Evil Spirit and Demons – What about an evil spirit and demons? Are demons SUPERNATURAL? Are demons and evil spirits around today, or did they go away? Is it just Hollywood making a fiction thriller, or is there something you should know? If they are around, why doesn’t the church teach us about demons?
By Pastor Delbert Young
Evil Spirit and Demons
Evil Spirit and Demons
Scriptures: Mark 5:1-4, Mark 5:5, Mark 5:6-9, Mark 5:10, Mark 9:17-18, Mark 9:21-22, James 4:7-8
This week and next, I want to talk about SATAN AND HIS DEMONS. You might say, “Two weeks!?” Judy and I discussed it and decided to make it two lessons. I want to say some things I know many of you have never heard, which should give you insight. So, please listen closely. Also, I ask if you talk to your friends about what I say, please give them the CDs. That way they will have the scriptural references. Please don’t make me sound weird, well… if that is possible. Next week we will talk about: FROM WHERE DID SATAN AND DEMONS COME? That is when I will probably say the most concerning what many of you have never heard. Today we will talk about WHAT DEMONS DO.
What about demons? Are demons SUPERNATURAL? Are demons and evil spirits around today, or did they go away with the apostles? Is it just Hollywood making a fiction thriller, or is there something you should know? If they are around, why doesn’t the church teach us about demons? Why? Again, it’s the pendulum problem – (1) overemphasis, weirdness, everything is a demon, which leads to (2) under emphasis and demons do not exist. The only thing worse than the overemphasis is the under emphasis. Let’s look at some biblical stories and see if demons relate WITH today.
Mark 5:1-4 They went across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes. When Jesus got out of the boat, a man WITH an evil spirit came from the tombs to meet him. This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him any more, not even with a chain. For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him.
Jesus came face to face with a human being, but this human being was WITH an evil spirit. That’s interesting terminology. The man and the evil spirit accompanied one another. Demons need a person to function WITH full potential. A person WITH an evil spirit welcomes, accepts, and invites the presence of an evil spirit. You actually wonder if the demon has the person, or if the person has the demon. The possessed person has a love relation WITH the evil spirit. This is the reason it is difficult to free the person from the spirit.
This sad human being lived in the tombs – mnemeion – a place of interment. In those days, people frequently buried loved ones in tombs. This man lived among the dead. That’s strange. What would you think of a person who lived in a cemetery? Strange. Every person possessed WITH an evil spirit in the Bible is obviously strange WITH a darkness. It’s not difficult to realize something is very strange when around a demon. It’s dark.
Let’s make this relevant for today using a person with a spirit of lust/homosexuality. He or she is in love WITH that thing. It goes WITH them everyplace. Once, many years ago (30+), I went into a store and there were two men, obviously to me, gay men. They looked me up and down and began grunting – ummmm, ummmm. It was then I realized what you women sometimes experience. They followed me around the store grunting. They loved their lustful feeling, and I was very uncomfortable. They didn’t care how foolish they looked, sounded, or who saw them. It was a spirit WITH them and they loved that spirit. It gave them strange pleasure. It made them feel good. Can anyone relate something to that story for today? There’s something darkly strange that a person seemed to love.
This evil spirit in Mark 5 gave the man abnormal strength. People could not subdue him. You have seen times when a situation required several people to hold someone down until drugged.
Mark 5:5 Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones.
You have heard about or known people who cut their own bodies. This is an important point. If this happens to someone you know and love, it’s serious. Don’t play it off. That person has an evil spirit. Cutting one’s self is as common today as it was two-thousand years ago. Have you ever thought or asked a person who did that, “What possessed you to cut your self?” See what I mean?
Mark 5:6-9 When he saw Jesus from a distance, HE ran and fell on his knees in front of him. He shouted at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Swear to God that you won’t torture me!” For Jesus had said to HIM, “Come out of this man, you evil spirit!” Then Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” “My name is Legion,” he replied, “for we are MANY.”
The “evil spirit” (singular) became a “legion” – “many.” This is normal. One evil spirit brings more. It begins with one disorder and then another and more disorders. A possessed person has“many,” “many” disorders. It’s not one problem. It’s a legion of problems. We could say it begins with one oppression and moves to possession. Can you relate that to today? Do you know anyone that began with a disorder, but now has many, many disorders. Someone began to act strange, then stranger, then the person was strange all the time. So, are demons around today?
I need to show you something important.
Mark 5:10 And he begged Jesus AGAIN AND AGAIN NOT TO SEND THEM OUT OF THE AREA.
The evil spirit did NOT beg Jesus “not to send them out of the” man. It begged Jesus “again and again not to send them out of the AREA.” This is a big point. Evil spirits operate and come upon generation after generation by remaining in the same AREA. What does this reveal to us about our AREA? We have much child molestation. That’s horrific destructive sexual addiction. We have much drug addiction. I believe I heard this area was a top “meth” producing area in the world. Some of you here battle WITH drug addiction. Sadly, you love your drugs. Another power in this area is a backward poverty mentality. This area fights change.
This thing greatly influences the churches. There is a spirit that attempts to stop a/the church from moving on and being influential in a real society. It “pigeon holes” a church. It confines/chains a church. It says a church can be this and do that, teach this, but not that. It can’t do anything contemporary to reach real people. If it does do anything else then it’s a cult. It stops a church from being a place of insight. Walmart can be progressive, but not a church. People around here love that spirit. You don’t because you are here, but EVEN HERE, some of you resist change and love to stay small minded. We have hit that thing. No longer is it only Life Gate, though Life Gate church was the first in this AREA to break some chains. Today, nearly every church in this AREA is moving in a contemporary direction. If you will notice, if they are not moving in that direction they are drying up. Hopefully, within 20 years, we will see a tremendous progress overall in our area as churches continue to defeat that evil spirit and move out.
Different AREAS experience different evil spirits (demons). It’s a principality. When we first moved to this AREA, we felt a different heavy depression. We would leave for a trip. It seemed as we crossed the county line, the heaviness left. When we came back, the heaviness came back.
Judy and I went to New York City. We both felt and commented about a heaviness there. New York is big and exciting. You get lost in it, but something is strange there. While driving, we got into a horrific argument. Perhaps you have experienced something like that some place.
We visited a huge church in Atlanta a few weeks ago. While traveling to the church and passing through the surrounding neighborhood, we felt a very heavy depression. We were looking for a place to eat, but didn’t even want to eat in that neighborhood. We went about a half-mile away and the heavy depressing spirit was not there. There was a totally different spirit.
I don’t want to get spooky spiritual on you, but we need to take this stuff for real. If you are at least aware, you will be better enabled to help yourself and your children know about what to be alert. It’s not like you could leave this area and be free from any evil spirit presence. Every area has principalities.
I need to share this while on this point. I told you when we came to this AREA, we experienced an “evil spirit” we had not experienced before. One day, the Lord revealed the spirit to me. We called it Jezebel initially, but I’m not certain this is a positive ID. Here is what the Lord showed me. During the Civil War, a major battle took place only a few miles from here at Chickamauga Battle Field. Today, you drive through it and feel something. Am I right? The men in this AREA fought for more than to win a war. They fought for their land, homes, heritage, families, possessions, etc. Thousands of men died from this AREA. Thousands of those who fought, but did not die came back armless or legless, maimed and mauled. Men could no longer function as the primary worker and provider of the family. Thus, the women, forced to step up, took over as workers and providers for their families. Many of their men were dead or maimed, which opened a door for an evil spirit. I call it a matriarch spirit. It causes a disorder in homes. For the first ten years of Life Gate’s ministry, we found ourselves fighting against very strong women married to weak, disabled men. They were/are good men, but overpowered by extremely strong manipulative women. Every, and I mean EVERY battle I/we fought dealt with a strong, powerful woman married to a weak, disabled by manipulation, man. That thing nearly put me away several times. In 1996, we broke through something. That spirit is still in the AREA. It comes dressed differently (disguised), but it’s still here.
Once Judy and I came back from Chattanooga. As we came down Duke Street, turned onto Dickerson, we recognized a vehicle and the person in it parked at the carwash next door. She is a strong matriarch woman. The church had an academy in the Student Building in those days. She positioned the automobile at an angle facing toward the academy. With papers lying on the steering wheel and reading from them, she would look up to the school/academy and speak toward the building. We saw this. When she saw us, she quickly drove off. I told the elders about it. We prayed. Nonetheless, and no matter how I slice or dice it, the school closed in a year or so. Did the person “curse” the academy? All I know is we had some bad times. Was the person WITH an evil spirit? My point is this: Do not take this stuff as insignificant.
Doug Eaker, an elder and Pastor here, reminded me Thursday about a statement I made one Sunday years ago. I was a young immature preacher attempting to teach about demons. I said, “Instead of being frightened of demons, we should go looking for demons.” I said, “Give me a demon to fight!” I heard another preacher say this and thought it was pretty cool, so I used it. I said it one Sunday. On the next Wednesday, I was in the emergency room with a kidney stone. Delbert, do you really believe you had the kidney stone because you made that statement? All I know is I was in the emergency room with a kidney stone and I have never had a kidney stone. Also, shortly after that time, the preacher I got the statement from became totally messed up and lost his huge ministry.
Jesus never went looking for demons. When he came upon one, he dealt with it. That is my approach now. MY POINT IS TAKE THIS STUFF SERIOUSLY. There is a supernatural world that most of you do not believe. And those who do believe, take it too lightly. Learn from what I am attempting to tell you.
If you finish reading the story in Mark 5, you will see that the evil spirit basically struck a bargain with Jesus not to send them out of the AREA, but rather into a herd of pigs. All events happening in the story don’t compute in me yet (which shows I don’t know all there is to know about this stuff). The legion went into the pigs, the pigs then ran off a steep bank and the pigs drowned. I want to ask you what happened to the “legion” of demons? Did the evil spirits drown? I wish! We think they did, but spirits can’t drown. They are still in the AREA.
“Delbert, do you believe there are demons today?” Yes. I absolutely do. “Delbert, have you encountered demons?” Yes, probably more often than I realize and it’s never a pleasant experience. I have had them try to take over the church and take over a church service. I have had them to come down for prayer and vomit (I’m sorry, but I have). I put my hand over it’s mouth so it could not get attention and took it out of here. I know this shocks some of you. (That was our younger days). These are reasons we are so protective of what goes on while you and your family are here. We have a service order, which has cut out the places giving a place for those things to happen. People say they “want the spirit to move.” You don’t want that spirit to move. We honor and protect your time.
Once I was at a life group. I always attempt to take a low profile at those times and let the leader of the group lead. People have a tendency to direct questions to me if I am present. I wanted the leader to lead at this group and I was low profile. A young man requested prayer and when the others gathered around him and began to pray, the young man began to speak in a very strange demonic whiny voice, which immediately got everyone’s attention. The wife of the leader looked at me and asked, “What was that?” I was sitting in a chair reading my Bible (low profile). I looked at her as I closed my Bible, stood, placed my Bible in my chair, and said, “Well, we have a demon tonight.” Of course, everyone’s eyes got big. I took authority in the name of Jesus and delivered the young man.
I don’t play with evil spirits. Actually, I respect them for their power. I know that sounds weird, but we will talk more about this next time. I don’t ask them their names. I have learned not to give them microphones or any place. I simply confront them if I step out of the boat and “am met by a demon.”
I want you to know what would happen if an evil spirit showed up today, or any day at our church. As soon as recognized, it would be ushered out by several people and the person would be ministered to. You would probably not know anything happened. Delbert, has that ever happened? Oh, yes, and you never knew.
I want to look at one of the many experiences Jesus had with evil spirits. The Lord didn’t give these experiences to us to read about as stories. He gave them to us for insight and learning. Let’s learn.
Mark 9:17-18 A man in the crowd answered, “Teacher, I brought you my son, who is POSSESSED by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not.”
“Possessed is a big word.” Possessed – echo – to hold; possession, ability, contiguity. Think of an innocent child, maybe 6 or 7 years old, controlled/held by an evil spirit. Demons have no mercy on your children. They will kill your children as well as you. Every sickness and bad event we experience is NOT a demon, BUT never underestimate the possibility of the presence of an evil spirit.
Mark 9:21-22 Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?” “FROM CHILDHOOD,” he answered. “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE FOR HIM WHO BELIEVES.”
This is a well-known, quoted scripture – at least part of the verse is frequently quoted. I want to ask you, “Believe what?” We must look at the context. The context is helping a person be freed from a demon. I realize that “EVERYTHING” is included in “everything.” But, don’t exclude the original context. We must BELIEVE that Jesus CAN help people be freed from demons. What do you believe? Most of us do not believe this stuff. This boy’s dad obviously had trouble believing. Jesus helped his unbelief. He will help your unbelief too.
Demons/evil spirits are as real today as they were two thousand years ago. They go WITH a person and the possessed person loves the evil spirit. They reside in and affect AREAS. People you know are affected by “area” evil spirits. You have encountered demons more frequently than you realize. You just thought, “That’s a strange person.” They have no mercy on animals or people. Demons will target and attack your children. Their intent is to ruin, destroy, and kill lives. Some of you are under severe attack right now and I can’t just end here. I have to give you a last scripture until next time.
James 4:7-8 SUBMIT yourselves, then, to God. RESIST THE DEVIL, and he will FLEE FROM YOU. Come near to God and he will come near to you.
Everything is not a demon, but if it is a demonic attack, here is what you do. Submit to God – do things God’s way and trust him. Resist the devil. Don’t give in to it – fight, pray, speak to the spirit in a loud voice, rebuke it, take authority over it. If you get close to God, the devil will flee. As you come near to God, God will come near to you. We probably got in that mess because we were not close enough to God in the first place. Let’s pray
Other Related Sermons: