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January 27, 2021 7:00 pm
Dr. Brian Hand continues the series entitled “Our Ancient Foe,” from Mark 5.
Welcome to The Daily Platform from Bob Jones University in Greenville South Carolina today only one platform were continuing a study series entitled our ancient foe, which is a study of Satan.
The reality of his presence and how Christians can be victorious against him. Today's message will be preached by seminary professor Dr. Brian hand morning if you would please join me in Mark chapter 5 demons exist there, unclean, intelligent spirits have their own structures of authority and seek to influence or destroy both individuals and nations.
CS Lewis observed for is that people either to become overly infatuated with the study of the men's and concentrate on trying to learn special words of command and all the demonic hierarchies that are not given the Scripture or they nor the presence of demons altogether and act as if they don't exist.
And that same dichotomy is true even within most of the Christian church and yet neither of this attitude is biblical.
We do need to be content with what the Scriptures reveal to us about demons, but we need to know what the Scriptures reveal to us about demons as well.
The Bible in dealing with demons and the forces of darkness.
A biblical understanding of demons in their world does not explain the origin. We know that they, like all other creatures were created by God but the Scripture still go into detail about that explanation. But the Bible does tell us their destiny. It is in the lake of fire. Matthew 2541 tells us of the lake of fire. In fact, was created for the devil and his angels met with air where they're destined to go the Bible does not explain their appearance. We have little hints here and there, at least one in first Corinthian's 11 the Dr. Talbert alluded to last week that they can appear as angels of light but other than that we we don't know much about them but the Scriptures do tell us in places like acts 19 and many other locations that they are powerful they are powerful enough that a single demon possessed man under the power of that demon could attack utterly over master multiple other individuals in that case, seven men who were resisting them. The Bible does not explain their essence, we don't know the ins and outs of their makeup. Although we do know that they are intelligent, spiritual and evil. Matthew chapter 10 verse one. The Bible doesn't even tell us what demon possession is doesn't articulate all the refined processes.
How did the demons get there in the first place, but the Scriptures do tell us some of the effects of demons if they happen to be within a person or if they happen to be influencing the person in many passages.
Matthew 1222 among them, describes demons can bring all sorts of physical maladies and catastrophes, as well as spiritual injury to mankind. The Bible does not tell us to seek them out and that's where many people go astray today, as if somehow the process of advancing the gospel in this world men that we are primarily to go after demons. Now in missionary countries are places where the gospel is spreading.
They will confront missionaries at times, but the Scriptures don't say go looking for them. And yet at the same time. Scriptures tell us to stand. That is if the demon seeks us out or if somehow we have to confront them through our lives. We are to stand. Ephesians 611.
The Bible does not tell us that they have no influence on the believer. In fact, there are several instances Peter is a classic example in which it seems that Satan is actually affecting the thinking of Peter, though not capable of being within Peter so that Peter was thinking doctrinally and inappropriately with reference to Christ and the crucifixion that had to happen so they may have some influence on a believer. However, many passages, including first printing 619 in Mark chapter 3 verses 2230 tell us of the power and presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives is so extensive and so pervasive that when Christ takes control of the life he binds the individual who is in that life if demon happened to be there and removes him and is not possible for the demons to remain in some of you even ask that question as believers.
I wonder in my possessed by a demon. If you are a true believer, the answer is no can influence your thinking externally to you may be, but they cannot be within you. Because of the presence of the spirit of God's our text today gives us important insight into demons and their world and prepares us to respond biblically to their activity in this world. So let's begin reading in verse one of Mark chapter 5 and Jesus and the disciples came over unto the other side of the sea into the country of the Gadarenes and when he was come out of the ship immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, who had his dwelling among the tombs and no man could bind him. No, not with chains because often he had been down with fetters and chains and the chains had been plucked apart or wrenched apart by him in the fetters broken into pieces.
Neither could any man tame him and always night and day. He was in the mountains and in the tombs, crying out and cutting himself with stones. But when he saw Jesus afar off. He ran and worshiped him and cried out with a loud voice and said what have I to do with the Jesus asked thou son of the most high God. I had Shirley by God, that thou torment me not for he that is Jesus said to him, come out the man thou unclean spirit, and he asked him, what is thy name and he answered, saying, my name is Lee Jen, for we are many, and he besought him much that he would not send them away out of the country that there was nine to the mountains a great herd of swine feeding and all the devils besought him, saying, send us into the swine, that we may enter into them and forthwith. Jesus gave them leave and the unclean spirits went out entered into the swine and the herd ran violently down his place into the sea. They were about 2000 and were choked in the sea and they that fed the swine fled and told it in the sitting in the country and they went out to see what it was that was done and they came to Jesus and saw him that was possessed with the devil and had the Legion sitting, clothed and in his right mind, and they were afraid once competed in a tug-of-war match that had about 30 people on each side and the rope itself was surging a little bit back-and-forth but in the process of excess of its surging. The people were not moving their feet didn't want to give any ground.
Well, eventually the process of the struggle. Occasionally a person would take a couple steps and even some people fell over one poor guy fell over, jumped up.
Couldn't find a good place on the rope so he ran all the way around the back of the line at the back of the line. He also look for place to grab on and help his team, but there was Artie the guy with the rope wrapped around him as the anchor and become a little bit flustered as to what he was supposed to do. He started pushing from the back and the whole team just tipped over crumbled and the other team just walked off the field with the rope.
He wasn't our hero that day traders rarely harbor. Have you ever considered the fact that sometimes your own behavior with reference to your little Lord Jesus Christ is a lot like that.
He has delivered you. He has put you as it were, on his side.
You are in Christ and at times instead of finding ourselves aligned with Christ in carrying out his will. We instead find ourselves aligned with demon and there will that is we are doing exactly the opposite of what we ought to be doing as the children of God and sarcastic today is directing us to this overall concept or theme sense demons oppose God and everything he stands for. And since they influence people to join the opposition they want you to act and think like they act and think you must see God's help to live a victorious Christian life. The spiritual forces are out there in some senses we feel like were shadowboxing because we can't see them were fighting against an adversary that is elusive. If we don't have God's help and the suggestions they bring to bear on our minds coupled with just our own destructive sinful flesh will carry us right over into it.
Very least, the same agenda. The demons have. You see, we don't have to be indwelt by demons to do the same kinds of things the demons do.
They are intelligent creatures.
So are we there spiritual creatures. So are we.
They have a will.
So do we and will our will align itself with God by the power of God's Holy Spirit will align with the demonic agenda. The passage begins by showing us the demons oppose God by just provoking destructive behavior. The first five verses are showing us this to begin with. They provoke spiritual and social isolation versus two through four, and the isolation here is not the isolation of an introverted person. God has created personalities and some of your more outgoing. Some of you are more a little more reclusive, but rather, this is it eight at a pretty radical spiritual isolation. Where is this man when Jesus and the disciples get out of the ship. A man meets them, but he has come from the tombs and from the mountains as mountains or setback of the sea of Galilee, and he's been in the tombs in the mountains.
He's been at a distance. He has not been in a place where normal humanity is operating. I was at tell my children about this message.
Just this morning and I said one of the tombs communicate to you. My oldest daughter looked like any kind of funding goes there, filled with dead people. I thought about that Noel obviously.
But the more I thought about it, that's exactly what Satan and his demons are trying to do there trying to take God's creatures, specifically mankind and associate us with the dead with that which is spiritually destroyed which that which is overthrown in one of the way Satan does that is by isolating us from each other and this is been very easy in the Western world because were such radical individualist at times we want to push people away. I'll deal with my own problems keep it close to my chest and I can get help.
After all, a man look to other people for biblical solutions I'll sort it out on my own.
That's exactly what Satan wants us to try to do push people away, spiritually isolate you and pick you off one at a time. Some of you have been thinking along these lines, because Satan is so spiritually isolated. Do you think God doesn't care doesn't care about me cares about somebody else look at his life back.
I came to schooling from a great Christian background. His parents are wonderful people.
The church he went to his wonderful all is good surrounds him, and to build his school bill is completely paid for and I struggled for every little bit. God doesn't care about me.
That's not divine thinking God is not the one that is encouraging that kind of thinking and therefore the only place of that kind of thinking can come from his ear from your own corrupt fleshly nature or Satan influencing that is demons external to you influencing your thinking.
But in either case, whether it's just your flesh acting alone or whether it's demons influencing you at least we ought to admit that since demons want to isolate you spiritually and want to push you away from God and is God-fearing men and women we need to draw near to God and we need to draw near to God's people so that they will help us through the troubles that we face.
We have a fairly large blacktop area at our home in which we play basketball recently was playing with my two younger children have a 10-year-old boy and a seven-year-old daughter and they were passing back and forth keeping the court nicely spread so that he can't get a hold of the basketball and they thought it was a great work.
Well, finally I got my daughter she just caught the ball and rushed out a really quickly and she talks the ball under arm and took off running. Dribbling Morgan work in the concept of the future. She started running in for she ran over to the side of the court and I chased her and she ran off the court.
I still chased her. Then she took off down the driveway, I still chased her. Finally she would always around the house came over I went there is no possibility that there can be victorious when I isolated the players now look if you were smart enough to figure out divide and conquer strategies.
Don't you think demons are as well. If we know militarily, commercially in business a lot of other areas of life. We can divide and conquer. Satan is that as well and so push back against his attempts to isolate you to make you turn inward, reflexively, and deal with your spiritual problems without help. You're surrounded by many believers who love you and care for you and who want to build you up.
Don't follow Satan's agenda and in the demonic world and resisting God's plan for your life passage continues. They often provoke self-destruction to demons oppose God by provoking destructive behavior. Spiritual destruction in isolation but also self-destruction.
Verse five shows us always day and night.
He was in the mountains and the tombs, crying and cutting himself with stones. Those kinds of impulses to treat your body in a way that is injurious to the body does not come from God and that's everything from cutting to self starvation, to overeating, marking up and marring the body that God is given to you is not stemming from God's input into your life and again that means it has to stem from either your own fleshly nature or that fleshly nature as it influenced externally by the demonic world and again in either case, your siding with demons against God rather than living in the victory.
The Christ is given to you, this poor individual is cutting himself with stones. The passage goes on and we direct you have to look at a parallel release mentally and that is in Luke's gospel one additional feature is made or given.
That's not even alluded to until the very last section here in Mark's gospel. Remember when the people of the town came out to see this man, they found him sitting close in his right mind why the clothes there's no other reference to clothing in Mark's gospel, but Luke's gala gospel told us that the man wore no clothes for a long time. Think carefully in our fallen state.
The Scriptures mark off nakedness is having legitimacy only within very special and very limited social confines husband-and-wife and men in particular you are actively siding with the demonic agenda when you use pornography reality for messages. We note that it's over there but is not that bad know it is actively siding with a demonic agenda because demons, for whatever reason hate the human body.
Maybe it's because were made in God's image, but from the beginning. Demons have been attacking the human body disfiguring the human body, debasing the human body, taking us from being these glorious creatures that God has given and created and treating us like dirt like something to be transacted like a mere commodity and there is no middle ground in this when you cross over the line and you are misusing God's gift that is intended for marriage. You are siding with demons and their disposition against God. So the Lord is calling us out of this kind of destructive behavior and turning us into his own kingdom demons oppose God.
Secondly, by exerting self-will versus six or 10 shows this to begin with a confess complete antipathy toward Christ.
Ever wonder what that expression is an we've tried to gloss in several ways. In English when the demons cry out, what have I to do with the kind of guy going give you how that actually sounds in the in the Greek it's what to me and to you what to me and to you.
It's basically saying what. From my perspective, is the same as it is from your perspective that is where's the common ground. If God thinks something is good. Demons think it is. Evil demons think something is good, God thinks it is evil. There is no overlap there is no rapport there is no negotiation. There is no common ground that these demons exhibit submission by force, they have to prostrate themselves before the God of heaven and earth but they're not really submissive in spirit. Even in this confession are actually rebellion rebellious. This is the defiant criminal who walks in his prison cell while cursing the judge, the police in society. I've nothing to do with it and I don't care what verdict is read out. I still hate them, he has to go overwhelming force stands behind those who are insuring his incarceration, but exert self-will by spitting invectives at those who are imprisoning him at how many of you were supposed to read Melville's Moby Dick in high school, pediatric nevermind.
One important part occurs in the final battle between the implacable Capt. Ahab and the whale, the struggle resulted Ahab's being caught in harpoon lines and drag to his doom. The whale has one but in the vicious expression of defiance, self-will, Ahab cried out towards the I rolled out all destroying but on conquering whale on conquering whale is about to kill you to the last I grapple with the from hell's heart I stabbed at the for hate's sake. I spent my last breath at the that's demons.
They hate God that much. They oppose everything he stands for. And so when we are aligning ourselves with wrongdoing were aligning ourselves with personal forces that hate God, not just with abstract concepts of good and evil. They also shift the blame for evil versus eight or nine that little phrase I adjure you by God. Do not torment me is actually something of a shift for the blame when he says I adjure you by God. You think why the world is he calling God into a situation of both taking to keep Jesus from doing something. They're basically saying Jesus. If you try to exercise authority over us right now, then you're wrong then your bad you're not supposed to torment us ahead of the time it is actually defiant and accusing tone toward Christ himself shifting some of the blame for their wrongdoing. Third, demons are no oppose God by attacking creation 11 through 15 so they not only attacked us spiritually, but are also attacking creation out there they attack creation to destroy God's work and they attack creation to discredit Jesus Christ. When demons leave where they go into these 2000 pigs.
Why did the demons take the pegs and just run off a cliff doesn't make any sense. It doesn't have to make sense demons hate God's creation.
They want to mar it up and destroy it. Therefore, when you are participating in the destruction of God's created order wantonly, your siding, not with God anymore.
They drive these animals off a cliff, but I think there is a more subtle motivation kill the 2000 pigs and what happens. Well, the herdsman runaway and red terror. Are they running to Jesus and the running away from them. They go and tell it in the towns in the villages and the people come out of the towns and villages where they do they come out and see Jesus. They look over here and see the man sitting clothing in his right mind that none of them and been able to control who is strong enough to tear apart at least bronze fetters and smash those things was out of control, who was fierce.
It was unclothed and is completely under control. You think they'd start praising God and glorifying him for a marvelous work done in the midst now instead ago. Can you please leave after all, you just destroyed 2000 pegs that the demons destroyed the pigs.
Christ was saving Amanda demons were destroying the pigs and by their work. Demons actually impugn God.
How many times you hurt people assert out there that see the evil all around us in the world and evil is proof that God doesn't exist.
Excuse me. Also, because of God existed and is good and powerful that he would overpower evil up actually about that.
The Scriptures tells the God didn't create everything perfect and it was beneficent and good and it is your sin and Satan, sin, and Adam's sin and all of our sin that has destroyed this so Satan in the process of his marring up and destroying the world under the curse, and with the commitment of the suffering that were under right now gets to turn the accusing finger back to God and he succeeds, people agree with him. God is at fault when we recognize no we are on the opposite side and have to have God's salvation.
So where is that salvation this is a great passage for that. Have you ever noticed the first verse.
They came over unto the other side of the sea into the country of the Gadarenes deal of the big deal is Jesus's ministry has been on the other side of Galilee closer to Israel now crosses over the seat by the way, the process of crossing of the sea.
What is he had to go through if you backup just a few verses in chapter 4, which is directly connected with this incident. Chapter 5 Jesus gets into the boat with his disciples and crosses over the seat and there is a huge Tempest Tennessee. Jesus is crossing over the sea at the peril to his life and what is he do when he gets to the other side will he preach is a wonderful evangelistic campaign of thousands of people come to know, that didn't happen. I know he went to a posh resort and got a little bit bit of rest and relaxation that no well what did he do when he crossed over the sea.
He destroyed Satan's power over one man. You think you're exaggerating this go down in the passage right to the very end came back to have to readjust past where we were the people in verse 17 were asking Jesus to depart and when he was coming to the ship the person. The demon possessed. One wanted to go with him.
Verse 20 and he departed, he departed verse 21 Jesus passed over again. What else did he do in the country, the Gadarenes, nothing, nothing, he risked life and his ministry and his time in his effort to save one Legion possessed man and he did so with the word Jesus Christ has the power to deliver us from the evil that is around us. Whether the evil is your flesh whether the evil is demonic influence over that flash my suggestion to your own heart and mind by the persuasion that can go on internally for you to despair.
God doesn't care for you to side with that which is evil. God not carrying as well with that. He's not looking he's not paying attention. Jesus Christ crossed over the battlements of heaven and the golf that separated God from man to become incarnate to save you. That's more than crossing over the sea of Galilee, and instead of finding ourselves succumbing to demonic like thinking let's reject it in the name and power.
Jesus Christ in 480 BC the Persians invaded Greece at the battle of Thermopylae with with which many of you are familiar 7000 Greeks held off an estimated hundred 50,000 Persians. That's not good odds. But the Greeks were being successful.
Why because the pass was so narrow that that person's numerical superiority was completely obliterated until BLTs of trachea's Greek show the Persian army how they could get around the pass of Thermopylae in come into the Greek army from behind the great Gen. Leonidas recognize that he was being outflanked and he sent away the bulk of the Greek army remaining behind with only 300 Spartans held out for several more days were annihilated at BLTs felt that by having led the Persians on this alternate route.
He was going be richly rewarded. After all, the Persians of this massive juggernaut of an enemy. Instead the Persians were soon after defeated the battle of Salamis forced to retreat. A bounty was put on at BLTs head by the Greek city states 10 years later the bounty was collected with another Greek caught up with at BLTs and killed him. We hate traders don't we. Satan is a traitor to God. We were traders to God. Let us not continue in the kind of demonic thinking that causes us to be traders to God.
There is no common ground here. There is no middle ground in this war. This is not capture the flag with a large no man's land. You are either actively advancing God's kingdom or you are participating with demons in opposing God, knowing that demons oppose God and influence people to join that opposition must seek God's help today again in repentance and again and again and again so that we would live victorious Christian lives.
Father were thankful for this beautiful testimony that depicts forces that are opposed to us and opposed to you that are so powerful that we cannot resist them in our own strength and that are so we that one word of Christ will fill them. And so in Christ today may be not side with demonic opposition to your agenda to your will to your love and instead follow you to Christ name we pray. Amen. You been listening to Dr. Brian hand listen tomorrow as we continue the series of our ancient foe on The Daily Platform