Commentaries
English
Matthew
  
25But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: “every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.26If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand?27And if I cast out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges.28But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you.29Or how can one enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house.30He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad. (Isaiah49:24, Mark9:40,1John3:8)


Christ comprehends what we are thinking at any time. He seeks to explain to those who hate Him that their accusing Him of cooperation with the chief of the demons is worthless suspicion and groundless lie. He gives four arguments to open their understanding. Christ did not reject them, hate them, or even curse them, but approached them to give them clarification and to open the eyes of their hearts.
Christ’s reply to this accusation is clear and precise so that every mouth will be stopped with sense and reason, before it is stopped with fire and brimstone. Here Christ demonstrates the unreasonableness of this suspicion. It would be very strange, and highly improbably that Satan should be cast out by such an alignment, because then Satan’s kingdom would be “divided against itself”; which, considering his subtlety, can not be imagined.
Here is a known rule revealed, that in all societies a common ruin is the consequence of mutual quarrels. “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation.” This applies to every family too. What family is so strong, what community so firm, as not to be overturned by enmity and dissension? Divisions commonly end in desolation. If we clash, we break. If we divide one from another, we become an easy prey to a common enemy. Even more so, “If you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!” (Galatians 5:15).
Christ made clear to the multitude that a house divided against itself will not stand. He also makes clear that Satan does not cast out Satan, and that others’ casting out of unclean spirits was not performed with the help of the chief of demons.
Christ revealed to them that He was able to bind unclean spirits and cast them out once and for all, because He is stronger than their chief. Christ declared that His casting out of the devils by the power of the Spirit of God was a certain token and indication of the approach of the kingdom of heaven. He that thinks about and takes hold of this shall understand and recognize this truth, and it will become clear to him. However the teachers of the Law were possessed with evil spirits and their hearts were stony and hardened against the only Savior, therefore they did not recognize Christ’s arguments nor obtain His salvation and mercy.
The spirits of hell are one, even if they appear different in Europe, Asia, and Africa. They may corrupt in America in a different way from the Middle East. Sometimes, Satanic faiths and groups fight each other, but in reality they participate in destroying millions of people; creating in them the love of money, unclean lusts, and deadly wars. The devil’s design in all these afflictions is to harden hearts against the Spirit of God, and to destroy the consciences of men.
In a revelation, John the Evangelist, saw the image of Satan having seven heads, and each head speaking different blasphemies and lies. Yet all the heads were in harmony and were united against Jesus, the Savior (Revelation 12:3; 13:4). What a pity that some people seek to heal themselves by contacting evil spirits, which will not be useful neither to them nor to their neighbors. However, such contact does not give freedom. On the contrary, he that consults diviners, fortune-tellers, or sorcerers will not be freed or helped, but will become more and more entangled until he becomes a citizen of Hell.
Yet Christ, by the powerful Spirit of God, binds and casts out the spirits of hell from the demon-possessed. Thank God that there is a power greater than all the inferior powers and enticements that work through misleading doctrines, traditions and philosophies. This greater power is God the Father Himself and the Holy Spirit that glorifies Christ and His blood. This clean Spirit confirms to us that the Savior, Jesus, has overcome Satan and his followers on the cross and dispossessed him of his authority. Christ is the unique conqueror, and he that adheres to Him shall be released from the chains of sin and the accusations of hell, and shall be kept from their influence forever. The freeing of the demon-possessed symbolizes the coming of the kingdom of heaven.
Christ’s power is greater than what we can perceive, for today, He rules in heaven and on earth, and saves individuals in all nations. Believe with us, dear friend, that Jesus has overcome every evil spirit in your nation, that He releases many from their chains, and delivers them from selfishness, adultery, prejudice and pride, if they submit to Him joyfully and peacefully.
The design of Christ’s gospel was to destroy the devil’s house. He came as a Savior to turn the people “from darkness to light,” from sin to holiness, from this world to the kingdom of heaven, “from the power of Satan unto God” (Acts 26:18).
In keeping with this design, He bound Satan when He cast out unclean spirits by His word. In doing this, He wrestled the sword out of the devil’s hand so that He might also wrestle the scepter away from him. Christ teaches us how to understand His miracles. When He showed how easily and effectively He could cast the devil out of people’s bodies, He encouraged all believers to hope that, whatever power Satan might take over and exercise in the souls of men, Christ, by his grace, would break it. It is obvious that Christ can bind Satan. When nations were turned from the service of idols to serve the living God, when some of the worst of sinners were sanctified and became the best of saints, then Christ spoiled the devil’s house, and will continue to spoil it more and more.
It is here intimated that this Holy War, which Christ was vigorously carrying on against the devil and his kingdom, was such as would not admit neutrality. “He who is not with Me is against Me.” In the little differences that may arise between the disciples of Christ among themselves, we are taught to lessen the matters of difference and seek peace by accounting those who “are not against us” to be with us (Luke 9:50). In the great quarrel between Christ and the devil, no peace is to be sought, and no such favorable construction is to be made of any indifference in the matter. He that is not wholly for Christ will be reckoned as being against Him. He that is cold to the cause of Christ is looked upon as an enemy.
Do you participate in this fight with your faith, prayers, money and will? Are you for Christ, or against Him? He that does not fight with Him in his good fight will become His enemy and a self-destroyer. Yet whoever takes part in this spiritual fight has first to confess all his sins before the Lord, live under the protection of Jesus Christ’s blood, and walk in gentleness and lowliness of heart; then the wicked one will have no power over him.

Prayer
We glorify You, heavenly Father, for Your Son has put on His power after His triumph over the devil. Today, by His Holy Spirit, He releases people from their Satanic chains, unclean sins, and black blindness. We believe in His victory among us, and we thank You joyfully for his victory, that many may be freed from their misleading belief, and that faith built upon love, the cross, and sacrifice be established in them.
Question
What did you understand about hell and Christ’s victory over Satan?