Acts 8

Acts 8: Holy Ghost by Laying on of hands

After Stephen had been stoned to death, a great persecution against the church went throughout Jerusalem. A man named Saul came forth making “…havock of the church…” (Acts 8:3) by throwing believers in jail. Because of this great persecution Phillip had to scatter the believers abroad so that the church and the Gospel of Jesus Christ could be preserved. Phillip was successful in teaching the Gospel to the Samaritans, and even converted a man named Simon.

Simon was a man who used sorcery and witchcraft and claimed to have great power, however, after watching the great miracles of Phillip, the Samaritans said; “…This man [Phillip] is the great power of God.” (Acts 8:10) Simon also believed that Phillip had power from God and was baptized like most of the Samaritans. After hearing that Samaria had received the word of God, Peter and John came down from Jerusalem to give them the Gift of the Holy Ghost.

Baptism and the Holy Ghost

Why did the Apostles Peter and John come down to give the Samaritans the Holy Ghost? We read that the Holy Ghost had yet to fall upon any “…of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)” (Acts 8:16) This is something very important to know about Baptism and the Gift of the Holy Ghost: First the believers had to have Faith in Jesus Christ, Second they had to Repent of their wrong-doings and organize their lives in a manner in which they could live by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Third they had to be Baptized by the Power and Authority of Jesus Christ. Fourth, after having received a Baptism by the proper Authority, they could be given the Gift of the Holy Ghost, by the laying on of hands by someone who also has the Authority to do so.

  1. Faith in Jesus Christ
  2. Repentance
  3. Baptism by Immersion with the Proper Authority from Jesus Christ
  4. The Gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands, with the Proper Authority from Jesus Christ
  5. Enduring to the end, and continuing to live the Gospel, commandments and Repenting if necessary.

Peter and John arrived in Samaria where they gave the Gift of the Holy Ghost to the recent converts of the Church, they did this by laying “…their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.” (Acts 8:17) When Simon saw that they had this great power to give the Gift of the Holy Ghost, “…he offered them money, Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.” (Acts 8:18-19) Clearly, but unknown to Simon, the powers and authorities given from God cannot be bought nor sold for money. Peter responded to Simon by saying; “…Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast though that the gift of God may be purchased with money.” (Acts 8:20)

After Phillip had finished “correcting” Simon, he travels over to Jerusalem where he is told to go down to the desert of Gaza to meet an eunuch who had great Authority under the Queen of Ethiopia, Candace. This eunuch sat in a chariot reading the Book of Esaias [Isaiah] the Prophet; Phillip asked the man if he understood what he read, and the man deserved for him to teach from the book ,and read: “…He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth:” (Acts 8:32) The man desired to know more of this prophet, so Phillip taught him of Jesus Christ. Along their journey the man points to a body of water and ask Phillip to be baptized, Phillip tells him that there is one major qualification to getting baptized, and that is: “…If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest…” (Acts 8:37) The man tells Phillip that he does believe and “…they went down both into the water… and he baptized him. And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Phillip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.” (Acts 8:38-39)

Notice how they BOTH went down INTO the water? Notice also, that they came OUT of the Water? What does that mean? It means that the man had to be baptized with the Authority (which Phillip had) and the man had to be baptized like Jesus Christ was baptized… by immersion! (See Matthew 3:15-16)

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Acts 6

Acts 6: The Apostles Chose 7 Others

                The number of disciples of the Lord (followers of Christ) multiplied and as the Church grew, some complained that the distributions [the money and goods] were not being handled properly. So Peter and John ask the disciples to give them some names of good men, honest men who they could call and appoint over that duty, so that they might go on teaching about Jesus Christ and Administering in His Church.

                Peter and John call; Stephen, Phillip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas and Nicolas to have the delegation of duties regarding the distribution of the wealth of the Church. These men were set before the Apostles “…and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them.” (Acts 6:6) Here we see that the Power and Authority was given to these men in the same manner that Peter and John had received their Authority from Jesus Christ, meaning that the Authority must come in this manner.

                From this point on… the Church grew and multiplied in Jerusalem. Stephen did man miracles and even preached the Gospel. However, a group called the ‘Libertines’ [Freed-Men] sought to destroy Stephen, because they believe he spoke blasphemies against Moses and against God, because they did not believe in Jesus Christ. The group “…set up false witnesses. Which said, This man ceaseth not to speak blasphemous words against this holy place, and the law:” (Acts 6:13) The council that was over seeing this “trial” could only see Stephen as an angel. Essentially the council could not see the evil that he supposedly had in him. 

Acts 4

Acts 4: Peter and John are Arrested

                As Peter and John were teaching the people from the previous chapter, the Sadducees came upon them and laid their hands on them, arresting them. The next day they were put before a tribunal court with Annas, the high priest, Caiaphas, John and Alexander and many other leaders to question Peter and John, they asked; “…By what power, or by what name, have ye done this?” (Acts 4:7)

Peter, being filled with the Holy Ghost, responded; “…Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel, If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole, Be it known to you all, and to all people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.” (Acts 3:8-10) Peter made it very clear that the power or authority, by which they used to heal the man, was from Jesus Christ.

Peter continues; “This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is no other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

                Peter lays it down as clear as can be; Peter did not heal the man with his own power. No, he healed the man through the power that Jesus Christ had given him. Jesus Christ is the head of the Church and only through Him can someone be saved! The counsel marveled at the boldness presented by Peter and John, because they could see that both of them were very humble men that were “…unlearned and ignorant…” (Acts 4:13), yet they marveled that they could indeed speak with such boldness and authority. They wondered what they should do, even asking themselves; “…What shall we do to these men? For that indeed a notable miracle hath been done by them…” (Acts 4:16)

                The counsel was concerned because some of the people who had seen the miracle believed on Jesus Christ, so instead the counsel threatens Peter and John to no longer talk; “…let us straitly threaten them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this name.” (Acts 4:17) But Peter quickly responds in a way that only an Apostle of the Lord would respond; “…Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” (Acts 4:19-20) After hearing these words and threatening them further the counsel had no choice to let them go, for they had no case and they feared a backlash from the believers.

After being released, Peter and John offer a prayer to God and ask Him to “…Grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word.” (Acts 4:29) After finishing their prayer the ground shook beneath them and the people there were touched by the Holy Ghost and were assembled as one heart and soul. The people departed of their worldly goods and set them at the feet of the Apostles to help those in need.

Acts 2

Acts 2: The Gift of Tongues

                On the day of the Pentecost many people gathered together in one place. During this meeting “…there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as fire, and it sat upon each of them.” (Acts 2:2-3) So, we are told that the Holy Ghost came down and put on them the ability to speak in tongues. So what exactly does it mean to speak in tongues? We continue to read; “…they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Acts 2:4) Some believe today that speaking in tongues means that the Spirit of God comes down and causes you to lose control of your physical body and spew nonsense that only the Spirit can understand. Is this speaking in “tongues”? No. We continue to read; “…every man heard them speak in his own language.” (Acts 2:6) So what does it mean to speak in tongues? To literally speak in other languages, for example in Spanish you would say “lenguas” for languages, but “lenguas” also translates as “tongues”.

However, some gathered believe that those speaking in tongues are only drunk, why? Because they don’t believe that God can give someone the power to communicate in other languages. I personally can say that the Gift of Tongues is real, I served as a Missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and found that I could learn Spanish a lot faster than if I were to try on my own. The Prophet Joel spoke to the unbelievers; “And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.” (Acts 2:17) Joel brought up a good point, God has the power to do anything, including giving the Gift of Tongues or causing someone to have a vision. Joel prophesies of the coming doom in the last days and encourages those that are gathered (and more importantly those living in the Last Days) to “…that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Acts 2:21) Does this mean that to be saved, all we have to do is accept Christ in our lives? No. If we go back and read in Matthew, Jesus taught; “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 7:21) So, accepting Christ in our lives is only the first step, Salvation was never easy… but yet again it wasn’t easy for Christ to die for all of our Sins, the least we can do is follow His commandments.

Joel explains that Jesus was take and tried by wicked men to be beaten, and die on the Cross with no crime. The Apostles that Jesus had called recount what Joel had prophesied in days of old. The Apostles continue to teach those gathered about Jesus and their message “…pricked in their heart…” (Acts 2:37) so much so, that they turned to Peter and asked how they might return to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and he responded to those gathered; “…Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” (Acts 2:38)

The people did as the Apostles had directed them and many were baptized and did receive the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands, by the Authority given to the Apostles. Many departed of their belongings and gave to those in need and “Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” (Acts 2:47)

John 5

John 5: Salvation of the Dead

                After the feast of the Jews, Jesus left to Jerusalem. While in Jerusalem, Jesus stopped at a ‘sheep market pool’, which was called Bethesda. This pool had many lined up to be healed, but only for a short period after the waters were troubled could anyone be healed. A certain man, who had an infirmity for 38 years couldn’t walk and it made it difficult for him to jump into the water. The man asks for Jesus to help him into the water; however Jesus decides to just heal the man.

Jesus said unto him; “…Rise, take up thy bed and walk.” (John 5:8) and immediately the man was cured and took his bed and ran off. Soon after, a Jew spotted the man carrying his bed and was told him; “…It is the sabbath day: it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed.” (John 5:10) The man responded that he was cured by a man, and that man told him to take his bed and walk.

The Jews find out that it was Jesus who had been healing people on the Sabbath day, and begin to persecute Him. But Jesus responds to them; “…My father worketh hitherto, and I work.” (John 5:17) But this only angered the Jews more, because Jesus had said His Father, was God! Jesus tells them; “…The son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.” (John 5:19) Jesus goes on to explain that the Son does the will of the Father, but that the “…Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son.” (John 5:22) Everyone should honor both the Son [Jesus Christ] and the Father [God], for not honoring one, you dishonor the other. For God has given His Son power and authority (see John 5:27).

Jesus teaches about Baptisms for the dead; “…for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.” (John 5:28-29) In modern day LDS temples, baptisms for the dead are performed so that those who did not have a baptism by the proper authority in this life can be baptized by proxy. Meaning, someone else is baptized in place of the deceased. Because without baptism, no one can enter into the kingdom of heaven. Therefore it is necessary that someone acting on their behalf is baptized in the flesh so that they can receive the baptism and the saving ordinances that come with it, while still in the Spirit. Later in the New Testament Peter also teaches about this; “…for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.” (1 Peter 4:6)

Jesus explains that in the judgment day, He will be the one doing the judging; “…as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.” (John 5:30)

                Jesus tells the Jews, that they received Moses and he came in the form of Moses. Jesus, being the Son of God comes in the form of the Son, and is rejected. Essentially Jesus is telling them; If you do not believe the Son, you do not believe in God. Moses wrote of Jesus, and rejects those who reject Jesus. Yet the Jews were so fond of Moses, yet not fond of Jesus.

Jesus ends with this wisdom; “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” (John 5:39)

John 3

John 3: Jesus Christ

                Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews and a Pharisee came to Jesus by night to tell Him that He came from God. Jesus tells Nicodemus that “…Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3) Nicodemus, being puzzled, asks Jesus; “…How can a man be born again when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?” (John 3:4) Jesus responds; “…Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” (John 3:5)

                Even after Jesus had explained what being born again meant, Nicodemus was still puzzled at how this could be possible. Jesus tells him that if He were to tell him of earthly things, he would not believe, so Jesus asks him; “…how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?” (John 3:12) Jesus goes on to explain that God has a plan and anyone who follows that plan can obtain Eternal Life; “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” (John3:16-17)

After declaring these things, Jesus left with His Apostles to the land of Judaea, where they were baptizing. John was also baptizing in Enon, near Salim; “…because there was much water there…” (John 3:23) During the baptizing, a question arose between the Apostles and the Jews regarding purification during baptism. John tells them; “…A man can receive nothing, except it be given from heaven.” (John 3:27)

So, two things are taught about baptism; one you must have a lot of water, meaning you have to be baptized by immersion. Second, you must have the Authority from God to do the baptism. You cannot receive anything from man, except it be given from heaven first.

Mark 13

Mark 13: Signs of the Second Coming

                Jesus speaks to His Apostles on the Mount of Olives, He explains that the great buildings of Jerusalem; “… shall not be one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” (Mark 13:2) Peter, James, John and Andrew ask Jesus in private what He meant by this?

Jesus explains to them that there shall come a time; “…when ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars, be ye not troubled: for such things must needs be; but the end shall not be yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be famines and troubles: these are the beginnings of sorrows.” (Mark 13:7-8) Jesus goes on to explain that those who follow Him, especially His Apostles, would be brought before rulers, kings and tribunals to testify against them. But, the Gospel of Jesus Christ will continue to spread throughout the world, and published among all nations!

Jesus tells His Apostles; “…ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” (Mark 13:13) Jesus explains the end of the world as spoken of by Daniel, the prophet.

“…let him that is on the housetop not go down into the house.” (Mark 13:15) – Because of Flooding?

The world will experience darkness as the sun will stop giving light, the stars shall fall from the heavens and the powers in heaven will be shaken. After all this is done, the world will see the Second Coming of Jesus Christ

Jesus reminds His Apostles that they should not worry, for these things will just have to happen. But that they shouldn’t worry about when it will come; “…of that day and that hour no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.” (Mark 13:32-33)

Jesus explains that the Son of Man  [Jesus Christ] is as a “…man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants…” (Mark 13:34) Essentially Jesus is saying that He must soon depart, but He has left His Authority with His Apostles and from there they will have to carry about the work, but that He would one day return for the Second time.

Matthew 21

Matthew 21:

Cleaning the Temple

                  Jesus commands two of His Apostles to go to a village, where they would find an ass and a colt tied. He commanded them to loose both of them and bring them back to Him. Jesus tells that that if anyone tries to stop them from taking the ass and the colt, that they are to say that it is for the Lord. This would fulfill a prophecy that a “…King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass.” (Matthew 21:5) Jesus then got on the ass and rode into Jerusalem and everyone on the way asked who this man was; “…This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.” (Matthew 21:11) Upon arriving at Jerusalem, Jesus went into the temple and “…overthrew the tables of the money changers, and the seats of them that sold doves, And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called a house of prayer; but ye have made it into a den of thieves.” (Matthew 21:12-13) This shows that Jesus did not want moneychangers in the house of His father. This is important because it shows that churches should not be built for gain. If they are built for gain, then they become dens of thieves and are not houses of prayer. This is also interesting to see that Jesus does in fact have human characteristics and can be angered or upset.

While in the temple, after over turning tables, Jesus healed many people. After healing, Jesus left to Bethany, where he lodged. The next morning Jesus was hungered and went out to a fig tree, where the branches yielded no fruit, so Jesus essentially cursed the tree so it would never grow anything again, after it had withered the Apostles were shocked of His power. Jesus reminds them that with faith, they can move mountains. He also explains that “…all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing ye shall receive.” (Matthew 21:22)

                  Jesus returns to the temple and while their, some of the chief priests ask Jesus by what Authority does He perform His miracles. Jesus asks them; “…I also will ask you one thing, which if ye tell me, I in like wise will tell you by what authority I do these things. The baptism of John whence was it? From heaven or of men?” (Matthew 21:24-25) The chief priests are a little baffled, because if they say from heaven, then Jesus would ask them why they didn’t believe in His authority. But if they say by men, then they would fear the people, because the people believed that John was a prophet. So they answered Jesus by telling Him that they could not tell. So Jesus responds; “…Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things.” (Matthew 21:27) This shows that Authority is important to have, Jesus had the proper authority from His Father, but He had nothing to prove and did not have to tell those questioning Him, by where He received His Authority.

Jesus then explains the Parable of the Wicked Husbandmen:

There was a man who planted a vineyard and dug a wine press around it, and built a tower. This man left his home and went into the far country. When the fruit became ready for harvest he sent some servants to the husbandmen (who were taking care of the house) so that they could harvest the fields. The husbandmen took the servants, beat one, killed another and stoned the last one. So the man of the field sent more servants and the husbandmen did likewise to these new servants.

Finally the man sent his son, whom he thought wouldn’t be killed by the husbandmen. When the son arrived the husbandmen said among themselves; “…This is the heir; come let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance.” (Matthew 21:38) The man who owns the farm is represented of as God the Father, who sent servants (Prophets) to collect the harvest in the land (the earth), but the husbandmen (the people of the world) rejected the servants and killed them. So finally God the Father sent His Son, whom the people also rejected and killed

Jesus asks those gathered; when the man of the field (the Lord of the field) comes back, what do you think he will do to the husbandmen? “…He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits of the season.” (Matthew 21:41)

                  Jesus is the stone that the builders rejected, but He has become the head of the corner. Jesus tells them; “…The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.” (Matthew 21:43-44)

                  Jesus was explaining that because of His own rejection, that one day the Gospel would be restored and given to a new people. The Gospel of Jesus Christ was restored in the early 1800’s in the newly formed United States of America. This church, the church Jesus Christ himself restored is the ‘Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’. This had to be done, because as Isaiah pointed out; “The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.” (Isaiah 24:5) The gospel of Jesus Christ over the years was changed and distorted, thus the need for a Restoration and Another Testament of Jesus Christ; The Book of Mormon (which was written in Ancient America at the same time the Bible was being written in the old world.)

Matthew 10

Matthew 10:

12 Apostles – Authority from Jesus Christ 

Jesus calls Twelve Apostles; Simon, Peter, Andrew, James, John, Phillip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew, James, Simon, Judas Iscariot. He “…gave them power…” (Matthew 10:1), or in other words Jesus gave the twelve Apostles “Authority” to act in His name. Therefore YOU need Authority to be an Apostle of the Lord.

“These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” (Matthew 10:5-6)

Jesus commanded the twelve to go among the lost sheep that they might be brought back into the fold. Jesus commanded them to; “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils; freely ye have received, freely give.” (Matthew 10:8)

Jesus also reminds them that they have no need for money, for they would be provided for in the service of the Lord. He tells them to “…enquire who in it [the city] is worthy…” (Matthew 10:11) and that any house which rejects them to “…shake off the dust of your feet.” (Matthew 10:14), essentially leaving behind no blessing on the house.

Jesus reminds the Apostles, that as missionaries they need to move forth as sheep amongst wolves, wise as a serpent, and harmless as a dove. Missionaries need to always be cautious and wise, yet caring and harmless. Jesus tells them that many will reject them, and if that be the case to not worry about what to respond with, “…for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.” (Matthew 10:19) Sadly, those who follow Jesus and His gospel will be persecuted, Jesus said; “And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved” (Matthew 10:22)

We are reminded of the importance of REVELATION, when Jesus said; “…for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hi, that shall not be known.” (Matthew 10:26) Everything that we don’t understand will someday come to light and we will understand. Revelation is not dead, and the prophets continue to give us revelation in these Latter-days!

Jesus tells His Apostles that no one should love anyone or anything more than God, for “He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.” (Matthew 10:39)

Matthew 8

Matthew 8:

Jesus Heals a Leper 

                Jesus ends his Sermon, and begins to come down off the mountain when a leper approaches him and asks him; “…Lord, if thou wilt, canst thou make me clean.” (Matthew 8:2)

Jesus then puts forth his hand and made him clean. Jesus tells the man to depart to a priest and cleanse himself according to the Law of Moses. Jesus then goes to Capernaum and while there is asked to heal a man suffering from Palsy. The man explains that his servant is ill, but that he is not worthy for the Lord to enter into his house to heal the man. Instead, the man asks Jesus to heal him from a distance, and remarkably Jesus agrees, even stating that the man had more faith than most. Jesus tells the man; “…Go thy way; and as thou has believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour.” (Matthew 7:13) One thing that we can learn from this experience, is that we need faith to be healed.

While speaking to the man, Jesus also mentions part of the Plan of Salvation. He speaks of the lowest level, or “hell” as “…outer darkness…” where there shall be “…weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matthew 7:12)

                Jesus then continues on to heal and cast out evil spirits. Jesus even healed Peter (the apostle) mother in law. This is very interesting because it proves that Apostles were allowed to marry.

“…Jesus was come into Peter’s house, he saw his wife’s mother laid, and sick of fever.” (Matthew 7:14)

                Jesus, presumably near the docks, is told by a scribe; “…Master, I will follow thee withersoever thou goest… suffer me first to go and bury my father.” (Matthew 7:19,21) We can assume that this scribe had just lost his father, and wished to join Jesus before he left the area. However he asks Jesus to give him enough time to bury his father before following him. Jesus answers him in a very interesting way; “…Follow me; and let the dead bury the dead.” (Matthew 7:22) I don’t believe that Jesus was being insensitive; rather he was expressing how important missionary work is. Jesus essentially told the man that if he wished to follow him, he needed to do it NOW, and not wait.

Jesus then gets on ship with his disciples and sails out into the waters. While in the water, a storm arises and causes the ship to be shaken and covered with waves. The disciples/apostles get nervous and worry that they might perish. During this event, Jesus was fast asleep, so out of desperation and panic the men awake Jesus; “…Lord, save us: we perish.” (Matthew 7:25) Jesus then turns to them and says; “…Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.” (Matthew 7:26)

                In shock and awe, as if the apostles and disciples had not seen enough miracles of Jesus healing the sick and casting out devils, the men on the ship question what they just saw… “…What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!” (Matthew 7:27)

                Jesus and his disciples arrive on the other side of the country in Gergesenes, where they meet two men possessed of devils. The devils cry out to Jesus and ask Him, if He was there to torment them. Notice how the evil, fears Jesus? The evil spirits knew that Jesus would cast them out of their human host, and in desperation of having a body, the evil spirits ask Jesus to allow them to possess a group of pigs. Jesus allows this and after leaving their human host, they possess a herd of swine. After they were in their new host, the “…whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea and perished in the waters.” (Matthew 7:32)

One thing that we can learn from this is that evil spirits EXIST. They are capable of possession, but only if we allow them into our bodies. Jesus had the power to cast them out of their human host and into a pig. The evil spirits are so jealous that they will never receive a human body, that they are desperate enough to possess a pig! Although shortly after entering the pig, and realizing that it is not the same as having a human body, they commit suicide by running over a cliff to their death.

I find this to be a wonderful, short film that helps us to understand the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. It is not a full account. but a short and condensed version for those who wish not to read, or would like something to supplement their reading…