So true are things we hear! But, what do we practice?
We may have heard of ‘Mystics’
1. HALF MAN HALF BEAST (TRANS-SPECIES)
3. LIGHT BEINGS
6. gODS AND gODDESSES
7. ASCENDED MASTERS
Every conceivable description! For those who ‘tend’ toward the ‘spiritual’ they are actually here!
We all accept that The His-Story book is accurate. We may choose not to accept The Word. That in NO way is our sharing today. We can come up with many examples of just what experiences are outlined in Scripture.
We may be aware of the god of this Earth, of principalities and powers in high places.
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Ephesians 6:12
The apostle John records three times how Jesus referred to Satan as “the ruler of this world” (John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11). Years later, while writing to the Christians in Corinth, the apostle Paul actually referred to Satan as “the god (theos) of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4). Even Satan appeared to understand something about his reign on Earth when he showed Jesus all the kingdoms of the world, and said, “All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours” (Luke 4:5-7; cf. Matthew 4:8-9). Yet, how can Satan be the god and ruler of this world if numerous other passages clearly distinguish Jehovah as the “Lord of the whole earth” (Micah 4:13; Zechariah 4:14)? How can the devil be the ruler of the world if Jesus claimed, “all authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth” (Matthew 28:18)? Is the God of heaven not the “Lord of heaven and earth” (Acts 17:24)? Are these two different thoughts completely contradictory (as skeptics allege; cf. Wells, 2015)?
One fundamental interpretation principle that must be considered in any attempt to correctly understand written or spoken communication (which on the surface may seem contradictory) is whether or not the compared words or phrases are used in the same sense. A fan may say about his favorite basketball player, “He is smoking,” and mean the player is shooting the basketball very well. Later, however, the fan may see the same player outside the arena with something in his mouth and shout with astonishment, “He is smoking!” The two statements are exactly the same; they are both true, yet they communicate very different thoughts.
The Bible is very clear that the infinite, eternal Creator of the Universe, Who is “upholding all things by the word of His power” (Hebrews 1:3), is the one, true God, “the Most High over all the earth” (Psalm 83:18). Jehovah is the Creator of all things, including Satan (Colossians 1:16). In the most complete and ultimate sense imaginable, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is the Ruler of heaven and Earth. However, there is a sense in which Satan is “ruler” and “god” of the world—not in the ultimate sense, but, indeed, in a sense.
In what respect could the devil ever be considered a “ruler” or “god”? The answer to this question is rather simple when one considers the fact that most of God’s human creation through the millennia have chosen to serve Satan, rather than submit themselves in obedience to the true God of the Universe. During the days of Noah, “the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5). During the days of Moses and Joshua, the land of Egypt was full of idolatry (Exodus 12:12), the land of Canaan was overrun with abominable immorality (Leviticus 18), while the people of Israel struggled for centuries with the fleshly desire to serve “other gods.” When Jesus came to Earth, He acknowledged the fact that whereas “difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matthew 7:14), “wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it” (7:13).
Tragically, most accountable individuals willingly choose to reject the true God—their Creator and potential Savior—and instead make Satan their “god” and “ruler.” Most unbelievers do not literally worship Satan as “god,” but, as Lenski noted, “‘The god of this world’ is apt in this connection…because he [Satan] is the embodiment of all wickedness and ungodliness in this world, the author and the propagator of hostility to God. He originated the perdition in which men perish” (1963, p. 960, bracketed item added). A man who chooses to love the world and “all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father,” but of Satan and his sinful world (1 John 2:16). When a person rejects the true God as Ruler of his life, by default he pledges allegiance to Satan, making him his “god” and “ruler.” No contradiction exists among the statements of the Bible about who rules the Earth.
Why do I share this fact? Many of us have chosen to turn a blind eye to what is, whether or not we accept it. I will share some verse that point to these ‘powers’ being present, but not where worship of The One TRUE God is! Amen
(In those days the Philistines gathered their forces to fight against Israel. Achish said to David, “You must understand that you and your men will accompany me in the army.”
David said, “Then you will see for yourself what your servant can do.”
Achish replied, “Very well, I will make you my bodyguard for life.”)
Not currently relevant, but we shall discuss this in time.
Saul and the Medium at Endor
Now Samuel was dead, and all Israel had mourned for him and buried him in his own town of Ramah. Saul had expelled the mediums and spiritists from the land.
The Philistines assembled and came and set up camp at Shunem, while Saul gathered all Israel and set up camp at Gilboa. When Saul saw the Philistine army, he was afraid; terror filled his heart. He inquired of the Lord, but the Lord did not answer him by dreams or Urim or prophets. Saul then said to his attendants, “Find me a woman who is a medium, so I may go and inquire of her.”
“There is one in Endor,” they said.
So Saul disguised himself, putting on other clothes, and at night he and two men went to the woman. “Consult a spirit for me,” he said, “and bring up for me the one I name.”
But the woman said to him, “Surely you know what Saul has done. He has cut off the mediums and spiritists from the land. Why have you set a trap for my life to bring about my death?”
Saul swore to her by the Lord, “As surely as the Lord lives, you will not be punished for this.”
Then the woman asked, “Whom shall I bring up for you?”
“Bring up Samuel,” he said.
When the woman saw Samuel, she cried out at the top of her voice and said to Saul, “Why have you deceived me? You are Saul!”
The king said to her, “Don’t be afraid. What do you see?”
The woman said, “I see a ghostly figure coming up out of the earth.”
“What does he look like?” he asked.
“An old man wearing a robe is coming up,” she said.
Then Saul knew it was Samuel, and he bowed down and prostrated himself with his face to the ground.
Samuel said to Saul, “Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?”
“I am in great distress,” Saul said. “The Philistines are fighting against me, and God has departed from me. He no longer answers me, either by prophets or by dreams. So I have called on you to tell me what to do.”
Samuel said, “Why do you consult me, now that the Lord has departed from you and become your enemy? The Lord has done what he predicted through me. The Lord has torn the kingdom out of your hands and given it to one of your neighbors—to David. Because you did not obey the Lord or carry out his fierce wrath against the Amalekites, the Lord has done this to you today. The Lord will deliver both Israel and you into the hands of the Philistines, and tomorrow you and your sons will be with me. The Lord will also give the army of Israel into the hands of the Philistines.”
Immediately Saul fell full length on the ground, filled with fear because of Samuel’s words. His strength was gone, for he had eaten nothing all that day and all that night.
When the woman came to Saul and saw that he was greatly shaken, she said, “Look, your servant has obeyed you. I took my life in my hands and did what you told me to do. Now please listen to your servant and let me give you some food so you may eat and have the strength to go on your way.”
He refused and said, “I will not eat.”
But his men joined the woman in urging him, and he listened to them. He got up from the ground and sat on the couch.
The woman had a fattened calf at the house, which she butchered at once. She took some flour, kneaded it and baked bread without yeast. Then she set it before Saul and his men, and they ate. That same night they got up and left.
1 Samuel 28
There is so VERY much to be gleaned from this share. There are in existence alternative sources of spiritual leading:
When they arrived at the other side of the lake, a demon-possessed man ran out from a graveyard, just as Jesus was climbing from the boat.
This man lived among the gravestones and had such strength that whenever he was put into handcuffs and shackles—as he often was—he snapped the handcuffs from his wrists and smashed the shackles and walked away. No one was strong enough to control him. 5 All day long and through the night he would wander among the tombs and in the wild hills, screaming and cutting himself with sharp pieces of stone.
When Jesus was still far out on the water, the man had seen him and had run to meet him, and fell down before him.
Then Jesus spoke to the demon within the man and said, “Come out, you evil spirit.”
It gave a terrible scream, shrieking, “What are you going to do to me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? For God’s sake, don’t torture me!”
“What is your name?” Jesus asked, and the demon replied, “Legion, for there are many of us here within this man.”
Then the demons begged him again and again not to send them to some distant land.
Now as it happened there was a huge herd of hogs rooting around on the hill above the lake. “Send us into those hogs,” the demons begged.
And Jesus gave them permission. Then the evil spirits came out of the man and entered the hogs, and the entire herd plunged down the steep hillside into the lake and drowned.
In Mark 1:34 we read that Jesus “drove out many demons, but he would not let the demons speak because they knew who he was.” The parallel account in Luke’s Gospel tells us that Jesus “rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew he was the Christ” (Luke 4:41).
There are probably several reasons as to why Jesus would not allow the demons to speak. First, Satan is called the father of lies (John 8:44; see also Genesis 3:4), and the demons who follow Satan no doubt reflect the character of their diabolic leader. Certainly Jesus would not want any testimony regarding His identity from a sinister, lying source. Moreover, one must keep in mind that some of the Jewish leaders associated Jesus with Beelzebub, “the prince of the demons” (Mark 3:22). Hence, allowing testimony from lying spirits might add fuel to the fire regarding that false claim.
A second possible reason for Jesus silencing the demons may be to demonstrate that He has authority over the demons. This would be in keeping with other verses in the Gospels where this authority is openly demonstrated (for example, Mark 8:33; 9:38; Luke 10:17).
A third possible reason for silencing the demons may relate to the popular misconceptions of the Messiah held by many in first-century Judaism. The Jews were expecting the coming of a glorious conquering Messiah who would deliver the Jews from Roman domination. If a demon prematurely blurted out that Jesus was the Messiah, the Jews who were present might interpret the term “Messiah” in this mistaken sense. It may be, then, that Jesus silenced the demons from revealing His identity at this early juncture so that He could, in His own time, demonstrate by word and deed that He was the true biblical Messiah.
Finally, we might observe that it was Jesus’ purpose not to have His identity established by the testimony of lying spirits, but rather by the messianic signs (miracles) that He performed (see Matthew 11:4-6; Luke 7:21-23). These miraculous signs were predicted of the Messiah in the Old Testament (see Isaiah 29:18; 35:4-6).
1. Temptation in the Desert
(Matthew 4:1-11; Mark 1:12-13; Luke 4:1-13)
Jesus went out into the desert and fasted for 40 days. During these 40 days, Satan tempted Him. Jesus resisted all of the temptations, and Satan departed. Matthew adds that angels came and ministered to Him following the temptations.
2. Demon in the Synagogue
(Mark 1:21-28; Luke 4:31-37)
While teaching in a synagogue in Capernaum, Jesus was interrupted by a man possessed by a demon. He cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!”
Jesus ordered the spirit to be quiet and to come out of the man. The man convulsed, and with a loud cry, the spirit left the man.
3. The Possessed Swine
(Matthew 8:28-34; Mark 5:1-20; Luke 8:26-39)
Jesus and His disciples were traveling in the region of the Gerasenes. When they arrived there, a man (Matthew reports two men), who had been living among the tombs because of demonic possession, approached Jesus and fell prostrate before him, calling out, “Jesus, Son of the Most High God, what have you to do with us?” The demons begged him, “Do not torment us.”
“What is your name?” Jesus asked.
They answered, “Legion is my name. There are many of us.” They begged Him not to drive them away from that territory and requested, “If you drive us out, send us into the herd of swine.”
He allowed them to enter the nearby herd of swine. The pigs ran down a steep bank into the sea and drowned. The man who had been freed of Legion proclaimed to all the people what the Lord had for him.
4. Driving Out Demons by the Power of Demons?
(Matthew 12:22-32; Mark 3:20-30; Luke 11:14-26)
After Jesus drove a demon out of a person who was mute, restoring their speech, He was accused of driving out demons by the power of the Beelzebul (the devil). Jesus responded to the accusations:
“Every kingdom divided against itself will be laid waste and house will fall against house. And if Satan is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? For you say that it is by Beelzebul that I drive out demons. If I, then, drive out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your own people* drive them out? Therefore they will be your judges. But if it is by the finger of God that drive out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. When a strong man fully armed guards his palace, his possessions are safe. But when one stronger than he attacks and overcomes him, he takes away the armor on which he relied and distributes the spoils. Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.When an unclean spirit goes out of someone, it roams through arid regions searching for rest but, finding none, it says, ‘I shall return to my home from which I came.’ But upon returning, it finds it swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and brings back seven other spirits more wicked than itself who move in and dwell there, and the last condition of that person is worse than the first.”
5. Jesus Rebukes Demons
While curing the sick, Jesus was approached by demons, who called out, “You are the Son of God!” Jesus rebuked them and ordered them not to speak because they knew He was the Messiah.
6. The Disciples Are Unable to Drive Out a Demon
(Matthew 17:14-20; Mark 9:14-29; Luke 9:37-43)
A man came to Jesus and told him his disciples were unable to cast out a demon from his son. Jesus asked that the boy be brought to Him. Upon approaching Jesus, the demon caused the boy to convulse. The man told Jesus that the demon had forced the boy into fire and water in an attempt to kill the boy. The father asked Him to help “if you can.”
Jesus replied, “‘If you can!’ Everything is possible to one who has faith.”
“I do believe,” the man responded. “Help my unbelief.”
Jesus order the spirit to leave the boy. Once again, the demon made the boy convulse, and with a cry, the demon left. The boy laid on the ground motionless. His father thought he was dead, but Jesus took the boy by the hand and helped him up. Later, the disciples asked why they were unable to drive out the demon. Jesus told them (from Mark’s account), “This kind can only come out through prayer.” In the Gospel of Matthew, He says, “Because of your little faith. Amen, I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
7. Greek Woman’s Daughter
(Matthew 15:21-28; Mark 7:24-30)
A Greek woman went to Jesus and asked him to drive out a demon from her daughter. He replied, “Let the children be fed first. For it is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs.”
To which the woman responded, “Lord, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s scraps.”
Jesus then said, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.”
When she returned home, the demon had, in fact, left her daughter.
8. Mary Magdalene
(Mark 16:9; Luke 8:2)
Both the Gospels of Mark and Luke describes Mary Magdalene as someone out of whom Jesus had driven seven demons.
9. Jesus Warns About Satan
Jesus warns Peter about his denial of Jesus and the great desire of Satan to cause division among the disciples of Jesus:
“Simon, Simon, behold Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat…”
10. Jesus Sends Disciples out with Authority Over Demons
(Mark 6:7; Matthew 10:1, 8; Luke 9:1)
In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus sends His Apostles out to spread the Gospel. One of the directives He gives them is to drive out demons, and He gives them the power to do so.
“Then he summoned his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits to drive them out and to cure every disease and every illness.”
11. Jesus Predicts Exorcisms
Jesus, after the Resurrection, told the Apostles to go out and evangelize. Among the signs He said they could expect to see was the ability to drive out demons.
“These signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will drive out demons, they will speak new languages…”
This list is not at all exhaustive, but should serve to illustrate that Jesus saw the great torment that resulted from demonic activity. He did not play games with demons; He rebuked them and drove them out. Demons and the occult are not fun; they are dangerous. But the Gospels also reveal that Jesus is stronger. Demons flee at His very name.
The Name Above Every Name
What is “the name that is above every name?”(Philippians 2:9) The notes below try to answer that question.
1 Is it “Jesus”?
Verse 9 says that God gave Christ “the name which is above every name” and then verse 10 says, “that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow” (Philippians 2:9-10).
So a lot of folk say that’s the answer: the name above all other names is “Jesus”. That’s not correct. Let me explain…
It’s perfectly clear from the two verses that the highest name was given to Jesus Christ, and rightly belongs to him. There’s no argument about that. The question is whether Paul meant to say, and meant us to understand, that this is the name “Jesus”. I don’t think that was Paul’s intention at all.
The phrase in question is “the name of Jesus”. This does not mean “the name is Jesus”. It means “the name belonging to Jesus”. We could translate the phrase, “Jesus’s name”rather than the somewhat ambiguous “name of Jesus”.
The clause would then be clear: “At Jesus’s name every knee should bow”. We conclude therefore that Paul is using the name “Jesus” to identify the one who has been given the name above every name, not to name the very name itself.
This leaves the question open, what is Jesus’s name above all names? Before we answer that question, notice this distinction:
The name “Jesus” (Ιησους, Yesous,) was given to the Christ before his birth (Matthew 1:20-21). The name above every name, on the other hand, was given to Jesus after his death (Philippians 2:8-9).
2 Does “Name” Mean Authority?
Some will suggest that the “name” Paul refers to is not a name as such, but simply authority. For example when we do something “in the name of Jesus” we mean that we do it by his authority (eg Luke 24:47, Acts 2:38, Acts 3:5).
So when Paul said Jesus was given the name above all names, he was talking about the status and authority granted to him. This is a valid point, and I have no argument against it. But I think it stops short of the full implications of what Paul was saying. This is our next point.
3 Is the Name “Yahweh”?
God has a special name, Yahweh. “I am the LORD, that is my name, I will not give my glory to another (Isaiah 42:8).
The psalmist Asaph recognized that this special name belonged only to the Most High God: “You alone whose name is the LORD, are the Most High over all the earth”(Psalms 83:18).
The name translated “LORD above is said by some to be “Jehovah”. It is also sometimes rendered YHWH or Yahweh. This proper name is greater than all other names.
If Jesus was given the name above every name, then he was given this name Yahweh, not a lesser name. When God refuses to give that name to another, he makes an exception of his unique Son, and if he did not make that exception he would deny his Son equality with him
The name Jesus was determined before He came to Earth. He already was. Jesus was sent to experience fully what Man (Male/Female) experience and to show once and for ALL that even The Essence of God The Father could exist here on Earth without sin.
In Satan’s attempt to dissuade Jesus, all attempts failed. Saran knew there was perhaps one way to dissuade Jesus. Jesus knew! And in the garden before His arrest, He sweat blood! And an angel came to impart comfort! So, very many things could have occured, but God had spoken about not EVER destroying the world again, and the angel’s were told to hold their ground.
The bible does not say that God wept, but Jesus wept! At the death of Lazarus.
Weeping, or crying, is the human response to overwhelming emotions, both good and bad. Some people cry more easily than others, but most of us have cried at times of intense sadness, profuse joy, or overwhelming relief. Since human beings are created in the “image of God” (Genesis 1:27) and the Bible describes God as having emotions similar to ours, we can rightly ask, does God cry?
The quick answer is “yes.” When God took on the form of man and came as Jesus to live on this earth among us (Philippians 2:6–11), He felt the full spectrum of human emotions that we feel (Hebrews 4:15). The Gospels record a wide range of emotion expressed by Jesus, including a couple of occasions when He wept on behalf of other people (John 11:35; Luke 19:41). Jesus also wept in the Garden of Gethsemane the night before His arrest, crying out with dread as He begged the Father for some other way to save us (Matthew 26:38–39). Hebrews 5:7 says, “During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission.” Since Jesus is God in the flesh, we can say that, when Jesus cried, God cried.
We should note that God as Man (Jesus) experienced human life, whereas God as Spirit (the Father) has not. When God became man, He entered into the human experience and identified with us in every particular except sin. As the Ruler of the Universe, God as Spirit does not need to shed actual tears, because no emotion overwhelms Him. Although He has emotions, He is always in control of them and does what He pleases (Psalm 115:3; 135:6; Job 23:13; Daniel 4:35). Even though the Lord needs nothing from us, He has chosen to make Himself emotionally responsive to our choices:
• He has sorrow when we rebel against Him (Genesis 6:6; Psalm 78:40).
• He can be provoked to anger by our defiance and rejection of Him (Isaiah 65:1–3; Jeremiah 8:19).
• He feels jealousy because of our idolatry and worldliness (Exodus 20:5; 34:14; Joshua 24:19).
• He rejoices with love over His children (Zephaniah 3:17; Isaiah 62:5).
• He hates wickedness (Psalm 5:5; 11:5; Proverbs 6:16).
• He has great compassion for His creation (Psalm 103:8; Joel 2:13).
God can be saddened, but nowhere in Scripture do we see an indication that the Lord God of heaven’s armies (Zechariah 8:14; Isaiah 22:14) cries tears. Jesus shed tears, showing us God’s sorrow in a very human way. One of the reasons that Jesus came to earth was to help us understand God. He told His disciples, “If you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the Father” (John 14:9). His experiences and expressions allow us to bring our human understanding to that which is incomprehensible. It is difficult to explain color to a person blind from birth. They have nothing in their experience with which to compare it. So it is with spiritual realities. Jesus showed us the Father in a way we could understand. The Bible is filled with imagery and physical comparisons because that is the only way we can come close to grasping nonphysical truths.
So, when the Bible records that Jesus wept, God wanted us to know that He understands our feelings. He created us with the ability to weep. He allowed Himself to weep in the flesh while He lived among us. One major reason that the Father in heaven does not need to weep is the fact that He sees the beginning and the end. We often cry because we feel trapped in the emotion of the moment, unable to see past it. God never has that feeling. He is never trapped in an emotion, unable to see past it. He already knows that His plan will prevail, so He is not anxious, stressed, fearful, or overwhelmed (Isaiah 46:9–11). During His life on earth, Jesus brought to us the understanding that God weeps with us, even though it may not be in the same way or for the same reasons that we do.
And He summoned the twelve and began to send them out in pairs, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits.
“These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues;
And He called the twelve together, and gave them power and authority over all the demons and to heal diseases. And He sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to perform healing.
and heal those in it who are sick, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’
The seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.”
And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.
Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles.
At the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were taking place among the people; and they were all with one accord in Solomon’s portico. But none of the rest dared to associate with them; however, the people held them in high esteem. And all the more believers in the Lord, multitudes of men and women, were constantly added to their number.
I thank God, I speak in tongues more than you all.
1 Corinthians 14:18
The signs of a true apostle were performed among you with all perseverance, by signs and wonders and miracles.
2 Corinthians 12:12
Jesus summoned His twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every kind of disease and every kind of sickness.
and to have authority to cast out the demons.
God came to dwell among us as God’s ONLY begotten part of God. Yes!”God ‘created’ everything else, but He multiplied Himself before ‘time’!
“Then God said, “Let US (a plurality)make Man in our (once again a plurality) image, in OUR likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the Earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
As it is in Heaven, was to be here on Earth. The point is that before creation; God existed in plurality. Another reason that lends credence to this realization is that we do not realize that being created in the likeness of God:
Or do you not know that the Lord’s people will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases?
“Do you not know that we will judge angels?”
1 Corinthians 6:3
This gives me shudders. There are instances of people experiencing angel precense and falling down in sheer shock (many examples in The Word.)
Supernatural they are and shall remain, in The Image of God we are made. In these bodies, there are limitations; look how demon possessed people acted and reacted!
Are you known?
“Now God worked unusual miracles by the hands of Paul, so that even handkerchiefs or aprons were brought from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out of them. Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists took it upon themselves to call the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “We exorcise you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches.” Also there were seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, who did so.
And the evil spirit answered and said, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?”
Then the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them,
Now God worked unusual miracles by the hands of Paul, so that even handkerchiefs or aprons were brought from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out of them. Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists took it upon themselves to call the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying,
“We [exorcise you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches.” Also there were seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, who did so.
And the evil spirit answered and said, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?”
Then the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, overpowered them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. This became known both to all Jews and Greeks dwelling in Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.
overpowered them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. This became known both to all Jews and Greeks dwelling in Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.
This can be a good thing, or the enemy can turn it to a bad and The Lord WILL be glorified! This brings the story of Paul and Silas to mind: Acts 16
“Once when we were going to the place of prayer,we were met by a female slave who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling (as we stated these things are factual, demons were created with supernatural intelligence – they are rulers of the ‘high places’. Knowlede they have! We read in Ecclesiastes 1
“One generation passes away, and anothergeneration comes;
But the earth abides forever.
The sun also rises, and the sun goes down,
And [c]hastens to the place where it arose.
The wind goes toward the south,
And turns around to the north;
The wind whirls about continually,
And comes again on its circuit.
All the rivers run into the sea,
Yet the sea is not full;
To the place from which the rivers come,
There they return again.
All things are full of labor;
Man cannot express it.
The eye is not satisfied with seeing,
Nor the ear filled with hearing.
That which has been is what will be,
That which is done is what will be done,
And there is nothing new under the sun.
Is there anything of which it may be said,
“See, this is new”?
It has already been in ancient times before us.”
The woman with the spirit within her followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.” She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so annoyed that he turned around and said to the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!” At that moment the spirit left her.
When her owners realized that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silasand dragged them into the marketplace to face the authorities. They brought them before the magistrates and said, “These men are Jews, and are throwing our city into an uproar by advocating customs unlawful for us Romans to accept or practice.”
The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten with rods. After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. When he received these orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.
About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open,and everyone’s chains came loose. The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped. But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!”
The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his household were baptized. The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole household.
When it was daylight, the magistrates sent their officers to the jailer with the order: “Release those men.” The jailer told Paul, “The magistrates have ordered that you and Silas be released. Now you can leave. Go in peace.”
There are so very many examples in The Word. It is easy for one to say “why didn’t God come to save them ”
But, God did! There is even something deeper in The Word here! In the dungeon where they were imprisoned, the worst legal fugitives were kept! Bathrooms/facilities? They were chained!
The Bible says give thanks in all things, and they did, Amen. There was/were probably men going to the gallows and they heard The Word. Paul and Silas just did what has been spoken about in The gospel!
After this, they were freed! Not just from the chains (I smile at this time thinking that they may have had to ‘ease’ themselves and it was done! Wounds? Taken care of! Freedom? The magistrate released them, Amen.
It Dawn’s on me that they needed to be there! At times, we may find ourselves in an inexplicable difficult situation. Remember, God permits that we may grow thereby!
I am touched! Let us pray:
Father LORD we give you thanks and praise for all. In everything, there is reason. We may never fully understand it, but Father, let Your will be done in our life, Amen
In every situation we give you thanks, our yesterdays are past, Amen. We do not look back, Father our eyes are focused ahead in the name of Jesus.
Thank You for our lack, take glory for our needs. GLORY HALLELUJAH for providing for ALL our needs according to The GLORY of Jesus!’in You there is no lack, Amen. We place our needs, wants and desires into Your hands. Glory for pouring out Your grace and Love in Jesus name. Glory be to You Father, Son and Holy Ghost we approach Your throne of grace inbThe name of Jesus, Amen
We have touched on a Spirit form as The seen. Just the way the universe was created, the seen from the unsees.
Jesus Made Fully Human
It is not to angels that he has subjected the world to come, about which we are speaking. But there is a place where someone has testified:
“What is mankind that you are mindful of them,
a son of man that you care for him?
You made them a little lower than the angels;
you crowned them with glory and honor
and put everything under their feet.”
In putting everything under them, God left nothing that is not subject to them. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to them. But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone
My purpose here is to discuss the meaning of the word μονογενής (monogenes) as used in the New Testament, the Septuagint, and in other ancient writings. I am especially interested in its use by the Apostle John in his Gospel and in his first Epistle, and its use in the Nicene Creed of A.D. 325. I will argue that the rendering “one and only” is semantically reductionistic and theologically inadequate.
The Greek word μονογενής is an adjective compounded of μονος “only” and γενος “species, race, family, offspring, kind.” In usage, with few exceptions it refers to an only son or daughter. When used in reference to a son, it cannot mean “one of a kind,” because the parent is also of the same kind. The meaning is, the son is the only offspring of the parent, not the only existing person of his kind. And so in the Greek translation of the book of Tobit, when Raguel praises God for having mercy on δυο μονογενεις(8:17), he does not mean that his daughter Sara and Tobias were two “unique” persons; he means that they were both only-begotten children of their fathers. In Luke’s Gospel, the word is used in reference to an only child in 7:12, 8:42, and 9:38. In the Epistle to the Hebrews, it is said that when Abraham was ready to sacrifice Isaac he was offering up τον μονογενή, “his only-begotten” (11:17), because although Abraham had another son, God had said that only in Isaac shall Abraham’s seed (σπερμα) be named. (Πίστει προσενήνοχεν Ἀβραὰμ τὸν Ἰσαὰκ πειραζόμενος, καὶ τὸν μονογενῆ προσέφερεν ὁ τὰς ἐπαγγελίας ἀναδεξάμενος, πρὸς ὃν ἐλαλήθη ὅτι Ἐν Ἰσαὰκ κληθήσεταί σοι σπέρμα). 1 When the word μονογενήςis used in reference to a son or daughter, it always means “only-begotten.”
There are a few places where the word has been understood to mean, “one of a kind” or “incomparable.” For instance, in his article “The One and Only Son” Richard Longenecker calls attention to an occurrence in one early Christian source, an epistle written by Clement of Rome:
Writing about the same time as the fourth evangelist (i.e. A.D. 95-96), Clement of Rome (1 Clement 25) spoke of the Phoenix, that mysterious bird of the East, as monogenes—that is, as “unique” or “the only one of its kind”:
Let us consider the marvelous sign which is seen in the regions of the east, that is, in the regions about Arabia. There is a bird, which is named the Phoenix. This, being the only one of its kind (touto monogenes hyparchon), lives for 500 years; and when it reaches the time of its dissolution that it should die, it makes for itself a coffin of frankincense and myrrh and other spices, into which in the fulness of time it enters and then dies. But as the flesh rots, a certain worm is engendered, which is nurtured from the moisture of the dead creature, and puts forth wings. Then when it has grown lusty, it takes up that coffin where are the bones of its parent, and carrying them, it journeys from the country of Arabia even unto Egypt, to the place called the City of the Sun—and in full daylight and in the sight of all, it flies to the altar of the Sun and lays them on it. And this done, it then returns. So the priests examine the registers of the times, and they find that it has come when the five hundredth year is completed. 2
The problem here is that Longenecker does not give us any reason to think that the semantic component “begotten” is absent. In this context, we even see the author dwelling upon the strange manner in which the Phoenix engenders its one offspring. Why should we think that there is no idea of “begetting” in the word monogenes in this context? We also note that in the immediately preceding paragraph (which Longenecker does not quote) the author is comparing the resurrection of the dead to the regeneration of a plant through its seed:
Let us consider, beloved, how the Lord continually proves to us that there shall be a future resurrection, of which He has rendered the Lord Jesus Christ the first-fruits by raising Him from the dead. Let us contemplate, beloved, the resurrection which is at all times taking place. Day and night declare to us a resurrection. The night sinks to sleep, and the day arises; the day [again] departs, and the night comes on. Let us behold the fruits [of the earth], how the sowing of grain takes place. The sower goes forth, and casts it into the ground; and the seed being thus scattered, though dry and naked when it fell upon the earth, is gradually dissolved. Then out of its dissolution the mighty power of the providence of the Lord raises it up again, and from one seed many arise and bring forth fruit.
Here we may see a reason why the word monogenesis used in connection with the Phoenix: in contrast with the numerous offspring of the plants (“from one seed many arise”) the Phoenix is the only offspring (monogenes) of its parent. It is probably right to emphasize the mono “only” here, as Longenecker does, but there is no good reason to say that the genes must mean “kind” without any connotation of “begotten.”
Longenecker also argues that the Septuagint’s usage of μονογενής for the Hebrew יָחִיד (yachid, “only”) in some of the Psalms indicates “more general meanings for the term as well, depending on the context.” He maintains that “in Psalms 25:16 and 68:6 (LXX) the idea of ‘the only one’ is nuanced to mean ‘desolate’ or ‘solitary’ or ‘all alone’ …” (p. 121). But his reference to Psalm 68:6 here is a mistake, because the word used in the Septuagint translation of Psalm 68:6 is μονοτροπος (“living alone, solitary”), not μονογενής. Concerning Psalm 25:16 (where the word does occur), we might ask why μονογενής is used by the translator if he wanted to convey the sense “alone,” because in Greek the ordinary word for “alone” is μονος (and that is the word we find in the version of Symmachus at this point). So why does μονογενής appear here instead? It seems unlikely that the Septuagint translator would have reached for this unusual word to convey the meaning “alone” when he could have done that more idiomatically with the word μονος. It may be that he habitually associated the Hebrew adjective yahid with only children (in 7 of the 11 occurrences of this word in the Hebrew Bible, it refers to only children), and so he assumed that the word meant “only begotten.” In any case, the Septuagint translators often used stereotyped renderings, in which Greek words are used mechanically, without attention to the context or the semantic nuances of the Hebrew words. 5 Hence the use of μονογενής here. We cannot always determine the meaning of Greek words in the Septuagint by equating them with the meaning of the original Hebrew words, because the translator may not have understood the Hebrew the way we understand it. Longenecker then goes on to suggest that the word μονογενής means “priceless and irreplaceable” in Psalms 22:20 and 35:17. Here again he is trying to establish the meaning of the Greek word by associating it with the contextual nuances of a Hebrew word. This method is unsound. The meanings of the Hebrew words cannot be poured into the Greek words like this. The Greek words have their own meanings, and they often represent an interpretation which is at variance with the true meaning of the Hebrew. 6
Rhetorically, the strongest point in Longenecker’s argument comes when he quotes a statement found in a philosophical poem written by Parmenides (fifth century B.C.): “The sixth-fifth century B.C. philosopher Parmenides spoke of Being as ‘ungenerated [ageneton], imperishable, whole, unique [monogenes], and without end’ (Frag. 8.3-4), thereby ignoring—particularly in parallel with ageneton—any idea of generation in the word as might be found etymologically in genos.” (p. 121.) Obviously in this context the word μουνογενες (the old Ionic form of μονογενής) could not have been meant to carry the implication that “Being” is “begotten.” But it is by no means clear how the proposed sense “unique” (used in some recent translations of the poem) makes sense in the context either. In this poem Parmenides teaches that our perception of change and motion is an illusion, and that an unchanging and unitary “Being” is the only reality. What could he mean by saying that this universal stuff of reality is “one of a kind”? Some scholars have suggested that Parmenides is using μουνογενες in the sense “of one kind” or “homogeneous,” i.e., not compounded of different elements. This would make good sense in the context, but there is no other attestation for that sense of the word. Others have decided that the word μουνογενεςwas not present in the original text. John Burnet argued that the word μουνογενες obtained its place in the text when someone tried to interpret the original wording of the text along the lines of Plato’s statements about the cosmos in his Timaeus. He eliminates it by emending the text to read ως αγενητον εον και ανωλεθρον εστιν, εστι γαρ ουλομελες τε και ατρεμες ηδ’ ατελεστον, which he translates, “what is is uncreated and indestructible; for it is complete, immovable, and without end.” 7 John R. Wilson proposes a different emendation: ως αγενητον εον και ανωλεθρον εστιν ουλον μουνομελες τε και ατρεμες ηδε τελεστον, in which μουνομελες “single-limbed” replaces μουνογενες. 8 Wilson mentions the proposed sense “one of a kind” for μονογενής and μουνογενες, but he rejects it, because classical scholars who have suggested this meaning “rely mostly on two passages from Plato’s Timaeus,” he says, in which the sense “only begotten” seems more suitable to the context if we only recognize that the word is being used pleonastically. We will not take a position on the correct solution to interpretive problems in Parmenides and Plato, but clearly, classical scholars who have specialized in the reconstruction and interpretation of Parmenides’ poem have looked upon the μουνογενες here as a problem. It can hardly be used to demonstrate the meaning of the word—especially for the Koine Greek in which John’s Gospel was written, more than five hundred years later. We conclude that this example has no probative value.
One of the weakest points in Longenecker’s article comes when he argues that the μονογενες τεκνον πατρι in line 898 of Aeschylus’ Agamemnon “must mean something like ‘the favored or chosen child of his father’” because Agamemnon “was not the only child of Atreus.” But if we look at the context we see that when Agamemnon’s treacherous wife uses the phrase μονογενες τεκνον πατρι, she is employing a metaphor. The phrase comes within a series of exuberant comparisons:
But now, having born all this, my heart freed from its anxiety, I would hail my husband here as the watchdog of the fold, the savior forestay of the ship, firm-based pillar of the lofty roof, only-begotten son of a father, or land glimpsed by men at sea beyond their hope, dawn most fair to look upon after storm, the gushing stream to thirsty wayfarer—sweet is it to escape all stress of need. Such truly are the greetings of which I deem him worthy. (trans. Herbert Weir Smyth)
Agamemnon is a watchdog, a forestay, a pillar. His appearance is like the sight of land to sailors who had given up hope, the dawn after a storm, a stream. His return is like that of an “only-begotten son of a father,” upon whom all the family’s happiness depends. These are certainly metaphorical comparisons, and not to be taken literally. And they are deliberately extravagant. In his response, Agamemnon even objects to the words of her “wide-mouthed, extravagant exclaim” as a deification which will bring upon him the jealous anger of the gods. In this ironic way Aeschylus foreshadows and sets in motion the tragic fate of Agamemnon. Longenecker ignores the context and misses the point. He treats the μονογενες τεκνον πατρι literalistically, as if it were some matter-of-fact statement about Agamemnon’s family.
Passing on from Longenecker to others who have argued similarly, we find the same low quality of scholarship, in which the arguments depend entirely upon a few dubious examples, in combination with word-study fallacies. In 1953 Dale Moody wrote an article titled “The Translation of John 3:16 in the Revised Standard Version,” which is often cited by others. At the end of this article he declares that 1 Clement 15:2 (“there is a bird which is called the Phoenix …”) “shows clearly that the above conclusions on monogenes are correct,” because “the Phoenix was neither born nor begotten, but it could be monogenes, the only one of its kind!” Apparently Moody never looked at the passage to which he refers, which explicitly describes how a succession of solitary Phoenixes are begotten and born, by some autogenic process. The passage even decribes how the Phoenix disposes of the bones of its parent. It is “one of its kind” only in the sense that there is just one living at any one time. As we noted above, Clement’s whole interest in this mythological bird lies in its death and rebirth.
Another place where μονογενής is said to mean only “unique” or “incomparable” is in the Wisdom of Solomon, a Jewish book written probably in Alexandria about 100 B.C. In it we find a hymn to God’s “Wisdom” in which it is said that “there is in her a spirit quick of understanding, holy, μονογενες, manifold,” and so forth (7:22). But even here it seems that the sense “only-begotten” is not unlikely, because Wisdom in this book is personified. She is called “the artificer of all things” (7:22), “all-powerful, all-surveying” (7:23), “the breath of the power of God,” an “effluence” of His glory (7:25), an “effulgence from everlasting light, an unspotted mirror of the working of God, and an image of his goodness” (7:26), and so on. She “proclaimeth her noble birth (ευγενεια) in that it is given to her to live with (συμβιωσις) God” (8:3). In the midst of such language, in which the author speaks of the noble birth of a personified Wisdom living with and emanating from God, we can hardly refuse to take μονογενής as a biological metaphor. Clearly this praise of Wisdom is inspired by Proverbs 8:22 ff., in which God brings forth (Septuagint γεννα “begets”) Wisdom “from everlasting, from the beginning.”
In John’s Gospel and First Epistle the same words and concepts are used to describe the special relationship of Jesus to God. The word μονογενὴς is used as an adjective modifying “Son,” and once as a substantive. He uses the word in five places. I give the literal translation from the English Revised Version of 1881, with the corresponding Greek text:
English Revised Version Souter’s Greek Text
John 1:14. And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us (and we beheld his glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father), full of grace and truth. Καὶ ὁ λόγος σὰρξ ἐγένετο, καὶ ἐσκήνωσεν ἐν ἡμῖν (καὶ ἐθεασάμεθα τὴν δόξαν αὐτοῦ, δόξαν ὡς μονογενοῦς παρὰ πατρός), πλήρης χάριτος καὶ ἀληθείας.
John 1:18. No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. Θεὸν οὐδεὶς ἑώρακεν πώποτε· ὁ μονογενὴς υἱός, ὁ ὢν εἰς τὸν κόλπον τοῦ πατρὸς, ἐκεῖνος ἐξηγήσατο. (Some manuscripts read μονογενὴς θεός “the only-begotten God” here instead of ὁ μονογενὴς υἱός.)
John 3:16. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life. Οὕτως γὰρ ἠγάπησεν ὁ θεὸς τὸν κόσμον, ὥστε τὸν υἱὸν αὐτοῦ τὸν μονογενῆ ἔδωκεν, ἵνα πᾶς ὁ πιστεύων εἰς αὐτὸν μὴ ἀπόληται, ἀλλ᾽ ἔχῃ ζωὴν αἰώνιον.
John 3:18. He that believeth on him is not judged: he that believeth not hath been judged already, because he hath not believed on the name of the only begotten Son of God. ὁ πιστεύων εἰς αὐτὸν οὐ κρίνεται· ὁ δὲ μὴ πιστεύων ἤδη κέκριται, ὅτι μὴ πεπίστευκεν εἰς τὸ ὄνομα τοῦ μονογενοῦς υἱοῦ τοῦ θεοῦ.
1 John 4:9. Herein was the love of God manifested in us, that God hath sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. ἐν τούτῳ ἐφανερώθη ἡ ἀγάπη τοῦ θεοῦ ἐν ἡμῖν, ὅτι τὸν υἱὸν αὐτοῦ τὸν μονογενῆ ἀπέσταλκεν ὁ θεὸς εἰς τὸν κόσμον, ἵνα ζήσωμεν δι᾽ αὐτοῦ.
In four of the five places the word is used as an adjective modifying “Son,” and in one of these (1:18) the Son is said to be “in the bosom of the Father.” In the one place where it occurs as a substantive (1:14), it is followed by the prepositional phrase “from the Father,” which implies sonship. And so we see that in every occurrence John is using the word as a biological metaphor, in which Christ is the “Only Begotten Son” of the Father.
Is there any doctrinal importance in this? Yes, there is. The biological metaphor, in which the Son (and only the Son) shares the genus of the Father, conveys the idea that Jesus Christ is a true genetic Son, having the same divine nature or essence as the Father. The meaning of the word μονογενὴς here is not just “only” or “one and only,” as in the RSV, NIV, and ESV translations. John is not saying that the Son is “one of a kind.” He is saying that Christ is the second of a kind, uniquely sharing the genus of the Father because he is the only begotten Son of the Father, as in the KJV, ERV, and NASB. In the early centuries of Christianity, this point of exegesis acquired great importance. During the fourth century a teaching known as the Arian heresy (which maintained that the Son was a created being) threatened the Church, and in response to it the orthodox Fathers emphasized that the Scripture speaks of a begetting of the Son, not a creation. On that Scriptural basis they maintained that the Son must be understood to be of the same essence as the Father (ὁμοούσιος τῷ πατρί). They further explained that when Scripture speaks of this “begetting” it refers to something taking place in eternity, not within time, and so there were never a time when the Father was without the Son. The orthodox teaching on this subject was set forth in the Creed adopted by the Council of Nicæa in A.D. 325:
Πιστευομεν εις ενα θεον πατερα παντοκρατορα, παντων ορατων τε και αορατων ποιητην. Και εις ενα κυριον Ιησουν Χριστον τον υιον του θεου, γεννθεντα εκ του πατρος μονογενη, τουτεστιν εκ της ουσιας του πατρος, θεον εκ θεου, φως εκ φωτος, θεον αληθινον εκ θεου αληθινου, γεννηθεντα, ου ποιηθεντα, ομοουσιον τω παBibleτρι, δι ου τα παντα εγενετο, τα τε εν τω ουρανω και τα επι της γης· τον δι ημας τους ανθρωπους και δια την ημετεραν σωτηριαν κατελθοντα και σαρκωθεντα και ενανθρωπησαντα, παθοντα, και ανασταντα τη τριτη ημερα, ανελθοντα εις τους ουρανους, και ερχομενον κριναι ζωντας και νεκρους. Και εις το αγιον πνευμα. Τους δε λεγοντας, οτι ην ποτε οτε ουκ ην, και πριν γεννηθηναι ουκ ην, και οτι εξ ουκ οντων εγενετο, η εξ ετερας υποστασεως η ουσιας φασκοντας ειναι, [η κτιστον,] τρεπτον η αλλοιωτον τον υιον του θεου, [τουτους] αναθεματιζει η καθολικη [και αποστολικη] εκκλησια. We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, begotten of the Father the only begotten; that is, of the essence of the Father, God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, of one substance (ὁμοούσιον) with the Father; by whom all things were made both in heaven and on earth; who for us men, and for our salvation, came down and was incarnate and was made man; he suffered, and the third day he rose again, ascended into heaven; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. And in the Holy Ghost. But those who say: ‘There was once when he was not;’ and ‘He was not before he was made;’ and ‘He was made out of nothing,’ or, ‘He is of another substance’ or ‘essence,’ or ‘The Son of God is created,’ or ‘changeable,’ or ‘alterable’—they are condemned by the holy catholic and apostolic Church. 10