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The Maniac (Part A)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
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April 26, 2021 6:00 am

The Maniac (Part A)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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April 26, 2021 6:00 am

Pastor Rick teaches from the Gospel of Mark (Mark 5:1-20)

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Wickedness is wickedness and it's going to do what it does and here we are seeing it happen. I employ you by God that you do not torment me. Well, what gave you the idea that he's going to torment you?

Well, the understanding that he is high and holy and clean and you are not. They did not care that they were tormenting the man, yet they wanted to be shielded. From such agonies, such is evil. Such are evil people.

They want mercy, they just don't want to give any of it up. And now here's Pastor Rick in the Gospel of Mark chapter 5 with a brand new study called The Maniac. And no one could bind him, not even with chains, because he had often been bound with shackles and chains. The chains had been pulled apart by him and the shackles broken in pieces.

Neither could anyone tame him. And always, night and day, he was in the mountains and in the tombs, crying out and cutting himself with stones. When he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and worshipped him and cried out with a loud voice and said, What have I to do with you, Jesus, Son of the Most High God?

I implore you by God that you do not torment me. For he said to him, Come out of the man, unclean spirit. Then he asked him, What is your name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion, but we are many.

Also, he begged him earnestly that he would not send them out of the country. Now a large herd of swine was feeding there near the mountains. So all the demons begged him, saying, Send us to the swine, that we may enter them. And at once Jesus gave them permission. Then the unclean spirits went out and entered the swine.

There were about two thousand. And the herd ran violently down the steep place into the sea and drowned in the sea. So those who fed the swine fled, and they told it in the city and in the country. And they went out to see what it was that had happened. Then they came to Jesus and saw the one who had been demon-possessed and had the Legion sitting and clothed in his right mind.

And they were afraid. And those who saw it told them how it happened to him who had been demon-possessed and about the swine. Then they began to plead with him to depart from their region. And when he got into the boat, he who had been demon-possessed begged him that he might be with him.

However, Jesus did not permit him, but said to him, Go home to your friends and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you and how he has had compassion on you. And he departed and began to proclaim in Decapolis all that Jesus had done for him and all marveled. In preparation, I said, Well, maybe I can read just 10 of the verses. And the Lord said, Read it all. Storms, which are subject to Christ, was the last event we read in Chapter 4.

And it's directly linked to what we're getting here in Chapter 5. Jesus had been in Capernaum. He had been teaching and preaching parables. And he said to his disciples, Let's get into the boat.

And there they sailed across the Sea of Galilee about six miles or so to Gadara where they now are. And Christ is King. He is Lord. He is Lord over storms. He is Lord over demons. He is Lord over death. He is Lord over disease, everything.

But he has a plan and he's working it out. And so here they go through that derecho storm, that straight line of wind that hit the boats. They survived it because he stood up and he said, Peace be still. He told the storm to be muzzled. He didn't have to do that. He could have just willed it into submission.

But he stood and did it in front of his disciples so that they would know that they were in the presence of one who was greater than any prophet that they ever read about. And that effect is just what happened because at the end they were saying, Who could this be? He commands the weather. Well, there's so much going on because here they survived the storm. Are they going to survive this maniac? And that is the title of this morning's message.

The maniac. I think there are lessons for all of us. There are a limited amount of information given to us, but it's sufficient concerning the demons that are being faced here. And remember, there were other little boats with him.

It was not just the boat with Jesus and his apostles, but other believers had tagged along. So in this fifth chapter, after the storm won the sea, we have this encounter with the demons. Then we have the woman with the disease and finally the child that had died. Demons, disease and death and storms, the very terrors that mankind is faced with. In each of these four events, from the storm to the raising of the child, desperate souls were driven in distress to Jesus Christ. Remember the last chapter, Master, do you care that we perish?

Here he was sleeping on a pillow and they woke him up in the middle of the storm. Now he's faced with a demon. One of the lessons that comes out of this fifth chapter is that a demonic soul is recoverable in Christ. That a diseased individual is curable in Christ. And that the dead can rise again because of Christ. These are the lessons we look for because we need all the help we can get to build up the spiritual man to look beyond the things of this world and remember we serve an eternal king. He's not on a temporary throne somewhere on earth.

He's on the throne of heaven over the earth. And so here, a maniac that he is faced with is a dictionary's definition of a maniac. A person exhibiting extreme symptoms of wild behavior, especially when violent and dangerous. Matthew in his account of the same event says in Matthew chapter 8 that this man was exceedingly fierce so that no one could pass by. It was violent. It was dangerous. In fact, Matthew mentions there were two of them. It was a tag along.

But this, there was one that was the primary. I'll keep it centered to the one that Jesus is centered on here in Mark. Understanding that by the time he was done, both men were in their right minds. Now we look at verse 1. Then they came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gadarenes. Now this other side is Decapolis as we get at the end of this chapter.

Primarily non-Jewish people are on this side at this time in the history of Israel. And so, you know, you look at the storm. They survived the storm and now this. Soon as they get out of the boat, the maniac could see them coming. And so he was rushing at them. My feelings were that if I were in the boat and I saw a maniac coming towards me, I'd grab one of the oars. And I'd settle it as quickly as possible. It's not the style of our Lord.

Not necessary with him. They, again, survived the storm and Mark says immediately, Oh great! Soon as we come ashore, here's another threat, another problem such as life. You get through one storm and there's something crazy waiting for you after it. Christ is expecting you with him to make it through. Verse 2, And when he had come out of the boat, immediately there met him out of the tombs, a man with an unclean spirit.

So from the crazy weather to the crazy man. The disciples are faced with both on purpose. Christ is intentionally doing this and he's doing it in front of them. And he has a plan for more souls to be ministered to by what he is doing than just those that are with him.

And that comes out in this story too. Just these 20 verses. This intentional arrival at this shore for this man, not the first time Christ did it. In John's gospel, we read in chapter 4, it says he needed to go through Samaria.

Not some area, but Samaria. And he needed to go through that area because there was a woman who was going to be at the well and Christ was going to reach her. And that he did and he did not stop there.

He reached the whole village through her. This is going to be a little different. He's going to reach this one maniac, but the village will not come along with him. In fact, the village will chase him away as we just read moments ago.

But this is deliberate. And he comes to meet this hopeless man as he met the woman because he's giving them a chance. He gave the Samarians in their village a chance and he is giving these people in the Decapolis region a chance.

Now getting ahead of myself is an interesting part. They blow this, most of them, but he's coming back again. Twice more, at least, he comes back to Decapolis. He doesn't give us just one chance to get it right.

He gives us many chances. In verse 3, speaking about the maniac, he says, Who had his dwelling among the tombs, and no one could bind him, not even with chains, because he had often been bound with shackles and chains, the chains had been pulled apart by him, and the shackles broken in pieces, neither could anyone tame him. Maybe somebody's offended that the man was a maniac.

What would you like to call him, a gerbil? I mean, this is serious stuff. And this trying to constantly water down words to get away from what they mean is not helpful.

It's not said in a way to insult. Getting to the fact this man was destabilized in a very drastic way. He wasn't a little crazy, he was big crazy. He was dangerous, he was a menace. Not only to others, but to himself. He had the wrong kind of reputation.

This is the kind of reputation you don't want in life. Luke adds this, he was kept under guard. That's before he broke away to the tombs. Because again, he was a big problem for everyone else. Non-human help couldn't help himself.

In fact, he was hurting himself. Nowadays, they try therapy and they try drugs on cases such as this. At best, they can stabilize the individual through the drugs.

They cannot deliver them. This is outright demon possession. And man does not have a physical solution to spiritual demon possession. There's a spiritual element introduced into the mind that only God can deal with. And that is what we're learning from this. And God does deal with it through his people, through his word. But it is a very serious thing. And there are heightened times in history where the demon possession is ramped up, it seems, from reading in scripture. But you kind of look at history and you wonder, you scratch your head and you say, I think it just shifts from place to place in its intensity from time to time.

It always seems to be here somewhere. You hear about some of the atrocities committed, just say, in some of the other countries of the world. And you just say, that's not human. That's demonic. Even bad people do not go to that extreme. There are devils. There are those that are spiritual.

They are active. And the Bible is not apologizing for it, just makes no attempt at covering it up. In fact, it brings it to the surface to deal with it. It doesn't tell us all we want to know about them because we don't need to know all that there is about them. What we need to know is what the scripture tells us.

It is sufficient. We don't read about the disciples then pulling Jesus aside and say, give us some more details about these demons. And yet, after Christ ascends to heaven, the apostles themselves are dealing with these demons.

Verse 5, And always, night and day, he was in the mountains and in the tombs, crying out and cutting himself with stones. It's an odd thing that if today somebody is spiritually possessed, that to say that they're spiritually possessed is somehow an insult or, you know, mean-spirited. That they can only be diagnosed, that can give fancy titles to ailments without cures. That's the world of psychology and psychiatry.

They've got a bunch of titles for everything. I don't think they've got many solutions. Well, the world's got to have some response to these things so they don't have Christ. And the mercy of God has given them something to address it with. But why hurt himself?

Zero love going on there. That's what demons do. The demons themselves are out of their mind. Anyone here wanting to hurt themselves? If you want to hurt yourself, can you just skip that step? Can you just skip the step of hurting yourself and line up with Christ and be useful? Because to him, everything is there for you to be useful to him.

It's your choice. Satan wants you to hurt yourself. He wants churches to hurt themselves. He hates humanity. Christ loves humanity.

These self-inflicted wounds. They could be seen by everybody that was in the boats that day that came ashore to watch what was going on. Scary monuments on his body to the work of Satan and the fall of man.

How do we know everybody could see them? Well, Luke tells us in Luke chapter 8 in his parallel account, and he wore no clothes, Luke 8 27. Verse 6, when he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and worshiped him. Just a glimpse at the Son of God.

Just a glimpse of him. Demanded submission. It demands it from created beings. The man, who is now monster-like, sees Christ and bows before him because every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess. And this in microcosm is a picture of all humanity in the end will bow to Christ.

Some to benefit, others not. They were not free to ignore him, and they were not free to escape from him. They were compelled by forces greater than themselves, or I should say a force greater than themselves, to come and bow down before him. And that force was his divinity, who he was. Even in his humanity, he never let go of his divinity. So the man with demons inside was now bowing before Jesus Christ in front of everybody. And the translators, taking the words from the Greek, are very clear that he came to Christ and he worshiped him. Now, the Jehovah's Witnesses in their watchtower renderings or corruptions of the scripture like to change that word because they do not want anyone to think that Christ was worthy of worship because that would put him on the level with God the Father.

But you can't edit it out because it is illustrated in so many other ways. Even just when you get to the book of Revelation, towards the end, you start telling us about the Lamb of God, it puts him on the same level of God the Father because he is equal with the Father, not counting it robbery. Well, inside this man was a soul ready to be freed and Christ knew it. But there are those that are not ever ready to be freed in less horrid conditions. Some are not demon-possessed and they don't want to be free from their own carnality, from their self, from the world.

But this man, he's not scoffing. The man inside, there are multiple personalities here. There is the man and then there's the personality of over 2,000 demons that seem to have a spokesman.

There's not a human being on earth that could deal with something like this, not without God. His body, as mentioned, covered with scars of self-inflicted wounds that he had acquired over a period of time. His hair, his beard, likely matted and dirty and filled, what a sight!

Just a look into his eyes. Have any of you ever been, I don't know, you might have seen it elsewhere, but I know you'll see it in the big cities. You will see demon-possessed because ride the subways in New York City. I don't mean the commuters. I mean there are people living in the subways that aren't behaving like human beings.

And you can see some of this in some of the cities in this country, I think more easily than you can see them elsewhere. Verse 7, and he cried out with a loud voice and said, What have I to do with you, Jesus, Son of the Most High? I implore you by God that you do not torment me. Who's talking here? Well, the demon is overruling the man, the host, at this moment.

There's a war, there's an intense conflict inside. And so the demon is saying, when he says, and he cried out with a loud voice, What have I to do with you, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? He says, Why are you bothering me? I'm not bothering you.

What a sassy little punk. You are bothering the Lord by bothering humanity. God is not indifferent to these things.

And so they were. Yeah, they were bothering him. In fact, the evil spirits who appear in the New Testament, they make no mistake about the person of Christ. They know who he is.

That mistake is reserved for humans who enjoy scoffing at the Lord, who pretend that he is not who he says he is. But the demons knew who he was. We covered this in chapter 1.

And now we're covering it again. But here the voice of the evil one confesses Christ to be the Son of the Most High. That is linked to Daniel, chapter 4.

Nebuchadnezzar had become so full of himself he was going crazy and didn't even know it. He has this dream. Daniel comes in and explains it to him. He says, You're the one.

You're going to go nuts. But you're going to be restored. But within that dream, Daniel, chapter 4, verse 17, we read what Nebuchadnezzar heard. In order that the living may know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, gives it to whomever he will. God is Most High.

He is sovereign and his people must learn to be content with that. And other Christians before us have suffered and died horrid deaths attached to that understanding, refusing to let go, looking beyond this life. It talks about in Hebrews, chapter 11.

The world wasn't worthy of these people, it says in chapter 11. And so the demons call him the Son of the Most High, putting him equal with God the Father. And without hesitation, after they say this, You know, why have you come to us, Son of the Most High? Without hesitation, they slander him.

Accuse him of being a tormentor. They can't help themselves. Wickedness is wickedness. And it's going to do what it does.

And here we are seeing it happen. I employ you by God that you do not torment me. Well, what gave you the idea that he's going to torment you?

Well, the understanding that he is high and holy and clean and you are not. They did not care that they were tormenting the man. Yet they wanted to be shielded from such agonies. Such is evil. Such are evil people.

They want mercy, they just don't want to give any of it up. They will accuse the innocent of the guilty things that they are doing. I'm trying not to go into, you know, the news media and all of the rest that are in that group of liars and treacherous.

Treasonous is the word I want. Verse 8, For he said to him, Christ speaking, Now come out of the man unclean spirit. And again, scripture makes no effort to hide the fact that evil spirits exist and that they target human beings and inhabit them and create such a disaster as this. We don't know how the man got into this condition. We're not told.

It really is not relevant. Except we can say through observation, collective observation over the centuries, that dipping and dabbing in the occult, the occult will open that door. Drug abuse, egregious immorality. I mean immorality that is over the top, that is animalistic. And of course, some of the cults that are out there, these open the mind to evil spirits, and once they get in, they don't leave of their own accord. They get hold of people because they invade bodies. They are a menace to the mind. They refuse to leave.

Now I must add here, before I lose some of the audience, born-again believers cannot be demon-possessed. They can be a nuisance. They can be pretty stupid. They can be dumb. And the opposite, too. They can be wonderful.

They can be smart. I mean, it goes both ways, but they cannot be demon-possessed. The light and the darkness cannot dwell together. So when we read of demon-possessed people in the scripture, they're not born again.

Yeah. In this man's case, he's going to be quite a tool in the hands of the Lord. And so the rules and the rulers of darkness, the rules are often beyond us.

Paul keeps it short. He says we don't wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places, the spiritual places, the heavenly places translated as heavenly, but as really spiritual places, the unseen world that is around us. There are laws that we know about that are spiritual, and there are many laws that we do not know about. That was the case with Job. Essentially, God says, listen, I'm not going to lay it out to you.

There are laws you just don't know about. But here's what happened. And he tells Job, you know, you were a battleground. For my glory, for the benefit of countless multitudes through the ages that will read your story and gain strength in the faith and remain strong in the faith while they endure the most awful circumstances and attacks by the underworld and other human beings as well, because Satan was not the only one that attacked Job. Thanks for tuning in to Cross-Reference Radio for this study in the book of Mark. Cross-Reference Radio is the teaching ministry of Pastor Rick Gaston of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville in Virginia. To learn more information about this ministry, visit our website, Once you're there, you'll find additional teachings from Pastor Rick. We encourage you to subscribe to our podcast. When you subscribe, you'll be notified of each new edition of Cross-Reference Radio. You can search for Cross-Reference Radio on your favorite podcast app. That's all we have time for today, but we hope you'll join us next time as Pastor Rick continues to teach through the book of Mark, right here on Cross-Reference Radio.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-25 12:02:56 / 2023-11-25 12:12:32 / 10

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