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Q: Praise the Lord, Pastor Pradeep. Jesus said in Luke 12:49 “I came to send fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!” What does that mean?

anonymous
A: Luke 12:49 is a statement made by the Lord Jesus in between verses on judgment and division. A similar passage around Matthew 10:34, 34 reveals the same: division in households over the Truth of the Gospel in terms of those who will truly follow Jesus, and those who will not (but, rather follow lies and not the Truth as it is in Jesus). Fire, as does the sword, brings trouble, pain, and separation for the sake of the Gospel: life vs. death, light vs. darkness, chaff vs. wheat (Luke 3:17).

The other side of it is that it has a very purging or cleansing effect for the one who loves the Lord and is holding fast to His Truth regardless of the cost. Their spiritual senses and devotion develop further. Also, many times that bold, uncompromising, but loving stance coupled with believing, persistent prayer (and fasting as required) will eventually be instrumental in winning the initially, opposing members of a family, to finally surrender to the Lord of love and find true freedom and joy in Christ.

Yes, regarding the trouble that was occurring beginning with the persecution against the Lord and the Jews from the Roman Empire in a relatively, “green” season, at the time of the crucifixion that is, when it wasn’t as bad it was going to get with the massacre that was going to come with the destruction of the temple, etc. - what is it going to be like when the conditions get, “dry?”

Luke 23:31 (KJV), “For if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry?” The reason I referenced the above verse, was because it is similar intone with the KJV Bible version of Luke 12:49 (KJV), “I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled?” which is different from, “how I wish it were already kindled” in the other versions.

The tension over the Truth in families and communities will generally intensify, from the time of the Lord’s ministry on earth to after He died and rose, going forward in the early church up to the present last days era up to and including the future tribulation period.
Q: “Pastor, I got into a discussion this morning with a friend. We were talking about how the ministry begins at home and that the Word says that the family coming to Lord is also an important attribute of a believer man. Then (my friend) brought up Luke 4:24 which states that no prophet is accepted in his own hometown. We are puzzled as to how can both these statements coexist? Your thoughts on this are requested.”

P.M.
Minnesota
A: Yes, brother, there will be opposition often when one tries to win one's family over to the Lord. Matthew 10:32-40, “Therefore, whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father Who is in heaven. Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; and a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’ He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it”.

However, the verse in question is referring to a prophet and the direct and often fiercer opposition the enemy will incite against the anointing of God over His prophet in a family. In that case, the opposition will be quite often, pronounced to a greater degree. The Good News is as we pray and are walking with the Lord, God can do wonders and unveil the hearts of our loved ones to surrender to God's Love and receive Him as their Lord and Savior forever.

As we have shared many times, the hindrance to one's loved ones receiving the Lord may well be the believer's walk (talk, actions, etc.) in the family. If the testimony in daily life in the home or in interactions with extended family outside the home is godly and loving, then the Lord can work faster.

Light vs. Darkness is the actual battle here. When God's Light enters a family member's heart then the opposition against God disappears and they are born again, and the family can be of one mind in harmony seeking and following the Lord Jesus Christ with miracles and wonders in their lives! God bless you!
Q: Pastor Pradeep I was reading this verse in Matthew 7:21-23,

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord Lord, shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast demons in the Your name?” And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!

Would the gift of the Holy Spirit work in people who do not have character and nature of God, like in the above-mentioned verses- prophecy or casting demons out?

S.A.
Missouri
Generally, a person must be filled with the Spirit and walking with God for the gifts to operate. However, there are times when the Lord will overpower someone, use even His enemies, their defiance or wrath to praise Him. ‘Surely the wrath of man shall praise You; With the remainder of wrath, You shall gird Yourself’ (Psalms 76:10). Also, Saul, who later in his life, was not walking with God, prophesied when the Spirit of God overpowered him to, “sing forth His praises.” 1 Sam 19:18-24.

However, regarding the question about the people in Matthew 7:21-23, they had to be filled with the Spirit to, “minister” implying regular ministry prophesying, casting out devils, “in the Lord’s Name” and many mighty works. We also heard about Ezekiel 18, that all their former righteousness would, “not be remembered”, thus, the statement from the Lord to them who fell away, “I never knew you” does not mean that they were not saved.

This answer touches on some essentials in the answer to your question. May we all fear the Lord Who is Awesome, never departing from His commandments, but keeping His Word all the way to glory! I must add that the Lord demonstrated His absolute sovereignty over all His enemies in Saul’s rebellion. As Saul was hunting for David to kill him and when he sent messengers to capture him, finally going there himself, God caught them all, one by one in their craftiness and overpowered them making them prophesy - declare His greatness from their own mouths when the Spirit of God overpowered them! Great is our Lord!
Q: Pastor, in Matthew 13: 44. “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.”

What does treasure, field, hid it again and sold all to buy the field symbolizes here?

A commentary said the treasure is salvation, but it does not fit here perfectly in the sense that what does would it mean that we hide salvation and that we sell all to buy the salvation. Could you pls clarify when you get some time?

P.M.
Minnesota
A: This one-verse parable in Matthew 13:44 about the hidden treasure is similar to the next 2-verse parable in Matthew 13:45-46 about the pearl of great price. The hiding simply denotes the preciousness of the treasure of eternal life, the Gospel or salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ. The joy of the finder is equal to the utmost diligence in his securing the “treasure”.

Which is hidden from many others and so he makes sure he, “secures” and buys the field so that the owner of the field won’t refuse to sell it with the hidden treasure should the owner discover that. In other words, like the Pearl of Great price in the next parable, the hidden treasure is worth doing whatever the man has to, in order to make sure he gains it. The Lord is also teaching us that we have to do whatever we need to in order to keep our souls safe in the way of Life, or the way salvation remains diligent to make sure we gain it and not lose it due to devaluing it, lack of diligence, procrastination, or laziness in the things pertaining to our souls and the Kingdom of God.

Not every single detail in a parable such as hiding the treasure or leaving it hidden to recover it after due diligence to secure the field, has a rational equivalent in our human understanding. Thus, the “hiding” does not equate to finding salvation and then hiding it per se, but the discovery of the precious salvation and a determination then on our part to surrender everything we ever possessed or dreamt of, in order to gain it. That is, thorough repentance and re-prioritizing my entire life in terms of my talent, time and treasure to seek and follow the Lord Jesus all the way to Heaven!

This is a rational equivalent according to our immediate logical correlation or parallelism at the “surface” level.

The field by the way as I see you had asked about that also, simply stands for whatever I need to, “buy”, “pay for”, - in short whatever one needs to do - not that we buy salvation, but that we lay aside and do whatever it takes in order to gain the treasure of eternal life.
Q: In Matthew 13:52, do the 'old and new gems' refer to the Old and the New Testament?

“Then said he to them, therefore every scribe which is instructed to the kingdom of heaven is like to a man that is a householder, which brings forth out of his treasure things new and old”.

P.M.
Minnesota
A: The short answer is “yes”. More to the answer is given below.

A deeper and new understanding of both: The Old Covenant - the law as given to Moses and the New Covenant of Grace. This is what the Lord says contrasting the scribes who knew the Law very well and those (saved and) in the Kingdom of Heaven. Notice, it is in the context of the parables regarding judgment and spiritual understanding of the nature of the Kingdom of Heaven as illustrated and taught by the Lord Jesus in the various parables of the weeds, hidden treasure, precious pearl and net. He says, “therefore every scribe, which is...” Only those scribes who knew the law and the Gospel (hidden in the Old Testament) can be said to possess and be able to produce/disseminate, the total treasure of Life in God through His Word. Such scribes instructed (and thus belonging) to the Kingdom of Heaven have the access to and the joy and wisdom of - Inexhaustible Treasure. The Law was not enough by itself, since grace and truth came through the Lord in the Gospel of Jesus Christ (John 1:17), Who fulfilling the Law, paid for our sins and became a Savior for all through faith in His Name. The scribes and everyone needed to hear this revelation and so Lord said it. Only scribes who were enlightened with the knowledge of the Kingdom Life, i.e. the “new” Gospel “Treasure”, can then add that to the “old Treasure” - the Law - having both old and new Treasure to draw upon - perfect understanding of the Revelation of God’s Eternal Plan and Purpose culminating in the centuries-old prophecies fulfilled in the Good News of the Lord Jesus!
Q: Pastor, today morning when Pastor Kiruba was referring to the fact that God should be our ONLY love, she really meant that he should be our first and the biggest love among other loves...correct?

P.M.
Minnesota
A: Thank you for your question. Yes, Pastor Kiruba was speaking in the context of idolatry, that there should be no competing gods, idols, demons, pleasures, etc. In that regard, He is our ONLY LOVE. To explain further, the Lord is the One that we are to love with All our hearts, minds, soul, and strength. It seems theoretically plausible that if a person's entire being is completely dedicated to loving God only, then there is no more room to love anyone else. However, the Truth is as follows concerning this seemingly confusing conclusion, Us loving Him with everything within us will cause His Love to flow in and through us to others, loving them also as per His commands to also love our neighbors as ourselves. Luke 10:27
Q: Pastor, who was Jesus referring to in Matthew 16:28?

“Truly I say to you, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom”.

P.M.
Minnesota
A: It cannot be the mount of transfiguration as Jesus was right there on the mountain with his three disciples and only Moses and Elijah came down.

The only answer to Matthew 16:28 is the post ascension ministry of Jesus which began on the day of Pentecost. What happened during the Pre-ascension ministry of Jesus? Below is just one example of the Pre-ascension ministry of Jesus:

“But if I cast out demons with the finger of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you. When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are in peace. But when a stronger than he comes upon him and overcomes him, he takes from him all his armor in which he trusted and divides his spoils.” Luke 11:20-22

Jesus was physically there, and His Kingdom came down, overtaking the kingdom of darkness when He was physically there performing signs and wonders.

However, in the post ascension ministry of Jesus, Jesus Christ is not living in a human body on earth in the midst of human beings. Thus, when healings and miracles take place, King Jesus along with His kingdom comes down as opposed to only His kingdom coming down during His lifetime on earth. In the post- ascension ministry of Christ, when the Apostolic ministry began, Matthew 16:28 was fulfilled. It is not a one-time thing. It was just the beginning of the post-ascension ministry of Jesus.

The Lord Jesus Christ descends with His kingdom every time and performs signs and wonders in a place where His called, anointed and appointed servants of God, serve Him preaching the undiluted Word of God.

“And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs.” Mark 16:20

Jesus comes down with His angels and performs signs and wonders on a regular basis where the post-ascension work of Christ takes place.

I (Pastor Kiruba) see Jesus walk in our midst and the angels of God ascend and descend in our midst with many more heavenly activities during our Sunday services. King Jesus and His Kingdom is for sure in our midst during each and every service performing signs and wonders expelling the powers of darkness and establishing the flag of the Lord.

This kind of post-ascension ministry of Jesus will continue until the day of His return. This is a revelation that the Lord has personally given me on this scripture and not from any school of thought. This is a very deep topic, which needs to be given as a message and typing it as an answer will be lengthy. However, I will answer it here as the Lord would enable me to.

The passage in Matthew 16 is also recorded by the Holy Spirit in Mark 8:34-38 and continues to Mark 9:1. This will help you to understand better.

“When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”

Continues to Mark 9:1

And He said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that there are some standing here who will not taste death till they see the kingdom of God present with power.”


From both Matthew and Mark, we must understand who Jesus spoke to. Was it only His 12 disciples? or Was it the crowd along with His disciples?

This section was addressed to the disciples and those who wanted to be His disciples who were in the crowd.

Due to the following reasons, Jesus had to mention the word “some” as

1. There were “other people” in the crowd, in addition to the disciples who were more than 12.

2. Jesus knew that out of His 12 disciples, Judas would not be alive to see the post-ascension ministry of Jesus. And there were also others in the crowd that Jesus knew who will not partake in what Jesus spoke of.

3. Jesus had many more disciples in addition to the chosen 12 who were meant to be His Apostles.

Who were those disciples?

He also called others to follow Him and be His disciples. Some became His disciples and others went their way.

Out of those who responded and followed Him, in Luke chapter 10, we see Jesus sending out the 70 to train them to do what He was doing.

Out of those who responded to the call of Christ and became His disciples, in Acts 1:15, there were 120 who were waiting to be empowered by the Holy Spirit to do the ministry of Jesus, based on the instruction Jesus gave to His disciples.

In Acts 1, we also see that there was a replacement to Judas chosen out of the larger group of the disciples to replace Judas. It was Matthias. This replacement was not to fill in the place of a disciple but the role of an Apostle. Thus, there were many scriptures to show that Jesus had more disciples than His inner circle 12 who were chosen to be His Apostles.

When the scripture says disciples, we must not limit it to only the 12 who were there unless it says that there were only 12 disciples with Him when He spoke. There are places where Jesus had only 12 with Him and there are other places where there were only 3 out of the 12 with Him and the Bible is clear about those instances.

Whether there were 12 or more than 12, it doesn’t matter. It comes down to, out of those, who were physically present there? In this case, it was the disciples and the people who were called to be His disciples who were among the crowd, in addition to the crowd that was present.

Jesus said that some were worthy to be in the post-ascension ministry of Jesus, to witness Jesus and His Kingdom descend in their midst and some were not worthy to be there to witness.

Some would literally see Jesus and His Kingdom come down (like I do during the services) and some would see like how the rest of the people saw the Kingdom of God during the pre-ascension ministry of Jesus by being witnesses to the healings and deliverances.

Conclusion: Not everyone among those who were among His disciples or in a crowd where Christ and His Kingdom was present got to partake of what God had when they all could have had it.

This is a very sobering message for the New Testament believers and churches.

Not every “disciple” or every “church” or everyone even in a church where Christ and His Kingdom is at work in the post-ascension ministry period of Jesus will be partakers of His glorious Kingdom work, unless they are faithful co-laborers in His Kingdom.

It’s important that we make sure that are we among those who faithfully co-labor with Jesus to partake of His heavenly realm.
Q: What’s the Godly course of action, when someone is on life support and the doctors are suggesting you take them off?

anonymous
A: Those who have faith in God, really love the person, and don’t want to cut short the ability and chance for the person on life support to repent and miss Hell and go to Heaven (since I have heard of many who come close to death have repented when having physically revived or to live on for some more years for the glory of God (if he or she is saved) - then they will not listen to the doctors who may, as is the case with many doctors - not even truly know God.

I have heard of people who have recovered and come out of comas after years when everyone said, “pull the plug.” However, if a person does not have faith and complains that they are afraid or feel bad to go against, “medical advice”, that they already waited a while and that there’s no change in health or signs of being able to breathe/live independently of mechanical assistance, “brain dead” and that they would have to pay a great amount of money to the hospital and doctor(s) to keep the one concerned on life support - then they would still have to answer to God for the decision.

If at all humanly possible - (all financial resources and prayer all truly invested in an attempt to revive the individual - after all, what is the price we can put on a human soul and life?) - then to not help someone live is for any of the above reasons, the decision-maker(s) may one day, in Heaven’s Court, be charged with (or in assisting) murder, especially when God didn’t will for the, “pulling the plug”/death for the individual. Finally, when the decision does not involve us and/or the decision maker is not a true believer with real trust in the love and power of God, one who does not sincerely desire godly counsel and clearly will not believe and obey when we share the truth about this, then it is solely between that decision-maker and God - we have nothing to do with it. Finally, as I have worked in a hospital in the wards of the nursing stations and assisted the emergency room and ICU staff and ministered in nursing homes, the Lord only knows how many friends, family and medical attendants of those whose lives were cut short by the very same people who, “pulled the plug” in other ways!

By not giving medication or whatever is necessary to heal/sustain life, because someone said, “all hope is gone” as they say. What about when the person is suffering, unresponsive, etc.? Is it right or wrong? Still, one must consider where he or she stands in the light of all the above Truth, then answer the question honestly.

For, one day soon,

“...we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are well known to God, and I also trust are well known in your consciences”. 2 Corinthians 5:10-11 (NKJV)
Q: In Matthew 8: 22, what did Jesus mean when he said follow me and let the dead bury their own dead?

I believe Jesus said referring to the far future coming of the kingdom of God (permanently) on earth in v. 27 and v. 28 in the same context of the kingdom of God coming in near future in spiritual sense with His triumphant resurrection and coming of the Holy Spirit to establish His kingdom the church on earth.

V.R.
New York
A:Good question! Here is the context:

Matthew 8:19-22 (NKJV): Then a certain scribe came and said to Him, “Teacher, I will follow You wherever You go.”

And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.”

Then another of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.”

But Jesus said to him, “Follow Me, and let the dead bury their own dead.”


We also see another caution from the Lord Jesus in Luke 9:57-62 in addition to this:

Luke 9:61-62 (NKJV): And another also said, “Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house.”

But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”


Of course, the physically dead cannot bury the physically dead. So, it must refer to the spiritually dead: those who are not spiritually alive, i.e. those who are NOT in a vital, obedient life of following the Lord Jesus Christ. These spiritually dead people will ignore God’s call to truly follow Him. Those who are spiritually dead will not be separated to Him, by denying themselves, taking up their cross, and truly following Him.

The Lord says that as they are more concerned with human obligations and desires, they will not care about the call of God to follow Him. The Lord says that such people who care about their spiritually dead family members so much that they will delay or ignore God’s call to drop everything and follow Him - that they are not fit to follow Him or worthy to be in His service.

The ones who put their hands to the plow, saying, “Lord, I will follow you!”, but then have other things, more important to do such as burying their dead family members or even saying goodbye, are double-minded and therefore not worthy of God’s call.

It is a great warning from the Lord to everyone who loves his or her family more than the Lord and His call to follow Him. They may say that they want to follow Him, that they love Him more than anyone or anything, but their actions betray their true feelings.

In God’s Kingdom, “like attracts like.” That is, those who are spiritually dead will be more concerned with those who are spiritually dead than with the Lord and the things of the Lord. Therefore, the Lord says to let them - the spiritually dead - go and be preoccupied with the spiritually dead’s family affairs, but you, who are spiritually alive, “follow me.” Like attract like”, so those who love the Lord first in their lives will want to abide in Him and also be in fellowship with those who are just like them, in following God and building His Kingdom.

Q: Pastor Pradeep, reflecting on today's morning message on generational curse, I see verses supporting it like Numbers14:18 and Exodus 20:5. However, I find verses not supporting it like Ezekiel 18:20 and Deuteronomy 24:16. Could you pls clarify how to consider these verses in relation to one another?

P.M.
Minnesota
A: Good question! Both Pastor Kiruba and I will answer this here.

The effects of father’s sin will manifest in the ensuing generations, but the latter (children) will not be charged with the guilt and die spiritually for it. It’s a consequence of spiritual genetic inheritance, just as is true with the physical DNA in the physical body, but grace for children is available and they can be redeemed from the curse, if they do not do as the fathers did, but live righteously instead. Ezekiel 18 and Deuteronomy 24:16 bring this truth out, without contradicting Exodus 20:5 and Numbers 14:18 as you have brought up.

They won’t be sentenced to death of separation from God when the father is evil and he suffers for that and they, the offspring, on the hand, are not disobedient like the father, but rather keep God’s commandments. No one will go to hell because of the sins of the parents. Only those who commit sin. However, the curse of sickness, poverty, premature physical death, disharmony in the family, miscarriages, immorality, suicide, murder, divorce, mental torment, physical deformity, and many more fall under the generational curse.

These evil spirits can dominate generations until they are sent out; by repentance and by the curse being broken.
Q: Praise the Lord Pastors. I have a question, more of a concern really. My sister is married to her husband who is SDA (seventh day Adventist). I don’t know much about their beliefs, but I want to know if you have knowledge about it? I really don’t want to search on the internet but if you have any reliable links, I would really appreciate it. Lot has been going on in her life, which really breaks my heart. I pray every single day for her family and marriage, but I want to know how and what to pray. Thank you so much for all that you both do. It has been an honor and a privilege.

S.A.
Missouri
A: Pastor Kiruba and I had Seventh-day Adventist friends of a couple we were discipling about 10 years come over for our weekly Friday house meetings. One of the first things I did was to read the following passage from Colossians 2:16-23: “So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or Sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ. Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, and not holding fast to the Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God.”

Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations— “Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle,” which all concern things which perish with the using—according to the commandments and doctrines of men? These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.

The passage clearly refutes the heretical teachings of their doctrine of Saturday worship only, otherwise hell is the resulting destination for all who worship on other days especially Sunday, which is in the words of one of their prominent teachers from the Adventist Review online states, "Sunday—the invention of the beast power—a symbol of righteousness by works." The whole dietary laws and false prophecy that the Lord would return to earth in 1844 are bondage and lies. When the prophesied return didn't happen, its founder, Ellen G. White and associates claimed that it was actually that Jesus transitioned from the holy place the most-holy place in their heaven. Many other cultic things are there such as for baptism, the must vow that the Seventh Day Adventist church is the remnant church that without membership in it, everyone is lost. Vow #13: "13. Do you believe that the Seventh-day Adventist Church is the remnant church of Bible prophecy, Rev. 12:17..." Already, you can see that it is deception at its worst from Satan the deceiver, just as this group and other cults or pseudo-Christianity, such as the Jehovah Witnesses, Christian Science and Mormonism, (which either grew out of the Millerites, adherents of a deceived/deceiver man, William Miller, or within 6 decades of his false teachings) all, "incidentally" in the 1800's from the U.S. all forming within a 250-mile radius of each other.

1 Timothy 4:1-5 declares the great apostasy that will occur in the last days, including false teaching that will demand abstention from meat. "Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified by the Word of God and prayer."

They claim that their prophetess, Ellen G. White, is the spirit of prophecy, (there is actually a crowd of Adventists who believe her writings are just as inspired or even more than the Bible - in their actual estimation of the cultic adherence and value of White’s writings for practicing their faith - when the Bible states in Revelation 19:10, that the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. "And I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” Very dangerous, false teaching, false prophecies, bondage, lies and exclusivism at that, to a seat in their heaven, to only those worship on Saturday and believe that Adventists are the true remnant church. By God's grace, there have been some who have been saved out of this cult by the Lord, as they sincerely examined the Scriptures and discarded what was cultic/antibiblical doctrine and false predictions, which as we learned in a few of our meetings studying Deuteronomy 18:20-22 are given by people not sent from God, which means of course that they were sent from the devil. Prayer, study of the Word, compassion, boldness etc. are all good to employ to approach, intercede and rescue loved ones from these last days seducing demonic doctrines.

Finally, prayerfully examine the testimony of former Seventh-day Adventists leaders and lay people who came out and have documented their salvation as the Lord delivered them from the devil's snare. A quick search online for former SDA's should yield ready material to consider in your quest to help open blind eyes with the help of the Holy Spirit. The main line of defense: prayer (fasting accompanying it also as necessary) and the Word. God bless you and we will pray for you and your sister's family.
Q: Pastor Pradeep, lately I have been praying for the baptism in the Holy Spirit. And since last week, I am noticing that when I sing in prayers (my own song), I feel a tingling sensation going like waves over my body. I googled on some Christian forums and found similar experiences shared by a few Christians. I wanted to gather your thoughts on this if you had heard of such experiences?

P.M.
Minnesota
A: Here is the short answer: That’s the Presence of God. The infilling is related to the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. The first infilling is at the time one gets Baptized in the Spirit, then there are perpetual infillings available. Acts 2:1-4, Eph 5:18

If you ask, following the Lord and believing when you pray, then the Lord will baptize you in the Holy Spirit. Luke 11:9-13
Q: What does the Lord mean by this?

Or us vowing to God ourselves? Is it that if we make promises to God and don’t keep them, there will be serious consequences? Vows like Marriage, etc.???

“You have also heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not break your vows; you must carry out the vows you make to the LORD.’ But I say, do not make any vows! Do not say, ‘By heaven!’ because heaven is God’s throne. And do not say, ‘By the earth!’ because the earth is his footstool. And do not say, ‘By Jerusalem!’ for Jerusalem is the city of the great King. Do not even say, ‘By my head!’ for you can’t turn one hair white or black. Just say a simple, ‘Yes, I will,’ or ‘No, I won’t.’ Anything beyond this is from the evil one.” Matthew‬ 5:33-37,‬ NLT ‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

I.C.
New York
A: Praise the Lord! There is a bit of confusion regarding vows and swearing in the question, which the following should help to clarify.

Vows are not prohibited altogether, but only discouraged and forbidden when they are haphazardly made and include, swearing by places or things, such as Heaven, earth, Jerusalem or by one’s head - all which one does not have control over, but only the Lord does. So, it is wrong to annex such “guarantors”, so to speak, to one’s personal vows. Better to say, “yes” or “no”, as the Lord said and keep one’s word than to make vows and swear, especially by things outside of one’s personal ownership or control. Vows like marriage before the Lord and other vows to the Lord are to be kept without swearing on such things as mentioned above. We vow and we must simply keep them, not evoke a grandiose demonstration of intent to keep vows through swearing.
Q: Good morning Pastor, in Mark 5:15, “Then they came to Jesus, and saw the one who had the legion, sitting and clothed and in his right mind. And they were afraid”.

Why were they afraid? I had thought it was because they lost the heard but wanted to understand more. I’m just thinking that people were herding the animals and it says the man would go about the mountain and tombs. Did the community come to live with the fact he was this way? Being conditioned to his possession?

J.B.
New York
A: Absolutely! There is the danger of becoming conditioned to the work and bondage of Satan. They were sorry for their loss of the pigs as well I’m sure. They were also afraid of the power they just witnessed from the Lord, not realizing the awesome liberation He gave to the demon-possessed man, but rather stuck to their, “unclean” mindset with temporal gain concerning their, unclean animal business. No desire to praise God for the compassionate deliverance of a monster of a man, enslaved to Satan and no desire to draw near to gain new life for themselves from the Lord. What a tremendous loss and missed opportunity, despising and hostility to the Divine Visitation!

This can be immediately applied to believers’ comfortableness to the unsaved state of their loved ones, as long as it is not a personal bother or intrusion into their personal lives. The bondage may be just as real as the possessed man, living in the tombs in torment, but only under the veneer of socially friendly, “nice family and friends” superficial appearance - albeit, bound and led by Satan headed for ultimate destruction and torment in hell.
Q: Pastor Pradeep, mediating on the verse you shared this morning. 2 Peter 1: complete your faith with an abundant supply of outstanding moral qualities. Later sentences add qualities like self control, endurance, love and affection as well. Is it true to say that Holy Spirit will supply us with these qualities, and the role of the Christians is to allow the Spirit to work by choosing with prayers to not to give into the fleshly desires that will try to hinder those?

P.M.
Minnesota
A: We find in scriptures that we have to do both negative and positive things.

Galatians 5:16 (NKJV): I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

Galatians 5:25 (NKJV): If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

We must make sure we do not give in to desires that war against our souls - hence, destroy all forward momentum in the development of our spiritual life. That will lead to spiritual death.

1 Peter 2:11 (NKJV): “Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul”.

There is also the positive aspect of giving diligence to add the qualities enumerated in 2 Peter 1. God works mightily in us, we yield to His Spirit and not to the flesh and we must also, actively pursue the development of these spiritual qualities.

Philippians 2:12-13 (NKJV), Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.

Fasting and the prayer of faith, with a specific focus will surely help in this effort of yielding in cooperation with the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives to shun evil and embrace the overcoming, Spirit-filled life in Christ.
Q: Pastor, could one fast and pray with a focus say to develop stronger in a quality (example endurance) as well? I think yes but wanted to confirm if what I understand is correct.

P.M.
Minnesota
A: When we draw to God, humbling ourselves in fasting and prayer, the Lord will give more grace to spring forward in our spiritual walk in a specific area. That specific area of focus must be also nurtured for victory through the Scriptures in that particular area as well, e.g. endurance. That means I must search the Word to find out what God says about endurance. This is an elaboration on the above-mentioned, “positive and negative” work we must do in cooperation with the Lord’s working. It must be noted that this not be construed as a, “shortcut” to the process, but a supernatural acceleration that can occur in the development of Christ-like character when we come to the Lord in fasting prayer. See Romans 5:3-5 (ESV): “Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us”.
Q: Pastor, I am looking into taking some online evangelism courses to equip me to better share my faith and to defend it as I often get into discussions with my friends. Do you think such courses are helpful? If yes, would you recommend any particular courses? I know RZIM institute offers a few like that.

P.M.
Minnesota
A: I don’t know the particular course, but I think RZIM can help in learning how to counter negative or answer inquisitive reactions to the Truth, utilizing reasoning and comparison of the philosophies and source material from their (other religious) sacred books. However, having said that, nothing can work wonders more than from a life of total surrender to the Lord and filled with the Spirit of God that can go straight to dismantle the evil spirits influencing spiritual blindness in an individual, irrespective of their religious adherence. Faith-filled prayer and fasting from an obedient, Spirit-filled believer can work far more rapidly as opposed to mere debate or reasoning. Paul did reason with his fellow Jews in the Temple, but he was a man filled with the Holy Spirit.

2 Corinthians 4:4 (ESV): In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
Q: Good morning Pastor, reflecting on yesterday’s question; do you think the reason why the pigs ran into the ocean is because they were overcome with fear by the demons entering them? Animals can’t live in sin. They were designed to live as they do. I am remembering a conversation that certain animals can be used by demonic spirits. Or was it that there were so many demons entering into them just kind of lost it? I also think Jesus knew they would do that. Do the demons get sent back to hell? Is hell like the bail reform? Do they get sent there to get released again?

J.B.
New York
A: Demons influence thoughts, emotions, and actions. This influence can cause gradual destruction to the possessed one or sudden, swift devastation as a result of the degree of demonic rage/amount of demonic authority conceded to by the possessed. It’s true that some human beings can resist or fight demonic influence since they can make choices to yield to the evil spirits or not. Others’ possession is so overpowering, and the person is so deep under the power of the devil that they cannot resist him and need deliverance through the anointing. Of course, animals cannot resist when the devils enter them so will be mere puppets of Satan unless prayer is offered in some cases beforehand by a faithful believer or anointed servant of God, depending on the situation. In this case, the pigs were overpowered easily by the demons and rushed to a veritable headlong suicide. When we carefully read the account, we do see the demons pleading for the Son of God not to torment them/send them to the place of torment. Instead of sending them there, he gives permission to them to enter the pigs. Once they have accomplished that mission of destroying the lives of the swine, they will roam to find the next victims, preferably, rather, as an absolute priority - human beings made in the image of God. There will be a judgment for the devil and demons at the end where they will all be cast into the lake of fire. Until then they will roam the earth looking for open doors to overtake people through oppression and as they would love to more than to merely oppress, - possession - especially in the lives of those to whom God’s Word has come. How we need to be careful to be alert and keep all doors closed to the demons by keeping humble before God and man, loyal to the Lord in doing all that He has commanded and exercising the authority of the Name of Jesus and pleading the Blood of Jesus over ourselves.

Please note: The pleading and using the All-Powerful Name of Jesus comes after and in concert with: -keeping humble before God and man -being loyal to the Lord in doing all that He has commanded
Q: I have a question about this Bible that I have called the New Inductive study Bible! I don’t have the comments on the bottom like the footnotes or anything. It has the introduction to the books of the Bible before you read it. I would like to know the background of the book before reading. I took pictures for you to read when you have the time to. I wanted to know if it was safe to read the introduction to the books of the Bible? Especially this Bible? Or should I just read and ask God to help me understand more? Just want to be safe I don’t want to read any false things.

I.C.
New York
A: At a quick glance, I don’t see anything wrong here with what this inductive Bible (by Kay Arthur?) may purport to provide as an aid to Bible study. However, praying for the Holy Spirit to teach you “directly”, as you study, living in obedience to Him, will make all the difference to strengthening you spiritually and keeping you on safe ground.
Q: Pastor Pradeep, thank you again for the word today. I was reflecting on the message and it came to my mind that is the reason we are encouraged to say Praise God and not Praise Jesus is to keep it more acceptable to other people? I was thinking that all the people believing in various Gods will take Praise God much easily.

P.M.
Minnesota
A: Praise the Lord! Not a trivial question at all. I haven’t heard people of other religions say, “Praise God” too often. Usually, Jews and Christians say it and sometimes less often, I’ve heard Muslims say it. We can say, “Praise Jesus” and it will certainly be evident as to Who our God Is. However, “Praise God” can be used by God to help us, “access” someone’s openness to more of the Truth and not to immediate rejection and hostility, instead of, “Praise Jesus”, that may close an otherwise potential, open door to further evangelism. I should not be misunderstood here - we ought to be forthright in proclaiming Christ, when and wherever called by God to do so. You certainly have the right intent, and the Spirit of God will guide as to where exactly and how to say, initially, in exclaiming thanksgiving to God or boasting in Him. Also, it should be noted that our first audience is God Himself when we praise or boast in Him, so it is our desire to glorify the Father and the Holy Spirit freely, as well as the Lord Jesus also and it is correct to say it that way also and not be bound by a solely evangelistic aim. Again, I should not be misunderstood here. Although, it may appear contrary to what I may preach and my zeal to make Christ known, the Lord can work in different ways at different times, so a dogmatic adherence to, “Praise Jesus” may not be conducive to the primary and secondary aims of the public praise of God as mentioned above. Glory to God!

Also, from tonight’s meeting Pastor Kiruba shared to for us to say, “Thank God” will be glorifying God and people will hear that neutral statement and it can open more doors to share. Yet, there are certain times to hold off like Mordecai told Esther not to say or reveal that she was a Jew. So, the Spirit will direct when to reveal our identity for a greater glory at the opportune time. Our conduct should show always, though, the beauty of God. However, we can say always say, “praise God” or “thank God!” After that, we may share the Gospel fully at the Spirit-directed time, this simultaneous revealing our full identity in Christ.
Q: Pastor Pradeep, my question is how do I know Holy Spirit is leading me to share (could be anything- gospel, testimony, scripture, ways of the Lord, etc.)?

I am learning how to listen and speak/ share by His leadings. There are times when I have shared and the reaction, I get is like I just wasted time and it produces no fruit. Are there ways to know whether I am being led or just keep quiet?

S.A.
Missouri
A: There will be a deep peace that comes from God that you did what God wanted you to do. However, it is also possible that the enemy can bring a false peace or try to bring a disturbance or false guilt when we actually do God’s Will. How can one know the difference? Overall, it can be said there will be fruit from the efforts, but that fruit may not be evident immediately. Yet, there may also be negative reactions, such as in the case of the prophets (Jeremiah in Judah) and apostles (Paul in Jerusalem) even the Lord (in Nazareth and elsewhere) certain places when He preached, but it was 100% God’s Will. Being led by the Spirit in every area of one’s life, including personal evangelism/witnessing, comes by:

1. Practicing following Him in everything He says to do.

2. By asking and

3. Believing that He will lead by His Spirit.

Fulfilling the above in the Presence of God, one cannot be misled, but rather will be led by God’s Spirit.

Romans 8:14 (NKJV): For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

The three things mentioned are vital to being true followers or children of God and thus, have the right to expect to be led by His Spirit. At times, one can seek a confirmation from the Lord to speak to someone. For example, I have deliberately waited on the Lord when a feeling comes that I should speak and then the person may just turn away or walk away just in the normal course of their actions and I will pray, Lord make that person stop and turn around and look at me or come back my way to me. Then, when that happens, I would speak. This is just one of the ways I receive confirmation, “at times” and not every time. Other times, I know I must speak immediately.

That’s a great question!!!!
Q: I have a few questions in reference to Mark 3:29: “but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation” —”

Mark‬ 3:29‬ NKJV‬‬‬‬‬‬: One who’s guilty of this sin won’t have any desire to be forgiven or turn to God.‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

Hopefully, I’m wording the question correctly.

If one truly turns to God and repents will they be forgiven of this sin? Or is this an unpardonable sin?

M.C.
New York
A: Praise the Lord! We may answer this at length later, but the short answer is that such blasphemy will not be forgiven. See Matthew 12:31, 32 and Luke 12:10. What constitutes such blasphemy is another question altogether. Just to round out the answer- such blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is what the Lord called attention to, that the teachers of the law did. You see that they were saying that the Lord was doing the very obvious, divine miracles by the power of the devil and that, He has an unclean spirit.

Mark 3:28-30 (NKJV): “Assuredly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they may utter; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness but is subject to eternal condemnation”— because they said, “He has an unclean spirit.”

Mark 3:22 (NKJV): And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, “He has Beelzebub,” and, “By the ruler of the demons He casts out demons.”
Q: Is Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit same as unbelief of the works of the Lord like miracles etc.? Or is it deeper than that?

And can you say if someone who Blasphemed the Holy Spirit would never repent because their hearts are hardened or is there room to repent? I thought it was someone putting themselves in the place of God!

This is definitely good to know because I now have no idea what it actually really means! As I thought I did!! But it’s from old teachings.

I.C.
New York
A: If you look a little closer at the answer to the previous inquiry, you would see that the answers to your questions are there also. So, it is willful contempt - a stubborn refusal to accept the Source of the obvious Divine miracle and then attribute that to unclean spirits. As stated by the Lord and explained above also, there is no forgiveness for that.
Q: Hi Pastor, what does Jesus mean in Mathew 5:22: “but whoever says, “you fool” shall be in danger of hell fire?”

J.B.
New York
A: It is a term of contempt, despising one as dull and stupid - which the Lord Himself used and called the spiritually blind teachers in Matthew 23:19 and the “foolish” man who didn’t do what He taught and had his house (life) destroyed as a consequence in Matthew 7:26. But, the connection here is to murder, so it is related to an unwarranted anger and also, a despising of another, with a term that was understood by the Jews as very bad, calling the person unworthy and useless. This kind of term, “fool” (“moros” in the Greek) used would be out of hate and contempt - perhaps, akin to saying a person is not worth anything or worth saving they are so stupid and dull. It is connected with anger, contempt and hate and as the Holy Spirit records in 1 John 3:15, is also connected with the consequence of murder. “Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.” So, it is more than just saying a person who rejects God’s love has chosen the foolish path and is to become a fool. The context in Matthew 5 reveals that it is a pronouncement upon a fellow human being, especially and Israelite or, in the family of God, as if one is the judge - done out of anger, hate and personal contempt against/for another.
Q: What's your view on material from John Maxwell? I have a few books of his, especially related to work and leadership. Tempted to read them. I'm very selective in what I hear and read, as 99.99%, I listen to El Bethel International Ministries messages only. I don't want to be deceived anymore as I have wasted many years by being fed from everywhere I could.

M.T.
Florida
A: Yes, I understand. The supernatural, consecrated life led by the Holy Spirit as we find it in the Bible is what makes leaders that God will bless where and when it counts. I have read Maxwell’s material before and there are some basic Biblical principles there. Yet, it is not required. What you are hearing in the services here and meetings from the teachings of the Holy Spirit in the Word will make you a true leader and a success in the Eyes of God. Joseph, Daniel, Paul were taught and trained by God on every ethical and wise trait necessary to be great leaders as they simply obeyed the Lord. Having said that, learning leadership skills for example, when it comes to a certain technology is different and not contrary to the Biblical answer to making great leaders and is, therefore, not wrong. For instance, an army sergeant in charge of high-tech equipment may read a leadership manual or attend a class on how to lead his particular unit. He may learn how to be a good leader thereby understanding how to look for technical expertise in his unit and delegate his men accordingly to specific areas of the team effort. Again, this technical leadership skill may be acquired based on being taught on exactly what to look for (from a technological perspective) and help effect total success in a team effort for production or output. But, for authentic leadership skills, the character development learned in the Presence of God from the Word of God is what is essential.

The reason I asked to repost his question is because Christian leadership gurus consult and use the Bible for principles of success and many churches also follow that, missing the total surrender to the Lord and total surrender to the Word of God, the Bible, required for true temporal and eternal success in any venture or endeavor in life.
Q: Praise the Lord! Could you please explain what Jesus is saying in this scripture portion?

“So if your eye—even your good eye —causes you to lust, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your hand—even your stronger hand —causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.” Matthew‬ 5:29-30‬ NLT‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

I.C.
New York
A: Praise God for His Word! The Lord is saying, whatever is your strong point, possession or ability - even to the point of it being as precious as your stronger eye or hand - if it leads you to sin, i.e., you cannot stop sinning, then it is better to discard it and live spiritually, than to hold onto it, because of one’s thinking that one cannot live without it and end up losing one’s soul, instead. God gave us good gifts, such as the eye and hand, especially the stronger eye and hand, but we need to place a far greater value in caring for the eternal welfare of our souls. The best thing to do is to bring every part of our being, including our thoughts, communication and bodies under the absolute and total Lordship of our Holy Savior, Jesus Christ. However, if one is led into sin due to a hobby, relationship or something or activity, then it is better to forfeit it, in fact, even fiercely and militantly, out of love for the Lord and for holiness, and get rid of it. This is a spiritual act that is done with reference to our natural body and life in this world, not just a vainly, religious/carnal, in a merely ascetic way, like many, so-called, “saints” in certain religions, especially the Catholic religion used to advocate and perform, with no spiritual result and gain, but only mutilation, pain and confusion, led by a false spirit.

See the following Scriptures:

Colossians 2:20-23 (ESV): “If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations— “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” (referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings. These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh”.

Yet, as I have mentioned, certain things must be cut out and put to death in our lives, so as to let the Spirit do His sanctifying work in us, otherwise open doors to the evil spirits will end up being convenient, revolving doors to them, to come and go as they please, wrecking havoc in one’s life and effectively blocking one’s quest to live a consecrated life of love, holiness and power, in a faith that is unfeigned before the Heavenly Father - that holy life which, He truly desires for all of His children!
Q: Pastor, a question on Luke 7 28. What does that mean to say that John was the greatest prophet ever lived meaning he is greater among the prophets in the kingdom and yet the least person in the Kingdom of God is greater than John?

P.M.
Minnesota
A: John didn’t have access to all that the kingdom of God through Christ had to offer. He was still part of the old Covenant in that sense and those who were partakers of the New Covenant through Christ’s Blood were under an open Heaven full of supernatural activity, restored authority and unlimited access to the benefits of the Atonement of the Lord Jesus Who opened the way to the Father behind the veil separating the Holy of holiness, which was universal for all believers. Furthermore, they were able to broadcast the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ about that very same kingdom of God, as described above, to the whole world. In these ways, the least in the Kingdom of God, is greater than John the Baptist who did not have these things.
Q: Praise the Lord Pastor Pradeep, please help me understand what people of the protestant religion believe? This one girl at my work told me that’s what she was I’m thinking of inviting her to our church but will still be praying and want to be wise about asking her.

I.C.
New York
A: Praise the Lord! In short, we are all Protestants. “Protesters” of the unbiblical doctrines of the Catholic Church - a reformation movement that began in the 16th century under the former Catholic priest, Martin Luther.
Q: Pastor Pradeep, thanks again for the word today. I have a question - in the recording at 33:11 today morning, it is said that once we are saved, the Holy Spirit lives in us. I wanted some clarification around this. I had heard from a brother that once we are saved the Holy Spirit is with us and not in us (until we get baptized by the Holy Spirit which is great but not an essential step to be saved).

P.M.
Minnesota
A: Yes, good question. My allusion to a truly and totally, overcoming life includes the baptism of the Holy Spirit. So, whenever I mention a saved person having the Holy Spirit, truly overcoming all sin in his or her life - it is in reference to a saved person who has been baptized in the Spirit. As an example, in Paul’s day, it was the norm so his writings by the Spirit to believers in the churches were in that context. We see the almost immediate reception of the gift of the Holy Spirit after salvation by believers in the book of Acts. So, it was understood that any preaching about being more than conquerors in Christ necessitated the common experience back then of people needing the baptism of the Holy Spirit. You don’t see him differentiating saved without the baptism of the Holy Spirit, with those saved, having received the gift of the Holy Spirit. I do that myself sometimes, so pardon any confusion. Pastor Kiruba has mentioned to me that she wants to give a comprehensive teaching on this in an upcoming study.
Q: Praise the Lord Pastor Pradeep, I have some questions about the raising of Lazarus in John 11:43-44. Do you know who “them” is in verse 44? I studied the chapter carefully yesterday and was noticing several things which makes me wonder if Jesus is speaking to the family of Lazarus? It is specifically noted that the Jews who were with Mary had unbelief, and so did the disciples. The only two people who both proclaimed their belief in the Power of Jesus to heal was Martha and Mary. Also, having been dead for four days and coming back to life- I would imagine the only people who would rush to help remove the grave clothes would be his family members, everyone else would have been frightened and startled by this event and not want to touch him.

If it was his family members, could it be possible that:
  1. Jesus did the Supernatural and raised Lazarus from the dead,
  2. Lazarus responded in obedience to Jesus’s command and came forth, and
  3. His sisters responded obediently to Jesus’s command and helped Lazarus by removing the grave clothes and head covering from him- necessary actions to make Lazarus truly not resemble a dead man.
Would it also be correct to say that Lazarus was raised up and given life by Jesus, but was not completely free until he was unbound- which required obedience and the effort of Lazarus and his family assisting him in maintaining that deliverance?

Because Lazarus walked fully in the life Jesus called him to come forth into, once the effort was made to remove everything that symbolized death.

Would this be an example of “we do the possible and God does the impossible?”

Please let me know if I am just reading way too much into this. I don’t want to add to scripture in any way.

I am trying to understand the part we play in helping/ supporting newly delivered family members, so they can maintain that deliverance. I asked my husband and daughter first but none of them knew and I cannot recall if we ever covered this in a meeting.

Thank you! God bless you!

L.S.
New York
A: Praise the Lord! The, “them” in verse 44, could very well have been the, “they” of verse 41 who took away the stone. Men may have also stepped forward to do unwrapping of grave clothes, e.g. braver, expected to lead in a male-dominated society, close friends of Lazarus and/or his family, etc.

The, “we do the possible/God does the impossible” is not applicable here as the point emphasized by Pastor Kiruba has to do with a faith-filled act of obedience and cooperation for God to see and then step in to perform the impossible miracle.

The role is not supportive in the sustenance of the healing, but simply an instruction of the Lord to be obeyed, not dissimilar to the Lord instructing the parents of the little girl to give her something to eat once He raised her from the dead. (Mark 5:43)

You are correct, we have to be careful that we don’t read into Scripture what is beyond Scripture. The best way to support newly delivered people is to live an utterly consecrated life of true holiness before the Lord and pray (which will be effective due to a righteous life backing it up), for this alone will cause the devil to flee, along with what we heard in the morning call today in the delivered/healed individual to, “go and sin no more lest a worse thing come upon you.”
Q: Pastor, thank you for the word today. I have a question on Sabbath based on today's and yesterday's sermons. I believe in yesterday's sermon, it mentioned that in Christ Jesus, we have entered the eternal rest period which Sabbath indicated in the old testament. Also, Colossians 2:16-17 says: “So don’t let anyone condemn you for what you eat or drink, or for not celebrating certain holy days or new moon ceremonies or Sabbaths. For these rules are only shadows of the reality yet to come. And Christ himself is that reality”.

It appears that Sabbath is grouped with other ceremonial tasks just as foreshadowing. Could you pls clarify how do we learn about its relevance to the new age with Jesus?
A: The ceremonial laws were binding to the Jews until Christ set them free from them having fulfilled the Law perfectly and providing salvation through His Blood. We are not under the Jewish laws pertaining to the Sabbath and we have entered into His Eternal Rest through Christ. However, this does not preclude the need for setting aside special and regular times, seasons and days to seek the Lord, particularly in the assembling of ourselves together for corporate worship and instruction in the Word. Hebrews 10:25: And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.

So, by principle and practice as seen in the Word, we ought to set aside a day to seek the Lord and give the, “first fruits” of our week to Him for His honor and for our good. What better day than the first day of the week and that too, most importantly on the Day of His Resurrection (John 20:1)? The disciples were also baptized in the Holy Spirit on the first day of the week (Pentecost, 50 days after Easter, which was the Jewish first fruits and a Sunday, the first day of the week according to Leviticus 23:10-11, 15-17). The early church met on Sunday to gather for church meetings for these reasons.

Acts 20:7 (NKJV): Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul, ready to depart the next day, spoke to them and continued his message until midnight.

No one is to be condemned for not celebrating on a particular day of worship and rest before the Lord to honor Him. However, I think that you would agree that it would be rather curious, if one has the opportunity to worship the Lord and fellowship with other true believers and foregoes to join in that corporate worship for some reason, when the above-mentioned reasons show why it was significant to the early church and up till now, to choose Sunday as the day to honor the Lord in worship and rest.

A person may say I can worship every day the way I do on Sunday and there is nothing wrong with that, except when it comes to the special assembly of believers together, most people work or are preoccupied. Then again, a person may do it all by themselves to worship before the Lord and rest the whole week of they can afford to. However, this does not obviate Sunday worship together with the majority of believers around the world who hold to the same principle as noted above on the first day of the week due to its very significant biblical and spiritual reasons.

No one is to be condemned for not choosing to worship/celebrate on Sunday, however it would be quite odd for a true believer to opt-out of the glorious opportunity especially on the day the Lord rose from the dead, the 120 were baptized in the Holy Spirit on Pentecost and the church has been doing this great scriptural reasons for 2 millennia.
Q: Pastor, I totally agree with the concept of corporate worship and spending more time on Sunday. Thanks a lot for clarifying. My question was if we are to keep a Sabbath day as Jews did where we cannot do any other activity in the rest of the day? For example, if someone is appearing for an exam and not studying for it in the evening of the day to keep Sabbath.

P.M.
Minnesota
A: Yes, it is a principle and not a law or commandment. It takes faith sometimes to forego studying on a Sunday if one has dedicated that day to seeking the Lord and resting in Him in worship and study of His Life-giving Eternal Word. Our whole family has practiced this for some years now and the Lord has made the impossible possible when we put Him first to honor Him on that day. He has helped us excel when others who studied on Sunday did not. So, there is no law and no one is to condemn anyone for not living by such a principle, but it is well-pleasing to the Lord to trust Him in giving full devotion on at least one day out 7, especially the very first day of the week, the Lord’s Day. I just recall as I’m writing this quickly, that my parents (though nominal in a sense and not very knowledgeable about the Bible) also practiced this however and taught us children to honor God in this way, not watching anything secular on Sunday, especially giving time and attention to the Scriptures and worship. I remember how the Lord blessed us very much, financially and caused my older brother, myself and my younger sister to skip the 8th grade here in NY taking us straight from the 7th to 9th without even trying in a rather competitive school. I believe the Lord honored us as we honored Him. Glory be to the Lord Almighty!

We did study hard on other days, just not on the Lord’s Day in honor of Him and by faith...so it would be more accurate to say, without even trying too hard. God was, is and forever will be faithful! For every sincere act of devotion to the Living God, within His Will, there will be a reward. I want to emphasize that we do not have a sabbath per se for the believer as we do not have a God-given law as the Jews did, that one cannot work at all if he or she really needs to. (Sometimes, what people feel they really need to can actually be not so needed, also.) However, we see that the disciples plucked the grain to eat and also, if a person absolutely needs to work, because they truly just do not have enough money to feed the family, after being responsible with all his or her earnings before the Lord, honoring Him with tithes and offering, etc., then God understands that. Or if one is in a situation that they are temporarily restricted in having to work part of a Sunday, because they can be fired if they do not comply temporarily, etc. or if one has no choice and it is reasonably wise to begin one’s night shift at 11 pm on Sunday for example considering all things, and they are honoring God the rest of the day and attending worship, etc., then God understands all that and the true desire to move out of that schedule as well as taking practical steps in prayer and actively seeking that schedule change to give the entire Sunday to the Lord, if possible.

So, the Lord’s Day, (not sabbath) to worship, celebrate engage in more Bible study in His Presence, spend time with the family encouraging them in the things of the Lord, etc. is much more than just resting from work. If a person also wants to observe the whole weekend or even the whole week without neglecting their basic responsibilities before God for the welfare of his or her family: the spouse and children especially, then that can be a blessing. However, keeping the one day, the Lord’s Day entirely for the Lord is something that many believers have a hard-enough time with, let alone attempt 2 days, i. e. Saturday as well. We have scriptural precedent for a devotional behavior pattern towards the Lord found in Isaiah 58, which principle from the Sabbath, can be applied to our Sunday Lord’s Day worship and dedication.

Isaiah 58:13-14 (NKJV):

“If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath,
From doing your pleasure on My holy day,
And call the Sabbath a delight,
The holy day of the LORD honorable,
And shall honor Him, not doing your own ways,
Nor finding your own pleasure,
Nor speaking your own words,
Then you shall delight yourself in the LORD;
And I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth,
And feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father.
The mouth of the LORD has spoken.”
Q: Hi Pastor, in Ezekiel 1-1: “Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, on the fifth day of the month”, what calendar is he referring to? Thank you

V.R.
New York
A: Different methods can be there. For example, a calendar on the date of Ezekiel’s age 30 years old or during the elapsed year of the time the Babylonian king began to reign, etc. Not a calendar as we are used to today.
Q: Pastor, thank you again for the word today. Coincidently, I was meditating on Luke 13 20-21. It compares the Kingdom of God to the yeast in bread. As you said, in most cases yeast has been symbolically used in a negative manner but not always true. I wanted to check with you on how do we interpret yeast in this passage? Thank you for sharing your knowledge. Praise God.

P.M.
Minnesota
A: Yes, a few commentators and preachers misinterpret this passage to mean evil with all kind ascriptions of evil to the yeast and to the woman, etc. but that is unwarranted and going beyond Scripture. The yeast here in this parable is a positive use of yeast describing the tremendous, thorough expansion of the Kingdom of God, which begins seemingly hidden or small...not unlike the previous parable of the mustard seed which became a huge tree. God bless you!
Q: Pastor can you please explain 1 Corinthians 11:1-16?

Was the head covering topic for woman, only relevant for that the time period, and culture back then? How does this relate to us today? Is it mainly talking about being submissive?

Thank you, Pastor. God bless you.

B.S.
New York
A: Cultural clothing, mannerisms and posture communicated much in the eastern culture, particularly back then. Clearly, submission is in view here, but the cultural background studies of ancient Corinth seem to indicate a looseness, defiance and even, prostitution for women with unkempt hair. The assumption has been thought to extend to uncovered hair as well as a sign of shame. As a reaction to that, it has been thought that, as in the case of other local issues that the apostle may address, this was one of them. In our modern culture in many parts of the world, particularly in the West, it does not signify anything if a woman wears her hair long or short or covers her head or not. Similarly, a man with long or longer hair may well be a good, holy and very “manly” individual. Consider the man with a Nazarite vow, consecrated to God with a command not to use a razor or cut his hair during the period of consecration. Furthermore, in this passage, the translation for the word used in our English Bibles as an angel has been said to also mean a messenger or a man. These are some of the prevailing thoughts that can be brought into the discussion. If a woman wants to cover the head due to interpreting the passage has pertinent to her testimony expression of submission, especially in eastern cultures today then it’s between her and God, but it must NOT become legalistic.
Q: Pastor, praise God. Luke 13-32 talks about Jesus saying that he will cast demons and heal people today and tomorrow and accomplish his purpose on 3rd day. The 3rd day reminds me of the resurrection event but not sure if it blends in well in this context here. Could you please throw some light?

P.M.
Minnesota
A: Praise God, yes...the Lord spoke further next about His death as a prophet dying in Jerusalem. En route to accomplishing His ultimate purpose of the Cross, the Lord spoke of finishing His other wonderful works of healing and releasing people from demonic oppression/possession. You are correct.
Q: Good day Pastor, is the Garden of Eden located in the Fertile Crescent?

M.C.
New York
A: To summarize: According to the Biblical description, the Garden of Eden was located in Eden, somewhere at the origin of the Euphrates, Tigris and the other two rivers (Pison and Gihon) that we don’t see today (Gen 2:10-14). If that was the origin where the 2 known rivers meet today, then it would be somewhere around eastern Turkey in the Armenian Highland area. If, as some speculate, that it is in the south where two rivers go into the Persian Gulf then it would be in Iraq/Kuwait border (ancient southern Mesopotamia). There is another theory that the other two unknown rivers actually flowed from Israel and due to fault lines in the earth in that region in the Rift Valley that run-down Israel near the Jordan River and satellite imaging of ancient dry river beds that show a route of the river going through Ethiopia (Genesis 2:13).

And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it that compassed the whole land of Ethiopia) and Pison to a place where there is exceptionally pure gold and onyx stone - Yemen where ancient mines have been found it is reported. As we said, things could’ve changed after the Flood and throughout the ensuing 6 millennia. We don’t have certainty about it all, but there are some arguments for the location that is more convincing than others. Furthermore, as Pastor Kiruba also answered, the Garden of Eden could have been removed supernaturally in as much as its entrance was kept guarded supernaturally by the Lord, instituting the flaming sword of the Cherubims, “which turned every way, to keep the way of the Tree of Life” (Gen. 3:24). In any case, there is no trace of it today, regardless of believers or unbelievers who conjecture as to its present, visible or “hidden” location.
Q: Thanks Pastor, after the flood there were 8 people left, in order to repopulate the world there had to be relations between the family, why wasn’t this considered incest?

G.G.
New Jersey
A: The children could have married cousins and that is not uncommon even today in other parts of the world, it is not the same as marrying one’s own sibling. Abraham, Issac and Jacob all married close relations...half-sister, cousin’s daughter and cousin, respectively. However, God blessed them and did not prohibit them.

There are scientific explanations as well... such as genetically, the probability for mutative effects were minimal compared to today with marriages with very close relatives, i.e. half-sister, etc. Another point is that God said don’t marry or have sexual relations with siblings, aunts etc. when he gave the law later during Moses time about 2500 yrs after Adam and 1000 years after the flood. God knows what He is doing and when He allows something or does not prohibit it and other things that He does prohibit - expressly spells it out. He is perfect and we don’t always immediately understand everything, but the one who truly trusts God, loves Him and shows it by obeying Him will have everything clarified eventually.

Even after the law came, Leviticus 18 doesn’t prohibit cousins from marriage and that’s what would have happened with the children of the three married sons of Noah in the Ark as we know: Noah, Noah’s wife, Shem, Ham Japheth and their three wives.
Q: In reading the lineage of Noah’s sons, it mentions only male children and no female until the end; it seems the women were not given importance, why was this done?

G.G.
New Jersey
A: From the dawn of Mankind even to this day, women take on the name of the husband when entering marriage and not the other way around. Why? In a patriarchal society, this was especially predominant in the ancient world, with few exceptions, such as in the genealogy of the Lord Jesus in Matthew chapter 1, where 5 women are mentioned with particular emphasis from the Holy Spirit. Males were always perceived as the leaders with relatively few exceptions universally regardless of culture or era. Why?

My point is to show that it isn’t surprising, whether it is a biblical account it extrabiblical/unbiblical account of any documented genealogy, the mention of men, and not women in Noah’s record or any other biblical record, is normal. Although in God’s Eyes (and in every reasonable person, especially an enlightened believer’s eyes) male and female are equally valuable, the different genders have Scripturally-defined roles, having to do with a marked difference in the endowment of authority, responsibility and leadership. It was because Adam failed in godly leadership that the curse came when Eve fell and he willfully transgressed (Genesis 3.) There is a significance to authority and responsibility that God puts on a man that is unique. This truth is pronounced as seen in 1 Timothy 2:13-14: “For God made Adam first, and afterward, he made Eve. And it was not Adam who was deceived by Satan. The woman was deceived, and sin was the result.” Now, Adam was not deceived, but he still sinned, and the curse came on the human race. However, it must also be seen that it was because of leadership failure on the part of a man, Barak, that Deborah a judge and prophetess led the Israeli military to victory against the Canaanites (Judges 4). She prophesied due to Barak’s lack of faith in God’s prophecy over him and command to go to war and get the victory, that a woman, Jael would get the victory over, Sisera the commander of the Canaanite King Jabin’s army.

This of course, by no means exhausts the various expanded explanations that can be given in answer to your inquiry. However, one last thing to note is, although you have Noah’s predecessors and successors (his own sons) who had sons and daughters, mentioned as such...in Noah’s case, no such thing is mentioned as he had only 3 sons and no daughters from the Scriptural record that specifically draws attention to this, when other males in his ancestral line and progeny had daughters, in that it is explicitly stated. Over a dozen of Noah’s predecessors and progeny are mentioned as having daughters, but not Noah.

In addition to Pastor Pradeep’s answer, I (Pastor Kiruba) would like to add the following.

In Biblical genealogy/record keeping, not every male in the family history was recorded. Similarly, not every woman’s name was recorded. Whether it is the Old Testament or the New Testament, there is no gender discrimination with God. “For there is no partiality with God.” Romans 2:11

According to God’s sovereign wisdom and righteousness, He has decided to place the names in the genealogy and not based on gender. Thus, when we see a man’s name or a woman’s name inserted in the Book of all books, we must understand that each name was carefully placed there by God Almighty, through the writers of God’s Word, inspired by the Holy Spirit. Every name that is in the Bible, be it male or female has played a significant role in righteousness or unrighteousness and based on that, the names have been recorded. As we know, every detail of every single person in the genealogy is not recorded in the Bible. God has given us what we need to know and that is enough for us.
Q: I have a question; may you please explain this verse to me?

“There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.” Genesis‬ 6:4‬ NKJV‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

“that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose. And the LORD said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.” There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.” Genesis‬ 6:2-4‬ NKJV‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬


This couldn’t have been Angels, right? What does the Sons of God mean?

And why did they think it was okay to be with women who are human if they were spiritual beings?

I.C.
New York
A: Praise God! I believe this is a fairly recent trend to speculate on this verse, without a scriptural warrant and it goes against the Nature of the Lord to even think that this could happen, let alone allow it. Adam is called the “Son of God” in Luke 3:38 he was “of God” so even if the phrase is in italics denoting absence in the original Greek, it is not unreasonable to understand that godly men could be referred to as sons of God. The Lord also said that angels do not marry (Mark 12:25) and the logical conclusion is that although demons can inhabit people, what is purported by the speculators as far as such relations with human beings is concerned is not rational or Biblical.
Q: Praise the Lord, Good morning Pastor, I am trying to remember the discussion about God creating mankind. Genesis 4:10-12: And Cain said to the LORD, “My punishment is greater than I can bear! Surely You have driven me out this day from the face of the ground; I shall be hidden from Your face; I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond on the earth, and it will happen that anyone who finds me will kill me.” Could you explain the population? Adam and Eve are the first of all mankind, but Cain refers to other people, who are the other people? Sorry if this is a repeat question.

J.B.
New York
A: Praise God! The other people are of necessity the other children of Adam - Cain’s siblings other than Abel or could be his cousins, etc. However, as answered in LTS, he is speaking of the future potential encounters and by that time the population would have grown.
Q: Hello Pastor! I'm asking a question that I hope hasn't been asked regarding Abraham and in Genesis, 22:2 “The Lord said to Abraham to "Take your son, your only son " and offer him as a burnt offering to the Lord”.

M.P.
New York
A: Praise the Lord! That’s a question that many may not have even contemplated. However, it is a good one and there are a couple of things to consider:

  1. The first is that Ishmael was not there with Abraham as he was sent away with his mother Hagar. So, Isaac was the only son he had with him when the Lord spoke this. However, the real answer and much more significantly though is,
  2. Isaac was the unique son - only begotten - just like the Lord Jesus. Isaac was the promised seed through whom Christ would come, so he is an, “only begotten” or unique son of promise. Unbelief on the part of Abraham or especially his wife Sarah produced the son of the bond-woman that would disqualify Ishmael as a son recognized by God, but the overarching reality is that Ishmael just simply was never in God’s plan to begin with for Abraham. So, he was not the son of faith or of the Promise. God’s promised son was Divinely planned to come through Abraham’s God-ordained wife, Sarah.
Even though Abraham fathered Ishmael as the first biological son, he was clearly not the heir even though technically he was the first-born as well due to the greatest inheritance in the family. We also see the same uniqueness of an, “only begotten son” attribution regarding Isaac mentioned in the New Testament in Hebrews 11:17-18: “By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called.”

In the end, we see that the Lord did not recognize Ishmael as a legitimate son or heir, but the product of grave error on the part of Abraham and Sarah. The descendants of Ishmael are still trying to eliminate the descendants of the promised son (Isaac) of Abraham to this day.

We see the above emphasis further from the Lord in the New Testament passage below:

Galatians 4:21-31 (NKJV): “Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not hear the law? For it is written that Abraham had two sons: the one by a bondwoman, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and he of the freewoman through promise, which things are symbolic. For these are the two covenants: the one from Mount Sinai which gives birth to bondage, which is Hagar— for this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children— but the Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all. For it is written:

“Rejoice, O barren,
You who do not bear!
Break forth and shout,
You who are not in labor!
For the desolate has many more children
Than she who has a husband.”

Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are children of promise. But, as he who was born according to the flesh then persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, even so it is now. Nevertheless, what does the Scripture say? “Cast out the bondwoman and her son, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.” So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman but of the free.
Q: Pastor Pradeep, Praise God. Thank you again for the sermon series on the Godly qualities. In this morning’s sermon, you mentioned a TV series that presented a corrupted image of Jesus. I wanted to check with you what series it is so that we all can stay away from it. Also, I shared a link to a popular TV series on Jesus and wanted to gather your thoughts on this one. Thank you, Pastor.

P.M.
Minnesota
A: I don’t watch these things but saw just a clip. Quite Instantly, the blasphemous nature of the whole thing was apparent. There are many things to say about it and just about every “Christian” “Jesus” production. It is important to exercise our spiritual senses on these matters so as go on to the deeper things of God. I wonder if anyone else can explain what is wrong with The Chosen in a little more detail against the “benefits” that many have stated even good believers but who are in that initial growth process. Mainly though the lovers of this blasphemous series on “Jesus” is eagerly embracing “another Jesus” - comedian witty down to earth world’s beloved prophet -just like themselves- foreign to the true Lord Jesus of the Bible. I heard that Mormons who deny Christ love it and the director said the Jesus movies that were word for word in dialogue from Scripture were, “boring!” There’s more...but this an exercise to grow spiritually so I’d invite more input.

I went through what some of us are going through some years back trying to understand why I and my family are having these disturbances within when almost everyone else loves much of Christian entertainment. The Lord is faithful to school us and strengthen us in the way of holiness righteousness and true love if we are sincere before Him.

This not my opinion, it is God’s Word, His Spirit, His Truth. I will elaborate on how to discern - as a person who studied some acting (and performed some roles years ago), a Christian consumer, as a true follower of the Lord Jesus by His mercies and as a pastor/evangelist/teacher - a servant of the Living God by the grace of God - to know how to see “benefits” vs. the Truth of God’s Spirit.

The Lord has given the gift of creativity and imagination to mankind, which is to be appreciated and used...however, always in a God-glorifying way only. What kind of poetic/artistic license is proper in the sight of the Creator? Every truly Christian production will convey a deep reverence for the Lord and His Word. It is one thing to act/portray the Lord in saying things that He actually spoke to say, a contemporary individual in a documentary/biographical film, but totally another thing to put words into the actor playing Jesus (a very grave undertaking) while presenting the Gospel especially. That is absolutely blasphemous. Acting performance, director’s skills, emotional connections the audience, the opinions of many who even claim that now they are reading the Bible...etc. Will all “do” Christianity and their version of, “god” and their, “Jesus” in their own way - blasphemous, down to earth, irreverent, casual and witty, unholy, “great visual effects, awesome storyline/adaptation/contemporary, “really connects with the audience”, and imagination”, etc. all sandwiched together when in the end in judgment day, it may be a shock for many that not only are massive undertakings in ministry, all highly acclaimed, are burned up in God’s Presence (1 Cor 3:13-15) and worse yet, many will lose their very souls (Matthew 7:22-23). There is a detrimental effect on the souls of consumers who will indiscriminately allow, “Christian” media to take their time and devotion.

That is, “Christian” media that is that not in line with God’s Spirit, God’s Word. We will see God and His Word through a filter that has been carefully constructed with the help of the evil one, if we are not judicious with the help of God to discern rightly all that is in this world esp. “Christian” media. Always go for what is holy and what draws you to a greater godliness and less worldliness, greater desire to think, speak and act just like the real Jesus of the Bible. God will grow us spiritually at a far more rapid pace than we could’ve imagined when we separate, consecrate and perseverance in Him. Yes, there is actually a spirit contrary to God’s Spirit that inspire blasphemous scripts and dialogue. That evil spirit will be entertaining, dulling, entertaining, deceiving, entertaining and killing holy desires ever so patiently and continually - when we entertain such entertainment.

I can tell you from the Word of God, the Spirit of God and by my personal experience and the experience of others who are followers of the Lord Jesus. God bless everyone to pursue the Truth, holiness and love - being/becoming well-pleasing to the Lord in all things.! I would be castigated in most, “Christian” circles for what I’ve written, but then I’m not here to please man or myself, but the Living God before Whom I live, serve and will have to give an account of my life and ministry one day. May we all ever be God-pleasers! This also reminds me of when Pastor Kiruba, and others had a great disturbance at Sight and Sound theatre’s production of Jesus not too long ago with blasphemous elements there as well. That was highly acclaimed by local and distant pastors and believers everywhere also.
Q: Hi Pastor, I just have a question from the essay we wrote about the king and Priest of the Most High God, Melchizedek.

Melchizedek was not part of the Jewish nation and yet he worshipped the Most High God that Abram worshipped. The question becomes, how did Melchizedek, one, know God the way it tells he knew Him since God had only called Abram, a pagan idol worshipper, to start the Jewish nation and two, it's fascinating to read that he came to bless Abram with bread and wine? This is before there was ever a prophecy about the coming of Christ. I've read this story so many times but have never really been left with my jaw dropped quite the way I was this time. I've been taught that Melchizedek is a foreshadowing or figure or type of Jesus Christ in that he was both Priest and King but the fact that he came out with bread and wine, (the symbols for the body and blood of Christ), to bless Abram.

1400 years (approx.)before Christ was born or 700 years before Isaiah's prophetic word telling of the coming of Christ is mind-blowing to me. It never occurred to me before this assignment the significance of that moment in the Valley of Shaved.

H.P.
New York
A: As we discussed recently, he appears to know many things only by Divine revelation. His origin is also untraceable in the human genealogical record of the Bible. Compare Micah 5:2 (NKJV) The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting. As it’s written in Hebrews 7:1-3 (NKJV) “For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, to whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all, first being translated “king of righteousness,” and then also king of Salem, meaning “king of peace,” without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, remains a priest continually”.
Q: Pastor, praise God. I had a question not relevant to the sermon. I came to learn about my friend's friend who is a Mandaean. I had never heard about that before. I read that they believed in John the Baptist and saw Jesus as evil. I was left surprised to see that kind of approach toward Jesus that too being so closely associated with John. I was wondering if you had some more information on how come they turned away so much?

P.M.
Minnesota
A: It is a cultic group that has among other things astrological beliefs and a total rejection of God from the beginning. They claim to follow Abraham and others, but it is a demonic, absolute blasphemous twist of anything we know from God’s Word. People will be open to any demonic doctrine that will not call for faith in the Lord Jesus so long as it allows sin in their lives with a pseudo-holiness.
Q: Pastor, I have a question that has been lingering in my heart for the last few months and I am unable to come to an understanding. There is a group that calls themselves the kingdom business. All the owners are spirit-filled believers and another group says we have to use them and support them as by using their business we are helping them to do ministry. But one thing I have noticed is that they are very expensive compared to other businesses. My question is if we are kingdom people shouldn’t ours be the reasonably priced ones than others? Their justification is that they are kingdom business so they know that they are worthy to quote this price and people who have an eye for the kingdom vision will understand and make use of it. But I don’t feel right in my spirit about this. Can you please guide me on this pastor?

M.E.
Texas
A: I’m not familiar with them. However, I can tell you in principle that the people of God should be reasonable and looking to give the best value for the most reasonable price. The only other thing I can think of justifying higher prices is they feel it conscionable that the “extra charge” in the inflated price is understood to be specifically for a cause that would spread the Gospel or some other work. Also, the difference in price is seen clearly to have a greater impact in the Kingdom of God. Lastly, the higher price is due to a marked quality that is clearly above and beyond others’ products or services.

Overall though, I agree with you that even with supporting ministry, prices should not be inflated unless it almost universally accepted that the quality is truly commensurate with the increase in price.
Q: Pastor, I have a few questions from Luke's gospel chapters 2 to 4.

  1. So, John the Baptist was preaching a baptism of repentance. Jesus being sinless why would he partake in John's baptism (Luke 3.21). (this was also asked by Yohanan in devotional time). I have no doubt regarding Jesus’s sinless state in human form but couldn't understand why he did so. Was it merely to certify John was from God and to set an example but without having other personal reason on His own?
  2. Secondly, at what point Jesus was anointed was it after the 40 days of fasting overcoming Satan when he read from Isaiah and announced in his hometown in Nazareth's synagogue (Luke 4.18) or was He already anointed from birth being conceived by the Holy Spirit in virgin conception and birth. Because I see a progression in spiritual growth from chapters 2 to 4 and by so doing did He reached the place of anointing and so fulfilling Isaiah's prophecy?
  3. Could you please explain also Luke 3.22 "Holy Spirit descended in bodily form" on Jesus? Is it similar to the divinity of Jesus coming from heaven in bodily form on earth?
Also, Pastor (sorry I forgot but will add this also here) how baptism happened to be introduced in the New Testament even before Jesus advent by John. Since there's no precedence of this ritual in the Old Testament.

S.A.
New York
A: Good questions brother...Pastor Kiruba answered one or more before in the meetings. I believe the baptism classes as well so I will ask her to answer if she wishes/has time...but one reason for the baptism was to set an example and I believe the other was to publicly come to John as Divinely orchestrated for John to recognize with the Spirit descending on Him as the Lord had told John in the Gospel of John 1:33, 34. He was given the Spirit without measure, so there was a definite moment of empowerment distinct from having the Spirit already more than John even from the womb since the Lord was conceived by the Holy Spirit. He always had the Divinity continuing unceasingly from eternity past as well as from the moment He became flesh and dwelt among us. Yet, the anointing was during the baptism and was the empowerment for ministry that began at around thirty years of age Luke 3:23. It was not his own divinity that came down then which actually never ceased to be - but continued with the mystery of the incarnation combining humanity in which form He needed to be empowered though still being God, i.e. the God-Man.

It is interesting that baptism used in preparation for the first advent of the Messiah via John the Baptist and in Christianity has its foreshadow in the purification rites in Judaism, esp. in the high priesthood (Lev 16:4) as well as in the New Testament references to immersion in water as with the flood and Noah (1 Pet 3:20-22) and His family and Moses and the Israelites (1 Cor 10:2) as those drawn out of/saved through the water with specific use of the term, baptism. It was a symbol of spiritual cleansing/symbolic of and “sealing” salvation with a commitment to God/inauguration of a new way of life, etc.

Leviticus 16:3-5 (NIV): “This is how Aaron is to enter the Most Holy Place: He must first bring a young bull for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering. He is to put on the sacred linen tunic, with linen undergarments next to his body; he is to tie the linen sash around him and put on the linen turban. These are sacred garments; so he must bathe himself with water before he puts them on. From the Israelite community he is to take two male goats for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering”.

1 Corinthians 10:1-2 (NIV): “For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea”.

1 Peter 3:20-22 (KJV): Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: Who is gone into heaven and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.
Q: Pastor, we came across the concept of Christian flag in our local church. I was wondering if there is a significance to it?

P.M.
Minnesota
A: As you can imagine, Christians use it in certain countries to show their devotion to the Lord as well as their patriotism to their country, when both flags are side by side. The colors have significance for Heaven (blue, such as the sky), red for the Lord’s Bloodshed on the Cross, which we know the meaning of and white for blamelessness and purity.

If church members are truly trusting in nothing, but the Blood of Jesus for their salvation and everything through that Cross, if they are truly pursuing holiness in the fear of God and have a true desire to be ready to actually meet the Lord and live Him forever, then it has some real meaning. Otherwise, as in many places, it simply becomes a prop and a stunt to promote some empty social solidarity/club mentality and false security.
Q: Good morning Pastor, I wanted to ask you this question. I have heard two schools of thought on praying, the first being you pray once for a situation and God knows your prayer and heart, the second being to constantly pray for the same situation. Could you please share your thoughts?

G.G.
New Jersey
A: “Praise the Lord! The Bible says in Matthew 7:7 to “ask, seek and knock” in prayer and the Greek tense of the words indicate a continuous asking, seeking and knocking. Also, perseverance in prayer is depicted in a case when Elijah prayed it took seven times before the answer was manifested (pls see passage quotes below). There are many passages in the Word to indicate the need for and direction from the Spirit of the Lord for continuous prayer with the same request to God until the answer comes. The only time that only one prayer should be offered for anything is if the Lord gives the supernatural insight or faith in a particular situation clearly saying that further prayer is not required. The second reason not to keep praying for something repeatedly is if the prayers are vain repetition and in unbelief. So, according to the Word of God repeated prayers for the same thing is the norm and must be offered in faith until the answer comes unless the Lord clearly says to stop. One other thing I would add is with the praying, praise and thanksgiving must accompany earnest prayer as an expression of our faith in the Lord and His Promises of Love, Prosperity, Healing, etc.

Matthew 6:7-8 (NKJV): “And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. Therefore, do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him”.

1 Kings 18:41-46 (NKJV): “Then Elijah said to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink; for there is the sound of abundance of rain.” So Ahab went up to eat and drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; then he bowed down on the ground, and put his face between his knees, and said to his servant, “Go up now, look toward the sea.”

So he went up and looked, and said, “There is nothing.” And seven times he said, “Go again.”

Then it came to pass the seventh time, that he said, “There is a cloud, as small as a man’s hand, rising out of the sea!” So he said, “Go up, say to Ahab, ‘Prepare your chariot, and go down before the rain stops you.’”

Now it happened in the meantime that the sky became black with clouds and wind, and there was a heavy rain. So Ahab rode away and went to Jezreel. Then the hand of the LORD came upon Elijah; and he girded up his loins and ran ahead of Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.”
Q: I had a question from my daily devotional by Oswald Chambers that I've been meaning to ask. As you read this devotional you will see that Mr. Chambers said, "to wrestle with God in prayer is unscriptural." Apart from the obvious differences between activities that are physical in nature and prayerful in nature, why is he saying that wrestling with God in prayer is unscriptural? I am thinking of the word wrestle in the context of a struggle with a difficulty or problem. For example,

"David wrestled with a guilty conscience." Why then would it be wrong to wrestle with God in prayer, that is, to keep asking, keep seeking, keep knocking, until my prayer to receive the blessing of being delivered from a guilty conscience is answered? Is Oswald Chambers’s statement about wrestling with God in prayer universal or are there instances where we can wrestle with God in prayer for outcomes that are God-honoring and within His will?

M.P.
New York
A: Yes, that wrestling produced a tremendous, unprecedented blessing from God to Jacob changing his name to Israel, a prince with God. Sometimes, ambiguity can result from commentaries, even in devotional form. Wrestling in prayer with God, symbolized by this all-night wrestling match, is what is traditionally held to mean to provide a great motivation to pray with great fervency and intensity and, “not let go” of God in seeking His blessing, until He blesses. The account of the Canaanite woman seeking deliverance for her demon possessed daughter comes to mind as I write this (Matthew 15:22-28). She “wrestled” with the Lord Jesus, as she, “wrestled” (as the author you quoted might endorse) for another, yet it was she herself who did not let the Lord go when it appeared he ignored her and in turn she would have most likely gained salvation for herself and her family. So, if burdening and grieving God with stubborn defiance and disobedience is what the author above defines his, “wrestling with God”, then that contention with the Lord is doomed to bring destruction on the contender. However, nothing of that sort of, “wrestling” is seen in the passage quoted from Genesis 32 here.

Incidentally, I have the complete works of Oswald Chambers, a hefty volume from years ago and I found it to be over analytical with respect to psychological introspection, confusing and contradictory in some parts, while other portions were spiritually correct in his treatment of the Word. Thus, we are in need of continual dependency upon the Spirit of God to discern the Truth of God with a sincere, obedient and diligent heart in total surrender and faith in God.
Q: Praise God Pastor, I have a question on Acts 6:13. Why people were not joining them even though they had high regards for them? Is it because of what happened to Ananias and Sapphira?

A.L.
Minnesota
A: According to Acts 5:13, they were afraid of the power of God with a swift judgment against the hypocrites (Ananias and Sapphira) who were extremely brazen or bold to lie with no fear of God, in the midst of such supernatural activity from the Lord with healings and miracles abounding. It means that people were not casual towards the Lord or His apostles; they had a high regard for them and/but they had a healthy fear not to try to be something (by tagging along, associating with the people (apostles) who had the real power of God) but with empty pride as many people do today with no understanding of anointing or humility, but will just keep talking or jump in to show themselves as spiritual or anointed, when it’s not the case at all. No, with this sudden judgment on both husband and wife who lied to the Holy Spirit as Peter told them, they had a healthy awe and fear to be reverent and humble before the anointing of God.