Saturday, May 26, 2012

Jesus vs demons - part 1

NOTE: An updated version of this post is available on my new website located here:

Jesus spent a considerable amount of His time on earth dealing with demons (aka evil spirits, unclean spirits, etc).  This was one of His main activities.  It was also one of the things that really drew people to him.  Take a look at these passages.

Matthew 8:16
When evening had come, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed. And He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick,

Mark 1:34
Then He healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and He did not allow the demons to speak, because they knew Him

Mark 1:39
39 And he went throughout all Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and casting out demons.

Mark 3:11
And the unclean spirits, whenever they saw Him, fell down before Him and cried out, saying, "You are the Son of God."

Luke 4:36
Then they were all amazed and spoke among themselves, saying, "What a word this is! For with authority and power He commands the unclean spirits, and they come out."

Luke 6:17-18
And He came down with them and stood on a level place with a crowd of His disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem, and from the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear Him and be healed of their diseases,as well as those who were tormented with unclean spirits. And they were healed.

Luke 7:21
And that very hour He cured many of infirmities, afflictions, and evil spirits; and to many blind He gave sight.

Preaching, teaching, healing the sick, and casting out demons.  That's what you would see if you went to see Jesus in action.  He would preach the Kingdom of God, and then demonstrate it with displays of supernatural power.  Or, He would do it in reverse order.  He would exercise supernatural power over sickness and demons, and then He would preach and teach.  

That is what the ministry of Jesus looked like.  Casting out demons was a big part of it.  

If we are going to follow His example, then we should be doing the same thing.  It is not like all of the demons in the world suddenly stopped bothering people after Jesus ascended into heaven.

You can see His followers dealing with demons throughout the book of Acts, so demons were still causing problems for people.  But the disciples of Jesus were driving them out and rescuing the oppressed.  That is part of our mission as Christians.  We are to heal the sick, cast out demons, and preach the gospel.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Jesus Healings part 3 - Speak to the Problem

NOTE:  An updated version of this post is available on my new website:

Luke 4:39-39 (AMP)
38 Then He arose and left the synagogue and went into Simon’s (Peter’s) house. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was suffering in the grip of a burning fever, and they pleaded with Him for her. 
39 And standing over her, He rebuked the fever, and it left her; and immediately she got up and began waiting on them. 

Peter's mother-in-law was sick with a fever, and they asked Jesus to help her.  Jesus didn't pray for her, though.  Instead, Jesus rebuked the fever and it left her.

The word "rebuke" can also be translated "scold" or "sternly warn."

Jesus gave orders to a physical condition.  He spoke to a sickness.  Instead of praying to the Father about the fever, He spoke to the fever.  He was talking to the problem.

Think about that.  Jesus spoke to a fever, and the fever left.  That is amazing.

Although He didn't operate in this way every time, this is not an isolated case.  There are many other examples of the same kind of working.

Take a look at these:

Mark 7:32-35
32 Then they brought to Him one who was deaf and had an impediment in his speech, and they begged Him to put His hand on him. 
33 And He took him aside from the multitude, and put His fingers in his ears, and He spat and touched his tongue. 
34 Then, looking up to heaven, He sighed, and said to him, "Ephphatha," that is, "Be opened." 
35 Immediately his ears were opened, and the impediment of his tongue was loosed, and he spoke plainly.

Matthew 8:3
Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, "I am willing; be cleansed." Immediately his leprosy was cleansed.

In these examples, Jesus is speaking to physical conditions, and giving orders.  The physical bodies of the sick people respond to His orders.

This is a completely different dynamic than praying to the Father for healing.  It is speaking to the problem on behalf of God, rather than speaking to God about the problem.

Now at this point, you might be tempted to say "yeah, but that was Jesus."

But don't forget that all of the miracles of Jesus were performed in the power of the Holy Spirit (Acts 10:38).  This is the same Holy Spirit that lives inside of every single born-again Christian.

And, don't forget that Jesus said this in John 14:12 "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father."

If you read the healing accounts in Acts, you can see the followers of Jesus behaving in the same way many times.  In some cases where healing is concerned, they were not praying for God to do something, they were speaking to the problem, acting as a representative of the One they were serving.

Acts 3:1-8
1 Now Peter and John went up together to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. 
2 And a certain man lame from his mother's womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms from those who entered the temple; 
3 who, seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked for alms. 
4 And fixing his eyes on him, with John, Peter said, "Look at us." 
5 So he gave them his attention, expecting to receive something from them. 
6 Then Peter said, "Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk." 
7 And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. 
8 So he, leaping up, stood and walked and entered the temple with them--walking, leaping, and praising God.

This makes complete sense when you think about the fact that Peter and John watched Jesus do things like this probably hundreds of times.  They were just imitating their mentor.  They were doing what Jesus would do, and they got the same results because it was the same Holy Spirit at work in them that was at work in Jesus.

Here's another one.  This time it is Paul.  Paul didn't become a believer until a long time after Jesus rose from the dead and ascended into heaven.  So, he wasn't there to watch Jesus during His earthly ministry, but he was acting the same way as the rest of the Christians.

Acts 14:8-10
8 And in Lystra a certain man without strength in his feet was sitting, a cripple from his mother's womb, who had never walked. 
9 This man heard Paul speaking. Paul, observing him intently and seeing that he had faith to be healed,
10 said with a loud voice, "Stand up straight on your feet!" And he leaped and walked.

As children of God, we have the Holy Spirit living inside of us.  He is the same Holy Spirit that lived and worked in Jesus when He came to earth.  He (the Holy Spirit) knows how to heal people.  He was present and active in every divine healing that has ever happened, so He has plenty of experience in fixing up broken bodies.

Everywhere you go, He goes.  You will never run into a physical condition that He is not prepared to handle.  He has chosen to work through us to demonstrate His love and His power on the earth.  We can participate by believing this, and acting on it.

So, this is a new way to pray.  As an ambassador of Christ the King, you can speak to the problem the same way that your King would if He were physically present.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Source of Sickness

NOTE:  An updated version of this post is available on my new website:

In Genesis chapters 1 and 2, we are told that God made earth, and He made the first man (Adam) and the first woman (Eve).  Here are a few passages that tell us what life was like at that time in human history:

Genesis 1:27-31

1:27 God created humankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them, male and female he created them.
1:28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply! Fill the earth and subdue it! Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and every creature that moves on the ground.” 
1:29 Then God said, “I now give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the entire earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. 
1:30 And to all the animals of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to all the creatures that move on the ground – everything that has the breath of life in it – I give every green plant for food.” It was so.
1:31 God saw all that he had made – and it was very good! There was evening, and there was morning, the sixth day.

Chapter two gives us more details of the creation of man from chapter one.

Genesis 2:8-17

2:8 The Lord God planted an orchard in the east, in Eden; and there he placed the man he had formed. 
2:9 The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow from the soil, every tree that was pleasing to look at and good for food. (Now the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil were in the middle of the orchard.)
2:10 Now a river flows from Eden to water the orchard, and from there it divides into four headstreams. 
2:11 The name of the first is Pishon; it runs through the entire land of Havilah, where there is gold. 
2:12 (The gold of that land is pure; pearls and lapis lazuli are also there). 
2:13 The name of the second river is Gihon; it runs through the entire land of Cush. 
2:14 The name of the third river is Tigris; it runs along the east side of Assyria. The fourth river is the Euphrates.
2:15 The Lord God took the man and placed him in the orchard in Eden to care for it and to maintain it. 
2:16 Then the Lord God commanded the man, “You may freely eat fruit from every tree of the orchard, 
2:17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will surely die.”

Up this point, sin had not entered the world, and there is no mention of Satan having any influence.  Everything seems to be pretty awesome.  There was no sickness or disease or death, and there was no lack (there was an entire planet's worth of resources, and only two people to use it).  With everything in this state, God said that it was "good."

In chapter 3, we have the story of the serpent deceiving Eve, and then Adam making his decision to join Eve and disobey God.

Genesis 3:1-7

3:1 Now the serpent was more shrewd  than any of the wild animals that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Is it really true that God said, ‘You must not eat from any tree of the orchard’?” 
3:2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit from the trees of the orchard; 
3:3 but concerning the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the orchard God said, ‘You must not eat from it, and you must not touch it, or else you will die.’” 
3:4 The serpent said to the woman, “Surely you will not die
3:5 for God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will open and you will be like divine beings who know good and evil.”
3:6 When the woman saw that the tree produced fruit that was good for food, was attractive to the eye, and was desirable for making one wise, she took some of its fruit and ate it. She also gave some of it to her husband who was with her, and he ate it. 
3:7 Then the eyes of both of them opened, and they knew they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

At this point in our history, life on earth changed.  Originally, man was free from sickness, sin and death.  He had unhindered fellowship with God, and God had put him in charge of the earth  But from here on, death enters the world, along with increasing amounts of sickness, sin, famine, and poverty.  Satan has also usurped man's role as ruler of the earth (John 12:31, 1 John 5:19, Ephesians 2:2) and we get to see the results of his activities in the world around us from then until now.

We also know from the last few chapters of the book of Revelation that in the future, Satan will be removed from his current role, and cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10).  After this everything goes back to being awesome again.  There's no more sickness, no more death, no more poverty, no more sin, etc.


  • Before Satan gained influence in the earth, there was no sickness or sin.  
  • After Satan's influence is removed in the future, there will be no sickness or sin.
Sickness entered our world when man gave in to Satan's influence and committed the first sin.  I have heard it said this way:  "Sickness is the foul offspring of its father, Satan, and its mother, sin."  This is the source of sickness.   This is where it came from.

I am not saying that every sickness is directly caused by Satan, or that every sickness is the direct result of a personal sin.  What I am saying is that without Satan and sin, we would not be dealing with sickness.

So, what do we do about it?  Let's begin with a look at Jesus.

Jesus came to earth to usher in the New Covenant, and to display God's will.  He showed us how God wanted things to be going.  He said that he only did what the Father showed him (John 5:19).  He was always doing the Father's will.  When you read about His activities, you find stories filled with healing the sick, casting out demons, and forgiving sins.

Acts 10:38 - God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.

1 John 3:8b - For this purpose the Son of God was revealed: to destroy the works of the devil.

John 10:10 - The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I [Jesus] have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

When someone is sick or dying from a terrible disease, I believe we are on safe ground if we start with the notion that God wants to set them free.  That's what Jesus was doing all the time, and that's what He told His representatives to be doing. 

I think people should be very careful about jumping to any other conclusions.  Without direct revelation, you should never blame the person, or the family members and friends, or God, for disease or sickness or tragedy.  If you want to make assumptions and attach blame, then the one you should start with...blaming and getting angry the devil.  The devil wants to steal, kill, and destroy.  Jesus wants to bring life.