Summary: This lesson is an Introduction of a scriptural study of how Jesus destroys the works of the devil. What are demons doing in the Bible and in the world today? Let’s let the word of God tell us and teach us.
Putting Satan in His Place
In Matthew, Mark and Luke, one of the earliest signs of Jesus’ authority and identity was demonstrated when he drove out demons or evil spirits. Today’s lesson is a continuation of our series on how Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil.
I’m sure all of you who were here remember the lesson from two weeks ago. Right? It was about Jesus being tempted by Satan. Remember? If nothing else, what you probably do remember is the video clip at the end of the lesson about Jesus casting the Legion of demons into the pigs. Ahhhh… Now it’s all coming back, right? Good!
It is interesting to me that many modern Christians have not quite known what to do with all the demon exorcisms in the gospels. This is especially true of those who have written since the protestant reformation. People of the modern scientific enlightened period have decided, much like the Sadducees of Jesus’ day that there are no ghosts or witches or demons in the real world today. With many people today, everything can be explained by means of science and reason, so ghosts, goblins and demons do not exist. But what does the Bible say?
Many modern biblical scholars have relegated demon possession to the early days of Christian history before the Bible cannon was completed, in the days of miracles and wonders and signs. We who believe in Jesus Christ and take the Bible seriously believe that the miracles recorded in scripture did indeed happen as historical events. On the other hand many Christians are just as sure that so called “demon possession” do not occur today, at least not as we see dealt with by Jesus and the apostles. Certainly the 12 apostles, plus Paul have now past on and all on whom they bestowed the miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit have also died.
1 Corinthians 13 speaks of a time when gifts of prophecy, tongues and knowledge will cease or be done away. Is demon possession a thing of the past? Are Satan and his minions bound so that they cannot do that to people today? These questions need to be answered with scripture, not science or modern philosophy. Our understanding must be based on the Word of God, not the teachings or preconceptions of men.
If Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil, is demon possession one of the things Jesus brought to an end in the Bible days? Let’s study the Bible and see what it tells us about these things.
Before we look at Jesus’ power over Satan and demons in the gospels, we will do a little introduction. Turn with me to 2 Old Testament scriptures as we begin looking at background for this. These are the only times the word demon occurs in the Old Testament.
Deuteronomy 32: 15 Jeshurun grew fat and kicked;
filled with food, he became heavy and sleek.
He abandoned the God who made him
and rejected the Rock his Savior.
16 They made him jealous with their foreign gods
and angered him with their detestable idols.
17 They sacrificed to demons, which are not God—
gods they had not known,
gods that recently appeared,
gods your fathers did not fear.