Divine healing in the bible – Part 12
Power Over Satan And Demons: An Overview
“No one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man. And then he will plunder his house,” Mk 3:27.
One of the primary emphases in Mark’s Gospel is Jesus’ overriding concern to defeat Satan and his demonic powers; in Mk 3:27, this is phrased as “bind(ing) the strong man” (i.e., Satan and “spoil(ing) (robbing) his house” (i.e., setting free those who are enslaved to Satan). This power over Satan is especially evident in the driving out of demons (Gk daimonion) or evil spirits.
Demons. (1) The NT frequently refers to those who are suffering from Satan’s oppression and influence because of the indwelling of an evil spirit, and to Jesus’ conflict with demons. In the Gospel of Mark, for example, numerous such encounters are described: 1:23-28,32-34,39; 3:10-12,14-15; 5:1-20; 6:7,13; 7:24-30; 9:14-29; 16:17.
(2) Demons are spirit beings who have personality and intelligence. As members of Satan’s kingdom and as enemies of God and humans (Mat 12:43-45), they are evil, malicious and organised with different levels of rank and delegated authority under Satan (see Mat 4:10; Eph 6:11-12).
(3) Demons are the power behind idol gods, so that to worship false gods is essentially to worship demons (see 1Cor 10:20).
(4) The NT presents the world as estranged from God and seized by Satan (see John 12:31; 2 Cor 4:4; Eph 6:10-12). Demons are within the hierarchy of the rulers of this age; Christians must wage continual warfare with them (see Eph. 6:12).
(5) Demons can, and often do, live in the bodies of unbelievers (see Mark 5:15; Luke 4:41; 8:27-28; Acts 16:18) and use their voices to talk. They enslave such individuals and influence them toward evil, immorality and destruction.
(6) Demons can cause physical illness in the human body (Mat 9:32-33; 12:22; 17:14-18; Mark 9:20-22; Luke 13:11, 16), although not all sickness and disease are the result of evil spirit (Mat 4:24; Luke 5:12-13).
(7) Those involved in spiritism and magic (i.e., sorcery) are dealing with evil spirits, this can easily lead to demonic bondage (cf. Acts 13:8-10; 19:19; Gal 5:20; Rev 9:20).
(8) Evil spirits will be especially active in the last days of this age, promoting the occult, immorality, violence and cruelty; they will assault God’s word and sound doctrine (Mat 24:24; 2Cor 11:14-15; 1Tim 4:1). The ultimate outpouring of demonic activity will be in the antichrist and his followers (2Thes 2:9; Rev 13:2-8; 16:13-14).
Jesus and Demons. (1) In His miracles, Jesus often attacks the power of Satan and the demonic (e.g., Mark 1:26,34,39; 3:10-11; 5:1-20; 9:17-29; cf. Luke 13:16). One of Jesus’ clearly stated purposes in coming to earth was to bind Satan and to set free those enslaved by him (Mat 12:29; Mark 1:27; Luke 4:18).
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