…. they were unschooled, ordinary men …. they had been with Jesus …. the crippled man healed standing with them – Acts 4:13,14

Is believing in God, confessing Jesus, & bible study enough ?

One day while reading the book of Mark, found something interesting ….

In the Gospel of Mark, when demons (unclean spirits) encountered Jesus, they recognised Jesus and confessed He is the Holy One of God, … the Son of God … Jesus, Son of the Most High God.  

They knew who Jesus is.
They were all absolutely right on who Jesus really is !
What they proclaimed about Jesus was theologically right.
They spoke all the right lingo, … Christianese.

Mark 1:23-26 (NASB)
23 Just then there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit; and he cried out, 24 saying, “What  business do we have with each other, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us?
I know who You are—the Holy One of God!”

25 And Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be quiet, and come out of him!” 26 Throwing him into convulsions, the unclean spirit cried out with a loud voice and came out of him.

Mark 3:9-11 (NASB)
And He told His disciples that a boat should stand ready for Him because of the crowd, so that they would not crowd Him; 10 for He had healed many, with the result that all those who had afflictions pressed around Him in order to touch Him. 11 Whenever the unclean spirits saw Him, they would fall down before Him and shout,
You are the Son of God!

 Mark 5:2-8, 15,16 (NASB)
When He got out of the boat, immediately a man from the tombs with an unclean spirit met Him, and he had his dwelling among the tombs. And no one was able to bind him anymore, even with a chain; because he had often been bound with shackles and chains, and the chains had been torn apart by him and the shackles broken in pieces, and no one was strong enough to subdue him. Constantly, night and day, he was screaming among the tombs and in the mountains, and gashing himself with stones. Seeing Jesus from a distance, he ran up and bowed down before Him; and shouting with a loud voice, he *said, “What business do we have with each other,
Jesus, Son of the Most High God?
I implore You by God, do not torment me!”
For He had been saying to him, “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!” 

15 They came to Jesus and observed the man who had been demon-possessed sitting down, clothed and in his right mind, the very man who had had the “legion”; and they became frightened. 16 Those who had seen it described to them how it had happened to the demon-possessed man, and all about the swine.

Jesus cast out the demons by His authority, and set the people free.

Philippians 2:9-11 (NIV)
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
    and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,

    in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,

    to the glory of God the Father.

According to the Epistle of James, demons also believe in God.
But in God’s presence they shudder, tremble with fear.

James 2:19 (NASB, NLV)
19 You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder.
19 You believe there is one God. That is good! But even the demons believe that, and because they do, they shake.

When Jesus was tempted by the devil, the devil quoted God’s word to the letter, verbatim.
However, the devil deceptively quoted God’s word out of context, to suit his selfish purposes to manipulate, to deceive.

Matthew 4:5-7 (NASB)
Then the devil *took Him into the holy city and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, and *said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written,

He will command His angels concerning You’;
On their hands they will bear You up,
So that You will not strike Your foot against a stone.’”

Jesus said to him, On the other hand, it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’”

Here, the devil quoted 2 verses from Psalm 91 to challenge Jesus to prove “If You are the Son of God”.  From the context of the 2 verses, Psalm 91 describes God’s protection for His people from dangers coming against them.

In ‘claiming the promise’ of Psalm 91, the devil was challenging Jesus to throw Yourself down from the pinnacle of the temple, and let the angels catch Him.
Clearly, God’s word was deceptively quoted out of context by the devil.

Jesus began by saying, “On the other hand …”
i.e. any verse has to be understood in the light of the whole Bible.

To this, Jesus wisely quoted His Word,

Deuteronomy 6:16 (NASB)
16 You shall not put the Lord your God to the test, as you tested Him at Massah.

In one deadly stroke, Jesus slayed the devil’s deception by the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God (Ephesians 6:17)

Jesus took on our human nature … to save us.
Before his arrest Jesus prayed,

Matthew 26:39 (NIV)
39 Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, 
“My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. 
Yet not as I will, but as you will.

When Jesus was arrested, He said,

Matthew 26:53,54 (NIV)
53 Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels?
54 But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?”

Yes, he could have called twelve legions of angels to help Him,
but …  Jesus humbled himself to the Father’s will, and purposes,
Yet not as I will, but as you will.

 Philippians 2:6-8 (NIV)
Who, being in very nature God,
    did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
    by taking the very nature of a servant,
    being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
    he humbled himself
    by becoming obedient to death—
        even death on a cross!

Jesus submitted in total weakness on the cross to the Father’s will,
… and triumphed in glory over the devil and death.
No spectacular shortcuts.

Satan could quote the Bible as well as anyone else, 
but his trouble is that he doesn’t live it 
– Marion E Wade


Its clear that the devil and his demons believe in God.
They confessed Jesus, and knew who Jesus really is – the Son of God.
They also knew the Bible and knew how to quote Bible promises precisely (though out of context).

What then makes us different?
What makes us His disciples … His followers?


Matthew 15:8,9 (NIV)
“‘These people honor me with their lips,
    but their hearts are far from me.
They worship me in vain;

    their teachings are merely human rules.

James 4:6,7 (NIV)
…. God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV)
14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

 Luke 6:46-49 (NASB)
46 “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?
47 Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them, I will show you whom he is like: 48 he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built.
49 But the one who has heard and has not acted accordingly, is like a man who built a house on the ground without any foundation; and the torrent burst against it and immediately it collapsed, and the ruin of that house was great.”


Submit to God & His purposes, honor God with our hearts,
seek his face, turn from our wicked ways (repent),
obey and act on God’s word.

Beyond just believe in Jesus,
Bible information and knowledge, …

A transformation of our heart through the seed of God’s Word,
bearing fruit in words and deeds.

Luke 6:43-45 (NIV)
43 “No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit.
44 Each tree is recognized by its own fruit.
People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers.

45 A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart,

bearing fruit in …

John 13:34,35 (NIV)
34 “A new command I give you: Love one another.
As I have loved you, so you must love one another.

35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples,
if you love one another.”

The Lord’s question for each of us to consider,
Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?

May the Lord help us to honor Him.

Titus 1:16
They profess to know God,
but by their deeds they deny Him ….

Not just about how much we know God’s word,
but how much we love Him,
and live out His word.

Going back to the chapter in James, James’ point was

James 2:24 (NLT)
24 So you see, we are shown to be right with God by
what we do, not by faith alone.

Galatians 5:6 (NIV)
For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value.
The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.

The demons who met Jesus in Mark exclaimed, “Have you come to destroy us?”, … “do not torment me“.
Unlike the demons who come to the Lord shuddering and trembling in fear of impending judgement,

we come boldly into God’s presence through the precious blood of Jesus,
to His throne of grace,

…. beautifully described in the epistle to the Hebrews,

Hebrews 12:18-24
18 For you have not come to a mountain that can be touched and to a blazing fire, and to darkness and gloom and whirlwind, 19 and to the blast of a trumpet and the sound of words which sound was such that those who heard begged that no further word be spoken to them. 20 For they could not bear the command, “If even a beast touches the mountain, it will be stoned.” 21 And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, “I am full of fear and trembling.”

22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels, 23 to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, 24 and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel.

Unlike coming in fear with sacrifices to other gods or idols,

we come joyfully into the Lord’s presence empty handed,
only by the blood of Jesus,
open-handed to receive His grace and mercy,
with sacrifices of praise & thanksgiving from our hearts.

Psalm 100 (NIV)
Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
    Worship the Lord with gladness;
    come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God.

    It is he who made us, and we are his;
    we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving

    and his courts with praise;
    give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;

    his faithfulness continues through all generations.

shout for joy, … worship with gladness
… with joyful songs … thanksgiving, … praise,
… give thanks … praise his name …

Church activities, bible studies, meetings, etc,
are no substitute of entering into His presence,
knowing & experiencing Jesus personally.

Let’s heed Jesus’ words

Matthew 7:13,14 (MSG, NASB)
13-14 “Don’t look for shortcuts to God. The market is flooded with surefire, easygoing formulas for a successful life that can be practiced in your spare time. Don’t fall for that stuff, even though crowds of people do. The way to life—to God!—is vigorous and requires total attention

13 “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it.  14 For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it. 

Daily Rice | Discipling

by 林弟兄, bro Lim
March 17, 2015

Copyright © 林弟兄 bro Lim, Laymanointing, 2014-2016 – All Rights Reserved
Creative Commons License





This entry was posted on March 17, 2015 by in Daily Rice, Serving Quietly, Stepping Stones.

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