Chapter 6 Print
Come Holy Spirit Come
"Greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world."
This quote seems to be a reason given for believing that anyone who has accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour and truly accepted him in their heart; then demons cannot enter their body. So there is no need for casting out demons.
Of course it is another reason for Christians to feel that if they admit to demons, it is the same as saying that Jesus is not in their heart and body. The devil crept in there again and insinuated doubt in Christian minds. "Do you want to deny Christ?" says the devil. The devil wants us to feel guilty in our relationship with Jesus Christ because this gives the devil power over us. Jesus referred to an afflicted woman as "being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, low, these eighteen years," i.e. she was a good Jewish woman (and had been a good Jewish woman for the eighteen years) but was afflicted by demons anyway.
Please note that Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist, and the Spirit of God descended upon Jesus (like a dove); the heavens opened up and light shone down on him, and a voice from heaven said. "This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased." It was after that blessing, which came directly from God, that demons tormented Jesus in the desert. Jesus was unmistakably good, as pointed out by God, but demons tormented him anyway. If the devil has no compunctions about tormenting Jesus Christ the Son of God he obviously would not stall at tormenting us, even when Jesus is in our heart.
We accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour. He is in our hearts and minds, as our teacher, our healer, our saviour, and our friend. And Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to aid us in our daily life. It is Jesus and the Holy Spirit who aids us, that is much greater than that which is in the world. In other words we have mastery over the devil's works, through Jesus Christ, when we step out in faith and resist the devil in the name of Jesus Christ the Son of God.
What happens when the Holy Spirit enters our body? I was blessed when it happened to me at my confirmation when I was nearly 13 years old. It was around May 1959. There were more than 100 of us children there to be confirmed. We all looked good, - girls wore white and boys wore suits. The Bishop of Derby, who also gave the sermon, conducted the actual confirmation. With so many people to be confirmed, the time the Bishop spent saying prayers over our head and touching our head was small, but it was amazingly significant in my life.
The Bishop came along the line of us kneeling children. He placed his hands on each head and said a prayer. How lucky we were that he did not stint on his job as many Ministers are apt to do if a lot of people need ministering to. In my case, he placed his hands on my head and said this prayer over me:
Defend, O Lord, this thy child with thy heavenly grace, that she may continue thine for ever; and daily increase in the Holy Spirit more and more, until she come unto thy everlasting kingdom. Amen.
The Holy Spirit rushed through his hands and into my head and body. It was a moment of pure joy, heavenly elation and it did not run out; it stayed with me.
Somehow my feet must have touched the ground as I walked back to my place, but I did not feel the ground. I felt like I was walking on air. Every part of me was alive, but most of all my spirit was alive with the Holy Spirit. But I was only 12 years old and I did not understand what had happened.
Having the Holy Spirit in me did not diminish; it stayed with me for a while. I had no sense of society in that people who are "touched" by the Holy Spirit are noted as being touched, and in society it means to not be right in the head. I suppose I was not right in the head for society, but I was right in the head with God. I knew nothing about speaking in tongues yet I spoke in tongues to the angels, or my friends as I felt they were; they were all around me and had been in my dreams for years. We laughed and joked together as well as continuing discussions on religion and ethics. It was a very happy time for me. It must have gone on for a few weeks but gradually my feet were descending towards the ground again.
I was behaving strangely. I tried to keep out of the presence of my family when I spoke to my friends in tongues, but I have never been very quiet when I laugh and my siblings heard me.
One day I came down the stairs and I heard my sisters and brother telling Mum about how I should be locked up because "She goes around the house jabbering on in no-one knew what language, and laughing out loud." My mother was in training at the mental hospital to be a nurse, so sanity was a very important factor in our household. I heard my siblings insisting, and I heard my mother refusing to do what they wanted her to do. I was in danger. I had read Mum's text books, especially the bits about lobotomy of the brain, and electric shock treatment. None of it was very appealing. My feet finally touched the ground.
I stopped speaking in tongues and the answers and conversations stopped coming. They were never voices in my head. They were better than average return thoughts. (Had the voices been in my auditory memory I would have remembered the sound.) I was 12 years old, and these conversations were intelligent discussions as I remember them to be, as well as light conversation. That is why they were so enjoyable. However, I could not function as Cheryl if they continued.
Had I been older maybe I could have kept my having been blessed by the Holy Spirit quieter. I was young and very open in my behaviour. It must be hard for adults to be touched by the Holy Spirit and keep it all inside themselves. As adults we are much more aware of right and not-right behaviour. We have to function in the world and being filled with the Holy Spirit is definitely too exhilarating for a person to be able to function normally. It is also a problem when society can "Put one away" for abnormal behaviour.
So that was my Pentecost. In the Bible, Acts 2 it says that the disciples spoke in tongues and people thought they were drunk. Not much different with me 1900 years later. I spoke in tongues and my siblings thought I was crazy.
I can say that while I was absolutely filled with the Holy Spirit, I could not have had any demons in me. I am sure that my body had no place for demons or anything that is evil; because "Greater is he that is in you/me, than he that is in the world."
When my feet finally hit the ground demons also entered back into my social life. I was in fear of the world, and it is fear of the devil's works in the world, that is the devil's tool of control. The devil interfered with my message of fellowship with God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, through fear that anyone would notice that I know God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are there. We should fear God and Him only because all other fears are of the devil.
The Holy Spirit is still inside me, but now it is more like I have a connection line to God. The state of exhilaration has given way to certain knowledge of the love of God and that He is with me. It started off that in my childhood I was with Him. I hung onto His coat tails (as you might say). I learnt about Him and revelled in his glory. I learnt about God through the love of Jesus Christ the Son of God. At my Pentecost, I grew up and now God is with me. I was immensely blessed to have the love of God in my life. (I have a very good mother who taught me a lot about God.)
There I was. God said "I love you, you are mine," yet when my feet finally hit the ground, sin entered back into my life in the form of demons of fear of the devil's actions in the world. Without fear, I might have gone on behaving strangely until the family put me away in a mental institute. That does not say that I can thank the demons for pointing out the bad; they themselves are bad for the body and mind and social behaviour, and I do not allow them to reside in me. The Holy Spirit is established in my spiritual life, and demons at that time modified my social life because we have to live in a world afflicted by evil.
The Holy Spirit helps me to stay on the path of Righteousness with knowledge of what is right and what is wrong. That does not mean that I have not gone wrong at any time. After going wrong, then demons of guilt come in and torment. Obviously, I talk to God about it all, and Jesus died for my sins and the sacrifice of his body cleansed me the same as all who turn to him, so demons have to leave again.
It seems that in this life the human body is like a thoroughfare with demons coming and going, and if they find a place to stop in one's body they stay and create havoc. It seems to be the compromise of Adam and Eve living in the ecstasy of God's love and never having to distinguish between right and wrong, and then wrong coming into their life and accentuating the necessity of the knowledge of right and wrong that they plucked from that tree in the garden of Eden.
We are descendants of those who decided to live on earth with the knowledge of good and evil. When we are filled with the Holy Spirit it is wonderful for our spiritual life, but the world cannot understand it. Our life in society is dominated by affairs of this world, and we bring the Holy Spirit into this world by living our own lives with God. The devil tries to stop us bringing the Holy Spirit through into our lives. The devil seems to be a great believer in stopping us early, often at the incipient thought. He knows the power of the Holy Spirit, and he does not want the Holy Spirit to get a foothold. (If the devil has to shout loud we know he is there and can take steps to eradicate him, so he stops us early before we really notice him.)
We still know what is good and what is evil, and we also know that the world cannot understand the absolute good of the Holy Spirit. The devil gets into our minds with. "They will put you away if you say that" or "If you believe that I exist and say so, people will believe you are strange and not like you." or "If you speak of me people will say you are part of me." The devil knows how to stop us from doing good, or accepting good from the Holy Spirit.
We have to step out in faith and oppose the devil. With faith comes the Holy Spirit. The devil is always opposing us taking that first step of faith.
As I said, with faith comes the Holy Spirit. We have to step out in faith in healing; in casting out demons; in preaching the gospel and raising the dead, so that people can be dead to sin and live to righteousness.
With faith in God comes the Holy Spirit. With faith, then whatever we do to promote God's heavenly kingdom on earth will gain a share in that immense power of the Holy Spirit sent to us by Jesus Christ the Son of God. The Holy Spirit does not sit around and reside, the Holy Spirit works with us. At its inception it seems to reside as it changes our outlook on life, but then having made the connection the Holy Spirit allows us to be human and function normally in society. We are not left in a continual state of ecstasy but we are left in a continual state of knowing and are thereby ready to ask in faith, knowing that the Holy Spirit is there to help us in all things that are good and righteous.
In conclusion, when the Holy Spirit first descends upon us we are filled and nothing evil can be part of that ecstatic joy that rings through every atom of our body. But the world does not know us. The world knows us as Adam and Eve, with sin in our lives, with all the doubts, and fear and shame that are the tools of the devil to destroy us and the Holy Spirit connection. It is a constant battle for good. Don't listen to the devil at all, let alone when he slips in to tell you he is not there and don't fight him.
When we ask Jesus Christ into our life it is true. "Greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world." Jesus and the Holy Spirit are part of our whole body. The devil and his demons are just visitors at best, and can be kicked out whenever we call in faith to Jesus Christ or God Almighty to cleanse us of all evil. The devil cannot usurp Jesus or the Holy Spirit; all he can do is use evil to block the actions of good. It is up to us to be ever vigilant, to use the knowledge we have that distinguishes between good and evil, and to ask in faith that the God Almighty, Jesus Christ the Son of God or God the Holy Spirit remove the evil, and put it in the place where it can never harm man nor beast ever again.
More than thirty years after my confirmation, my mother was touched by the Holy Spirit. She phoned me and shyly told me that she had felt the Holy Spirit. She said that she had been at communion and when her turn came she felt the most beautiful feeling pass into her, and her body felt elated. She did not know how she had got back to her seat. She knew what had happened to her and she wanted to tell someone; that was why she phoned me. I could, at last, relate to her what had happened at my confirmation. Now we could share with each other these precious moments together. I also mentioned about how I had spoken in tongues, and my siblings had wanted to lock me up in a mental hospital, and her remark was "I wouldn't let them do it to you. They wanted to and I wouldn't let them." As I have already said; I have a good mother.
Copyright © Cheryl Shepherd - Canada