Friday, March 2, 2018


Jesus never used the English word “apostle” and it is most likely that he never used the Greek word apostolos, from which our English word is derived. This means that our contemporary understanding of the “apostle” is based on a Greek word and concept that was foreign to Jesus and His audience. If, therefore, we want to understand the NT apostle, we must trace our English word back to its Hebrew roots.
The Greek Apostolos

In our English Bibles, the word “apostle” is translated from the Greek word apostolos. In ancient Greek literature, apostolos was most often used as a seafaring term and was sometimes combined with ploion (ship) to refer to a freighter or transport ship sent out on a special voyage. However, it was also used of military expeditions and, on occasion, of the commander of a particular expedition. 
In all these cases the word denoted the act of sending, with little or no emphasis on any authorization from the sender. It was thus often applied to the expedition itself and eventually acquired the meaning of a naval or military expedition. Although of interest, the parallels between apostolos in this literature and its usage in the New Testament are minimal (Hyatt, Pursuing Power, 20-21).
The Jewish Background of the New Testament
Since the world of Jesus was first century Judaism, not Hellenism, we should not be surprised to find a Jewish background for the use of apostolos. In fact, Jesus probably never used apostolos since he spoke Hebrew (or possibly Aramaic) rather than Greek.
Although our English gospels have been translated from Greek manuscripts, it is likely that an original Hebrew gospel lies behind the Greek versions. Papias, a disciple of the apostle John, said, “Matthew put together the oracles of the Lord in the Hebrew language and everyone interpreted them as best they could.” The second century church father, Irenaeus, confirmed this by saying that Matthew issued a written gospel among the Hebrews in their own language.
There is a growing school of New Testament scholars who believe that a Hebrew gospel, no longer in existence, predates our Greek versions, which are actually dependent on it.
Jesus, therefore, probably used the Hebrew word saliah which was then translated apostolos in the later Greek versions.
The Hebrew Word for Apostle
In first century Judaism, the saliah was a legal, commissioned representative of another, acting in a sort of “power of attorney.” The saliah represented in his own person, the person and rights of another, i.e., the one who had commissioned him. A saliah could even represent a bridegroom in a marriage ceremony and the one who had sent the saliah would, thereby, become legally married.
To receive or shame the saliah was to receive or shame the one who had sent him. The rabbis summed up the basis of the saliah in the oft-quoted statement, “The one sent by a man is as the man himself.” 
The saliah possessed no authority of his own. His authority was derived from the one who had commissioned him. Of utmost importance, therefore, was the subordination of the saliah to the will of the one who was sending him. The saliah must be one in whom the master or sender had absolute confidence and trust.
The authority of the saliah was directly related to and limited by the particular commission that was given. The saliah had no authority to pass his commission to another since it did not originate with him and did not belong to him. The saliah was characterized by service and faithfulness, not prestige and power. 

The institution of the saliah was well in place by the first century and most certainly provided the background for the apostolos of the Greek New Testament.

The Apostle Is an Authorized Representative of Another

Like the saliah, the one distinguishing characteristic of the New Testament apostle is the authorization of the “sent one” by the sender. In Matt. 10:1, for example, Jesus gives authority (Gk. exousia) to the Twelve to heal sicknesses and to cast out demons. He then sends them out and assures them that, He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent me (Matt. 10:40). The commissioning of the Twelve in this passage has obvious parallels with that of the saliah.
The Greek word translated “power” in this passage (Matthew 10:1) is exousia and is better translated as “authority,” “right” or “privilege.” Exousia does not refer to an energy or force, but to the right and authority to act or function. Dunamis is the Greek word that refers to an energy or force and is usually translated “power,” as in Acts 1:8.
Matthew obviously uses exousia in Matt. 10:1 to refer to the authorization of the Twelve by Jesus. They are authorized to go in His name as His representatives to do and say the things He would do and say if He were there in His own person. They are His “sent ones”—His saliah. They are His apostles.
Not all disciples are apostles, but all apostles are disciples. A disciple is a committed learner and follower. The Twelve did not cease to be disciples after they became apostles. Interestingly, after 10:2 Matthew drops the word “apostle” and uses the word “disciple” for the Twelve throughout the remainder of his gospel.
This would indicate that apostolos was not seen as a permanent office or position into which one was placed, but a specific work to which one was called or a particular assignment that one was given. This also indicates that genuine discipleship is a prerequisite for authentic apostolic ministry.

The Use of Apostello in the New Testament

Apostello is the verb form of apostolos and means, “to send.” Apostello is distinguished from pempo, the more general term for “send,” in that, like apostolos, it emphasizes the authorization of the sent one by the sender. It often reveals the apostolic nature of a mission even though the one sent is not referred to as an apostolos.
In Acts 9:10-16, for example, a “disciple” named Ananias is instructed by God in a vision to go and lay hands on Saul of Tarsus that he might receive his sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit. Ananias is given the exact address where Saul is residing and is told that Saul is praying.
Ananias obeys and when he enters the house he informs Saul that, The Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road as you came has sent (apostello) me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 9:17). The use of the word apostello highlights the fact that Ananias is aware that he is not there of his own initiative. He is there as a sent one, an authorized representative of Jesus Christ. He is there on assignment.
This incident also reveals the very fluid and functional nature of apostolic ministry, for there is no evidence that Ananias functioned in apostolic ministry apart from this one situation.

Apostolic Ministry is a Gift & Calling

During the first century, apostolic ministry was fluid and dynamic, characterized by service. Any disciple might receive an apostolic commission from the risen Lord. By the end of the first century, however, the church had begun to institutionalize, with ministries being turned into offices and service being replaced with power. In this process, the apostolic was absorbed into the office of the bishop.
Jesus, however, did not leave His church with authoritative offices and structure. He left His church with an authoritative message and the Holy Spirit to lead and guide in how best to convey that message in the many various situations his disciples would find themselves. This is what Professor Burnett Streeter was referring to when he wrote,
Whatever else is disputable, there is, I submit, one result from which there is no escape. In the primitive church there was no single system of church order laid down by the apostles. During the first hundred years of Christianity, the Church was an organism alive and growing—changing its organization to meet changing needs. Uniformity was a later development (Hyatt, Pursuing Power, 43).
The emphasis of Jesus to His apostles was on service, and on their willingness to speak, act and even suffer, if necessary, on His behalf. There is no talk of office and power. Commenting on this, the mammoth Theological Dictionary of the New Testament says,
We are thus prevented by the sayings of Jesus Himself from trying to deduce from His authorization for word and action an official congregational office fulfilled in terms of law. To be precise, we should not use the word office at all in this context; we should speak of commission in the sense of authorization which is limited in time and space, and which is conditioned materially rather than personally, as in the Jewish concept of saliah (Hyatt, Pursuing Power, 26).
John G. Lake, a true modern apostle to South Africa, got it right when he wrote,
The modern conception of an apostle is usually that he is a big church boss, but that was not the conception Jesus left. An apostle was not to be a big boss; he was to be like his Lord--a servant of all (Hyatt, Pursuing Power, 19).
Come Down Off Your Thrones
While sitting on the platform of one of the best-known ministries in the country, I heard the Holy Spirit speak in my heart, “You need to come down off your thrones.”
Unbeknownst to me there were, at that very moment, individuals on that platform who were secretly plotting to oust the leadership that had founded that ministry and led it, at great sacrifice, for more than fifty years
The ouster failed but caused much hurt and painful separation. I was able to later share that word with the leadership of that ministry. I later realized that “Come down off your thrones” was a timely word, not only for that situation, but for the church and its leaders everywhere.
This is what Jesus did in the Incarnation. He came down off His throne. Phil. 2:5-7 says, Though He was God, He did not demand and cling to His rights as God. He made Himself nothing; He took the humble position of a slave and appeared in human form. (NLT)
Paul tells us in Phil. 2:5 that this attitude of humility demonstrated by Jesus in the Incarnation is an attitude that all believers are to emulate. It is also the attitude of a saliah, or apostle, for Jesus said in John 8:42b, For I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of myself, but He sent Me. The word "sent" in this verse is from the Greek verb apostello.
The Hebrew saliah could be a slave or a committed servant, but above all was one in whom the master had complete trust to represent him and his interests. It was not about power, but about faithfulness and trust.
Charles Finney, who was a lawyer at the time of His conversion, saw himself as representing God’s case before an unbelieving church and world. In other words, Finney saw himself as a saliah, representing in himself the cause and interest of the Savior.
What about us? Are we more concerned with God’s interests than our own? Do we see the apostolic as a path to personal affluence and power? Or do we see it as an opportunity of service in representing our Lord in every situation of life?
What was of utmost importance for the New Testament saliah, or apostle, was trustworthiness, and a commitment to serve the interests of the One who was sending him, or her, as the case may have been. Until our talk of faithfulness and service to the Lord supersedes all our rhetoric of  apostolic order and authority, we have no biblical basis for calling ourselves "apostolic." 

This article is derived from Dr. Eddie Hyatt's book, Pursuing Power: How the Historic Quest for Apostolic Authority and Control Has Divided and Damaged the Church, available from Amazon and his website at Dr. Hyatt has a message for the church in America concerning another Great Awakening in the land. You can check this out on his website at

Thursday, March 1, 2018


In honor of March being "Women's History Month," I am sharing a life-altering experience I had in 1991. This experience opened my eyes in a new way as to how God wants to use women in these last days when He is pouring out His Spirit on all flesh (Acts 2:17).
During a ministry tour in the northeast, Sue and I stopped at a hotel for the night. After Sue went to bed, I sat cross-legged on the floor with my Bible in front of me intending to pray over a meeting in which I would be speaking later that week.
However, to my surprise, my mind began to be flooded with thoughts of Mary Magdalene and how Jesus appeared to her first after His resurrection. It was being emphasized to my mind that this was no chance appearance but that He purposely appeared to her first to make a very important statement.
I also saw, for the first time, that in this encounter with Jesus, Mary received the first apostolic commission from the risen Lord. The word “apostle” literally means “one who is sent,” and this apostolic commission came in His words to her, Go and tell My brethren . . . (Matthew 28:10).
As I sat in the floor with these thoughts of Mary Magdalene flooding my mind and heart, I knew it was from the Holy Spirit. Nonetheless, I asked, “Why am I thinking this; it has nothing to do with my life at this time.”
Two days later I found out why, when I was invited, for the first time, to speak in a women’s conference along with Sue. I had my message, of which the following is the essence.
A Woman Was the First
During the forty days between His resurrection and ascension, Jesus appeared to different disciples at various times, and on one occasion appeared to over five hundred of His followers at once (I Corinthians 15:3-8). The gospel writers, however, are very explicit in noting that it was Mary Magdalene to whom He appeared first after His resurrection.
The importance which the Gospel writers attach to this fact indicate that it was no accidental occurrence, but that Jesus purposely appeared first to Mary Magdalene and instructed her to go and tell his male disciples that He was alive.
This raises the question as to why Jesus did not tell the Twelve Himself that He was alive? He was in His resurrection body and could have stood in their midst at the speed of thought. Why does He require that they receive the message of His resurrection from this woman with a dubious past?
Why Mary? Why Not Peter or John?
It is obvious that, in appearing first to Mary, Jesus was challenging the biased thinking of His male disciples toward His female disciples. We must remember that neither Jewish nor Roman courts of law would allow the testimony of a woman as evidence. The ingrained cultural prejudice toward women was also expressed in a liturgical prayer that Jewish men prayed that included thanks to God that he was not born a Gentile, a slave, or a woman.
By appearing first to Mary Magdalene Jesus was cutting through all the disdain and prejudice of his male disciples toward his female disciples. He showed his approval and respect for Mary, and all women, by sending her as the first herald to preach and bear witness to the most important event of human history.
The First Apostolic Commission from the Risen Lord
When Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene He gave her certain, specific instructions. Matthew 28:10 records His words to Mary: Go and tell my brethren.... In other words, He sent her on a specific mission defined by the words, Go and tell.
Interestingly, the New Testament word apostle literally means "one who is sent" or "a sent one." Mary, therefore, was a "sent one" and as such received the first apostolic commission from the Lord after His resurrection. It was not a "women's ministry" to which she was called, for Jesus instructed to go and tell My brethren. She was sent with a message to the male apostles; and this is why, throughout history, Mary has often been called “the apostle to the apostles.”
The Resurrection Ushered in a New Era of Freedom
By appearing first to Mary Magdalene and giving her an apostolic commission, Jesus was saying that His death and resurrection had ushered in a new era of freedom for all of humanity. He was saying that in Him the walls of separation and exclusion between the races and the sexes had been removed. Paul echoes this in his letter to the Galatians saying that in Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek ... there is neither male nor female (3:28).
"But," some will ask, "what about Paul's admonition in I Corinthians 14:34 and I Timothy 2:12 for women to be silent?"
First of all, anything that Paul said must be interpreted and understood in the light of what Jesus said and did, not the other way around. Jesus is Lord; not Paul! Secondly, a doctrine should not be formulated without giving equal consideration to the many Scriptures that show women functioning in leadership roles.
Finally, it is more than likely that the restrictions of these two verses are related to local, cultural situations and are not universal edicts pertaining to the whole Church (See my book, Paul, Women and Church). These restrictions are, rather, on the same level as Paul's instructions concerning the wearing of veils in I Corinthians chapter 11 and his admonitions for believers to greet one another with a holy kiss (a handshake or hug will do just fine in most cases).
Ministry in the New Testament is Based on Gifts
In I Corinthians 12 and Romans 12, Paul pictures the Church as a body made up of many members. Each time he shares this concept it is in the context of Spiritual gifts. This is because it is the possession of a Spiritual gift that gives each member of the body its particular function or ministry.
The authority to minister is thus rooted in one's possession of a divine call or gift. Ordination is simply the Church's recognition of that gift. When John Wesley was asked why he gave recognition to women preachers, he replied, "Because God owns them in the conversion of sinners, and who am I that I should withstand God."
Much of the Church has refused to recognize the gifts of its female members and has, thereby, violated Paul's command in I Thessalonians 5:19 not to quench the Spirit. As a result of this disobedience, many gifts have lain dormant while millions have perished without Christ and the Church has languished in defeat.
It's Time for Action
It is time for action! It is time to rise up! You don’t have to be weighted down with all the bureaucratic, religious politics of the modern church to obey God. You don’t need a title, an office, or a position. You don’t need someone’s covering or alignment. Like Mary, you only need to hear the voice of the risen Lord sending you on a mission to “go and tell.”

Dr. Eddie Hyatt is the author of Paul, Women and Church, available from and Amazon and his website at He is also a member of the Board of Directors of God's Word to Women, which is opening the Int'l Christian Women's Hall of Fame in Grapevine, TX this month. To learn more about the Hall, visit the website at and its Facebook page at

Monday, February 19, 2018


Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a mighty wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.
Acts 2:2
When you've experienced the real stuff;
You can never be satisfied with mere fluff.
It was the revival in which I was baptized in the Holy Spirit and called to teach and preach the everlasting gospel. In one evening service, the presence of God was so real that no one would leave, even after the pastor prayed the benediction around 10 p.m. As everyone sat in silence, the front door of the wood frame church suddenly opened and teenagers began streaming to the front, kneeling at the altar and pouring out their hearts to God with many tears.
The Spirit of God was moving outside the walls of the church building and between 10 p.m. and midnight 17 young people were drawn from outside, many while in their cars. As they entered, they came immediately to the front, knelt at the altar and poured out their hearts to God. This caused great rejoicing among the saints and their shouts of praise were mingled with the cries for mercy. 
Around 11 p.m. I walked outside to get a breath of fresh air and I encountered two more individuals that God had apprehended in their car. They were well known to me as a couple of wild, party-type individuals in their thirties. But now, all arrogance and pretense were gone. Rayburn was bent over with his face on the hood of his car, sobbing. His friend was walking frantically back and forth saying, “Let’s go!” “Let’s go!”

I asked, “Where are you going?” He stood gazing at the church and replied, “I have to go in there. There is something in there.”  I said, “Let’s go,” and escorted them to the door. I opened the door and was amazed at what happened next. They literally ran to the front, fell on their knees at the altar with the others and cried out to God with all their might. 

Shortly thereafter I noted that one young man, who was the first to come forward, was missing. I opened a door to a small Sunday school room and there was Billy lying spread eagle on his back, alone in the dark, praying in other tongues. He was so lost in the Spirit he did not notice me. I quietly closed the door and rejoined the service where salvations, fervent prayer and rejoicing continued unabated. That service lasted until 1 a.m.
There was no official youth group in this church, so several of these young men decided to have an all-night outing one Saturday night at a recreational area on Pat Mayse Lake. There were probably 12-15 of them between the ages of 16-20. 

About 9 p.m. I decided to find their camp and see how they were doing. I didn’t know where they were, but as I drove slowly around the area with my windows down, passing many campers and RVs, I heard loud praying in the distance. I followed the sound of prayer and located them.
I spent about an hour with them, joining them in prayer and discussing the things of God. Their hearts were so on fire that they spent the entire night in fervent prayer. As I drove away past the flickering lights of numerous camp sites, and heared their prayers fading behind me, I thought, “The people here must think that these are the strangest bunch of teenagers they have ever seen.”
That was real revival. Not something worked up from below, but a genuine outpouring of the Holy Spirit. It was a sound from heaven. My life and others were forever changed.

This article was derived from Eddie Hyatt's book, Revival Fire: Discerning Between the True & False, available from Amazon and his website at

On April 8-9 Dr. Eddie Hyatt will be teaching the course "2000 Years of Charismatic Christianity," based on his book of the same name. This course will examine Spiritual awakenings from the Day of Pentecost to the present time. Strengths and weakness of these revivals will be noted and lessons drawn for the church today. The goal of the course is to prepare leaders for the next Great Awakening. To let Dr. Hyatt know you are interested, go to this FB event page and click “Going” or “Interested.”

Sunday, December 24, 2017


One of the most clear and compelling revelations of who Jesus is, was declared 600 years before His birth by the prophet Isaiah. Isaiah revealed His identity by applying four compound names to the coming Messiah. The names are “Wonderful Counselor,” “Mighty God,” “Everlasting Father,” and “Prince of Peace.” 
The Significance a Name
In the ancient near East, the name of a person was bound up with that person’s very existence. Parents chose names for their children that embodied their hopes for those children. A change of circumstances or a change of character often called for a new name to express the change that had taken place. In Gen. 17:4-5, for example, God changes the name of Abram (exalted father) to Abraham (father of a multitude) to reflect the change that has occurred in his faith and circumstances. In Gen. 32:28 God changes the name of Jacob (supplanter) to Israel (Prince of God) to reflect the change that has taken place in his life and character.
God Himself revealed His person and character to Israel by the use of names. Names like Yaweh-Jireh, the LORD our Provider, and Yahweh Rophe, the LORD our Healer, revealed the God of Israel as a personal, caring God in whom Israel could put their trust.
Isaiah Names the Coming Messiah
Isaiah 9:6 is a Messianic prophecy and Isaiah’s use of these four compound names make a powerful statement concerning the identity the Messiah. Inherent in these Old Testament names of the Messiah is the revelation of His Deity. Understanding the significance of names, those first readers of Isaiah’s prophecy must have shaken their heads in wonder at the name of their coming Messiah.
For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end (Isaiah 9:6-7a).
Although “Wonderful” and “Counselor” are often spoken separately, most Biblical scholars agree that the two words actually belong together to form one of the compound names of the Messiah. The word “Wonderful” is translated from the Hebrew word pelẽ and refers to that which is marvelous and breathtaking and causes astonishment in those who encounter it. The word “Counselor” is from the Hebrew word yaas, which means to advise or counsel in regards to plan and purpose. What an incredible name! And what an incredible blessing to have this One whose name is “Wonderful Counselor” as our personal counselor and guide.


“Mighty” is from the Hebrew word gibbor and refers to greatness, power and strength. It was often used as an adjective to describe successful, victorious warriors. It was also used as an adjective for Deity. “God” is a translation of the Hebrew word “El” which was a common generic word for God and literally means “great one” or “mighty one.” It was often joined with other words to form a compound name for God, such as El-Shaddai, commonly translated as “The Almighty,” and El-Elyon, commonly translated as “The Most High.” Wonder of wonders! This “Child” that is to be born is actually gibbor El, the “Mighty God.”


“Everlasting” is from the Hebrew word ad, which refers to time without end or eternity. In Isaiah 45:17 it is translated as “forever and ever.” “Father” is translated from the Hebrew word ab, which, in the Old Testament, referred to a father or protector. From ab came abba, the word Jesus commonly used in addressing God. Abba was a term of endearment, such as Papa or Daddy, and was only used by children in the Jewish household. What a clear picture of the Incarnation. This “Child” that is to be born will be none other than the eternal God, the “Everlasting Father.” 


“Prince” is a translation of the Hebrew word sar, which refers to a person of authority such as a chief, captain, governor, or ruler. “Peace” is a translation of the Hebrew word shalom, which is usually translated as peace, but has connotations far beyond an inner sense of tranquility. It means completeness, fulfillment, wholeness, and indicates the complete mental, emotional, physical, spiritual and financial well being of a person. Jesus did not come to just take us to heaven some day. He came to bring us shalom, wholeness, blessing, and fulfillment. He has become the Prince (captain or master) of our shalom. Hallelujah!


Jesus told Peter that He would build His church on the revelation of who He is (Matt. 16:15-18). Now you know who He really is. Wonder of wonders! The babe born in Bethlehem is the Almighty God and Everlasting Father. No wonder angels sang, wise men worshipped and shepherds stood in awe. This is Immanuel, meaning "God with us" (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23). Now we understand why Thomas, when he saw Jesus in His resurrected form, exclaimed in awe, My Lord and my God (John 20:28). 
Have you acknowledged who Jesus is and put your faith in Him as your own personal Lord and Savior?  Do it now!

You can make contact with Dr. Eddie L. Hyatt at or

Monday, December 11, 2017


When the angel Gabriel announced to the virgin Mary that she would conceive in her womb and give birth to a Son who would be called the Son of the Highest, she was perplexed and amazed, and replied, How can this be, since I do not know a man (Luke 1:34)?
“I do not know a man” was a euphemism for her virginity and the fact that she was not married. Since she had no intimate relationship with a man, what the angel had said was an impossibility, prompting her response, How can this be

In other words, she acknowledged her own inability to make the promise happen. A vision from God will always be bigger than we are and cause us to wonder, “How can this be?”
The answer the angel gave Mary for her impossibility, is also the answer for all our impossibilities. He said, The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you (Luke 1:35; MEV). It is the Holy Spirit and His empowering presence that will turn our impossibilities into realities.
We Must Have a Two-Fold Confession
I cannot tell you how many times in over 40 years of ministry I have experienced the Holy Spirit turning an impossible “how can this be?” into a reality. For example, in the early days of my ministry I made a decision that put me in a serious financial bind. In the natural, there was no way out.
However, as I acknowledged how much I needed Him because of my own human weakness, the power of the Holy Spirit came upon me and something miraculous happened. As I acknowledged both my weakness and His faithfulness, a clear directive came to my mind, one that I would never have considered on my own. I obeyed, and the need was abundantly suppled, with an excess left over.
Yes, it is important that we speak words of faith and acknowledge Christ’s redemptive work for us, but that is only one side of the coin. We must also acknowledge our need of Him because of our human frailty.
This is what Jesus was referring to when He said, Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:3). My paraphrase of this passage reads, Blessed are those who realize how much they need God, for theirs is the kingdom and power of heaven.
Paul Learned this Lesson
Paul learned this lesson and expressed it very cogently in II Corinthians 12:7-10 where he tells how God spoke to him a powerful principle that we must all learn. In regards to a very trying situation, God said to Paul, My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness.
The word “strength” in this passage is from the Greek word dunamis, which is translated as “power” in passages such as Acts 1:8. The word “perfect” is from the Greek word teleos, which refers to an end, goal, or destination. A more accurate translation of this verse would be, My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is maximized in your weakness.
In other words, when God looks for a person to carry out a task or assignment, He does not tap the person who is self-confident and whose response would be, “No problem God, I can handle that.” No, God chooses the person who has no confidence in their flesh and whom He knows will have to lean hard on Him. He looks for those whose response will be like that of Mary, “How can this be?”

Based on this understanding of God’s power being maximized in human weakness, Paul says in 12:9b, I will rather boast in my infirmities [weaknesses], that the power of Christ may rest upon me. The word “rest” in this verse is translated from the Greek word episkenose. It is a cognate form of the same word the angel used in speaking to Mary when he said, The power of the highest will overshadow you (Luke 1:35).
Walk in Integrity in 2018
Interestingly, Paul says that he will boast in his weaknesses, so that the power of God will overshadow or rest upon him. Paul is not talking about being negative or wallowing in his weakness. He is speaking about walking in integrity. He is talking about being real and transparent. And when he lives in integrity, admitting how much he needs God, the power, or dunamis, of God overshadows him and rests upon him.
Do we want the power of God resting upon us in the coming year? Then let’s be people of integrity. Christian leaders, do you want God’s power overshadowing you in 2018? Then forget about trying to enhance your profile and public image. Instead, be real with the people. Acknowledge how much you need God and watch Him vindicate you with people you have been trying to impress.
We can build and accomplish much in this world in our own human strength, but only that which is brought forth under the power and guidance of the Holy Spirit will last for eternity. I pray that in 2018 the church worldwide will learn the lesson Mary learned, that it is through the power of the Holy Spirit that our impossibilities will be turned into realities and the kingdom of God advanced in the earth.

Dr. Eddie L. Hyatt is an author, historian, Biblical scholar and ordained minister. He conducts "Revive America" events throughout the nation helping this contemporary generation reconnect with its radical Christian roots. His books on revival and reformation are available from Amazon and his website at

Thursday, December 7, 2017


Believing in Jesus Christ and His miraculous birth does not require the so-called “blind leap of faith.” In fact, there is as much evidence for the virgin birth of Christ as any event of ancient history. Here are 5 compelling reasons for believing that Jesus Christ was supernaturally born of a virgin.
1. Documented by a Physician & World-Class Historian
2. Confirmed by Modern Archaeology
3. Confirmed by an Agnostic Professor
4. Predicted by Old Testament Prophets
5. Believed Universally by the Earliest Christians
1. Documented by a Physician & World-Class Historian.
At the beginning of his Gospel, Luke indicates that he has made a thorough investigation of the things about which he is writing, which included his utilization of eyewitness accounts. He spent extended periods of time with Paul in Jerusalem and Judea and would have had the opportunity to interview those who were closest to the event, including Mary herself.
Luke gives the most detailed account of the Nativity and mentions Mary 12 times, more than any other biblical writer. In addition to the birth of Christ, he also gives special, detailed attention to the birth of John the Baptist and many see his gynecological interests to be a result of his training as a physician.
There is no reliable information on how long Mary lived, but some traditions say she lived as much as 24 years or longer after the resurrection. The detail Luke presents does indicate that he has derived his information from a primary source, either Mary herself or someone to whom Mary had relayed the intimate details of the event.
At one time, it was thought that Luke had completely missed the boat concerning the events he portrayed surrounding the birth of Christ (Luke 2:1-5). Critics argued that there was no census and that everyone did not have to return to their ancestral home. They also pointed out that Josephus had dated the governorship of Quirinius of Syria, whom Luke mentions, as beginning in A.D. 6, too late for the birth of Christ.
In every case, however, archaeological discoveries have proved the critics to be wrong. In the case of Quirinius, it was found that he actually served two separate terms as governor, the first beginning around 7 B.C., which fits perfectly with the time of Christ's birth. F. F. Bruce, one of the most respected of New Testament scholars, noted that where Luke has been suspected of inaccuracy by modern critics, archaeology has again and again proved Luke to be right and the critics wrong.
The accuracy of Luke as a historian was confirmed by the famous historian, A.N. Sherwin-White, who carefully examined his references in Luke/Acts to 32 countries, 54 cities, and nine islands, finding not a single mistake.
Sir William Ramsay, who spent years in Asia Minor following and examining Luke's account of Paul's travels, wrote in The Bearing of Recent Discovery on the Trustworthiness of the New Testament, "You may press the words of Luke in a degree beyond any other historian's and they stand the keenest scrutiny and the hardest treatment."
Challenging the claims of critics that the story of the virgin birth was based on a hoax, the noted Greek scholar, Professor John A. Scott, reminded the naysayers of Luke's reputation as a historian. Pointing to his attention to detail and accurate reporting, Scott declared, "You could not fool Doctor Luke."
2. Affirmed by Modern Archaeology.
Luke's status as a world-class historian, accurate in even the smallest details, has been brought to light by modern archaeology. For example, Sir William Ramsay, considered one of the greatest archaeologists of all time, originally thought he would scientifically discredit Luke's accounts by visiting and examining the places mentioned in his Gospel and Acts.
Ramsay was a student of the skeptical, German higher criticism of the 19th century and he taught that the New Testament is an unreliable religious treatise written in the mid-second century by individuals far removed from the events described. But after years of retracing Luke's account of Paul's travels and doing archaeological digs along the way, Ramsay completely reversed his view of the Bible and first-century history.
Ramsay became convinced that Acts was written in the first century by the traditional author, and he acquired a very high regard for Luke as a historian. He wrote,
Luke is a historian of the first rank; not merely are his statements of fact trustworthy, he is possessed of the true historic sense; in short, this author should be placed along with the greatest of historians.
In 1896, Ramsay began publishing his discoveries in a book entitled St. Paul the Traveler and the Roman Citizen. The book caused a furor of dismay among the skeptics of the world, for its affirmation of the biblical record was totally unexpected.
Over the next 20 years, he published other volumes showing how he discovered Luke to be accurate in the tiniest details of his account. The evidence was so overwhelming that many atheists gave up their atheism and embraced Christianity.
Archaeology has, indeed, affirmed the Biblical record again and again. As William F. Albright, the renowned archaeologist and late professor of Semitic languages at John Hopkins University, wrote, "Discovery after discovery has established the accuracy of innumerable details, and brought increased recognition to the Bible as a source of history."
The evidence begs the question that if Luke was this careful to get his facts right about names, places, events and dates, can we not be confident that he was just as careful to get his facts right concerning the more important things about which he reported, such as the virgin birth of Jesus Christ?
3. An Agnostic Professor of Mythology is Convinced.
C. S. Lewis was the agnostic professor of Renaissance literature at Oxford University, a prolific author and a recognized expert of mythological texts. He too had bought into the idea that the Bible was not a book of reliable history and that the New Testament was filled with all sorts of mythical stories, created by individuals far removed from the events described.
But through the influence of his childhood, and friends who challenged his atheism, Lewis began to read the Bible. He was astounded at what he encountered in the Gospels, for it was obviously a different genre from the ancient mythologies with which he was so familiar. His surprised response was, "This is not myth!" Lewis went on to become a dedicated follower of Christ and perhaps the most significant Christian apologist of the 20th century.
At the time, higher criticism was being popularized in German seminaries. Certain theologians, such as Rudolph Bultmann, were claiming that the New Testament accounts of the virgin birth of Jesus, His miracles and His resurrection were myths created by His followers.
Lewis challenged these theologians, saying, "I would like to know how many myths these people have read!" He went on to explain that he had been a long-time professor and critic of mythological literature and knew how a myth sounded and felt. "And the gospel story," he said, "Is not myth!"
4. Predicted Centuries in Advance by OT Prophets.
Genesis 3:15 reads, I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he will bruise your head, and you will bruise his heel.
These words were spoken by God to the serpent after the fall of our first parents. The "seed of the woman" in this passage is an allusion to a future descendant of Eve who will defeat the serpent and reverse the curse brought on by his deception.
The Bible normally speaks of the seed of men, but in this case it is the "seed of the woman." This is a prophecy that clearly anticipates the future virgin birth of Christ—a birth in which the seed of a man is not involved. The Methodist theologian, Adam Clarke, wrote in The Holy Bible Containing the Old and New Testaments with a Commentary and Critical Notes, "The seed of the woman is to come by the woman, and her alone without the concurrence of man."
According to this prophecy, the "seed of the woman" will receive a temporary wound from Satan—"you will bruise His heel"—but the "seed of woman" shall inflict on Satan a final and mortal wound—"He will bruise your head." This Messianic promise was fulfilled through the virgin birth of Jesus and through His death and resurrection.
Isaiah 7:14 says, Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign: The virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. The Hebrew word translated "virgin" in this passage is almah and refers to a young woman of marriageable age, but would normally include the idea of virginity, since that was expected of a young Jewish woman being married for the first time.
That "virgin" is an accurate English translation is confirmed by the Septuagint, which uses the Greek word parthinos to translate almah. Parthinos specifically means a young woman who has never had sex with a man. Parthinos is the word used by both Matthew and Luke in their description of Mary, affirming that she was a young woman who had never had sex with a man when Jesus was born.
Further evidence that Isaiah 7:14 is a Messianic prophecy referring to Jesus Christ is indicated by Isaiah's statement that he shall be called Immanuel, which means "God with us." This is a clear statement concerning the incarnation of God in Jesus Christ, and reminds us of the words of Gabriel to Mary that the Son she will bear, will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest (Luke 1:32).
5. Believed Universally by the Earliest Christians.
That the virgin birth was universally believed by the earliest Christians is verified, not only by the Gospel record, but also by The Apostle's Creed. The Apostle’s Creed is an early confession of faith that dates from the second century and was used throughout Chritendom. By including the virgin birth in their creedal statement, these early believers made clear that they considered it an essential doctrine of the Faith. The Creed reads in part:
I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth;
And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord:
Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary (emphasis added).
This earliest belief in the virgin birth was confirmed by the Nicene Creed of A.D. 325 and has continued to be the belief of Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and Protestant Christians everywhere.
Note the words of the 18th century hymn, "Hark the Herald Angels Sing," written by Charles Wesley, an Oxford graduate and Anglican minister, and with his brother John, the leader of the great Methodist revival. Because of the references to the virgin birth, this hymn became a popular carol sung at Christmas:
Christ by highest heav'n adored, Christ the everlasting Lord!
Late in time behold Him come, offspring of a Virgin's womb!
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see, hail the incarnate Deity!
Pleased as man with man to dwell, Jesus our Emanuel!
Hark the herald angels sing, glory to the newborn King!
With such overwhelming evidence for the virgin birth of Jesus Christ, it raises the question as to why there remains so much skepticism about this event and other miracles recorded in the New Testament. This question was answered in The New Evidence That Demands a Verdict by Yale archaeologist and professor, Millard Burrows, who said, "The excessive skepticism of many liberal theologians stems not from a careful evaluation of the available data, but from an enormous predisposition against the supernatural."
In other words, the barrier to faith is not an intellectual one, but a heart that is committed to unbelief. Believing in Christ does not require a so-called "blind leap of faith. Any honest seeker who will lay aside their biased presuppositions and consider the historical evidence will also experience the affirming witness of the Holy Spirit in their heart and will know that Jesus was truly born of a virgin. And if that part of the story is true, then we can have confidence that the rest of the story is true as well.
Dr. Eddie L. Hyatt is an author, biblical scholar and ordained minister. His latest book, The Charismatic Luther, is available from Amazon and his website at