JESUS…Before the Cross!

Posted: August 22, 2016 in Uncategorized

If you are a Christian today and have been for any length of time, you should know that Jesus was, and is the eternal Son of God. There may also be people reading this who are not Christians but still believe that Jesus is the Son of God.

When people discuss the miracles that Jesus did, many of them believe that He was able to do that only because He was the Son of God and that is simply not the case. I’ve actually heard people say, “We can’t be expected to do miracles like that because we’re only human.” However, that’s not what Jesus said.

Sometimes this type of answer is either a response in unbelief of the scripture, or a lack of understanding of what God said we could do and who Jesus really is inside the New Testament believer today (see Mark 16:17-18, 20).

Wrong Religious Traditions

Some religious traditions are valuable and worthwhile to maintain, as long as they totally support the accuracy of scripture. On the other hand, there are religious traditions that are nothing more than man-made doctrines and wrong concepts about God and His word that are totally unscriptural.

For example, I previously mentioned conversations that people had about the miracles Jesus performed. Many Christians—even some mature ones—believe that Jesus was able to perform miracles only because He was the Son of God. Without their awareness they’re actually forgetting the fact that He was also a flesh and blood man when He was performing all those miraculous deeds.

The apostle Paul, inspired by the revelation of the Holy Spirit wrote this about Jesus in Philippians 2:7 (NKJV). [He] made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. In other words, He was a flesh and blood man just like we are today.

In Hebrews 2:14 (NKJV), we have more proof that Jesus was flesh and blood like us. Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He [Jesus] Himself likewise shared in the same. Hebrews 4:15 says Jesus was tempted in every way, just like we are, but He did not sin. That is why He understands and is compassionate about our needs.

Jesus Was Just Like Us…

…in every way!

When Jesus was just a child, Luke 1:80 (NKJV) says that “…He grew and became strong in spirit. He was a child in every sense of the word. As He matured and became a young man, He experienced the same things we do; hunger, varieties of temptations (Luke 4:2), confrontations from those who disagreed with Him, even rejection from his own family members (Matthew 13:53-58).

The Power Source of Jesus

Scripture records many miracles that Jesus performed during His short three-year ministry. What is interesting to me is this. No miracles were mentioned, to my knowledge, prior to Jesus being baptized by John in the river Jordan. The scripture also makes specific mention of the Holy Spirit descending upon and empowering Him at that point in time. God spoke immediately following this baptism, voicing His divine approval, then sending Him into the wilderness to be tested and proved for the most powerful ministry that anyone on earth would ever have.

There is still much debate today in the church concerning the Holy Spirit indwelling every believer at salvation versus the additional experience of what is referred to as the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, which is an additional spiritual submersion and empowerment.

For the purpose of this article, I believe the record of Jesus’ baptism in Matthew 3:13-17 clearly portrays a baptism or complete submersion in and of the Holy Spirit that allowed Him to have total dominion and power over every kind of unclean spirit, as well as all the forces of nature itself.

There are multiple records to prove this domination of spirits and nature in each of the four gospels in the New Testament.

In Acts 10:38 (NKJV), it says “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power who went about doing good and healing all (not most, but all) who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.”

The word “power” in this verse means: power for performing miracles. It also means power that is the nature of the One who controls another. In this case, the Holy Spirit of God anointing Jesus for ministry.

God was with Him, not only because He was the Son of God, but because He was a flesh and blood man indwelt by the Holy Spirit who promised that He would never leave Him. Once He takes up residence in us, He will never leave us either.

A Man Empowered by the Holy Spirit

After Jesus was baptized by John in the river Jordan, Luke 4:1 mentions that Jesus was “filled” with the Holy Spirit, not just indwelt. Therefore, there is a difference.

To further prove that Jesus had laid aside divinity and was still a man on this side of the cross (see Heb.1:5-6). Let’s go back to the great commission at Matthew 28:18. In the NKJV Jesus said, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” In order for Jesus to say “all authority” had been given to Him, that had to mean “at that time” that He did not have all authority. He had to “receive” it from the Father just as we do today.

You must give this passage some serious thought to fully understand it. I did not come up with this on my own the first time. I had to get it from someone much wiser that I will probably ever be.

Read it again, slowly! Jesus said, “He had been given all authority”… If He was already God at this point, then He could not or would not have given Himself His own authority. Would He? Look at the language again. Someone [God] gave Him all authority. In other words, prior to this statement, it makes sense that He “did not” have all authority before He spoke these words.

In order for someone to give you, me, or us, “all authority”, they would certainly have to rank much higher in power and authority than us in order to hand it down. In order to grasp this, you must remember that Jesus willingly relinquished all His authority, position, power, divinity, influence, etc. before He was born. He laid it all down to come to a sin-cursed earth and become like us. What kind of love is this?!

Read Philippians 2:7 again, He [Jesus] made Himself of no reputation.

Why Did He Do This As a Man and Not God?

Please understand that I am NOT SAYING that Jesus was not God’s son. That is heresy. He most certainly was the virgin-born, eternal, Son of God; and there will never be another like Him. However, Jesus also referred to Himself many times as the Son of Man. In other words, He willingly chose to become a member of the human race—the son of man.

Why did Jesus choose to become a man and do all of these miracles as a man filled with and empowered by the Holy Spirit?

Think about it this way. If Jesus had descended from heaven as God, remained as God without taking on human flesh, and then proceeded to do all those miraculous things He is well known for, we would still be amazed and impressed.

But if He really did lay down His divinity, rights, power, and authority, and then took on human flesh and was empowered by the Holy Spirit as a man, prior to His miraculous ministry, I am compelled to seriously consider His works and His words.

Either He’s the greatest liar that ever lived and I must protect myself and warn others about Him. Or, I must choose to follow Him the rest of my days because He is Who He says He is.

If I choose to follow Him, I MUST open my mind to what He says is truth. Because ultimately, truth always overrides facts! The truth is, Jesus gave it all so that we could have an eternally intimate relationship with Him. Secondly, He really did expect us to do the same miracles that He did, and even greater than He did (John 14:12). In Matthew 10:1, 7-8, He commissioned His disciples to do great miracles of healing, deliverance, salvation, and raising the dead.

Jesus was and is “perfect theology” and He led by example, as a man, filled with and totally yielded to the Holy Spirit at all times. He went about doing good, healing all who were oppressed by the devil, and basically wreaking havoc on ungodly religious attitudes and anything else under the devil’s control or influence.

We Have the Same Power Source

We have the exact same power source as Jesus, which is the awesome, precious Holy Spirit of Father God Himself.

He is the most powerful force (person) in the universe. He was present at creation when God spoke the earth, stars, planets, and every living thing into existence. He was present in gentle power at the baptism of Jesus. He was most certainly present at the Crucifixion when all the demons of darkness and hell were thinking they had finally finished Him off; but they were wrong!

The apostle Paul gave us language in the book of Romans for this wonderful thing that Jesus did for us on the cross so that we could be in continuous fellowship with Him. Then in the book of Ephesians, Paul uncovers further understanding in chapters 1-3 about what it means to live a victorious life by the power of the Holy Spirit; the power source of Jesus.

When it says in Ephesians 2:6 that “We are seated in heavenly places”…many bible teachers suggest this statement is a point of “positional theology” only. However, that “positional” thinking is totally void of experiencing the heavenly realm as Jesus did in John 3:13, 5:19-21.

The feet of Jesus may or may not have left this earth prior to His going to the cross for us (I believe they did). However, as you do a thorough study of His miracles and His personal encounters with His Father, it is clear that He was visiting His Father in the spiritual realm. Because of these encounters, Jesus always brought heaven’s atmosphere into every situation and heaven’s dominion always won over darkness.

Jesus modeled this for us a man, so that we, as men and women, could co-partner with Him and complete what originally started with Adam and Eve in the Garden…bringing heaven to earth.

 

Serving You Truth,

Dennis

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