Doctrine of Demon Possession

BD22-02

Shall we bow together in prayer? Almighty God, we ask thee now to take us into an understanding of thy Word. We pray that the things that we look at we will view with the sobriety which they merit, that we would respect the satanic and demonic world which surrounds us a believers, and that Thou will inform us on how to deal with that world. We pray that every believer here may progress day by day toward the building of a spiritual structure in his own soul so that there within each of us would be that pentagon of defense and that pentagon from which we may move forward to our attack upon the spiritual hosts of wickedness and of darkness of this unclean evil world which would resist the plan of God in our own lives. Our Father, we ask Thee to help us to put away all mental sins, to remove every open act of rebellion to Thee, and in this moment to bring full confession so that the Spirit of God may take Thy Word and bring glory to Thy son in whose name we pray. Amen.

We move now this morning to the doctrine of demon possession, a third segment in that particular increment of our study in basic training. Just to review a couple of things, we’ve been talking on how a person can become demon possessed. We saw that that, number one, a person enters demon possession through idolatry. We found from the Word of God that all idols and all national gods actually represent demon beings. So, when sacrifices are made to idols in worship they are actually being made to a demon. The person who worships an idol therefore exposes himself either to the influence of an idol if he is a Christian, or he exposes himself to being indwelt, that is possessed by the demon if he is not a Christian. A Christian may of course produce idols of his own of various kinds, idols which are not made of wood and stone but which nevertheless become the focal point of our lives just as some outward object of worship might be.

We also found that a person can become demon possessed through sex. The phallic cults worship destroyed the Canaanite nations, contaminating one another and eventually contaminating the Jews. Now this again is part of Satan’s attempt to fulfill the right man / right woman relationship.

Alright, there is a third way of coming into demon possession. One by idolatry, two through illicit sex, and number three is through drugs. Immediately you see this is why this is such a big thing in our day. Galatians 5:20 connects the use of drugs and demon possession. The keyword is the second word there, “… idolatry, sorcery, …” The word for “sorcery” (and you may have “witchcraft” in your translation) is in the Greek “pharmakeia,” from which we get our English word “pharmacy.” This (Greek word) means “addicted to drugs.” Drug addiction. This is labeled here in this context as part of the expression of the old sin nature under satanic direction.

The use of drugs will produce mental reactions which enable a person to turn over his volition to a demon. It has been used as part of religious ceremonies from ancient times. Ancient peoples used drugs in the worship of their gods in order to come under demon influence. Drugs will produce the same mental reactions and symptoms as those who are possessed by demons. You have certain comparable symptoms. You may have delusions, hallucinations, illusions, memory impairment, disorientation, manias, a melancholia, and wide emotional swings in mood. Drug use will produce all of these things in a person.

A few months back, Life magazine had an extensive series of articles on drugs and on what drugs will produce. It went right down the line to the very thing that you will find in demon possessed people.

“LSD will give you a feeling of euphoria followed by hallucinations and a sense of being outside of one’s body. Now that’s exactly part of what demon possession is, to detach the soul from the body, so that a different force than the force can take over control of the body. So, that a person, the article says, is a mere onlooker to events.

“It can bring out a latent psychosis, and prolonged use can destroy the personality. Amphetamines, when taken in particular intravenously produce euphoria and hallucinations. We might say ecstatics. They frequently lead to violence, and like LSD can bring psychosis to the surface. A chronic user may become addicted. He’s withdrawn, prone to outbursts of rage. Marijuana, a euphoriant, and an inner calm sets in. Reflexes are slowed down. Perception is enhance. There are mild hallucinations, visual illusions.”

All of this again is characteristic of somebody demon possessed. Barbiturates, a sedative, a dreamy state followed by unexpected changes in mood, like abrupt crying which can easily erupt into violence. A characteristic of a demon possessed person is his wide swing of moods and his violence. Withdrawal pains may be so terrifying for barbiturates that they lead to suicide.

“Alcohol is a euphoriant. It releases inhibitions and emotions which can erupt in assault and homicide. The DTs are accompanied by hallucinations like seeing insects crawling on the body. Chronic alcoholism can destroy the personality.

“Heroine, like the barbiturates, produces a drowsy floating euphoria accompanied by trance-like stupor. The novice always thought that he could get away with it. Pitifully, few escape getting hooked, and once it has occurred, there is the ever-deadly prospect of an overdose.

“The psychosis that drugs can produce fall into the classification of schizophrenia, mania, and depression. There are various types of schizophrenics, and drugs can produce the symptoms.”

This is the same for somebody who has manias about one thing or another, or a person who has depression. This is characteristic of those who are demon possessed.

Mental attitude sins is a fourth way to come under demon possession. These sins of vindictiveness, bitterness, hatred, antagonisms, delusions of injustice, this is the driving force behind voodoo. Voodoo works on the basis of mental attitude sins, having a grudge in for somebody, and then going through techniques which bring demons into work in your behalf against the person. You may say, “Oh that is really funny to make an image of somebody and stick pins into him.” But that’s because you don’t understand that voodoo really works because there is a reality behind voodoo in the demon who brings about the disaster to the individual that your hatred, your mental sins, want to impose upon that person.

Sensitivity training that you’ve heard about is also a type of mental attitude sin, breakdown of inhibitions to bring on demon influence based on your self-respect, your moral inhibitions, and create the idea of brotherhood. We won’t go into the details of what’s involved in sensitivity training.

There are certain characteristics of demon possession, just to sum this up. A demon possessed person, as we look through the word of God, as well as through actual experience, displays certain characteristics:

1) He displays a lack of individuality such as comes naturally from psychological defects. Through psychosis that people have, they lose individuality. Demon possession creates a wide degree of emotional and mental swings so that the personality is changing constantly.

2) Another characteristic of demon possession is loss of self-awareness or self-consciousness. The person is taken over by the indwelling demon and he loses awareness of himself. A Christian who is influenced demons can forget the implications of his actions. He focuses on the moment of what he wants and not on the consequences of the act.

3) A third is abnormal behavior patterns. A person has several qualities that express abnormal behavior. This will take various expressions. Through the Scriptures we find convulsions in Mark 1:26 and 9:20; violence in Matthew 8:28; abnormal strength in Mark 5 and Luke 8:29; raving, which would include foul speech, cursing in Mark 5:5 (demons are good at that); self-mutilation and abnormal auto-erotism in Mark 5: 5; foaming at the mouth in Luke 9:39 and Mark 9:20; nakedness in public in Luke 8:27; living in abnormal circumstances in Mark 5:3; and, grinding of the teeth in Mark 9:18. You may recognize or have experienced some of these things and you might want to put a new meaning, as far as motivation goes, to why these things are taking place.

4) Another quality of a demon possessed person or a demon influenced person is loss of health. The Scriptures indicate dumbness in Mark 9:17 and Luke 11:14. This means you can’t speak—it’s not a mental problem (some of you thought of several of your friends right away, I could tell); deaf and dumb in Mark 9:25; blind and dumb in Mark 12:22; some cases of epilepsy in Mark 1:26 and Luke 4:35; mental illnesses in Mark 5:5, comparing verse 15. This is why the healer gets away with his racket. Once he’s in touch and on a working basis with a demon who creates an illness, all he has to do is remove the demon, as you see happens in Scripture, and when the demon is removed, the illness goes with him. One more characteristic is accident-prone in Matthew 17:15, falling into water or falling into fire. So, if you’re accident-prone, maybe you want to give it some thought.

Mark 5:1-20

Now let’s look at a typical case of demon possession. Turn with me please to Mark 5, and we’ll start at the first verse. A typical case of demon possession. This is the story of the demoniac that Jesus Christ met by the Sea of Galilee. Mark 5, verse 1, “And they came over (Jesus and His disciples) unto the other side of the sea (the Sea of Galilee) into the country of the Gerasenes.” This takes place on the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee. It was during the crossing over to the country of the Gerasenes on this occasion that the storm took place on the Sea of Galilee wherein Jesus demonstrated His deity and He taught His disciples the lesson in faith rest when He stilled the storm. Jesus is met on the beach in verse two by a man who lives in this country.

Now the territory of the Gerasenes was an area of forbidden hog-raising. For some reason, it seemed a suitable place, a suitable hideout, and maybe a suitable country for raising pigs. Pork was forbidden by the Mosaic Law, but some of the Jews had developed a taste for pork and ham. Consequently, there was a black market, a boot-legging operation, on the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee, in the country of the Gerasenes, in raising pigs. Jesus and His disciples come over to this side of the sea and they beached their boat. As they step out of the boat, the demoniac meets them on the shore.

Matthew 8:28 indicates that there were two demoniacs, but Mark focuses on one of them, perhaps the chief one. We’re told that this man came down to the shore, to the beach, out of the tombs. There were cliffs along the shore and in these cliffs were caves which were used to bury dead people. This man, we’re told, was possessed by an unclean spirit. Consequently he had lost his individuality. He was demon possessed, and by many demons. Luke 8:27 tells us that he had had this condition for a long time, and the demoniac at this point therefore is an unbeliever. Verse 3 gives the description of this demon possessed man. As you go through this, again, think of the day in which you live, and expressions of this in such groups such as hippie-dom, expressions throughout our society which are dignified now and place an aura of culture upon these qualities that reflect demon influence.

Verse 3 says, “… who had his dwelling among the tombs.” Now right away you know that his man has abnormal tastes, because he’s living with corpses. That’s the first quality of demon influenced people. They’ve got abnormal tastes. You can see the reflection of the hippie subculture right there. This man was drawn to loathsome sights. Can you imagine what odors and sites existed living in a cave full of death bodies? Probably he went around touching them, cuddling up to them to keep warm at night. He had also abnormal physical strength, for we’re told in verse 3 that “no man could bind him, no not with chains.” Society had tried to put controls on him but they couldn’t do a thing about it. They could not do a thing about it. The word “bind” here is in the imperfect Greek tense which means that repeatedly, in the past, that’s the tense that indicates repeated past action. Again and again in the past they had tried to bind this man and they got the chains, they got the binds on him, but he would break loose again and again.

The impossibility of restraining this man is indicated in the Greek language by what the Greek can do. In English we can’t use double negatives because that makes it come out a positive. But in the Greek language, if you want to say something is really not that way, you just pile one negative on top of another. In this Greek sentence, you have “no longer,” you have “no one,” and you have “not even…” You have three negatives here of various kinds, all of which come out saying, “and no longer was no one able to bind him, not even with chains.” When you read it in the Greek, you get a clear impression that this man was absolutely uncontrollable. No matter what they did, they could not restrain him. The idea was to try to hold his movements down from violence. The word “chains” means something to bind any part of the body.

Well the demoniac had often been tied in the past. Verse 4 says “for he had often been bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him and the fetters broken in pieces, neither could any man tame him.” “He had been bound” is the Greek perfect tense which means it had been done in the past and that was a present fact that they had tried, but unsuccessfully. The man resisted, temporarily overcome. “Fetters” refers to shackles on his feet. They tied his feet together. “Chains” here connotes manacles, or handcuffs. They tied his hands down.

Now finally this man would get tied. How could he break loose after they got his hands and his feet bound in chains? How could he break loose? Well, it was because the demons gave him super-human strength. So, we read that he took the handcuffs and he “plucked” them. This means to snap in two. He would simply snap these things in two on his hands. Interestingly enough, while it is perfect (tense) which means he did it in the past, so now he is free, it also has passive voice. Passive voice in Greek means that the individual does not do it, indicating that the man was not the one who was snapping these bindings in two, but it was the demon who lived within him.

Missionaries have learned, when they come into the presence of demon-possessed people to be very careful that they do not go up and touch the individual, because the strength of the demon is so fantastic that a missionary has often been clobbered unmercifully by the individual under the power of the demon who indwells him. So this man, the very grammar indicates, that he didn’t have the strength to do this, but the demons within him were popping these chains every time he was tied down. It’s in the infinitive which indicate the result of the efforts to bind the man. “Fetters” have to do with what was on his feet, and this is from the Greek word … which means to shatter by rubbing together, or just crushing. The fellow would just smash these things and shatter the binds that were on him. So, no one was able to tame the demoniac. He roamed at will. Matthew 8:28 tells us that he terrorized all the travelers on the road past the tombs, so people took a detour. They could not tie him down.

Now the demoniacs in our culture today express themselves in different ways than this, ways that are compatible to our day. But when they are possessed of demons, nobody can help them. No branch of psychiatry is able to handle a demon-possessed person. So, psychiatry comes up with sublimations, certain indulgences, and that’s the prescription which is applied.

Verse 5 tells us that this man had a deranged mentality. We’re looking now at to what is true of a demon-possessed man. Notice first he had abnormal tastes. He lived with corpses. Secondly, he had great physical strength. Thirdly now he had a deranged mentality. Verse 5 says, “… and always night and day he was in the mountains and in the tombs, crying and cutting himself with stones.” He ran around in the manner of a crazy man, screaming. The word is “krazo.” It’s present, which means he was doing it all the time. It’s active, meaning that he (himself) was doing it. The word itself means “an inarticulate sound,” like the tongues people when they babble, when they speak. Meaningless sounds. The guy was just screaming out with inarticulate sound in the agonies that possessed his being. He ran around shrieking which is why the people on the road were scared out of their wits.

You can imagine what it must have been like for the poor disciples who just got through surviving the storm on the Sea of Galilee to step out of the boat and say, “Oh boy am I glad to land,” and then right there, coming down from the tombs is this guy screaming, raging, hands outstretched, eyes wild, and bleeding, cuts all over his body. I can just see those fellows falling all over one another to get into the boat and trying to get the oars going. It must have been a frightful sight. This man was out of his mind.

The Bible also tells us that he had been cutting himself with stones. That is, he was taking sharp stones and mutilating his body. The word is “katakopto.” This part of the word, “kata” means “down. ”What the Scripture is saying is that he was cutting himself down. In our day, this man is “cutting himself all up.” We say “cutting up.” They said, “cutting down.” But the idea was that he was just mutilating himself to pieces. All over his body were undoubtedly these scars from the wounds that were self-inflicted. Again, you say, “Why would he do that?” And you begin to wonder about the desire of demons for blood. It’s in the present tense. He was constantly cutting himself. It’s active—he was doing it himself. The body was no doubt scarred from this experience.

Now again drugs are interesting here because LSD produces the same kind of reaction on a person, the desire to mutilate himself. We read recently in articles in Life magazine and other magazines a few months back about a young man who was under the influence of LSD and finally reached up, took his hands and pulled both of his eyeballs out and shattered them. And now he’s thinking it over, what drove him, trying to analyze such a senseless act of self-mutilation. Demonism. And drugs bring a person under demon direction and influence and control.

Luke 8:27 adds another fact about this man that Mark did not note. Luke 8:27 tells us that this man ran abound nude. This again reflects the hippie culture of our day—public nudity. The crazed screaming mutilation of this man to himself went on day and night as he roamed the hills and the tombs.

Now verse 6. We have the healing of this fantastic person. “But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped Him.” He probably saw the disciples and the Lord coming in from the shore, so he ran down from the tombs to terrorize them, but as he approached the Lord, something very strange happened. The Scripture says he worshipped Him, which means he fell on his face before Him, in respect. The demons could not restrain this man in the presence of Jesus Christ the God-man. At this point the man is very helpless. He is indwelt by thousands of demons, and he has no control over himself. He began someplace in the past through his own negative volition. Now he is in this state.

A person, whether he’s a Christian or not, I must caution you, can go so far in being negative to the word; can go so far in being negative to teaching, teacher, and technique. In the local assembly, negative volition can go so far that you come to a point where there is almost no possibility of turning back. You come into a place where you become a slave to something or to some attitude, and God is permitting it to take its course, its destructive course in your life. And I’ve had to talk to people sometime. And I can tell what brought them to that course, but they’re in very desperate straits on how to turn back. And they even know what their condition is. Perhaps this man had enough volition to know in some faint moments of rationality what his trouble was, and something told him, “There’s Jesus. He’s the God-man. He can help you.” And he ran to him.

In any case, he was a slave. He was in a state where he was highly responsive to demonic control. When a Christian builds up spiritual callouses on his soul, it makes the facets of his soul so insensitive toward God and man that a spiritual vacuum develops and he begins drawing in what 1 Timothy 1:4 calls doctrine of demons.

So, a Christian who is under strong demon influence can go psychotic. Such a Christian will make absolutely irrational choices while seemingly being perfectly sane. He has a self-destructive quality to his own spiritual life and service. He has stubborn fixations. These are characteristics of insane people. And demon-influenced Christians have stubborn fixations. That kind of believer is a very dangerous influence on other Christians. He opposes the Word of God, the plan of God. And at some point, he is not satisfied to oppose the Word of God and the Plan of God. At some point, he wants to be sure that other people join him in his expression of resistance. Abnormal conduct and a mean spirit are characteristic of believers who are under demon influence as a result of negative volition.

But there comes a confrontation with this demon, beginning in verse 7, “… and cried with a loud voice, ‘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.’” He cried. The word is “krazo.” In a loud screaming frantic voice he objects. Did you ever hear people talk like that? “Krazo” is an aorist participle. Perhaps you’ll remember now that an aorist participle tells us that the action comes before the main verb. The main action is in verse 6. “He ran and worshipped him.” Before he ran and worshipped him, before the man came down to the beach to worship Jesus, before he fell in the sand before the Lord, he was screaming. The demon in him now took over. The demon was screaming through the man’s vocal cords, in effect to Jesus, “Let me alone.”

This is a Greek idiom here, “What do I have to do with thee Jesus” means leave me alone. So, he was shouting these words as he was running to the beach. And Jesus looked up and saw what was happening, and he responded to the man’s need. What Jesus did was, in effect, commanded that the demon come out of this man. And you have to get the order of these events. The demon approaches Jesus, and he screams at him as the man is coming down from the hills. He’s screaming, “What have I to do with thee.” And notice how he address Him. He says, “Jesus,” which is the Lord’s human name, and thereby he recognizes the true humanity of Jesus. And then he says, “Son of the most high God,” so he recognizes His deity. This is what we call the hypostatic union. Jesus Christ, true God, true humanity, one person, forever. And the demon recognizes—e knows who Jesus is very well, though the demoniac does not.

And the demon says, “I adjure thee by God.” Now the word “adjure” means “I charge you,” or “on the basis of an oath that God had made, I call upon you to be faithful to what God has promised.” Now what in the world is this demon calling upon Jesus in the name of God because God has said something to be faithful to. What has God said that this demon wants Jesus to be sure he’s faithful to?

Well, Luke 8:31 gives us a little more information. I think we ought to look at that for a minute. It tells us what this demon is fearful of. This demon, who was the spokesman for all the demons who indwelt this man, was fearful that Jesus was going to do something that God had said was not going to be done. Luke 8:31 says, “And they besought Him that He would not command them to go out into the deep. And this in the Greek is the word “abyss,” and it is the word that describes the place where Satan is going to be kept during the millennium. Satan and the demons who are going to be confined during the millennial age are placed in the abyss. It’s an imprisonment for the demons.

Matthew 8:29 give us another insight that there was a time element that distressed this demon. Matthew 8:29 says, “And when He was come to the other side of the country of the Gergesenes, there met Him two posses with demons coming out of the tombs exceedingly fierce so that no man might pass by that way. And behold they cried out saying, ‘What have we to do with thee Jesus thou Son of God? Art thou come here to torment us before the time?’” The demon says, “Leave me alone Jesus. Why are you tormenting me?”

How was Jesus going to torment Him? The demons were afraid that Jesus was going to command them to leave the man. They knew that. But they were afraid he was going to command them to go into the abyss now. And they were calling upon Jesus to remember that it is the plan of God that the demons are not restrained until the millennium. And we had the strange sight of a demon calling upon the trustworthiness of God in this moment, say, “Now you’ve got to be fair. You’ve got to be true. You know what God said, Jesus. You can’t put us there ahead of time.” This indicates that that is a fearful place, and the demons do not want to enter the abyss. This demon feared that this is what was going to happen, so he called upon Jesus to be faithful to the commitment and plan of God.

Mark chapter 5, verse 8 the Lord says, “Thou come out of the man thou unclean spirit.” This is in the imperfect tense so we again know that Jesus had been repeatedly saying, “Come out.” The demons had been resisting and screaming, “Don’t torment us.” Jesus was saying, “Come out.” The demons were saying, “Don’t torment us.” Jesus was saying, “Come out.” The demons said, “Leave us alone.” And Jesus was saying, “Come out.” Did you ever have a little kid tell that to you at home? “Let me alone.” It sounds familiar, doesn’t it? I wonder who’s causing him to do that--his mother or his father?

And notice he said, “Come out of the man,” so the man was fully demon-possessed. These were inside of him. He was not merely demon-influenced. And they were unclean spirits. They were vile, evil things.

Here’s the extent of his possession. Jesus in verse 9 says, “What’s your name?” He says, “My name is Legion, for we are many.” So, it was not just one demon. A Roman legion was at least 6,000 men. This man had a fantastic number of demons in him. Jesus, by bringing fact out, indicates the extent of his subjection.

Verse 10 says, “And he besought Him much that He would not send them out of the country again. He is fearful lest Jesus is going to send them into the abyss. This is the word for pleading. He’s beseeching Him. Again it’s imperfect. Repeatedly, again and again, to be sent into that place, that fearful place.

Verse 11 says, “Now there was there nigh unto the mountains a great herd of swine feeding (2,000 pigs on a hill). And all the demons now joined the (spokesman) together. Verse 12 says, “… and all the demons besought Him.” All these jabbering voices come through this man asking Jesus again and again, calling upon him, almost commanding Him to “send us into the swine, that we may enter into them.” Now the demons knew they had no choice but to get out, so they said, “Jesus, let us go at least into the swine. Don’t send us into the abyss.” Because do possess animals, and this is why animals act contrary to their nature sometimes because they’re demon-possessed or influenced.

Verse 13 says, “The demons entered the pigs. 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. And there were about 2,000 and they were choked in the sea.” The pigs went mad when the demons entered them. They stampeded down the hill and they were choked. That is, and the tense again here is imperfect. It was one pig after another. You just had the sight of one pig drowning after another as one pig fell upon another, and one pig pushed another down into the sea, and the went out of sight, until all 2,000 were gone.

Well, this had a rather upsetting affect upon the swine herders when they saw their whole herd gone. They ran back to the city and they shouted to everybody who would listen to what had happened. But what they were headed for of course were the owners, the Jewish businessmen who had set up this operation to begin with. They heard what had happened, so they turned around, and the Jewish businessmen and their friends rushed out to the grazing site, to the herding site, to where the pigs were. And sure enough, things had changed.

Here’s what they saw. Verse 15 says, “And they come to Jesus and see him that was possessed with the demon, and had Legion sitting and clothed.” Now notice what has happened. First, the man is sitting. This is present active participle. It means he is in full control of himself. He’s continually relaxed. He’s no longer raving. He’s no longer madly running about screaming or terrorizing people or mutilating himself. He was sitting. Secondly, he was clothed. The nudity has passed. This is passive, indicating that the Lord put something on him. It is perfect. It happened the moment were driven out, and now it’s his condition that he is clothed. Nudity in public is a demonic perversion. Thus again the wonderful culture of hippie-dom that so many of our young people and our population love to ape and to imitate and to admire and to commend and say, “There’s something good in it” on any account whatsoever.

Also, the demoniac was now in his right mind. That is, his sanity was restored. The demon-induced psychoses, which were a great reality were removed. No psychiatrist can cure this because it takes removal of the demon. So, they go to sublimation instead. Christians with negative volition in a local church will come to this same kind of influence position.

How did society react? The end of verse 15 says, “… and they were afraid.” They looked upon this and they were afraid. The power they had once feared in this man, and now they feared the power that had changed him. Verse 16 tells that the eyewitnesses related the details of what had happened, how the swine had gone over the hill.

Now the Jewish businessmen had to make a decision. In verse 17, “They began to implore Him (that is Jesus) to get out of their borders.” “They began” is middle, meaning that they did it for their own benefit for themselves. They said, “Get out. Our self-interests are at stake. Don’t stay here.” They began to implore. And guess what word they used? Right here, the same word the demons used. The demons implored that they could go into the pigs. The Jewish business men begged Him to get out of their country because He was continually, by His presence, disturbing their way of life. They were (it’s active) all joining into it. Their purpose was to get rid of Him.

Coming into contact with spiritual reality and with true doctrine, unfortunately, does not bring positive volition. And these Jewish businessmen, who should have known better when their way of life was threatened by anybody, including the Son of God, or anybody who cast dispersions that they weren’t all that great and all that special in the Kingdom of God, said, “We’ve got to cut that guy down. We’re going to have to get rid of Him. He is a real threat to our way of life and all that we like to surround ourselves mutually as we meet together as Jewish business men.”

So, the reaction of the demoniac in verse 18 was: Jesus turned around and said, “OK, I’m leaving.” He went into the boat. The man who had been possessed by the demon implored Jesus that he would permit him to remain, and guess what word he uses. … The same word. The demons said, “Please let us go into the pigs.” The Jewish businessmen said, “Please get out of our country.” And the demoniac said, “Jesus, please, let me stay with you.” Very interesting. Volition makes the difference for the same act.

And so, the Lord said, “No.” This man is obviously now a believer. That’s why he wants to stay with the Lord. He repeatedly asks Him. The imperfect indicates again and again. He says, “Jesus let me.” Jesus says, “No, you go home to your friends. You tell the great things that the Lord has done for you, the great compassion that God has had upon you. You give them your witness. You give them your testimony.

So, the man departed and throughout all the area of Decapolis on the east side of the Sea of Galilee, he began to publish. And do you know what the word for “publish” is? He began to publish what Jesus Christ had done for him. This is the Greek word which means to make a declaration, to herald. It is the same word in a noun form as the word from which we get “herald of Christ,” that all you brigade people know about. This man was sent out as a herald of Christ. He was told, “Go out. Sound off. You tell people what God has done for you because that God loves you.” And he did. And we’re told that everywhere he went men did marvel at the grace of God. “Thaumazo” is the word, and it meant in the imperfect that they were doing it again and again. They just couldn’t get over it.

Well, I hope that you haven’t gotten over what the Lord God can do for you. I hope that if you have never received Him as your personal savior that we may urge upon you the fact that this is your moment of entering a totally different controlled way of life than that which is involved in a person who can be demon-possessed. The Lord Jesus Christ had died for you. He has paid the price. Where you sit this morning He invites you into his family--if you will believe and accept what He did in your behalf.

We live in a very very disoriented world. You have heard enough things this morning that some of you have not agreed with, and some of you have not taken to kindly. But we have not yet touched upon negative volition. We’re going to get into that in the very near future. The more you see in the Word of God, the consequences of people saying, No” to true communication, consequences that last for all eternity, the greater respect you will have for the powers of demonic forces that surround us. Review what you have heard. Check through your notes. Listen to the tape. Get this clearly in your mind. Because this is one thing that Satan is out to keep you from having. And I won’t tell you this morning all the things that have happened to keep you from getting the information that you got this morning.

Shall we pray? Heavenly Father, we ask thee to use thy word and thy truth in our lives in a very spectacular way, for we pray in Christ Jesus’ name. Amen.

Dr. John E. Danish, 1971

Back to the Basic Bible Doctrine index

Back to the Bible Questions index