Morning Bible Study
Jesus’ ministry is well under way, and the people have been amazed not just
at the things He’s been teaching, but the things He’s been doing.
11:14-26 Demons and God
:14 And He was casting out a demon, and it was mute. So it was, when the
demon had gone out, that the mute spoke; and the multitudes marveled.
:14 casting out a demon, and it was mute
In the New Testament, demon possession was manifested in many different
One person was blind and mute (Mat. 12:22)
One man had great strength (Mk 5:4)
A child would have seizures and throw himself into fire or water (Mat.
One man spoke with a loud voice (Luke 4:33)
Not everyone with a malfunctioning body is possessed by a demon.
It’s not the odd behavior that proves a person is demon possessed, it’s the
discerning of a demon that shows it.
Not all people who are “mute” are demon-possessed.
Some are just mimes.
:15 But some of them said, “He casts out demons by Beelzebub, the ruler of
:15 He casts out demons by Beelzebub
Some of the people watching attributed Jesus’ power to:
“Beelzebub” was one of the names of the Philistine god Baal (2 Kings 1:1-3).
“Baal” means simply “lord”, and “zebub” means
Beelzebub means literally “lord of the flies”.
These people were having a hard time thinking that Jesus could be
performing miracles, so they attributed His miracles to Satan.
Lord of the house
The actual form of the name used by Luke in the Greek is a variation of
– “Lord of the house”.
Pay attention to our passage because Jesus is going to refer to “houses” in
several different ways.
The Jews often used beelzebul
when referring to Satan (Wiersbe).
The concept of demon possession is the idea that there is
a demonic spirit living inside of your body, affecting and controlling your
(Luke 16:13 NKJV) “No servant
can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or
else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other.
There’s only room for one Lord in your life.
Your “Lord” is the one who sits on the throne, the one who calls the shots.
Who is it?
:16 Others, testing Him, sought from Him a sign from heaven.
:16 sought from Him a sign
What’s silly about this is that Jesus has already done more than enough to
prove who He was.
He’s cast out demons (Luke 4:35)
He’s healed the sick (Luke 4:39)
He’s cleansed the leper (Luke 5:13)
He’s healed the paralytic (Luke 5:24)
He’s even raised the dead (Luke 7:14)
John wrote that the miracles that Jesus did were enough to prove who He
(John 20:31 NKJV) …these are
written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that
believing you may have life in His name.
There comes a point where you need to open your eyes and
realize who Jesus is.
:17 But He, knowing their thoughts, said to them: “Every kingdom divided
against itself is brought to desolation, and a house divided against a
:17 a house divided against a house falls
Remember that Beelzebul
means “Lord of the house”
Dividing the house
I know that Jesus is talking about Satan’s kingdom, but the principle translates
into areas as well.
We’re seeing the Republican party wrestle with this right now.
The campaign has gotten so ugly with insults, that if they don’t work to
mend fences soon and coalesce behind a single candidate, there may be too much
bitterness and acrimony to unite for the presidential election.
There was a story about two unmarried sisters who lived together. Because
of a slight disagreement over an insignificant issue, they stopped speaking to
each other. Unable and unwilling to move
out of their small house, they continued to use the same rooms, eat at the same
table (separately), and sleep in the same bedroom. Without one word. A chalk line divided the sleeping area into
two halves, separating a doorway and fireplace.
Each could come and go, cook and eat, sew and read without crossing over
into her sister's domain. Through the night each could hear the breathing of
the foe, but because neither was willing to take the first step to
reconciliation and forgiveness, they coexisted for years in grinding silence.
Their unforgiving hearts left them in a prison of affliction.
Is this a picture of what goes on in your house?
No marriage or family is “perfect”.
Everyone has difficulties.
The question is: Are you going to fight “for” your marriage, or fight each
Are you going to humble yourself and talk to the other person?
Are you going to learn to forgive and let it go?
4:9–12 NKJV) —9 Two are better than one, Because they have a
good reward for their labor. 10 For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to
him who is alone when he falls, For he has no one to help him
up. 11 Again, if
two lie down together, they will keep warm; But how can one be warm alone? 12 Though one
may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a
threefold cord is not quickly broken.
:18 If Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand?
Because you say I cast out demons by Beelzebub.
:18 If Satan also is divided against himself
Jesus is pointing out that their reasoning is ridiculous. If Jesus were
empowered by Satan, why would He be tearing apart His own kingdom?
:19 And if I cast out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your sons cast them
out? Therefore they will be your judges.
:19 by whom do your sons cast them out?
There are records of all sorts of rituals that Jewish exorcists would
perform in order to cast demons out of people.
Josephus wrote about one fellow who performed exorcisms in the presence of
the emperor using magic rings and encantations.
Luke tells a story in the book of Acts about
seven sons of a Jewish priest who were not always successful at casting out
demons (Acts 19:13-16).
:19 Therefore they will be your judges
If Jesus is casting out demons by Beelzebub, then how can you say the
Jewish exorcists were any different?
On the judgment day, their own exorcists would stand as witnesses against
:20 But if I cast out demons with the finger of God, surely the kingdom of
God has come upon you.
:20 if I cast out demons with the finger of God
When Moses was working to have Pharaoh release the Israelites from their
slavery, there was a sort of “contest” between God’s miracles and the tricks
that the Egyptian magicians were able to perform.
Yet there came a time when God’s miracles proved to be much greater than
Even the magicians realized this was God at work.
(Exodus 8:19 NKJV) Then the
magicians said to Pharaoh, “This is the finger of God.” But Pharaoh’s
heart grew hard, and he did not heed them, just as the Lord had said.
Jesus didn’t have to perform elaborate rituals, He simply told the demons
He’s laying claim to the same power that Moses used in Egypt.
He has been demonstrating the power of God.
The people Jesus is talking to are making a big mistake in not recognizing
that God has been at work.
:20 surely the kingdom of God has come upon you
When is the kingdom?
A kingdom of God is the realm where God is the king.
There are two simple truths that Jesus taught about when the kingdom of God
Jesus taught us to pray,
11:2b NKJV) …Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.
It is coming. It’s
on its way.
At the last supper, Jesus talked about the next time He
would drink wine:
22:18 NKJV) for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until
the kingdom of God comes.”
The full kingdom of God has not yet come. It is established when Jesus returns.
Jesus came to bring the kingdom of God here, right now.
17:20–21 NKJV) —20 Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God
would come, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God does not come with
observation; 21 nor will
they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within
Until the day that Jesus returns at His Second Coming, the
kingdom of God is making its presence known through us.
It’s in us. It’s with us. It’s on us.
:21 When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are in
:21 a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace
The strong man is Satan. He is not just “strong”, but he is also “fully
When a person gives a part of their life to Satan, Satan
makes their life a “palace” where he rules from.
He’s the “Lord of the house”
Satan doesn’t give up territory very easily. He will resist every attempt to unseat him
from his throne.
When a person has been dominated by Satan, and you as a Spirit filled
Christian come into their life, they are going to be uncomfortable around you
and may even get upset at you. When
Jesus met a demon possessed man in a synagogue, the man responded to Jesus …
4:34 NKJV) saying, “Let us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of
Nazareth? Did You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God!”
Satan is going to put up a fight to defend his territory.
There is a parallel here with our addictions as well, whether they are
demonically empowered, or simply the product of our own foolish, fleshly
Unlike Satan or a demonic force, you aren’t going to be
able to get rid of your flesh.
Your sin nature is going to be with you until you die.
As believers we have to learn to “crucify” or “deny” our
When your flesh is the “Lord of the house”, it does not like it when you
begin to encroach upon its territory that it’s protected for so long.
When you start dealing with your flesh, it reacts like the Wicked Witch of
the West when Dorothy flung water on her…
Video: Wizard of Oz – Witch Melting
:22 But when a stronger than he comes upon him and overcomes him, he takes
from him all his armor in which he trusted, and divides his spoils.
:22 But when a stronger than he comes
Jesus is stronger
Jesus is the “stronger” one who can easily beat Satan.
Do not be fooled into thinking that Satan is the opposite of Jesus.
Jesus is the Creator, God in the flesh. Satan is a created being, a fallen
There is no comparison between the two.
Jesus is the one who brings a gun to a knife fight…
Video: Indiana Jones Raiders – Gun
and Sword Fight
And for you Star Wars’ Fans, there’s this version…
Video: Indiana Jones vs Kylo Ren
Jesus has actually already won the battle, and He did it at the cross:
NKJV) —13 And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of
your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all
trespasses, 14 having wiped
out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to
us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 15 Having
disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them,
triumphing over them in it.
Some of you are struggling with things in your life and you feel like you
have absolutely no strength to fight it.
You’re actually correct with the idea.
But Jesus is stronger than you are.
He’s stronger than any demon.
He’s stronger than any addiction.
When it comes to the battle, some of us are a little “shell shocked”.
I think the sooner we realize that we are in a real war, a spiritual battle,
I think that sometimes I am so awed at Satan’s ability to exercise power
over people that I give up. I think it’s hopeless.
Yet God has given us weapons in order to take the battle to Satan.
NKJV) “Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound
in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
Paul calls it…
NKJV) … the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;
When Satan tempted Jesus, Jesus responded with the Word of
(1 John 4:4 NKJV) You are of
God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is
greater than he who is in the world.
We don’t need to be afraid of Satan because God is way
bigger and more powerful than he is.
And when we belong to Jesus, the Holy Spirit dwells in us.
For those of us who have walked with God a little longer, we have a
responsibility to help others in the battle.
When we help others, we often end up helping ourselves.
Sometimes this helping comes across a little like teaching or sharing our
Paul talked about this influence we have on others’ lives like this:
Timothy 2:24–26 NKJV) —24 And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but
be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, 25 in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps
will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, 26 and that
they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil,
having been taken captive by him to do his will.
We can help set the captives free.
:23 He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me
:23 He who is not with Me is against Me
Where do you stand?
There is no neutral ground with Jesus.
What do you think of Him?
Do you think He was just a “good man”?
Do you think He was just a harmless philosopher?
Do you think you’re just “neutral” with Jesus?
You are either for Jesus or against Jesus.
When you get to the elevator in a building, there are just two buttons – up
There is no “undecided”.
Are you going up or are you going down?
:24 “When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places,
seeking rest; and finding none, he says, ‘I will return to my house from which
:24 goes through dry places, seeking rest
Jesus is giving us a little insight into the world of demons.
Demons want a place to inhabit.
They want living creatures to inhabit, not dry dead things.
I wonder if this isn’t going to be a bit of a warning to the fellow from
whom Jesus has just cast out a demon.
:25 And when he comes, he finds it swept and put in order.
This is a picture of a person who has been delivered from demonic
:26 Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked
than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that
man is worse than the first.”
:26 the last state of that man is worse than the first
Fill the emptiness
Because demons want a living body to inhabit, they may try to come back to
the original host if the house is empty.
The original demon might bring seven others to all inhabit the same person.
Jesus met a man nicknamed “Legion” because he had thousands of demons
living inside of him.
It is a wonderful thing when a person can become free from the power of
But an empty house is a dangerous thing.
The house needs to be filled with Jesus.
Addictions can be similar.
Some addictions can indeed be linked to the demonic, but for most, their
addictions are simply a problem of their own sin nature.
I have had many friends who have come out of addiction tell me that there
is a danger when a person breaks free from their addiction.
If they’re not careful, they will simply swap one
addiction with another.
They may move from being an alcoholic to becoming addicted
to prescription drugs, sex, pornography, over eating, or even rage.
Jesus talked about how we can try to satisfy our inner
thirst with things that don’t satisfy.
4:13–14 NKJV) —13 Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will
thirst again, 14
whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the
water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up
into everlasting life.”
We need Jesus to fill our emptiness.
This is why it is vital that the first “step” you take is
to realize that Jesus is greater than your addiction, and fill your life with
The question is, how does this happen?
Imagine your car’s warning light goes off to tell you that
you are low on oil, so you buy some oil and …
Video: Blond and Engine Oil
Pouring oil on your engine is like coming to church and
expecting that to satisfy your thirst.
What you need is to get the Holy Spirit deep into the
engine, deep into your life, deep into your heart.
Don’t stop with external, superficial experiences.
Let Him go deep into your life.