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DEMONS AND DEVILS – PART FIVE

 

Our power in Christ is far mightier than the devil’s and is limited only by the level of our faith.  The Lord Jesus gave up His glory and inherent power when He came down to earth to be born in the flesh.  He didn’t come with all of His wisdom, knowledge and power.  He was God in human form, but He wasn’t omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient.  “Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”  Phil. 2:6-8.  He was like you me in all respects, except sinless.

JESUS HAD TO LEARN

Jesus had to grow in knowledge, wisdom and power.  As an infant, He was brought to the temple in Jerusalem to be presented to the Lord, according to the law of the Lord.  Lk. 2:22-23.  “And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth.  And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon Him.”  Lk. 2:40.  Yes, He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and was without the curse of sin, but He didn’t bring all wisdom and knowledge with Him.  He had to learn and grow into them.

 “And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast.”  Lk. 2:42.  It was probably the Feast of Tabernacles, at which time Jesus had been born – around the end of September, beginning of October, on the Day of Atonement when God came to be with His people (Immanuel means “God with us.”).  Twelve years old is when a son becomes a man and leaves childhood, and is recognized as such.  This was the time when the Lord Jesus tarried in the temple and his parents missed him for three days.  They found Him in the temple “sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearting them, and asking them questions.  And all that heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers.”  Lk. 2:46-47.  It is not totally unusual for a child of twelve to be precocious.  There are many young children that are geniuses, even today.  Some attain their PhDs during their teen years at prestigious universities. 

The Lord Jesus was ever growing in wisdom and stature.  Though he was considered a child no more, so long as He lived with His parents, He honored and was subject to them.  “And He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them . . . and Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.”  Lk. 2:51-52.

SOME FABLES

Some Hindus and other misguided individuals claim that Jesus traveled to India before He started His ministry, where He learned the secrets of the enlightened ones, gurus, avatars and Hindu gods so that He could do miracles and even put His body in a seemingly lifeless state on the cross and so that He could come back to life three days later.  They claim that Jesus returned to Israel after He was perfected in India because there was a person with a similar sounding name in India.  Others claim that as a child, the Lord Jesus did many miracles, even raising the dead.  These non-biblical claims have no historical or biblical basis and are fairytales.

THE LORD’S FIRST MIRACLE

The Bible mentions that the first miracle the Lord ever performed was when He turned water into wine at Cana.  “This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth His glory and His disciples believed on Him.”  Jn. 2:11.  Just a bit earlier, the Lord Jesus was water-baptized by John the Baptist in the river Jordon.  “And Jesus, when He was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto Him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon Him.  And lo a voice from heaven saying, This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”  Mt. 3:16.  It was after He was baptized and the Spirit of God came as a dove and lighted upon Him, that the Lord performed His first miracle at Cana.

There is a controversy as to when Jesus was baptized in the Holy Spirit.  Some believe that the Lord was baptized in the Holy Ghost (this author uses “Holy Spirit” to mean “Holy Ghost”) when He came out of the waters of baptism.  Others claim that He didn’t need to be baptized in the Holy Spirit.  It is irrelevant.  Jesus did all His miracles through and by the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit is a person, and He is the power of the godhead.

All born-again Christians have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit upon conversion, but the Lord Jesus and His apostles, made a clear distinction between having the Holy Spirit in you and the baptism in the Holy Spirit.  Before Jesus returned to heaven, He instructed His disciples to remain in Jerusalem until they received the baptism of the Holy Spirit.  “And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which saith He, ye have heard of me.  For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.”  Ac. 1:4-5.  The Lord did not say that the Holy Spirit would come to live in them; He said, “. . . ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost. . . .”  There is a difference.

When asked by His disciples whether He was going to restore Israel at that time, the Lord Jesus said, “It is not for you to know the time or the seasons which the Father hath put in His own power.  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 Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”  Ac. 1:7-8.  In other words, when the Holy Spirit baptizes you, you will receive power from God to witness about Jesus.  That is why the apostle Paul said, “And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of man, but in the power of God.”   1 Co. 2:4-5.  It is interesting that the Lord Jesus used the expression, “after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you.”  When Jesus came out of the waters of baptism, the Holy Spirit came as a dove and lighted upon Him. 

It is one thing to preach the Word, and quite another to demonstrate and minister the Word of God.  Many preachers can speak with the wisdom of men and impress people with Christian psychology and oratory, but few can minister the Word through the demonstration of the power of God by healing the sick, casting out devils, imparting the baptism of the Holy Spirit, etc.

In Acts 2:1-8, the Holy Spirit suddenly came upon His disciples and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues.  Whether the Holy Spirit “came upon them,” “filled them,” or “baptized them” is not important.  “The Holy Spirit came with 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 all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”  Ac. 2:2-4. 

Although speaking in tongues was manifested as the disciples were baptized by the Holy Spirit, it is possible to be baptized in the Holy Spirit without a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and without seeing cloven tongues like as of fire sitting upon the persons being baptized with the Holy Spirit.  It is probably possible to be baptized with the Holy Spirit without speaking in tongues at the time.  I have known a few Christians who did not speak in tongues but who healed the sick and cast out devils the same way as someone who speaks in tongues.  In fact, many who speak in tongues have never cast out devils or performed other miracles.  They lack faith. 

The Lord Jesus said, “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In My name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.”  Mk. 16:17-18.  

The proof of the pudding is in the eating.  If a Christian is baptized with the Holy Spirit, he should be able to cast out devils, heal the sick and raise the dead.

Casting out devils is considered a miracle in the Bible.  “And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did.  For unclean spirits crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed.”  Ac. 8:6-7.  This passage also implies that casting out of unclean spirits or devils can heal the sick.

The point we are pursuing is – one who is baptized with the Holy Spirit can do the same miracles Jesus did when He walked the earth, and more.  Jesus said it.  “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto My Father.”  Jn. 14:12.  How could Jesus say that?  It is because all the miracles that He did were the works of the Holy Spirit. “But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you.”  Ro. 8:11.  The same Holy Spirit lives in all born-again Christians.. 

JESUS WAS SINLESS

The Lord Jesus was tempted as we are, but never gave in to sin.  “For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”  Heb. 4:15.  The Lord was tempted by the same things that tempt you and me.

It is such an incredible task – to live without sin; but God knew that and He provided us with the blood of Jesus to cleanse us of all unrighteousness.  “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.”  Heb. 9:22.   “For by one offering (of His blood) he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.”  Heb. 10:14.  “Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus.”  Heb. 10:19.  The precious blood of Jesus is for you and me.  “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  1 Jn. 1:9.  

Praise Jesus forever!  We have His blood to wash and cleanse us.  That is one of the reasons Jesus died on the cross for us.  We need to repent of our sins constantly.  “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”  1 Jn. 1:8.  Now, there is nothing to prevent us from doing the works of Jesus and more.  Only believe!


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