Met By A Demon – I find the majority of the church world scarcely believes in the existence of Demons And Darkness. A pedophile, could that maybe be demonic? Does it not come from some dark place only a possessed person would go? A rapist, would this be demonic? Society can lock these people away for years, but when released, they do it again. True Alcoholics and drug addicts fit into this arena also. A drug addict will go so far as to steal from his or her own family, or even kill to get a fix. There is definitely darkness and evil in these.
DEMONS AND DARKNESS
By Pastor Delbert Young
Met By A Demon
Met By A Demon
Scriptures: Luke 8:26-27, Ephesians 6:12, Luke 8:26-29, Acts 10:38, Galatians 5:19-21, Luke 8:30, Luke 8:31-33, Luke 8:34-37, Luke 8:39
The Holy Spirit gives us a most interesting story in the book of Luke.
Luke 8:26-27 They sailed to the region of the Gerasenes, which is across the lake from Galilee. When Jesus stepped ashore, he was MET BY A DEMON-possessed man…
Has anything like that ever happened to you? Have you ever come face-to-face with a person who had a demon (or a demon who had a person)? Over the next few weeks, I want to talk about DEMONS AND DARKNESS. I am not going to go spooky weird on you, so do not get weird on me. I promise you it will be insightful. Why do I want to spend a little time on this subject? First, I believe the Lord wants us to have a balanced understanding on this subject. I found this great quote by C. S. Lewis. “There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors…” My wife reminded me of a young man coming to our house. He heard me speak of the influence of the devil when usually I say little about the devil. Judy told him, “The one thing worse than believing that there is a demon behind every bush is believing there are no demons at all.” At some point in our Christian walk, we must deal with the following scripture.
Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against PRINCIPALITIES, AGAINST POWERS, AGAINST THE RULERS OF THE DARKNESS of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
There are DEMONS AND DARKNESS. However, in my many years of ministry, I find that the majority of the church world scarcely believes in the existence of DEMONS AND DARKNESS. They know the Bible mentions demons, but think that was the ways of primitive societies. Today, we would rather call it “mental illness” and heavily medicate the person rather than heavily minister. Praise God for medications! But, could it be… I am trying to show you the relevance of this topic. I want to throw out a few thoughts to ponder, to make certain you grasp what I am attempting to communicate. A pedophile, could that maybe be demonic? Does that not come from some dark place that only a possessed person would go? A rapist, would that be demonic? Society can lock these people away for years, but when released, they do it again. True Alcoholics and drug addicts fit into this arena also. A drug addict will go so far as to steal from his or her own family, or even kill to get a “fix.” There is definitely darkness and evil “in” those aforementioned people. Still most of church and society resists the existence of DEMONS AND DARKNESS.
But, let’s not forget the group at the other end of the continuum fascinated and even consumed by DEMONS AND DARKNESS. To them everything is a demon and excessive unhealthy behavior always follows that mentality. Have you ever been close to someone like this? It is a very sad situation to see someone literally possessed with demon possession. I had a friend once that did this and it totally ruined his reputation.
So, what does the Bible teach? That is what we want to know. The Bible teaches that during our travels through life, we will encounter DEMONS AND DARKNESS. The Lord did. The apostle Paul did. I have and you have or will. Therefore, the first reason I want to spend time looking at this is to make you aware of what the Bible teaches. The second reason is so you will know how to recognize a demon and how to control the situation and help the unfortunate person.
Several years ago, we were at a home life group (small group). We discussed the night’s lesson. Afterwards, we prayed for one another. At groups, I try to take a “back seat” and allow the group leader to lead. I encourage the people to do the praying, etc. and I give support. That night, a young man was at this group. He visited our church a few times and was with a church member that night. After we prayed for several needs, he requested prayer. He seemed quiet and pleasant all evening, but when they laid hands on him and began to pray for him, out of the blue, his voice and face changed. He began talking in a baby voice saying strange things. It immediately got my attention and, of course, everyone looked at me as if to ask, “What is that and what do we do now?” I remember calmly laying my Bible down, standing up, and saying, “Well it looks like we have a demon tonight.” I walked over to him and stared at him in his eyes. He looked away. I said, “Look at me!” I said something like, “I bind you fowl spirit in the name of Jesus. You come out of him this moment and never come back again.” Immediately, something happened. The young man dropped his head and began weeping. We continued to pray for him and he received deliverance and received Jesus that night. My point is that I was able to control the situation and help the young man. If you follow Jesus through life, there will be times when you step out of the boat and will be MET BY A DEMON.
I want to talk about the experience that Jesus had with the demonic man of Gerasenes and draw insight from it. Let’s read more of the passage.
Luke 8:26-29 They sailed to the region of the Gerasenes, which is across the lake from Galilee. When Jesus stepped ashore, he was MET BY A DEMON-possessed man from the town. For a long time this man had not worn clothes or lived in a house, but had lived in the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell at his feet, shouting at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don’t torture me!” For Jesus had commanded the evil spirit to come out of the man. Many times it had seized him, and though he was chained hand and foot and kept under guard, he had broken his chains and had been driven by the demon into solitary places.
For now, notice that the demon is singular as in one demon had possessed the man. I will comment more about this later. Jesus stepped out of the boat and greeting him was a naked man shouting at the top of his voice. How many realize that you would not have to be an apostle or a very spiritual person to realize something was wrong here? That is my first point. DEMONS ARE OBVIOUS. Everyone getting out of the boat with Jesus knew there was a demonic spirit in their midst. The entire town knew there was a demon in their midst. That night I told you about at life group, everyone knew something was wrong. Every demon that has ever met me was obvious.
Sometimes zealous believers misinterpret oppression and the sinful nature with possession.
Acts 10:38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all THAT WERE OPPRESSED OF THE DEVIL; for God was with him.
The difference of oppression and possession is the demon(s) controls a possessed person. An oppressed person is under the influence of a demon, but not yet controlled. The devil oppresses many people, but not many people are possessed. The Bible says that many times it had seized him… He was possessed, not oppressed. Most things are works of the flesh or as the NIV puts it,acts of the sinful nature.
Galatians 5:19-21 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like.
Notice that even witchcraft is an act of the sinful nature. My point is no one can cast out the flesh or sinful nature. It must be overcome.
A possessed person is seized. My point is that when someone is demon possessed, it is obvious. Something unseen will seize him or her.
The demonic possession took away the man’s dignity. He was an embarrassment to his family and his community. He wore no clothes. He had no home. He had nothing. He lived in the cemetery. He screamed in anger. He frightened people. He was an outcast of society. A person with a demon(s) today is an embarrassment to their family and society. They usually have nothing – no home, no clothes (covering). They are angry and scream. They frighten people.
Luke 8:30 Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” “Legion,” he replied, because many demons had gone into him.
A legion was a Roman army unit. Its purpose was to conquer and occupy and that is exactly what this/these demon(s) did to this poor man. When a person is possessed, the demon(s) takes away the person’s identity as well as the person’s dignity. It is identity theft at the highest level. He no longer had his own name or personality. He was now Legion, the name of the demon(s). Instead of him being Tom the God-fearing, hard working father and family man, he was Legion, the crazy demon possessed man that ran around naked, screaming and lived in the cemetery.
Instead of that person being Tom the great student with a great future ahead, he is that drug addict killing himself on Meth. Instead of it being Jane, the loving mother and great wife, it is the woman who abandoned her children and family and now sells her body to support her possession/addiction. Instead of so-n-so, it’s the child molester, the rapist, the alcoholic, etc. However, THERE IS HOPE and that is what I want us to see.
Jesus had COMMANDED the evil spirit to come out of the man. We encountered a woman once that was obviously possessed. Several women wanted to be “Christian” and help the possessed person, but were lost as to how to talk to her and be nice. One woman spoke to my wife about her dilemma. My wife said, “You need to remember that you are talking to a demon spirit. You are not supposed to be nice.” Jesus did not talk nice to demons. He commanded them.
Luke 8:31-33 And they begged him repeatedly not to order them to go into the Abyss. A large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside. The demons begged Jesus to let them go into them, and he gave them permission. When the demons came out of the man, they went into the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned.
There are a few thoughts here. One is demons need a body. They prefer people, but animals will do. I think of dogs that kill children, or bears that stalk and kill people. Another thought is, now it is plural – demons…them…they. Initially, it was singular. Initially, the demons were not revealing themselves. Often in possessions, there will be more than one demonic activity.
Luke 8:34-37 When those tending the pigs saw what had happened, they ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened. When they came to Jesus, they found the man from whom the demons had gone out, SITTING AT JESUS’ FEET, DRESSED AND IN HIS RIGHT MIND; and they were afraid. Those who had seen it told the people how the demon-possessed man had been cured. Then all the people of the region of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them, because they were overcome with fear. So he got into the boat and left.
Is it not amazing that the people were afraid and even overcome with fear to see the man cured?Amazingly, people become comfortable with the demons they learn to accommodate. They learned to “put up with” the demonic activity rather than ministering to it. Now, he is delivered. What do they do with him? Jesus solved one problem, but created more. Was he really cured? Was he going to live in town… WITH US? Did they want him around? Something about dealing with the supernatural frightens us. The things that frighten us are the things we do not understand. People do not understand the supernatural. Therefore, it frightens them. When you realize that someone is demonically possessed and understand how to handle it, it does not frighten you.
Jesus reached out to this radically, seemingly evil person. You would think the evil and vile person would repulse the Son of God. Instead, it attracted him. How do you and I compare to Jesus in that sense? Would we get back in the boat and shove off as quickly as possible? Or, would we attempt to help the man? Jesus loves people. He even loves demon-possessed people and wants to help them. If we are true disciples, we will help too.
I want you to see that DEMONS AND DARKNESS are real. Where are you in the continuum? I want to bring you to a place where you can help people. The truth is EVERY DAY you step out of the boat and meet people that are demonically possessed or oppressed. You know them. You love them. You wish you could help them. You can and that poor person needs you.
Jesus delivered the man and he received his right mind. So much so, that he wanted to go with Jesus and the disciples. Instead, Jesus sent him back to his home to tell how much God had done for him.
Luke 8:39 “Return home and tell how much God has done for you.” So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him.
What a great ending to a true horror story. I want to end today with us praying for people that we suspect are demonically controlled. Perhaps you have a loved one or acquaintances that something, unseen with the natural eye, seizes. Their life is a mess and getting worse. Could it be DEMONS AND DARKNESS? It could kill them, but we can pray right now and God will begin the delivering process.
Other Related Sermons:
- S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters, Preface