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Today we are going to take a look at various demonic spirits mentioned in the Bible and the influences and powers that they have. People often underestimate the power of a demonic spirit and this can lead to being defeated in battle.
Let us begin today in Matthew 8:28-34. “And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding 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 hither to torment us before the time? And there was a good way off from them an herd of many swine feeding. So the devils besought him, saying, If thou cast us out, suffer us to go away into the herd of swine. And he said unto them, Go. And when they were come out, they went into the herd of swine: and, behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters.”
By looking at this scripture in the beginning we can see many things. First, the demons are able to acknowledge that Jesus is the Son of God. This is contrary to what many people teach by saying “A demon can’t say the name Jesus” or “a demon can’t acknowledge that Jesus is Lord”. This is often used by people who say if you can get a demon possessed person to say either of these things then the demon has left. Here we can clearly see how this is the wrong way of thinking.
Secondly we see that the demons clearly were afraid of Jesus. They feared he had come to torment them, and even went so far as to beg him that IF they were cast out, that they be allowed to go into a herd of swine (or pigs). This we see Jesus allowing them to do, the question becomes why? We believe this to be as a sign of evidence of demonic spirits being real. For someone to have been possessed by devils and then suddenly be in their right mind, and for pigs to have been behaving normally and then suddenly rush down a cliff and drown themselves in the water definitely shows that there was something that went from the men to the pigs.
Thirdly, we see that Jesus did not have to hold down the men, throw a Bible at them, sprinkle holy water on them, yell and scream at the men or any of the other tactics often used in deliverance ministry today. Jesus said one word. GO. That was all it took. Now you may say “yes but this is Jesus we’re talking about here”. Yes it was Jesus but does the Bible not tell us that as a spirit filled saint we have the power to do the things Jesus did? Well if all it took was for Jesus to say “Go” then why should it not be as easy for us?
Finally we see just how much of a hold these demons had upon these men. It tells us they were exceedingly fierce so no man could pass by. That says these demons had a very strong hold. After they had been cast out everyone was amazed at the change that came upon the men.
Now let us go to Matthew 9:32-33 “As they went out, behold, they brought to him a dumb man possessed with a devil. And when the devil was cast out, the dumb spake: and the multitudes marvelled, saying, It was never so seen in Israel.” Here we can see just how much power a demon can have over someone. Many of the new “modern day people” would say this was a medical condition that was cured and wasn’t really a devil or demon but one must realize that this is just what Satan wants people to believe. He does not want people knowing the truth of how much power a demon has. Another example is found in Matthew 12:22. “Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw.” Once again we see the control that a demon has on a person and we see that Jesus healed him by casting out the demon.
Matthew 17:14-21 tells us “And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a [certain] man, kneeling down to him, and saying, Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatick, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water. And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him. Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me. And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour. Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.” Again we see the power that a demon can have upon a person. Here we see where the disciples had not been able to cast out this demon because it had such a grip on the child. Of course today this is explained away as epilepsy but are you going to say that Jesus did not recognize this as a demon? The scriptures do tell us that he rebuked the devil, and also that he told the disciples that this kind only went out by prayer and fasting.
Now why would Jesus say prayer and fasting? When one is fasting and praying they are drawing closer to God and understanding what God wants in their life. It is during this time that one gains power. It is during these seasons of prayer and fasting that one is walking closer and closer to God.
Mark 1:23-27 tells us “And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out, Saying, Let [us] alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God. And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. And when the unclean spirit had torn him, and cried with a loud voice, he came out of him.” Once again this goes against a common belief of people today, demons cannot go inside a church.
Here we see Jesus was in the synagogue and that is where the man with the unclean spirit was. The demon had come inside the church inside a person. Do demons come in the churches today? Absolutely they can be there. How many people recognize them for what they are? Probably not nearly as many as should. This is due to people not being trained in the ways of God.
Luke 4:41 states “And devils also came out of many, crying out, and saying, Thou art Christ the Son of God. And he rebuking [them] suffered them not to speak: for they knew that he was Christ.” Jesus didn’t engage in a long dialogue with the demons as many who engage in deliverance do today show that there is no need to do so. He simply rebuked them, didn’t argue with them and cast them out. Because of this example we know that we do not have to argue with a demon and if a demon chooses to try and argue claiming rights or whatever it is because they are attempting to “defend their turf” so to speak.
Now that we have looked at several cases of demonic possession in the time of Jesus and how he handled various situations let us look at one more case showing what demons can do. Let us go to Acts 19:13-16. “Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth. And there were seven sons of [one] Sceva, a Jew, [and] chief of the priests, which did so. And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?” Here we see a mockery being made of the sons of Sceva. The demons are not in any way responding in the way the sons of Sceva expected them to. In fact what do we see happened? Look at verse 17. “And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.” This is what can happen if you start messing around in something you are not ready for. Look at this example closely. One man had an evil spirit and he overtook SEVEN of the sons of Sceva, ripped their clothes off of them and sent them out of the house naked and hurt. Now anyone knows that one normal man is not going to be able to take on 7 men at one time and send them out of a house in that condition. Only a demon could allow a person to have that kind of non human strength.
Notice that the sons of Sceva told the devils to come out “in the name of Jesus of whom Paul preaches”. These were not men who were on a “first name basis” with God, they were not followers of Jesus themselves and as a result were only copying what they had seen Paul do. When they attempted this it was obvious that it was not successful. Today we cannot cast demons out in the name of “Jesus of whom Billy Graham preaches” or “Jesus of whom my pastor preaches”, we can only cast out demons based on the authority that God has given each of us.
A demon is not something to be played with. Based on the examples shown here one can see that demons are real, have a great amount of power and have no respect for anyone. It is a strong and formidable enemy and before engaging in battle with one, it is necessary to make sure that you are where you need to be so you don’t end up like one of the sons of Sceva.
Apostle Charlie and Sister Becky
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