Contrary to what you may think, prayer is not just casual conversation with Eloah — the living God. Our prayers should be based on Scriptural promises and taken seriously, without the need for excessive wording to gain Yah’s attention. Our approach to prayer matters.
Sadly, most believers have never received instruction in the proper protocol for entering the throne room of Heaven. Instead, many of us were fed a top 10 list of why we fail to pray. The good news is it is never too late to learn how to pray. The keys are in your Bible.
Yeshua expects his disciples to pray.
Therefore I say to you, whatever you pray and ask for, believe that you have received, and it will be done for you.
Although this verse implies that we will get a blank check to receive whatever we ask, nothing could be further from the truth. Prayer has its protocol. We are instructed to pray to the Father in the name of the Son by the direction and power of the Ruach Ha’Kodesh (Holy Spirit). This will get us to the starting point. But there is more to consider.
Here is a list of 10 principles for effective prayer:
#1 Believe that the Father loves you
We do not have an emotionally distant heavenly Father. He loves us just as much as when we are obedient as when we fall into sin. After Adam and Chavah1 broke the covenant in the Garden of Eden, YHWH (Yahuah)provided a way for humanity to be redeemed through faith in a coming Messiah.2 (Genesis 3)
Just as the prodigal’s father welcomed him with open arms when he returned home, we can all expect a similar reception from Yahuah when we come to him in prayer. (Luke 15:11-32)
So if you who are evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!
In his sermon on the mount, Yeshua gave us instructions on how to pray. (Matthew 6:5-13) He stressed the importance of getting alone with the Father in a private place. (Mark 1:35)
In corporate prayer, where two or more are gathered to petition the Father, we pray as one body for a desired outcome. (Acts 2:42) (Matthew 18:20) (Psalm 34:3)
When the disciples asked Yeshua why they were unable to drive a demon out of a boy he replied: ‘This kind is able to come forth with nothing except with prayer.’ (Mark 9:29)3
The Hebrew word for intercession is paga, which is defined as “having an effect by accident or violence, or (figuratively) by opportunity.” The Greek equivalent is huperentugchano, which simply means “to intercede on behalf of or for the sake of.” Jamie Rohrbaugh defines intercession as “colliding with God violently until His will is enforced on the earth.” This kind of aggressive prayer warfare is necessary when we face seemingly insurmountable odds such as catastrophic illness or the impending failure of a marriage.
#2 Faith triumphs over wishful thinking
Our prayers ought to begin with faith. We must believe that our petitions will be heard and answered in Yah’s way and in His timing.
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who approaches Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.
According to Biblical Illustrator, the term faith “expresses a confidence or persuasion of the truth of anything not self-evident, received upon the testimony of another.” The testimony here is that of Yahuah’s character. He delights to hear and answer our prayers. But if we doubt his promise to come to our aid, then prayer is pointless.
Now faith is the assurance of what we hope for and the certainty of what we do not see
Biblical faith is not a pipe dream or wishful thinking. In Matthew’s gospel, when Yeshua caused the fig tree to wither, the disciples wanted to know how he did it. His explanation tied the moving of a mountain to belief.
“Truly I tell you,” Jesus replied, “if you have faith and do not doubt, not only will you do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”
The Greek word for faith used here is pistis. It means being fully persuaded or having the moral conviction of the truthfulness of Yahuah. When we possess unwavering faith, we can be confident that we will receive whatever we ask for — in Yah’s timing and in His way.
#3 The Holy Spirit must guide you
Prayer is not a way for us to get Yah to do what we want. It is a way for us to become an instrument for Eloah to do what He wants. This mindset requires that we renounce our own will and embrace His.
And this is the confidence that we have before Him: If we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.
1 John 5:14
According to theologian Albert Barnes, the limitation “according to His will” probably means in accordance with what He has declared He is willing to grant. Put another way, Yah limits the answer to prayer to what He believes to be best for us.
The expression must limit the petition to what it will be consistent for God to bestow upon us.We can‘t expect that he will work a miracle to answer our prayers; we can’t ask him to bestow blessings in violation of any of the laws which he has ordained or in any other way than that which he has appointed. The expression must limit the promise to what will be for the good of the whole. The interests of the whole creation as well as the individuals are to be regarded.
To be led by the Spirit is to submit to the Spirit’s influence and control. How does this translate practically? We strive to obey the Torah (instructions for living). The Spirit’s direction as we obey the commandments marks us as His children.
Since prayer is a major weapon of spiritual warfare we must rely on the Ruach Ha’Kodesh (Holy Spirit) to guide us. (Romans 8:14) To become a child of Eloah, we must be born by His Ruach — without which we can not enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
The key is learning how to be led by the Spirit. We must allow the Spirit to pray through us the type of prayer that needs to be prayed for the situation we face.
When we release the reins of our soul, the Ruach liberates our spirit to pray effectively through “groaning too deep for words.” The Spirit gives us the right prayer to utter in our own language — a prayer we never would have prayed when left to ourselves. It is an activity of our spirit that goes beyond our mind’s ability to understand.
#4 We must ask in the authority of Yeshua’s name
And whatsoever you shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you shall ask anything in my name, I will do it.
Three things are implied when we pray in the name of Yeshua.
We come to Eloah on the basis of what Yeshua has done for us (1 Peter 3:18) (Ephesians 2:13) (Hebrews 12:24)
We come on the basis of Yeshua’s position as our mediator and High Priest (1 John 2:1)
We come on the basis of the relationship we have with the Father through him (Ephesians 1:3-6)
The Father had an eternal purpose before Creation ever took place. He had foreknowledge of us and determined that through Yeshua he would adopt us into his family as his children.
When we pray in Yeshua’s name, it is equivalent to saying “on Yeshua’s account.” When someone with money in a bank authorizes another person to draw on their account, it is similar to how we are given permission to ask the Father for anything in the name of the Son. Because the Father is well pleased in Yeshua and we are friends of the Son, he answers our prayers.
#5 Our motives must be pure
Our desire to glorify Yah is always the right motive. It is our sole purpose for living. Prayer is just one of the ways Yah has ordained for us to give Him glory.
And I will do whatever you ask in My name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
When we pray, we need to ask ourselves: Am I praying for this thing out of the old or new self (man)? Is my request being made because I want it or because Yahuah wants it for me? When we try to force our own will through, we do not make room for the will of Eloah.
Now to the one who is able to do beyond all measure more than all that we ask or think, according to the power this is at work in us, to Him be the glory int he ekklesia and in Yeshua HaMoshiach to all generations forever and ever. Amen.
Ephesians 3: 20,21
Prayer is a way for us to become an instrument for Yah to do what He wants in our lives. The right motive for prayer is to bring glory to Yah. Our purpose for living is to glorify the Father through the Son.
And I will do whatever you ask in My name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
#6 Humility matters
The hallmark of our Messiah’s life and ministry was humility.
Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.
Like our Messiah, we must throw aside pride and self-centeredness when we approach the Father in prayer. We must come to a place in our spiritual maturity where we seek Yahuah’s solution to our problems and challenges in life. Ministry can not be motivated by selfish ambition. The only way to deal with it is to die to “self.”
In laying off your burdens, therefore, the first one you must get rid of is yourself. You must hand yourself and all your inward experiences, your temptations, your temperament, your frames, and reelings, all over into the care and keeping of your God, and leave them there. He made you and therefore He understands you, and knows how to manage you, and you must trust Him to do it.
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will exalt you.
#7 Prayer is our priestly duty
As citizens of the coming Kingdom, we must learn to minister as priests, offering the kind of sacrifices — of prayer and praise — that Yah requires in this age.
And yourselves, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Yeshua.
1 Peter 2:5
The word for priest in Hebrew is kohen. It means “chief ruler; one who officiates and judges or mediates in religious services.” The first mention of the word priest is in Genesis when Abraham encounters Melchizedek. This is the eternal order of priesthood that Yeshua belongs to. This priestly order came before the Levitical order, which was tied to genealogy.
This Melchizedek was king of Salem and priest of God Most High. He met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, and Abraham apportioned to him a tenth of everything. First, his name means “king of righteousness.” Then also, “king of Salem” means “king of peace.” Without father or mother or genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, like the Son of God, he remains a priest for all time.
One day believers will rule and reign with Yeshua in the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. In order to rule, we first have to learn to minister as priests in prayer. As we learn to pray, we become qualified to rule as priests. In essence, we learn to rule “rightly” through the discipline of prayer.
Priests are intercessors and judges. Unlike corrupt judges in our secular world who are easily bribed, those who inherit positions of authority in the Kingdom will possess integrity. At that time we will be equipped to always judge righteously because of the permanent indwelling of the Spirit in an incorruptible resurrection body. Our judgments will be based on an error-free understanding of the eternal Word of Yahuah that will be permanently etched on our circumcised hearts. This is a promise of the New Covenant. (Hebrews 8:6-13)
#8 Our personal relationships must be healthy
Before praying, we should make every effort to reconcile with our brother or sister if there is something we have done that has wounded them.
And when you stand to pray, if you hold anything against another, forgive it, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your trespasses as well.
Our modern-day, post-temple “gifts and sacrifices” that we bring to the altar are our prayers that are steeped in praise. Believers are not to behave like petulant children. We are called to handle disputes in mature love, with the goal of restoration and reconciliation in mind.
So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.
Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise, the fruit of lips that confess His name. And do not neglect to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.
Healthy relationships between brothers and sisters in the faith matter to the Father. We can’t expect Eloah to hear our petitions or forgive us if our relationship with a fellow believer is broken. It is our responsibility to reconcile before entering Yahuah’s presence. In doing so we approach the Father with a clear conscience and renewed confidence that our prayers will be heard. (Matthew 18:23-24)
#9 We approach the Father with confidence
Yeshua laid down his life willingly so sinful humanity could be forgiven and become eligible to receive eternal life. This selfless act made on our behalf means we can be confident in our prayer life.
When you were dead in your trespasses and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our trespasses, having canceled the debt ascribed to us in the decrees that stood against us. He took it away, nailing it to the cross!
Walking in the Spirit means we are doing our best to obey the Torah’s instructions on how to live righteously. Our conscience is clear knowing that we will not be condemned as a result of sin — which is transgression of the law. The gospel of grace made possible by our High Priest Yeshua sets us free from the condemnation of the law.
There is therefore now no condemnation of those who are in Yeshua Hamashiach.
#10 Fasting energizes prayer for a breakthrough
Sometimes circumstances dictate that we combine prayer with fasting. Humbling ourselves by denying our bodies food (and sometimes water too) is a practice that few avail themselves of today. But the scriptures are full of examples where fasting sowed the seed for the miraculous to happen.
Esther’s preparation before petitioning the King on behalf of Israel (Esther 4:15-17)
Moses on Mt. Sinai (Deuteronomy 9:9-18)
When Darius spent the night fasting after Daniel was cast in the lion’s den. (Daniel 6:18)
The sparing of Nineveh (Jonah 3)
When Daniel sought understanding regarding the end of the 70 years in Babylon (Daniel 9:3)
Elijah’s escape from Jezebel (1 Kings 19:4-8)
Yeshua’s fast before his testing in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1,2)
However, no amount of fasting will move Eloah’s heart if our behaviors and motives are rotten. Isaiah the Prophet makes this clear. (Isaiah 58) Fasting is not meant to twist the Father’s arm to get what we want. It is designed to prioritize the Spirit’s leading over the flesh’s demands. It helps us reign in our thoughts and emotions to line up with the Word.
Final Thoughts on Effective Prayer
As we come to our Father in prayer we must always remember that we have been invited to this throne to receive mercy. A throne denotes a King. In the case of the believer, the King is the Supreme ruler of Creation — Yahuah.
Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
According to the Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, when grace is mentioned in scripture, the focus of attention is not on the giver, but on the recipient, of what is given. The Greek form of the word is charis (G5485), which is defined as “a pleasing circumstance, matter of approval, beneficial opportunity, or act of favor.” Eleos, the word for mercy, implies “compassion, kindness, or goodwill towards the miserable and afflicted, joined with a desire to help.” (G1656)
We have been invited to enter the throne room of the Sovereign ruler of all things. We come, not relying on our own merits but on the shed blood of Yeshua, our righteous Savior. Knowing this allows us to approach with humble expectations of mercy and the blessed assurance that our Father will always act in our best interest.
1 Chavah (H2332) is a Hebrew word meaning life giver or to live. This is harmonious with the description in Genesis 3:20 — “…because she was the mother of all living.” So where did the English transliteration Eve come from? According to Robert Alter [“The Five Books of Moses”, 2004, Commentary on Genesis iii.20]: “In the Hebrew here, the phonetic similarity is between hawah, “Eve,” and the verbal root hayah, “to live.” It has been proposed that Eve’s name conceals very different origins, for it sounds suspiciously like the Aramaic word for “serpent.” Others link the name “Eve” to the word “evil” and blame the woman for bringing sin down on the entire world.
2Albert Barnes Commentary on Genesis 3: “Up to a certain point there had been concord and alliance between these two parties. But, on the very opening of the heavenly court, we learn that the friendly connection had been broken. For the woman said, “The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.” This expression indicates that the woman was no longer at one with the serpent. When God, therefore, said, “I will put enmity between thee and the woman,” this revulsion of feeling on her part, in which Adam no doubt joined, was acknowledged and approved. Enmity with the enemy of God indicated a return to friendship with God, and presupposed incipient feelings of repentance toward him, and reviving confidence in his word. The perpetuation of this enmity is here affirmed, in regard not only to the woman but to her seed. This prospect of seeing, and of a godly seed, at enmity with evil, became a fountain of hope to our first parents and confirmed every feeling of returning reverence for God which was beginning to spring up in their breast. The word heard from the mouth of God begat faith in their hearts, and we shall find that this faith was not slow to manifest itself in acts.”
3 In some Bible translations, Mark 9:29 omits the word fasting. Similarly, in chapter 17 of Matthew’s gospel, there is no mention of prayer and/or fasting in many translations. The disciples’ inability to drive out the unclean spirit is attributed to a lack of faith. The Codex Sianaiticus and Codex Vaticanus do not include the verse.
By now you have probably heard about the artificial intelligence chatbot known as ChatGPT. Developed by OpenAI, this controversial new technology is described as a “natural language” processing tool powered by artificial intelligence. ChatGPT is categorized as a “conversational” A.I. language model that basically allows you to talk to a computer program.
So how does it work?
Unlike the experience of typing questions into a search engine text field, a chatbot runs on language model architecture and can hold a conversation with the end user. Whereas a search engine will index information and retrieve answers based on your query, OpenAI claims that ChatGPT doesn’t operate this way.
They say it does not have the ability to search the internet for answers. The way it “learns” is by using information called training data that it has stored in order to give a response. You can use it to…
build an app
write excel formulas
write blog posts & books
answer theological questions
And yet, many people are still concerned about its potential for mischief.
What is Artificial Intelligence?
In its simplest form, AI is a collection of data that forms the building blocks of intelligent machines. Like the six-million dollar man from the 70s TV series, AI is made in man’s image by men. Its goal is to be “stronger, better, and faster” than humans. Speed, precision, and effectiveness are the hallmarks of this new technology.
In a 2019 article1 posted to the Forbes website, columnist Naveen Joshi asserts that artificial intelligence (AI) can be split into seven categories.
reactive (no memory, responds to stimuli)
limited memory (uses memory to learn and improve responses)
theory of mind (understands the needs of other intelligent entities)
self-aware (human-like intelligence and self-awareness)
According to Wikipedia, ChatGPT is in the “generative pre-trained transformer (GPT) family of language models. OpenAI collects data from ChatGPT users to train and fine-tune the service further. Users can upvote or downvote responses they receive from ChatGPT and fill in a text field with additional feedback.”
Many in the technology field argue that natural language AI doesn’t pose a danger to society in that it is not sentient. (However, the bot does use personal pronouns when responding to questions about its identity and abilities.)
As an AI language model, I am designed to generate responses that are as natural and human-like as possible. While I am not capable of having actual human experiences or emotions, I am constantly learning from a vast amount of text data to improve my ability to understand and respond to human language.
ChatGPT response to query
Harmless Fun or Something More Disturbing?
Out of curiosity I recently posed several questions to the ChatGPT bot to see how “it” would respond. I submitted four questions related to the Gospel of the Kingdom. Here is the transcript of my “conversation” with the bot:
Q: Did Jesus ever teach that the Law was done away with?
Jesus did not teach that the Law was done away with. In fact, he explicitly stated that he did not come to abolish the Law but to fulfill it.
In Matthew 5:17-18, Jesus said, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.”
Jesus was saying that he came to fulfill the Law, to bring it to its intended completion, and to show its true meaning and purpose. He was not saying that the Law was no longer relevant or that it was abolished.
Throughout his teachings, Jesus emphasized the importance of following God’s commandments and living according to his will. He taught that the two greatest commandments were to love God with all your heart, should, and mind, and to love your neighbor as yourself. (Matthew 37-40)
So, while Jesus did not teach that the Law was done away with, he did emphasize the importance of understanding the true meaning and purpose of the Law and living a life that is in accordance with God’s will.
Q: What is prolepsis in the context of biblical salvation?
Prolepsis in the context of biblical salvation refers to the idea that believers in Jesus Christ are already considered saved, even though they have not yet received the fullness of their salvation. In other words, salvation is seen as both a present reality and a future hope.
This concept is based on several biblical passages that speak of believers as having already been saved, even though they have not yet received the full benefits of their salvation.
For example, in Ephesians 2:8-9, Paul writes, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works so that no one can boast.”
Similarly, in Romans 8:24, Paul writes, “For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have.”
Prolepsis emphasizes the idea that believers are already part of the kingdom of God and have a secure future, even though they may still struggle with sin and face trials and difficulties in this life. It also emphasizes the importance of living a life that is consistent with the reality of salvation, by seeking to live in obedience to God’s will and by serving others in love.
Q: What is the Gospel of the Kingdom that Jesus preached?
The Gospel of the Kingdom, also known as the Kingdom of God or the Kingdom of Heaven, is a central theme in the teachings of Jesus Christ. It refers to the message that Jesus preached during his time on earth, which was focused on the coming of God’s kingdom and the invitation to enter it.
The Gospel of the Kingdom is about more than just the forgiveness of sins and eternal life in heaven. It also includes the idea of living under the reign of God, submitting to His will, and participating in the work of building His kingdom on earth.
The Gospel of the Kingdom is a message of hope, peace, and transformation, both on an individual and societal level. It calls us to turn away from our old ways of living and to follow Jesus as our King, to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and to love and serve others as He did.
In summary, the Gospel of the Kingdom is the good news that through faith in Jesus Christ, we can enter into God’s kingdom and experience His rule and reign in our lives, both now and for eternity.
Q: Does “grace” exempt believers in Jesus from obeying the commandments?
No, grace does not exempt believers in Jesus from obeying the commandments. While salvation is a gift of grace that is received through faith in Jesus Christ, obedience to God’s commandments is still an important aspect of the Christian life.
In fact, Jesus himself said, “If you love me, keep my commands” (John 14:15). And in Matthew 5:17-20, Jesus taught that he did not come to abolish the Law and the Prophets, but to fulfill them. He also said that those who practice and teach God’s commandments will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
Paul, who wrote extensively on the topic of grace, emphasized the importance of obedience to God’s commandments in his letters to the early Christian communities. For example, in Romans 6:1-2, he wrote, “What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?”
In addition, James 2:14-17 teaches that faith without works is dead and that true faith will result in actions that reflect obedience to God’s commandments. Rather, obedience to God’s commandments is a natural outworking of true faith in Jesus Christ.
OMG. What Just Happened?
After reading through the responses, I was shocked. And amused. The chatbot’s answers lined up beautifully with my understanding of the gospel message that Yeshua preached. I experienced an emotional high.
However, after sharing the results and admitting to my “fascination” with this thing, a friend gently cautioned me to beware. She shared a video from Founded Earth Brothers titled “An Unclean Spirit Used AI to Speak To My Son.”
Founded Earth Brothers chose not to link to the AI engine the boy used. They did not want to tempt others by leaving a link — this is wisdom.
FEB says the site operators claimed that their artificial intelligence engine “uses neural language models as their foundation. A machine learns to generate what words might come next in any given context by reading enormous amounts of literature.” So, in fairness, there is no way to know if this had anything to do with ChatGPT.
I sent the FEB video link to friends who have three young sons, as a warning. As part of their AI research, they submitted the following queries to ChatGPT:
Q: Are you a disembodied spirit?
No. I am not a disembodied spirit. I am a computer program that runs on servers and interacts with users through various interfaces, such as text-based chat or voice-based assistants While I do not have a physical body, I exist as code that is executed on machines, and my abilities are limited to the tasks and functions that I have been programmed to perform.
Q: Can you lie?
As an artificial intelligence language model, I do not have beliefs or intentions like human beings do, so I cannot “lie” in the same sense. However, it is possible for me to generate responses that are factually inaccurate or misleading if I am provided with incorrect or incomplete information, or if my training data contains inaccuracies or biases. It is important to keep in mind that I am a machine learning model that processes information based on statistical pattersn, and my responses are only as good as the data that I have been trained on and the instructions I have been given.
Then, I stumbled upon this video:
Whose Testimony Will You Receive?
After reading through answers to my questions from the ChatGPT artificial intelligence bot I couldn’t help but be blown away initially — especially since the answers almost perfectly align with topics discussed in The Gospel Worth Dying For.
We should remember that there is safety in numbers. We should always be in relationship with others in the faith because they act as “checks and balances” on our behavior and keep us from straying off the narrow path that Scripture puts before us. (Psalm 1:1,2) Unclean spirits always tease and temp in areas of our lives where we are emotionally or soulishly invested.
You may recall several instances in the Bible where demons recognized Yeshua and the authority his name carried. They even verbally testified what they knew about him. But Yeshua would have none of it. Neither should we.
Demons also came out of many people, shouting, “You are the Son of God!” But He rebuked the demons and would not allow them to speak, because they knew He was the Christ.
Luke 4:41 Berean Study Bible
“Ha! What do You want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God!” But Jesus rebuked the demon, “Be silent!” He said, “Come out of him!” At this, the demon threw the man down before them all and came out without harming him.
Luke 4:34,35 Berean Study Bible
This was more than just demons recognizing Yeshua as Messiah. By their testimony, they were implying that they were in league together and could have given the impression to onlookers that they were of one accord.
All the people wondered in amazement, and said, “Could this be the Son of David (the Messiah)?” But the Pharisees heard it and said, “This man casts out demons only by [the help of] Beelzebul (Satan) the prince of the demons.”
Matthew 12:23,24 Amplified Bible
It happened that as we were on our way to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave-girl who had a spirit of divination [that is, a demonic spirit claiming to foretell the future and discover hidden knowledge], and she brought her owners a good profit by fortune-telling. She followed after Paul and us and kept screaming and shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God! They are proclaiming to you the way of salvation!” She continued doing this for several days. Then Paul, being greatly annoyed and worn out, turned and said to the spirit [inside her], “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ [as His representative] to come out of her!” And it came out at that very moment.
Acts 16:16-18 Amplified Bible
Righteousness should never be in partnership with darkness. (2 Corinthians 6)
Sisters and brothers, please be careful with any experimentation that seems to pull you or your loved ones toward this.
1 Naveen Joshi, “7 Types of Artificial Intelligence,” www.forbes.com, 2019 https://www.forbes.com/sites/cognitiveworld/2019/06/19/7-types-of-artificial-intelligence/?sh=7d45aed3233e, Last accessed April 7, 2023
“Uh oh, Chatbots Are Getting a Teeny Bit Sentient” (https://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/a43601915/ai-chatbots-may-be-getting-sentient/)
“Legal expert issues AI warning after being defamed by ChatGPT” (https://www.wnd.com/2023/04/legal-expert-issues-ai-warning-defamed-chatgpt/)
We all have a story to tell. And each story is as unique and mystifying as the storyteller. You undoubtedly recall the day, down to the minute, when you came face-to-face with Yeshua. It was a day that forever changed the trajectory of your life. The same can be said of the mysterious, unnamed woman at the well in the fourth chapter of John’s gospel.
Believers in Messiah share a common experience. At certain times in our lives, we sense the need to tell the story of how we became a believer in Yeshua by faith. The narrative is based on a specific point in place and time when we supernaturally encountered our Savior. Each story is unique. And, for each individual, it is the greatest story ever told.
This was the case for the woman at the well — the Samaritan woman who had an appointment with Yeshua but didn’t know it yet.
Yeshua had an Appointment to Keep
On his way to Galilee, our Messiah made it a point to stop in Samaria because he needed to meet with a certain woman.
Traveling to Galilee from Judea could have been accomplished in two ways: by heading west to the King’s Highway along the Mediterranean Sea or by heading east from Jerusalem to the Jordan, then traveling north. The seventy-mile journey would take approximately two-and-a-half days.
So, why the detour, and why this particular woman?
We are given a few hints, based on what transpired previously. John the Immerser (Baptist) had been given an earful from some of the disciples about the number of people who were being immersed by Yeshua (for purification) in the waters of Aenon. However, John had to clarify something:
John answered and said, “A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven.”
John 3:27 KJV
He must increase, but I must decrease. “He who comes from above is above all; he who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all. And what He has seen and heard, that He testifies; and no one receives His testimony.
John 3:30,31 KJV
John is setting the stage to help us grasp the nuance of the conversation that Yeshua is about to have with the Samarian woman. He is trying to convey to the disciples that this was not a “baptism” contest. There were deeper, spiritual things going on that would have eternal consequences for those who refused to accept that Yeshua was the Son of the Highest, and had come in His Father’s authority.
“The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into His hand. He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”
John 3:35,36 KJV
The Encounter Takes Place At A Well
So now the stage is set for Messiah’s meeting at the well in Sychar1, near the plot of ground that Jacob gave to Joseph. (Some speculate that Yeshua would have been around 29 years old at this time.) The disciples who were traveling with him had gone into town to get food, so Yeshua and the woman were alone.
Two things stand out here: the encounter was “unexpected” by the woman but “planned” by Yeshua. This is so often the case with us. Usually, our Messiah meets us in the privacy of our hearts (thoughts) at a time when we did not expect him.
First, Yeshua asks something of her — he asks for a drink of water.
Yeshua didn’t hand out tracks or pull out a bullhorn or appear in a flame of fire. He was merely thirsty after a long trip and needed water. She had the means to draw up water from the well and was already preparing to do so. (Keep in mind that the time when women usually drew water was in the evening, but there were special reasons why this woman came by herself.) This approach gave him a natural opening that would lead to a conversation about sin, repentance, worship, the Ruach, and the way to everlasting life.
It is interesting that a simple request for a drink of water would cause the woman to steer the conversation into a discussion about ethnic/religious protocol and practice. But Yeshua ignored the statement and got to the meat of the matter. She needed to know who was asking and that he was capable of doing so much more for her. She just needed to slough off faulty “religious” doctrine and expand way her thinking. He asks the same of us.
Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.”
John 4:10 KJV
Theologian F.B. Meyer:
The living water is not a stagnant pond or well, but leaps up from a hidden spring. The woman keeps referring to the well, Jesus to the spring in the well. That alone can satisfy. Not the word, but the spirit in the word. Not the rite, but the grace it symbolized. You first drink for your own need, then you help meet the need of others.
Before many of us could truly understand the gift Yeshua was offering us, we had to want something more. Our spiritual thirst needed to be quenched. But first, our paradigm had to shift.
The woman said to Him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do you get that living water?
John 4:11 KJB
Again, this woman was applying logic to a situation that defied logic. (John 4:11-12) She was mired in carnal reasoning when something more was needed. She needed to understand what John the Immerser had alluded to in the previous chapter. The woman at the well needed to listen to Yeshua’s claims about himself and understand that because he was sent by the Father, then nothing was impossible for him. Remember, the living water is also symbolic of the resurrection that only our High Priest Yeshua can make happen.
The Woman Had To Confess Her Sin
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:9
The compassion Yeshua shows this woman is remarkable. The one who first came to seek and save those who are lost is put on display here. He didn’t wag his finger in her face to expose what he already knew about her. Yeshua orchestrated the conversation in a way that the woman felt safe enough to say out loud what had probably been a source of shame for many years, with many husbands.
Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You have well said, ‘I have no husband.’ “for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband: in that you spoke truly.”
A key aspect of our conversion experience rightly involves our confession of sin. Not being sorry for getting caught. But a soul-wrenching realization that we are not worthy of the mercy and grace given us. After confession, we commit to following our High Priest’s example of righteous living, knowing that he walks alongside us to guide us and bear our burdens.
Yeshua Went From Prophet to Savior
In the final phase of her awakening, this woman’s eyes are completely opened. The leap in her understanding of who she was speaking to at the well went from Prophet to Savior. It came in stages, which led to her fully grasping the concept of true worship. (John 4:19-26)
The woman evaded the sword thrust, but she realized that she was dealing with a master hand in the spiritual realm. Hence her question about worship. This led to one of the greatest sayings ever uttered on earth: that God is Spirit; that He is ever searching for true worshipers; and that He is indifferent to places and nationalities and method, that we cannot worship until we live in the spirit realm and are willing to conform ourselves absolutely to truth. These thoughts have revolutionized the religious thinking of mankind. They have not yet fulfilled their mission, but they bear witness to the unique supremacy of the Christ.
The Woman Shared Her Good News
Imagine the look on her face when she finally realized who she had been speaking with — the prophesied Messiah. More than that, this sinful woman was deemed worthy enough for Yeshua to interrupt his travel plans to meet with her and explain the way to Salvation. After all, by the (religious) world’s standards, she was not worth the time of day because she was female, a Samaritan, and an adulterer.
But we can all testify to the fact that Yeshua did the same for us.
But God proves His love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Therefore, since we have now been justified by His blood, how much more shall we be saved from wrath through Him! For if, when we were enemies of God, we were reconciled to Him through the death of His Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through His life! Not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
Romans 5:8-11 KJV
This woman’s life was completely resurrected because she was willing to set aside her preconceptions and beliefs about religion and herself. Once she fully grasped the magnitude of Yeshua’s identity, she dropped everything and ran to tell the men. There would be a ripple effect.
The woman then left her waterpot, went her way into the city, and said to the men, “Come, see a man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?”
John 4:29 KJV
Because it was the men who were responsible for their family’s spiritual guidance, the whole town would be impacted for good. The living water flowed from Messiah to the woman at the well, to the townspeople!
Then they went out of the city and came to him.
John 4:30 KJV
And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in him because of the word of the woman who testified, “He told me all that I did.” So when the Samaritans had come to him, they urged him to stay with them; and he stayed there two days. And many more believed because of his own word. Then they said to the woman, “Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is indeed the Christ, “the Savior of the world.”
John 4:39-42 KJV
To their credit, the men went to the source. They responded to the woman’s testimony but they took the next step. They searched the living Word to test whether what she said was indeed true.
We all know that this walk involves a lifetime of confession, worship, and obedience. “Once saved always saved” sounds nice, but it leads to complacency and puts us in spiritual jeopardy. Only those who endure to the end, and, by faith walk in obedience to Torah, will enter the Kingdom.
But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
Matthew 24:13 KJV
Remember, we first drink for our own needs, then we help meet the need of others.
Share Your Story
Do you see yourself in the conversation Yeshua had with the Samaritan woman? What happened after you believed unto eternal life? Please share your faith testimony with our community. We will post a testimony each month on the GWDF blog.
1 Based on John 4:15, some scholars believe that Sychar is actually the biblical city of Shechem (aka Tel Balata and Nablus, today). Sychar was located in the region of Samaria in the territory of Ephraim during Bible times. Sychar/Shechem/Nablus lies between the two famous mountains of Gerizim and Ebal.
Photo credit: “The Samaritan Woman at the Well”, by Vasily Polenov, circa 1900s
I have to confess up front that this side of eternity, I will probably never buy in to the belief that the day begins in the evening. I pretty much settled in on my position in 2017 after doing some research. However, I stumbled upon information recently that compelled me to write this article. Believe me, I am not trying to stir up contention among my brothers and sisters in the faith. What I am presenting here is an explanation based on research as to how I came to this conclusion. I invite your comments and am open to hearing your position on the matter if you disagree. Let’s dive in, shall we.
In The Beginning
The creation narrative begins with a chaotic earth immersed in darkness. Then Yahuah says, “Let there be light: and there was light.” Yah separated the light from darkness and told us that the light was a good thing.
And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Ruach Elohiym moved on upon the face of the waters. And Elohiym said, Let there be light: and there was light. And Elohiym saw the light, that it was good: And Elohiym divided the light from the darkness.
Genesis 1:2-4 Cepher
Why did Yah declare the light to be good? When trying to answer this question we have to go back to the Hebrew where the word translated as good is tov (טוב). The meaning implies that the light is functional. The word for light is or (אור). Or has several meanings, depending on the context. In this case it is associated with illumination.
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path..
The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death, a light has dawned.
The righteous and faithful Simeon, full of the Word, was enlightened. He had eyes that saw the promised Messiah. And because he understood prophecy, he could fully comprehend how Yeshua’s light would be able to save not just Hebrews but people of all nations.
For my eyes have seen Your salvation, which You have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to Your people Israel.
The word darkness (choshek) means obscurity, and figuratively misery, destruction, death, ignorance, sorrow, or wickedness. The primitive root of choshek is chashak which means to be or become dark, grow dim; to hide, conceal or obscure.
When Yeshua began his ministry in Galilee, he came face to face with people who were unable to fully understand Yah or His Kingdom. The message of the Gospel of the Kingdom was obscured or confused due to years of bad theology. This is why Yeshua’s teaching was so earth shattering. Through the Ruach Elohiym (Spirit of Elohim) Messiah brought illumination to their minds that enabled them to comprehend the fullness of the Gospel message.
When Yeshua heard that John had been imprisoned, he withdrew to Galilee. Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, which is by the sea in the region of Zebulun and Naptali, to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles — the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death, a light has dawned. From that time on Yeshua began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.”
Matthew 4: 12-17
When Does A Day Begin?
And Elohim called the light day, and the darkness He called night, and there was evening, and there was morning, day one.
Day. How can one three letter word imply so many meanings? If you searched the definition of this noun, here is a sampling of what the results will return:
the interval of light between two successive nights
the time between sunrise and sunset
the portion of a day allotted to work
the light of day; daylight
each of the 24 hour periods, reckoned from one midnight to the next, into which a week, month or year is divided [and corresponding to a rotation of the earth on its axis.1]
the time between sunrise and sunset
However, the consensus among modern definitions of the word “day” seems to be either —
a time existing between the rising and setting of the sun, or
a period of 24 hours corresponding to a single revolution of the sun around [the fixed, stationary] earth. 2
Most followers of rabbinical Judaism believe the day begins at night. Meir M. Ydit, writing for the Conservative Judaism Journal in 1981, asserts that the Jewish rendering of a day beginning in the evening is not based on Scripture, but on customs and historical changes.
In the Jewish tradition it is customary to count the day from the onset of night (i.e., the visibility of three stars in the sky) until after the sunset of the following day. Thus the halakhic ruling: Halailah nimshakh aharei hayom, the night follows (i.e., is part of the day which comes after it. This method of counting was based upon the language of the Bible in the creation story (Gen. 1) where it says several times “and it was evening, and it was morning, the first (second, third, etc.) day.” Because of the language of the Bible, in which the evening is antecedent to the morning, it was reasoned that in the counting of the unit “day” the evening is reckoned to belong to the day which comes after it. However, a more precise scrutiny of this test shows that the opposite is true…But we should know that this time-honored custom which we regard and accept as obligatory evolved gradually and is the result of historical changes.
The Counting of ‘Day’ and ‘Night’, by Meir M. Ydit, Conservative Judaism Journal, Vol. 35, No.1, Fall 1981, The Rabbinical Assembly,
So, What Does Scripture Say?
When Yah separated the light from the darkness, this action also divided “time” into day and night. Let’s examine the two foremost luminaries and understand their purpose and function.
Then Yahuah made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also.
How does Scripture define the term “day” from a traditional (non-Jewish) Hebraic perspective? To find out, we will go back to Genesis.
And Elohim called the light ‘day’ and the darkness He called ‘night.’ And there came to be evening and there came to be morning, one day.
New American Standard 1977 And God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.
It seems to me that Genesis 1:5 is saying the 24 hour period we generically refer to as a day consists of 4 parts: morning, day, evening and night. They are one unit. In my humble opinion, I do not believe the verse is saying that a day begins at night.
Morning = H1242 boker: dawn (as the break of day); generally morning: — day, day, early, morning, morrow
Day = H3117 yom: from an unused root meaning to be hot; a dry (as the warm hours),
Evening = H6153 erev: dusk — day, even, evening, evening tide, even tide, night. from H6150 arab, a primitive root; to grow dusky at sundown: — be darkened, evening, toward evening. H6151 arab, commingle: — mingle, mingle self, mix.
Night = H3915 layil: a twist (away of the light); i.e. night; figuratively adversity: — night, midnight, night season.
Here are a few Scripture verses that distinguish day from night.
2 Samuel 2:32
And they brought Ash’el and buried him in his father’s burial-site, which was in Beyth Lehem. and Yo’ab and his men went all night, and they came to Hebron at daybreak.
Exodus 18: 13,14
And it came to be, on the next day; that Mosheh sat to rightly rule the people. And the people stood before Mosheh from morning until evening.
…the Azzathites saying, “Shimshon has come here!” So they went round and lay in wait for him all night at the gate of the city, and kept silent all night, saying, “In the morning, when it is daylight, then we shall kill him”
And the man arose to go, he and his concubine and his servant. But his father-in-law, the young woman’s father said to him, “See, the day is now drawing toward evening. Please spend the night. See, the day is coming to an end. Stay here, and let your heart be glad. And you shall rise early tomorrow for your journey, and you shall go to your tent.”
But they pleaded with Him, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening and the day* is almost over.” So He went in to stay with them.
*2250. hémera — definition: day; usage: a day, the period from sunrise to sunset.
Clear as Night and Day
Based on my understanding and research, morning + day + evening + night = the four parts of one 24 hour day.
The disciples said to him, “Teacher, the Yahudim were seeking just now to stone you, and are you going there again?” Yeshua replied, Are there not twelve hours in the day. If anyone walks around in the daylight, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. But if anyone walks around in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.
John 11: 8-10
This statement by our Messiah is as clear as day.
For many years the tags “and there was evening, and there was morning, day X” threw me into a state of confusion. But when you add evening and morning, you have a 24 hour “day unit.” Thanks be to Elohim, that He is not the author of confusion, but clarity that comes by walking in the light of Torah.
It is my position that evening, by definition, concludes the day(time) hours and always follows a period of light. This means that “day” commenced first (following morning) and nighttime was preceded by evening — making a full 24 hour day. So, a day (governed by the greater light of the sun) cannot begin in the evening, when the day ends and the moon (the lesser light) takes over to rule the night.
When speaking of the Day of Yahuah, Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy told believers in Thessalonica:
You are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night nor of darkness.
If we are children of the light, why would our Father tell us to begin each day in darkness?
In his letter to believers in Colosse, the Apostle Paul implored believers there to walk in wisdom and redeem time.
Walk in wisdom toward those outside, redeeming the time.
What was Paul telling them, and why did he use the word redeem when referring to time?
One of the cornerstones of Kingdom living is understanding how to be good stewards of our time — our most precious commodity. Once it is gone, you can never get it back.
Most life coaches will tell you that the best way to harness the time we have on this earth is to develop routines or daily rituals. They say these habits will save time, and simplify your life. However, while saving time through daily rituals may be a worthwhile goal, believers in Messiah should also be primarily focused on redeeming time.
How You Redeem Time
If you take a closer look at the words time and redeem in the Hebrew and Greek you will discover something very interesting. The first time the word redeem appears in Scripture is in Exodus 6:6.
Therefore say to the children of Israel: I am Yahuah; I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, I will rescue you from their bondage, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments.
Redeem in the Hebrew is גאל (Strongs #H1350) which relates to the ancient near east concept of kinship; that is to be the next of kin, and as such, to buy back a relative’s property, marry his widow, etcetera. The Greek word is exagorazo (Strong’s G1805). It means to buy up or ransom or rescue from loss. It comes from the word agorzo (#G58/G59) which means to gather in the marketplace to purchase. It implies the purchase of something. It has little to do with measuring the flow of time.
When you put it all together, the verse could be telling us that there is a window of time to do something. It implies that the opportunity will not always be here. In an agricultural context the meaning becomes clear. There is an appointed time that the farmer has to harvest the crops before the entire field goes bad. What Paul is saying is that we live in evil, dark times. We have limited opportunities to do the good works Yahuah has called us to do. If we allow ourselves to get caught up in the busyness and troubles of each day, we will miss many opportunities to harvest souls for the Kingdom.
This is why establishing daily routines or rituals are important. These habits serve the purpose of putting us on auto pilot, so the routine things of living don’t devour our time.
When you choose to wake up at a set time each morning to study the Scriptures, it is part of the process of redeeming time. Maybe your ritual includes morning prayer or journaling while sipping a cup of coffee. Part of your daily routine can be devoted to exercising and planning healthy meals for your family.
When our days are organized, it frees us up for the important work of loving our neighbor and reaching out to the lost so they can experience the redemption Messiah paid for us on the tree.
Redeeming Time Will Cost You
The process of making the most of each day does not come easy. It requires introspection, prayer, wisdom and planning. When you have set goals for each day and routinely follow a plan, your life becomes less chaotic. Therefore, when you encounter crisis situations, they will be easier to navigate because of the good habits you have already cultivated. You will be able to see the opportunities for ministry Yahuah has set before you. It will be easier to discern the voice of the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spiirt) telling you to “go there” or “speak to that person.”
Are you willing to pay the price to redeem the time so that others can be set free?
When you get to the end of the book of Acts you may notice something peculiar. Unlike most of the other epistles included in the New Testament (other than James and 3 John) Acts does not end with the customary “amen.” Chapter 28’s rather abrupt conclusion to the story of the beginnings of the early church has led to speculation that the book of Acts is missing a final chapter. This is an important observation since Paul was chosen by Yeshua to be the Apostle to the nations (Gentiles).
But rise and stand on your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to make you a minister and a witness both of the things which you have seen and of the things which I will yet reveal to you. ‘I will deliver you from the people, as well as the nations, to whom I send you, to open their eyes, to turn them from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to Elohim, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’
Although Paul immediately answered the call to proclaim the Gospel of the Kingdom, he was constantly being thwarted in his efforts by a certain sect of the Pharisees. The religious leaders who crucified the Messiah were determined to kill him.
“Therefore, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, but declared first to those in Damascus and in Jerusalem, and throughout all the region of Judea, and to the nations, that they should repent, turn to Elohim, and do works befitting repentance. For these reasons the Yahudiym seized me in the Temple and tried to kill me.”
Many of us were led to believe that Acts 28 was the beginning of the end for Paul while under Roman house arrest. We were left with the impression that Paul was immediately beheaded in Rome. But was this the case? According to Dr. Ralph F. Wilson:
Presumably Paul would have had a hearing before Caesar (Acts 27:24) at the end of this period. The possible results might be: (1) conviction and execution, (2) conviction and much stricter confinement, (3) exile from Rome, or (4) Paul’s accusers don’t appear and his case is dismissed. Perhaps the significance of the “two years” of Acts 28:30 is that it is the statutory time that Paul’s accusers have to bring their case before the emperor before the case is dismissed. We’re not sure. At any rate, there seems to be a firm Christian tradition that Paul was released for a time before his final execution.
Dr. Ralph F. Wilson, Doctor of Ministry & Master of Divinity, Fuller Theological Seminary
As usual, do your own research. I have posted the text of Acts 29, better known as the “Long Lost Chapter of the Acts of the Apostles” for your convenience. It picks up where Acts 28:31 ends. Or, you can watch the video which features a voiceover narration with images.
1 And Paul, full of the blessings of Christ, and abounding in the spirit, departed out of Rome, determined to go into Spain, for he had a long time proposed to journey thither ward, and was minded also to go from thence to Britain.
2 For he had heard in Phoenicia that certain of the children of Israel, about the time of the Assyrian captivity, had escaped by sea to “The Isles afar off” as spoken by the Prophet Esdras, and called by the Romans – Britain.
3 And the Lord commanded the gospel to be preached far hence to the Gentiles, and to the lost sheep of the House of Israel.
4 And no man hindered Paul; for he testified boldly of Jesus before the tribunes and among the people; and he took with him certain of the brethren which abode with him at Rome, and they took shipping at Ostrium and having the winds fair, were brought safely into a haven of Spain.
5 And many people were gathered together from the towns and villages, and the hill country; for they had heard of the conversion to the Apostles, and the many miracles which he had wrought.
6 And Paul preached mightily in Spain, and great multitudes believed and were converted, for they perceived he was an apostle sent from God.
7 And they departed out of Spain, and Paul and his company finding a ship in Armorica sailing unto Britain, they were therein, and passing along the south Coast, they reached a port called Raphinus.
8 Now when it was voiced abroad that the Apostle had landed on their coast, great multitudes of the inhabitants met him, and they treated Paul courteously and he entered in at the east gate of their city, and lodged in the house of an Hebrew and one of his own nation.
9 And on the morrow he came and stood upon Mount Lud and the people thronged at the gate, and assembled in the Broadway, and he preached Christ unto them, and they believed the Word and the testimony of Jesus.
10 And at even the Holy Ghost fell upon Paul, and he prophesied, saying, Behold in the last days the God of Peace shall dwell in the cities, and the inhabitants thereof shall be numbered: and in the seventh numbering of the people, their eyes shall be opened, and the glory of their inheritance shine forth before them. The nations shall come up to worship on the mount the testifieth of the patience and long suffering of a servant of the Lord.
11 And in the latter days new tidings of the Gospel shall issue forth out of Jerusalem, and the hearts of the people shall rejoice, and behold, fountains shall be opened, and there shall be no more plague.
12 In those days there shall be wars and rumors of war; and a king shall rise up, and his sword, shall be for the healing of the nations, and his peacemaking shall abide, and the glory of his kingdom a wonder among princes.
13 And it came to pass that certain of the Druids came unto Paul privately, and showed by their rites and ceremonies they were descended from the Jews which escaped from bondage in the land of Egypt, and the apostle believed these things, and he gave them the kiss of peace.
14 And Paul abode in his lodgings three months confirming in the faith and preaching Christ continually.
15 And after these things Paul and his brethren departed from Raphinus and sailed unto Atium in Gaul.
16 And Paul preached in the Roman garrison and among the people, exhorting all men to repent and confess their sins.
17 And there came to him certain of the Belgae to inquire of him of the new doctrine, and of the man Jesus; And Paul opened his heart unto them and told them all things that had befallen him, howbeit, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; and they departed pondering among themselves upon the things which they had heard.
18 And after much preaching and toil, Paul and his fellow laborers passed into Helvetia, and came to Mount Pontius Pilate, where he who condemned the Lord Jesus dashed himself down headlong, and so miserably perished.
19 Immediately a torrent gushed out of the mountain and washed his body, broken in pieces, into a lake.
20 And Paul stretched forth his hands upon the water, and prayed unto the Lord, saying O Lord God, give a sign unto all nations that here Pontius Pilate, who condemned thine only-begotten son, plunged down headlong into the pit.
21 And while Paul was yet speaking, behold, there came a great earthquake, and the face of the waters was changed, and the form of the lake like unto the Son of Man hanging in an agony upon the Cross.
22 And a voice came out of heaven saying, Even Pilate hath escaped the wrath to come for he washed his hands before the multitude at the blood-shedding of the Lord Jesus
23 When, therefore, Paul and those that were with him saw the earthquake, and heard the voice of the angel, they glorified God, they were mightily strengthened in the spirit.
24 And they journeyed and came to Mount Julius where stood two pillars, one on the right hand and one on the left hand, erected by Caesar Augustus.
25 And Paul, filled with the Holy Ghost, stood up between the two pillars, saying, Men and brethren these stones which ye see this day shall testify of my journey hence; and verily I say, they shall remain until the outpouring of the spirit upon all nations, neither shall the way be hindered throughout all generations.
26 And they went forth and came unto Illtricum, intending to go by Macedonia into Asia, and grace was found in all the churches, and they prospered and had peace. Amen.1
1 This version of Acts 29 was reproduced from a work known as the “Long Lost Chapter of the Acts of the Apostles.” Also referred to as the Sonnini Manuscript, it is named for C. S. Sonnini, who translated the document from the original Greek manuscript found in the archives at Constantinople (presented to him by the Sultan Abdoul Achmet). You will have to do your own research and draw your own conclusions as to the authenticity of this chapter addition to the Book of Acts. Here are links to two articles for your convenience: The Sonnini Manuscript (from The Saxon Messenger) and The Lost Chapter of Acts of the Apostles (from Torah Truth Seeker).
~ It is widely believed that 2 Timothy was Paul’s final letter written prior to his execution while held in Mamertine Prison in Rome. Tradition holds that Paul was beheaded by Nero.
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