Psalm 23

The Lord Is My Shepherd

A Psalm of David

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He makes me lie down in green pastures.

He leads me beside still waters.

He restores my soul.

He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name's sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil, for you are with me;

Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;

You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,

And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Recommended Reading

Excerpts from A Shepherd Looks At Psalm 23 by W. Phillip Keller:

"I am completely satisfied with His management of my life. Why? Because He is the sheepman to whom no trouble is too great as He cares for His flock. He is the rancher who is outstanding because of His fondness for sheep---Who loves them for their own sake as well as His personal pleasure in them. He will, if necessary, be on the job twenty four hours a day to see that they are properly provided for in every detail. Above all, He is very jealous of His name and high reputation as 'The Good shepherd.'" ~Chapter Two: I Shall Not Be In Want

"...it is no mere whim on God's part to call us sheep. Our behavior patterns and life habits are so much like that of sheep it is well nigh embarrassing." ~Chapter 6: He Guides Me In Paths Of Righteousness For His Name's Sake

"Only the strictest attention to the behavior of the sheep by the shepherd can forestall the difficulties of 'fly time.' At the very first sign of flies among the flock he will apply an antidote to their heads.......What an incredible transformation this would make among the sheep. Once the oil had been applied to the sheep's head, there was an immediate change in behavior. Gone was the aggravation, gone the frenzy, gone the irritability and the restlessness. Instead, the sheep would start to feed quietly again, then soon lie down in peaceful contentment." ~Chapter 10: You Anoint My Head With Oil

Order book: A Shepherd Looks At Psalm 23 by Phillip W. Keller

Audiobook Chapter 1 on YouTube: A Shepherd Looks At Psalm 23 by Phillip W. Keller

A beautiful rendering of Psalm 23 in English, Swahili and Luo, by Good Dog and Buttercup:

Psalm 23 ~ The Lord Is My Shepherd

And sung in Hebrew:

MIQEDEM - Psalm 23 in Hebrew

Who is the Holy Spirit? – Part Eight: The Baptism of the Holy Spirit, Your Prayer Language

“Paul in Ephesus
And it happened that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul passed through the inland country and came to Ephesus. There he found some disciples. And he said to them, ‘Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?’ And they said, ‘No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.’  And he said, ‘Into what then were you baptized?’ They said, ‘Into John's baptism.’  And Paul said, ‘John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, Jesus.’  On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking in tongues and prophesying. There were about twelve men in all” (Acts 19:1-7 ESV).
This story recounts that the twelve believers accepted salvation, were baptized in water and received the baptism of the Holy Spirit all at the same time. These three events: salvation, water baptism and the baptism of the Holy Spirit, don’t always happen together, and in fact, sometimes quite a long time can pass between them. As with salvation, how and when a person is ready to declare their faith in Christ through water baptism or receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit and their prayer language, is as unique to each individual as their heartbeat or their fingerprints. God’s timing is always perfect for each of us. He never hurries and he never hesitates.
In Romans chapter 10, Paul writes that righteousness that is based on faith declares that “…The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe with your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (v. 6-9 ESV).
Paul is saying that speaking, proclaiming and confessing are all specific elements of faith and salvation. When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we confess it by praying the prayer of salvation. When we participate in water baptism, the pastor or minister who is assisting us will ask whether we have accepted salvation through the blood of Christ, and if we agree to be baptized in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit – to which we must answer an affirmative “Yes!” in order for the baptism to take place – otherwise it wouldn’t be a baptism, it would just be going for a swim. To proclaim our faith, we have to actually say something!
Paul declared that “Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, ‘I believed and so I spoke,’ we also believe and so we also speak, knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence” (2 Corinthians 4:13-14). Paul spoke what he believed, and he was a man who walked his talk!
We confess Christ with our mouths to be saved, we agree out loud to be baptized in his name, and when we receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit, we speak then, too, but it’s a little different because we won’t be speaking in our native language, but in our prayer language – the language of the Spirit. This language is described in scripture as “speaking in tongues.”
When we first receive salvation, we accept Jesus as our Lord as well as our Savior. We invite him to come into our hearts, and we give him dominion over our lives. We surrender ourselves into his keeping, for eternity. We do this because we realize that we can trust him, because he came and died in our place to accept the punishment for our sins. That, in a nutshell, is the gospel.
When we are baptized in water, we surrender again, but this time, we surrender to whomever is about to dunk us into the river, the creek, or the font.  We surrender to our minister, who represents our church family. Baptism washes away pride as it washes away the past. And just to put it into perspective, please remember that Jesus had to surrender to John the Baptist in order to be baptized in the Jordan River. And even for John, it was a moment of surrender. (See Matthew chapter 3.) We let go and let the river flow.
When we are baptized into the Holy Spirit, we surrender a third time, but this time it is to demonstrate that we so trust in the Spirit of God that we allow him to speak through us, in a language that we do not understand.
Did you know that the author of the book of James was also Jesus’ half-brother? That would be a wonderful topic to explore, but for now, let’s look at what he famously wrote about taming the tongue. He said that all of us stumble in many ways, and only a perfect man or woman is able to control every aspect of themselves.
James wrote that although we can bridle the strength of horses, and steer huge ships with just a small rudder, none of us has the wherewithal to control the power of the tongue, which he says is like a wildfire set loose in a dry forest, and full of deadly poison. (See James chapter 3.) We all know what he means because we’ve all felt the sting of unkind words which can be very painful, leaving lasting scars for the giver and receiver. Solomon wrote that life and death are in the power of our tongues (Proverbs 18:21). With our words we can either build up or tear down.
Therefore we can see that the one, single part of the human body that it is impossible for we humans to control – our tongues, as James said – would be the one part of our selves that God would ask us to surrender for his use and for his glory through the work of his Holy Spirit.
This is why the evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit is speaking in tongues. It is allowing God to control what it is impossible for us to control. Complete surrender.
I assure you, as Paul assured the church at Corinth, that God intends for everything, including speaking in our prayer language, to be done decently and in order, and in 1 Corinthians 14, Paul makes a distinction between speaking in tongues in our personal prayer time and speaking in the corporate setting of the church.
Remember that water baptism after salvation? That was where we also surrendered to our pastor. In salvation, we acknowledge Jesus’ headship over us, in baptism we acknowledge our pastor’s stewardship over us, and at the baptism of the Holy Spirit, we acknowledge the Spirit’s guidance and protection over us. All things God gives us for our benefit are used decently and in order, for his glory, through our surrender to his higher authority.
Paul stated that he prays in tongues with his spirit, he sings in the spirit and gives God praise in the spirit (14:15). He said to the congregation, “I thank God that I speak in tongues more than any of you” (14:18), which meant that he spent much more time praying in tongues in private than he did in public. When you read chapter 14, you can make that distinction too. Paul wasn’t speaking against the gift of tongues, he was speaking against using the gifts of the Spirit to show off in the church.
Every person’s relationship with the Holy Spirit is unique, and the gift of a spiritual prayer language that he gives each one of us is unique also. I have a lovely and precious friend who is an opera singer, who sings harmonies straight from heaven in the Spirit. Our wonderful pastor speaks over us in the Spirit when we come to the altar for prayer.  I’ve known mighty evangelists whose voices boomed out prophecies in the Spirit that were then translated for the congregation, and I’ve heard the Holy Spirit speak in almost silent whispers to comfort someone’s soul that were so private that only God could understand.
It is God, our God, who said:
“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
    and do not return there but water the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
    giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
    it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
    and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”
(Isaiah 55:10-11 ESV)
The baptism of the Holy Spirit is a gift that God longs to give each of us. Our part is to simply pray and ask God to immerse us in his Spirit and help us to surrender to receive our prayer language. Sometimes we are sufficiently ready to receive this gift instantly, and sometimes God takes some time to prepare us to receive more of himself through his Spirit. Either way is perfect, and when we ask God for the gift of his Spirit, he will most definitely answer when the time is right, so just keep praying and praising in faith and you will be baptized.
After all, Jesus promised, “So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him” (Luke 11:13 NLT).

Building A House: Journal Part 7

Wow! The flower above is Bee Balm which grows like a weed, but every time I see it bloom, I think of this verse, because it is just so spectacular. And then I wondered what to say along with this post, so I looked up the rest of the passage and, Lo and Behold, Yeshua said it all, since I sometimes get anxious about completing this project. But He is faithful.

So I Say to you, do not worry about your life--what you will eat or drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Isn't life more than food and the body more than clothing (and shelter)?

Look at the birds of the air. They do not sow or reap or gather into barns; yet your Father in heaven feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?

And which of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

And why do you worry about clothing (and shelter)? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow. They neither toil nor spin.

Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these.

Now if in this way God clothes the grass---which is here today and thrown into the furnace tomorrow--- will He not much more clothe (and shelter) you, O you of little faith?

Therefore do not worry saying, 'What will we eat?' or 'What will we drink?' or 'What will we wear' (or Where will we live)? For the pagans eagerly pursue all of these things; yet your Father in heaven knows that you need all these.

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.  ~Matthew 6:25-34

Have a Happy and Blessed Fourth of July!!!

Again, a special thanks and Shalom Shalom to Good Dog and Buttercup for their service to Adonai, including their beautiful Psalms Project: Psalm 136 ~ Thanksgiving For God's Everlasting Love

More information on Insulated Concrete Forms- ICFs: Fox Blocks ICF Building System

The Gospel In A Nutshell

T  H  E     P  R  O  B  L  E  M

 

The

wages

of sin

is death,

T  H  E     S  O  L  U  T  I  O  N

 

But the gift

of God

is eternal life

in Christ Jesus

our Lord.

~Romans 6:23

Who is the Holy Spirit? – Part Seven: Pentecost, A New Language

On the day of Pentecost, three specific signs were manifested to the disciples, that signaled that something momentous had taken place.  The first was that everyone gathered in the upper room heard the sound of a mighty rushing wind that came from heaven (Acts 2:2); next divided tongues of fire appeared to and rested on the head of each disciple (2:3); and finally, each disciple became filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues “…as the Spirit gave them utterance” (2:3).
The first two signs, wind and fire, were manifestations of the presence of the Holy Spirit being sent to earth from heaven as Jesus promised:
“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you” (John 14:16-17 ESV).
The disciples heard the sound of the Spirit’s arrival, then they saw the manifestation of his presence as tongues of fire, then they felt the miracle of being filled with his presence, and then they allowed his indwelling presence to be made apparent to everyone through speaking in languages other than their own.
The feast of Pentecost, or Shavuot, is one of three festivals which required all Jewish men to make a pilgrimage to the Temple in Jerusalem to offer a sacrifice to the Lord (Deuteronomy 16:16). Because the arrival of the Holy Spirit occurred on the day of Pentecost, Jewish men from “…every nation under heaven” (Acts 2:4b) were in the city and the gathered multitude heard the disciples speaking in other tongues and glorifying God:
 “And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language. And they were amazed and astonished, saying, ‘Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language?’…And all were perplexed, saying to one another, ‘What does this mean?’” (Acts 2:6-8,12 ESV)
Notice that the men gathered there asked how it was that each of them could hear the disciples speaking in his own language. It wasn’t that each of the disciples was speaking a different language, it was that whatever language the disciples were speaking was heard by each individual man in his native language. It would have been as if I heard them speaking in English, and the person standing next to me heard them in French, and the person next to us heard them speak in German, or Farsi, or Mandarin.
When Peter and the other disciples heard the men wondering about what they were witnessing, Peter stood up and delivered a sermon to the crowd, referring to the Old Testament and explaining that King David had prophesied the coming of the Messiah and the outpouring of the Spirit, saying:
“This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing” (Acts 2:32-33 ESV). He assured them that if they would repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, they would also receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (2:36-38), and three thousand souls accepted salvation on that day (2:41).
It was the manifestation of the baptism of the Holy Spirit through the disciples speaking in unknown tongues, and the sermon preached through Paul, that was the proof of the miracle of God’s presence dwelling within the followers of Christ and the birth of the Church.
(Continued in Part 8)

Building A House: Journal Part 6

 

 

 

Unless the Lord

builds the house,

those who build it

labor in vain.

~Psalm 127:1

 

 

 

I cannot tell you how exciting it is to finally see walls going up on this house. This journal was almost going to be changed to Growing A Garden Journal, because for so long that is all that was happening. There seems to be a shortage of laborers these days. We're giving the glory to God either way because His timing is perfect.

We are using insulated concrete forms- ICF's. They go together like giant Legos. They are hollow in the center, ribbed with plastic. The blocks are clipped together and the plastic holds rebar in place. Concrete will be poured into the spaces for a solid, well insulated structure. There are many brands of them. We went with Fox Blocks. They do go up quickly and are extremely energy efficient. 

We have a temporary power pole to help get the job done, but eventually we will have solar panels which will go on the roof.

The flowers as well as the heavens declare the glory of Yahweh.

Progress has been made on my husband's office. It has natural lighting and serves several useful purposes. We have running water down to the house site now. I'll save some of those photos for next time.

It is also exciting to see progress in the garden. The effort for me is therapeutic, God does the rest.

One might think that I allow litter in my garden, my husband thought so and started to throw away my plastic water bottles with sugar and borax in them meant for ant control. He figured it out though.

This year it's just tomatoes, herbs, and flowers, next year, maybe more including grapes and berries.

 

Check out this Psalms Project by Good Dog and Buttercup:

Psalm 8 ~ The Lord's Glory and Man's Dignity  

And if you're interested in ICFs:

Fox Blocks ICF Building System

Who is the Holy Spirit? – Part Six: Pentecost, the Holy Spirit and Fire.

“When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. (Acts 2:1-4 ESV).
In Part Five of this series, we discovered that the Spirit of God is imparted by God as the Breath of Life, as when God breathed life into Adam, and Jesus breathed the Holy Spirit into his disciples. And that before the crucifixion, Jesus had already described the Holy Spirit to Nicodemus as moving wherever he willed, like the wind.
In the verses above, Luke witnessed that as Jesus’ followers waited together in the upper room, suddenly they heard the sound of a mighty rushing wind, which actually filled the house. That Pentecost wind was a mighty breath of God from heaven, that breathed Life and Spirit into the Body of Christ and gave birth to the Church.
But what about the “tongues of fire” that alighted upon the disciples? What does that mean?
Before we talk about fire, let’s have a word about water.
Matthew chapter three begins by telling us that “In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said,
‘The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord; make his paths straight.’
Then Jerusalem and all Judea and all the region about the Jordan were going out to him, and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins” (Matthew 3:1-3, 5-6 ESV).
John was sent by God to prepare the way for Christ, baptizing the repentant with water.
But John himself tells us that Jesus would baptize with the Holy Spirit and with fire:
““I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire” (Matthew 3:11 ESV).
At salvation, we receive God’s Holy Spirit to dwell within us, and we are baptized for repentance by the Blood of Christ; his Blood washes us clean of every sin. (Hebrews 9:11-15; 1 John 1:7)
After salvation, a minister of Christ baptizes us in water as a symbol of our death with Christ and rebirth into God’s kingdom, in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 28:19; Romans 6:3-5)
Then it becomes possible for Christ to baptize us in his Holy Spirit, to equip and empower us for witnessing, ministry and mission. (Acts 1 and 2)
Every person who is saved receives forgiveness of sins and God’s Holy Spirit. This is why Jesus appeared to his disciples in the upper room with the proof of his crucifixion and resurrection, and why he breathed on them to impart his Spirit as we discussed in Part 5. That is the first baptism, in the Blood of Christ, for salvation:
““On that day there shall be a fountain opened for the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and uncleanness” (Zechariah 13:1 ESV).
The next baptism, in water, is the public proclamation of salvation, in the name of the Holy Trinity.
The last baptism is the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, first demonstrated by the sound of the wind (the breath of God) and the tongues of fire, witnessed at the birth of the Church, at Pentecost. This is the baptism of which John said that Jesus would baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire.
The only baptism that is absolutely required is the first baptism, with repentance, by the Blood of Jesus, for salvation. This baptism is experienced by all who sincerely call upon Christ for forgiveness and receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
Baptism in water does not impart salvation, but it follows salvation, as a proclamation of our salvation.
Baptism in the Holy Spirit is a gift from God, that empowers us with all the available attributes of the Holy Spirit to fulfill God’s purpose for each of us individually on earth, and as the Body of Christ and the Church.
As Jesus promised before his ascension:
“’…for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.… you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth’” (Acts 1:5b,8b ESV).
So we’ve talked about the Breath of Life and baptism in water, but what about fire? What does fire symbolize?
In Exodus 3:2, God spoke to Moses in the wilderness: “And the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. He looked, and behold, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed” (ESV).
The “angel of the Lord” is another name for the Holy Spirit.
In Exodus 33:14 God promised Moses “…My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest” (ESV). And it was God’s presence, his Holy Spirit, who guided Israel out of bondage in Egypt. The Word of God says, “And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night” (Exodus 13:21 ESV).
Hebrews 12:28-29 says, “Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire” (ESV).
God’s presence is often signified in scripture as fire, and the fire of God can be a consuming fire, as was called down from heaven by the prophet Elijah on Mount Carmel (1 Kings 18:19-39); or a fire that burns but does not consume, as with the bush that God used to speak to Moses, or the tongues of fire that fell on the disciples at Pentecost. The fire of God is also a flame, burning in the darkness, that guides us and lights our way, as the pillar of fire led Israel through the wilderness. The fire of God is a manifestation of his Holy Spirit, and fire is one of his attributes.
The story of Pentecost is the birth of the Church and the baptism of the Holy Spirit, through the life-breath of God and the illuminating fire of his presence.
(Continued in Part 7)

Happy Father’s Day – 2019!

Our prayers, thanks and love are with all the fathers, grandfathers, stepfathers and spiritual mentors who give so much of themselves every day, on this Father’s Day.
“The righteous who walks in his integrity — blessed are his children after him!” (Proverbs 20:7 ESV).
And for those families whose fathers are not with them today, we ask a special blessing over you and your loved ones, as you celebrate and remember.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted” (Matthew 5:4 ESV). “To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair” (Isaiah 61:3-4 NLT).
We pray that God will place his mighty protecting hand over those families whose fathers are serving in the armed forces, and as firefighters, law enforcement and EMTs. Thank you for your sacrifice and your courage. God be with you all.
“Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:11-12 ESV).
May God, our heavenly Father, comfort all the fatherless on this day, and every day, with his loving presence.
“‘May the Lord bless you
    and protect you.
 May the Lord smile on you
    and be gracious to you.
May the Lord show you his favor
    and give you his peace” (Numbers 6:24-28 NLT).
Happy Father’s Day from all of us at Speak Comfort!

Who is the Holy Spirit? – Part Five: Pentecost, the Breath of Life.

“When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. (Acts 2:1-4 ESV).
When Nicodemus came to Jesus in the middle of the night to ask the famous question, “How can a man be born again?” (John 3), Jesus explained that being born again is not a physical birth, but a spiritual re-birth. He said, “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit” (John 3:8 ESV).
So let’s take the time to explain this, and if necessary, we can add a Part 6 so we can cover everything. (And Hi, everybody! Thanks for following along in this series.  We love and appreciate you!)
In the beginning, God created Adam by first forming him and then by breathing his own breath into him: “Then the Lord God formed a man  from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being” (Genesis 2:7 NIV). Adam did not become a living being until God breathed life into him. Adam had a form but he did not yet have a spirit.
The Hebrew word used here for breath is nĕshamah, which means breath, soul, spirit and inspiration. If you were to stop breathing, and I were to breathe into your lungs to attempt to resuscitate you, I might be able to keep you around long enough for help to arrive, but I would not be able to breathe soul, spirit and inspiration into you. Only God can do that. The breath of God is the Breath of Life.
Now let’s look at something interesting that Jesus did with the apostles after his resurrection but before his ascension. Please note that this took place on the evening of Jesus’ resurrection, in the same upper room in Jerusalem where the Last Supper and the Day of Pentecost described above occurred.
“On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!’ After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.
Again Jesus said, ‘Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.’ And with that he breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit’” (John 20:19-21 NIV).
In Part 1 of this series, we explained that when Jesus gives us his Holy Spirit, he is at the same time giving us his peace (John 14:27). Therefore, please note that Jesus made it a point to say to his disciples in the upper room before he breathed on them, “Peace be with you!” not once, but twice. First, I think, to reassure them before giving them the proof of his death on the cross by showing them his wounds; and then as a reminder of what he had said to them three days earlier. This time, Jesus breathed on them and endued them with his peace.
This was the first time that the Holy Spirit was imparted to believers, to remain with them forever. At this point, Jesus’ disciples, in the upper room, on the day of his resurrection, were given the proofs of the death of Christ by examining his wounds, and the proof that he had defeated death by rising again by appearing behind locked doors in the midst of his disciples. Once they believed and were filled with joy, Christ imparted his Spirit to them. In that moment, they were born again into the kingdom of God and received salvation. The Body of Christ had been resuscitated.
So why was it necessary for Jesus’ disciples to wait in Jerusalem for the promise of the Father after the ascension, if Jesus had already breathed his Holy Spirit into them? And what exactly happened on the Day of Pentecost?
We will answer those questions in Part 6!

 

 

Blue Letter Bible. "Neshamah". Blue Letter Bible. n.d. Web. https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H5397&t=ESV . 14 June, 2019.