Demons are real. But we don’t need to be afraid of them. The demons fear Jesus. And for good reason.

ROBERT >> At this past Halloween, there were demons running all over my neighborhood. But I wasn’t afraid to open the door to them because I knew they weren’t real demons; they were just people dressed up like little devils. The Bible teaches us that demons are real; but the good news is there is one who is feared by the demons.

SINGING>> Speaking the truth, speaking the truth,
speaking the truth, speaking the truth in love.

ROBERT >> Today we want to continue to look at Jesus the Holy One. Last couple of weeks, we have learned from Luke chapter 1 that he is the one born of God, that he was the one conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit, that he was the one born of his blessed mother, Mary: Yahweh, our Savior, the Son of the Highest, the Son of God, Immanuel, that is, God with us; and that he was heir of David’s throne reigning from heaven over the people of God in his everlasting kingdom, the church. But today I want us to note something else about this one, this holy one, Jesus. And I want you to notice today that Jesus the holy one was one feared by demons.

If you’ll turn with me to Luke the 4th chapter, we’ll see how this all played out in the Bible. It was at a time when Jesus had just recently begun his ministry. And he had been preaching in the city of Nazareth, you remember, his hometown where he grew up. But the people there rejected him. I guess he was too familiar for them, because it was the boy down the street, the one that had grown up among them, the carpenter’s son, and they could not believe that he was the holy one of God, the one born of God, the Son of God. But he moves on from Nazareth to the city of Capernaum in the cape of the Sea of Galilee. And we’re going to see that this becomes the headquarters for his ministry. And it’s here that we find Jesus the holy one, the one feared by demons.

Let’s read it together in Luke chapter 4, and we’ll pick up the story here in verse 31. “Then He went down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and was teaching them on the Sabbaths. And they were astonished at His teaching, for His word was with authority. Now in the synagogue there was a man who had a spirit of an unclean demon. And he cried out with a loud voice, 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! But Jesus rebuked him, saying, Be quiet, and come out of him! And when the demon had thrown him in their midst, it came out of him and did not hurt him. And 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. And the report about Him went out into every place in the surrounding region.”

Here we see in Luke chapter 4 the authoritative teaching of Jesus Christ in the synagogue.

You see what he was doing here on this occasion?

He was going to church. He was in those days going to church on a regular basis there in the synagogue where the Jews would meet every Saturday. It was their Sabbath day. It was their independence day. You see, on this day, every Sabbath, they would remember how that God had brought them out of Egyptian bondage, who had freed them from that slavery and brought them out into the wilderness to make their way to the promised land. And so as God commanded way back in Deuteronomy chapter 5, they would keep the Sabbath day holy. And Jesus as a Jew living under that law, he would come each Saturday on this day of rest to join with the other Jews, and he would join them in the synagogue, where they would have fellowship with one another, where they would learn the scriptures together. And all of this was something that kind of sprung up between the testaments. As the Jews on that day would make this a day of rest, they decided to come together and to spend this time in worship and study of the word of God. Jesus took advantage of that. Jesus was out there with the people. He was going to church. Not the church that we read about in the New Testament that Jesus would soon establish; but the church of God in the Old Testament, the nation of Israel.

You see, it was Jesus’ habit. Every week, it was his custom to be a part of this time with God’s people. And you see this throughout the scriptures, throughout his ministry. I want you to notice something here. I think there’s a good lesson and example for us today. Think about it.

If Jesus, the Son of God, this one who was born of God, this holy one, if he saw need for church every week, don’t you think we need it even more?

Those of us who are sinful, those of us who have not yet certainly attained to the holiness of Christ and could never possibly live a perfect life on this earth, but as we strive more and more to be like him, don’t you think we need to come together with God’s people at least as much as he?

No, we don’t come together on Saturday. That was the Jewish Sabbath law. It was never given to another nation. It’s not our day of independence. But Sunday, the first day of the week, the Lord’s day, that’s when Jesus arose from the grave. That’s when his church began. And that’s the day that we read about in the New Testament that church coming together to remember their freedom from sin that was won at the cross of Jesus and in his resurrection from the grave that first day of the week.

You see, our Sabbath is not a day of rest. Our Sabbath is a life of rest. It’s a death of rest. It’s an eternity of rest in Jesus Christ.

When he was on this earth, he said, “All ye who labor and are heavy laden, come unto Me, and I’ll give you rest.”

Rest is found in relationship with Jesus Christ, in communion with him, in union with him. Every Christian enjoys Sabbath, a rest, in his life; and upon his death, there remains a rest for the people of God according to Hebrews 4:9-10. We have this rest for all of eternity.

Jesus said in Revelation 14:13, “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord, that they may rest from their labors.”

And so we see that holy one, Jesus, on the Sabbath day as a Jew under the law resting and coming together with God’s people and worshiping the Lord together, fellowshiping with the nation of Israel, providing for us an example, if we’re going to be a holy people, to spend time with God’s church, to remember what he did for us every Lord’s day in coming together like that.

But I want you to notice something here in Luke chapter 4. Jesus was not there at the synagogue on the Sabbath day just there for himself; he took advantage of the opportunity to teach, to help others. He was there to influence and to be an example. And if we will follow his example, we’ll understand that we’re not just coming together on the Lord’s day with God’s people for ourself, but we ought to be a part of that kind of assembly, of those kinds of occasions out of consideration for one another, to help and to influence, and to stir one another up.

Look at Hebrews 10:24-25, where the Hebrew writer was very concerned about this point. Because it was a time of persecution and difficulty for Christians, there were some who were about to abandon or probably had already abandoned the assembly of God’s people. I don’t know if they were afraid or if they had become discouraged; but for whatever reason, they had quit coming together. And so I want you to notice what the Hebrew writer says here, Hebrews chapter 10, beginning in verse 24. He says, “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.”

Yes, you see it was very important for those Christians of the first century to come together and to consider one another, to stir one another up, to exhort, to encourage one another. And we need that just as much today, because we, too, have persecution and we have difficulty and we have discouragements and we have trials, and we need one another. God has given us the church so that we can help each other towards heaven.

Now, I want you to notice back in Luke chapter 4 that at this time, much of the teaching in the synagogue was a reading of what some rabbi had written, what some rabbi said about what some rabbi said about what some rabbi said.

I mean, that’s the way it kind of went there in the synagogue. But I want you to notice, when Jesus got up there to read, he read from the scripture, not what some rabbi said.

Look at it again with me here in verse 31 and 32 of Luke 4. “Went down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and He was teaching them on the Sabbaths. And they were astonished at His teaching, for His word with authority. Jesus Christ spoke with authority because he spoke with God’s word, with the word of God, with the inspired message of the Holy Spirit. It was unlike anything the people had heard. He spoke without fear. He was not intimidated.”

You know why the scribes and the Pharisees, they were always looking to others for their approval?

Jesus’ words reached into the heart of the people. While the scribes and the Pharisees were cold and indifferent, his words were powerful because he spoke the truth, while the scribes and the Pharisees had nothing vital to offer, just their long-held traditions. There’s a great difference in preaching God’s word and preaching the truth and preaching that which is inspired by the Holy Spirit and teaching the traditions and the doctrines and the ideas and the philosophies of man. Jesus’ teaching was authoritative, and his authority was of God.

1 Peter 4:11 reminds us of this very point and encourages those of us who would speak, who would bring forth the message of God to do that very thing.

1 Peter 4:11, “If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God.”

It is important for us not to place what man says above what God says. In

1 Corinthians 4:6, I want you to notice what the apostle Paul wrote here to the church at Corinth, because they were having a problem with that very thing, placing man above Jesus Christ. And they had formed various parties, and they began to enjoy these divisions in the church there that were causing all kinds of problems, and it was all really about men instead of them uniting together in Jesus Christ.

Here in 1 Corinthians 4:6, he mentions, for example, himself and Apollos. They certainly did not want to be a part of such partyism. But then he says, “Not to think beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up on behalf of one against the other.”

Not to think above that which is written. And so we need to be careful that we stay with God’s word. I wonder if many churches would really put up with a preacher like Jesus. Jesus taught the scriptures. Jesus taught the truth. But many don’t want to hear that.

In fact, many preachers have departed from the truth, and they’ve softened their message to avoid offending anyone. If Jesus were to speak in many of our churches today, I doubt that he’d be well received just because of his authoritative teaching, his speaking the oracles of God, because he would always preach the truth, nothing but the truth; the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Now I want you to look at what happened that day in church there in the city of Capernaum, and I want you to see this astonishing encounter that Jesus had with demons. That’s right. On this day, a demon came to church. Demons are real.

Look what he says here in Luke 4:33. “And in the synagogue there was a man, who had a spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out with a loud voice.”

An unclean demon. Demons are in fact unclean spirits. They’re angels that sinned, the devil’s angels that were cast out of heaven.

You can read about them in 2 Peter 2:4, in Jude 6, in Revelation 12. The devil and his angels are just as real as God and his angels. And yes, the devil and his angels are still attending church today.

Just as there was a demon there in the synagogue on that Sabbath, there are such all around us, even in church today. They’re not there to worship God. Oh, they want to destroy us, just like this demon was trying to do to this poor man in Luke chapter 4.

I’m afraid we don’t realize how powerful Satan and his demons are. Some think of the devil, and they think he’s some little red creature with a pitchfork, and he’s whispering in your ear. Don’t underestimate the power of Satan.

Look at 1 Peter 5:8. “Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.”

Yes, the devil is powerful and the devil is out to get us, and he wants to destroy us. On this Sabbath in Luke chapter 4, a man was possessed by a demon. The demon had entered into his body and took complete control of the man. But I want you to notice something, that this was something that had not happened in the past, and this was something that would only continue through the first century, but not past the time of Jesus and his apostles; but also that this was very real while Jesus and his apostles were on the earth.

All of this was leading up to the climax of the war between Satan and the savior from the beginning of time. They had been at it ever since man sinned in the garden, having given in to the temptation of the devil. Satan’s people and God’s people have been at war. But finally Jesus comes to demonstrate his power over the demonic world; and he would defeat that power, ultimately destroy that at the cross.

Read with me in Colossians 2:15. Here the apostle Paul had just been talking about the cross of Jesus; and he says, Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it. In the cross. There’s where Jesus won his victory over Satan, over sin; and in his resurrection, over death itself, giving us the hope and assurance of eternal life. I want you to also understand something else from Luke chapter 4, what was happening on that occasion when this demon entered into the body of this man. This demon was not a mere disease or some kind of mental illness that came upon the man. This was a real spirit that had taken control of this man. The demon was able to use the man’s tongue to communicate with Jesus. He would talk with Jesus.

In fact, we just read from Luke chapter 4 before that he cried out with a loud voice. And look what he said there in verse 34. “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.”

He made it clear, the demon made it clear that he knew Jesus. He knew his name, he knew where he had come from, and he knew why he had come and who he was.

Isn’t it strange that demons knew more than men did about Jesus?

John 1:10 tells us that “he was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.”

So many refuse to accept and to understand that Jesus Christ is in fact the Son of God, the Christ, the Lord and savior of the world. This miracle that happened here in Luke chapter 4 provided Jesus with the credentials to show that he was who he claimed to be because, you see, only God has this kind of power over the demonic world.

Only God moves in that realm. He taught us, Jesus taught us as one who has authority, and now he shows that he has power. Jesus didn’t want a demon bearing witness to him.

And so look what it says as we read on in Luke 4 in verse 35. When the demon called out to him, Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be quiet, and come out of him. And when the demon had thrown him in their midst, it came out of him, and did not hurt him.”

Jesus didn’t want the demons telling people who he was. He commanded the demon to leave the man.

The demon obeyed Jesus. The demon showed the crowd his intent to hurt the man when he threw the man to the ground with great force and great fury. And let me tell you something, those who Satan cannot destroy, he’s going to do all he can to hurt them. But this is our comfort, that he can harm us no further than Christ permits.

We also have this assurance from 1 John 4:4. The next time that you find yourself in trouble and you feel like Satan is attacking you from every side, next time you find yourself in trial and temptation and difficulty, and you feel like I just cannot overcome, remember this passage in 1 John 4:4, where he says, “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.”

No, Satan may not take up our bodies to take control over us like he did that man through these demons; but he’s in the world, and he’s still out to get us. But the best way to keep demons out of your heart is to keep Jesus in your heart.

Finally this morning, let’s take a quick look at the amazing effect that all this had upon the people.

Once again in Luke chapter 4, and this time let us notice verse 36. “And 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. And the report about Him went out into every place in the surrounding region.”

Yes, the people were amazed at his power. I know I would have been, too, had I been there that day. They didn’t know how to explain it. Obviously something happened that they’d never seen before, they’d never heard of before. The story about him spread throughout the whole area into every place. You might say today, wow, you know, I wish I was there to see Jesus do something like that. And I know if I saw that, I’d be telling everybody about it, too. Maybe you’re saying something like that. But folks, we have something greater to tell.

Though Satan and his demons tempted and tried Jesus, they caused the people to reject him and to betray him and to beat him and to scourge him and to crucify him, still he was without sin. In his death, he paid for our sins.

Even death itself could not hold him. He was raised from the dead. And having conquered sin and death, he gives us eternal life. Now, that’s something to talk about to everyone, everywhere, every day. Jesus the holy one, the one born of God, the one feared by demons.

He calls you today to trust him for salvation and confess him as savior and Lord, the Son of God, to make your decision to turn from sin to live for him, to submit to him in the waters of baptism so you can be forgiven and begin your new life in him. Be faithful to him until death, and he promises you the crown of life.

SINGING>> Years I spent in vanity and pride,
caring not my Lord was crucified,
knowing not it was for me he died on Calvary.
Mercy there was great,
and grace was free; pardon there was multiplied to me;
there my burdened soul found liberty, at Calvary.
Oh, the love that drew salvation’s plan.
Oh, the grace that brought it down to man.
Oh, the mighty gulf that God did span at Calvary.
Mercy there was great, and grace was free;
pardon there was multiplied to me;
there my burdened soul found liberty, at Calvary.

SINGING>> Peace, perfect peace.
In this dark world of sin,
the blood of Jesus whispers peace within.
Peace, perfect peace.
By thronging duties pressed,
to do the will of Jesus, this is best.
Peace, perfect peace.
Our future all unknown,
Jesus we know, and he is on the throne.
It is enough.
Earth’s struggles soon shall cease,
and Jesus calls us to heaven’s perfect peace.

ROBERT >> Thank you so much for watching our program today. We would love to hear from you. And let me encourage you to contact us with your questions, comments or requests at The Truth In Love, P.O. Box 865, Hurst, Texas 76053.

You may e-mail us at requests@ttil.tv.

Or call our toll-free number, 800-819-2966.

And also, please visit our web site at www.ttil.tv. Remember that all our materials and services are absolutely free of charge.

We just want to do what we can to help us all towards heaven. So let us know how we can help you, and please join us next time right here on The Truth In Love.

>SINGING> Sing to me of heaven, sing that song of peace.
From the toils that bind me it will bring release.
Burdens will be lifted that are pressing so,
showers of great blessing o’er my heart will flow.
Sing to me of heaven, let me fondly dream
of its golden glory, of its pearly gleam.
Sing to me when shadows of the evening fall,
sing to me of heaven, sing the sweetest song of all.
Sing to me of heaven tenderly and low
till the shadows o’er me rise and swiftly go.
When my heart is weary, when the day is long,
sing to me of heaven, sing that old, sweet song.
Sing to me of heaven, let me fondly dream
of its golden glory, of its pearly gleam.
Sing to me when shadows of the evening fall,
sing to me of heaven, sing the sweetest song of all.

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