"But if I with the
finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is
come upon you. When a strong man armed keepeth his palace,
his goods are in peace: 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. He
that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not
with me scattereth." Luke 11:20-23
THERE ARE NINE
LESSONS POSTED ON THIS PAGE (NUMBERED 1 THROUGH 9 ... WITH
NUMBER 9 BEING THE MOST RECENT) FOR YOUR BIBLE STUDY PROFIT.
"pondering" this little text for a day or two now.
I shall, Lord
willing, preach it soon. That is, as He so leads.
It has interested
me for a long time ... years I suppose!
It's often called
the "Parable of the Strong Man."
I think it's better
to call it the "Parable of the Stronger Man!"
The account is
found three places in the Gospels.
Matthew puts it: "Or else how can one
enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he
first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house. He
that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not
with me scattereth abroad." Matthew 12:29-30
"No man can enter into a strong man's
house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strong
man; and then he will spoil his house." Mark 3:27
Doctor Luke who gives us the fullest report of Jesus' Words
here: "But if I with the finger of God
cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you.
When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in
peace: 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. He that is not with me is
against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth."
particularly concerned today with the "identity" of these strong
are certain that, based on the context of our passage, the first
"strong man" is the devil, satan himself! The surrounding
verses all deal with Jesus casting out demons and discussions
about His power!
And let me
tell you this. The devil is strong! (But he has only "limited"
strength! Limited by Almighty God! If you have any doubt about
that read the Book of Job!)
Bagwell, Who is that Stronger Man Who robs satan,
strips him of his armour and captures his "spoils?" In fact, He
even shares those "spoils" with others!
and Sisters in Christ ... THERE IS ONLY ONE THIS COULD
Man is ... Jesus!
to have conquered and spoiled the devil two thousand years ago
on an old rugged Cross!
is the Victor!
And on this
Saturday in November I want to remind all you dear readers that
we can share in that victory too!
in it constantly!
Listen to him
in 1 Corinthians 15:57 --- "But thanks
be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord
Jesus Christ." (He's just been preaching on the death,
burial and resurrection of Jesus!)
too, IN Christ Jesus, can do as James says and:
"Submit yourselves therefore to God.
Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." James 4:7
Live in the
conscious awareness of that Victory today!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
One of Jesus'
unusual statements occurs in Luke 11:20 where He says:
"But if I with the finger of God cast out
devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you."
Our verse is
located in the paragraph where the enemies of Christ have
accused Him of being in league with the devil!
In fact, sinning
unpardonably, they declared that Jesus had cast demons out of
people through the very power of satan himself!
Jesus of course denied their lies and then
said that He cast out devils "with the
finger of God."
That's the unusual statement to which I
Jesus associates Himself with the "finger of
Or maybe He identifies Himself as the "Finger
He IS God, you know!
In Isaiah 53:1 I believe Jesus is called the
"Arm of the Lord."
Now, watch this.
In the parallel passage to this event in Luke
(Matthew 12:28) Jesus says: "But if I
cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is
come unto you."
In Luke He works the miracles by means of
In Matthew ... by God's Spirit!
Therefore I conclude the Spirit of God and
the Finger of God are also synonymous. They are identical!
This dual terminology for the Same Member of
the Godhead is not too rare in Scripture.
In Acts 5 (the Ananias-Sapphira episode)
verse 3 accuses them of lying to "the Holy Ghost" and verse 4
says they lied to "God!" Conclusion: The Holy Spirit IS God!
Sometimes it is hard if not impossible to
distinguish exactly which Member of the Trinity does something.
We serve ONE GOD you remember. But He is manifest in a triune
Jesus repelled devils by God's Finger
or by God's Spirit!
When the Pharisees accused Jesus of
performing those miracles via the devil's power, they blasphemed
the precious Holy Spirit of God! (Not to mention violating all
the laws of logic!)
All this set me to thinking about the Finger
The first time Biblically that God's finger
is specifically mentioned is in Exodus 8:19 where we are told:
"Then the magicians said unto Pharaoh, This is the finger
of God: and Pharaoh's heart was hardened, and he hearkened not
unto them; as the LORD had said." (The plague of the
Also it was God's Finger that wrote the Law
(the Commandments) into those stone tablets in Moses' day!
Exodus 31:18 --- "And he gave unto Moses,
when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai,
two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the
finger of God." Deuteronomy 9:10 says this too.
The Psalmist David tells us something that
God did with His Fingers before Adam was ever created! God made
the worlds with them! Psalm 8:3 --- "When
I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and
the stars, which thou hast ordained ...." Wow!
The Same Hand that created the universe ...
was born of a Virgin and lived sinlessly and cast out devils and
died on Calvary and was raised physically and victoriously so we
could be saved!
We again see God's Fingers in Daniel 5 when
He wrote Belshazzar's death notice on the wall of that
licentious palace! Daniel 5:5 --- "In the
same hour came forth fingers of a man's hand, and wrote over
against the candlestick upon the plaister of the wall of the
king's palace: and the king saw the part of the hand that
Let me show you another thing Jesus did with
His Fingers. It's a miracle too. "And he
took him aside from the multitude, and put his fingers into his
ears, and he spit, and touched his tongue; and looking up to
heaven, he sighed, and saith unto him, Ephphatha, that is, Be
opened." Mark 7:33-34
Once Jesus wrote with His Finger! When the
woman taken in adultery was brought to Him He ...
"stooped down, and with his finger
wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not ."
Then after asking her accusers a question ...
"Again he stooped down, and wrote on the
ground." John 8:6 and 8
And with the Finger of God exhibiting such
power, isn't is predictable that the devil's "champion," one of
the Giants of Gath, would have six fingers on each hand! (A
feeble attempt to mimic God's powerful Fingers!) See 2 Samuel
In the Light of the Fingers in Scripture
picturing the Power and Presence of God, think of the rich man's
request (as he was tormented in hell) ---"And
he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send
Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and
cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame." Luke
16:24 (Did he want the Finger for water purposes ... or because
hell is a place of total absence from God ... the finger being a
symbol of such Presence?)
And the most often occurring "picture" of the
Finger in the Bible is that of the blood tipped fingers of the
Priests as they ministered in the Sanctuary (Tabernacle or
Temple)! Time after time one reads of this! And isn't God's
Finger a Blood soaked One too? Also at times (Leviticus 14 for
example) the Priests' fingers were covered with both Blood and
with Oil! ... another picture of the Finger and the Holy Spirit!
So ... our verse today opens with Jesus'
Fingers being the Finger of God and a parallel Term for the Holy
Spirit too! Jesus is fighting the devil (casting out demons)
with His Finger! Now read Psalm 144:1 ---
"Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to
war, and my fingers to fight." Jesus was simply obeying
that old verse ... which he well knew!
Proverbs 6:13 tells us that a wicked man
teaches with his fingers ... we have learned today that our
thrice Holy God does too!
Jesus very Fingers were Spirit filled!
Listen to Isaiah (59:3) accuse the men of his day:
"For your hands are defiled with blood,
and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your
tongue hath muttered perverseness." It was not so with
our sinless Saviour!
Jesus refuted the slanderous claims of the
Pharisees with this little "word picture!" Here it is again:
"But if I with the finger of God cast out
devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you."
Watch for the Finger of God as you go to
He will be present among His people!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
I have heard
so-called preachers and teachers through the years question some
of Jesus' miracles!
Especially those in
which he "cast out" demons from certain individuals.
Well, let me go on
record today by saying that I believe every miracle recorded in
the Bible ... including those of expelling demons!
In Luke 11:20 Jesus said this:
"But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the
kingdom of God is come upon you."
The verb cast out is (in Greek) "ekballo."
It actually means to throw ("ballo" gives us the English word
"ball," which one throws) and "ek" (the prefix and preposition)
means "out!" Jesus threw those demons out of men and women!
The present "tense" of our verb here
indicates that Jesus did this regularly during His earthly
The noun "devils" is "daimonion" and means
demons or evil spirits or messengers of the devil himself! It
is plural here in our text.
"No doubt" is "ara" in Greek and just means a
conclusion has been reached. It denotes that an inference, a
decisive one, has been reached. In the King James Bible it is
translated in such ways as: therefore, then, truly, so be, or
The expression "kingdom of God" is found 69
times in the New Testament. I believe it indicates the complete
body of saved individuals of all ages who will spend eternity in
the Presence of our mighty God. (As opposed to the "kingdom of
heaven" which is Jesus' term for the millennial kingdom here on
earth lasting 1,000 literal years)
The verb "is come" translates "phthano." In
Greek this means "to be beforehand" or "to have arrived." It is
almost as if Jesus is saying it has finally got here!
Once, in 1st Thessalonians 4:15 Paul makes the word have this
idea: "shall (not) prevent!"
Jesus is telling us that with the coming of the Kingdom of God
... will also be the coming of the Saviour casting out demons!
They go "hand-in-hand!"
In 1st John 3:8 Jesus is said to have come
"to destroy the works of the devil!"
He did so partly (although not mainly) by casting out demons
again and again! (Mainly He defeated and destroyed satan by
dying on the Cross, shedding His precious Blood that sinners
might be saved!)
Our Lord Jesus is more powerful that the
devil and all his cohorts!
It looks to me like Jesus is clearly saying
that one sure indication that the real Kingdom of God had come
was simply the fact that He had power over and (at His will)
commanded demons to obey His voice!
Therefore the Scriptures can declare:
"Greater is he that is in you, than he
that is in the world." 1st John 4:4
Christian, in the Name of Jesus, you can:
"Resist the devil, and he will flee from
you." James 4:7
Listen to Jesus say this to satan:
"Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written
...." Matthew 4:10
And if these facts excite you ... wait until
Jesus comes again! When it is said ...
"And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire
and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and
shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever."
No wonder we sing ... "Victory in Jesus!"
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
If we are going to study the power Jesus has over satan (the
very focus of our Bible text here), we must get some idea of how
many times Jesus cast demons out of folks during His earthly
ministry. That seems to be the issue that generated the
conversation we are studying. (Luke 11:20-23)
Here's my feeble attempt to catalog them for you:
1. Here's is an event recorded only by Mark.
there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and
he cried out, Saying, Let us alone; what have we to
do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy
us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God. And
Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him.
And when the unclean spirit had torn him, and cried with a loud
voice, he came out of him. And they were all amazed,
insomuch that they questioned among themselves, saying, What
thing is this? what new doctrine is this? for with
authority commandeth he even the unclean spirits, and they do
obey him." Mark 1:21-17
2. And of course perhaps
the best-known occasion is that of the "Maniac of Gadara."
You can read about him in Matthew 8:28-34 and Mark 5:1-20 and
"And when he was come to the other side into the country of the
Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out
of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by
that way. And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to
do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to
torment us before the time? And there was a good way off
from them an herd of many swine feeding. So the devils
besought him, saying, If thou cast us out, suffer us to go away
into the herd of swine. And he said unto them, Go. And when they
were come out, they went into the herd of swine: and, behold,
the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into
the sea, and perished in the waters. And they that kept them
fled, and went their ways into the city, and told every thing,
and what was befallen to the possessed of the devils. And,
behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus: and when they saw
him, they besought him that he would depart out of their
coasts." Matthew 8:28-34
3. Matthew also tells us of a
dumb man who was devil possessed.
"As they went out, behold, they brought to him a dumb man
possessed with a devil. And when the devil was cast out, the
dumb spake: and the multitudes marvelled, saying, It was never
so seen in Israel. But the Pharisees said, He casteth out
devils through the prince of the devils." Matthew 9:32-34
4. Matthew 12:22-24 and
Luke 11:14-15 record another incident too. In Matthew's
account this man is also blind!
"Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, blind,
and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb
both spake and saw. And all the people were amazed, and said, Is
not this the son of David? But when the Pharisees heard it,
they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by
Beelzebub the prince of the devils." Matthew 12:22-24
5. And look at Luke
9:37-43 (an event which is also recorded in Matthew 17:14f and
Here see the
destructive violent power of an evil spirit!
"And it came to pass, that on the next day, when they were come
down from the hill, much people met him. And, behold, a
man of the company cried out, saying, Master, I beseech thee,
look upon my son: for he is mine only child. And, lo, a
spirit taketh him, and he suddenly crieth out; and it teareth
him that he foameth again, and bruising him hardly departeth
from him. And I besought thy disciples to cast him out;
and they could not. And Jesus answering said, O faithless
and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you, and
suffer you? Bring thy son hither. And as he was yet a
coming, the devil threw him down, and tare him. And Jesus
rebuked the unclean spirit, and healed the child, and delivered
him again to his father. And they were all amazed at the mighty
power of God. But while they wondered every one at all things
which Jesus did ...."
6. And only Luke gives
us this one:
"And he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath.
And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity
eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise
lift up herself. And when Jesus saw her, he called
her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed
from thine infirmity. And he laid his hands on her:
and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.
And the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation,
because that Jesus had healed on the sabbath day, and said unto
the people, There are six days in which men ought to work: in
them therefore come and be healed, and not on the sabbath day.
The Lord then answered him, and said, Thou hypocrite,
doth not each one of you on the sabbath loose his ox or his
ass from the stall, and lead him away to watering?
And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom
Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this
bond on the sabbath day? And when he had said these
things, all his adversaries were ashamed: and all the people
rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by him."
7. Plus there are some
"inclusive" descriptions of Jesus casting out demons ... such as
Luke 7:21 ---
"And in that same
hour he cured many of their infirmities and plagues, and of evil
spirits; and unto many that were blind he gave sight."
Another more specific example is Mary Magdalene:
women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities,
Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils!"
Here's a good summary
"And at even, when the sun did set, they brought unto him all
that were diseased, and them that were possessed with devils.
And all the city was gathered together at the door. And he
healed many that were sick of divers diseases, and cast out many
devils; and suffered not the devils to speak, because they knew
him." Mark 1:32-34
That's enough "proof" for me!
The "strong man" called the devil HAS BEEN spoiled by The
Stronger Man Jesus!
Praise the Lord!
Hey, preachers, pick one of
these and PREACH it as the Lord leads you! It makes for
great "celebratory" exposition of the Word of God!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
... WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2004:
Luke 11:21 says:
"When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in
peace." These are the very words of Jesus. He
is describing (using the term "strong man") the devil.
Here our Lord is teaching us several things
Notice that Jesus calls the devil a
"strong man!" (And that's the
only way the context of our verse will allow us to interpret
The expression "a strong man" is represented
by the adjective "ischuros." The word has the idea of
ability or might but in this sense ... "forceful!" (It's
the usual word for physical strength.) Its "root" verb is
"echo" ... to hold or to hold on to! (The
devil is one who likes to "hold on to" his subjects! He
does not give them up without a fight!)
Therefore we can conclude that the devil is
powerful! (But he's not all-powerful! Only God is that!)
Next we learn that the devil is
This word is "kathoplizo" and means
intensively loaded with tools for warfare!
Satan is one with many weapons! Our word is a verb, a
participle in the "perfect" sense of timing. The devil was
fully loaded with armour at some point in time past and ...
right up until Jesus made these very statements ... satan still
had that armour! (When Paul told the Ephesian Christians
to put on the "whole armour" of God, he used this same root
Good news: Paul says that the devil got
"stripped" of his armour at the old rugged Cross when Jesus
died! Read here with me Colossians 2:15 ---
(Jesus ... on the Cross) having spoiled (the verb means
stripped of his clothing) principalities and powers (the devil
and his demons), He made a shew of them openly, triumphing over
them in it."
Back to our verse ... this strong devil "keepeth"
his palace! The verb "phulasso" means to guard or
to watch. It is from a root verb ("phuo") that
means "to puff up" or "to blow up" or even "to swell up ...
hence to "to grow up" as plants and flowers do! This verb
is in the subjunctive mood ... telling us that this is a wish or
desire of the devil. He is not even sure he can guard his
possessions successfully! (I guess not ... the Stronger
Man is coming!)
Get this. Grammatically we are being
told that the devil is "growing" in his assurance and ability in
guarding his "flock!" I've not thought much about
this ... but satan is NOT omniscient! He does not know
everything ... as God does! So he is having to learn (with
the passing of time) how to better guard his people! Jesus
did not have to learn how to care for His Own! He knows
everything from the Beginning! Wow!
The noun "palace" (in Greek = "aule") means a
courtyard or a hall. It is from the Greek word "aer" which
means literally "air" or "atmosphere!" This word suggests
an open wide place (not unlike a sheepfold)!
The devil is said to possess his goods (like
his "captives") in the "aer," an open breezy place! Isn't
it something that Paul calls satan "the
prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now
worketh in the children of disobedience." Ephesians
And the word "goods" translates "huparchonta."
It means (literally) under ('hupo") plus ... to commence or to
exist ("archomai"). These are things (or people) under
the devil's control! This word is
rendered as "substance" in Luke 8:3. Read it and
you'll get a better idea of its meaning. "And
Joanna the wife of Chuza Herod's steward, and Susanna, and many
others, which ministered unto him (Jesus) of their substance."
The devil does have many possessions!
In fact, many millions of "souls" are under his power this very
"Peace" here (in Greek = "eirene") means the
absence of war. Before he was attacked old satan had
everything under control. He was at peace.
Then Jesus came!
And the devil lost!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
LESSON 6 ...
VERSE 22 ... THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 2004:
Today we have arrived at the pivotal verse in
Jesus says in Luke 11:22 ---
"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."
Someone Stronger than that first strong man
This Stronger Man is
actually attacked (and destroyed) the strong man (the devil) at
the Cross of Calvary!
First the Stronger Man "comes upon" the less
strong man! The verb is "eperchomai" and means to
supervene, to attack, to impend or to accost! (The prefix
"epi" means "on" or "over" in the sense of superimposition!)
The devil didn't know What hit him! (The main part of the
word, "erchomai," means to come or to arrive. On occasion
it can mean "to go" also.) Jesus came ... defeated the
devil ... then left even more quickly than He came! Wow!
Then the verb "overcome" translates in Greek
"nikao" and means to conquer! (Or to prevail or to get the
victory!) Both these first verbs are in the "aorist"
tense. They describe for us past action that is now complete.
Jesus came upon the devil and whipped him 2,000 years ago.
The "heart" of the battle is over! All that's left is the
"mopping up" exercises! (Even the "Tribulation" is not the
devil's idea ... but God's 70th week of calculation for the
little Nation of Israel ... designed to bring them to repentance
and faith in Jesus their Messiah!)
Next Jesus "taketh" from satan some things!
This verb, "airo," means primarily to "lift up, take up, take
away" or to "bear away with" something! And this time our
verb is a present tense (indicative active) action word!
This taking away from the devil is still going on right now.
Every day the Lord Jesus, interceding in heaven for us hour by
hour, is robbing the devil of his illegal possessions!
(Satan got them by lying in the first place! And that
happened in the Garden of Eden!)
Next the expression "all armour" translates
one Greek word ... "panoplia." (It has become an English
word too ... "panoply!" Look it up in a dictionary!
No, I'll do it for you. Here it is:
"1576, from Greek ...
panoplia "complete suit of armor,"
from pan- "all" +
hopla (pl.) "arms" of a
hoplites ("heavily armed soldier").
Originally a figure of "spiritual armor." It's an allusion
to Ephesians chapter 6.)"
Jesus strips the devil of all his "hoplon."
The word in its very root means tools or utensils or weapons!
The devil got robbed by a mighty God! (Make that an
Almighty God! Make that THE Almighty God!) And when
Jesus did this (on the Cross) he didn't leave the devil much
with which to fight! He has been a defeated foe since that
Moment! We might even give the devil credit for a lot he
didn't do! He couldn't do! God is the ultimate Authority
of the Universe! (I know that in the Book of Job the devil
could not do a thing to the Lord's "child" ... without first
obtaining God's permission!)
Here are some of the devil's "tools" or
"weapons." He uses lying ... but Jesus conquered him there
by being perfect TRUTH! Satan uses cheating and deceit but
Jesus was perfect HONESTY! He uses lust but Jesus was
perfect PURITY! He uses pride but Jesus lived perfect
HUMILITY! The devil uses death ... but Jesus even entered
that horrible valley and came out a RESURRECTED Lord and Saviour!
Jesus, being sinless and all powerful ... whipped the devil in
every area wickedness!
Next we are given a neat little "secret"
about the devil. He "trusted" in that armour! To "peitho"
means to "rely on" or "to have confidence in!" (It denotes
a sense of inward certainty!) Calvary surely "upset" the
devil! The verb is a "pluperfect" telling us that the
action is already completed. The devil no longer "trusts"
his weapons ... he has none! He lives a very "uneasy"
life! I suspect the demons would like to get a large
supply of valium! They have no peace!
I also assume it makes satan MAD to hear us
reading and claiming Bible promises about peace and security and
trust in our dear Saviour! Verses like Isaiah 26:3 ---"Thou
(Lord) wilt keep him in
whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he
trusteth in Thee." Wow! (Especially since the
devil no longer has any real peace or trust in anything!)
Lastly (for this verse) Jesus "divided" the
devil's spoils! That verb is "diadidomai" and compounds a
preposition ("dai") and a verb ("didomai"). It means "to
share" or "to distribute" or "to give" something to several
people! And it's in the "present" tense. This
"giving" is still happening ... right up to our very day!
It means : to give throughout a crowd! I believe Jesus has
robbed the devil and has given us the benefit of His
spoils of battle! Actually Jesus strips the devil daily,
saving souls from his kingdom and making them children of light!
Then He calls some of them to preach or teach God's precious
word ... and gives them to us (His Church) to help us
grow in the Lord! Glory to God! Listen to Paul
explain it in Ephesians 4:8. "Wherefore he
saith, When He (Jesus) ascended up on high, he led captivity
captive (former subjects of the devil), and gave gifts (spoils
of the battle) unto men. And He gave some, apostles; and
some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and
teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the
ministry, for the edifying of the Body of Christ."
(I have added verses 10 and 11 of Ephesians 4 also.) And Paul is
just quoting Psalm 68:18 --- "Thou hast
ascended on high, Thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast
received gifts for men; yea, for the rebellious also,
that the LORD God might dwell among them."
Jesus attacked satan and robbed him.
Now the devil's former servants ("prisoners of war" from
Calvary, saved ex-sinners) are gladly serving their Lord and
Master Jesus Christ, working diligently in His kingdom to meet
the needs of other saints! Hallelujah!
Then the noun "spoils" is used. "Skulon"
means the plunder of war. The bounty of battle! The
"booty" of conflict! The losses of a defeated enemy! The
word occurs only here in all the Bible! It actually comes
from a verb that means "to harass" or even "to flay" (to skin an
animal)! The devil got "skinned alive" at the Cross!
He has been losing "souls" and possessions ever since that
mortal Conflict! (In fact he even lost many before Calvary
through the God-given vehicle of Faith! Looking forward to
What a verse today!
I never fully realized what a complete
Victory Jesus won on our behalf! Doesn't it just make you
want to worship and adore Him more and more?
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
LESSON 7 ... VERSE 23:
It initially appears that Jesus says a
strange thing at the conclusion of this little parable.
"He that is not with me is against me: and
he that gathereth not with me scattereth."
On further reflection I believe our Lord is
telling us that (especially when it comes to matters of the
satanic and demonic) that one must either be WITH Him ...or he
is automatically AGAINST Him!
In fact the word translated "with" is a Greek
preposition "meta" which usually means "in the midst of!"
This sounds like an "activist" position to me! In the
middle of the things of Jesus! Diligently loving and
serving Him! (That's always what Jesus wants anyway!)
And the corresponding word "against" is "kata"
(in Greek) and means down on something or someone!
Jesus knows that there are folks who are "down" on him. The
devil is for sure! (And all his crowd too!)
If they are going to be DOWN on the
Lord ... I'll just be UP on Him! I'll uplift Him at
The it seems that the Lord implies (no ... He
actually says ... and clearly so) that those who follow satan
"scatter" the things of God! They certainly do not aid Him
in "gathering" lost souls!
To "gather" (Greek verb = "sunago") means to
lead ("ago") along with ("sun") or together! Then it comes
to mean: to collect! But get this: 3 times in
the King James New Testament it is rendered "to be assembled!"
And that verb "scattereth" translates "skorpizo."
The root of the verb means "to pierce!" (It gives us the
English word "scorpion!") A sting! Yet one step
further back in the word's "history" and we arrive at "skopos,"
to peer about as a watcher or guard! (Again, an English
The Lord wants aggressive participation ...
not passive observation from his servants! (He
admires those who do MORE than was commanded! See Luke
One can't do that playing around with the
devil or his followers or sympathizers!
There is just no middle ground here!
Perhaps Jesus is implying that we saved
(ex-sinners) should serve the Lord with even greater fervency
that we served the devil!
If we, when bound in the devil's "palace,"
did our best (as his "tools" and his "spoils") then we should
ALL THE MORE do our very best (our utmost) to be useful to Jesus
and fight for His Cause!
If the devil is one thing ... he is diligent!
Maybe Jesus even has in mind something He
later says in Luke 16:8. "For the
children of this world are in their generation wiser than the
children of light." We should at least try to be
"smarter" for our Lord than satan's people are for him!
Our dear Saviour could take any department of
life (even demonology as here) and turn it into a spiritual
Lesson for our hungry souls!
Praise His Name!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
I have found a
"parable" that explains a "miracle!"
occurred as Jesus descended from the Mount of Transfiguration.
Matthew, Mark and
Luke tell us the details.
A man brought his
demon possessed son to the Disciples. They apparently could do
nothing for the poor boy.
This "devil" would often attack him and and overcome him, the
young man screaming incoherently! Then satan would throw him
into convulsions, leaving him with his mouth foaming and his
body bruised and battered!
Jesus simply commanded the demon to depart. And after violently
tearing the boy one more time, it did go obediently.
Now the crowds had already begun saying that Jesus did such
miracles through the power of the devil himself, thus
attributing the works of the Holy Spirit to satan! (A sin for
which they could not be forgiven Jesus said.)
Therefore Jesus, responding to their accusations, teaches us the
truth with this short parable. "But if I
with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of
God is come upon you. When a strong man armed keepeth his
palace, his goods are in peace: 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. He that
is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me
scattereth." (Luke 11:20-23)
Jesus of course was not in league with the devil! He clearly
tells us that He worked His miracles with the Hand of God! (The
"Finger" of God here!) The "strong man" in Jesus' story is
satan himself. The "Stronger Man" is our Lord! You can easily
tell that Jesus is the Mighty Victor!
Then comes a pointed warning NOT to be against Jesus ... not to
"scatter" the truths of God!
Now ... here's the "principle" I want to illustrate today.
When you study larger "sections" of Scripture ... like linking
miracles and parables and such ... you are viewing the Bible
That involves analyzing verses by noticing their surroundings.
What comes before it (the text) ... and after it?
In fact, the very word "text" is interesting. It is derived
from a Latin verb ("texere") which means "to weave" something!
In any given Bible "text" the Holy Spirit is "weaving" patterns
Get a wide swatch of your Bible Passage and try to find the
"pattern" the Lord is weaving!
That's "textual" and (in a wider sense) "contextual" Bible
That's how the Men of God discovered that this parable explains
(Jesus just "snatched" a little boy from the wicked clutches of
the devil! The "strong man" just got robbed again by The
So just remember ... the next time you can't get the
understanding you need out of a single verse or maybe even a
single paragraph ... back up and look at a wider section of the
Word! As your "context" broadens ... so might your
comprehension of the Bible! (And do not forget to pray what the
Psalmist did in Psalm
119:18 --- "Open thou mine eyes, that I
may behold wondrous things out of thy law.")
What a Book we
have to study!
Go to Church
today with an eager heart!
Ask the Lord
to make you spiritually hungry!
Get into your
Pastor's Bible "text" as never before! See what the Holy Spirit
is "weaving" for your heart and life this Lord's Day!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
LESSON 9 ... FROM
NEWAYGO, MICHIGAN ON A COLD MONDAY MORNING:
Oh, how Jesus knew
One day He stood
against a crowd of folks who were rebelling against His
Authority. Truth be told ... they were also denying His Deity.
They had just
accused Him of casting out demons in the power of satan ... not
in the power of God!
Jesus gave them
what I thought was a strange answer.
He said: "But if I
with the finger of God
cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you."
How did that "Finger of God" get into the
In Exodus 8:16-19 the devil-worshipping
magicians of Egypt had just attempted to work another miracle
... turning dust into "lice!" They failed in their attempt and
we are told: "Then the magicians said
unto Pharaoh, This is
the finger of God:
and Pharaoh's heart was hardened, and he hearkened not unto
them; as the LORD had said." (Verse 19)
(Conclusion: The devil might can "mimic"
some of God's miracles ... but not all of them! The devil is
powerful ... God is ALL powerful or "omnipotent!")
Furthermore, in another (to us) obscure Old
Testament reference, as God was reviewing the rebellion
of Israel He has Moses say: "And the LORD
delivered unto me two tables of stone written with
the finger of God;
and on them was written according to all the words, which
the LORD spake with you in the mount out of the midst of the
fire in the day of the assembly." (Deuteronomy 9:10)
Look! In another context of sinful blasphemy (just as Jesus was
facing at that very moment), the Saviour quoted a phrase from
Scripture that PERFECTLY fit the situation at hand!
In Luke 11:20-23 the two conditions He faced
... satan's power being discussed and a rebellious people
standing around listening ... brought to His brilliant and
sanctified Mind a "word picture" from two Pentateuch verses
(Exodus 6:19 and Deuteronomy 9:10) concerning "THE FINGER OF
What Ability to connect Scripture to everyday
What "exegesis!" (The verb means "to lead
out" the true meaning from Bible Passages! Your Pastor is an
"exegete" when it comes to God's Word!)
In Jesus we see magnificent Talent and
inherent Skill at wielding the Sword of the Spirit, which is the
Word of God! (Ephesians 6:17)
Let's all pray this Monday morning for
knowledge to use the Word of God in such devil-defeating ways!
And the best way to do that may be studying
the Life of Jesus, carefully observing how He used the Book He
so dearly loved!
Satan ... "IT IS
WRITTEN ...!" So often said Jesus! And each time He did
so (with the power of the Book and His adeptness at handling It)
the devil was defeated!
Dear Friend, may it be so with you too!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell