Spiritual Warfare - Lesson 12

Jesus and the Demons (Part 1)

From this lesson, you will gain an understanding of the importance of confronting spiritual forces in the name and power of Jesus. It emphasizes that demons react when faced with this authority and that having the authority alone is insufficient. You will learn that faith, confidence, and competence, developed through a life of prayer and a strong relationship with God, are essential for effective spiritual warfare. The lesson encourages you to approach spiritual battles with both the authority and the faith to act decisively, as Jesus did, when confronted with demonic oppression.

Gerry Breshears
Spiritual Warfare
Lesson 12
Watching Now
Jesus and the Demons (Part 1)

I. Mark 1: Demon Exorcism in Capernaum

A. Jesus Calls His First Disciples

B. Jesus Teaches with Authority

C. Encounter with a Possessed Man

D. The Demon's Testimony

E. Demons React to the Name and Power of Jesus

F. Jesus' Response and Demon Expulsion

G. People's Amazement at Jesus' Authority

II. Mark 9: A Demonized Boy

A. The Transfiguration

B. Arrival at the Disciples

C. The Father's Plea for Help

D. Disciples' Failed Attempt and Jesus' Response

E. The Question of Faith and Prayer

F. Different Emphases in Matthew and Mark

G. Confidence and Competence in Using Authority

III. Connecting Authority, Confidence, and Competence

A. Lessons for Spiritual Warfare

B. Applying Jesus' Methodology

C. The Relationship Between Prayer, Faith, and Authority

D. Lessons for Evangelism

E. Gaining Confidence and Competence in Spiritual Work

IV. Conclusion

A. Importance of Embracing Authority with Confidence and Competence

B. Preparing for Effective Spiritual Warfare and Ministry

  • Discover Dr. Breshears' journey from science to spiritual warfare, debunking scientific explanations for demons. Unveil a seminary student's anxiety battle, uncover curses, theological misconceptions, and inner demonic voices. Prepare for a course on spiritual warfare and staying loyal to God.
  • Gain insights into worldviews within Christianity, including polytheism, American monotheism, and Christian monotheism. Explore the nature of spiritual beings and idols.
  • Gain knowledge of the biblical context of spiritual warfare, the role of supernatural powers in Egypt, the warnings against foreign gods, and the heavenly battles involving angels, emphasizing the importance of exclusive worship of Yahweh and the dangers of idolatry.
  • You'll gain insight into spiritual warfare through Genesis 11, where human defiance led to the scattering of nations and involvement of angelic beings.
  • You will gain insight into a distinct biblical interpretation that views the universe's creation as an act of shaping Eden within a pre-existing cosmic war, and the role of humans in this ongoing battle by cultivating goodness and order to combat evil and chaos.
  • In this lesson, the story of Adam and Eve is analyzed within the context of spiritual warfare, highlighting the serpent's strategy to question God's goodness and encourage independence, while God responds with a call to confession and hints at a future Messiah's role in redemption.
  • This lesson offers an insightful interpretation of Genesis 6:1-4, presenting the "Sons of God" as angelic beings who sinned by marrying humans, leading to the Nephilim, linking this perspective to New Testament passages and the symbolism of baptism as a victory declaration against evil forces, deepening your understanding of the nuanced interpretation of these biblical passages and their importance in Christianity.
  • The passages reviewed in this lesson reveal a unique portrayal of God's actions, using unconventional methods. Challenge common interpretations, caution against single-verse doctrines. Embrace the mystery of God's ways, avoiding rigid interpretations when context is unclear.
  • This lesson reviews a passage in Colossians, offering insights into spiritual warfare and the dichotomy between the kingdoms of light and darkness, emphasizing believers' rescue from darkness into the kingdom of the Son of God, forgiveness of sins, and the essential elements of faith, all of which are vital for confronting demonic accusations and oppression.
  • Learn the core of Ephesians: spiritual warfare, dedication to God vs. Satan, moral maturity, and becoming Christ's partner. Emphasizes unity, living in light, using God's Word, and the power of prayer in this battle.
  • Learn to resist the temptations of the world and the devil by humbling yourself, casting anxiety on God, being self-controlled, alert, and standing firm in faith as taught in James and 1 Peter, emphasizing the importance of using your strengths for God's kingdom and opposing pressures and distortions from the enemy to avoid being devoured.
  • This lesson highlights the significance of facing spiritual forces in Jesus' name, stressing that authority alone isn't enough. Faith, confidence, and prayer-driven competence are vital for effective spiritual warfare. It inspires you to confront spiritual battles like Jesus did, with authority and unwavering faith.
  • This lesson delves into a biblical narrative highlighting Jesus' authority over evil spirits. It emphasizes the transformative power of His deliverance and the profound change it can bring to those tormented by demonic influence.
  • This lesson provides deep insights into Satan's fall in the Bible, covering Old Testament passages (Isaiah 14, Ezekiel 28) linked to it, addressing their ambiguity. It also discusses withholding Satan's name due to his evil nature and how Jesus broke his authority in the New Testament, though he remains a threat to believers.
  • This lesson delves into the intricate dynamics between believers, demons, and the world in the biblical context. You'll uncover Satan's mysterious role in Judas's betrayal of Jesus, posing questions about the motivations and divine alignment in this pivotal event.
  • This lesson equips you with the knowledge of how Jesus confronted temptation and spiritual warfare, emphasizing three essential steps: quoting Scripture to the devil, commanding the devil to leave in Jesus' name, and shifting your focus from demonic attack to Jesus' provision.
  • This lesson explores 3 Deliverance Ministry models: 1) Classic - resist Satan's temptations, 2) Power Encounter - deal with sin before casting out demons, 3) Truth Encounter - dispel lies, reclaim identity in Christ. Dr. Breshears prefers the Truth Encounter model while allowing for diverse biblical approaches.
  • This lesson provides comprehensive insights on dealing with the demonic from a biblical perspective, emphasizing the triumph of Jesus over Satan, the ongoing spiritual battles, the importance of faith in the midst of adversity, and the need to follow biblical patterns while avoiding unnecessary fascination with evil and excessive fearfulness.
  • This lesson explores demons and Satan's impact on believers, emphasizing that even righteous individuals can face their influence. It reveals how deception, curses, and accusations can create strongholds in belief systems, perpetuated by Satan. Demons exploit weaknesses, desires, and ignorance, leading to destructive behaviors. The lesson ends with the assurance that believers are never abandoned by the Holy Spirit.
  • From this lesson, you will gain insight into the Dr. Breshear's approach to identifying potential demonic influence in people's lives, focusing on areas like accusing voices, oppressive presence, and occult involvement. He emphasizes the importance of assessing these influences when individuals face issues like anxiety, addiction, or persistent problems. By probing into their experiences and thoughts, the goal is to recognize and address these negative influences, ultimately seeking to remove them from the person's life.
  • This lesson provides insights into assessing potential demonic influence in individuals' lives, offering strategies to distinguish personal issues from demonic influences and empower individuals to confront and overcome such challenges with the authority of Jesus Christ.
  • From this lesson, you will gain insight into the controversial topic of demonic influence and possession within Christianity. The lesson explores the various meanings of "possessed" and the debate surrounding whether a Christian can be dominated or influenced by a demon. It emphasizes that while ownership by a demon is generally denied, the extent of demonic influence remains debated.
  • You will learn a comprehensive approach to address demons in a pastoral setting, emphasizing individual empowerment, cooperation, and the transformative potential of confronting these malevolent forces to achieve freedom and healing.
  • This lesson discusses curses, demonic attacks, and their real-life impact. It highlights curses arising from disobedience, similar to God's curse in the Bible. The lesson promotes rejecting curses and dedicating spaces to God while emphasizing that curses have power only when received, suggesting turning to Jesus for protection and deliverance.
  • Explor the nature, influence, and tactics of demons, dispelling myths of immunity in the US. While prayer and fasting aren't mandatory, living as children of light and invoking Jesus' name is key. Demons may exploit unconfessed sin, deceive, and dwell in specific places. Believers confront them with Jesus' authority, engaging in spiritual warfare to deliver the oppressed.

There is an ongoing battle between the kingdom of light and the kingdom of darkness. Followers of Jesus, who are in the kingdom of light, have been given authority by God to command demons. By studying Jesus' life and other passages in scripture, we can gain insights into how to respond to the influence of demons effectively.


Dr. Gerry Breshears
Spiritual Warfare
Jesus and the Demons (Part 1)
Lesson Transcript


Well, let's do a little Jesus. The gospel stories have some powerful lessons in them for us as we do our spiritual warfare. And I want to... Well, let me look at a couple lessons from Mark. Mark Chapter 1. Mark does things really concisely or in great detail. So he does stuff really concisely. He calls these first disciples. They get up and follow him. They leave their nets and follow him, and he heads into Capernaum. And when he gets to Capernaum, which that's Peter's hometown, and that becomes the center of a lot of the early work of Jesus until about halfway through when he was in Jerusalem for the first time. He went to Capernaum. When the Sabbath came, Jesus went in the synagogue and began to teach. And remember, he's a new kid on the block.

He's not famous yet. He's not made the front page of The Jerusalem Post or anything. And when he comes in and teaches a synagogue, and it's not unusual to have a guest teacher in the synagogue, but when he teaches, the people are amazed at his teaching because he really taught us somebody had authority not just discussing the various opinions of the various rabbis.

I thought, "Wow, that's amazing." So he's teaching and he's teaching impactfully and the people are listening and receiving. But what happens when he's doing it? Because he's speaking truth from God with personal authority. Verse 23, "Just then, a man in the synagogue who is possessed by an impure spirit cried out, 'What do you want with this Jesus Nazarerth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the holy one of God.'" Again, if this were a class and I wanted to mess with you, I would've begun back in the beginning, "Okay, what is the first person in the book of Mark to give testimony to Jesus and who he is?" And seminary students never get it right because they think of one of the disciples or something.

It's not true. The first person to give the testimony is a demon, which is I mean love. That's the way Mark does it. What does the demon say? He knows his name, Jesus of Nazareth, and he knows who he is, the Holy One of God. So the demon is giving powerful testimony and it's an impure spirit and this man who is possessed by the in spirit, and this is the demon speaking out. This isn't the man. So this is one of the principles that is foundational to the way I approach this whole thing. And that is demons hate to be looked at in the name of power in Jesus. They react. Demons hate to be looked at in the name and power of Jesus and they react. They do. I just say they fuzz. It's what a little dog does when a big dog comes into the room. The little dog starts barking as loud as they can and fuzzing up its hair to look as big and mean as possible because little dogs get eaten by big dogs.

And that's what demons do when Jesus comes into the room. In this case is Jesus himself. But if we come in the name and power of Jesus speaking by the power of the Holy Spirit, the proclaimed word of God, demons hate to be looked at in the name of power of Jesus Christ. They will react. That's foundational the way of doing things. And I think that's what happens here, because Jesus is not looking around for a demon to kick out. His goal is just teach the power of God to the people that are in Capernaum, a very active synagogue. They're in Northern Israel.

"What do you want with the Jesus? Have you come to destroy us, I know who you are, the Holy One of God." Now Jesus' response is instructive because all he does is say to put it in cloak, glow English, "Shut up and get out!" That's all he does. He just immediately recognizes what it is, "Be quiet, come out." Wow! And the story, "the impure spirit shook the man violently and came out with a shriek." So when you think of demon exorcism, this is our first lesson in how it's done by Jesus. And I think that Jesus shows us how to do these things in his life, Jesus's example for our life. Now of course there are things he does we can't do, but I really believe in these kinds of things. What he does is a great pattern for what we do.

So what we should do is we come into context. We should speak in the name and power of Jesus, the words of His grace and healing, freedom and forgiveness. And when demons sense us opposing them, they react. And then Jesus's thing is, "Be quiet, come out" and it's violent reaction, but it comes out okay? And then the people are amazed. "What is this?" With authority, even the demons obey him because demons don't obey in normal people. They will obey those who have come in the name and power of Jesus is what this is telling me.

"Be quiet, come out." Now again, we have to ask ourself what is the tone of Jesus' voice? Of course it doesn't say that. It does say that the impure spirit is crying out. So it's shrieking. The way I read this is Jesus speaks what I call my teacher voice. It's not elevated. It's not emotion driven, but there's a teacher voice that just comes with an authority. And I think that's he's speaking with his teacher voice, maybe his mom voice. "Be quiet. Come out." That's how Jesus does it.

Let's look at one that's more complicated. Mark Chapter 9. Bible's clearly full of fun passages. I probably shouldn't have kept saying it, but I do it all the time. You get the transfiguration, six stages took Peter, James drawn with him in the high mountain and he's transfigured becomes dazzling white. He's chatting with Elijah and Moses and Peter freaked out of his mind at what's going on. He is completely overwhelmed. And Peter being the guide that he is, goes to the Bible.

This is not Peter being an idiot. This is Peter trying to do it biblically because in Exodus 33, when Moses meets with God, they shut up the tent. So that's what Peter says, "Let's set up three shelters" and let's do it in Exodus 33 biblical way." It's the best he could do, poor guy. And the word from God, this is my son in the world, please. And it's all that coming down the mountain. Jesus said, "Don't tell me about it." And they have this discussion when they get down from the mountain. Chapter 9, verse 14. They came, the other disciples, large crowd, verse 15. "As soon as the people saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with wonder and ran to greet him". So this is halfway through the Gospel of Mark. So people now know who Jesus is, and when he shows up, people take notice. Then Jesus asks a question, "What are you arguing about?" Now it's a side point, but did Jesus know the answer to that question?

And this comes back to the Christology. I've talked about this a bit in the doctrine class. I don't think he knows the answer to this. I think Jesus lives as a perfectly spirit-filled human on mission of Messiah. And so the Holy Spirit gives him supernatural knowledge as he gives us supernatural knowledge when it's mission-critical. At this point, I don't think it's mission-critical, and I think he asks because he doesn't know. "What are you arguing about?" But I see him doing what I think we should do is start collecting information.

So man and crowd, teacher brought my son who's possessed by spirit, the derogative speech, and he describes how it is, and he says, "I ask your disciples to drag out the spirit and they could not." Now, if we went back and looked at Mark Chapter 3, we see that Jesus gave the disciples authority to cast out demons so they have the authority. I ask your disciples to drag out the spirit and they could not. And Jesus' response, I think to the disciples, "You unbelieving generation, how long do I have to put up with you guys?" I think he's saying that to the disciples, "You guys ought to do better than this." He can be demanding. "Bring the boy to me." So he brought him. Now again, my thing is when demons see and experience somebody in the name and power of Jesus, they react. When the spirit saw Jesus, they immediately threw the boy in the convulsion and it's awful. Demons do not like the name and presence of Jesus. They react.

You ask the boy's father, "How long has he been like this?" And the answer is from childhood. Now that's childhood, not infancy, but it's early on. And he described what's going on. "Please take pity on us. Everything is possible in who believes. Me, the boy's father exclaimed, 'Everybody's life first, I do believe helped me overcome my unbelief."

Then what does Jesus do? He sees a crowd running to the scene, rebuke the impure spirit and he addresses specific spirit, "You deaf and mute spirit." How did he come up with that particular way of addressing the spirit? This is not hard. How did he come up with that? "You deaf and mute spirit." And the answer is the spirit made him deaf and mute, but he's addressing a specific spirit and in a certain sense. He doesn't use the term. He doesn't command the demon to present itself, but it's telling the demon "Pay attention. I'm speaking to you, demon." And he says, "I command you, come out of him and never enter again."

That's all he says. And how Jesus speaks to demons is a critically important thing for our methodologies. I think we should do it the same way he does. "I command you, come out of him and never enter him again." He doesn't tell a demon where to go. In fact, in no case in scripture does the demon command a demon to go somewhere. We'll look at Mark 5 in our next teaching. "I command you come out of him and never enter him again." The same thing we saw in Mark 1, "The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out." There it is.

Okay. So it was a reaction, but it comes out. It doesn't take hours. Fairly short. The boy looks like a corpse. He's dead. Jesus, take him by the hand and lifting him up and stood him up. Then you get the obvious question. Jesus went inside the house, the disciples came to him privately and said, "Jesus, what happened? Why couldn't we drive it out?" See, they were expecting they could and they couldn't. How come? And Jesus's answer is enigmatic, at least. "This kind can come only by prayer." "This kind can come out only by prayer." Is that a special kind of demon in the boy or is this kind meaning these demons? And "this kind can only by prayer." And this again is a place where you get a textual variation. If you look in King James or New King James or that family of texts, it will say this pride can come out only by prayer and fasting.

And if you've got a decent Bible, you'll always have some sort of note about the textual variation. If you've got a study Bible, have a discussion on it. My suggestion, if you want to get into it a bit further, is go to the NET Bible, the New English Translation NET Bible. It's online and it has textual and syntactical and translational notes that are really, really helpful done by the top people in the world. So good resource to discuss these kinds of things. This kind can come only by prayer. Now, the problem here is, "Well, I'd say you disciples didn't pray enough," but Jesus didn't pray before he took on the demon. Now he lives a life of prayer, but he didn't go up in the mountain to pray. He came up the mountain and was transfigured. So Jesus doesn't pray, but he says it's kind come only by prayer. You think, "Oh, that's weird." A lot of weird stuff.

Keep your finger there and turn over to Matthew 17 where you get the same story. Matthew 17:17. Well, it starts back a little bit further, Matthew 14. 17 and 14, you get the same story: demonized boy, unbelieving, perverse generation. Bring the boy. 18, Jesus rebuked the demon. It came out of the boy and he was healed at that moment, disciples came into private. "Why couldn't we drive it out?" It's the same story, but Jesus's answer is different because you have so little faith.

Now, when I look at the stories in scripture, these are storytellers that take a longer event and they bring down the emphases that they're seeing happen. So Matthew and Mark have a little bit different emphasis. Matthew's emphasis is, "You didn't have enough faith." Mark's emphasis is, "There's not a prayer in your life." And I can see very quickly the connection between real prayer and faith. Because the better my prayer life is, the more I know God and trust God and my relationship with God is better. You can see the obvious connection between the two.

So I don't see this as any kind of a contradiction. They're just slight differences of emphasis. And the connection is that I need to have a trusting response to God, taking his word, believe his judgments. And that comes through prayer and communion with God. Life of prayer is one of spiritual disciplines. But I still ask the question. I don't really have an answer yet, why the disciples could kick out some demons, but not this demon. Is it different order of demons? Could be, but that's not a... I don't know.

Let me tell you what I think. When I look at parenting... Okay, we've got a mom and a dad and a two-year-old. Who has authority? People are immediately laughing. Mom and a dad and a two-year-old, who has authority? Well, in many households, Mom and Dad have authority, but two-year-olds running the house. Why is that? Mom and Dad have authority. They're the mom. They're the parent. They're the adult. But kid has all the authority. Why?

Well, there are two basic reasons, because Mom and Dad have the authority, but they don't have the confidence and the competence to use it well. I think that's what happened to the disciples here. They have the authority. Jesus gave it to them in Mark Chapter 3. They expect to have it but don't. And that's the thing that we're going to do as we come into the how-to part of this course a little bit later, is what do you do to get the confidence that the authority is real and the competence to use it well.

Think of Evangelism, telling the Gospel story. The Gospel story is true. I have full authority to speak the Gospel. Jesus, I won't go through it, you know what that is. But for many people, I don't have the confidence to do it because I think, "Man, if I talk about Jesus, my friends are not going to like me. I won't get the promotional work if I get known as one of those Bible-bangers or whatever," and we lose our confidence that we have good news. We don't have the competence to speak good news in a way that can be received well by a potentially hostile audience.

And you can see the connection really quickly. We have the authority of the Gospel. We have the authority to tell the Gospel, but we lack confidence and competence to do it well. I think that's exactly what happened here. I think when the disciples saw this boy, because we don't know how old he is, he's a child apparently, but his possession is extreme. And when the dad says, "Can you kick the demon out of my kid?" They, I think, lose their confidence and their buffaloed by the power of this demon that's doing such extraordinary things, and they just don't have the confidence that they can do it.

So as I retell the story in my own mind, "Demon come out in Jesus' name" and the demon says, "No," and they don't have the confidence and the competence. So they start maybe arguing with the demon. I don't know what they did, but see, that's a key thing, and this is what I want to learn as we get into the how-to sections. "How do I have not only the authority," because they're seated with Christ in the heavens, far above all authority, power, dominion, all those things, how to have the confidence that's true, and then the competence to do it effectively, not get distracted or deceived in what we're doing.

That's the lesson I find here in Mark Chapter 9 is we need not only the authority of Jesus, but the confidence and the competence that we can and can do the work of freeing people from demonic attachment. That's where we're going.