DEFLATING THE DEVIL:
Destroying the Works of Satan!
By Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.
“No man can enter into a strong man´s house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his house.” (Mark 3: 27)
Jesus was controversial, because He was not like other men. He healed the sick and cast out devils! He spoke the Word of God with power and He practiced what He preached! He was holiness personified! He preached the truth because He is the Truth and there is no lie in Him! (John 14: 6)
Jesus challenged His enemies: “Which of you convinces Me of sin?” (John 8: 46). The police who were sent to arrest Him, returned saying: “Never man spoke like this man.” (John 7: 46).
He was a man of authority and not as the scribes! He confounded the leading theologians with His great wisdom. The Scripture says: “No man dared to ask Him any further questions.” (Matt.22: 46). Consequently, they “hated Him without a cause” and crucified Him as a common criminal on Golgotha! (John 15: 25)
CONTROVERSIAL AND NO COMPROMISE!
CONTROVERSIAL AND NO COMPROMISE!
Jesus´ followers are also controversial, because they are not like other men! They are born again and filled with the Holy Spirit. They speak the truth with great authority and power. They live exemplary lives before the world. They obey the Great Commission of Jesus Christ and preach the Gospel, heal the sick and cast out devils in His name!
They do not compromise or seek to placate the politically correct, prejudiced and bigoted “enemies of the cross”. Consequently, His followers are often hated and called inclusive, intolerant and insensitive! The world will never understand the Church and our mandate to preach the Gospel to all the world!
Jesus said: “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated Me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of this world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” (John 15: 18-19; Matt.10: 24, 25).
He stated: “Remember the Word that I said unto you. The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted Me, they will persecute you; if they have kept My sayings, they will keep your also. But all these things will they do unto you for My name’s sake, because they know not Him that sent Me.” (John 15: 20, 21)
St. Paul declared: “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Cor.2: 14);
"But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to naught things that are.” (1 Cor.1: 27, 28).
The Bible says: “But the wisdom that is from Above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good works, without partiality, and without hypocrisy,” (James 3: 17) while the wisdom from below is sensual and devilish! (v. 15)
BINDING THE STRONG MAN!
U.S. President George W. Bush was asked some years ago, whom he considered to be the greatest philosopher. He answered: “Jesus Christ.” When asked why he felt that way, he very calmly and firmly stated: “He changed my heart. He changed my life.”
Then they asked him how he was able to quit drinking at the age of forty. Again, he confounded them with his answer: “Jesus came into my heart. I was born again!" When asked to explain his answer, he simply replied: “If it has happened to you, you will know. If not, you will not understand!”
Jesus was accused of casting out devils by the power of Satan! In answering that unholy accusation, our Lord simply stated what any thinking person without a bias would understand: “How can Satan cast out Satan? And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if Satan rise up against himself, and be divided, he cannot stand but hath an end.” (Mark 3:23- 26)
Everywhere Jesus Christ went, He healed the SICK and cast out EVIL spirits from those who were bound and tormented: “And at even, when the sun did set, they brought unto Him ALL that were diseased and them that were possessed with devils. And He healed many that were sick of divers diseases, and suffered not the devils to speak, because they knew Him.” (Mark 1: 32-34)
The Ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ was composed of preaching, teaching, healing and casting out demons from those who were tormented, oppressed and possessed. The words and actions of our Lord show how much compassion He had, and consequentially still has!
“And He said unto them, Let us go into the next towns that I may preach there also: for therefore came I forth. And He preached in their synagogues throughout ALL Galilee and cast out Devils.” (Mark 1: 38, 39)
He knew His calling and He fulfilled His mission! He did His Father's will perfectly and showed us His Father's mercy, grace and kindness. He was moved with Compassion upon the poor, needy, fearful, tormented and sick, and He HEALED them all.
In the Lord's Prayer we see the heart of Jesus: “...Thy Kingdom come. Thy WILL be done in Earth as it is in Heaven...” (Matt.6:10). We know that there is NO sin, sickness, fear or torment in Heaven. That is why He healed the SICK and cast out EVIL spirits. These things are foreign to Heaven. They are the fruit of Lucifer's High Treason against the Almighty!
CHRIST'S LOVE FLOWED TO OTHERS!
Our Lord was showing His hatred for sin, fear, sickness and death by healing the sick and raising the dead! And He was giving us a little taste of what it will be like in His Heavenly Kingdom. He came to earth to show us His Father's heart and to make His Father our Father. COMPASSION flowed out from Him to others:
“And Jesus went all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom, and HEALING every SICKNESS and every DISEASE among the people. But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.” (Matt.9: 35,36)
His battle against Satan the fallen archangel and enemy of God and man, intensified as He ordained twelve Disciples and later seventy more to do the exact work that He was doing. He was
also laying out the 'Pattern' and 'Work Order' for the Church He would build after His ascension to Heaven and the outpouring of the Blessed Holy Spirit.
“And when He had called unto Him His twelve disciples, He gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out , and to HEAL all manner of SICKNESS and all manner of DISEASE. And as you go, preach, saying, The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.” (Matt.10:1, 7,8)
I GIVE YOU POWER OVER THE ENEMY!
“After these things, the Lord appointed other SEVENTY also, and sent them two and two before His face into every city and place, whither He Himself would come. And HEAL the SICK that are therein and say unto them, The Kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.” (Luke 10: 1;8,9)
“And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us in through Thy name. And He said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning FALL from Heaven. Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” (Luke 10: 17-19)
Jesus made a powerful statement regarding casting out unclean spirits. He calls Satan a strong man and so he is. He has great power over those who allow him access to their spirit, mind or body. He cannot, however, forcefully take anyone captive unless they have played into his hand and invited him to have fellowship with them through acts of disobedience and rebellion to God.
Our Saviour stated: “No man can enter into a strong man´s house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his house.” (Mark 3: 27). Not only did Jesus state that “the Enemy” was a strong man who had taken many unsuspecting souls into captivity, but also that He was the Stronger Man who was able to overpower him and “spoil his house”, meaning to liberate those captive souls.
Speaking to Cornelius the Roman Centurion, St. Peter declared: “How that Jesus of Nazareth went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed of the devil, for God was with Him.” (Acts 10: 38).
Satan had oppressed the people but Jesus loosed them from their oppressors by casting out demons from those bound by Satan's chains of oppression, sickness and pain!
On the Day of Pentecost, St. Peter stated: “Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by Him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:
“Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: Whom God hath raised up, having LOOSED the pains of death because it was not possible that He should be holden of it.” (Acts 2: 22-24)
DEATH COULD NOT HOLD JESUS!
Why was it impossible for death to hold Jesus? He was Sinless! If there would have been one sin in Him, Death and Hades would have held Him captive until the Day of Judgment! And because He had power over death and Hades, He “led captivity captive” and released the souls which were with Him in Hades on the Third Day, as David had prophesied. (Ps. 68:18; Eph. 4:8)
“For David speaketh concerning Him, I FORESAW THE LORD always before my face ...He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ that His soul was not left in hell (Hades), neither His flesh did see corruption. This JESUS hath God raised up, whereof we are all witnesses.” (Acts 2: 25-32)
As David prophesied about Christ, the Heavens were open and he actually saw His face and saw Him rising from the dead. And the word Hell used in the King James Version is actually the Greek word for Hades. Jesus did not go to Hell, but to Abraham's Bosom which is called Paradise, from which He ascended! (Luke 16: 22-26)
Jesus of Nazareth was incarnated (God in human flesh), therefore without sin. As the Lamb of God, He took upon Himself the sins of the world - past, present and future! The pascal lamb was slain on Israel's altar for their sins on the Day of Atonement, likewise, God's Pascal Lamb took upon Himself the world's sins.
The Bible says: “Who His own Self bare our Sins in His own body on the tree that we being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: By Whose stripes ye were HEALED.” (1 Peter 2: 24);
“For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus Who gave Himself a RANSOM for all...” (1 Tim.2: 5,6); “For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give HIS LIFE a RANSOM for many.” (Mark 10:45)
“Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being MADE A CURSE for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a TREE.” (Gal.3: 13); “The God of our Fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a TREE.” (Acts 5:30);
“And we are witnesses of all the things which He did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; Whom they slew and hanged on a TREE: Him God raised up the third day...” (Acts 10: 39, 40)
“Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for His own sins, and then for thy people's: for this He did once, when He offered up Himself.” (Heb.7: 27); “For then must He often have suffered since the foundation of the world, but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away Sin by the Sacrifice of Himself.” (Heb. 9:26)
GOD RAISED HIM FROM THE DEAD!
GOD RAISED HIM FROM THE DEAD!
ISAIAH saw Him suffer, bleed and die for our sins: “Surely, He hath BORNE our sicknesses (griefs) and CARRIED our pains (sorrows).: yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the Lord hath laid upon Him the iniquity of us all.
“Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him, He hath put Him to grief: when Thou shalt make His soul an offering for sin.. He shall see the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied: by His Knowledge shall My righteous Servant justify many; for He shall bear the iniquities.” (Is. 53: 4-12)
He identified Himself with us as He bare our sins. Israel's paschal lamb was examined for three days and was declared perfect in all respects. JESUS also had been examined for three years by God and men and found faultless! If He had not been without fault and perfect in every respect, He would not been able to be the PROPITIATION (satisfaction, covering, expiation) for our sins.
In order to pay the total price and meet the Demands of Divine Justice in the courts of Heaven, the incarnated Son of God had to bear the sins of the entire world and shed His pure and righteous blood through His vicarious death for us all. While Jesus of Nazareth was dying in our stead, God the Father was judging His only Son on our behalf and the Holy Spirit was in Jesus Christ reconciling the world unto Himself.
IT IS FINISHED; IT IS FULFILLED; IT IS PAID!
Speaking in Greek, Jesus shouted out His Victory Cry, 'Tetelestai', taken from the verb teleo which has three essential meanings: “to finish something, to bring something to an end; to fulfill something; to pay that which is owed.” His work of Redemption was finished. He had brought to an end Satan's domination over the human race. He had fulfilled all the Old Testament Prophecies about Himself and He had purchased our total Salvation!
His life-giving BLOOD was flowing. He had opened the fountain for sin and uncleanness as foretold by the prophet: “In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and uncleanness.” (Zech. 13: 1)
Immediately, the Heavenly Father left the Holy of Holies, ripping the veil in two from top to bottom and rendering it ineffective. The blood of bulls and goats would no longer have any value, and the sacrificial system had become obsolete.
God's Paschal Lamb had been sacrificed once and for all time, and the Fountain of blood was opened for sin and uncleanness. The Old Testament types had been fulfilled in Jesus of Nazareth, the long-awaited Jewish Messiah. The Blood of Jesus Christ, God's pascal Lamb would for all time atone for sins!
He knew His work was over and His Father's Name was glorified, so He prayed, “Father, into Thy hands I commend My spirit”. Immediately he was met by Moses, Elijah and the prophets as His spirit soared into Abraham's Bosom called called Paradise! And the thief who had believed on Him there on the Cross, also joined the righteous dead! (Luke 23: 42-46; 25: 25)
CHRIST'S VICTORY; SATAN'S DEFEAT; OUR LIBERTY!
Christ's Victory over sin, death and the devil is Permanent. He had come to earth as God's Paschal Lamb for the express purpose of meeting the demands of Divine Justice in the Courts of Heaven, by shedding His precious and holy blood to redeem the human race!
The angels of God sang in triumph, Satan and his demons trembled in fear, and believers in Christ exulted with joy, when Jesus rose from the dead! God's Peace was now given to troubled minds, His Mercy was freely imputed to repentant sinners and His Grace was poured out upon mankind! Redemption had come to the fallen sons of Adam and Eve through the mercy, love and grace of Jesus Christ our Lord!
His Victory was eternal, purchasing not only forgiveness of sins, peace for troubled minds, divine healing for diseased bodies and joy for sorrowing hearts, but also Life Everlasting for all who would receive His abundant love, grace and mercy!
Our spirits exult with JOY in the amazing presence of the blessed Holy Spirit, given liberally to us all, through our Heavenly Father's everlasting gift of His Son Jesus Christ our Lord! Amen.