14. And he was casting out a devil, and it was dumb. And it came to pass, when the devil was gone out, the dumb spake; and the people wondered.
15. But some of them said, He casteth out devils through Beelzebub the chief of the devils.
16. And others, tempting him, sought of him a sign from heaven.
17. But he, knowing their thoughts, said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house divided against a house falleth.
18. If Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? because ye say that I cast out devils through Beelzebub.
19. And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your sons cast them out? therefore shall they be your judges.
20. But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you.
21. When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace:
22. But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils.
I want to talk to you about “Binding the Strong Man.” Somehow God has really talked to me and touched my heart in regard to this message. I pray that I’ll be able to deliver it to you in a way that will be encouraging and beneficial to each one of us in this house. I think we are faced with spiritual warfare probably in worse stages than we have ever known it before. You talk to anybody anywhere, any church, any pastor, and you will find that it appears that Satan is waging war against families, against churches, trying to break down unity and fellowship and love. He is trying to destroy – that is the only thing he knows how to do is to kill and steal and destroy. I think this passage would help us understand that in our efforts to do spiritual warfare against the forces of evil in our time, that the Lord has made absolute provision for us to be fully equipped with His Holy Spirit and His power so as to be able to have His authority working in our lives, leaning upon His authority, leaning upon His Name, leaning upon the power of the Holy Spirit so that we can be victorious and authoritative in our approach to what Satan would try to do to us or to our family or friends, neighbors, communities or loved ones. This message is an appeal that God will help us use the divine supernatural resources that He has given to the church that we can stand up and stand out against the forces of hell and really taught as soldiers of Jesus Christ, moving in His authority and in His Name, clothed with the power of the Holy Spirit.
I want us to look at what it took for Jesus to set this great example of overcoming the power of Satan. He comes to a man who has a spirit that is possessing his life. This evil spirit has caused the man not to be able to speak. He is mute because of the binding force of this spirit. Last time we talked about the Lord’s Prayer and the disciples wanted to know how to pray like Jesus. One of the main points and main objectives of this entire prayer is to be endued with the Holy Spirit, with the power of the Living God, so that the finger of God works through our lives. I don’t understand how people face what they have to face without the Holy Spirit. I don’t understand how people can face the powers of sin and evil without the baptism of the Holy Ghost. These are days that require us to be full of the Spirit and full of faith and full of power and all the fruits and gifts that the Spirit brings into our hearts and lives. I want you to see, first of all, that Jesus waged warfare against the power of Satan, not with any kind of Satanic spirit, even though that is what they accused Him of. He came and He cast out this devil out of this man. Then the man was able to speak.
I don’t know how long he had been bound, but can you imagine how long it must have been and how horrible it was for him not to talk? For him not to express himself? For him not to be able to carry on a conversation with people? I don’t know if he was able to use some kind of sign language, but to be bound. He could not glorify God with his mouth. He could not speak with his friends, he was so bound. There are a lot of people who may not be bound precisely like that, but they are really hindered from worshipping God and giving honor to God. They are bound by the clutches of sin and evil. They are not their own masters. They may think that they are in charge of their own lives, but they are finding out that something else controls them. They are out of control as far as their own ability to control and something else is carrying them along and causing them to do things that in their right mind they would never do. I think there are crimes being committed now that can only be explained in the sense that Satanic power has control over the mind and lives of people and they simply obey what he gives them to do.
But I say to you that there is divine victory and power over the forces of evil. There is divine authority and the grace of the Almighty God that can come to the lives of people who trust God and stand on the Word and who are full of the Holy Spirit! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Praise His Name! Blessed be the Holy Ghost of God. Hallelujah! Praise His Name!
They accused Jesus of casting out this devil by the power of Beelzebub. That is an unusual name given to what is referred to as “the prince of devils.” It comes from the old Hebrew word ‘Baal’ the god Baal which means ‘lord.’ The other word ‘zebub’ which means ‘flies.’ They are accusing him of being under the control and influence of the lord of flies, this prince of devils. When they called him that, when they accuse him of that, they are heaping upon him one of the greatest indignities that could ever be cast at a person. They have in the connotation of lord of flies that flies fill the dung heaps with their maggots. Here, this so-called god of Satan reigns upon dung heaps where flies are thronged and made. They are bringing down the lovely Lord Jesus to such a low place in their castigations of Him and their accusations of Him.
There are people in our own world whose lives and whose mouths are filled with such corruption and such vulgarity until they despise the grace of God and they despise the Lord Jesus Christ. They don’t care to desecrate anything that is holy and pure. The Lord God Almighty in His sovereign power still has the authority and power to override these forces.
Others were tempting Him. They said, “Why don’t you show us a sign from heaven? If you are what you claim to be, if you are what people say you are, why don’t you show us a sign?” That’s the most ridiculous request I’ve ever heard. Because here they are, standing in his presence and they’ve just seen a man delivered from an unclean spirit. And now he can talk and can speak clearly and give glory and honor to God and they’re wanting a sign. What does it take for somebody to see the hand of God at work? Some people can sit right beside a miracle and never see it. Some people can sit in the presence of God and don’t realize what God is really doing and what He is saying. Some people live in this world and they never understand what God is doing in our world. He is marching on. He is still the sovereign almighty God. He is still able to put down under his feet all powers and all forces and all dominions. He still reigns!
It reminds me of a people after Jesus had fed them. They were standing around, probably picking their teeth from eating fish and bread and saying, “If you are the Son of God, why don’t you show us a sign?” And they were so full of a sign they could hardly breathe! The blindness of this world is so severe, it is time that this world needs to see the divine manifestation of God’s grace and His glory and power at work.
This is what Jesus did. He said ‘You can accuse me, but a divided house won’t stand when it is divided against itself. And if I were working for Beelzebub or through his power, I would be dividing the house of Satan. That’s not the way it works. It is through the finger of God. I am casting out devils by the finger of God – meaning I am casting out devils by the anointing of the Holy Spirit of God.’
That reminds me of a beautiful passage in I Corinthians 12 because Paul says to every person is given gifts and the manifestation of God’s grace and power is given to every person and given gifts. That word ‘manifestation’ is a powerful word. When you look at its meaning, especially in the Latin from which it comes, the first part of that word is ‘manis’ and it has to do with the hand. You get a mani-cure. You get your hands and fingernails taken care of. It has to do with the hand. And the rest of that word in the Latin means to be seized. So the word manifestation means to be seized by the hand of God. Hallelujah! I like it when the hand of God moves upon His people and we are seized by His glorious Spirit and power and we are able to show His glory and power far beyond our ability to even express it. One rendition of the meaning of manifestation is that not only is it seized by the hand of God, but it is the dancing hand of God. It dances from one place to another and it touches down on the lives of people and anoints one with one gift and anoints another with another gift, moves upon with gifts of grace here and there. Oh, thank God for the moving, dancing hand of the Almighty that is able to reach down and touch every life and bring glorious Spirit and power through spiritual gifts that enable us wage successful, effective warfare against the power of Satan and sin.
He then went on to explain this is the way it works. When a strong man like Satan controls and guards his kingdom, his house, his goods and all of his possessions and the people that he thinks he governs and possesses, that he controls it until a stronger man – Hallelujah! – a stronger man binds him. He is able to go in and plunder all his house. He can take from his grasp anything he is trying to hold on to. Jesus explains this is the way it works. This is redemption in action. It is deliverance in action. It is the mighty power of God in action. When the Lord Jesus Christ Himself looked at this strong man Satan in the wilderness of the temptation, He was binding him then. He was not yielding at all to his power or to his temptation. And what He is saying here that He has the authority and the power that when He comes in and He speaks to a person who is possessed of an evil spirit and He tells that evil spirit to go that evil spirit has to go because He has the power to bind the force and spirit and power of the strong man, Satan.
Satan is no match for Jesus Christ. Satan is no match for any angel of God. Any angel can whip the devil. If you don’t believe it, look in the Revelation. The day comes when the angel of God comes down and binds him in a bottomless pit. Then the angel of God not only, but any child of God standing on the Word, filled with faith, filled with the Holy Ghost and fire is more than a match for the power of Satan.
Spoiling – that means that you and I have been given the authority through Jesus Christ and the power through the Holy Spirit to spoil Satan’s kingdom, to walk right in next door to hell and take from his grasp loved ones and friends. Paul the apostle did it. When he started the church in Corinth, it was just like starting a church next door to hell because he was in a place worse than San Francisco. Worse than any of our cities here in the United States, but he walked in and said “I’ve come in the power and demonstration of the Spirit and power of God and that’s what I depend on.” I think God is doing a sovereign work at the North Cleveland Church of God. I believe that God is ready for His church to rise and shine for the light has come and the glory of God has risen upon us. Hallelujah!
Spiritual authority comes because we’ve been blood washed and spirit filled and we stand on the Word of God. It takes away fears. It takes away worries. It takes away doubts. It takes away delusions. We see clearly the hand of God. We hear clearly the voice of God. We move quickly in obedience in the leading of the Spirit and that brings victory. It brings power. It brings deliverance and it brings triumph of the church.
Please stand to your feet and get ready to worship Him in our closing prayer. Let us worship God together, saints, right now.
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