THE EARLY MINISTRY OF JESUS HIS MIRACULOUS SIGNS 2 (over spiritual beings)
Texts: (Mar 5:7-8, 9:25, Luk 4:31-37, 41)
As we consider themes taken from the life of Jesus Christ, we started looking at the ‘The Early ministry of Jesus His Miraculous signs….’’ last week. This study guarantees the efficacy of our faith which is dependent upon the power of Jesus Christ to save humanity from the shackles of Satan. . Surely this is a thought in agreement with scriptural declarations in Philippians 2:11 and Romans 1:16-17:
“…and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the father” (Php 2:11)
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith, as it is written, “The just shall live by faith” (Rom 1:16-17)
Finding purpose in the recorded miracles of Jesus Christ
The purpose for the recordings of Jesus’ miraculous works as given in the book of John 20:30-31
And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book, but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name (John 20:30-31)
In agreement with these scriptures, the goal of this study is to help us grow to trust in Him more. It is my prayer that as sincere students of God’s word, we develop that rock-solid faith appropriate for the overcomers in the journey of faith.
Today’s topic examines the miracles of Jesus Christ demonstrating His power over spiritual beings. The spirit beings here includes all the forces of the powers of darkness Christians are admonished about wrestling against in life. (Eph 6:12-13)
‘Spiritual beings’ is a generic term and it includes all of the satanic agents and practices mentioned in scriptures as works of the flesh and some other types of works of darkness that these beings effect.
Jesus Christ appeared to deliver humankind from the kingdom of darkness (Col 1:16) but still the Devil is restless and continues to seek ways to manipulate humankind with the help of his angels and demons against man in order to force some to fall because of fear and lust. The Bible explains that the devil is “seeking for whom to devour” (1Pe 5:8-9)
The Biblical understanding of some key terms
According to the Wikipedia, The term delusion is a firm and fixed belief based on inadequate ground not amenable on rational augment or evidence, it is distinct from a belief based on false or incomplete information. It is therefore, a stand taken in rebellion in order to contradict God’s truth. (1Tim 4:1-2, Rom 1:18, 21)
To help us understand how one can be deluded, it is important that we examine how the Bible sees one with delusion. In scriptural prophecy, the one deluded is carried away by false miracles and wonders done by Satan. The Bible states that these persons are blinded to scriptural truth and they lust for power. The Bible states that such are under the influence of a powerful delusion in 2Thessalonians 2:9-11.
The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion that they should believe the lie. (2Th 2.9-11)
This term can be understood in two ways,
- The emotion that is aroused in someone because of awe-inspiring astounding or surprising event.
- One who arouses awe, astonishment, surprise or admiration may rightly do so or wrongly, using deception to gain such astonishment. It will not be out to place to believe that the one with the monopoly of power to arouse astonishment by authentic means is God (Psa 105:4-5, Psa 33:8) However, we have a biblical example of a man who by means of sorceries had aroused such astonishment in the scriptures. His was name Simon (Act 8:9-11)
Providence is often mistaken for miracle. However, the terms mean two different things. The term Providence is derived from the Latin providential, signifying ‘‘foresight.’’ The word is used to denote the biblical idea of ‘the wisdom and power which God continually exercise in the preservation and governance of the universe’. (Act 17:24-28)
Quoting Jackson, Wayne.in his article "What Does the Bible Say About Miracles?”: Miracle is a divine operation that’ transcends what is normally perceived as natural law; it cannot be explained upon any natural basis.’’
No phenomenon in nature, no event in the course of God’s providence however unexpected it may be, is a miracle, unless it can be trace to God’s working on nature beyond what is humanly possible, in order to put forth proof of divine mission.
What this means and implies is that what a miracle is must be the astonishing working of God in order to establish proof for that, which hitherto was, not seen as part of divine plan. Scriptural examples in support of this understanding run through the Bible and we will examine just two in this class.
- As a proof of God’s hand in the establishment of the Israelite’s monarchy, Saul and the whole of Israel were given the miraculous sign of Saul joining the band of prophets to prophecy (1Sam 10:9-11)
- The second episode has to do with the miracle of proof that God have accepted the Gentiles into the church of God’s people (Act 10:44-48, 15:7-8). Providence is not miracle. A miracle is not a violation of nature. It is not just a suspension of the law of nature; it is God acting upon nature in a degree far beyond our power.
The reality of people living and acting under satanic influence (2Co 4:4)
The reality of satanic influence on humanity is as old as the Creation story. We read of a fallout between God and the Devil as an event that started long before the creation of the first man. The Bible alludes to how long Satan’s rebellious activities have lasted while prophesying the closeness of his end (Rev 12:9, 20:10)
“In addition, the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” (Rev 12:9)
“And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” (Rev 20:10)
We read of individuals in Bible times who acted under the influence and manipulation of demons and in some other case had to endure the torture of the Devil. In the Old Testament, we read of some notable cases of such satanic manipulations:
- Job “perfect and upright, and one that feared God,” (Job 1:1)
- King Saul “The LORD'S Spirit left Saul. Then the LORD sent an evil spirit” (1Sa 16:14-15)and the return of an unclean spirit (Mat 12:43-45)
- Ahab's prophets I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophet (1Ki 22:19-25)
In the New Testament times, we continue to encounter the influence of Satan over men but with the presence of Jesus Christ on the scene, humanity found grace and victory. His mission is to destroy the works of every evil spirits and give deliverance to men (Heb 2:14-15)
Appreciating Jesus’ Miraculous Power over Spirit Beings (Co1 2:14-15)
Today’s lesson exposes us to the fact that since after God’s declaration of Jesus’ Sonship by the Father, the Devil has not missed a chance to confront Him hoping to hinder Jesus on His mission to bring deliverance to humankind. (Mat 3:16-17 and Luk 4:1-2)
And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway from the water: and lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming upon him; and lo, a voice out of the heavens, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. (Mat 3:16-17)
And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan, and was led in the Spirit in the wilderness during forty days, being tempted of the devil. And he did eat nothing in those days: and when they were completed, he hungered. (Luk 4:1-2)
After the encounter in the wilderness where He was tempted, Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee. The scriptures tells us His fame went through the entire region round about and ‘‘He taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all’’. (Luk 4:14-15) Then came the episode of His rejection at His hometown Nazareth, from then on, the ministry of Jesus Christ came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee (Luk 4:16-17, 28-31).
Now at Capernaum, the Bible record yet another amazing account of how Jesus Christ was able to demonstrate power over the unclean spirit of the devil that had possessed one of the worshipers in the synagogue at Capernaum (Luk 4:31-37).
A worshipper possessed by demon? Yes, a worshiper can be possessed. How? for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light (2Cor 11:14)
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. (1Jo 4:1)
When he refuses to allow God’s words guide his life, or when we live a life of rebellion to God, yes sir, you know what God’s word is saying but all you want to do is the very opposite. You do not stop at that, but go on to encourage others in rebellion against God. Now listen to what the Bible has to say to those living like this: (Rom 1:32)
Do you think that your church attendance will make up for your lack of obedience to the commandment of God? My brother, you are living a lie, just as Satan is (1Joh 3:8). As Christians, we must not be overcome with evil but with good. (Rom 12:21) We can only find the power to overcome in Jesus Christ. In His sacrifice on the cross, we find the power to overcome, to submit unto Him and then Satan will flee from you. This is a key to deliverance. (Jam 4:7)
It is interesting to note that the evil spirits always recognize Jesus Christ as the Son of God. This was also true in the case of the legion of demons in Gadarenes. (Mar 5:7-8, 9:25)
We must understand that Satan is not ignorant of who Jesus Christ is and this is why he always look for ways to tempt us away from trusting our safety to Him. It also important to note in both cases we studied that at the presence of Jesus, the evil spirits trembled in obedience under the power of Jesus Christ. (Jam 2:19)
In the case of the evil-possessed man in the synagogue in Luke 4:33-34, we read:
And in the synagogue there was a man, which had a spirit of an unclean devil, and cried out with a loud voice, Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art; the Holy One of God. (Luk 4:33-34)
A similar response also in the case of the legion of Gadarenes in Mark 5:6-8:
But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped Him, And cried with a loud voice, and said, “What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not.” For He said unto him, “Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit.” (Mar 5:6-8)
They know the authority and power of Jesus. They also know that Jesus is the only one who could give man victory over them, not the leaders of the synagogue nor church leaders of our times. .They also recognize that He is the Holy one of God. They became afraid because they know all power and authority in heaven and on earth belong to Jesus Christ. (Mat 28:18) This is a confirmation of who Jesus is: He is righteous, He is God, and He has power above all powers.
He can deliver anyone who is willing to accept Him. He is our sure protector from the scheming and threatening of Satan and His angels. We must let Jesus Christ have His place in our life, in our work, school, businesses, in our home and in everything concerning our living. Allow me to say that this means to see with Christ, taste with Christ, and to live with Christ. Jesus has hidden us in Himself and hidden us in the Father so Satan and his allies cannot harm us. We all need to be grateful to Jesus for what He does for us at all times, and tell the world about Him. Anytime you wake up, show your deepest gratitude to Jesus. For every minute of your life, you must be grateful to Him because had He not been on our side, Satan would destroyed us all.
We are admonished to be sober-minded (1Pet 5:8). We have been delivered from the kingdom of darkness, but if we are nonchalant about nurturing out faith, it will create room for the return of defeated satanic influences in the Christian’s life (Mat 12:43-44).
Holy God, Almighty, Abba Father, I praise you for Jesus' power over all things and all beings. Give me faith to believe this and live accordingly. While I know I will struggle against the power of Satan and his angels, I truly believe that through Jesus, victory is mine. I praise you and thank you in the mighty name of Jesus. Amen.
David Akpata B. (Evangelist)