Kingdoms in Conflict

Nations jockey for military and economic influence. Matthew 8:28–34 describes a far greater conflict—one that impacts you.

“When Christ appeared on earth, this ‘prince’ [Satan] concentrated his power against him, not only by assaulting him personally and persecuting him relentlessly, but also by surrounding him on all sides with demonic forces in order to thus break down and resist this work. The (demon-)possessed in the New Testament were not ordinary sick folk. . . . The exceptional features of the (demon-)possessed are that out of their mouths speaks a subject other than themselves, that this subject recognizes Jesus as the Son of God, is totally hostile toward him, and leaves the patient only at Jesus’ command (Matt. 8:29, 31; Mark 1:26, 34; 3:11; Luke 4:34, 41; 8:2, 30; Acts 16:17–18; 19:15).” (Herman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics, Vol. 3, pages 189–190).

“Jesus does not negotiate with the demons. Nor is their entry into the swine their undoing, but rather, the (provisional) self-maintenance of the demons. For their purpose and work is the destruction of God’s creation. Jesus’ compliance with their request is due to the fact, we think, that also in Jesus’ opinion ‘the time’ of the torment of the demons has indeed not yet come.” (Herman Ridderbos, The Coming of the Kingdom, p. 112).

Quotes from the Reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church of the OPC

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