Mk. 1:34 π Mk. 1:39 π Mk. 3:11 π Mk. 6:7 π Lk. 4:18 π Lk. 10:17 π Lk. 22:53 π Jn. 8:44 π Jn. 12:31 π Jn. 14:30 π 2 Cor. 4:4
The gospel record is full of reference to the workings of evil spirits, and shows that wherever the Lord moved, the emissaries of Satan sprang into active manifestation in the bodies, and minds, of those they indwelt; and that the ministry of Christ and His apostles was directed actively against them, so that again and again the record reads, "He went into their synagogues throughout all Galilee, preaching and casting out demons" ( Mk. 1:39 ); He "cast out many demons, and He suffered not the demons to speak, because they knew Him" ( Mk. 1:34 ); "Unclean spirits, whensoever they beheld Him, fell down before Him, and cried, saying, Thou art the Son of God." ( Mk. 3:11 ) Then came the sending out of the twelve chosen disciples, when the spirits of evil again are taken into account, for "He gave them authority over unclean spirits." ( Mk. 6:7 ) Later He appointed seventy other messengers, and as they went forward in their work, they, too, found the demons subject to them through His Name. ( Lk. 10:17; top )
Were Jerusalem, Capernaum, Galilee, and all Syria, then filled with people who were "insane" and "epileptic"? Or was the truth of evil spirit possession of people a common fact? In any case it is evident from the gospel records, that the Son of God dealt with the powers of darkness as the active, primary cause of the sin, and suffering of this world, and that the aggressive part of His, and His disciples' ministry, was directed persistently against them. On the one hand He dealt with the deceiver of the world, and bound the "strong man," whilst on the other He taught the truth about God to the people, to destroy the lies which the prince of darkness had placed in their minds ( 2 Cor. 4:4; top ) about His Father and Himself.
We find, too, that the Lord clearly recognized the devil behind the opposition of the Pharisees ( Jn. 8:44 ), and the "hour and power of darkness" ( Lk. 22:53 ) behind His persecutors at Calvary. He said that His mission was to "proclaim liberty to the captives" ( Lk. 4:18 ), and who the captor was He revealed on the eve of Calvary, when He said, "Now is the judgment of this world, now shall the prince of this world be cast out" ( Jn. 12:31 ); and later on that this "prince" would once more come to Him, but would find nothing in Him as ground for his power. ( Jn. 14:30; top )
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