Holy One of God, Part 2
Jesus is the Holy One of God, and He was called this name by only the apostle Peter and by demons. What does this title reveal about Christ? We conclude our 2-part series on the Holy One of God this week by analyzing Jesus’ epic showdown with a demon-possessed man. The demon knew something about Jesus that the people among Jesus did not—He was the Messiah.
This spiritual battle between God and Satan is brief in the Bible but fundamental in understanding who Jesus is. Chris shares eye-opening insight into this confrontation, particularly how only the demons understood Jesus’ power at this time. Jesus demonstrated His power to release men from demons, just as He releases all who believe on Him for salvation from the power of sin into His protection and freedom today. What a blessed truth for us to live by!
If you missed Part 1 of this series, you can Listen Here.
Steve Conover: Welcome to the Friends of Israel Today. I'm Steve Conover with me as our host and teacher, Chris Katulka, and we're really glad you're with us. Everything related to today's program, every previous episode, can all be found at foiradio.org. It's there you'll find trustworthy and accurate news on Israel and the Middle East, and you can also support our ministry by clicking on the donate button and help us continue teaching biblical truth about Israel and the Jewish people. Again, that's foiradio.org.
Chris Katulka: Steve, we're going back to Luke 4, and we're actually looking at a verse that you found to be very interesting, and I'm glad that you did. It's all about the demons, a demonic man, who rightfully identifies Jesus as the Holy One of God. But, here's what's interesting is that last week we looked at what that term, that phrase, that title, Holy One of God, what it meant. But today, we're going to look at how that demon was able to identify who Jesus was, what it meant that he was so scared of Jesus. There's a lot going on there. So, we're going to unpack that more from Luke 4.
Steve Conover: But first, in the news, the Russian and Iranian relationship has the state of Israel extremely concerned. It's been reported that the Islamic Republic has manufactured and supplied drones that are currently being used in the war against Ukraine. The Jerusalem Post reports that Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid is monitoring the dangerous closeness between Russia and Iran, holding daily assessments to review its position on the conflict.
Chris Katulka: Steve, here's my take. The Bible actually mentions a quote, "dangerous closeness" between Russia and Iran in Ezekiel 38 and 39, the war of Gog and Magog. The prophet Ezekiel details Russia, Iran, and other players from the region attacking Israel. We should keep a close eye on this evil partnership as we continue to watch God move the pieces of his prophetic plan together.
Chris Katulka: We're wrapping up a two-part series on a central moment in Jesus' ministry. In fact, it's a moment that happened at the beginning of his ministry. It was Jesus' first recorded exorcism in Mark and Luke when at the very beginning of his ministry he healed a man with an unclean spirit, a demon. This account can be found in Mark 1:24 and Luke 4:34. I'm going to focus on Luke, as I mentioned last week, because it really gives us a greater detail of the ministry leading up to this moment.
Let's go ahead and read again from Luke 4. Starting in verse 33, it says, "Now, in the synagogue there was a man who had the spirit of an unclean demon and he cried out with a loud voice, 'Ha, leave us alone Jesus the Nazarene, have you come to destroy us. I know who you are, the Holy One of God.' But, Jesus rebuked him, 'Silence come out of him.' Then, after the demon threw the man down in their midst, he came out of him without hurting him. They were all amazed and began to say to one another, 'What happened here? For with authority and power He commands the unclean spirits, and they come out.' So, the news about him spread into all areas of the region."
Now, I'm focusing on Luke because he gives us, again, a little bit more detail leading up to this moment in Capernaum. Jesus had just been in Nazareth where He was raised as a child and when He went and taught at their synagogues, He announced that He was the Messiah. But Jesus' own people who knew Him, who grew up with Him, ran Him off. Jesus then travels to Capernaum, a town on the Northern shores of the Sea of Galilee that was affluent because of the fishing industry there, a location that He would actually make His home base for ministry in the Galilee region. I once heard a statistic that anywhere from 70 to 75% of Jesus' recorded ministries in the gospels take place in that area of the Sea of Galilee. But, that's just a little free information for you there.
The people were already amazed at Jesus' teaching. But here in Luke 4 and Mark 1, the people will get their first sighting of Jesus as more than a teacher. Last week we looked at the title the demon gave Jesus upon seeing Him, "The Holy One of God." And, we talked about how that title the demon gives Jesus is synonymous with the calling that Jesus has, that Jesus, the King of Israel, the Son of God, the One chosen by God who is able and capable of not only leading Israel, but also healing.
And today, I want to look a little more specifically at the demons themselves. How could they identify Jesus? What did they see in Jesus and why did they fear him? So, let's turn again to Luke 4, because the demons knew exactly who Jesus was, the Holy One of God. And, Jesus would not let that demon alone. He actually engages with this evil spirit that's possessed the man.
But at the same time, Jesus was attempting to prevent... This is interesting, the demon from sharing His identity as the Messiah. You see this also in verse 35 and later on in chapter four, verse 41, when Jesus says, "Silence," to the demon. "Be quiet." Jesus says this right after the demon identifies him as the Holy One of God. Now, the demon intensifies his request to be left alone. The demon says, "Leave us alone." The "us" that the evil spirit is probably referring to is not multiple demons in that man, but actually the demon and the man that he's controlling, speaking of “us.” So, there's this link that he's using there. It's not multiple demons in the individual. He's talking about us. He's referring to the demon and the man that he's controlling.
This raises a good question. How could the demon even identify Jesus? Well, if you're reading through Luke, you would've already understood that Jesus is more than just a mere man. He's God Man. In private, Jesus had actually already encountered Satan himself. Remember, Satan tempted Jesus to disobey the Father's will, a spiritual battle that's taking place, spiritual warfare between the Divine Holy One of God and Satan himself, an event that was not technically seen by human eyes, even in his human weakness, Jesus, because he was fasting for so long, He was able to defeat Satan and remain faithful to the Father's call in his life.
Luke 4, on the other hand, shows us a spiritual battle that's playing out in Capernaum, out in the open, in front of everyone for all to see. Jesus' attack against this one unclean spirit shows that the Spirit-Empowered Holy One of God, Jesus himself, has initiated a ministry of release. That's right, release. An onslaught against all the evil forces that were plaguing the world through Satan. If you continue to read through Luke 4, Jesus continues to heal and cast demons out of individuals as he continues his ministry in that chapter, in Luke 4.
And when you get a chance, I want to encourage you to do something because we're talking about spiritual warfare here. When you get a chance, go to Revelation 12 and read Revelation 12: 1-12. It's a cosmic look at this spiritual warfare that's waging in unseen places as events on earth take place, events like God choosing Israel as his agent to bring salvation, the birth, the ministry, and ascension of Jesus Christ, and how in the unseen places Satan and his minions have attempted to thwart God's plan to bring salvation. John in Revelation 12 gives us a completely different perspective. It's through the lens of the spiritual warfare going on in the heavens, not what we see on earth as we're looking at one another. But, Revelation 12 gives us a perspective from heaven of what spiritual warfare looks like, a peak behind the curtain into the unseen places. When Jesus releases the demon from the man, He is manifesting the spiritual battle that's taking place in the unseen places.
Now, attempting to get rid of a demon or evil spirits from people were actually already in practice. Exorcists used to actually use two methods to expel demons. First, they would attempt to scare the demon out by making it sick to stay in the individual's body. So for instance, they would take a smelly substance, like a root, and they would put that smelly root up against the possessed person's nose and hope that the demon would leave. I know that when I go to my boys' room in my own home, when those stinky shoes are in their room, it makes me want to leave. Well, I think they were hoping that the demon would do the exact same thing.
Another way they tried to exorcize demons was to use a name of a higher spirit to get rid of the lower one. Here are the people that we see in Luke 4, they're just astonished that Jesus can be effective by simply speaking and ordering the demon to leave. Another great reason that the apostle Paul calls Jesus, "The Word," in John 1 is because He simply speaks and the demon flees. There's no smelly root. There's no calling on a higher name. It's Jesus' word alone that calls the demon out. And, notice what the demon says to Jesus. He says, "Have you come to destroy us?"
Now, more is in view here than just relief by exorcism for the individual demoniac here. Jesus' task in Capernaum involves the total destruction of the demonic world and that demon knew. That demon knew when he spoke what was coming his way. A few chapters later in Luke, Jesus will perform another exorcism and demons will beg Jesus not to send them to the abyss. In Luke, the abyss is seen as a place where demons or disobedient spirits are kept, and it may well be associated with them being cast into the depths of a sea as well. And, the Apostle John picks up on this as well in Revelation 20: 1-14 when Satan is bound. Do you remember? And, he's cast into the abyss for a thousand years. So, these demons, they knew who Jesus was. They knew that he had authority to bind them and send them into the abyss, and they knew who would win the battle.
Isn't it interesting that those demons knew who Jesus was before the people did? I don't think it's a mistake that the demoniac first calls Jesus, "Jesus the Nazarene," referring to the place of His upbringing. But also, the fact that, remember, His own people in Nazareth just ran Him off. His own town rejected Him and his messianic claim, but the demons knew Jesus the Nazarene was the Holy One of God, is the Holy One of God. Jesus' ministry to the demoniac is a ministry of release, and that's why when we come back, we're going to unpack that concept a little bit more, so stick around.
Chris Katulka: The Jewish life is full of tradition, meaning, and incredible stories of resilience. Two of the Friends of Israel's very own authors who have been on our program several times, Steve Herzig and Lorna Simcox share their own experiences growing up in Jewish homes and their highs and lows of reluctantly taking steps toward Christ that led to bravely living as Jewish believers today.
Steve Conover: We're excited to share these books with you. The Search written by Lorna Simcox. This is her true story that brought her to undeniable truth about faith, God, and life after death. And, Jewish Culture and Customs by Steve Herzig introduces the colorful world of Judaism to believers. You can learn more about these books and watch exclusive interviews with Steve and Lorna by going to foiradio.org. Again, that's foiradio.org.
Chris Katulka: Welcome back everyone, we are wrapping up our two-part series on the demon who identified Jesus as the Holy One of God early on in Jesus' ministry, highlighting that Jesus' ministry was more than just a teaching ministry. He was more than just a fantastic orator or a rabbi. Jesus was who He claimed to be, the Messiah, the Chosen One of God. Even though his own people couldn't see, especially those in Nazareth, the demon knew exactly who he was speaking to because Jesus' appearing was more than just freeing the Jewish people from their Roman oppressor. No, the demon himself knew that Jesus' ministry was a ministry of release from the bondage of sin and evil, to put an end to the demons in Satan's evil reign.
When Luke described the event in Capernaum, the demons said this, "Leave us alone, Jesus the Nazarene. Have you come to destroy us?" It seemed the demon was wondering if both the man and the demon would be destroyed when he talks about, “destroy both of us,” essentially. You're going to destroy the man and me in him. But, when Jesus called the demon out, it sent the man into convulsions. But, Luke highlights that that man was not harmed, and he stood up and there was no more demon in him after that. The demon was released, the man was released from the possession of that demon. Christ cast the demon and released the man from the evil spirit's grip on his life. The picture is that the demon has been commanded to release the man over to Jesus. The demon's work is ended. The man is free of its influence, and that man was restored to his people. Hey, listen, Jesus' ministry is one of release, setting captives free. He's the one who would release people from bondage into freedom.
Can I tell you a story about a young man that I know from West Virginia who was addicted to drugs? And, I'm not talking about marijuana, I'm talking about meth and other very hard narcotics. His life was spiraling out of control and as he claims, he shouldn't even be here today. When I met my friend from West Virginia, he had already given his life to Christ, and he was sharing with me how Christ released him from the bondage of addiction to drugs. When he found Christ, he found freedom from those substances that were killing him.
Today my friend is a community healthcare worker in West Virginia who uses his story of God's power of release over his addiction to help others find freedom as well, not just in themselves, but in the power of Christ. Because, my friend always points people, in the work that he does as a community healthcare worker, he always points people to Christ to find true freedom from their addiction. He's like the man who was possessed by the demon. Once Christ released him from the demon, the news about Jesus spread throughout the region. Listen, Jesus is in the ministry of release. Releasing us from the power of sin over our lives.
Paul even writes this in Romans 6 starting in verse 5. He says, "For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, we will certainly also be united in the likeness of His resurrection. We know that our old man was crucified with him so that the body of sin would no longer dominate us, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin for someone who has died has been freed from sin. Therefore, do not let sin reign in your mortal bodies, so that you obey its lust and do not present your members to sin as instruments to be used for unrighteousness, but present yourself to God as those who are alive from the dead and your members to God as instruments to be used for righteousness."
My friend was under the control of addiction and left to his own, he was controlled by the power of addiction in his flesh. But Christ released him because our old man has been crucified with him. Now, my friend has to live daily to remember not to let addiction, to let sin reign over his body. And, the reality it's something he has to live with for the rest of his life. Now listen, I don't know what your demons are. What are your addictions or anxieties or what your sins are? I don't know, but Jesus does, and he's come to release you from the sins that control you. Turn to Christ, get connected to a local church, join a recovery program, be honest about your problems, find accountability and fellowship with Christians who will love and support you because Christ can release you, just as he released the man from the demon's control.
Steve Conover: Israel on the verge of becoming a state, a teenaged Holocaust survivor arrives on her shores alone. His name is Zvi Kalisher. Little did he know his search for a new life in the Holy Land would lead him to the Messiah. Zvi, enthusiastic to share his faith, engaged others in spiritual conversations, many of which can be found in our magazine, Israel My Glory. While Zvi is now in the presence of his Savior, his collected writings from well over 50 years of ministry continue to encourage believers worldwide. Now, Apples of Gold, a dramatic reading from the life of Zvi.
Mike Kellogg: "I know a man who was a habitual drunkard. It's impossible to speak with him because he drinks day and night. I met him recently as he was on his way to the synagogue and he said, 'Today, I am going to pay my debt to God.' I told him, 'I know your great debt. Today, you'll empty your bottle and tomorrow it'll be full again.' He said, 'This is the last bottle. I confess this before you.' I said, 'True confession can only be made before God.' 'But, how can God forgive me after so many years of sinful living?' he asked.
This was the first time I ever had an opportunity to speak seriously with this man. He said, 'When my son was a baby, my wife left us for a rich man. I was poor and bore the full responsibility of raising my son. I drink to forget everything.' I told him, 'You have not found the true answer to your problems. If I told you everything I have been through, you'd kill yourself because the bottle would not be strong enough to make you forget it all. I have experienced the Holocaust, and I lost my entire family in the Warsaw ghetto.' 'How do you stay so strong?' he asked. 'God keeps me from giving up on life. When we turn to him, he will be near to us. John 16:20 says, You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy. Would you like to come to my home today? We can talk and get to know one another better.'
So, he and his son came to my home and ate with my family. Before we ate, we thanked our Savior. After the meal, I said to him, 'I have told you all of my past troubles, and yet I am happy because I have received the Lord as my Savior.' He then said, 'Yes, I can see you are happy, but Jesus cannot be our God. He does not have the power to help us.' I said, 'Because you have mentioned Jesus, I would like to speak with you about him.' He became very serious and I read Isaiah 53:6, 'Are we like sheep who have gone astray? We've turned everyone to his own way, and the Lord layeth on Him the iniquity of us all.' I then asked, 'Who is this speaking of, if it's not Jesus?'
Suddenly, he started to cry for a very long time, and when he regained his composure, he cried. 'Oh Lord, help me, take me out of this darkness where I have been for so long.' When he opened his eyes, he seemed surprised and asked, 'What happened to me? Am I drunk again?' 'No, you're well.' 'Then, why have I been weeping? Why am I so weak?' 'You are strong now. Now you will know the truth of Psalm 112:1, Blessed is the man who fears the Lord. If you truly receive him, he will empower you to stop drinking.' He started to cry tears of joy. Please pray that the Lord will keep this man and that he will be able to resist Satan's temptations and that this family will be reunited."
Chris Katulka: The impact of Zvi's life and ministry in Israel, it didn't end when he went home to be with the Lord. In fact, Zvi's legacy lives on, our Friends of Israel ministry representatives continue to share the gospel in Jerusalem, Israel, and really all throughout the world. We also serve Holocaust survivors and their families. We provide free food, medicine, and clothing, and we even promote the safety and security of the state of Israel and the Jewish people everywhere. So, when you give to the Friends of Israel, your donation actually allows us to advance the gospel of our Messiah, Jesus. You can give online by visiting foiradio.org. Again, that's foiradio.org. You can click right there on our donate link. Also, be sure to let us know where you listen when you contact us.
Steve Conover: Thank you so much for joining us today. This concludes our two-part series on the Holy One of God. To listen to part one or to this episode again, visit foiradio.org. Again, that's foiradio.org. Chris, where are we headed on next week's episode?
Chris Katulka: Yeah, I always get excited when we get a chance to talk about all the ministries of the Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry. We have workers that are serving all around the world, representatives that are representing our ministry and representing the Lord Jesus Christ in Jewish communities all around the world, and that's why I'm excited to look internationally. Next week, we're going to be talking about some great ministries that are going on overseas.
Steve Conover: We hope you join us then. Our host and teacher is Chris Katulka. Today's program was produced by Tom Gallione. Our theme music was composed and performed by Jeremy Strong. Mike Kellogg read Apples of Gold, and I'm Steve Conover, executive producer.
Our mailing address is FOI Radio, PO Box 914, Bellmawr, New Jersey, 08099. Once again, that's FOI Radio PO Box 914 Bellmawr, New Jersey, 08099. And one last quick reminder to visit us at foiradio.org. The Friends of Israel Today is a production of The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry. We are a worldwide evangelical ministry, proclaiming biblical truth about Israel and the Messiah, while bringing physical and spiritual comfort to the Jewish people.
The Search/Jewish Culture & Customs
We’re excited to share two books with you: The Search written by Lorna Simcox is her true story that brought her to the undeniable truth about faith, God and life after death; And Jewish Culture and Customs by Steve Herzig introduces the colorful world of Judaism to believers.
Learn more about these books and watch exclusive interviews with Steve and Lorna today!
Stronger Than the Power of Satan
Zvi stopped to speak to a man who is known in his town as a drunkard. After listening to his sad life story, Zvi explained how he too had experienced heartache. When the man asked him how he had survived and thrived in life, Zvi invited him to his home where he was able to tell him about his relationship with Jesus the Messiah. Listen to find out what happened when the man considered the possibility of finding true freedom in Jesus rather than drinking.
The Friends of Israel Today theme music was composed and performed by Jeremy Strong.
Your gifts help us reach people all around the globe with our message of truth to bless the Jewish people.