Jesus performed many mighty miracles in certain cities in Israel but they still refused to repent.
Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not. Matthew 11: 20
What did these cities not repent of?
We have to read the whole Chapter of Matthew 11 to find out.
Jesus was preaching and teaching the people. He explained to them that John the Baptist was the greatest prophet of the OT because he came proclaiming Christ the Messiah. John was the messenger preparing people to receive Jesus of Nazareth as their Messiah. The people as a whole did not believe John’s message.
Then Jesus goes on to say that people criticized John for his prayer and fasting or for being set apart. (Being a fanatic basically) and then they turned around and criticized Jesus for ministering and eating with sinners. They accused him of being a drunkard and a glutton.
Obviously the people did not believe or receive John as the Elias which was prophesied to come or Jesus as the Messiah prophesied to come.
Jesus then tells the cities he did the most miracles in that they were going to be in big trouble on judgment day because they were not repentant.
Their sin was that they did not believe.
Jesus performed many miracles in their midst and yet they remained unrepentant.
“The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.” Matthew 11:5
Lots of people came to see the miracles Jesus performed! Yet they still did not believe.
“But what went ye out for to see? ” Jesus asked the people concerning John.
The people it seemed went out to see a show.
They watched all the miracles being performed by Jesus and yet they did not believe that he was the Messiah. That is why Jesus pronounced future judgment on them!
Isn’t that kind of like today? How many people flock to miracle meetings to see the show yet fail to surrender their hearts to Jesus Christ?
No where in the Bible does it say that miracles produce faith. Some people think that. They even think that if they just had a sign from heaven then all their problems would go away.
Jesus says in his word that to seek a sign other than the one important one he has given is to be in unbelief.
A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and departed. Matthew 16:4
What did Jesus say to John when he wanted confirmation that Jesus was the Messiah to come?
After Jesus gave his testimony he said, “blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me. ” Matthew 11:6
In other words Jesus said believe that he is the Messiah and don’t be offended because Jesus says that he is the Messiah.
Lastly Jesus tells us that the Father reveals through his word Jesus is the Messiah and the Son reveals the Father to those who receive the Son.
All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him. Matthew 11: 27
It is not miracles as wonderful as they are that produce faith! According to the Bible, it is revelation of the Holy Spirit through the word of God that produces faith.
“And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 16:14-17
The Bible makes it clear that people who did receive miracles from Jesus actually believed before they got the miracle. It takes faith in Jesus Christ to get a miracle but watching miracles being performed does not produce faith.
And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour. Matthew 8:17
And when he was come into the house, the blind men came to him: and Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord.” Matthew 9:28
The Bible teaches that Faith comes by hearing and hearing comes by the word of God!
So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17
When God’s word is revealed to our heart then we will get a miracle!
A miracle specific to our need, for God knows what we have need of even before we ask him! (Matthew 6:8)
“Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word.” Psalm 119:114
For this purpose Jesus Christ came: to destroy the works of the devil.
1 John 3:8
That was the whole purpose for God to manifest in the flesh, die on the cross and rise from the dead according to the Bible.
It is important to understand what exactly happened at the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ according to the Bible. By getting a better understanding we are then able to enter into fully our covenant with God provided for us by the Lord Jesus Christ. By that I mean understanding what Jesus actually did and what that means for the Christian in regards to position in the kingdom of God.
When Jesus destroyed the works of the devil at the cross he in effect stripped him of his power and authority.
The Bible tells us that Satan is the god or ruler of this world system but he is not ruler over the Christian who has been delivered from the power of darkness and transferred into the kingdom of God. (2 Corinthians 4:4, Colossians 1:13)
In other words even though Satan rules this world system he does not rule the born again person. Satan’s greatest weapon is deception. He is a trickster. If he can keep the Child of God ignorant of the fact that he has been defeated he keeps his position of ruler over them.
Without revelation of what Jesus Christ really accomplished at the cross and faith in that fact the Christian can live a whole life time of bondage under the dominion of the evil one.
Yes, even though the Christian is born again, blood bought and a part of Jesus Christ’s body the ignorant Christian can live defeated, sick, poor, and in bondage.
The Bible makes that fact perfectly clear.
MY PEOPLE are destroyed for lack of knowledge. HOSEA 4:6
Now let’s look at what the Bible tells us that Jesus Christ accomplished by manifesting in the flesh. Keep in mind that this is Bible doctrine. Written as plain as the nose on your face.
Unfortunately their are whole churches that don’t believe or teach this. You have to decide for yourself if you want to believe the Bible or the doctrine you were taught by others who do not teach the complete victory wrought by Jesus Christ according to scriptures.
Now let’s look at what it means to destroy the devil’s works.
To destroy in the Greek is luō. That means to break, dissolve, loose free from, to put off.
In other words Jesus broke the power over, closed down the operation of, released from captivity and made the devil to submit to through relinquishing control of.
Now most Christians believe this to some degree but they don’t delve into it deeper.
In order to have a complete understanding we have to under stand what exactly was put off!
What are the works of the devil? Not only that but we have to come to the realization that this defeat was complete. Not just some of the devil’s works were broken over the Christian but ALL!
You might ask yourself, well if this is true why am I sick, poor, depressed and defeated?
Did you ever stop to examine yourself? Are you really in the faith? The first thing to know is if you are really born again. How do you know?
YOU KNOW. (1 John 5:13)
If there is any doubt then you need to go to the Lord, confess your sin, repent which is turn from your sin (breaking God’s laws) and turn to the salvation and Lordship of Jesus Christ. Ask forgiveness for sin and ask him to make you his child. (Luke 13:3)
Then if you know you are born again, are you putting faith in God’s word or in your circumstance? Without faith it is impossible to please God. according to the Bible.
Hebrews 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seekhim.”
This is a fact whether we like it or not. It is a fact whether we disregard it or not and it is a fact even if we don’t believe it.
According to the Bible we must believe that Jesus is God. Sovereign over all things. We also must believe that HE WILL reward our seeking him for the victory. (Hebrews 11:6)
Don’t think that Satan is not going to put up a fuss. He has squatted for a long time in people’s lives. He doesn’t like to give up territory without a fight.
This is another thing. In order to receive our victory we have to battle for it sometimes! The Bible tells us that we do not wrestle with flesh and blood! We wrestle with demonic powers that oppose the kingdom of God.
The Greek is palē for wrestle and it means more than simply to struggle. It actually means a hand-to-hand combat with an opposing enemy. The spiritual forces of evil residing in the heavenly places or spiritual realm.
How do we wrestle? (Ephesians 6) Through prayer and standing in faith. We must decide who we want to believe. God’s word or the devil’s deception.
Its called fighting (contending, struggling, striving) the good fight OF FAITH. (1 Timothy 6:12)
Now let’s take a look at what Mr. Devil’s works exactly are.
Satan’s deeds or his actions and labour are as follows.
He is a big fat liar. He is a slanderer. A false accuser. He is a thief and a destroyer. He is a deceiver. Satan is diabolically evil.
These facts are all in the Bible.
The good news is that Jesus Christ exposed the devil and stripped him of his power and authority. He then gave the keys of the kingdom to his church. That is you and me.
Now the tables are turned. Jesus gave his church authority over ALL the works of the devil. Not some but ALL. Either All is All or it is not. (Luke 10:19, Revelations 13:11)
ALL compasses All Satan’s works.
All the devil’s lies, deception, sickness, disease, poverty, depression, fear, even death.
Death cannot hold the Christian anymore. Death is simply a translation into the spiritual realm of God’s light or heaven. If you miss the rapture you still get raptured! In the twinkling of an eye you are translated into glory!
Hebrews 2:14 tells us that through Jesus Christ, death was destroyed. The devil has no more power of death over the Christian.
Another Greek word for destroy is katargeō; To render useless, entirely idle, abolish Cease, do away with, none effect, loose free of to put down, vanish and make void.
Now keep in mind that there are prequisites for living in victory as a Christian.
This means that our lives must line up with the scriptures. We sow what we reap or in other words we harvest what we plant. That’s a spiritual principle in the kingdom of God.
Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption. Galatians 6:7,9
For example if I stuff my face on goodies I can get fat. Maybe even get really sick. Even die!
Using this example I mean that if our life is lining up with the flesh then we are agreeing with the devil and by doing that we will reap the consequences of our actions.
If we lie or steal or operate in Satan’s works we are agreeing with him and have no covering of protection because as scriptures tell us we can be turned over to the devil until we repent. (1 Corinthians 5:5)
What about grace? My answer to that is that grace will give a certain amount of time to repent. There is however the time when reaping will occur. There is no getting away from that fact.
What about sickness? My answer to that is what scriptures tell us. We reap what we have sown. Bitterness, anger unforgiveness all make us sick. Not only do we know this from a scientific perspective but it’s also in the Bible.
Can we get healed? Yes. God is merciful but he expects repentance from us or as scriptures say a worse thing can occur. (John 5:14)
Do you see the point I am making?
Jesus Christ came to destroy the works of the devil. It is up to us to now line our lives up in obedience to his word, the Bible. Then we can stand in faith to receive all those benefits that Jesus Christ died for to give us!
Eternal life is the biggest gift. Granted. However Jesus Christ took away all the works of the devil. Not just some. Now it’s up to us to receive all that Jesus has obtained for us as we seek him.
It is not God’s will that any should perish according to the Bible but do they perish? Yes they in fact do! 2 Peter 3:9
Why? Because some will not receive the salvation provided for them.
Is it God’s will for you to be in health and prosper? Yes, according to the Bible.
Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. 3 John 2-5
Again it is up to us to believe, repent and receive.
Another spiritual principle. All 3 must be adhered to for salvation, deliverance and restoration to occur. It’s in the Bible.
Satan is always looking to kill, steal and destroy. It’s what he does. It’s up to us to put him in his place. Under our feet. It is also up to us to believe God’s word above any other word. If God said it then it’s TRUE. For he cannot lie.
( Titus 1:2, Hebrews 6:18)
Jesus Christ came to destroy All the works of the devil. Our part is to enforce by God’s power in us (the Holy Spirit) that victory. We have been given the keys to the Kingdom of God!
1 Peter 5:8 Be sober watchful Put up a watch Guard your heart
James 4:7 Submit to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and resist the devil. He will flee.
Ephesians 6:12 We wrestle through prayer and preaching the pure unadulterated word of God.
1 John 4:4 Greater is the Holy Spirit in his elect that the devil in this world
Ephesians 4:27 Do not yield to the devil. Put on the whole armor of God to stand against the devil and having done all to stand!
The greatest remedy for our sins, failures, bad choices, and mistakes is God’s unfailing love in which he demonstrated to us through the gift of the Savior Jesus Christ.
This love undeserved is called grace but did you know that grace and salvation stem from God’s heart of compassion in which he releases to the undeserved his mercy.
Mercy called chânan in the Hebrew means to bend in kindness to an inferior; to bestow favor upon. To have pity. Eleeō in the Greek means mercy is the divine grace of almighty God. Mercy is in effect the Lord’s compassion.
Mercy according to the Bible triumphs or is victorious over judgment. All sin is judged by God whose throne is established in justice and righteousness.
Legally speaking God’s laws when broken must be judged. That judgment always leads to death. Christians many times want to blame the devil for every thing but it is not the devil who activates God’s judgment upon us when we sin. It is in fact our own doing.
What the devil does is take advantage of a legal precedent. Sin is an open invitation for Satan to have access to a person’s life. That is why Paul said. Don’t give Satan any place!
Satan is always looking for some one to devour. He wants to kill, steal and destroy in any way he can. So what can we do against this formidable foe who is a merciless devourer that takes advantage of our weakness?
Scriptures give us the answer! Yes, it is God’s mercy! When we confess our sins and ask for help in our weakness the Lord has a legal precedent that triumphs over the law of judgment.
Symptoms of emotional and physical distress often stem from sin and are projected through Satanic attacks. When we suffer from these symptoms we need to look into our hearts and find out how we let Satan get an advantage of us. Then we need to repent.
Whether personal or generational sin has a penalty. That penalty is death. Not just eternal death but non life or dark consequences both material and spiritual. These consequences are manifest through various kinds of torments, afflictions and lack.
Mercy does not need a price for it to bring the remedy for our sins. Mercy is bestowed freely to the contrite and broken heart of repentance from a loving God. Mercy is not given to the proud or self righteous but to the humble who recognize their weakness and desire help from an all powerful God.
James 4:6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
Mercy from the Lord comes also when we are persecuted, misunderstood, and attacked by unscrupulous people.
Let me show you from scriptures how the mercy of God can be applied to our lives.
In our distress or trouble we can call on the Lord for his mercy and he will hear us and deliver us.
When we are weak and suffering with affliction we can call on the Lord for his mercy. When we are hated and persecuted we can ask for God to pour out his mercy. When we are poor, depressed and alone we can also appeal to God for his mercy for God’s mercy endures forever.
God’s mercy will bring us forgiveness and deliverance. His mercy sent from the throne of Grace will gives us strength and empowers us to live a life that pleases him.
God’s mercy will protect us and defend us from our enemies. God’s mercy will preserve us from trouble and keep us from the power of the wicked one.
God’s mercy will make us stand and be strong in his mighty power.
God’s mercy will teach us Biblical truth and cause us to walk in his ways.
Are you in need of God’s mercy today? Call upon him in your brokenness for he will bend his ear down to hear your cry. He will come to your rescue and save you out of all your trouble for whoever calls on the name of the Lord in sincerity shall be saved!
Psalm 4:1 When I was in distress have mercy on me and hear my prayer.
Psalm 6:2 Have mercy on me in my weakness and suffering and heal me.
Have mercy when I suffer from those who hate me. Lift me up out of death. Psalm 9: 13
Through the mercy of the Lord I shall not be moved. Psalm 21:7
For your mercy’s sake don’t remember my sins Psalm 25:7
Remember mercy because I am desolate. Left alone. Forsaken. And afflicted. Depressed, needy and poor. Psalm 25:16
Have mercy. Be my helper. Psalm 30:10
Have mercy for I am in trouble and sorrowful. Psalm 31:9
Those who trust the Lord will have mercy. Psalm 32:10
Send forth your mercy to me from heaven. Psalm 36:5 psalm 57:3
Gods mercy has been my defense and refuge in trouble. Psalm 59:16
Your mercy and truth preserve me. Psalm 61:7
Show mercy and bring deliverence psalm 85:7
In your mercy give me strength and save me Psalm 86 :16
Let your mercy keep me and your covenant stand for me Psalm 89:28
Extend your mercy to my children psalm 103:17
Let your mercy deliver me because you are good. Psalm 109:21
According to your mercy teach me your word. Psalm 119:24
Deliver me from my enemies in your mercy. Psalm 136:26
Hope in his mercy.
The Lord taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy. Psalm 147:11