March 17, 2016
There is a trend today to deny the supernatural. Oh, we believe in a supernatural God, and He’s good, but there are no such things as ghosts, goblins, or any other scary supernatural entities. Right? It’s a fact that God is supernatural, and calling Him good is an understatement. It’s also a fact that there are supernatural entities that are pure evil. We know this is true because the Bible contains many accounts of demonic possession. One of the best known is the man in Gadara who had been possessed by many demons. Jesus made a special trip by boat just to rid this man of demons. “And when he 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.” Luke 8:27. What a sorry state for a human to live in, naked and living among the dead. When anyone tried to control him, the demons inside of him broke the chains. The Gospel of Mark gives a bit more insight to his torment. “And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones.“Mark 5:5. This man was a mess. It wasn’t caused by disease or a mental disorder. He was demon possessed. In this modern world we live in, Satan has misled people on two accounts. First, many Christians believe that the Spiritual gifts have stopped and so we have no authority through Christ over demons. Second Satan has convinced many people that demons are not an issue. Wrong on both points.
Demon possession was nothing new in the days when Jesus walked this earth and still are an issue today. Demons have names and in order for a Rabbi to cast out a demon he had to first ask its name. When confronting this demoniac Jesus did just that. “And Jesus asked him, saying, What is thy name? And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him.” Luke 8:30. Instead of a name the demon gave a number. History tells us that a Roman Legion could consist of up to 6,000 men. Even half of that would be a torturous number of demons to have residing in your body. No wonder he lived in tombs and cried.
Demons have to be given an opening in order to have rights to a person. What did this possessed man of Gadara do to invite the demons into himself? We aren’t told what he did, but he had to open the door and invite the demons in. That hasn’t changed. Dabbling in any occult practice opens doors to allow a demon to have rights to your life. You may think reading your horoscope is an innocent thing or that an Ouija board is just a game, but these are occult activities. Even though God says not to do certain things, people are rebellious and disobedient and think they are smarter than God. King Saul was a man who disobeyed God and was tormented by demons. When he had a demonic episode, David would be called in to play music for him. Saul was rebellious towards God and that always means trouble. “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he that also rejected thee from being king.” 1 Samuel 15:23. Saul’s rebellion ultimately brought on his own death after he went to a witch to call up the spirit of Samuel for advice. God does not condone witchcraft or talking to people who have died. When we rebelliously go against God we give rights to demons.
God gave a law against cutting the flesh and getting tattoos. “Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD.” Leviticus 19:28. The Israelites were to enter the land God promised them, but it was filled with demon worshipping pagans who, among other things, cut and tattooed themselves. Today tattoos are seen on many people and there is a trend where people cut themselves to draw blood. Even though Christians aren’t under the Law this shows how God feels about such things. God said not to do this because of the demonic connection. Could these identifying marks be behind much of the demonic activity surrounding us today? Satan demands blood sacrifice because he always tries to copy God. Jesus Christ, God incarnate, shed His blood as the once for all sacrifice for our salvation. On the other hand, Satan demands blood and sacrifice from humanity. Cutting your body and spilling your blood is following Satan in sin. Many occult groups require the drinking of blood. The satanic god Allah requires those who follow him to kill innocent people as a sacrifice to him and we also see a rise in cannibalism. The One True God has never required His people to shed human blood; human sacrifice is a sin. Blood is not to be ingested, whether it is human or animal. “For it is the life of all flesh; the blood of it is for the life thereof: therefore I said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall eat the blood of no manner of flesh: for the life of all flesh is the blood thereof: whosoever eateth it shall be cut off.” Leviticus 17:14.Demon possessed people perform all sorts of unnatural acts of self-destruction. Look around you and pay attention to the things that are being accepted by the world today, and then watch the evening news to see how many murders occur. Guns get blamed but demonically inspired people are the ones who pull the trigger.
There are many ways to open yourself to demons, and as we move closer to the end of time demonically inspired behavior is becoming acceptable. “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” Isaiah 5:20. The use of “recreational” drugs is one way to open doors to demons, as is drunkenness. Yoga, contemplative prayer, and meditation are all ways of inviting demons in. Homosexuality and any sexual activity outside of a one man/one woman marriage are rebellion to God and satanic in nature. Secular music praises Satan and many singers brag about selling their soul to Satan. Most movies today show evil as being good and are filled with profanity, violence, and perverse lifestyles. Television programs mock God and promote immoral values. Demonic ways are infiltrating every part of our life, which makes it easy to dabble in the demonic if you aren’t alert. If you are a Christian and don’t place Christ first in your life then you’re in danger of satanic attack. If you aren’t a Christian, you are in danger of demonic possession.
Demons recognize God so the demons in the man from Gadara recognized Jesus. “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.” Luke 8:28. The Jewish religious leaders were blind to the fact that Jesus was their Messiah, but these demons knew exactly who He was and feared His authority. They knew that they had to obey Him and that there would come a time when they would be ordered into the abyss, but that time had not come yet. “And they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep.” Luke 8:31. The “deep” is translated from the Greek wordabyssos which is the bottomless pit. “And there was there an herd of many swine feeding on the mountain: and they besought him that he would suffer them to enter into them. And he suffered them.” Luke 8:32. To a demon, even the body of swine is better than having no body at all. To the swine it was unbearable. “Then went the devils out of the man, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the lake, and were choked.” Luke 8:33. Demons are evil and have no mercy on anyone they possess.
Christians are indwelt by the Holy Spirit and can’t be possessed by evil spirits. The Holy Spirit is God, and demons fear God. Believers can’t be possessed but can suffer demonic attacks. Brothers and sisters, take a stand against Satan. Don’t dabble in anything demonic, even if that means shutting off your cable TV. If you join in anything that is not of God you invite demons to oppress you and steal your joy in the Lord. “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7. Stand firm on God’s word and don’t be a part of worldly ways. Strive to live your life on biblical principles without compromise. The closer you walk with Jesus the more joy you will have. “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.” James 4:8.Study His word, listen to Christian music, and enjoy fellowship with Christian friends. Draw closer to God.
What happened to the man in Gadara? When Jesus cast out the demons, the man became calm and normal. What a relief he must have felt. The man wanted to go with Jesus, but Jesus had other plans for him. “Return to thine own house, and shew how great things God hath done unto thee. And he went his way, and published throughout the whole city how great things Jesus had done unto him.” Luke 8:39. The man now possessed a great witnessing tool: his very own testimony. Jesus told him to go and tell everyone about the great things God had done for him, and how God had compassion on him. He did as Jesus commanded and we can only imagine what a wonderful witness he was. Every Christian has been forgiven of sin. Not all of us has had demons cast out, but we all have been forgiven. We each have a testimony and need to tell everybody around us what great things Jesus has done for us. Eternal life isn’t something to keep quiet.
Christians need to turn away from those things that are of Satan. We have power through the Holy Spirit to cast out demons, but most people deny His power. Many have a “that was then, this is now” attitude that denies the power given to us through Jesus. Jesus gave this power to His disciples, and sent seventy out to evangelize. That power is available to Christians today. “And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name,” Luke 10:17. God’s power has never changed, but we limit God by thinking the Spiritual gifts have stopped. Satan loves that attitude. Mere human beings have no strength on our own to fight against the powers and principalities of darkness, but in the name of Jesus we can do wonders. “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.“Philippians 4:13. Through the shed blood of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, we are forgiven. His love and mercy are unlimited. We still need to make a choice each day…each minute of each day…to live according to His word. He will strengthen your walk and protect you from evil. If you choose to live your life in opposition to Him, then you have made the choice to open the door to Satan and his minions. If you claim to be a Christian, then live like it.
Don’t dabble in the demonic. Give your whole life to Jesus.
God bless you all,
Ron & Nathele Graham
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All original scripture is “theopneustos” God breathed.
This commentary was started by Ron Graham before his death on March 14, 2013, and finished by his wife Nathele Graham