Series: Breakthrough - New Life through Jesus in the Gospel of Mark
February 11, 2007 – Brad Bailey
(NOTE: Portions of the notes below include sections of commentary by others which was never
stated in full when taught but rather was placed in these notes as a source of ideas which was
usually including in a simplified and briefer way.)
Mark 3:7-15, 20-30
Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the lake, and a large crowd from Galilee followed. 8When
they heard all he was doing, many people came to him from Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, and the
regions across the Jordan and around Tyre and Sidon. 9Because of the crowd he told his disciples
to have a small boat ready for him, to keep the people from crowding him. 10For he had healed
many, so that those with diseases were pushing forward to touch him. 11Whenever the evil spirits
saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, "You are the Son of God." 12But he gave them
strict orders not to tell who he was.
Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him.
He appointed twelve--designating them apostles--that they might be with him and that he might
send them out to preach 15and to have authority to drive out demons.
…Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not
even able to eat. 21When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they
said, "He is out of his mind."
And the teachers of the law who came down from Jerusalem said, "He is possessed by
Beelzebub! By the prince of demons he is driving out demons."
So Jesus called them and spoke to them in parables: "How can Satan drive out Satan? 24If a
kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25If a house is divided against itself,
that house cannot stand. 26And if Satan opposes himself and is divided, he cannot stand; his end
has come. 27In fact, no one can enter a strong man’s house and carry off his possessions unless he
first ties up the strong man. Then he can rob his house. 28I tell you the truth, all the sins and
blasphemies of men will be forgiven them. 29But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will
never be forgiven; he is guilty of an eternal sin."
He said this because they were saying, "He has an evil spirit."
I. The Kingdom Ministry of Jesus Continues to Unfold…Confronting All Who
Seek to Contain it
What had long been prepared and prophesied in the OT breaks forth… just as Isaiah had
prophesied, a voice comes crying out from the wilderness… preparing the way for the Messiah….
One who would come from the Davidic line… but a king on an entirely new dimension as God
had stated throughout the years.
Jesus is anointed as King
Jesus announces the Kingdom has come…an exchange of sovereignties.
The Definitive Announcement (Mark 1:14-15)
"The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!"
A kingdom represents the reign and rule of a sovereign. Jesus is announcing
that the reign and rule of God was at hand… re-taking the world from the powers
of spiritual deception and darkness that had come to rule both the human spirit
(nature) and all that had been given to them to manage.
This is the central statement of all that Jesus came to proclaim. With these words he
begins his ministry and everything he said and did is a reflection of what he stated in
this one statement.
Jesus is immediately taken to the wilderness for 40 days to do battle with the devil… the
‘prince of this world’ (John 12:31, 14:30, 16:11)… the prince of darkness.’ As Israel had
once needed a Deliverer to free them from Pharaoh and enter the wilderness to establish
their identity… so now for the whole world the Messiah deliverer comes.
Jesus begins to demonstrate ‘fulfilling’ the Word and Work of God in demonstrations of
authority… of Divine compassion and power. He is embodying and enacting the fulfillment
of Israel in himself.
Jesus’ Intensifying Ministry Confronts the Presumptions of this world
It’s been said that “God created humankind in His image… and we’ve been trying to
return the favor ever since” (by trying to create God in our image.)
The problem of reducing Jesus to fit our comfort
• To his earthly family he is creating social controversy… and they want to tame him.
• To the religious leaders he is threatening their religious pretense… and they want to get rid of
• To the crowds in need he is a means of healing and freedom… and they want to use him.
We have our own personal comfort to contend with.
Jesus forms a “new Israel” (in embryo) in gathering a core team of twelve disciples to
The name “Jesus” means “Joshua,” or “Deliverer.” Just as Joshua led Israel into the
Promised Land to cleanse it of pagan idols, Jesus entered the Promised Land to cleanse it of
unclean spirits – the demons that sought to afflict, possess and destroy God’s good creation.
In the Exodus, Joshua extended God’s kingdom throughout the land. Jesus does the same.
Of course… there was a presence that appears to get it right… the evil spirit. Jesus tells it to
May seem strange. If everybody else is getting it wrong… you might things he say…
“Great… someone got it right… could you speak up so everyone can hear.”
But I think there may be two reasons that help us understand why Jesus commands the evil
spirit to remain silent.
1. There was a belief in spiritual matters that if you could name something… you could gain
control over it. Most believe that it was understood that the evil spirit was trying to control
him. In this case, Jesus is declaring is authority… he won’t be controlled.
2. The popular idea of the Messiah was of a conquering king who, with his mighty armies,
would blast the Romans and lead the Jews to world power. Therefore, if a rumour were to
go out that the Messiah had arrived, the inevitable consequence would be rebellions and
uprisings, especially in Galilee where the people were ever ready to follow a nationalist leader.
He confronts the hardness of heart at hand in the religious leaders.
Below section from Don Williams study notes on Kingdomrain.net)
The immediate context is the charge that Jesus is possessed by Beelzebub, “Lord of filth.”
What the Scribes (“teachers of the law”) mean by this is clear in the next sentence: “By
the prince of demons he is driving out demons.” (Mark 3:22) So Beelzebub is the “prince
of demons,” Satan himself, and Jesus is demon possessed. His pact with the devil gives
him authority over lesser spirits.
Much of the uproar about Jesus then was his authority over demons. As great numbers of
people were set free and restored to their right minds, his fame quickly spread. This
provoked the religious establishment and they needed to check it out and make a
determination about it. Thus the informal delegation from Jerusalem. (Mark 3:22) Clearly
they had already reached their conclusion. Unable to deny Jesus’ power and authority,
they charge that it comes from a pact with the devil. This explains how he can usurp the
temple by forgiving sins, welcome traitors into his inner circle, void fasting as a pious act
and, horror of horrors, break the Sabbath. After all, if God rests on the Sabbath and Jesus
works (healing a man, Mark 3:1-6), then he is no follower of God. What is left? Satan.
Jesus’ response to the charge begins with a rhetorical question that implies a negative answer:
“How can Satan drive out Satan?” “He can’t.” He drives demons in, he doesn’t drive them out.
This question is then followed by three hypotheses. “If…[then]…” If this is so, then this is the
First, “If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.” (verse 24) Civil
war spells doom. Roman history is littered with the evidence. So if Satan is using Jesus to cast
out demons (again, rather than casting them in) then he is doomed. Jesus is undermining his
kingdom rather than advancing it. Satan’s kingdom is at war with itself.
Second, “If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.” (verse 25) Here
Jesus turns from a political to a social metaphor. House means, “family,” or “tribe.”
Third, Jesus now comes to the clincher: “And if Satan opposes himself and is divided, he cannot
stand; his end has come.” (verse 26) By the analogy of the first two hypotheses, if these are true
then the third must be true. Civil war in Satan’s kingdom means that his end is here. So if Jesus
casts out demons by the prince of demons, they should rejoice. In fact if he has authority from
Satan over demons, he must be in revolt against that authority, because he drives the demons
out and reduces Satan’s reign one liberated person at a time.
Now in verse 27, Jesus makes his application with a brief parable carrying a universal point:
“No one….” There are no alternatives or exceptions to what Jesus is to say. This applies to all.
“A strong man has a house full of possessions (Satan is the god of this world or age who
rules it in its fallen state. Usurped though they are, its goods are his. (II Corinthians 4:4;
Ephesians 2:2) Because he is strong (and mean) he will not freely let go of his goods. The
only way to take them is to bind him. He has to be tied up. Then his goods can be
… the logic and evidence are clear. Since Jesus is setting people free from demons, he
has tied up Satan, restrained him, exercised divine authority over him, and now he is
plundering his house, carrying off his possessions for the Kingdom of God. This work,
again, is in process person by person. The tying up of Satan does not mean he is
impotent, immobilized or inactive. It does mean that a stronger One is here who binds him
and delivers those who are subject to him.”
Finally… Jesus gets to the heart of the issue… as he warns them of the significance and
severity of their hearts in accusing such ministry to be a work of evil.
This is his strong word to the Jerusalem lawyers. If they see Jesus deliver people from
demons and conclude that he does this by the power of Satan rather than the power of the
Spirit, then they are in danger of Hell itself: “never forgiven,” “an eternal sin.” (verse 29)
This is one of the hardest words Jesus ever gave.
In the immediate context, the religious leaders are so spiritually blind that they conclude
Jesus’ has made a deal with the devil. They turn spiritual life and logic on their heads in
order to make their charge stick. In doing so they are the real ones in league with Satan.
To set up the severity (and solemnity: “I tell you the truth”) of his warning, Jesus first says that
all sins and human blasphemies will be forgiven us. (verse 28) Mercy and grace will
triumph over the rottenness and wickedness of our souls. Even those who blasphemed
Jesus in his trial and crucifixion will be forgiven. What great comfort this is to our rebellious
hearts! But there is one unpardonable sin. Seeing the work of the Spirit, liberating the captives,
healing the sick, setting people free and concluding, “That’s of the devil.” To be that spiritually
blind and that rebellious against God, stuck in religious pride and legalism, puts us in danger of
the fires of hell. No light can penetrate such darkness. (Don Williams)
… it is the unique and special role of the Holy Spirit to apply the Father’s plan and the Son’s
accomplishment of it to our hearts. It is the Spirit’s work to open our eyes, to grant
repentance and to make us beneficiaries of all that the Father has planned and all that
Christ has done for us. If we blaspheme and reject the Father and the Son there is still hope, for
the Spirit may yet work within us to humble us and bring us to repentance. But if behind the
Father and the Son we see and taste the power of the Holy Spirit and reject his work as no more
precious than the work of Satan, we shut ourselves off from the only one who could ever bring
us to repentance. And so we shut ourselves off from forgiveness.
So he takes up the deliverance… from oppression….
II. Jesus Sets Forth the Work of Deliverance from the Powers of Evil
In Luke’s account of Christ’s first announcement Jesus reads the prophetic OT text in the
synagogue that would define his ministry… that which he was fulfilling… and they bear the
reality of deliverer.
Luke 4:18-19 (NIV)
"The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to release the oppressed,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor."
Captures the work of healing, social justice… but Jesus understood that along with
confronting disease and institutional structural injustice… were powers of evil that came to
control and claim people on a personal level.
The Apostle John summed up the entire meaning and ministry of Jesus this way…
1 John 3:8 (ESV)
The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.
Jesus came as a warrior king dropped behind enemy lines…. to restore the sovereignty as
the true king.
There are three very simply but significant truths that I believe God wants us to
1. The Powers of evil are REAL
It is well worth noting that the “teachers of the law” (Mark 3:22) do not deny Jesus’
power and authority to cast out demons. They are not modernists. They don’t
claim that he is using psychological tricks, indulging mass delusions, playing on
mentally disturbed people, yielding to the unlettered, primitive mind-set, or
adopting a mythological perception of reality. No. They know that demons are real.
The whole of Palestine was filled with unclean spirits. (Don Williams)
The present-day Christian who accepts the biblical teaching concerning Satan is not
committed to all of the crude imagery that has sprung up around belief in Satan. In the light
of medieval and modern distortions, a careful consideration of the biblical teaching concerning
Satan is especially needed.
Old Testament Teaching
A fully defined doctrine of Satan is not fund in the Bible until New Testament times. A
number of reasons have been suggested for the relatively limited material on Satan in the Old Testament.
God began His self-revelation in the ancient world of polytheism (belief in many gods). God wanted to lead His
people to a dynamic practical monotheism (the belief in and worship of one God). In the Old Testament a primary
emphasis is placed on the supremacy of and the power of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, who delivered the
Hebrews from the slavery of Egypt.
Satan, the chief of the fallen angels, is mentioned in a number of places in the Old Testament. It is clear that from
the very moment of the creation of this world that Satan and fallen angels were on the scene, rebels against God. Satan
was evidently perfect in his original state. Pride seems to have been the cause of his fall. Disguised as a serpent, he
was the agent of temptation for the first man and woman (Genesis 3:10; Rev. 12:9; Rev. 20:2). When Satan does
appear in the Old Testament he is always the adversary of God’s people. He seeks to lead God’s people into
presumption (1 Chron. 21:1) or slanders them to God’s face (Zech. 3:1).
(Two OT texts below likely may be skipped over)
1 Chron. 21:1 (NIV)
Satan rose up against Israel and incited David to take a census of Israel.
Zech. 3:1 (NIV)
Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and
Satan standing at his right side to accuse him.
By the time the New Testament books were written, God had led their authors to a clear-
cut doctrine of Satan. This doctrine located an origin of evil in Satan. This recognizes the
reality of evil outside and beyond the scope of human will. The New Testament avoids identifying evil with the
direct will of God and keeps it always and finally subordinate to God.
Matthew, Mark, and Luke clearly accept and teach a doctrine of a personal Satan and his agents called fallen angels or demons (Mark 3:22).
Matthew 4:1 tells of Jesus being tempted by the devil in the wilderness. In Matthew 25:41 even hell is described as being prepared for the devil and
his angels. Satan and demons are seen as able to inflict disease (Matthew 17:5-18; Luke 13:16). Satan possessed Judas (Luke 22:3). John saw Satan
as the prince of this world (John 12:31; John 14:30; John 16:11) with the whole world in his power (1 John 5:19).
The apostle Paul’s world view teaches that Satan is the god of this age. The cosmos or unredeemed world is at present under Satan’s power. Satan
is now the “commander of the spiritual powers of the air” (Ephes. 2:2 REB) and leads “the superhuman forces of evil in the heavenly realms”
(Ephes. 6:12 REB).
The general New Testament Epistles describe Satan’s activities graphically. 2 Peter 2:4 speaks of the “angels that sinned” and Jude 1:6 of the
“angels which kept not their first estate.” The constant use of violence and deceit by Satan requires that believers manifest courage and extreme
vigilance (James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:8-9).
The book of Revelation sees Satan’s activities as involving not only individuals but communities. Political forces can become servants of the
devil (Rev. 12; Rev. 13). Rev. 2:13 even speaks of a throne of Satan.
It should be remembered that the New Testament teaches that Satan and his demonic allies are not coequal with God. He is a created being who
has rebelled and can tempt—but not force. The main concern of the Bible is not with the devil but with God and the gospel of His grace. Satan and
the demonic forces have been overcome by the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The New Testament never allows complete pessimism.
In the end Satan and his angels will be completely overcome. In fact, Jesus came into the world to “destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8).
The cross was a decisive victory over Satan and Satan’s host (Col. 2:15). This victory insured that countless numbers would be delivered from the
dominion of darkness and transferred to the kingdom of Christ (Col. 1:13).
Ephes. 6:12 (ESV)
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the
authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual
forces of evil in the heavenly places.
1 Peter 5:8 (ESV)
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring
lion, seeking someone to devour.
2 Cor. 11:14 (NLT)
“Even Satan can disguise himself as an angel of light.”
2. The powers of evil seek to CONTROL and DESTROY that which bears
The religious leaders understood this… no question of what the powers of evil can do.
Take control… subtle deception that seeks to control a life
Movie Clip: Two Towers – Deliverance
• My experiences… - Camping… made decision to re-commit my life to Jesus… returned
into my tent… where a presence appeared… the embodiment of threat and fear.
More overt destruction of body
Luke 13:16 (NLT)
Wasn’t it necessary for me, even on the Sabbath day, to free this dear woman from the bondage in which Satan has
held her for eighteen years?"
Luke 9:42 (NIV)
Even while the boy was coming, the demon threw him to the ground in a convulsion. But Jesus rebuked the evil
spirit, healed the boy and gave him back to his father.
3. The powers of evil are ultimately SUBJECT to God’s authority
This was the point all could see… Jesus had total authority. … The people come in amazement
and hope… The religious leaders see it… the demons acknowledge it … and Jesus explains it.
Elsewhere he would add…
John 12:31 (NLT) cf 14:30, 16:11
The time of judgment for the world has come, when the prince of this world will be
As Paul explained…
Col. 1:13 (NLT)
For he has rescued us from the one who rules in the kingdom of darkness, and he has
brought us into the Kingdom of his dear Son.
Col. 2:15 (NLT)
“…God disarmed the evil rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory
over them on the cross of Christ.”
(Potential Movie Clip: The Passion of Christ – Satan screaming in defeat as earth shakes at work of
• My experiences – feeling held down by an unseen presence in bed… discovered that in
calling upon the name of Jesus… immediately left.
III. We Are Empowered To Bear The Ministry Of Deliverance
(Note Prayer Training as great opportunity to learn more.)
1. Relying on the Holy Spirit
As Jesus warns of the eternal sin, he references the Holy Spirit as the power-source of his
deliverances. He has the authority, he is the Son of God, and he has the power, he is filled
with the Spirit of God. He then brings the Kingdom in upon us.
It is the evil spirit versus the Holy Spirit.
2. Renouncing the Control of any Evil Spirit
3. Replacing the areas of control with the controlling presence of the Holy
James 4:7 (NIV)
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
1 Some of us may sense that we need deliverance prayer? …may have been involved in
the occult, or cults. Have we sought the control of other spirits… perhaps used Ojai
boards, gone to séances, had their palm read, seen an astrologer, etc.? We want to cut all
of these spiritual ties and pray over them in Jesus’ name.
2. Do you want to be ready for spiritual warfare? We will pray for you to be empowered
by the Holy Spirit.