Thursday, June 26, 2014

Human Intervention Produces Only Temporary Benefits

Matthew 12:43-50

“When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none.  Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished.  Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.” (Matthew 12:43-45)

Demons do not gain direct control ove r a person but influence his thinking.  As a result, most demon possession is diagnosed as a psychological problem.  Psychology, counseling, religious events, and medical treatments can result in the person not demonstrating the behavior for a time. 

Unfortunately, in most cases, they only treat the symptoms, changing the behavior without getting rid of the attitudes and manner of thinking that caused the behavior.  In essence they just temporarily displace the spirit.    As a result, once the treatment stops, the person reverts back to allowing the spirit that caused the attitude and consequent behavior back into their life.  With the former guilt and restraints gone, the person is far more open to suggestion by other demonic influences and actually becomes worse than before.  Most treatment programs require an ongoing commitment to meetings or drugs to prevent recurrence of the behavior.

When a person accepts Christ there will not need to be the ongoing support because the evil spirit is permanently replaced by the Holy Spirit as John 14:16-17 describes.  “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.”

As a result, II Corinthians 5:17 tells us, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”  The person is no longer an alcoholic, or psychopath or whatever else the evil spirit caused them to be.   They are a new person, with a completely new attitude and way of thinking.  External support can be helpful, but is not required.

While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him.  Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee.

But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren?  And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!  For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.” (Matthew 12:46-50)

Many have held traditionally that Mary never had other children.  All four gospel records speak of his brothers and mother.  Matthew 13:55-56 names four brothers and mentions some sisters.  Clearly Jesus was not Mary’s only child. 

When Mary’s presence was announced. One of the women commented how great it was to have been his mother in Luke 11:27.  “And it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked.”

 Jesus said she was no more special than any person who would listen to and obey the word of God in Luke 11:28.  “But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.”   Every person who obeys God is as much his family as his physical mother and brothers were.  Mary is not to be worshipped or considered more special than other people, despite having given birth to Jesus.  She has no special powers or influence.

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