Hebrews 12:22; why disciples followed Jesus; casting out demons
I am going to miss the book of Hebrews for we are getting close to the end of the book, only one more chapter after this one, sigh. Yet I know our next study will be just as awesome. There is nothing boring about the Word of God. It has been wonderful savoring the verses in Hebrews and seeking their meaning.
Hebrews 12:22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels,
Pastor Don told us we need to read Scripture for what it says. He talked about the fact that what is called Mt. Sinai in Israel is not the real Mt. Sinai – for it does not match the description in Scripture. Given there were twelve tribes of Israel camped at the base of Mt. Sinai, the one currently labeled Mt. Sinai does not have enough land to camp over a million people in the valley. Also, the mountain is not blackened as the Scriptures would have indicated. Pastor Don thinks there is a mountain in Arabia that fits the description better, but the Arabs have put a fence around that mountain and won’t let the Jews near it, for fear of what archaeological evidence could be unearthed.
Pastor Don told us in the last days God will reveal errors and clarify things. It is the same way with other sites in Israel, there are great debates about which is the real Garden Tomb, the real site for the manger, etc. The truth will set people free.
In verse 22 (see above) this is talking about a spiritual Mount Zion. You can see a natural event and call it a miracle, or you can see a miracle and call it a natural event. What we need to do is see the truth in the event.
God is not in the business of trying to make us happy all the time. All the events in our lives have a supernatural facet to them. God will use the events in our lives to guide us, and when we take a look in the Spirit, we can begin to identify the spiritual facet of our experience. That helps us understand why God permits certain things to happen.
Pastor Don used himself as an example – at one point he had an incurable lung disease and was told to put his house in order. Yet, Pastor Don turned to God and was healed, and the end result of dealing with this disease and getting healed from it gave him a healing ministry.
Pastor Don then told us, “Worshipping at the wrong mountain will weaken our faith.” When there are no archaeological evidence or historical facts, it is a prescription for deception. It cannot strengthen a person’s faith. We have to know what we are receiving from, be careful what we eat (physically and spiritually). Remember, a little poison each day over a period of time will kill us.
When challenged, we can defend the truth. Seeing the reality is powerful.
Many people are mistaught concerning the foundations of faith. Words can be used by people to distort the truth. Faith is not based on magic or the unknown.
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Faith is a SUBSTANCE of things hoped for, and EVIDENCE of things not seen.
Should we be hoping for something not recognizable with no basis in reality? NO! God will never ask you to follow Christ without giving evidence. Based on the listed information, we have faith. Even though we have not seen, we’ve heard something. Is your spirit tangible? No, not in the physical, but our spirit is real.
Hope is real. We may not be able to touch it physically, we can be touched by the evidence of hopes met in healing, prosperity, etc. Knowledge of this happening builds our faith, and that faith is built on the reality that I know that I know that I know.
Do we get there out of physical and experiential evidence – no. God gives us testimony of what we put our faith in.
Romans 1:18-19 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them.
We do not want to suppress the truth – Jesus is the Truth, the Life, and this Truth gives hope, faith and life.
Romans 1:20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,
Invisible attributes are CLEARLY SEEN. How? Even though you cannot see God, you can see His creation, his power, and the Godhead, through creation. There is no excuse to not believe God. God is not asking us to believe without something that we can see – His creation.
When Jesus showed up in Galilee, he had two disciples follow him – James and John. They did not blindly follow an unknown man. James and John were disciples of John the Baptizer. When Jesus came and was baptized, John told the disciples that Jesus was the Lamb of God. The disciples, decided to follow Jesus when Jesus told them to follow Him, and part of their decision was because of what they learned from John the Baptist.
God will not call anyone without facts. John tells Andrew, and they go to the seashore of Galilee, and enter a fishing village. Jesus is at the village and something begins to happen.
Matthew 4:12 Now when Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, He departed to Galilee.
Jesus began to fulfill the prophecies of Isaiah. He went around Galilee preaching and teaching and then came upon Simon Peter and Andrew. Matthew 4:18-20 And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” They immediately left their nets and followed Him
They followed him, but Matthew does not show the whole backstory of why they chose to follow Jesus.
Matthew 4:23 And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people.
There are four gospels, each taught from a different point of view, but they show that Jesus did what He taught. If you just read Matthew’s description you think that the disciples just blindly followed Him. Jesus did not just walk up to a disciple and say, “Follow me” and the disciple just followed Him blindly. Matthew did not record enough information. So we looked at the same passage in the other Gospels.
Mark 1:14-15 Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel
Jesus came and preached and taught the Gospel.
Mark 1:16-20 And as He walked by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. Then Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” They immediately left their nets and followed Him. When He had gone a little farther from there, He saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the boat mending their nets. And immediately He called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants, and went after Him.
Notice that Simon and Andrew were not poor, they had hired servants and had a booming fishing business. They had jobs, marketable skills, were successful fishermen and were part of the company Zebedee and Sons. They were not hired servants, but owners. Jesus took successful business people.
Luke gives us more information.
Luke 4:31 Then He went down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and was teaching them on the Sabbaths.
Jesus did not just breeze into town, he taught there – on Sabbaths (plural). More than one Sabbath. And the people also experienced a touch of grace. Even sensible Peter, saw it first hand. He heard the teachings, and then learned he could depend on the Rock (Jesus). Peter and Peter’s household attended synagogue.
Luke 4:33-34 Now in the synagogue there was a man who had a spirit of an unclean demon. And he cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Let us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God!”
Seeing Jesus dealing with demons.
Luke 4:35-36 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be quiet, and come out of him!” And when the demon had thrown him in their midst, it came out of him and did not hurt him. Then they were all amazed and spoke among themselves, saying, “What a word this is! For with authority and power He commands the unclean spirits, and they come out.”
The people were amazed, commenting on Jesus casting out unclean spirits and demons. Wouldn’t they have talked about it? Wouldn’t Peter have heard about it?
Luke 4:37 And the report about Him went out into every place in the surrounding region.
This would have had people talking and the disciples of John the Baptist would have realized that John was right.
Luke 4:38-39 Now He arose from the synagogue and entered Simon’s house. But Simon’s wife’s mother was sick with a high fever, and they made request of Him concerning her. So He stood over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her. And immediately she arose and served them.
Peter saw it first hand when Jesus healed his mother-in-law. In those days fevers were serious things for they did not have antibiotics that we have today. Even today fevers and colds in the elderly are dangerous.
How Jesus healed her: Mark 1:29-31 Now as soon as they had come out of the synagogue, they entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. But Simon’s wife’s mother lay sick with a fever, and they told Him about her at once. So He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and immediately the fever left her. And she served them.
Notice, it was immediately. Jesus didn’t have to go into any moral preparation, He was already ready to administer healing. After the point of contact (taking her by the hand) the Mother-in-law was healed immediately and she could resume her work. The contact with Jesus left her in a better situation than when He first found her.
The disciples had enough evidence in observing Jesus to make an educated choice to follow Him.
When it comes to ministering in the Spirit, do what the Spirit says, even if the person does not respond or responds. The responsibility of respond is up to the person. There is a time and a moment of healing. It doesn’t matter how dire the person’s circumstances are, when we are called to pray, don’t worry about praying – God’s got it, stay in faith.
But the spirit of infirmity can jump on you if you have unconfessed sin. When we pray for the sick, the spirit of infirmity will hate us seeking a way to stop what we are doing, that is why we have to stay confessed up. Thoughts of sickness can come to our minds and if we give into those thoughts, the spirit can jump. We are not to yield.
Isaiah 54:17 No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is from Me,” says the LORD.
When the devil brings sickness he is looking for an opening and there is only an opening if there is sin in the life. Same goes for addiction, fornication, thievery. This opens up the believer for satan, the accuser of the brethren to get a toe hold in a person’s life.
Pastor Don told us that many do not want to receive this truth because they are caught up in pride and not humble. We cannot be humble in our own power, we can only be humble IN THE LORD. Demons know right away if you are pretending humility.
Jesus stands in the midst of us. He knows our sins, and knows our faith levels. People in the body of Christ in sin have no faith to know that we are delivered. We need to stay prayed up, it is not something to do just monthly or weekly at church, but daily.
The Bible tells us to lay no hands on a person suddenly. Laying on of hands was also done to appoint people to positions of authority and we are not to do that quickly. If we elevate the wrong person into authority we can cause trouble in the Body of Christ, so don’t be so quick to lay hands on a person. Let a person sit in the pews awhile under authority and watch them and their actions.
Also, when Jesus cast out demons in the Bible, He never once laid hands on a possessed person, he commanded the demon to come out. He did not give the demon a point of contact by the laying on of hands so that the demon could transfer. When we see people casting out demons and touching those possessed, we know that there is no Biblical precedent for that.
We are to tear down the high places, the person delivered has to be cleansed of those idols in their lives, and redeemed – the empty place because of the departed demons has to be filled with the truth of God so there is no place for the demon to return. The Bible tells us if the room is swept clean, the demons will return and bring many of their friends.
The demons and God cannot be in the same place. Remember when the Philistines took the Ark, the place where God met with the people, and they put the Ark in the temple of dagon. The next morning they came and found the statue of dagon fallen over in a position of worship to the ark. They set the statue up again and left it with the ark, the next morning the statue had fallen over and broken. God is far more powerful than any idol.
We need to remove things in our house that are dedicated to devils – such as dream catchers, little statues acquired in foreign countries that may have been sold as idols, etc.
Speak to the demons and command them to leave – when a demon comes to attack you, the demon is afraid of Jesus. Let the demon know you belong to Jesus. We can speak against every evil spirit and every evil one. We have the right to command confusion in the enemy’s camp and their plans. The average spirit-filled believer has enough faith to do this if they choose. You can stir up the demons, but not succeed if you try to fight them in your own power. We don’t fight them we command them in the Name of Jesus.
God loves us and has given us much authority, don’t let the demons encroach on the authority that God has provided for us. Don’t give them a toe hold.
Praying this blesses you.
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