If you are a follower of Christ, a similar question will be asked about you.
Since you are not Christ, why are you trying to change anybody’s life?
The world and many religious people do not know that we gave our lives to Christ on our path to salvation, and He came into us – in the form of the Holy Spirit, another aspect of God.
Consider these passages that speak of our being joined with Christ.
John 14:16 The Holy Spirit, “the Comforter, will abide with you forever.”
John 15:1-6 NASB “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. (2) “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. (3) “You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. (4) “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. (5) “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. (6) “If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.”
1 John 5:20 NASB “And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.”
So the world, which can’t see that this happens, will not acknowledge that you are in Christ.
Alright, what about Elijah?
First, we are not to pray in Elijah’s name, but few would consider doing this. When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray, they got a response something like this.
“So do not be like them; for your, Father knows what you need before you ask Him. “Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. ‘Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. ‘Give us this day our daily bread.”
(Matthew 6:8-11 NASB)
Direct instructions from Jesus about asking can be seen in John’s gospel.
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. “Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. “If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.”
(John 14:12-14 NASB)
The faith camp will have you using a passage like this to order God around as you demand a Tesla or a Rolls Royce automobile. Have you checked the maintenance costs on either of those? If you can afford it, then go for it; otherwise, you are simply feeding into your selfish desires.
John 1:26-27 NASB “John answered them saying, “I baptize in water, but among you stands One whom you do not know. (27) “It is He who comes after me, the thong of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.”
From the LASB commentary:
“John was baptizing Jews. The Essenes (a strict, monastic sect of Judaism) practiced baptism for purification, but normally only non-Jews (Gentiles) were baptized when they converted to Judaism. When the Pharisees questioned John’s authority to baptize, they were asking who gave John the right to treat God’s chosen people like Gentiles. John said, “I baptize with water”—he was merely helping the people perform a symbolic act of repentance. But soon one would come who would truly forgive sins, something only the Son of God—the Messiah—could do.”
We are not told in scripture that these were the Essenes; we are left to pick through extra-Biblical information, such as historical accounts and commentaries, to find out that a particular group was challenging the Baptist.
For John to throw this statement about baptism back at these Jewish leaders was either a hefty dose of sarcasm or evidence that by “Essene” standards, he was doing a good thing. The answer is unclear to us.
Try to imagine the Pharisees’ reactions: “John answered them saying, I baptize in water, but among you stands One whom you do not know.” I can see them beginning to look around. Did someone come up behind us, and we not be aware of it. Moments later, they realized what he meant in their everyday lives.
The prophet Isaiah, by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, said,
“…There was nothing special or impressive about the way he looked, nothing we could see that would cause us to like him.” (Isaiah 53:2 ERV)
Why would he say something like that?
He hadn’t seen Jesus; therefore, Isaiah could only say something so bold by inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Odd how so many of us have fallen in love with this man. I can’t see Him as the disciples did, yet what draws me to Him is His love for me, which was demonstrated throughout the scriptures.
John 1:27 ERV “He is the one who is coming later. I am not good enough to be the slave who unties the strings on his sandals.”
Note the location of Bethany just to the right of Jerusalem. No wonder John the baptist drew the attention of the Pharisees.
John 1:28 ERV These things all happened at Bethany on the other side of the Jordan River. This is where John was baptizing people.
In response to John’s assertion, He is the one who is coming later. It would not be that much later, for the Messiah showed up the next day.
John 1:29 TLV “The next day, John sees Yeshua coming to him and says, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”
Think about this bold statement made by John, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”
Where did this come from?
If you have been following our study in the book of John, then you will remember how I pointed out that Elizabeth, his mother, was filled with the Holy Spirit. Therefore, though John leaped in his mother’s womb when she heard the greeting by Mary, this does NOT imply anything about John.
I am bringing these things up because I was bombarded with misinformation as I grew up in church. As I have sat under the teaching of evangelists, pastors, and various teachers, the implications of how the Holy Spirit moves in you and “controls” you.
First, the Holy Spirit DOES NOT possess anybody unless that person asks Him to control them.
The example that stands out is Nicky Cruz, the former Mau Maus gang leader, who tormented Pastor David Wilkerson and became the subject of Pastor Wilkerson’s book “The Cross and the Switchblade.” One day, I came home from work, and my wife (at the time) had Trinity Broad Casting on the Television, and they were interviewing now pastor Nicky Cruz. Nicky spoke about his father in Puerto Rico, who had been a Santeria priest. His dad would encourage the “evil spirits” to possess him and make him the best and possibly the most feared Santeria priest in PR.
Nicky pointed out that the Holy Spirit is a spirit and suggested that we “Christians” invite the Holy Spirit to possess us. I have done that at times, repeatedly.
(If I learned anything from church, I falsely came to believe that I needed to keep putting Jesus back on His throne and that I needed to re-invite the Holy Spirit into my life. These two things are the predominant falsehoods that I fight. Now, I will admit that I do allow distractions to take my mind away from the life and power of the Holy Spirits impact; however, I have also come to understand that it is me and not the power of Jesus Christ or the comforter, that has gone on vacation. )
- Note how the Baptist declared, “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”
How would John know this?
Here are a couple of examples to answer this question.
“Then Isaac said to Abraham his father, “My father?” Then he said, “Here I am, my son.” He said, “Look. Here’s the fire and the wood. But where’s the lamb for a burnt offering?” Abraham said, “God will provide for Himself a lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” The two of them walked on together.” (Genesis 22:7-8 TLV)
I suggested that Isaiah 53 may have been on John’s mind as he made these statements, which may have startled even John, who, like me, often wondered where those thoughts came from.
“We all like sheep have gone astray. Each of us turned to his own way. So Adonai has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and He was afflicted yet He did not open His mouth. Like a lamb led to the slaughter, like a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He did not open His mouth.”
(Isaiah 53:6-7 TLV)
Clearly, there is a grasp that Jesus, the spotless lamb, had the iniquity of all of us laid upon Him.
“Your lamb is to be without blemish, a year old male. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats.”
(Exodus 12:5 TLV)
The example from Exodus 12 continues.
“They (God’s people) are to take the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the crossbeam of the houses where they will eat it.”
(Exodus 12:7 TLV)
Putting the blood on the doorpost is symbolic of our being covered by Jesus’ blood and our protection from the wrath (that for the Egyptians and those among “God’s people” that refused to believe) that was to come.
“Also, you are to eat it this way: with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand. You are to eat it in haste. It is Adonai’s Passover. “For I will go through the land of Egypt on that night and strike down every firstborn, both men and animals, and I will execute judgments against all the gods of Egypt. I am Adonai. The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are. When I see the blood, I will pass over you. So there will be no plague among you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.”
(Exodus 12:11-13 TLV)
Leviticus also helps to define the removal of and our permanent separation from all sin.
“/Aaron should lay both his hands on the head of the live goat and confess over it all the iniquities of Bnei-Yisrael and all their transgressions, all their sins. He should place them on the head of the goat and send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a man who is in readiness. The goat will carry all their iniquities by itself into a solitary land and he is to leave the goat in the wilderness.”
(Leviticus 16:21-22 TLV)
Jesus took all our sins to the cross with Him. Although I have tried to share this information with the various church bodies I have been involved with, I can tell you that some will come back you with vile hatred. I suppose this makes sense to some as they also condemn many to hell.
As a young man, who was shy and withdrawn, we were sent out to the local neighborhood to win the lost to Christ. At this point in time, if you had long hair, you were a hippie, so when we knocked, a hippie came to the door. I had taken a position to the side near the door and leaned against the railing. I do not remember most of what was said, but the man responded with no thanks; I am not interested. To his response, one loud but pretty girl yelled back, then you are going to hell. They all turned and walked away. I just stood there. The man turned to me and said, what do you have to say? All I could say was, I am so sorry, and I merely walked away. That moment changed me, and I told God I would never do this door-to-door garbage or speak to anybody in that manner again.
I am passionate about what I know and refuse to whisper as I sit in a public place talking about Jesus.