The Finger of God

Monday, June 19, 2017

Then the magicians said unto Pharaoh, This is the finger of God: and Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had said (Exodus 8:19 KJV).

What does it mean, “the finger of God?”

If ever we wonder about the meaning of a certain Bible expression, it is best to search for another verse that uses it. Using this method, we can restrict possible definitions, eliminate senses, and identify the most likely explanation. “The finger of God” appears four times in the King James Bible; its first occurrence is today’s Scripture. Let us look at those remaining instances.

Exodus 31:18 says the following: “And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.” Reading Deuteronomy 9:10: “And the LORD delivered unto me two tables of stone written with the finger of God; and on them was written according to all the words, which the LORD spake with you in the mount out of the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly.”

Finally, the Lord Jesus Christ said in Luke 11:20: “But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you.” This verse is especially helpful in identifying “the finger of God,” for its parallel verse, Matthew 12:28, says: “But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.” Notice how “the finger of God” and “the Spirit of God” are used interchangeably—they are synonyms.

Therefore, the Bible phrase “the finger of God” should be taken to mean the Person of God the Holy Spirit. By the Holy Ghost, the Godhead judged wicked Egypt for enslaving His people, the nation Israel. By the Holy Ghost, the Godhead issued their divine and living words to Israel. Finally, by the Holy Ghost, the Godhead purged Israel of Satanic possession and influence. While it is commonly assumed the Holy Spirit is not found in the “Old Testament,” we can clearly see this is an erroneous supposition.

The Great Things The Lord Jesus Hath Done #7

Saturday, October 12, 2013

“And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel” (Mark 5:20 KJV).

Who is this man, and what “great things” hath the Lord Jesus done for him?

The crowd rushes to see the rumors are true—the savage is now sane, sitting at Jesus’s feet, submissive to His will and Word! They are astonished at such a transformation: “And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid. And they that saw it told them how it befell to him that was possessed with the devil, and also concerning the swine. And they began to pray him to depart out of their coasts” (Mark 5:15-17; cf. Luke 8:35-37).

“And when he [Jesus] was come into the ship, he that had been possessed with the devil prayed him that he might be with him. Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee (Mark 5:18,19; cf. Luke 8:37-39).

Now healed, the Gadarene symbolizes redeemed and restored Israel. When she accepts and trusts her Messiah-King Jesus at His Second Coming, He will bring her kingdom and deliver her from Satan and sin. Just as with the Gadarene, He will remove the evil spirits from the land (Zechariah 13:2). Jesus Christ will have compassion on Israel, just like with the Gadarene, and restore her unto Himself (Zechariah 12:10; Zechariah 13:8,9).

Israel will have a “sound mind,” just like the Gadarene, for once the New Covenant is instituted, God will put His laws in her mind (Jeremiah 31:33; Hebrews 8:10). She will be forgiven and clothed with God’s righteousness (Isaiah 1:18; Acts 3:19; Hebrews 10:17; 1 Peter 2:9,10). Israel will submit to God’s will. Her transformation will be just as amazing as the Gadarene’s.

And so, just like the Gadarene, Israel will go into her kingdom, liberated to proclaim to the Gentiles “the great things the Lord hath done for [her]!” 🙂

The Great Things The Lord Jesus Hath Done #6

Friday, October 11, 2013

“And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel” (Mark 5:20 KJV).

Who is this man, and what “great things” hath the Lord Jesus done for him?

While the story of the exorcism of the Gadarene (today’s Scripture) was indeed literal and should be believed as historical fact, it should also be understood as typical of (illustrative of) redeemed and restored Israel (prophetic fact). Whenever Jesus Christ cast out devils during His earthly ministry, it was literal, physical, visible proof for all Israelites to see and recognize as fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. Remember, “for the Jews require a sign” (1 Corinthians 1:22a). In Israel’s program, the preaching of God’s Word was accompanied by miracles that validated those words of God.

The Bible says the Lord Jesus Christ and His apostles preached, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 3:2; Matthew 4:17; Matthew 10:7; Mark 1:14,15). This was “the Gospel of the Kingdom” (Matthew 9:35), and miraculous demonstrations—casting out devils and healing the sick—followed its proclamation (Matthew 10:5-8; Mark 16:17-20; Luke 8:1; Luke 11:20; Acts 2:22; Hebrews 2:3-5; Hebrews 6:4,5). In that earthly kingdom of Jesus Christ, there would be no sickness or evil spirits.

“And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD of hosts, that I will cut off the names of the idols out of the land, and they shall no more be remembered: and also I will cause the prophets and the unclean spirit to pass out of the land (Zechariah 13:2). When Israel’s Messiah would come, He would rid her and her land of satanic captivity. Every time Jesus cast out devils, He was evicting Satan’s minions (although Israel rejected Jesus’ efforts; Matthew 12:24-32; Mark 3:22-30). Since Israel rejected Christ at His First Coming, and refused to let Him cleanse them and their Promised Land the first time (just as the Gadarenes asked Jesus to leave), Zechariah’s prophecy will not be completely fulfilled until Christ’s Second Coming (Revelation 20:1-3).

Let us now conclude the narrative and see Israel’s (future) restoration to her God….

The Great Things The Lord Jesus Hath Done #4

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

“And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel” (Mark 5:20 KJV).

Who is this man, and what “great things” hath the Lord Jesus done for him?

The Gadarene of today’s Scripture, possessed by many unclean spirits, consequently pursues a rather bizarre lifestyle. When the Lord Jesus confronts him, and commands these evil spirits to leave him, notice what the unclean spirits desire of Jesus.

“Now there was there nigh unto the mountains a great herd of swine feeding. And all the devils besought him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them. And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea” (verses 11-13; cf. Luke 8:32,33).

The Lord Jesus commands these unclean spirits to leave the man, but He gives them permission to possess a nearby herd of almost 2,000 swine (pigs), animals God considered unclean for Israel’s consumption (Leviticus 11:7; Deuteronomy 14:8). These pigs then run into the sea and perish.

Notice how these evil spirits sought safety and solace in a body of water. They possessed and drove the pigs into the water. In fact, throughout the Middle East, evil spirits such as these still hide in various bodies of water (rivers, lakes, et cetera). During the future seven-year Tribulation, God will dry up these water masses to expose these evil spirits—these creatures will kill one-third of the human race (see Revelation 9:13-15, for example)!

“And they that fed the swine fled, and told it in the city, and in the country. And they went out to see what it was that was done” (Mark 5:14; cf. Luke 8:34). Those who fed the pigs are aghast. They have just witnessed 2,000 pigs wildly stampede into the sea and violently drown. As they flee for their lives, they spread the news to the neighbors!

A crowd is now approaching Jesus, and what they discover is quite shocking….

The Great Things The Lord Jesus Hath Done #3

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

“And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel” (Mark 5:20 KJV).

Who is this man, and what “great things” hath the Lord Jesus done for him?

Notice how Jesus addressed the unclean spirit in the Gadarene, “What is thy name?,” and how the spirit responded, “My name is Legion: for we are many” (verse 9). There are actually many unclean spirits within this man, so his condition is very serious.

Verse 10 is particularly noteworthy: “And he [the unclean spirit] besought him [Jesus] much that he would not send them [all the unclean spirits possessing the Gadarene] away out of the country.” Again, the unclean spirit admits that they prefer to stay in the land of Israel. If Jesus is to cast them out of the man, they at least want to possess the swine of the land. Those unclean spirits know the torments of hell, and they do not want to be thrown into it! In the companion verse, we read: “And they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep” (Luke 8:31). Understandably, they do not want to go to hell, but why do they want to stay in Israel?

Pay attention to how that chief evil spirit addressed Jesus as “thou Son of God most high” (Luke 8:28) and “thou Son of the most high God” (Mark 5:7). The title “most High God” implies “possessor of heaven and earth” (Genesis 14:19,22). Satan originally desired to be “like the most High” (Isaiah 14:14)—the devil wants to rule heaven and earth. In order to prevent Jesus Christ’s kingdom from being established on earth, Satan has possessed the nation Israel (which was to be God’s chief nation on earth; Exodus 19:5,6; Deuteronomy 7:6,7; Isaiah 2:1-4; et al.). Hence, Jesus Christ told apostate Israel, “But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you” (Luke 11:20).

So, now we begin to see that the Gadarene is a picture of the nation Israel in satanic bondage….

The Great Things The Lord Jesus Hath Done #2

Monday, October 7, 2013

“And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel” (Mark 5:20 KJV).

Who is this man, and what “great things” hath the Lord Jesus done for him?

Read an excerpt from the companion passage of the context of today’s Scripture: “And when he [Jesus] went forth to land, there met him out of the city a certain man, which had devils long time, and ware no clothes, neither abode in any house, but in the tombs. When he saw Jesus he cried out, and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high? I beseech thee, torment me not. (For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For oftentimes it had caught him: and he was kept bound with chains and in fetters; and he brake the bands, and was driven of the devil into the wilderness.)” (Luke 8:27-29).

Jesus and His disciples meet this Gadarene (an inhabitant of Gadara, in northern Israel). Being possessed with many devils, this man acts very strangely—he howls, lives among tombs, cuts himself with stones, wears no clothes, and has bursts of amazing strength that enables him to break chains (Mark 5:1-5)!

Notice, the Lord Jesus says: “Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit” (verse 8). When the unclean spirit in the man sees Jesus, the spirit replies: “What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not” (verse 7). The evil spirit audaciously commands Jesus “by God” not to “torment” him: the spirit does not want Jesus to cast him into hell. Instead, the evil spirit and the other unclean spirits want Jesus to allow them to possess a herd of swine grazing nearby (verses 11,12; Luke 8:32).

Why do these unclean spirits not want to leave the land of Israel? Let us see what will happen to the Gadarene, and what God is trying to teach Israel with this miracle….

The Great Things The Lord Jesus Hath Done #1

Sunday, October 6, 2013

“And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel” (Mark 5:20 KJV).

Who is this man, and what “great things” hath the Lord Jesus done for him?

In the context of today’s Scripture, Jesus and His disciples are sailing to the eastern edge of the Sea of Galilee, and they make their way into the country of the Gadarenes (verse 1). Once they leave the ship, a devil-possessed man who lives in the tombs comes out to meet them (verse 2). The following will be an experience that none of them will ever forget!

This Gadarene vexed with the devil is in a most pathetic state, and he has been in such a condition for quite some time. He is literally a wild man, one whom no one can control or arrest. He often breaks the chains and shackles meant to bind him, and day and night, he lives among the tombs and in the mountains, crying (shouting) and cutting his flesh with sharp stones (verses 3-5). In fact, as we will learn later on, this man was probably completely naked! (The many devils that possess him cause his odd behavior.)

“But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him, and cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, thou torment me not. For he said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit. And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many” (verses 6-9).

Notice this conversation Jesus is having is not with the man per se, but with the devils inside of the man. As we will see later on, actually, there may be as many as 2,000 evil spirits within him!

Let us see how Jesus Christ will handle the situation, thus observing some interesting parallels that teach Israel a lesson she will not forget, either….