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IV. QUAR. LESSON III., OCT. 21, MARK 1:21-34.

Golden Text—"He taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes."—Mark 1:22.

The opportunities of the synagogue and the Sabbath day were eagerly embraced by our Lord, affording, as they did, very favorable circumstances for the presentation of the truth. The habit of calling upon suitable persons in the congregation for the reading and expounding of the law and the prophets opened wide this door of usefulness.

Our Lord's dealing with the unclean spirits (verses 23-26,34) shows three things—(1) the actual personal existence of invisible evil spirits. This one manifested his power to act, think, speak, and to hear and obey; and the Lord recognized and addressed him as a person, and commanded his obedience. (2) The power, and limit of power, in such beings. They can do nothing except as God permits them; nor can they invade the mind or heart of any man, save as he submits his will to their power. (3) The circumstances manifested the fact that the Lord's authority and power are known and recognized by the evil spirits. A very similar expression to that of verse 24 is found in Matt. 8:29—"Art thou come hither to torment us before the time?"—showing that they know of an appointed time for the judgment of angels as well as of men. "Know ye not that ye shall judge angels?" said the Apostle, addressing the Church; and the fallen angels seem to have found it out.*

*See TOWER, July 15, '94.

The Lord's wonderful power and sympathy, manifested in the healing of multitudes of the sick and afflicted, in casting out devils and in preaching the blessed gospel of the coming Kingdom, were but a faint illustration of his mighty power to be exerted at the time appointed, and now at hand, for the blessing of all the families of the earth.