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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Jesus and the gifts of the Holy Spirit

Acts 10:37,38 You know what has happened throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached—how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.

Matthew 3:11-17 “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”

Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”

Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented.

As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

Mark 1:4-13 And so John came, baptizing in the desert region and preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River. John wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. And this was his message: “After me will come one more powerful than I, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. As Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”

At once the Spirit sent him out into the desert, and he was in the desert forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him.

Luke: 15-22 The people were waiting expectantly and were all wondering in their hearts if John might possibly be the Christ. John answered them all, “I baptize you with water. But one more powerful than I will come, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” And with many other words John exhorted the people and preached the good news to them.


When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”

John 1:29-34 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! This is the one I meant when I said, ‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.”

Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and REMAIN is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God.” NIV

Who and what Jesus had to be

If you ask most Christian how Jesus accomplished all of his miracles, the casting out of demons and healing the sick they would respond “because he was God”. But is this the right answer?

In the Old Testament plan of redemption it was required that a person could only be redeemed by a blood kinsman. This lays the foundation that the redeemer of all mankind had to be another human. In Philippians it tells us that Jesus laid aside his Godly nature and became a servant, a man, a human to pay the price required to redeem us. That price was death on a cross. That was the price of redemption.

So Jesus came as a man, he was still God but he had to lay his God self aside to be 100% man and function as a man. If he operated as God in any way then he would have not been fully human but a God/Man hybrid. A God/Man hybrid would not qualify as our blood kinsman and therefore could not redeem us. Jesus had to be a 100% man, live as a man and operate as a man.

I was listening to a Jewish teacher on the radio the other day and he was saying that Jewish belief was that the messiah would be a man only. Not God or a son of God, just a man. So much of the Old Testament scripture points to the Messiah being a man. Their problem was in not realizing that Jesus was 100% man and 100% God. Jesus had to put his 100% God nature aside so he could fulfill his purpose as a man.

Now back to the question, how did Jesus do all those things if he didn’t use his God nature? Acts 10:37-38 tells us. God the Father anointed him with the Holy Spirit and with Power. In all four gospels it refers to Jesus as the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit. But first he is baptized with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit descended like a dove and remained on him just as the Holy Spirit descended on the disciples like tongues of fire and remained on them. That was a baptism of Holy Spirit power. After his baptism he was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted. After his baptism he began operating in the gifts of the Holy Spirit. That is why Jesus did no miracles until after his baptism.

This is the part that is so hard to grasp for many people. Jesus had to be a man. He was to be our example. His example to us is that he operated in the gifts of the Holy Spirit with unlimited ability. We can operate the same way if we can get past our unbelief (like the disciples had with the demon possessed son), our fears and doubts. If you go through the four gospels you can see where everything Jesus did can be attributed to one of the nine gifts of the Holy Spirit. The working of miracles when feeding the 5000, calming the storm, etc.). The gift of the word of knowledge when he would perceive what others were thinking. The word of wisdom when he was foretelling how the end would come. The spirit of discernment when casting out demons. The gifts of healing and so forth. Jesus did these things so we would know how to do them also. He said “greater works would you do because I go to my father”. He told his disciples and all that were witness to his ascension: GO in His authority and power and teach them all the things I have taught you. What did he teach? He taught them how to use the power and authority of God and the gifts of the Holy Spirit. He told them to wait until they were to receive power from on high, to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. So they could be like him.

The gift of the Holy Spirit was given to the Church, the body of Christ. God does not repent of his gifts. Peter said at Pentecost the gift of the Holy Spirit, the promise was given to all that the Lord shall call. Not some, not just the disciples, not just the early Church, but all, from the day of Pentecost till now, whoever the Lord called could receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit and learn to operate in the spiritual gifts.

Some people will argue that they receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit when they got saved or gave their life to Christ. Then the question remains, are you operating in the same supernatural gifts that Jesus did? Are you receiving supernatural revelations, praying for the sick and seeing them healed, casting out demons and delivering people like Jesus did? If not then you are not doing all that Jesus instructed you to do.

Some people argue that the gift are just heighten natural abilities, like being smarter, wiser, more intuitive than other people. But that is not what the scriptures reveal. Jesus came and operated supernaturally. He taught his disciples to operate supernaturally. The early church, in the book of Acts, operated supernaturally. To fulfill God’s purposes and do everything we are required to do we need to be operating supernaturally. Jesus changed the world. The disciples changed their world. The early church changed their world. When Christians begin to operate supernaturally they change their world. That is the measuring stick. Are we supernaturally changing our world? Are we conquering everywhere our feet will tread or are we treading in place? Are we the overcomers or the overcomed? Are we the victorious army of Christ or POWs in a secular world? Are we all we can be or are we just being enough to get by?

The end time is near. It is time to quit playing religious game, fighting over petty doctrines and start fulfilling the calling of God. The time for lukewarm Christianity is over. The end time’s revival will come only through Christians who are operating supernaturally in the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Nothing less will be acceptable to God. God cannot use people who do not use the tools and do not follow what God has instructed them to do. The word says Jesus would baptize with the Holy Spirit and with fire. Light up the fire and let the burning begin.


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