God’s eye is always on Jerusalem.

Again the word of the Lord of hosts came, saying, “Thus says the Lord of hosts: I am zealous for Zion with great zeal; with great fervor I am zealous for her.”  Zechariah 8:2 NKJV.


Zealous, qanah, Strong’s #7065-To be zealous, filled with zeal, full of emotion; to be passionate; also to be jealous or envious; to be highly possessive of something. Qanah is often in context of the Lord’s becoming provoked to jealousy by flirtations of His people with false gods.

Using the sanctity of marriage, God is often depicted in the OT as the Husband of Israel. He is a jealous God (Ex. 20:5). Since He is not really capable of being envious like humans, perhaps “jealous” should be translated “zealous” in our text as well as Ezk. 39:25;Joel 2:18; Zec. 1:14.

Idolatry is spiritual adultery and therefore merits death(Num.25:11). God does not tolerate competitors or those who sin against Him. He will punish His people for their unfaithfulness (Ezk. 5:113; 8:3,5: 16:38).  Sometimes His warnings and arduous love effects repentance (Isa.42:13).

In our text, God is either zealous with burning zeal for Zion, or jealous with burning jealousy, or perhaps, fanatic over His Jerusalem. Every nation has its plans for Jerusalem; especially America. God, too, has His plans (vs. 3-15), which must overrule all human schemes.


Are you born again, and baptized twice?

And it happened, while Apollos was at Corinth, that Paul, having passed through the upper regions, came to Ephesus. And finding some disciples he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” So they said to him, “We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.” And he said to them, “Into what then were you baptized?”  So they said, “Into John’s baptism.” Then Paul said,” John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is on Christ Jesus.”  When they heard, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied. Acts 19:1-6.

hs fire

Two Baptisms.

Two thousand years and some change later; there are still many who believe that being born again and receiving water baptism is all there is. It goes without saying these experiences are wonderful and bring the life changing presence of our Lord into our daily lives, but as our text shows there is and added practice if one is willing.

Not all who experience the Baptism of the Holy Spirit are wild eyed mystics boasting about their supposed super spirituality. Did the Apostle Paul boast? Did he consider these believers second class citizens? Did he not set out to inform them about what had happened at Pentecost? These believers knowledge was defective according to Paul and he showed the way to them in love.

It is amazing to hear people make so many ridiculous statements. Question, whom does the Bible say will Baptize you in the Holy Spirit? John the baptizer said, “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. Matt 3:11.

Jesus Christ is the Baptizer in the Holy Spirit. The words of John the Baptist do not imply a denominational or theological exclusivity. The offer of Holy Spirit baptism is for all who come to Christ. In John 1:29, the “Lamb of God who takes away the sin the world” is also the Baptizer with the Holy Spirit (vs. 33).

To see Jesus’ role as the Sacrificial Lamb as the only role of significance He has until He comes again is a restrictive misconception, since He is also our Empowering Lord-the Baptizer with the Holy Spirit.

He saves us, then wants to fill us ongoingly, pouring the Holy Spirit upon His redeemed, enabling them to declare and demonstrate the living power of the Savior wherever they go until He comes again. This is not about proving He can give gold fillings, make gold dust fall on people or do strange things. It is about walking in the fullness of the Holy Spirit and being sensitive to His presence and obeying Him from a heart filled with Him and walking like Jesus.

There are indeed two Baptisms. If you believe there are not two, you have classified yourself as a second class citizen in the Kingdom of God. You are well pleasing to man and his doctrines and not according to the Word of God.

“Let us hear what this babbler has to say.”

Therefore he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and Gentile worshippers and in the marketplace daily with those who happened to be there. Then certain Epicurean and Stoic philosophers encountered him. And some said, “What does this babbler want to say?” others said, “He seems to be a proclaimer of foreign gods,” because he preached to them Jesus and the resurrection. Acts 17:18 NKJV.

Mars Hill

Mars Hill


Babbler, spermologos, Strong’s # 4691-Athenian slang for:

  1. A bird that picks up seeds;
  2. Men lounging around the marketplace, making a living by picking up whatever falls from the loads of merchandise;
  3. A babbler, chatterer, or gossip retailing (selling) bits and pieces of misinformation;
  4. A pseudo-intellectual who insists on spouting off.

The Roman Empire was characterized by great diversity of religious beliefs.  Paul was in the midst of Athenian philosophers who held distinct beliefs. Among these were Epicureans (seeking tranquility as the highest good) and Stoics (being free from passion and passively accepting everything in life as inevitable, impersonal fate) were popular philosophies. Polytheism (the belief in multiple gods) was everywhere practiced.

The entire city was given over to Idols; these philosophers believed that Paul was promoting a religion of two new gods: Jesus and the resurrection. Tragically, the super-intellectuals on Mars Hill failed to see in Paul all the necessary ingredients for being a truth bringer.

Stir up the Gift

So the Lord stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people; and they came and worked on the house of the Lord of hosts, their God, on the twenty-fourth day of the sixth month, in the second year of King Darius. Haggai 1:14 NKJV.



Stirred up, ‘ur, Strong’s # 5782 To awaken, stir up, excite, raise up; to incite; to arose to action; to open one’s eyes. In the OT, ‘ur is used of an eagle stirring up its nest (Deut. 32:11) and of a musical instrument being awakened or warmed up for playing (Ps. 108:2). In Isaiah 50:4, the Lord awakens the prophet each morning and “awakens” his ear to hear God’s message.

The present reference is similar: God wakes up the spirit of Zerubbabel, inciting him to repair God’s temple. The message of Haggai the prophet (vs.13) is complemented by the direct activity of God who stirred up in cold hearts a renewed desire for doing His will. The builders began to work again with renewed energy.

NT Wright HBU Convocation,Theology Conf 3 19 14

What say you to the “New Perspective on Paul?” Here is Doctor. N.T.Wright’s spin on his books.


So let’s have your take on this. What do you think?

I believe in free will because I don’t have a choice.

Augustine and Free Will – An Interview With Dennis Carroll

I consider this to be an excellent video on Augustine. Many interesting facts are shared. A real primer on the early church and even the underpinnings of the Reformation.

Are you being renewed, are you in the recovery room, or have you flatlined?

Having been born again, not of perishable seed but imperishable, through the word of God which lives and abides forever, because: “All flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withers, and its flower falls away, but the word of Lord endures forever.” 1 Peter 1: 23-25 NKJV.


The Regenerating Power of God’s Word.

The Apostle Peter, the former denier of Christ speaks to us from his experience in the new birth and points out the intent and source of the new birth (John 1:13). Peter’s intent is direct and unmistakable, without the Word of God and the Holy Spirits activation there is no salvation.

Just as we owe our natural existence to the Creator’s spoken word and life giving breath, so we owe our New Birth to the power of God’s Word and the Holy Spirit’s activation of its power. God’s intent for our created being is only completely fulfilled when our personal spirit is alive toward Him.

As sin has produced spiritual death in people (Eph. 2:1-3), so salvation in Jesus Christ has provided spiritual life. Our text tells us that the “seed” that has produced new life in us is the Word of God, which has begotten us again by the Holy Spirit’s power (Titus 3:5) and made us members of God’s new creation (2 Cor. 5:17).

The power of God’s Word –the Holy Scriptures –is in no way more manifest than in this: its power to bring spiritual life to all who open to its truth. James 1:18 tells us that God’s “word of truth” is the means by which He brought us new life, emphasizing that He has done this as a direction of His own will.

God’s will to save us (2 Peter 3:9) has been effectively expressed in His Word, which accomplishes that work (John 1:13). J


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