For when a strong man like Satan is fully armed and guards his palace, his possessions are safe— until someone even stronger attacks and overpowers him, strips him of his weapons, and carries off his belongings. Anyone who isn’t with Me opposes Me, and anyone who isn ‘t working with Me is actually working against Me. When an evil spirit leaves a person, it goes into the desert, searching for rest. But when it finds none, it says, ‘I will return to the person I came from.’ So it returns and finds that its former home is all swept and in order. Then the spirit finds seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they all enter the person and live there. And so that person is worse off than before.”Luke 11:21-26
This is an allegory of the Kingdom of God and the kingdom of satan. Jesus extends the thoughts from the previous verses and focuses on the strong man and the stronger man. It doesn’t take a lot to work out what is being said here. There is nothing deep or hidden about what Jesus said. Jesus Himself makes the connection with the strong man for us – it is satan. Satan and his kingdom is safe from threat until one Stronger comes. Who is the Stronger One attacking satan? That is obvious isn’t it? Jesus. He has just been plundering satan’s kingdom and stealing souls back from the devil. The fact that Jesus is casting out demons from people bound by satan, proves two things. He is the Stronger One and the Kingdom of God has come, been made manifest. The belongings that Jesus is plundering are souls: the lives of men and women.
Then Jesus makes the comments related to ‘for me – against me’. I have already addressed the matter of these verses in Gems 928 so I don’t intend to repeat it all again. But I will make the link to what follows. We either work with Jesus or against Him. So when it comes to the casting out of demons and putting the house in order, if we don’t side with Jesus and accept His Lordship, then we leave ourselves open to the demonic once more. Only in that case, the severity of the problem is worse than it was in the first place. Let’s investigate the verses that follow. All of this teaching is set in the context of the spiritual battle of good and evil, light and dark, or God’s Kingdom and that of satan.
Verses 24-26 are a warning not to fool around with the demonic. You prevent the re-entry of demon spirits again, by ensuring that your life and your being, is filled with the Holy Spirit. If demons are driven from a person but nothing is done to submit to the Lordship of Christ, then that person is extremely vulnerable. If demons are commanded to go, in Jesus name, and the “house is vacated”, to not encourage the person to submit to Christ’s Lordship and fill the person with the Holy Spirit is folly. The demons will come back but in greater numbers. The seven spirits here is not necessarily referring to one spirit being replaced by seven, although that is likely too. It is quite possible that Jesus is using the number seven to indicate that the level of repossession will be total, all encompassing. The demonic is not something to dabble with or play around with. As Jesus has indicated in the verses before these in question, “You are either for Me or against Me”. Don’t think you can be involved with the demonic, have deliverance and then decide not to receive the fullness of Christ or submit to His Lordship. There is no fence-sitting here! If you do that, you are playing a dangerous game.
Do you see the truth of us being either for Him or against Him? There is no middle ground, no neutral territory. We choose who we wish to align with, Christ or satan. A choice to delay and not choose Christ is a choice for satan. Neutrality in this spiritual battle is not an option. The human heart is either occupied by Christ or occupied by satan, it cannot remain empty. A choice for nothing, or empty is a choice for satan. He occupies any territory which is not marked as Christ’s. Even more so if satan has already been allowed squatting rights. I think you know what I mean by that comment. I think it is clear, but if it isn’t then dialogue with me on the Berean Insights website or via email.
There are some who like to attempt to determine the context of these verses, not only in terms of the major players in the conflict, namely Christ and satan, but also in terms of the “when”, the “how” and “the manner” of Christ’s victory over satan. But Jesus doesn’t spell those details out in this passage, so I will not elaborate on something that is not covered in Luke. These things are spelled out in other parts of the Bible but not in Luke. Suffice to say, with the coming of the Kingdom of God in Christ, satan has been given his marching orders, his final eviction notice. As I said in Gems 656, this is the role of the Church to enforce His victory in the world. (Eph 3:10). We are all called to operate in this way. To do that, we must understand our rights and our position in Christ. If we seek to administer such authority while not being under Christ’s authority ourselves, we are asking for trouble. Read the story of the seven sons of Sceva in Acts 19:14-17 for the likely outcome of trying to enforce Christ’s victory in the world when you refuse to come under His authority.
Learn to fight the right enemy: We don’t battle human flesh but principalities and powers.Ian Vail
It Is Impossible To Become A Man In Authority Until You 1st Become A Man Under Authority.Robb Thompson
Christ’s Kingdom is extended ONLY THRU HIS CHURCH, the only organisation he gave his authority & keys of the kingdom to!Rick Warren
Never Take Authority Over That For Which You Are Not Responsible.Robb Thompson
We choose who we wish to align with, Christ or satan. We are either for Christ or against Him. There is no middle ground, neutrality in this spiritual battle is not an option.Ian Vail