A Ghost Story- An article by Bro Rick Flores

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“This article was published by Bro Rick Flores, creator of the Back on Track Bible Studies. This article was published with permission by Bro Flores…” –Joshua L. McElhaney

A Ghost Story – Solving the Mystery of Who Jesus is

www.backontrackbiblestudies.com

There is a ghost spoken of in the bible that has intrigued people for thousands of years. The bible calls it The Holy Ghost. When I believed in The Trinity (Three persons in the Godhead), The Holy Ghost was always the most mysterious person of the three. I just couldn’t figure him out. I couldn’t figure out his relationship to the Father and the Son, I couldn’t figure out why he remained nameless. As far as I was concerned, it was an unsolved mystery. When the Lord opened my understanding to the revelation of God in Christ, I saw The Holy Ghost for the first time for who He really was.

The words, “Ghost” and “Spirit” are interchangeable in the bible. They are also interchangeable in our dictionaries. The word, “Ghost”, in most dictionaries, refers to “the spirit of a dead person, or a departed one”. Interestingly enough, Jesus had told his disciples about a Ghost that would come into the world – after He had departed from them. John 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you…

John confirmed that the Holy Ghost could not come until Jesus had departed and been glorified: John 7: 37-39 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

Did you ever notice that when Jesus died, the bible says He “gave up the ghost”?
Interesting…. Mark 15:37 And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost.

While He was with His disciples, He WAS their comfort and shield, but He knew He had to die for our sins, and thereby physically depart from the world. But He promises “another Comforter”, not another person – but another comforter, or a comforter of another form. Adding to this, He told them that they ALREADY KNEW this “comforter” that was to come. He told them that the comforter already dwelt WITH them, but was going to be IN them. Take a look: John 14: 16, 17 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; FOR HE DWELLETH WITH YOU, and SHALL BE IN YOU.

Who did they know? Who already dwelt with them? If there is still any doubt as to whom Jesus is referring to, check out what He had to say: John 14:18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.

Wow! The Holy Ghost is none other than Jesus coming to abide with us in Spirit! This is how Jesus puts it: John 14:26–28 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send IN MY NAME, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and COME AGAIN UNTO YOU.

As a matter of fact, in John 14, Jesus reveals to His disciples that He is both Father and Holy Ghost. Father in visible manifestation (John 14:9), and Holy Ghost as the one who will come and dwell with them (John 14:16–18). Have you ever wondered how you can have the power to overcome sin and really make an impact for God? When we receive Jesus, we receive power. How do we receive Jesus, if not in Spirit? And how do we receive power, if not by The Holy Ghost? Check out these two passages:

John 1:12 But as many as received him, TO THEM GAVE HE POWER to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. (Verse 13 makes it clear: they were not born of the flesh; they were born of the Spirit of God)

Acts 1:8 But YE SHALL RECEIVE POWER, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

And here is the link to these two verses; this might just make you shout: It is Jesus Christ Himself who baptizes us with The Holy Ghost! Do you recall what John the Baptist declared? Mark 1: 8 I indeed have baptized you with water: but HE SHALL BAPTIZE YOU with the Holy Ghost.

When we are baptized into Christ, we are promised to “put on Christ”, or receive the Spirit of Christ: Galatians 3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

And when you put on Christ, you receive the power of The Holy Spirit over the lusts of the flesh: Romans 13:14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

This is not a denominational lesson; it is a bible lesson. You must have the Spirit of Christ to be saved: Romans 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST, he is none of his.

If you will ask, Jesus Christ Himself will come to you: Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

And how will He come to you unless it’s in Spirit? There is nothing to be afraid of in this ghost story. What once was a mystery to me has now been solved: Colossians 1:27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is CHRIST IN YOU, the hope of glory:

Who has promised to dwell in us? Who has promised to be with us always until the end? Who said he would comfort us? Who is this Spirit that baptizes and empowers us? 2 Corinthians 3:17 Now THE LORD IS THAT SPIRIT: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

This is why it is so important to be baptized in the singular name of Jesus Christ; for when you take on HIS NAME, He rewards you by baptizing you with HIS SPIRIT. (See Acts 2:38; John 3:5; 14:18; Romans 8:9)

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The Second Miracle

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the second miracle

Miracles are fascinating wonders! Miracles were the credentials of our savior Jesus Christ. We are introduced to the purpose of these miracles in John’s gospel, as he methodically positions each miracle to teach his audience a revelation of who Jesus was. As John begins writing to his audience, he introduces us to Jesus’ miraculous power in the second chapter of John as Jesus and His disciples are attending a wedding in Cana. At best, we can assume that this wedding was for a relative of Mary, and we can also assume based on the text that Mary was in charge of the kitchen. And as the servants rush to serve the guests, suddenly a startling reality was discovered! They ran out of wine.

So Mary turns to the servants of the wedding, and she looks over at Jesus and says, “Whatever He says to do, do it!” Now understand, we have the luxury of hindsight and the luxury of understanding exactly who Jesus is, these servants did not! They had no idea who He was except that He was Mary’s son. And so when Jesus told them to take the water pots that were used for the purifying of the Jews, or more accurately the basins of water that were used to wash the feet of the guests, these servants had to be terrified.

Now, I don’t believe that these servants acted in faith. In fact I’m almost sure of it. Because when they carried the water out to serve it to the governor of the feast, it was still slimy, dirty, nasty foot water! Yet, when Mary left Jesus in charge, Jesus became their boss! And so even though they didn’t believe the water would be wine, they acted in obedience to His words!

There is something powerful about obedience! There’s something incredible about just doing what God says to do. Even when it doesn’t make sense, and even when it feels pointless, because God always responds to obedience! 

When the servants just followed His words, the miraculous happened! Isn’t it amazing when what happens when we just follow the word? Isn’t incredible when we just do what God says to do! Sometimes we just need to stop trying to justify our “belief” systems and we just need to walk in obedience to His word!

  • Except a man be born again of the water and of the spirit, he cannot enter nor see the kingdom of God! (John 3:5)
  • He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved! (Mark 16:16)
  • Neither is there salvation in any other, for there is none other name, under heaven, given among men, whereby we must be saved! (Acts 4:12)
  • Have you received the Holy Ghost since you believed? (Acts 19:12)
  • Repent and be baptized, every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost! (Acts 2:38)
  • And ye shall have power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you! (Acts 1:8)

There’s power when you just obey the word!

The Bible says that this was the beginning, or first, of miracles and that the disciples believed on Him. This miracle was about transformation! This is what God wants to do in the life of every believer, transform you into something great! But when you move through John’s gospel and come to John 4 you see another miracle, or what the Bible calls the second miracle of Cana.

Now after Jesus leaves Samaria, the Bible says in John 4:45, “Then when he was come into Galilee, the Galileans received him, having seen all the things that he did at Jerusalem at the feast: for they also went unto the feast.” In other words the fame of the first miracle was still alive in Galilee, and the people received Jesus because of what He did. And so when Jesus walks into Cana, the bible says there was a certain nobleman whose son was sick at Capernaum. Capernaum was located just outside of Galilee, on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee. The wording of the text that he heard that Jesus was come out of Judaea into Galilee suggests that perhaps Jesus was going away from where his sick son lay dying, and that Jesus was getting out of reach from his son. So he ran to meet him, and he began to plead with Jesus to come and heal his son because his son was at the point of death.

The response of Jesus seems to be very cold and compassion-less, as Jesus looks at him and says, “Except you see signs and wonders, ye will not believe.” Understand there was a crowd around Jesus, this was not a one on one conversation, and Jesus wasn’t just speaking to this man, he was speaking to the entire city and even to His disciples. You see Jesus wants people to believe in Him and His word, but the citizens of Galilee required miracles. So Jesus rebukes the city and the nobleman and says I’m not giving in to your demands for the miraculous!

You need to understand Jesus does not respond to needs! And He will not be swayed by your demands for the miraculous! Yet the nobleman cried more unto Jesus saying please come down to my house before my son dies. And I love what Jesus does next, although if I were the father of this boy I probably wouldn’t have. Jesus looks back at him and says, “Go thy way, thy son liveth.” The Common English Bible says it this way, “Go home! Your son lives.”

This is how I would picture this scene in 2015. The father begging Jesus, saying my son is going to die; and Jesus looking at him and saying, “Go home, your son is going to be alright.”! Now if I was this nobleman my reaction would’ve been, “that’s easy for you to say”! You see most people would’ve asked Jesus, how am I supposed to know everything will be OK? How am I to know that when I get home he won’t be dead? Can’t you give me some kind of a sign so I can know? Why won’t you just come with me and that way you can touch him yourself.

But the Bible says that the man believed the word Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his way. And when he was on his way home, his servants met him, and they told him, your son is alive! And when he asked at what hour he started improving, the bible says that his servants told him it was yesterday about the seventh hour and he didn’t improve the fever just left! And the father knew that it was at the same moment when Jesus said your son lives. And the Bible says, he and his entire house believed. And this is the second miracle!

Now I want you to understand, the second miracle was not about Jesus healing this man’s son! This miracle was about a man saying, I don’t need a sign or a miracle to believe! I just need a word! And If I have a word from God, I’ve got everything I need!

I have been asking God recently, why don’t we see more miracles. My wife and I were just taking about this the other day. And I hear preachers tell the stories of blinded eyes opening, and I hear the stories of dead people being raised, and I wonder why we don’t see those things happening in Tyler? And it was as if the Lord began to rebuke me, and it was as if He was telling me, you don’t have the faith for the miraculous. Because you’re still living in the first miracle, and your faith is connected into what I do! And so when I don’t heal, you doubt, and when I don’t deliver you question. And when I don’t do stuff for you your faith begins to shrink. And I will never operate in an atmosphere of dependent faith!

I’m thankful for the first miracle, when God came into my life and changed me, and proved to me that He was real and that He was God. But I can’t stay at the first miracle, I need a second miracle, where my faith isn’t connected into what He does, but my faith rests in who He is! And so if I pray 1,000 times and God doesn’t heal, it doesn’t change who He is! He is still the healer! And when I pray 100 times for provision and God doesn’t provide, He’s still the provider! What He does and what He doesn’t do, does not determine who He is! Who He is determines what He does! And when my faith is in the right place, I can continue to pray in faith!

When Thomas touched the nail scarred hands, and when he touched the wound on His side, Thomas exclaimed my Lord, and my God! And Jesus responded and said, “Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.”
Thomas, it took you seeing the signs of my resurrection in order to believe! But there is coming a people after you, who will not have the luxury of seeing me in person. But they will still believe, because they have my word!

Psalm 105 says, “He sent a man before them, even Joseph, who was sold for a servant: Whose feet they hurt with fetters: he was laid in iron: Until the time that his word came: the word of the LORD tried him.” This is why we need to move into the realm of the second miracle. Because sometimes the word doesn’t come to heal you, and sometimes the word doesn’t come to deliver you; sometimes the word comes to try you! Because if Joseph would’ve been delivered from the prison prematurely he never would’ve made it to Pharaoh’s house, and his family would’ve died in the famine!

You might be in a struggle right now, maybe sickness, death or distress torments your mind. But allow His word to come, and don’t demand the miraculous; trust His word!