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Luke 1:1-38
Luke 1:39-80 Luke 2:1-38 Luke 2:39 - 3:17 Luke 3:19-4:23 Luke 4:14-5:11
Luke 5:12-26 Luke 5:27 6:11 Luke 6:12-49 Luke 7:1-23 Luke 7:24-50 Luke 8:1-18
Luke 8:19-40
Luke 8:40-56 Luke 9:1-27 Luke 9:26-50 Luke 9:51 to 10:24 Luke 10:25-42
Luke 11:1-13 Luke 11:14-44 Luke 12:1-21 Luke 12:22-48 Luke 12:49 - 13:17 Luke 13:18-35
Luke 14:7-35 Luke 15:1-10 Luke 15:11-32 Luke 15:24-32 Luke 16:13-31 Luke 17:1-26
Luke 17:26-37 Luke 18:9-27 Luke 18:31-43 Luke 19:1-27 Luke 19:28-48 Luke 20:1-26
Luke 20: 27-47 Luke 21: 5-36 Luke 22: 1-20 Luke 22:21-34 Luke 22: 35-53 Luke 22: 54-71
Luke 23: 13-43 Luke 23: 43-56 Luke 24: 1-35 Luke 24: 36-53    
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Luke 11:14-44

 

“And he was casting out a devil, and it was dumb.  And it came to pass, when the devil was gone out, the dumb spake; and the people wondered.  But some of them said, He casteth out devils through Beelzebub the chief of the devils.  And others, tempting him, sought of him a sign from heaven.  But he, knowing their thoughts, said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house divided against itself falleth.  If Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? because ye say that I cast out devils through Beelzebub.  And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your sons cast them out?  therefore shall they be your judges.  But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you.  But 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.  When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out.  And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished.  Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there:  and the last state of that man is worse than the first.  And it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked.  But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.  And when the people were gathered thick together, he began to say, This is an evil generation:  they seek a sign; and there shall no sign be given it, but the sign of Jonas the prophet.  For as Jonas was a sign unto the Ninevites, so shall also the Son of man be to this generation.  [cf. Matthew 12:38-42]  The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation, and condemn them:  for she came from the utmost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.  The men of Nineve shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it:  for they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.  No man, when he hath lighted a candle, putteth it in a secret place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the light.  The light of the body is the eye:  therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness.  Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness.  If thy whole body therefore be full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of a candle doth give thee light.  And as he spake, a certain Pharisee besought him to dine with him:  and he went in, and sat down to meat.  And when the Pharisee saw it, he marvelled that he had not first washed before dinner.  And the Lord said unto him, Now do ye Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup and platter; but your inward part is full of ravening and wickedness.  Ye fools, did not he that made that which is without make that which is within also?  But rather give alms of such things as ye have; and, behold, all things are clean unto you.  Be woe unto you Pharisees!  for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God:  these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.  Woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye love the uppermost seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets.  Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!  for ye are as graves which appear not, and the men that walk over them are not aware of them.

 

“‘Father, we settle our hearts before you, and Lord, as we continue, Lord we thank you that we Lord have such freedom to come into your presence, at such great cost to you Father.  And Lord we pray that Lord as we grow, as we rejoice Lord in your faithfulness, your work in our lives, that we would never forget Father our first love, the joy of our salvation.  Father we pray that there would be no thing in our hearts that would, Father, stand in the way of us continuing to enjoy this evening of receiving all that we might of the ministry of your Spirit.  Lord, we examine our hearts.  Father we pray for those here that are particularly burdened physically or emotionally one way or another this evening, that you would grant your portion.  As we continue we thank you for a great time, Lord, in singing your praises and lifting our hearts before you.  We pray for those here this evening, Lord, that may not know you, Lord, in a personal way, Lord, that haven’t received your love and your forgiveness.  And Lord, as we continue this study through the Book of Luke we pray Father that we might see Jesus, you’d open our hearts, our eyes, we pray in his name, amen.’

 

The People Ask Jesus Two Questions

 

Luke chapter 11, we are at verse 14, and it says, “And he” Jesus “was casting out a devil, and it was dumb.”  Couldn’t speak.  “And it came to pass, when the devil was gone out, the dumb spake; and the people wondered.  But some of them said, He casteth out devils through Beelzebub the chief of devils.  And others, tempting him, sought of him a sign from heaven” (verses 14-16).  So, there is this response, as he casts out a devil that can’t speak.  They marvelled.  You’ll take note as you read through the Gospels, particularly when it says the devil is deaf and dumb, the person by the demon is deaf and dumb, that they marvelled because they believed that you had to have some communication with the person that was possessed for there to be an exorcism.  Solomon had passed down exorcism rights that the Jews practiced in the days of Jesus.  Jesus will rebuke them saying, ‘If I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your sons cast them out?’  We know that in Acts chapter 19, verse 13, it says ‘There are certain Jews that were traveling through the Roman Empire, that were exorcists.  And they came upon this man that was possessed with demons.  Seven men, sons of one man named Skeva,’ it says.  ‘And they said to this demon possessed man, in the name of Jesus whom Paul preaches, come out.’  Because they thought that they saw a new method of exorcism that was much easier than the traditions of things they were used to.  Of course the [demon possessed] man turns around and says, ‘Jesus I know, kenknosko, I know him, Paul,’ different word, ‘I’m familiar with, we’ve had an encounter.  But who are you?’  You don’t want them saying that to you.  And it says he leaped on them and beat all seven of them up, and they came running out of the house naked, all seven of them, you know, all of them come running out of there, what a scene.’  Well here, the people are amazed when Jesus casts out this demon, and the man now is speaking.  Because part of their process of exorcism was you had to have this concourse back and forth.  Jesus just casts the demon out, they’re amazed.  And then two things arise.  Part of the people say, ‘Well he’s casting out the demon by Beelzebub the prince of devils.’  The other group says, ‘Show us a sign from heaven’, because they were expecting Elijah to return, they were expecting a prophet, and Elijah of course called down fire from heaven.  ‘So, show us a sign from heaven,’ as if raising the dead, the cleansing of the lepers, opening the eyes of the blind, turning water to wine, those are like b-miracles, we want an a-miracle.  Boy they have guts.  So he’ll answer two questions here.  One is about the accusation that there’s some dark thing taking place, by Beelzebub, by the prince of devils casting out devils.  And the other question he’ll answer is them seeking a sign. 

 

Who Is This Beelzebub?

 

Now Beelzebub, we find in 1st Kings is part of the Canaanite worship from the word Baal, Baalzebub, which is the lord of the flies, Zebub, the word that means to dangle or to vibrate, the noun for them was fly.  Then Beelzebub, the lord of the flies, I don’t like flies, I don’t know about you, you ever get hassled by a fly?---and just kind of feel, ‘Hey, something more than a fly is going on here.’  You ever have one just bother you while your praying or reading your Bible, or you just can’t get away from it?  I remember one time I had this fly that was bothering me, and I was drinking iced tea.  You know how every once in a while when you’re drinking iced tea, you get the pulp of an orange or lemon in there and you’re kind of chewing on it?  I’m not sure if he got me or I got him.  Chewed on it for a minute and it tasted real funny, Beezlebub’s little messenger there in my iced tea.  I remember once our house was infested with horse-flies in the middle of the winter [the season for horse-flies is late July through August], hundreds of them.  I don’t like them.  But the lord of the flies, to dangle, you know Satan dangles things in front of us.  By the time of Jesus, that word Beelzebub had become synonymous with Satan, because Jesus is going to say, ‘If Satan is divided against his own kingdom…’  So Jesus knew exactly what they’re saying, the result of him casting out demons was through Baalzebal, which was the prince of devils, a very similar name. 

 

Satan’s Kingdom of Darkness

 

But they’re accusing him now of casting out devils by Beelzebub, by Satan himself.  Verse 17 it says “But he, knowing their thoughts, said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house divided against a house falleth.”  Something we know too much of, don’t we.  “If Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand?  because ye say that I cast out devils through Beelzebub.”  Notice, Jesus acknowledges this, that Satan has a kingdom.  “And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your sons cast them out?  therefore shall they be your judges.  But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you” (verses 17-20).  So, Jesus asked them for their rationale, ‘You’re saying that I’m casting out demons by Beelzebub, if Satan is divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand?’  Now by the way, if you’re here this evening, and you don’t believe there is a Devil, the Bible is clear about it.  [see http://www.unityinchrist.com/Satan/satan.htm]  You can have your opinion, but don’t say the Bible doesn’t teach it.  The Bible teaches there are spiritual forces, and there are.  You know if you go to Stanford or to Yale or to MIT and you study parapsychology you can get on a television show with your special recording gear, taking pictures of poltergeist and paranormal phenomenon, and you have a PhD next to your name, they consider you a genius.  But if you’re a Christian, and you say you believe in spiritual realms, they consider you a nut!  Something’s not fair about that, I don’t understand.  And again, Satan’s best disguise is if you think he’s the little red guy with a pitchfork and a pointed tail on a tuna fish can.  No, he’s malevolent, he’s powerful. Jesus will call him “the strong man” here.  He travels through the earth, Job chapter 1, God says to Satan ‘Where have you been.’  He answers, ‘I’ve been traveling throughout the earth.’  He can only be at one place at one time.  But he has his minions and his legions under him.  And I don’t think that he gets ahold of the average person by putting pentagrams on your living room floor and sacrificing chickens.  I think it’s through the media, I think it’s through the morals that surround us, I think it’s as a wolf in sheep’s clothing comes, with disguise, I think it’s in the music, and in the poetry and the media that surrounds us.  I think it tells us in James that the tongue is set on fire of gehenna, of hell.  And I think, what we see that’s promoted morally, by abortion, immorality, war, bigotry, anti-Semitism, discrimination, hatred, variance, discord, stabbing people in the back.  I think his main entrance into our world is through the tongue, and he spreads there his venom and his poison.  Jesus says, ‘If Satan is divided against Satan, how shall his kingdom stand?’ he acknowledges his kingdom, ‘If I by Beelzebub cast out devils, if you’re rationale is correct, by whom do your sons cast them out?  If I’m doing it by Beelzebub, who are your sons doing it by?’ 

 

Satan’s Armed to the Teeth, But Jesus Will Overpower him

 

And he says, “they will be your judges.  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” (verses 20-22).  Very interesting, verse 21, “when a strong man armed,” some of your translations say “fully armed”, gives us a better idea, I think Philips says “armed to the teeth.”  Now you’ve seen that in swashbuckler movies or a pirate movie, where the pirate puts his pistols in his belt and puts his sword on and puts a spear on his back and puts knives in both boots, and puts another knife in his belt, puts a knife in his arm, and he doesn’t have anywhere else to put one, so he puts one in his teeth, you know, that’s “armed to the teeth.”  It means you’ve got one everywhere you can hold something you’ve got a weapon.  And that pictures Satan here like that, you know, garrisoned with his forces, armed to the teeth, “the strong man.”  And he is strong.  We are no match for him.  But he don’t mess with our Dad.  And he don’t mess with us because of who our Dad is.  And the Bible says “the evil one comes, he touches us not”, ‘he has no part in us, we’re blood bought the Bible says, and sealed with his Spirit of promise.’ That word “sealed” there, God has put a seal on you.  Ephesians speaks of that, when someone would send their cargo through the Roman world they would take wax and put it on the cargo, and then put the signet, the seal of their ring or a stamp seal on there, and that would guarantee destination, because it would be the seal of ownership.  That’s what it says, you and I are sealed until the day of redemption.  No one can break that seal, it is guaranteeing our destination.  Very interesting, when Satan in bound by one angel, take note, not by an army, by one angel, Revelation 20, and thrown into the abyss for a thousand years, it says he is sealed there, same word.  If he can’t break that seal, he can’t break the one that’s on us either.  So we do not need to give ourselves to boogeyman stories.  Yes he is strong.  He is armed to the teeth.  But Jesus says, ‘If I’m casting him out with the finger of God’ I like that.  Because the Bible says in Psalm 8, ‘When I consider the sun and the moon and the stars, the work of thy fingers…’  I like it in Egypt, when finally Moses through God turns the dust of the earth to lice, the magicians in Egypt say ‘this is the finger of God.’  It tells us the Tablets were written with the finger of God.  It tells us here, Satan is a strong man, he’s armed to the teeth, he’s got his knife in his teeth, he’s got all his deceptions, but it says God casts him out with his finger, flick!  I like that.  Because no matter how big he is, no matter how tough he is, the next verse says, “but when the stronger”, that’s who we serve.  And that’s who dwells in our hearts, that’s who fills us.  That’s why the Bible says “greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world” speaking of the devil, “when the stronger shall come.”  “But when a stronger than he shall come,” verse 22, “upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils.”  ‘The spoils’, and that’s you and I.  Jesus has plucked us from, the Bible says, ‘the kingdom of darkness and translated us into the kingdom of light and the kingdom of his own dear Son’ (Colossians 1:12-13).   Taken from darkness to light. 

 

There’s No Neutral Ground

 

Now look in verse 23, “He that is not with me is against me:  and he that gathereth not with me scattereth.”  Two forces here, Jesus says.  There is the strong man, Satan.  He is scattering lives and destroying them.  And Jesus says, ‘I am gathering, building.’  There’s no neutral ground.  There’s no middle ground.  You can’t kind of play in both kingdoms.  And there are only two kingdoms.  We hear people talk about ‘Well I want my freedom, I want to do my own thing, I’m open-minded…’  No, no, come on.  You’re a sap like everybody else.  There’s only two kingdoms, the kingdom of light and the kingdom of darkness.  That’s all there is.  And it may wear a thousand masquerades and a thousand charades it may put on, but there’s the kingdom of darkness and the kingdom of light.  And there are people that may live their whole lives prospering, doing good things, never aware of their sin, never aware they need salvation, and die that way.  And Satan is content to let them go to their destruction that way.  [Within the Body of Christ there are various differing beliefs about heaven and hell.  To view some of these, see http://www.unityinchrist.com/plaintruth/battle.htm.]  Because the kingdom of darkness has the force on their lives, there’s other people we see maybe living on the street as a prostitute or taking drugs, and maybe it’s easier for us to identify someone like that, and say, ‘Well, we see the darkness manifesting in their lives.’  But this world we live in, spiritually, is in darkness.  Jesus says he’s gathering out of the darkness those that are his.  Those that are not gathering with him, he says, are against him. 

 

Religions or Personal Reform Doesn’t Really Work

 

Verse 24,  and Matthew makes a different application, I think to the nation of Israel [Judah at that time] and being cleansed from idolatry in Babylon. Luke puts it in an interesting context here of this teaching about Satan.  “When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man,”---now possibly Jesus pointing to this man who had just been delivered from the dumb spirit, we don’t know---“he walketh”---more properly, “he wanders”---“through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out.”  Jesus says this to us of the unseen realm, that demons or a demon when he’s gone out of a man, is wandering and restless, wandering in waterless places.  That’s an interesting idea.  I don’t know what that means.  And he is restless, finding no rest, and says, ‘I’m going to go back to,’ he’s seeking habitation, ‘the place that I came out of.’  “And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished.  Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there:  and the last state of that man is worse than the first”  (verses 24-26).  So he says, you know, religious reform, doesn’t make any difference.  If a spirit goes out of a person, if a person’s delivered, they make that break from there, and yet they leave a VACANCY sign up, the human body, the demon views it like an apartment, if there’s a vacancy and a vacuum there, it doesn’t matter, if all of a sudden it’s swept and put in order, we’re going to this kind of meeting, or we’re going to you know some kind of a support group and we’re doing this and that.  If we don’t fill the vacancy with Christ, you know, if that demon doesn’t come back and see a sign that says NO VACANCY, BLOOD BOUGHT, he moves right back in.  And it says that the last state of that person is worse than the first.  Now, of course, the beauty is, Jesus is the one in our lives, who comes into our lives and sweeps and garnishes, it means to make beautiful, to decorate.  Jesus is the one who came into my life, and into your life, and he took us to himself, swept us, cleansed us with his blood, and garnished, made our lives beautiful, and filled us, so we’re no longer empty.  Doesn’t find, the enemy looks at us there, it says, he has no place in us.  How wonderful, how wonderful.  But I encourage you, if you don’t know Christ this evening, look, there are influences in this world, that make us deaf and dumb spiritually, nothing to say, unable to  hear truth, they clog us.  You know, again, I talk about radio, if you’re here this evening and you don’t know Christ, you’ll agree, well right now in this room we’re in there are radio waves going through the air.  There are voices and music and all kinds of invisible things around us, and if we were to have a radio here and turn it on, we could tune it right in, and receive it, and hear voices.  But because we understand transmitters and receivers, we’re willing to admit, ‘Well, there are voices and all kinds of things going through this room right now, right through us.’  And we’ll admit, there are audio-visual waves.  If we had a television, we plugged in here, put up the antennas, we would see pictures, we could bring in pictures, we could bring in images and voices.  And because we understand transmission and reception, we’re willing to acknowledge that.  But how strange it sounds to us if we say, ‘Hey, this room is filled, there are images with voices, there are spiritual forces, intent on deceiving people.’  ‘And Jesus is come,’ the Bible says, to set the captives free, to bring us from darkness to light, to give us hope, to give us an expected end, to fill our hearts with the Gospel of Christ, with his glory, with hope in a hopeless world.’   How wonderful. 

 

“Blessed Are They That Hear the Word of God, and Keep It”

 

Verse 27, Someone interrupts, they’re so overwhelmed with what he’s saying, “And it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked.”  And of course, lifting up Mary.  Jesus says, “But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it” (verses 27-28).  The idea is, obey it.  You’re either gathering or scattering.  ‘Blessed are those who hear the Word, and obey it’  It isn’t just enough to hear the Word.  I mean, you know people that quote Scripture left and right, they’re living in sin.  They can quote it, they ain’t living it.  And then we file it in our minds with a question mark over them.  Are they really saved [i.e. are they really believers in Jesus Christ, indwelt with the Holy Spirit] or is it just an intellectual assent?  Pray for them.  “Blessed are those who hear the word of God, and keep it.” 

 

The World We Live In Is Scheduled To Be Deceived by Signs and Wonders

 

Now the next question.  “When the people were gathered thick together, he began to say, This is an evil generation:”  Matthew adds “adulterous”  “they seek a sign; and there shall no sign be given it, but the sign of Jonas the prophet” (verse 29).  Now this was the other part of the question.  Part of it was, ‘You’re casting out demons by Beelzebub’ and the other half of the crowd said, ‘Show us a sign.’  Jesus said, ‘You know, it’s an evil generation that seeks after a sign, no signs are going to be given but the sign of the prophet Jonah.’  Now, now it was ridiculous for them to seek a sign.  All of the things that had happened, and these of all the people on the earth, the Jews, were the people that had the Scripture.  They were familiar with the Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah. They knew he’d be born in Bethlehem, they knew he would open the eyes of the blind, they knew he would heal the lame, they had the Scripture that spoke of him.  The prophecy was being fulfilled before their eyes, and they should have established their lives on the Word of God rather than asking for signs.  And we have to do that same thing. [see http://www.unityinchrist.com/prophecies/1stcoming.htm.]  You know, I think of Cy Bobbin in India, someone who claims to be an avatar, he’ll take a clay pot, an empty clay pot and put it upside down on his fist and begin to shake it, and a ton of ash will come out of that, it’ll pile up four foot deep all around him.  Miraculous.  But not of God.  And there are things like that that go on all over.  Peter tells us in his 2nd Epistle, he says, ‘Look, “when we made known unto you the power of the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, we didn’t do it with cunningly devised fables”, ‘We didn’t say, OK, Jesus is really dead, he’s really in the tomb, let’s start a rumour that he rose from the dead, and we’ll cut our wrists and become blood brothers, if a lion starts to chew on you, you don’t tell the truth, if they set you on fire you don’t tell the truth.’  No, Peter said, no, ‘When we made known unto you the power of the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ…we told you that we were eye-witnesses.’  Peter says, ‘I was in the holy mountain and saw his glory,’  Peter says, ‘I was there on the mount of transfiguration and heard God talk out loud.’  Now with Peter, that would tend to register in your memory, if God told you to be quiet, God Almighty, ‘Be quiet and listen to my Son, please.’  Peter says, “But now, we have a more sure word of prophecy, unto which you do good to take heed, as to a light that shineth in a dark place.”  Peter says we have something that is more sure than signs and wonders, and that is the Word of God.  And we have to take it to heart, because the world we live in is scheduled to be deceived by signs and wonders.  The Bible is clear.  And Jesus warns us in Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21, 1st Timothy, 2nd Timothy, Jude, 2nd Peter, ‘in the last days, take heed that no man deceive you, for false christs and false messiahs will arise showing signs and wonders.’  The world we live in is scheduled to be deceived by signs and wonders.  For you and I, believe this [the Bible, the Word of God he’s holding up] more than even what we might see with your eyes.  If it does not line up with the Word of God, we know the orientation, the origin of it.  And the Law was clear in the Old Testament, that if someone prophecied, and what they said didn’t come true right to the period, right to the coma exactly, you took them out and stoned them, because God said, ‘If I send them, they don’t make any mistakes.’  We can’t do that today.  He said if anybody shows a sign or a wonder and points you to any other god, take them out and stone them [that was in the theocratic Old Testament nation of Israel, does not apply to the Church today].  ‘I didn’t send them, that power that’s at work there is not from me.’ 

 

The Sign of Jonah

 

These people are seeking after a sign.  Jesus condemns that, he says ‘This is the sign that will be given, the sign of Jonah the prophet.’  “For as Jonas was a sign unto the Ninevites, so shall also the Son of man be to this generation” (verse 30).  Now Jonah was not just someone who preached a message, Jonah was the message.  You know the story.  God says to Jonah, ‘Go to Nineveh, and tell them in forty days judgment’s coming, and tell them to repent.’  Jonah hates Nineveh [the ancient Assyrians who were prophecied to conquer Israel later on].  He heads in another direction.  You know why?  Because he’s afraid they might listen, and God might be merciful to them.  So he heads in another direction.  You now what happened, the whale swallows him, you know the story.  [He spent three days and three nights in the ‘whale’s belly’, that’s the “sign of Jonah, cf. Matthew 12:38-41.  Jesus really did spend three days and three nights “in the heart of the earth,” the grave.  See http://www.unityinchrist.com/lamb/lastsix.htm]  Can’t keep a good man down.  Three days and three nights in the belly of the whale, Jonah is bleached, he looks like a cue ball, no doubt his follicles are dissolved, he’s bald, he is white, he looks like Casper the Friendly Ghost when he walks into Nineveh.  He not only preached the message, he was a message, the message was resurrection.  He was a sign to the Ninevites, he was somebody that came back from the dead.  And Jesus is saying to them, this is the sign that you will receive, resurrection.  That’s the only sign that you’re going to have, resurrection.  All through the Book of Acts that’s what they preached, that Jesus was risen from the dead.  Now it’s interesting, because when we get to chapter 16 of Luke, we’re going to hear about Lazarus and the rich man.  And the rich man in Hades in torment, in hell, will say ‘father Abraham, send someone to warn my brothers so they don’t come to this terrible place.’  And Abraham says, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets, if they won’t listen to them, neither will they believe, even if somebody rises from the dead.’  And of course, the remarkable thing is, Abraham’s saying, ‘They have the Word of God, let them believe the Word of God, because they won’t believe even if someone rises from the dead.’  And what will happen ultimately, is that the Roman soldiers that are standing guard at the tomb of Jesus, and they stood guard at the threat of their very lives, if they left their post, they were put to death.  All of a sudden here comes the Roman soldiers running into the religious leaders, they didn’t go to Pilate because they knew they’d be put to death.  So they come running to the priests.  When an angel comes down and appears and rolls away the stone, you go to a priest.  They go to the priests, and they said, ‘An angel descended, rolled away the stone, the tomb is empty!’  And the Jewish religious leaders paid them a sum of money and said ‘Don’t tell anyone.’  Jesus said, ‘Even if someone rises from the dead, they won’t believe.’  Jesus is saying, ‘This is the only sign that you’re going to have is the resurrection [after precisely three days and three nights in the tomb, cf. Matthew 12:38-41].  Verse 31, The queen of Sheba,  “The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation, and condemn them:  for she came from the utmost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.”  He says the queen of Sheba, she came about 1,300 miles, and it wasn’t on TWA, because she heard the rumor of Solomon, not of Christ, of Solomon, and of his wisdom.  And she came.  And her heart responded to what she heard and saw.  And Jesus says in the judgment, she’ll rise up and condemn this generation because she came all that way, and a greater than Solomon is here, speaking of himself.  “The men of Nineve shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it:  for they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here” (verse 32).  You know, you know the story of Jonah the prophet, here comes Jonah, he’s a foreigner.  Jesus is a Jew, he’s coming to the Jews.  They don’t want to hear him.  Jonah comes in, strange looking character, hates the Ninevites.  Jesus, it says, the people heard him gladly because of his gracious words.  Jonah came to Nineveh and said ‘Forty days, and you are dead, you are toast, you’re gonna die!  Ahahaha!’  You know, here he is with a cue-ball head, he hates the Ninevites, ‘Forty days and you’re gonna be dead!’ that’s what he says to them.  And they repent in sackcloth and ashes.  Jonah goes and sits outside the city, sitting there bummed out.  God says to him, ‘What’s wrong?’  Jonah said, ‘I knew it.  I knew you’re merciful, I knew you’re gracious, I knew if I did this they’d repent.’  And it says he sat out there 40 days waiting to see if God might smoke ‘em anyway.  He wanted their destruction [so Israel wouldn’t be destroyed a little over 40 years later by these same Assyrians], and they repented.  Jesus said they repented at the preaching of Jonah.  ‘I’m here to bring you from darkness to light, not to scatter you but to gather you, to give you life, and you won’t listen.  And the men of Nineveh will arise in the day of judgment and condemn the men of this generation.’ 

 

Jesus’ Kingdom of Light

 

“No man, when he hath lighted a candle, putteth it in a secret place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the light” (verse 33).  This is not a candle, it’s a lamp.  Candles weren’t used until much later.  Jesus says nobody lights a lamp and then covers it up so it doesn’t throw any light.  He said it’s contradictory.  The light it so it will throw light.  They don’t have neon bulbs, in the evening, you had the fireplace, the hearth and you had the oil lamps sitting around the house.  “The light of the body is the eye:  therefore when thine eye is single,”---the idea is “healthy”---“thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil [poneros, it means attracted to that which is evil, destructive], thy body also is full of darkness.  Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness.  If thy whole body therefore be full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of a candle doth give thee light.” (verses 34-36).  ‘As a lamp.’ This is what he’s saying.  They’ve been watching his ministry, they’ve been listening to the words he says.  Here he is gracious to a man that had been possessed by a demon, delivers the man.  Now the crowd is divided, as though his antagonists, and some of them say ‘Well he’s doing this by the power of Satan.’  He answers that.  And he says ‘There’s no logic to what you’re saying.  If Satan is divided against Satan, you need to think this through, because your sons cast out devils.  And you can’t take a strong man’s house unless you’re stronger, especially if he’s armed to the teeth.  And if I’m doing this by the finger of God, then God’s Kingdom is in front of you.  And he who is not gathering with me is scattering.’  And then to those who wanted a sign, he says, ‘A sign,’  he says, ‘you’ll get a sign, the sign of Jonah.  The queen of Sheba will arise and condemn this generation, because she didn’t need a sign, she came and just heard the words of Solomon, who is less than I am.  The men of Nineveh, the only sign they saw was Jonah, but they repented at his preaching.  Your problem is light’ he says.  When someone lights a light they don’t light that light and cover it, the light is lit to bring light to the room, in the natural, in the room.  In the human body, the light of the body is the eye.  When the eye is healthy, your being is filled with light.  If your eye is evil or sick, then there’s darkness.  And then he says, so it is with spiritual light, he said, “as when the bright shining of a lamp doth give thee light.”  He says there’s spiritual light.  And Jesus challenges them.  Now, the Bible says, “I hath not seen, ear hath not heard, neither has it entered the mind of man, the things that God hath prepared for those love him.  But his Spirit hath made those things known to us.”  And it tells us the Spirit is the lamp of the man, of the inner man, that God’s Spirit enters within us, and brings light to where there was darkness. 

 

God’s Holy Spirit Sheds Light Into Our Lives, Illuminates Sin, Makes it Manifest

 

Jesus says, the reason that men don’t come to him, is because they love darkness more than light.  And he says they agape darkness more than light, they are devoted to darkness.  Because they know if they come to the light, they bring their life then into the light, and their deeds are made manifest.  It tells us in Ephesians chapter 5, verse 13, “Anything that doth make manifest is light.”  Now let me tell you something, as a Christian here this evening, if you’re here and you feel bad about some sin in your life, and you’re under conviction.  You know what?  You couldn’t feel that way if it wasn’t for light.  You couldn’t be under conviction unless God’s light was shining in your life.  And praise the Lord that he’s showing you an area that needs to change in your life.  And praise the Lord that he won’t give you any rest, he won’t leave you alone, because if you were my kids, I wouldn’t either, I love my kids, and when I see them doing something that will hurt them, I don’t leave them alone.  And I hassle and hassle them and hassle them.  I mean, sometimes I hassle them because I’m a knuckle-head, God never does that, he just hassles us because he loves us.  And he won’t leave us alone.  But he shines that light where things need to change.  It says for the unbeliever ‘that the god of this world, Satan,’ who we talked about, ‘has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ should shine in their hearts, and they should see.’    It talks about an inward light.  You hear people singing old Gospel songs, you know, ‘I’ve seen the light.’  It’s not talking about a physical light.  The Bible says clearly there’s something we learn that’s beyond our five senses, when we come into communion with Christ, it’s not with our eyes or with our ears or with our taste or with our touch or with our smell, it’s not with our five senses.  There is a knowledge that is imparted to us by God’s Spirit that surpasses our senses.  It surpasses the logical mind, and the Bible calls it light.  And maybe this evening as you’re sitting here, if you don’t know Christ, maybe you feel that, it bypasses, maybe you feel ‘This is all true, I do want forgiveness.  If this is all true, I don’t want to be in darkness.  If this is all true, I do want to know Christ.’  Remember, Voltaire, who hated Jesus.  His favorite phrase was ‘Curse the wretch.’  He said, ‘I will personally dismantle what it took the twelve apostles a thousand years to build.  In one hundred years the Bible will be extinct.’  Now a hundred years later, his personal house was a distribution center for the Geneva Bible.  Voltaire was gone.  And the nurse that attended his death, who was a believer, when he was passing out of this life, heard him scream three times, “More light!  More light!  More light!” in tremendous fear, and he passed out of this world, screaming for light.  She said, “I will never attend the death of an unbeliever again.”  Jesus says ‘Your problem is not that you need signs, your problem’s not, you know you’re accusing me of doing this by Satan, your problem is light, and you’re not responding to it, that light has come to you.’ 

 

What Does It Mean, “The Holy Spirit Would Teach Us All Things”?

 

I mean, you and I, this evening, the Bible says about the Holy Spirit, that he will teach us all things [cf. John 14 & 16, read those chapters].  Now how many of you this evening know all things?  You raise your hand please if you know everything.  Well listen, it sounds funny doesn’t it?  But we know this, we know we didn’t come from monkeys.  See, the most brilliant scientists in the world they’re still not sure of that.  The Bible says we have been made a little lower than the angels.  Now it doesn’t take a bright person to make that choice.  I’d much rather be a little lower than the angels than a little higher than monkeys.  We know where we came from, we know where we’re going.  We know the end of this world is coming.  We know this world is not going to roll on for a thousand years until human beings have great big foreheads and little dwindly arms, you know what I mean…that’s not going to happen.  Jesus is coming.  And all of the signs that he said would surround us are here.  We know where we’ve come from, we know where we’re going, we know what the end of the story is, we know what the future is, we know all things, Jesus has brought us into the kingdom of light [i.e. if the Holy Spirit indwells you, you are within the Kingdom of Light, in that sense, that’s what that verse in Colossians 1:12-13 means].  I mean, isn’t it amazing to talk to your unsaved friends, some of the people that knew you before you were a Christian, and you say, ‘Yeah, Jesus is coming, look at the world, he’s going to descend with the voice of the Archangel, with the Trumpet of God, with a shout, and I’m going to disappear and be caught up off the face of the earth, and I’m gonna be in the clouds with Jesus.’  And they’re thinking, ‘Man, he had better stuff than I did, whatever he’s taking [smoking, drugs] is better than what I’m taking.’  They think you’re out of your mind.  But Paul would say that.  ‘The Jews, they seek after a sign’, they said to Jesus ‘Show us a sign.’  ‘The Greeks, the intellects of this world, they seek after wisdom.’  But he says, ‘God hath chosen the foolishness of the preaching of the gospel of Christ to be the answer for humanity.’  I would rather be a fool for Jesus than the smartest guy in hell.  Look where our geniuses have brought us to.  And you know what?  We have a lot of great folks in this church that are Phd’s and are brilliant.  I thank God for technology, I’m glad we can take an antibiotic.  But you know it’s double-edged sword, look where we are with nuclear weapons.  Look where we are with terrorism [and he said this in 1996, five years before 9/11].  Look where we are with bigotry, look where we are with abortion, look where we are with where all of our brains have brought us, to the precipice, the world is shaking on the very edge.  We go to bed at night, and we’re worried about how the Fliers will do, why haven’t the Eagles made a trade yet?  We go to bed thinking about those things, but a nuke could go off while you’re asleep.  The world that we know could change in a moment, because of how smart we are.  We got missiles pointed at each other, fingers on the buttons, boy are we smart.  But the Bible says the light of Christ shines in our hearts, helping us to know all things. 

 

The Pharisees Were Like Unmarked Tombs, Were Defiling People---Just As Religion Still Does To People

 

“And as he spake, a certain Pharisee besought him to dine with him:  and he went in, and sat down to meat” (verse 37).  ‘And as he spake, a certain Pharisee brought him to dinner.’  You know, you’d think this guy wouldn’t have enough guts to do that after some of the answers he’s getting.  He brings him to dine with him, and he [Jesus] went in and sat down.  “And when the Pharisee saw it, he marvelled that he had not first washed before dinner” (verse 38).  The Pharisee was amazed that he didn’t wash his hands.  Now my wife is like that with the kids.  I mean, my little ones can come in with mud on their hands and eat.  But this was something different, it was a ritual washing, they had to wash their hands this way, they had to wash their hands that way, and they had to wash their hands this way, they had a bowl of water and you kind of put your right hand in, take your right hand out, put your left hand in and you shake it all about, they do the hokey-pokey.  They have to wash their hands this way first, and then they wash their hands that way so the water runs this way, and then they have water dripping off their elbows, and they have to wash their hands this way because they want it to drip off their wrists, not off their elbow.  There’s a whole procedure they went through.  You could see all these guys, they’re wondering, you know, imagine inviting Jesus over for dinner and having a problem because he doesn’t wash his hands.  “The Lord said unto him, Now do ye Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup and the platter; but your inward part is full of ravening and wickedness.”  Kind of light dinner conversation.  They’re thinking, ‘I can’t believe they asked him over for dinner.  He’s starting this way.’  Jesus just jumps right in.  “Ye fools, did not he that made which is without make that which is within also?  But rather give alms of such things as ye have; and, behold, all things are clean unto you” (verses 39-41), which was a common saying of the day.  The idea is they said ‘give alms to the poor, and all things are clean.’  Jesus says, But woe unto you Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God:  these things ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone”  (verse 42). Jesus is saying, ‘You know, when you tithe, you know, you’re counting out your seeds, nine for me, one for God, nine for me, one for God, nine for me, one for God,’ and he says ‘OK, you’re still under the law, which you ought to have done, but you have neglected the weightier matters of the Law, of the love of God and of mercy and judgment.  Your priorities are wrong.  You think there’s righteousness in this action.  And you’re counting out your little seeds, and in the mean time your heart is filled with adultery, and with envy, and with bitterness, and with anger.  And you’re cleansing,’ he’s sitting at the dinner table, probably picked up a plate or a cup and said, ‘You’re cleansing the outside of the cup, but inwardly you’re dirty, you’re unclean.’  “Woe to you Pharisees! for ye love the uppermost seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets” (verse 43).  Their flesh, they’re more concerned about their reputation than their character.  “Woe unto you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!  for ye are as graves which appear not, and the men that walk over them are not aware of them” (verse 44).  Jesus says, in another part of Matthew that, ‘you’re like whitewashed tombs, outwardly you look clean, but inwardly you are full of dead men’s bones.’  Here he makes mention of the same idea, you’re like graves which men see not.  It was traditional in Jesus’ day, when the mandatory feasts came, the Passover, and Pentecost and Tabernacles, and the population of Jerusalem would swell, and the local people knew where there were graves, they would then take and whitewash those tombs so pilgrims who came from far away would not be defiled by a grave and a dead body by accidentally walking over one, so they could celebrate the Feast.  Jesus says to these religious leaders, ‘You are like those graves, and the people that are walking over you are being defiled by you, and they don’t even know it.’  I grew up in a religious system, and I was defiled by it.  My parents forced me out the door to church every Sunday, ‘Go to church, it’s good for ya!’  And I would think, ‘If church is so great, how come they sit home and kick me out every Sunday?’  And then of course you would cut church, go to someplace else, or you would sit all the way in the back, as far away from whatever was up front you could get.  And you’d be there with your friends chuckling, people’d be turning around looking at you, full of love you know, ‘Blasted kid, Grrr’.  And it was empty, and it meant nothing.  And there was no light.  It was a system. 

 

Are You Responding to the Light?

 

But wonderfully, as in most of our lives, there comes a time where the Father begins to shine his light in our lives.  Jesus says when the Holy Spirit comes he’ll convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment, you’ll start to face somehow your own hypocrisy, your own sin, your own emptiness.  And you realize you’re playing a game, you know, you’ve got your mask on, fooling everybody else, but can’t you fool yourself.  Everybody thinks you’re one thing, but inside you know you’re something else.  And the only sense of love you have is to run with that crowd and keep your mask on.  Jesus says your problem is light, are you responding to the light?  Not a physical light, but a light that shines in the human heart.  I’m going to challenge you this evening, if you don’t know Jesus Christ personally, I’m going to have the musicians come.  What’s going on in your heart?  Remember, when you leave here, there is a kingdom of darkness, there’s a kingdom of light.  Jesus says ‘Men don’t come to the light, they love darkness,’ and some people, they’re just adamant, they hate Jesus, they hate church, ‘Don’t give me that Bible-thumping stuff, I don’t want to hear about it!  I’d rather be out having sex with my girlfriend, I’d rather be out snortin coke, I’d rather be out in the darkness, don’t give me that…’ the truth is, when they come towards Jesus, they don’t like the light.  Something starts to shine, and they’re like cockroaches, they run for the darkness.  But then there are others, Jesus says, “no man comes to me unless the Father draws him” (John 6:44), that are actually drawn into the light.  Maybe that’s you this evening.  Maybe God in his love is drawing you into the light, and you’re looking at your heart, and you’re looking at your life and you’re thinking, ‘You know, if this is all true, I want it.  I don’t see it with my mind, and I don’t see it with my intellect.’  And there are many wonderful things in God’s Word for our intellect, but conviction is from the Holy Spirit.  It’s not through what we see, taste, touch, hear or smell, it’s something that goes deeper. [I’m going to include this end part of the sermon, just to show you what a real altar call is all about.  It’s not like the early Church did it, where baptism and the laying on of hands was their form of altar call.  Both methods appear to work, proving God will not be put in a box by a ceremony, but he respects the genuine cry of our heart for forgiveness and our cry for the light of his Holy Spirit to be placed within us.]  And I want to challenge you this evening, if you’re aware of your sin, and you know that you need to be forgiven, you do not want to spend eternity in darkness, like Voltaire screaming ‘More light! More light!  More light!’, then we want you to come here this evening as we sing at the end of the service, and we’ll pray to ask Jesus to be your Saviour.  Maybe a friend brought you and they’ll walk down with you and stand here.  And you come with your sin.  You know, sin doesn’t send anyone to hell.  Refusing Jesus sends people to hell, because heaven [the Kingdom of heaven, the Kingdom of God] will be filled with forgiven sinners.  You come, just the way you are, you come with your struggles, your bitterness, you come if there’s blood on your hands, murder, doesn’t matter what it is, drugs.  Don’t sit there and think ‘I’ve got to get it together first.’  No, the Good News is, that’s why the Gospel means Good News, you just come the way you are, Jesus receives you, he washes, when you ask forgiveness, all of your dirt away, he transforms your life, he changes you from the inside out [and this transformation, often called sanctification, takes a lifetime, it’s a lifetime process of overcoming sin.  See http://www.unityinchrist.com/whatisgrace/whatisgraceintro.htm].  He lets his light shine there and brings you from darkness into light.  Let’s stand together, I don’t want everybody to run out, let’s pray, and let’s ask the Lord to continue to work in our midst now as we sing this song…[transcript of a connective expository sermon of Luke 11:14-44 given by Pastor Joe Focht, Calvary Chapel of Philadelphia, 13500 Philmont Avenue, Philadelphia, PA  19116]

 

Related links:

 

Satan is real, his kingdom of darkness is real.  See:

http://www.unityinchrist.com/Satan/satan.htm

 

Prophecies about Jesus Christ, who he is:

http://www.unityinchrist.com/prophecies/1stcoming.htm

 

Only Sign of Jesus’ Messiahship he would give, three days and three nights in the grave.  See:

http://www.unityinchrist.com/lamb/lastsix.htm

 

Our sanctification, spiritual growth, a lifetime process.  See:

http://www.unityinchrist.com/whatisgrace/whatisgraceintro.htm

 

How Do I Become A Christian?  See:

http://www.unityinchrist.com/baptism/What%20is%20Baptism.htm

 

and,

http://www.unityinchrist.com/prophecies/2ndcoming_4.htm

and scroll to the bolded paragraph titled “How to Become a Christian” and read from there. 

 

First Resurrection to Immortality, What Jesus is Offering Us:

http://www.unityinchrist.com/corinthians/cor15-16.htm

 

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