Life-Study of Lukeby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Luke 11:1-54 covers four matters: the Man-Savior’s teaching about prayer (vv. 1-13), His being rejected by the evil generation (vv. 14-32), His warning not to be in darkness (vv. 33-36), and His rebuking the Pharisees and lawyers (vv. 37-54). We considered the first section in the foregoing message. In this message we shall cover the other three sections in this chapter.
In 11:14-32 we see that the Man-Savior was rejected by the evil generation. This section begins with the account of the casting out of a demon: “And He was casting out a demon, and it was mute; and it occurred that when the demon had gone out, the mute man spoke; and the crowds marveled.” Dumbness by demon possession signifies the inability to speak for God (Isa. 56:10) and praise God (Isa. 35:6) due to the worship of dumb idols (1 Cor. 12:2). The speaking of the mute man here signifies the recovery of the speaking and praising ability by being filled with the Lord in the spirit (Eph. 5:18-19).
According to Luke 11:15, some said, “He casts out the demons by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons.” The name “Beelzebub” means the lord of the flies, the name of the god of the Ekronites (2 Kings 1:2). It was changed in contempt by the Jews to Baalzebel, which means lord of the dunghill, and used for the ruler of the demons (Matt. 12:24, 27; Mark 3:22). Those in Luke 11:15 reviled the Man-Savior by saying that He cast out demons by the ruler of the demons. This most blasphemous name expressed their strongest objection and rejection.
In verses 17 and 18 the Lord went on to say to those who accused Him of casting out demons by Beelzebub, “Every kingdom divided against itself is made desolate, and a house divided against a house falls. And if also Satan is divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? Because you say that I cast out the demons by Beelzebub.” The Lord’s word indicates that Satan has a kingdom. Satan is the ruler of this world (John 12:31) and the ruler of the power of the air (Eph. 2:2). He has his authority (Acts 26:18) and his angels (Matt. 25:41), who are his subordinates as principalities, powers, and rulers of the darkness of this world (Eph. 6:12). Hence, he has his kingdom, the authority of darkness (Col. 1:13).
Luke 11:19 and 20 say, “But if I by Beelzebub cast out the demons, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges. But if I by the finger of God cast out the demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.” The “finger of God” is a Hebraistic expression. The finger (v. 46) is smaller than the hand and the arm. To cast out the demons does not need the hand of God (John 10:28, 29) nor the arm of God (Isa. 53:1); just the finger of God is powerful enough to do this. Yet it is still done by the Spirit of God (Matt. 12:28).
In verses 21 and 22 the Lord continues, “When the strong man fully armed guards his own house, his possessions are in peace; but when a stronger than he comes upon him and overcomes him, he takes away his whole armor on which he had relied, and distributes his spoil.” The strong man here is Satan, the evil one, and the house signifies the kingdom of Satan. But Christ, the Son of God, is much stronger than Satan, the strong man.
The first section of Luke 11, verses 1 through 13, is wonderful. Here we see the matter of praying ourselves into God and remaining in Him to receive the life supply, the riches of the Holy Spirit. Now in the second section we have demons, the ruler of the demons, and the strong man. This indicates that as we are in God receiving His riches, we need to remember that demons are around us wherever we may be, and there are evil spirits in the air. Hence, a war is raging all the time. Therefore, the Man-Savior teaches us not only to pray ourselves into God and remain in Him to receive His Spirit as the riches of the life supply, but He also reveals that He is working to cast out demons.
If we get into the depths of Luke 11, we shall see that when we enjoy the riches of God by remaining in Him, we shall realize that we are in a situation that is full of demons. Therefore, we should never expect that today there can be heaven on earth. No, there are many demons, many obstacles and hindrances to the New Testament jubilee. In the jubilee people are set free from the possession and oppression of the demons. Nevertheless, the demons are still present, and many people cooperate with them. Those who cooperate with the demons are used by Satan to damage the New Testament jubilee. But the Man-Savior is here to cast out the demons.
We have seen that the Devil is likened to a strong man. But the Man-Savior is stronger than this strong man. The Lord is so strong that in order to cast out demons it is not necessary for Him to use His arm or even His hand. It is sufficient for Him to use only His finger. Simply by using His finger, the Man-Savior is able to cast out demons.
If we are those who pray ourselves into God and remain in Him to receive the life supply, we shall be one with the Man-Savior. Since He is stronger than the strong man and since we are one with Him, we also shall be stronger than the strong man and able to deal with the unclean spirits and cast them out.
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