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Dealing with Demons, Part 3

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll
The Truth Network Radio
April 29, 2021 7:05 am

Dealing with Demons, Part 3

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll

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April 29, 2021 7:05 am

The King’s Kingdom: A Study of Matthew 8–13

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Today on Insight for Living, from Chuck Swindoll. In the world beyond us, in the realm outside our familiar world, there is the unseen world where there is the planning and the strategizing of evil forces under the direction of their leader, Satan.

So what do we do? We put on every piece of God's armor so that you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. When Jesus recruited his disciples, he never promised them, directly or indirectly, that following him would be easy. In fact, throughout his earthly ministry, Jesus warned his followers about forceful opposition. Later, the Apostle Paul gave a warning as well.

Paul identified our enemy as evil spirits of the unseen world. Well, today on Insight for Living, Chuck Swindoll is teaching from Matthew Chapter 8. In this passage, we'll draw application for our times.

And if you missed yesterday's program, we'll begin with helpful review. Chuck titled his message, Dealing with Demons. Now the setting of this is very clearly arranged in Matthew Chapter 8. Jesus is at Capernaum, verse 5 it is, and then Jesus visits the home of Peter which is in that same village of Capernaum located on the north-northwest corner of the Sea of Galilee. In the passing of time, Jesus tells his disciples to get into the boat and be ready to go to the other side of the sea. A little later in the passage, Jesus gets in with them, verse 23, and they together go through the storm and find their way to the Gadarene area or the Gerasene area.

And what they are met with is a terrifying sight. Matthew 8 states that there were two men who were possessed by demons who met him. They lived in a cemetery, and they were so violent that no one could go through that area. Now when you get to Mark's gospel, one of the two is highlighted.

Doesn't mean there was only one, just probably means one of the two was more prominent, and the spokesman for the two. So when we read that Jesus, I'm in Mark 5 now, verse 2, climbed out of the boat, a man possessed by an evil spirit came out of a cemetery to meet him. The man lived among the burial caves and could no longer be restrained even with a chain. Notice how strong the demon makes this individual. Whenever he was put into chains and shackles, as he often was, he snapped the chains from his wrist and smashed the shackles. No one was strong enough to subdue him. Please observe the relentlessness of the terror.

Day and night, he wandered among the burial caves and in the hills, howling and cutting himself with sharp stones. We read further in Mark 5, verse 6, when Jesus was still some distance away. Now watch closely. The man saw him and ran saw him and ran to meet him and bowed low before him. Remember, there is one in greatest authority over all existence and that would be the Son of God himself. So this demonized individual reaches of the presence of Jesus and he bows.

And now notice the response. The demon speaks through the vocal cords of the human being. Demons have no vocal cords. They are spirit beings without bodies.

When they are in bodies, they're able to use things within that human body, in this case the throat. With a shriek, he screamed, why are you interfering with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Interesting, he knows him. Every demon knows the Son of God and every demon knows that his days are numbered. Satan will ultimately be cast into the lake of fire, which has been, remember the line, prepared for the devil and his angels. I literally believe in a lake of fire. I believe it is eternal and I believe it was originally created for the devil and the demons.

They know they are living on borrowed time, which explains some of the relentlessness of their style. And so this one screams the name of Jesus and says, I beg you, don't torture me. For Jesus had already said to the spirit, come out of the man, you evil spirit. Then Jesus demanded, what is your name? He replied, my name is Legion because there are many of us inside this man. The demon is speaking through the throat of the human being who is the victim. And he states the name, Legion. Here is a situation that people were not able to control.

They simply left him to himself. And now he encounters the only one who has power over him. And he says to Jesus, do not torture us. I'm impressed with the way Jesus responds. In fact, I love the way we read in Matthew 8, where the demons say, if you must cast us out, send us into that herd of pigs. The Greek includes following that the word of Jesus, go.

Don't you love that? There's no fight. There's no negotiation. There's no bargaining. There's no wrestling.

There's simply the word go. Do not live your life afraid of demonic influence. Do not fear the dark. As a child of God, you are equipped, as I will show toward the end of this message, you are equipped with what you need to do battle against the enemy, these forces of darkness. They are there. They are real.

They are serious. Now, when you come to Matthew again, chapter 8, Jesus commanded them, go. And the demons came out of the men and entered the pigs, and the whole herd plunged down the steep hillside into the lake and drowned in the water. If I were preaching to a politically correct audience, thankfully, I'm not, you'd be more concerned about what happened to the pigs than you would about the condition of this man or these men who are relieved. Interesting, we care more about pigs than we do about unborn children in our day.

Again, a sign of the last days. Who cares about the pigs? These demons leave, they are filling these pigs, and interesting, the first thing they do is take their lives. Now, the herdsmen realize they've lost their source of income, and so we read that they fled to the nearby town and told everyone what happened to the demonized men. Then the entire town came out to meet Jesus, but they begged him to go away and leave them alone.

Isn't that something? Not one word of gratitude that the man or the men who have been demonized are now relieved. Not one word of gratitude that they are now safe because of the casting out of the demon. Back to Mark chapter 5, there's something here that doesn't appear in in Matthew's account.

After Jesus gave them permission and after the herdsmen had fled to the town, please observe in verse 15, a crowd soon gathered around Jesus. They saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, and notice the difference. Before he was in this manic condition, constantly, relentlessly engaged in his activities, and now he's sitting. He's under control, he's sitting there.

Before he was naked, now he is fully clothed. Before there was this deranged activity, now he is perfectly sane. And we read they were all afraid. Those who had seen what happened told the others about the demonized man and the pigs and the crowd began pleading with Jesus to go away and leave them alone.

Remarkable, huh? You would think at least a few would say thank you for doing what none of us was able to do, for taking control over a man who has lost control with himself. But there is one who is very grateful.

He's the victim that has now been relieved. Look at verse 18. As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demonized begged to go with him, but Jesus said no.

Listen to the words. Go home to your family, tell them everything the Lord has done for you, how merciful he has been. So the man started off to visit the ten towns of that region and began to proclaim the great things that Jesus had done for him, and everyone was amazed at what he told him. You know what I thought of when I read this? I thought of the unique people God uses to spread his message. Another one was Jonah, who came out of the belly of a fish and hit the ground running after that amphibious landing, made his way to Nineveh and proclaimed and bore all the marks of having been in that fish for all those days. And there are many today who say that whole story is a hoax. I've always loved Billy Graham's response when asked, Do you really believe that the whale swallowed Jonah? He said, I'd believe it if the Bible said Jonah swallowed the whale.

Wouldn't bother me. If it says it, I believe it. Spend your time trying to unravel the truth of scripture rather than looking for ways to deny it, because you will find yourself one miserable soul if you spend your days doubting what scripture teaches, even though it's unfamiliar territory for you. Jesus says to the man, Go and let him know what's happened to you, which is the great message of a testimony. You who have been born into the family of God, we who know the Lord Jesus Christ, have a story to tell.

It certainly is not as dramatic as that man's story, but I have a feeling he had no trouble getting an audience and gathering a crowd as he told of where he had been and what had transformed his life. I've said this before and I'll repeat it. If we could see visibly the presence of evil about us, it would take our breath away. Turn from here to Ephesians 6 and let me wrap it up with some practical words for us today. Further into the New Testament, go to Ephesians chapter 6, which is a great chapter that ends in victorious instruction.

Ephesians 6, beginning in verse 10. A final word, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God's armor so that you will be able to stand stand firm against all the strategies of the devil.

And now he explains it. For we're not fighting against flesh and blood, flesh and blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world. Against mighty powers in this dark world and against evil spirits in the heavenlies. In the world beyond us and the realm outside our familiar world, there is the unseen world where there is the planning and the strategizing of evil forces under the direction of their leader, Satan. And when we are engaged in battles against evil, we don't think about it often, but frequently the strength of that evil comes from the evil forces and the dark world that is invisible. So what do we do?

Verse 13 tells us, we put on every piece of God's armor so that you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Let me give you four simple practical suggestions worth remembering. Number one is this, expect struggles with unseen forces. Unseen forces. In these wicked days, expect battles that you cannot explain in any other terms. Don't waste your time trying to look for or find human reasons for the sources of evil.

Often it cannot be traced to human sources. Expect struggles with unseen forces. Second, stand firm in the full armor of God. Verse 11, put on all of God's armor.

I call it wearing the divine equipment. If you're going to do the battle with confidence, you must wear the armor that's provided and you will read of it right down verse 13 and following in this same chapter. Third, hold up the faith shield and pray in the spirit. When you feel you are being attacked, when you are in the presence of this of evil forces that you cannot otherwise explain, stand in faith and pray in the spirit. I love the words of the missionary now gone, Jim Elliot, the saint who advances on his knees never retreats.

You go into the situation that is evil and out of control. In a spirit of prayer, you are surrounded by a power that is far beyond any power you will encounter. Don't underestimate the power of prayer.

Fourth and finally, never forget we are on the winning side. I love that and I often call it to mind. In the end, God wins and being children of God, we in his stead win as well. No one knows that better than the devil and his demons.

Charles Wesley's words aptly apply. He breaks the power of cancel sin. He sets the prisoner free.

I love this. His blood can make the foulest clean. His blood availed for me.

I go one step further before I hang a close on this message. It may very well be that you have become addicted. The addiction may have simply come about through your own acts, your own habits. But the enemy loves to find addicts because you're already weakened by this habit that continues on. And you've already convinced yourself it can't be overcome. You can't do battle with it any further. You're a victim of it.

And the enemy takes advantage of that. So when I read the words, his blood can make the foulest clean, his blood availed for me, I think of you who are addicted. The addiction may be in the realm of lust. It may be in the realm of alcohol. It may be drugs.

It may be anger, a rage that takes over that you cannot control. And I'm here today to say Ephesians 6, 10 through 18 are verses for you to claim. I would plead with you to do so. These are powerful forces, but they are not more powerful than the one we worship.

The living God and his Son, Jesus Christ. Close your Bibles and bow with me for the next few moments. Will you do that, please? Have you entered into the Lord's death? Have you truly trusted in Jesus Christ as your Master, your Savior, your Lord, the one who forgives your sins and cleanses you from all unrighteousness?

If not, this is the moment for you. If you know the Lord Jesus, make sure that your life is a life filled with walking in the light as he is in the light. Thank you, Father, for not leaving us as orphans, providing us not only with your spirit but with your power, made possible through a relationship with you that is the greatest power on the planet. Deliver us from living our lives in the fear of darkness and dark forces. Remind us that you are greater than all, and as we are in you, we are a part of that greatness.

We are a part of that greatness. We trust you to guide us. Through this year, as we walk in the spirit rather than fulfilling the lust of the flesh, may we know the joy of Christ at work within us. In the name of your Son, Jesus, who loved us and gave himself for us, we pray.

Amen. It's encouraging to know that our trust in Jesus Christ protects us from the dark forces of evil. May all of us take heart, even during these turbulent times, as we learn to walk in the spirit and live without fear.

You're listening to a message from Chuck Swindoll about dealing with demons, and this is Insight for Living. To learn more about this ministry, please visit us online at As you navigate the complexities of living in 2021 and as you trust in God to give you courage during these uncertain times, we want you to know that Insight for Living Ministries counts it a privilege to walk this journey with you.

During the pandemic, many of us have suffered from feelings of isolation and fear, and it's encouraging to know that we're not alone. In fact, Insight for Living represents a global community of like-minded believers who, although we've never met, share common values that are founded on the truth of Scripture. In this spirit, we promise to be here for you every day with Chuck Swindoll's Bible teaching. And as God provides, we promise to continue offering free resources that reinforce your spiritual confidence as well. For instance, did you realize Insight for Living offers an interactive online study tool? It's called Searching the Scriptures. You can either print out the PDF document or engage with the material online.

You'll find it all at slash studies. Even during the global pandemic, while many churches have been required to curtail their public gatherings, this daily radio program has continued without missing a single day. And it's because people like you have stepped forward to give during this unprecedented season of isolation. As God leads you to give a donation today, we invite you to speak to one of our ministry reps by calling us. If you're listening in the United States, dial 1-800-772-8888. Or to give a donation online, go to

In March 2022, Insight for Living Ministries is hosting an unforgettable journey to Israel. Carefully plan to deepen your understanding of the Bible and draw you closer to God. Chuck Swindoll. For thousands of years, not only have you been a part of the Bible, but you've also been a part of the Bible, and you've also been a part of the Bible. You've been a part of the Bible. You've been a part of the Bible. God.

Chuck Swindoll. For thousands of years, no place has been more meaningful to God's children than the land of Israel. The rugged landscape reminds us to find refuge in God alone. The fertile valleys invite us to follow our shepherd. Jerusalem's position at the very center of the world announces the good news of Christ to every nation. And now you can see Israel with Chuck Swindoll and Insight for Living Ministries, March 6 through 17, 2022. Every time I visited the Holy Land, I returned home with a refreshed heart for God and a renewed vision for the world.

Really, I mean it every time. And so I want you to have the same life-changing experience. To learn more, go to slash events, or call this number 1-888-447-0444. Insight for Living Ministries' tour to Israel is paid for and made possible by only those who choose to attend. I'm Dave Spiker. Join us again tomorrow when Chuck Swindoll guides us on a soul searching walk alongside Jesus, right here on Insight for Living. The preceding message, Dealing with Demons, was copyrighted in 2016 and 2021, and the sound recording was copyrighted in 2021 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights are reserved worldwide. Duplication of copyrighted material for commercial use is strictly prohibited.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-24 11:20:27 / 2023-11-24 11:28:33 / 8

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