all who read it, I wanted to establish this premise upfront, working to organize the scriptural references in such a way that makes sense during the study and just at the end. This helps to make the distinctions clear throughout the lesson and will empower you to compare the two types of tongues without confusion.
 
 

New Tongues

Jesus said in Mark 16:16, “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues…” The Greek word used here for “new” is “kainos”, and denotes that the tongue is not new to the speaker, but new altogether, a tongue not spoken by any nation or people. This reference is often connected to 1 Corinthians 13:1, when Paul says, “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.” Again, the distinction is made between human tongues (unlearned foreign languages) and spiritual tongues, with Paul being a speaker of them both. The “new tongues” that Jesus says his believers will speak are the tongues referred to by Christians today who speak of “the evidence” of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. This experience is not only shared by born again Christians today, but is recorded on more than one occasion in the Book of Acts.
 

In Acts 10 we find the story of Cornelius, a Gentile who had converted to Judaism and was a devout worshipper of God. Because he was committed to God in all that he knew, God revealed to him that there was a need for further action, and that he should call upon the Apostle Peter to show him the way. God then reveals to Peter in a vision that salvation was offered not only to Jews, but to Gentiles as well, which defied Jewish belief. When Peter came and preached to Cornelius and his family, something very significant happens, and it is recorded in Acts 10:44-48:
 

44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. 45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. 46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, 47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? 48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.

 

Notice verses 45 and 46 – the only reason that the Jews knew they had received the Holy Ghost was because they spoke with tongues; the tongues were the evidence that the Holy Spirit had truly fallen upon them. Furthermore, there is no mention of any particular tongue that they spoke. In accordance with the prophecy of Jesus and with respect to the “diverse” tongues that we will explore in the next section, since there is no interpreter and no recognition of the tongues that were spoken, the tongues should therefore be the “new tongues” referred to in Mark 16:17.
 

In Acts 19, Paul meets with a group of John’s disciples living in Ephesus, and as they fellowshipped he asked them if they had received the Holy Ghost since they believed the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Acts 19:2). When they responded saying that they had never heard of the Holy Ghost, Paul asked them how they were baptized, since the receiving of the Holy Spirit is a part of the plan of salvation (Acts 2:38) which includes repentance and baptism, a group of three necessary and connected actions, working in tandem with one another. When the disciples of John revealed that they had only been baptized with John’s baptism of repentance (Matthew 3), Paul commanded (not suggested) that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ and in Acts 19:6 it is recorded that “And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spoke with tongues, and prophesied.” Their speaking in tongues, along with prophesying, was evidence that they had received the Holy Spirit. Note, however, that the verse does not say they either spoke with tongues or prophesied. The prophecy was an added plus, if you will, to the baseline evidence of speaking with new tongues. Again, there is no denotation of specific language spoken by those men, nor an interpreter, therefore suggesting the tongues to be “new tongues.”
 
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How To Study the Bible More Effectively

bible2Many people do not know how to study the Bible effectively, so they end up not studying much at all. The Bible is so big, and it’s hard to know where to start – many who wish to seek God on a deeper level are simply intimidated by the daunting task of independent study. There is also the problem of interpretation; most church goers don’t trust their understanding of the word enough to study on their own outside of Bible study class led by their pastors.
 

However, it is God’s will that we all study the Bible for ourselves. While we do need teachers (Acts 8:30-31, Eph. 4:11-12), we are also responsible for searching the scriptures and being sure of God’s will for our lives (John 5:39, Acts 17:11, 2Tim. 2:15)
 

Learn here how to study the Bible more effectively, giving you the confidence to reference God’s word on a consistent, even daily basis.
 

Read the full article here – http://www.squidoo.com/how_to_study_the_bible

Welcome to “What Does the Bible Say About…?”

bible1This blog was created for you, the Bible student or the curious mind who is investigating the biblical perspective on a specific topic or topics. Too often people lean on their own beliefs or what they may have been told as opposed to what the Bible really says about a topic. People try to feel comfortable in their own ignorance in order to avert personal responsibility -
 

Except people like you.
 

Thank you for visiting this blog and reading my topical Bible studies. As a minister, I seek to help those who are Bible researchers to find a point of reference for meditation and even further study. This not only feeds the soul but also the intellect, helping to foster the habit of regular, thoughtful, intense Bible study. This kind of Bible study, when performed with a spiritual mind, will help bring you closer to God and the answers you seek.
 
 

May God bless your efforts to learn more about his word,

Minister I.C. Jackson

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