July 18, 2010 Jesus Helps the Paralytic Push Evil Away

Jesus helps the Paralytic push evil away

How determined are you to succeed?  Is your goal worth removing every barrier erected by satan?  In Ephesians 1.18-19, the Apostle Paul discusses God’s plan for your success:

goal (see also John 3.27), resources (see also Philippians 4.19),

His power (see also Zechariah 4.6; Micah 3.8). 

Outline the following story by this plan and, then, join in the study of this man pushing evil away from him with the help of Jesus.  How could you use what you will learn to push satan’s evil away from you?

Faith can be seen!

  • The paralyzed man in Mark 2.1-12 (also in Matthew 9.1-8 and Luke 5.17-26) expressed a similar level of faith as the centurion in Matthew 8.5-13 and the Canaanite woman in Matthew 15.21-28.  Great rewards are produced by great faith!  Contrast this with Hebrews 3.16-19.
  • The paralytic was, perhaps, a quadriplegic, since he was carried by four men.  Also, Jesus told him to ‘take up your bed and walk’ (verse 9).  The four men apparently agreed with him that Jesus could heal him, if they could only get him to Him.
  • Jesus saw the faith of all five.  The paralytic was willing to risk being dropped.  The four were willing to remove the roof and to lower him down with ropes, careful to keep him from tipping over.  They were, even, willing to interrupt the assembly with the urgency of his plea.  Do you want to be free from satan’s bondage that badly?  See James 2.18.
  • The Holy Spirit was present with Jesus to heal the Pharisees and teachers of the law

( Luke 5.17) and others who wanted to be healed.  Perhaps they walked with crutches or had a sinus infection or an ingrown toenail.  Whatever ailment, He was there to heal them from that bondage.

Except when there is darkness.

  • But, the faith of the Pharisees and teachers of the law could not be seen, for they had not come to be healed but to observe and criticize Jesus.   Remember that Jesus had already criticized their teaching in His Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5-7.  He had cast out demons during Sabbath worship (Mark 1.21-28) and in other synagogues in Galilee

(Mark 1.39).  He had healed Peter’s mother-in-law (Mark 1.29-30)

and a leper (Mark 1.40-42). 

  • Jesus was pulling away the layers of Pharisaical philosophy built up over time, to expose the truth that God had intended all along.  See Colossians 2.8-10.
  • Now, again, Jesus satisfied their need to criticize by using unusual words to heal: ‘Son, your sins are forgiven you’ (verse 5).
  • What was their criticism, from verse 7?
  • If they had connected their criticism with their observations of Him healing and casting demons out, they should have arrived at the conclusion Jesus stated in John 15.24

This would have revealed Him as the fulfillment of Deuteronomy 18.18 and connected Him to God’s stated means of distinguishing Himself in Exodus 34.10!

How did Jesus know their thoughts?

  • Mark 2.6 says the Pharisees and teachers of the law did not speak their criticism; they were ‘reasoning in their hearts’.  Matthew 9.3-4 says they ‘said within themselves’ and that Jesus knew their ‘thoughts’.  This is another illustration of the Scriptural use of ‘heart’ to mean ‘mind’.
  • The Holy Spirit – remember that He was present to heal – knew their thoughts and told Jesus.  Contemplate Proverbs 20.27
  • The bad news is you cannot have a thought that He does not know. 
  • Consider, also, Isaiah 66.2.
  • The good news is He will know what the person you are witnessing to thinking and will answer them through you; see Matthew 10.19-20.
  • So, Jesus illustrates this ‘good new’ of the Holy Spirit’s knowledge of the Pharisees and others and speaks a controversial word to them: ‘Son, your sins are forgiven you’ (verse 5).

Assignment for next week: Mark 2.9.  That is, is ‘your sins are forgiven you’ >=< ‘arise, take up your bed and walk’?  Think about it before you answer.

Praise God!!!

July 11, 2010 Authority to Push satan Out [cont’d]

Authority to Push satan Out Continued

Which is stronger: authority or power?  Think of the policeman stopping the loaded dump truck by raising his hand.  Now, understand that you are the policeman with the authority to stop satan and his demons with a single word.  You will discover this in the lesson below.

Authority to command unclean spirits, and they obey!

  • Mark 1.21-28 tells the story of Jesus in the synagogue in Capernaum.
  • What caused the audience to be ‘astonished at His teaching’, ‘as one having authority, and not as the scribes’?
  • Was this really a ‘new doctrine’ or simply the unmasking of the truth that had been covered by layers of philosophy for many years? 
  • How do Paul’s words in Colossians 2.8-10 and Ephesians 4.13-15 help you to understand this?  Remember Jesus’ teaching in John 8.31-32
  • So, the people heard the truth and saw authority stop the lie for the first time, and they were amazed!  Authority stops lies, sickness, and any other ‘loaded dump truck’ from satan!

Jesus received authority from God and gives it to you to use today!

  • Matthew 28.18-20 is the Great Commission of you for Jesus’ service.
  • What is meant by ‘all authority in heaven and on earth’?  Does this include blessings from God and curses from satan?  How is this illustrated in your makeup: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual?
  • When did Jesus receive ‘all authority’?  Although the day is not mentioned, I believe that the events of His ministry after satan’s temptation in the wilderness, including the event above, confirm that He received authority from God at His baptism.  See Luke 3.21-22.  What are the implications for you, given Ephesians 1.13-14 and John 14.16-17, 12, and 26 and Zechariah 4.6?
  • I believe Jesus’ use of ‘Lord’ in Luke 4.8 and 12 referred to Himself.  Notice Paul’s confirmation in Romans 10.8-13 and the inferred authority over your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual makeup.
  • How has Jesus’ authority continued since He left earth for heaven?  How does Peter answer this in Acts 3.16 and 4.12?  How does Paul answer in Philippians 2.9-11?
  • In John 17.1-26, His Lord’s Prayer, Jesus acknowledges His authority in verse 2.  He mentions you in verse 20 and confers upon you the necessary authority in verse 22; ‘glory’ includes the authority and capabilities you need to repeat John 5.19 today!  See Acts 17.28.
  • Two illustrations support this.  In Matthew 10.7-8, Jesus commissioned the apostles to preach the kingdom (see Mark 1.14-15 and Luke 4.16-21) and gave them the authority to ‘heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons….’  Luke 10.9 is Jesus’ instructions to 70 who, also, were sent.  Luke 10.17-20 includes their joyous report and Jesus description of authority, in verse 19.  The disciples were doing what Jesus did; so can we!

Authority may be needed to prove what you say.  It WILL be needed to break satan’s power and to deliver his victims.  This is its only purpose.

 You have authority!  Now, use it!

July 4, 2010 Freedom Through Surrender

Freedom through Surrender 

The United States is an illustration of surrender.  The courageous people who first landed at Plymouth Rock and Jamestown surrendered to the leading of God Almighty to leave family and friends for an unknown future that only the peace from God could satisfy.  The possibility of freedom that He planted deep within them would grow into the ‘unalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness’ that their future generations, and our forefathers, would write in our Declaration of Independence.

 

It was in this same spirit of surrender that President George Herbert Walker Bush launched Operation Desert Storm against Saddam Hussein and Iraq on January 16, 1991.  I had just arrived at Brentwood Baptist for Wednesday evening activities and immediately learned that our pilots were launching the combat of this campaign.  President Bush would later say that he purposely chose this time because he knew that many Christians would be assembling for prayer that would cover those brave pilots.  God instructed this American President; he surrendered and freedom was the result.

 

There are many Bible illustrations of freedom gained through surrender.  Let me remind you of several.

 

Judges 6.11 begins the story of Gideon, God’s ‘mighty man of valor’.  God’s angel found him threshing wheat in the pit of the winepress so that the enemy occupying Israel would not find him and confiscate his food.  After God assured him, ‘surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat the Midianites as one man’ (verse 16), Gideon surrendered to God and His power and gained freedom for himself and Israel.

 

1 Chronicles 14.8-17 record the first battle for the newly-crowned King David in Israel.  The Philistines, who were descended from Crete, the island in the Mediterranean Sea, had settled along the coast of Israel’s Promised Land in what is now called Gaza.  Notice and learn from the actions of this leader to this test.  He asked for and surrendered to the directions from God to attack from the front and, thus, gained his freedom.  Notice, especially, the different strategy of God for the second battle.  God knows the right strategy to produce the possibility of freedom.  Are we so aware of God’s presence and the work of angels on our behalf?  See Hebrews 1.14 and Psalm 103.20.

 

Isaiah 37.1-38 records the deliverance by God of King Hezekiah and Judah from the hands of the Sennacherib, king of Assyria.  Assyria was on the Tigris River, north of Bagdad in the kingdom of Babylonia.  Nineveh was its capitol, to which the prophet Jonah was sent, although he resisted the call of God to his own harm.  Hezekiah’s emissaries had gone to the prophet Isaiah, who assured them that God would deliver Judah from this superior armed force. Hezekiah prayed, ‘save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You are the Lord, You alone.’  God replied, ‘The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.’  He did, killing 185,000 Assyrian soldiers and luring Sennacherib back to Nineveh where two of his sons assassinated him.  Hezekiah surrendered to the quiet assurance before God and gained his freedom.  Who gets the glory in Freedom?

 

2 Chronicles 20.1-30 tells a similar story of freedom through surrender when Judah’s King Jehoshaphat was threatened by a superior force of enemy warriors from surrounding countries.  Listen to his prayer that saved his life and his nation: ‘For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.’  God’s instructions, then, were for them to march out the next morning to meet this force and to put singers at the front who proclaimed, ‘Praise the Lord, for His mercy endures forever.’  Verse 22 says that, when the singers began to sing, God caused the troops from Ammon, from Moab, and from Mount Seir to destroy each other.  Afterward, it took three full days for Jehoshaphat’s army to carry off the plunder.  After the last load on the fourth day, they assembled at God’s temple to praise Him for His mighty deliverance.  Their freedom was secured by their surrender to God.  Pay attention to the protocol: request followed by praise leads to Freedom.

 

John 8.31-32 is Jesus’ words to Jews who had come to accept Him as the promised Messiah.  Note where He says true freedom comes from: His word.  Note, too, how He describes His disciples; they ‘abide’ in His word.  So, disciples of Jesus are free because they surrender to follow His word.

 

‘Righteous living is not an option for a Christian. Nor is it something we must try to do over time. It is an obligation, mandatory for every child of God. Our freedom in Christ is not freedom to do what we want. It is freedom to live righteously, something we could not do when we were in to sin. Now that we are free to live righteously, we must allow the Holy Spirit to produce in us a holy, sanctified life (1 John 3:7)’.  By Dr. Henry Blackaby; devotional 100701; sent by Charlton Lentz.

There is only one way for you to overcome the superior forces of satan to destroy you and your business and that is to surrender your life and your business to the leadership of God.  Only then will you remain free.  Free to be led by Him to accomplish His plans for you and your business.  Your freedom will be assured through your surrender.

 

2 Chronicles 7.14 applies to our nation, our businesses, our families, and us personally. 

‘When I, _________, who am called by the name of Jesus, will humble myself and pray and seek His face, and turn from my wicked ways, then God will hear from Heaven, and will forgive my sin and heal my nation, my business, my family, and myself.’

2 Chronicles 7.14, Paraphrased.  This is how you surrender.

 

 

What one thing of bondage in your business or personal relationships will you break free from in the coming weeks?

 

What actions will you take?

Who will you account to? (What gets inspected, gets done.)