Unclean Spirits Cast Out
Mark 1:21-28 - And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out, 24 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. 25 And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. 26 And when the unclean spirit had torn him, and cried with a loud voice, he came out of him. 27 And they were all amazed, insomuch that they questioned among themselves, saying, What thing is this? what new doctrine is this? for with authority commandeth he even the unclean spirits, and they do obey him. 28 And immediately his fame spread abroad throughout all the region round about Galilee.
Luke 4:33-37 - And in the synagogue there was a man, which had a spirit of an unclean devil, and cried out with a loud voice, 34 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. 35 And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. And when the devil had thrown him in the midst, he came out of him, and hurt him not. 36 And they were all amazed, and spake among themselves, saying, What a word is this! for with authority and power he commandeth the unclean spirits, and they come out. 37 And the fame of him went out into every place of the country round about.
A. There are two passages in the gospels which speak of this miracle.
B. I am going to use Mark 1:21-28 as the principle scripture, but will also use parts of Luke 4:33-37.
II. In the synagogue.
A. Why would a demon want to be in a worship service?
1. The devil is religious!
a. Matthew 4:8-11 – Satan desired Christ to fall down and worship him.
b. II Timothy 3:5 – There is a form of worship which denies the power thereof.
2. Satan wants his actions approved.
a. This is why Satan and all his followers are continually approaching and harassing the people of God, challenging correct Biblical interpretations.
b. Their aim is to “wear down” the people of God so they do not stand for God anymore.
3. Acts 20:29-30 – Satan wants to draw disciples to himself.
a. Satan wants to draw the weak away from God.
b. Like a vulture, Satan is always on the lookout for those near the outside of church fellowship.
B. There are different type of demon possession.
1. Mark 5:1-8 – Some in the graveyards.
a. This type of demon possessed person is miserable and cannot help but show it by self-destructive actions.
b. This type of demon possessed person could not be bound, even though the citizens of the country had tried to bind him.
c. Some trying to kill themselves.
2. Some in places of worship.
a. Fitting in very nicely.
b. There is no need to bind this demon possessed person for they are not causing any problems.
c. This type of demon possessed person looks like, acts like, speaks like, and has the same motives as those that are not demon possessed.
3. Demons should not fit into the worship services.
a. They should be uncomfortable with the preaching of the gospel.
b. Many worship services are so void of worship that even the devils can fit in.
4. This demon was comfortable with Jewish worship, but not with Jesus Christ.
a. So it is with us.
b. Demons can be comfortable around us, but they should not be comfortable around us when our lives picture Christ.
C. Christ and Satan are not compatible.
1. If demon possessed people are comfortable in our services, it is because we are not worshipping God as we should.
2. It is possible for demon possessed people to be in our services, but they should not comfortable.
3. I remember listening to a tape where Brother Berlin Hisel is preaching on the characteristics of demon possession when a demon possessed person stood up in the back of the building, loudly proclaiming that Jesus Christ is the son of God.
a. Brother Hisel motioned for a couple of his men to remove the person from the building, but they refused, because they understood the great super-human strength a demon possessed person can have.
b. That strength is revealed in the scripture concerning the demon possessed man who lived in the tombs and broke the chains he was fastened with.
III. It was the teaching of Christ that made the demon uncomfortable.
A. Just before this scripture, Jesus was in Nazareth, where he read Isaiah concerning him fulfilling the scripture.
1. The folks in the synagogue refused to believe him, even going so far as to rise up against him, and cast him out of the city, attempting to throw him headlong down a hill to his death.
2. Jesus escaped their wrath by passing through the midst of them.
3. Luke 4:31 – From there, Jesus came to Capernaum and taught them on several sabbath days.
B. Apparently, according to Luke 4:31, Jesus had been teaching them for several Sabbaths.
1. Many were astonished at his doctrine, for he preached with power.
a. Compare to Matthew 7:29 where the people said Jesus spoke with authority, and not as the scribes.
b. Jesus could speak with authority because he had all power, which he received from his father.
2. It was apparently after several of these Sabbath preaching sessions that the demon possessed man had taken all he could and spoke out against the teachings of Christ.
IV. All these demons say the same thing to Christ.
A. Demons come to Christ.
1. Not for help, but in their misery.
2. They draw attention to themselves.
3. They confront Christ, who did nothing.
4. This is typical of sinners, who want Christ and Godly people to accept their wicked behaviour.
1. Luke 4:24 - 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.
2. Mark 5:7 - And cried with a loud voice, and said, 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.
C. The reaction of the demons to Christ is the same.
1. Neither of them desire to have anything to do with Christ.
2. Both recognize Jesus Christ is the son of God.
3. Both publicly acknowledge that Jesus is the Christ.
4. Both state Jesus has power over them.
5. Both question whether Jesus is come to them to destroy them.
6. Both believe there is a coming judgment where they will be judged by Christ.
7. Both understand there is no hope for them, but destruction is their future.
8. Both desire that Jesus not torment them before the time of their torment arrive.
D. Christ says the same thing to all demons, and expects us to do the same.
1. Christ does not allow them to speak, as they have no authority, and they will always pervert the pure gospel message.
a. Acts 16:18 – This demon possessed woman was following Paul and Silas proclaiming, …these men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation.
b. Paul, by the power of God, cast the demon out of the woman, thus silencing her proclamations.
2. Christ not only commands them to not speak, but shuts their mouths so they cannot speak.
V. It is proper to ask if there is still demon possession today.
A. Many believe we live in “enlightened” times, therefore there is no demon possession today.
1. Many believe all forms of demon possessions is nothing more than some form of mental illness.
2. There is an unsuccessful attempt to treat demon possession with drugs.
3. Jesus is the real, everlasting cure for demon possessions.
B. I believe there is still demon possession, in all the forms of demon possession revealed in the Old and New Testaments.
1. There is such a thing as mental illness, which is not demon possession.
2. There can be problems with the brain, which is physical, without there being any problem with the spirit.
3. There can be problems with anxiety without it being demon possession.
4. There is such a thing as drug imposed demon possession.
a. There is a demon in a bottle of alcohol, which is why liquor is called “spirits”.
b. There is a demon in illicit drugs.
c. There is a negative-ness about sin that drives a person to depression and more wickedness.