God, The Holy Spirit :: By Nathele Graham

The Holy Spirit is probably the least recognized Person of the Godhead. Even so, He is equally God, along with God the Father and God the Son. The Holy Spirit doesn’t draw attention to Himself but quietly works in the life of every Christian if we let Him. Although He was very busy during Old Testament times, He wasn’t sealed inside of people. He led and influenced those who believed in God, but He could leave them at any time.

We read examples of the Holy Spirit coming upon people in the Old Testament in 1 Samuel 11:6, 1 Chronicles 12:18, 2 Chronicles 15:1, and 2 Chronicles 24:20, among other passages. The Holy Spirit led men like Abraham to leave the pagan world behind and serve the true God. King David, a sinner like you and me, was in fear that the Holy Spirit would leave him after his sin with Bathsheba. God’s prophets received their prophecies through the Holy Spirit, unlike false prophets who are led by Satan and can only spread lies.

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

The phrase “inspiration of God” comes from two Greek words, theos meaning “God” and pneo meaning “to breathe.” Scripture is evidence of the Holy Spirit’s work, and in the original languages, it is infallible.

The Jewish nation looked forward to the coming Messiah for centuries. The disciples were Jewish, so they were also looking for the Messiah; some had followed John the Baptist, who was the one preparing the way for the Messiah. John’s ministry had been prophesied by Isaiah (Isaiah 40:3). One day Jesus had asked His disciples who people thought He was. It seems there was a variety of ideas, but then Jesus asked, “He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God” (Matthew 16:15-16).

Like today, people have many ideas about Jesus, but Peter got it right. Peter still didn’t understand what Jesus would have to do, and Peter probably was looking for the Messiah who would free Israel, not give eternal life. The Holy Spirit didn’t indwell believers yet, so the disciples still had a lot to learn. Prior to His crucifixion, Jesus had promised to send the Comforter.

“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” (John 14:16-17).

The Holy Spirit would indwell them (and us) and teach them (and us) all things. “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” (John 14:26).

They still had no understanding of Christ’s impending death, burial, and resurrection, and certainly were confused about these words.

Their hopes were shattered when they saw Him die and saw Him be buried. They were eyewitnesses to those two elements of eternal salvation, but the resurrection was yet to come. It wasn’t until the third day after His burial that the tomb was found empty, but they still couldn’t wrap their minds around what had happened. They gathered together in fear behind closed doors. Suddenly their fear turned to amazement and joy. Jesus entered the room!

“And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord” (John 20:20).

Those nail prints and the wound in His side were proof that He had been crucified. That’s when they believed in the death, burial, AND the resurrection of Jesus Christ. “Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost” (John 20:21-22).

Now they were Christians. They believed in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus and received the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. The word “receive” comes from the Greek word lambano, which means to take and not let go, to seize, to take possession of. This indwelling is unique to Christians.

There was still more to come. They had received the Holy Spirit, but they were to wait in Jerusalem for the promise of the Father. “For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence” (Acts 1:5).

We usually think of being immersed in water when talking of baptism, but the Greek word baptizo doesn’t confine this to water. Jesus, the authority in all things, promises baptism with the Holy Ghost. So, the men waited in Jerusalem. It was still a mystery to them, but they had learned to obey Jesus by faith rather than twisting His words to mean what they thought He meant. They weren’t disappointed.

“And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly 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 of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2:1-4).

This gift was different than what they, and all believers, received when they believed. This was power that came upon them…fire from Heaven. Jesus called it “…baptized with the Holy Ghost….” This baptism brought gifts, and in this case, they spoke in other tongues. This power would be available to them as they spread the Gospel. It’s available to us, too, if we don’t quench the power of the Holy Spirit within us.

Years later, the Apostle Paul would explain the Gospel to the Christians in Corinth. “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).

Notice, Paul preached the same Gospel which he received, which was the same Gospel those first disciples were eyewitnesses to… the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus had given His disciples the commission to preach the Gospel to all the world. “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15).

If Matthew, Peter, John, and the others had done “mission work” in the manner which it’s done today, the Gospel would have died. They preached the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ instead of using gimmicks. Because they were faithful, Paul heard the true Gospel and spread it on his mission journeys. Many heard, believed, and received the Holy Spirit. Paul understood about receiving the Holy Spirit and wrote much about it. When we first repent and ask Christ into our life, we are sealed with the Holy Spirit, just as the disciples were when Christ breathed on them.

“That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory” (Ephesians 1:12-14).

Knowing that the Holy Spirit is sealed within you should make a difference in how you live, how you react to situations, and how you speak to other people. You take God with you wherever you go, so remember that fact when judging people, embracing sin, or letting anger rule your life. “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption” (Ephesians 4:30). Remember to honor God in all you do.

The Holy Spirit lives in Christians today, and we’ve been given gifts. The gifts aren’t for our own glory but are to glorify God. Paul spoke of some of the gifts in his letter to Corinth.

“But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; to another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: but all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will” (1 Corinthians 12:7-11).

The gift of tongues was the first manifestation on the day of Pentecost, but not everybody receives that gift; it’s just one of many. Romans 12:6-8 lists more gifts and also makes it clear that the gifts differ from one person to another. Ephesians chapter 4 also discloses more gifts and tells how the gifts are to be used. “For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:12). The gifts are for us to use to honor God.

The Spiritual gifts are many and come upon us as needed. On the other hand, there is fruit of the Spirit. Gifts are many, but there is only one fruit of the Spirit. That fruit is evidence that the Holy Spirit lives inside us. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against which there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23).

Is this fruit evident in your life? All components of the Spiritual fruit should be present as evidence of our faith and the presence of the Holy Spirit living in us. We can’t pick and choose one fruit or another, but if we are weak in one or more, we can pray that the Holy Spirit will help us. It’s important for every Christian to allow this Spiritual fruit to rule over our sin nature. We can quench the fire of the Holy Spirit by fighting His work within us, so study God’s word and apply it to your life. Let the Holy Spirit nurture all of the fruit in your life and show the world that you’re a Christian.

“And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18).

God the Holy Spirit lives in you, so let Him guide all your ways.

God bless you all,

Nathele Graham



All original scripture is “theopneustos,” God-breathed.

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Lessons on The Road to Emmaus :: By Nathele Graham

When things don’t go like you think they should, do you get discouraged? Disappointments can cause us to ask many questions. That’s what happened with those who had followed Jesus and believed He was the Messiah. Jesus had done much good for people, He preached Good News, and He stood up against the Pharisees. The disciples knew Jesus was special, and they were sure He would be the one who would redeem Israel, a nation that had suffered much persecution and oppression. Many believed that Jesus would stop the Roman occupation of the land God had given to Abraham and his seed forever. Actually, Jesus came to accomplish a much greater mission.

By His shed blood, Jesus would make the only way for all people of the world to find eternal life through faith in Him. “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” (John 3:16-17).

Those were the words Jesus spoke to Nicodemus, a Pharisee who was seeking truth. Jesus didn’t limit salvation to Israel but to anyone who believes in Him. It only takes faith to find salvation through Christ.

While Jesus walked this earth, He preached to all who would listen, He healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, and cast out demons. People followed Him, but there were 12 who were His chosen disciples. These men were given special teachings but didn’t fully understand all that Jesus taught. These men followed Jewish Law, but they weren’t scholars. Nevertheless, they followed Jesus and listened to what He taught.

Then, their hopes and dreams were shattered. Jesus was crucified. They watched Him carry His cross, they saw the blood dripping from gaping wounds which exposed His bones, and they saw the crown of thorns that had been forced upon His head in mockery. Their hopes that Jesus was the longed-for Messiah were shattered as the nails were driven into His hands and feet. Then it was over. Jesus was dead, and his body was taken from the cross and placed in a tomb. A large stone was rolled over the entrance, and it was securely sealed. Roman soldiers were stationed there to make sure nobody stole the body. There was nothing left for the disciples to do but to grieve and worry about their own safety. Because they had followed Jesus, they could also be arrested and put to death.

Jesus had spoken of these events clearly, but the disciples didn’t understand the bigger picture of what Jesus was to accomplish.

“And while they abode in Galilee, Jesus said unto them, The Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of men: and they shall kill him, and the third day he shall be raised again. And they were exceeding sorry” (Matthew 17:22-23).

They heard the words but didn’t want to believe Jesus meant what He said. Jesus also made reference to prophecy seen in Jonah. “But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: for as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (Matthew 12:39-40).

Jonah (Jonas) was a prophet, and his plight with the whale was a prophecy of the Messiah’s death, burial, and resurrection. It’s important to study prophecy.

After Jesus was taken from the cross and hurriedly buried, the disciples had a lot to think about. Had they paid more attention to prophecy, they would have looked forward with expectation to what was about to happen.

As soon as the Law permitted, some of the women arrived at the tomb early. “Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them. And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre. And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus” (Luke 24:1-3).

Their tears of grief turned to confusion and fear. Jesus’ body was gone, but two men were there. “And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again” (Luke 24:5-7).

The disciples wouldn’t have been confused about what was happening if they had studied prophecy. They also should have believed what Jesus taught rather than believing what they thought He meant. Like them, we read the words but try to tweak them to say something that we can wrap our minds around. Nobody had ever left an empty tomb before, so the disciples hadn’t understood that Jesus meant exactly what He said. How often do you read Scripture but tweak it to justify a sin you hold on to or interpret prophecy based on human understanding rather than God’s greater knowledge?

After hearing the women’s news, Peter and John raced to the tomb and found that the women were right. The body was gone, but the grave clothes were still there. If someone removed Jesus’ body, why would they leave the burial clothes? Something miraculous had happened. Christ conquered death!

After this discovery, two of the disciples departed from Jerusalem to go to a town called Emmaus. “And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about three score furlongs” (Luke 24:13). It was about 7.5 miles, and by foot, it would take a while to get there. They had a lot to talk about.

As they walked, they tried to make sense of all that had happened. “And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them. But their eyes were holden that they should not know him” (Luke 24 15:16). There is some speculation as to why they didn’t recognize Jesus, but we’re just told “…their eyes were holden….”

Does Jesus listen in on your conversations? Yes, He does, so be careful of the words you speak and the thoughts you have.

Jesus allowed the disciples to tell Him what they knew. “And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk and are sad?” (Luke 24:17). Jesus knew why they were sad and confused, but He cared enough to listen to what was troubling them. “And one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days?” (Luke 24:18). Their words are a little amusing since we know who they were speaking to.

Who better than Jesus knew of the events of the last few days? Remember, when you’re troubled over anything, you can talk to Jesus in prayer. He knows what the answers are but will allow you to lay your burden upon Him, and He will guide you to answers.

The events of the last few days were fresh on the minds of these two men. They were willing to share with the “stranger” what had happened. “And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people: and how the chief priests had our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him” (Luke 24:19-20).

By allowing them to talk, Jesus allowed them to focus their thoughts. “But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done” (Luke 24:21). That’s what perplexed them most. They thought Jesus would redeem Israel. They couldn’t see the bigger picture.

Jesus died for all people, not just the Jewish nation. Not only that, but the redemption He offers is eternal. “Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre; and when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive. And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said: but him they saw not” (Luke 24:22-23). The two men had poured their hearts out to Jesus and finished by telling of the empty tomb.

Now, it was Jesus’ turn to talk. Jesus listens to us, but it’s important to listen to Him. “Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?” (Luke 24:25-26).

His words must have shocked the men. They probably expected this stranger to feel sorrow over the death of the one that was thought to be the redeemer of Israel. After all the facts they had related, Jesus’ words were to rebuke them for not believing all that the prophets had spoken.

That rebuke is as true today as it was those many centuries ago. Today, we are facing many world events that have struck fear into the hearts of many people. Yet, if we study prophecy, we can see that we live in exciting times. Prophecy is being fulfilled daily, and it’s clear that we’re nearing the end of time. God won’t withhold His judgment much longer. Before His judgments begin, Christians will be called Home in the Rapture. That’s exciting, but if you don’t study prophecy, you’ll just see things through the eyes of the world. That’s a bad way to see things. God breathed the words to the men who wrote Scripture, so if you don’t study prophecy, you’re ignoring much of His word.

Jesus said these men were fools for not believing the prophecies that had been fulfilled in the past days. He then went to Scripture to open their eyes. “And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself” (Luke 24:27).

That must have been a wonderful Bible study. Too many preachers today don’t teach verse by verse through the Bible. Instead, they quote secular sources and false teachers. In so doing, they tickle ears and skip over very important Scriptural teachings. Many preachers don’t take the time to study prophecy, and therefore are ill-equipped to teach it. These men lead the flock astray. If you’re waiting for your pastor to teach prophecy, you’re making a mistake. Study for yourself. There are many knowledgeable prophecy teachers, but don’t forget to study Scripture for yourself. The Bible study which Jesus taught on the road to Emmaus is found in your own Bible.

It was evening when they arrived in Emmaus, so the disciples asked Him to stay and have a meal with them. It was at that meal that the disciples finally knew who had been teaching them. “And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them. And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight” (Luke 24:30-31).

The upset and confusion they had felt was replaced by joy. “And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?” (Luke 24:32). Jesus opened the scriptures to them, and they finally understood the events of the previous few days. They immediately returned to Jerusalem and found Matthew, James, John, and the other disciples and told them what they had experienced. We also need to share the Good News with the doubters of today.

Only Scripture is God’s word. “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6). Allow the Holy Spirit to lead you, and you’ll find understanding in these trying times by studying prophecy. If the disciples had a deeper understanding of prophecy, they would have understood the times in which they lived. If we study and believe God’s word, from Genesis through Revelation, we will have more peace in these wicked days in which we live.

God bless you all,

Nathele Graham



All original scripture is “theopneustos,” God-breathed.

If you’d like to be on my mailing list to receive the commentaries, just drop me an email and let me know.