Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Journey, part 4: The Scope

And He called the twelve together, and gave them power and authority over all the demons and to heal diseases. (Luke 9:1 NASB)

Previously, we saw that Jesus equipped the twelve with both power and authority (or permission) to act in His name. This verse goes on to delineate the scope of that authority, which extended to "all the demons and to heal diseases". We see immediately that He assigned them responsibility to deal with both spiritual ills, in the form of demons, and physical ills, in the form of disease. 

We turn first to the issue of "all kinds of demons".  The word translated as "demon" is daimonion.  Vine's Expository Dictionary explains that these demons are the spiritual agents at work in idolatry of all kinds and that they act as "seducing spirits" to "disseminate errors" among mankind. The twelve had the job of dealing with these spirits who were actively working to deceive mankind, lead them away from truth, and entice them into believing the lies of the evil one. In essence, then, their job was one of replacing lies with truth. What is truth? Jesus said that He is truth. 

Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me." (John 14:6 NASB)

Ephesians 6 tells us that, in the matter of spiritual warfare, our only offensive weapon is the "Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God."  Putting these two passages together, we can clearly see that the only way to combat the lies of the evil one, the deceptive work of demons, is with the truth of Jesus, the Word of God made flesh.

As we have seen numerous times in Scripture, when Jesus confronted demons, His truth superseded their lies every time, and it still does. It is the job of demons to whisper lies. It is the job of believers to respond to those lies with truth. The Word of God is our only weapon to stop the onslaught, and is only effective if we actually know its truth. This is the reason Bible study and Scripture memorization are so very important. 

When Jesus sent the twelve with power and authority over demons, He was, at least in part, sending them to confront the lies of the evil one with truth, and to stand firm in that truth. They were to use the Sword of the Spirit to deal decisively with the work of evil forces in the lives of those to whom they ministered. Jesus said, You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free," (John 8:32). The twelve were to go to those in bondage and help them find the freedom that only Christ can bring. 

We have no less responsibility for the truth today. It is still our job to know the truth, proclaim the truth, and stand firm in the truth. It is still our job to speak the truth in love and to help others find the freedom only Christ can bring. Once again, we can only speak truth if we know truth. 

How careful are we about knowing the Word of God? Do we use the Word of God as the standard against which all else is measured or do we seek verses that can be used to confirm whatever we want to believe. Dear ones, in these difficult days in which we find ourselves, it is vital that we know the Truth and live accordingly. It was the job of the twelve and is no less ours today. 

And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (John 8:32 KJV)