This month, we are covering a seemingly simple concept that has powerful, revelatory, and wide ranging applications: Right-Right vs Right-Wrong...Right WHAT-Right HOW/WHY vs. Right WHAT-Wrong (or NO) HOW/WHY.
In the previous post, we showed background from the Bible proving we ought to confront the spiritual enemy:
Clearly we ought to be able to confront the spiritual enemy in a way that results in people being better off in the Long Term.
However, there is a way to confront the spiritual enemy in a way that appears to be good in the short-term, but the person actually ends up worse in the Long Term.
Today, we will look at SPECIFICALLY how the spiritual enemy is confronted...
SPIRITUAL WARFARE: OFFENSE EXAMPLES
"21 And they go into Capernaum; and straightway on the sabbath day he entered into the synagogue and taught.
22 And they were astonished at his teaching: For he taught them as having authority, and not as the scribes."
(Notice, Jesus taught in the synagogue as one having authority...not as the scribes. The scribes taught a Right WHAT with NO HOW/WHY. The scribes taught knowledge (facts). Jesus taught a Right WHAT with a Right HOW/WHY. Jesus taught understanding. Doctrine is the HOW/WHY. Jesus (like Daniel) had the Right Doctrine and was teaching truth...so what do you think will happen next?)
"23 And straightway there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out,
24 saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus thou Nazarene? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God."
(Notice, there was IN THE SYNAGOGUE listening to Jesus teach, a man with an unclean spirit. There was an unclean spirit IN THE SYNAGOGUE. Jesus was teaching truth and the unclean spirit could NOT take it. How many people today teach well enough that people with unclean spirits can't take it? The unclean spirit asked two Questions and then spoke knowledge...NOT truth.)
"25 And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him.
26 And the unclean spirit, tearing him and crying with a loud voice, came out of him."
(If the unclean spirit spoke truth, then Jesus wouldn't have silenced him. However, Jesus didn't want people to base their faith on an unclean spirit. Notice, this passage told us SPECIFICALLY what Jesus said! "Hold thy peace, and come out of him." Was that a verse from the Old Testament...that day's "Bible"? No. Jesus spoke a Statement and Mark called it a rebuke. Jesus' Statement worked!)
"27 And they were all amazed, insomuch that they questioned among themselves, saying, What is this? a new teaching! with authority he commandeth even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.
28 And the report of him went out straightway everywhere into all the region of Galilee round about."
(Jesus helped the man by removing the unclean spirit. The people recognized what Jesus did AND called it "a new teaching!". In fact, they referenced AGAIN that Jesus did this with authority...He knew the HOW/WHY.)
(The same story was related in Luke 4 with additional information after what we have just covered in Mark. For the record, if someone asks you what book of the Bible they ought to read first, I'd recommend Mark. I call it the action Gospel. Mark completely focused on the action and the story moved very fast which is what people need who are afraid of being overwhelmed with the Bible.)
(Let's pick up the story in Luke 4...)
"38 And he rose up from the synagogue, and entered into the house of Simon. And Simon's wife's mother was holden with a great fever; and they besought him for her.
39 And he stood over her, and rebuked the fever; and it left her: and immediately she rose up and ministered unto them.
40 And when the sun was setting, all they that had any sick with divers diseases brought them unto him; and he laid his hands on every one of them, and healed them.
41 And demons also came out from many, crying out, and saying, Thou art the Son of God. And rebuking them, he suffered them not to speak, because they knew that he was the Christ."
(We know that healing people from demons is Spiritual Warfare. However, Luke combined Jesus' ability to heal diseases with removing demons. Is healing diseases also Spiritual Warfare?)
"42 And when it was day, he came out and went into a desert place: and the multitudes sought after him, and came unto him, and would have stayed him, that he should not go from them.
43 But he said unto them, I must preach the good tidings of the kingdom of God to the other cities also: for therefore was I sent.
44 And he was preaching in the synagogues of Galilee."
(Jesus could have stayed in one place and kept healing, but He didn't. He had to preach other places which meant NOT everyone got healed...only those who acted in faith THAT day.)
(Let's look at another passage from the action Gospel...)
"17 And one of the multitude answered him, Teacher, I brought unto thee my son, who hath a dumb spirit;
18 and wheresoever it taketh him, it dasheth him down: and he foameth, and grindeth his teeth, and pineth away: and I spake to thy disciples that they should cast it out; and they were not able."
(The man had a son who had a "dumb spirit". Notice, this LINKS disease with a spirit...)
"19 And he answereth them and saith, O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I bear with you? bring him unto me."
(We have looked at this passage before when we discussed faith. Faith is proven by actions (effects). The Disciples were unable to get the effects so Jesus called them a "faithless generation". Jesus put this harsh statement within a Question. This was a subtle point: If Jesus had made his frustration known in a Statement, it may have been interpreted as impatience or frustration or judgment. However, Jesus put this feeling into a Question...which was NOT a statement of the will.)
"20 And they brought him unto him: and when he saw him, straightway the spirit tare him grievously; and he fell on the ground, and wallowed foaming.
21 And he asked his father, How long time is it since this hath come unto him? And he said, From a child."
(Jesus asked the father a Question. WHY? I believe He did this for our benefit...so we would know this was a DIFFERENT situation than other situations. This "dumb spirit" had been with this person since he was a child.)
"22 And oft-times it hath cast him both into the fire and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do anything, have compassion on us, and help us.
23 And Jesus said unto him, If thou canst! All things are possible to him that believeth.
24 Straightway the father of the child cried out, and said, I believe; help thou mine unbelief."
(Jesus restated the father's IF Statement and explained HOW/WHY to make the IF possible: believe. I hope you can see Jesus was a MASTER with His WORDS and SENTENCES. There were so many ways this could have been Unprofitable if it was stated anything less than perfectly. However, EVERYTHING Jesus stated was PERFECT...objectively perfect...to the degree that if we want to learn Spiritual Warfare, we can examine Jesus' WORDS and SENTENCES to learn from the MASTER.)
"25 And when Jesus saw that a multitude came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I command thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him."
(AGAIN, we have a record of SPECIFICALLY what Jesus said. It was a Statement that was NOT recorded in the Old Testament...the "Bible" of Jesus' time.)
"26 And having cried out, and torn him much, he came out: and the boy became as one dead; insomuch that the more part said, He is dead.
27 But Jesus took him by the hand, and raised him up; and he arose.
28 And when he was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, How is it that we could not cast it out?
29 And he said unto them, This kind can come out by nothing, save by prayer."
(At least the Disciples wanted to know the HOW/WHY so they wouldn't fail next time! Jesus' answer was that THIS kind could come out by NOTHING, save by prayer. Yesterday, we said that prayer was in the WHOLE armor of God according to Paul. It looked like Jesus agreed!)
(Matthew also related the same story. However, the ending was different, but not contradictory...)
"20 And he saith unto them, Because of your little faith: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
21 But this kind goeth not out save by prayer and fasting."
(Jesus told the Disciples the HOW/WHY that they couldn't cast it out had to do with lack of faith...AND also required prayer and fasting. Remember, the story began with Jesus asking a Question that included a comment about the Disciples being "faithless". Mark had the action Gospel...the minute the action was over, he moved on to the next story. To me, Matthew was the Moral Gospel...as in, he tended to focus on the moral to the story. Matthew did a great job focusing on the conclusion.)
(From Matthew's account, there was some interesting Doctrine...First, Jesus said that lack of faith prevented them from casting out the demon. Then Jesus stated that even the littlest amount of faith would allow us to move mountains. Notice, a mountain is an inanimate object...it does NOT have a will. Second, Jesus stated that you have to SAY to the mountain a Statement. This was completely consistent with everything we've seen Jesus said during Spiritual Warfare. It also was consistent with everything Paul stated about Spiritual Warfare centering on WORDS and SENTENCES and stating your will. So far, every example of Spiritual Warfare from Jesus involved Jesus making a statement of the will FOR the demon...)
(Before we go any further, I have to stress the importance of understanding the sequel to "Modeling God"...."Modeling God's Wills" resolves the thousands of years old mystery behind HOW/WHY God's Will comes about through understanding the Bible. "Why does evil happen if God is all powerful?" The material we are covering this month will be used to write the third and final book in the series: "Modeling Church"...so it only makes sense that a person would need to understand "Modeling God" (God's Nature and prayer and truth) and "Modeling God's Wills" (HOW/WHY God's Will comes about and the Apostles' Doctrine) in order to understand Spiritual Warfare well enough to participate.)
(The correct application of this teaching about speaking to mountains from Jesus would cause us to speak our will over things that don't have a will: inanimate objects, the weather, animals...demons? The destructive application of this teaching from Jesus would cause us to speak our will over PEOPLE. "Modeling God's Wills" explains HOW/WHY God is All-Powerful: God has COMPLETE control over EVERYTHING that does NOT have a will. People get contradictory (and Calvinistic) when they attempt to use the Bible to prove God has complete control over people. The Bible clearly showed that God can ONLY override the will of the individual in RESPONSE to JUSTICE.)
(Finally, Jesus stated this kind came out by prayer and fasting. Notice, you had better have a non-contradictory understanding of the Doctrine of Prayer before you participate in Spiritual Warfare. I believe one of the reasons we don't see more success in Spiritual Warfare is that we do not understand the Doctrine of Prayer. "Modeling God" presented the Doctrine of Prayer according to the Bible. I have had numerous people speak and write against this presentation of the Doctrine of Prayer, yet NONE of them will explain what THEY believe is the Doctrine of Prayer.
(Prayer is different than speaking to God or God speaking to us...which is grace. We have seen that every prayer in the Bible followed the same four steps and was different than just speaking to God or God speaking to us. If a person wants to believe the Doctrine of Prayer is different than what the Bible stated, then they ought to at least admit their doctrine of Prayer is not supported by the Bible.)
(Prayer is an exchange of value. It is a statement of the will of the individual on how he wants to use his spiritual value. I believe Jesus was stating that this type of demon can only be removed by someone who has spiritual value and states his will that he wants to use his spiritual value to remove this demon. AGAIN, all of this depends on WORDS and SENTENCES.)
(The next story from the action Gospel took place at the beginning of Chapter 5. I want to look at the end of Chapter 4 to set the scene...)
"36 And leaving the multitude, they take him with them, even as he was, in the boat. And other boats were with him.
37 And there ariseth a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the boat, insomuch that the boat was now filling."
(Once again, Jesus had helped a multitude of people AND must get moving to the next place. This time he left in a boat and a "weather event" occurred...to the point the boat was in danger of sinking.)
"38 And he himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion: and they awake him, and say unto him, Teacher, carest thou not that we perish?"
(Apparently, Jesus was a hard sleeper! He was sleeping though a weather event in an open boat that was taking on water. The Disciples woke Him and asked Him a Question. The Disciples had learned something. If they had made this a Statement (You don't care if we perish), the guilt they would have faced may have been unbearable.)
"39 And he awoke, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
40 And he said unto them, Why are ye fearful? have ye not yet faith?
41 And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?"
(Jesus SAID to the sea "peace, be still". Again, Jesus made a Statement of the will FOR something that didn't have a will (inanimate object and weather) and it happened. That was followed by Jesus asking the Disciples two Questions...with one of them involving lack of faith. The first Question involved fear...with the final verse stating the result was the Disciples feared exceedlingly AND they asked each other a Question.)
(So, Chapter 4 ended with the Disciples amazed at Jesus' ability to state a will for inanimate objects. Now, we can look at Chapter 5...)
"1 And they came to the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gerasenes.
2 And when he was come out of the boat, straightway there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit,
3 who had his dwelling in the tombs: and no man could any more bind him, no, not with a chain;
4 because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been rent asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: and no man had strength to tame him.
5 And always, night and day, in the tombs and in the mountains, he was crying out, and cutting himself with stones."
(As soon as Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an unclean spirit met Jesus. This man was the ultimate example of Physical power. "no man had strength to tame him" So, in one corner, we had the ultimate Physical power...in the other, the ultimate Spiritual Power. Which one was going to win? How would this battle be fought: Physically or Spiritually? Which (the Physical or the Spiritual) do you REALLY believe is more powerful?)
"6 And when he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and worshipped him;
7 and crying out with a loud voice, he saith, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the Most High God? I adjure thee by God, torment me not.
8 For he said unto him, Come forth, thou unclean spirit, out of the man."
(This was told out of chronological order! Mark was so focused on the action, he stated the dramatic response first...then he stated the Statement that caused the dramatic response second.)
(Chronologically, Jesus AGAIN made a Statement "Come forth, thou unclean spirit, out of the man". AGAIN it was a statement of the will over a demon. However, this time, the man with the demon worshiped Jesus and asked a Question and then made a request of mercy. Clearly, this demon was NOT like the one that only came out by prayer. What was Jesus going to do? Was He going to torment the demon? Was He going to extend mercy? Was He going to silence the demon like He did in every other example? Was He going to talk to the demon?)
"9 And he asked him, What is thy name? And he saith unto him, My name is Legion; for we are many."
(Jesus asked the demon a Question! The demon answered factually...and the answer was that Jesus was not dealing with a single demon...but many. Now we know WHY no man could hold this man down. However, as it relates to the spiritual, we now have a battle between Jesus and MANY demons!)
"10 And he besought him much that he would not send them away out of the country."
(The many demons besought Jesus much that they would not be sent away out of the country. What an odd statement. Were they bargaining with Jesus? Do they think Jesus would do what they asked?)
"11 Now there was there on the mountain side a great herd of swine feeding.
12 And they besought him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them."
(It looked to me like the demons had a preference...they could make choices...however, they could NOT make this choice happen...they were unable to go into the swine. In fact, it looked like they were unable to leave the man's body...otherwise, they could have left and gone into the swine on their own. I believe these demons were unable to do something apart from their nature. It is NOT in their nature to NOT torment someone...to leave someone willingly.)
"13 And he gave them leave. And the unclean spirits came out, and entered into the swine: and the herd rushed down the steep into the sea, in number about two thousand; and they were drowned in the sea."
(Jesus gave them leave...Jesus ALLOWED them to leave. Notice, the unclean spirits went into about 2000 swine...and the swine drowned themselves. First of all, I believe this passage was put here for us to realize around how many unclean spirits were in the man...about 2000! Second, either the pigs didn't want to live with unclean spirits in them or the pigs' death allowed the spirits to be free to roam in the same country. I don't think I have enough information to state a definitive answer.)
"14 And they that fed them fled, and told it in the city, and in the country. And they came to see what it was that had come to pass.
15 And they come to Jesus, and behold him that was possessed with demons sitting, clothed and in his right mind, even him that had the legion: and they were afraid.
16 And they that saw it declared unto them how it befell him that was possessed with demons, and concerning the swine.
17 And they began to beseech him to depart from their borders."
(The people in charge of the pigs told others what happened. These people intentionally wanted to "come to Jesus". Whether they wanted to demand an answer or find out what was going on, we will never know because they immediately got distracted by the man who had been possessed...he was clothed and in his right Mind...AND that made the crowd AFRAID. THAT caused the people that saw the events to explain to those that came to Jesus what happened...and THAT caused these people to beseech Jesus to leave their borders!)
(Notice, when Jesus was successful at Spiritual Warfare, observers got in fear.)
"18 And as he was entering into the boat, he that had been possessed with demons besought him that he might be with him.
19 And he suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go to thy house unto thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and how he had mercy on thee.
20 And he went his way, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men marvelled."
(Jesus dissuaded someone from following Him. In fact, Jesus told him to tell everyone what the Lord had done for him...and the man did it. He PUBLISHED his story and ALL men marvelled. This was the first instance, that I'm aware, of a person publishing his story of how he overcame his personal struggles with the help of the Lord.)
We have seen several accounts of Jesus participating in Spiritual Warfare. In each instance, Jesus made a Statement. He stated a will for something that was unable to state a will or act apart from its nature.
AGAIN, all of this depended on a person's ability to use WORDS and SENTENCES.
CLEARLY, Jesus was a MASTER at using WORDS and SENTENCES.
Next week, we will look at more examples of Spiritual Warfare from people other than Jesus...