Jesus came to redeem us from the consequences of the fall – Part 28
Power over Satan and demons Cont’
(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; 2 Cor 11:14-15; 1Tim 4:1). The ultimate outpouring of demonic activity will be in the antichrist and his followers (2 Thes 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). (2) Jesus’ binding of Satan, accomplished in part through His driving out of demons and more completely in His death and resurrection (John 12:31), shatters the power of Satan’s realm and restores the power of God’s kingdom.
(3) Hell (GkGehenna), the place of torment, has been prepared by our Lord for the devil and his demons (Mat 8:29; 25:41).
Believers and Demons. (1) Scripture teaches that no true believer, who is indwelt by the Holy Spirit, can be demon-possessed. The Spirit and demons can never live in the same body (see 2 Cor 6:16). Demons may, however, influence the thoughts, emotions and actions of Christians, who have not been delivered from old strongholds or who fail to follow the leading of the Spirit (Mat 16:23; 2 Cor 11:3, 14).
(2) Jesus promised true believers authority over the power of Satan and his cohorts. On one occasion, evil spirits declared, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you? (Acts 19:15). By knowing Jesus and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His suffering (Phil 3:10), we can confront and break the power that demons exert over us and others. As disciples in God’s Kingdom, we are called to wage intense spiritual warfare through the power of the Holy Spirit (see Luke 4:14-19). In this way, we can set others free from the powers of darkness.
(3) According to the parable in Mark 3:27, spiritual conflict against Satan involves three aspects: (a) declaring war against Satan according to God’s purpose (see Luke 4:14-19); (b) entering Satan’s house (any place where he has a stronghold), attacking and overpowering him by prayer and proclamation of the word and destroying his weapons of demonic deception and temptation (cf. Luke 11:20-22); (c) carrying off his possessions i.e., delivering those who have been held captive by Satan’s power and giving them over to God, so that they may receive forgiveness and sanctification through faith in Christ (Luke 11:22; Acts 26:18).
(4) The following are the individual steps we should take in this process: (a) Recognise that we are not in a conflict against flesh and blood, but against spiritual forces and powers of evil (Eph 6:12). (b) Live before God, fervently committed to His truth and righteousness (Rom 12:1-2; Eph 6:14). (c) Have faith that Satan’s power can be broken in any specific area of his domain (Acts 26:18; Eph 6:16; 1 Thes 5:8), and realise that the believer has powerful spiritual weapons given by God for the destruction of Satan’s strongholds (2 Cor 10:4-5). (d) Proclaim the gospel of the kingdom in the fullness of the Holy Spirit (Mat 4:23; Luke 1:15-17; Acts 1:8; 2:4; 8:12; Rom 1:16; Eph 6:15). (e) Challenge Satan and his power directly by knowing and using the authority of Jesus’ name (Acts 16:16-18), by using God’s Word (Eph 6:17).
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