From Heaven With Love


Chapter 47—A Battle With Satan's Spirits

This chapter is based on Matthew 17:19-21; Mark 9:9-29; Luke 9:37-45.

As the sun arose, Jesus and His disciples descended to the plain. Absorbed in thought, the disciples were awed and silent. Gladly they would have lingered in that holy place, but there was work to be done. HLv 288.1

At the foot of the mountain a large company had gathered. As the Saviour drew near, He charged His three companions to keep silence concerning what they had witnessed, saying, “Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead.” To relate the revelation to the multitudes would excite only ridicule or idle wonder. How slow of comprehension even the three favored disciples were, is seen in that they queried among themselves what the rising from the dead should mean. Yet they asked no explanation from Jesus. HLv 288.2

As the people on the plain caught sight of Jesus, they ran to greet Him. Yet His quick eye discerned that a circumstance had occurred that had caused the disciples bitter disappointment and humiliation. A father had brought his son to be delivered from a dumb spirit that tormented him. Authority to cast out unclean spirits had been conferred on the disciples when Jesus sent them to preach through Galilee. As they went forth strong in faith, the evil spirits had obeyed their word. Now in the name of Christ they commanded the torturing spirit to leave his victim, but the demon only mocked them. The disciples, unable to account for their defeat, felt they were bringing dishonor on themselves and their Master. And in the crowd were scribes seeking to prove that they and their Master were deceivers. Here was an evil spirit that neither the disciples nor Christ Himself could conquer! A feeling of contempt and scorn pervaded the crowd. HLv 288.3

But suddenly Jesus and the three disciples were seen approaching. The night of communion with heavenly glory had left on their countenances a light that awed the beholders. The Saviour came to the scene of conflict, and fixing His gaze on the scribes inquired, “What question ye with them?” HLv 289.1

But the voices so bold and defiant before were silent. Now the afflicted father made his way through the crowd, and falling at the feet of Jesus, poured out the story of his trouble and disappointment. HLv 289.2

“Master,” he said, “I have brought unto Thee my son which hath a dumb spirit; and wheresoever he taketh him, he teareth him: ... and I spake to Thy disciples that they should cast him out; and they could not.” HLv 289.3

Jesus read the unbelief in every heart, and exclaimed, “O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you?” Then He bade the distressed father, “Bring thy son hither.” HLv 289.4

The boy was brought, and the evil spirit cast him to the ground in convulsions of agony. He lay wallowing and foaming, rending the air with unearthly shrieks. HLv 289.5

Again the Prince of life and the prince of darkness met on the field of battle—Christ to “preach deliverance to the captives, ... to set at liberty them that are bruised” (Luke 4:18), Satan seeking to hold his victim under his control. For a moment, Jesus permitted the evil spirit to display his power. HLv 289.6

Jesus asked, “How long is it ago since this came unto him?” The father told the story of long years of suffering, and then, as if he could endure no more, exclaimed, “If Thou canst do anything, have compassion on us, and help us.” “If Thou canst!” Even now the father questioned the power of Christ. HLv 289.7

Jesus answered, “All things are possible to him that believeth.” With a burst of tears, realizing his own weakness, the father cast himself on Christ's mercy: “I believe; help Thou mine unbelief.” HLv 289.8

Jesus turned to the suffering one and said: “Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him.” There was a cry, an agonized struggle. Then the boy lay motionless, apparently lifeless. The multitude whispered, “He is dead.” But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifting him up, presented him in perfect soundness of mind and body to his father. Father and son praised their Deliverer, while the scribes, defeated and crestfallen, turned sullenly away. HLv 290.1