POSSESSED WITH A DEVIL
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. 23 And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David? 24 But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils. 25 And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: 26 And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand? 27 And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges. 28 But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.
The word “demon” does not appear in the King James Bible. And the Greek word, here translated “devil” is translated as “slanderers” in 1 Timothy 3:11. And it is translated as “false accusers” in 2 Timothy 3:3. And this goes along with the description of Satan in Revelation 12:10. And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
It also goes along with the description our Lord gives of those who were under his influence, so much so that they appeared to be his children! John 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
But all sickness is not the result of demon possession. Mark 6:13 And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them. In this verse sickness and demon possession are listed as two separate things.
And in the matter of the man born blind, we are clearly taught by the Lord himself that this malady had nothing to do with sin. It was provided him to exalt the works of God, in revealing the Lord Jesus as the Messiah. John 9:1 And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. 2 And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? 3 Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.
It may surprise the religious community to discover that the pressing of biblical morality upon souls without them receiving the new birth by the holy Spirit greatly aids demon possession! The Apostle Peter reveals this in his second epistle. 2 Peter 2:20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. 21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. 22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.
Notice in verse twenty he states that the soul only escaped the pollutions of the world. That is, they have cleaned up their lives, seeking to become moral, but were not born again. And in that same verse he says that this is done through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Some preacher, or well-meaning family member, forced one who was always giving the family trouble, to straighten up his life, join the church and be baptized, in order to lessen the stress and aggravation they were causing upon the family! To do so they probably scared the ‘convert’ with the threat of the fires of hell. Then all breathed a sigh of relief, not realizing that they had just made him twofold more a child of hell! Matthew 23:15 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.
For the gospel is as a net so powerful that it draws in both good and bad fish! Matthew 13:47 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: 48 Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away. But the gospel, only legally applied, can make one only temporarily moral, while applied effectually by the Holy Spirit, makes another to be born from above. The former receive light. The latter receive life. The former is a counterfeit. The latter is a true convert.
But then take notice of the Apostle Peter’s continued statements. In verse twenty-one he reveals that it would have been better for that soul never to have known the way of righteousness; that is, to obtain only a mental assent to the gospel. Because now, since he knows the Lord’s will and does it not, he shall be beaten with many stripes! Luke 12:47 And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. 48 But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.
But the key to it all is seen in verse twenty-two. For the professed believer still has his old nature. He is not a sheep! He spiritually remains a dog, or sow! And even though he professes God with his mouth, he is still walking in the lusts of his old nature! And that nature dictates his actions, no matter what his mouth says! Matthew 15:8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. 9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. Romans 8:8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
If you turn a bee and a buzzard loose in a pasture, they will act out their nature. The bee will go to a flower. But the buzzard will go to a dead carcase. They are only free to act out the will of their nature. And a sow and a dog spirit will eventually do the same, as they retain their old sinful nature.
And we must notice that the casting out of demons was not exclusively for the comfort of the one possessed. For in verse twenty-eight of our text we have our Lord stating that it was for the revealing of the kingdom of God that had come! Luke 9:11 And the people, when they knew it, followed him: and he received them, and spake unto them of the kingdom of God, and healed them that had need of healing. 10:9 And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.
The demon had blinded the man brought to Christ. Satan is still doing that today. 2 Corinthians 4:3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
But the Lord Jesus is giving spiritual sight and understanding to those lost sinners who are blind to the glory of God. And he is ordaining Satan to blind those who ‘see’ a false representation of God through their false religious concepts. John 9:39 And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind. Romans 1:21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 24 Wherefore God also gave them up…
Satan had so permeated the world with sin and blindness, he was called the god of this world. (See 2 Corinthians 4:4 listed above.) But the Lord Jesus, the light of the world, came to destroy Satan’s works and liberate his sheep from the bondage of sin and darkness. Hebrews 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; 15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
1 John 3:8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
But what caused the fall of the angels? How did an angel become the Devil? And how did angels become demons? Jude 6 And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. That word “estate” is the same word, beginning in 2 John 6. But what was their beginning assignment? Was it not to watch over God’s human creation who would be heirs of salvation? Hebrews 1:14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?
Satan even quoted this fact back to the Lord as he tempted him to jump off a pinnacle of the temple. Matthew 4:6 And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. What arrogance! A fallen angel quoting the purpose of Almighty God for his own existence, but which he was, all the while refusing to obey!
Satan, as an angel was even described by God’s word as the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: Ezekiel 28:14. In other words, God anointed him to protect his human creation. Even stating, “I have set thee so!” The figure of angels were placed on the mercy seat, which was the lid of the ark of God. They had stretched out wings, covering the mercy seat where the blood of the innocent sacrifice was sprinkled. They were to be immediately present there in that most holy place where the blood of the Lamb was applied to the elect of God.
They were to attend at the ‘place’ of God’s highest glory! – Peace towards men! Luke 2:11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
But there is another word in that Jude 6 verse that must be examined if we are to more clearly see and understand the realm of demons. It is that word, habitations. Bishop Hall stated that they could have remained in their first estate, but they would not! Now they seek to regain their habitations, but they cannot! Pride and ambition was found in them and they fell from their assigned place. Ezekiel 28:15 Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.
God did not create sin! God did not create evil! God created a holy creature who became sinful and evil!
And we also need to see that Greek word habitation is only seen as translated differently in one place. And it is the word house in 2 Corinthians 5:2. And we only see the importance of this as we read farther down into our Matthew twelve chapter. Matthew 12:43 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. 44 Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. 45 Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.
For here, the demon who has been run out of the religionist by a strong case of biblical legalism, refers to the man whom he was possessing as my house! – His habitation, if you will. Refusing to attend to the heirs of salvation, from the beginning as angels, they now, as demons, have come to desire to possess all of the humans they can, especially those ‘empty, swept, and garnished’ by gospel legalism! But finding his ‘house’ in such condition, he readily invites more of his, even more wicked buddies, to come join him!
This is how the man in the tombs came to have “legions” of demons within him. He was to be a minister of the gospel. But we suppose that he, having only a legal experience with the law of Moses became filled with many devils! For when he pleaded to go with Jesus, he was told to go about the task assigned him in publishing his testimony. Luke 8:38 Now the man out of whom the devils were departed besought him that he might be with him: but Jesus sent him away, saying, 39 Return to thine own house, and shew how great things God hath done unto thee. And he went his way, and published throughout the whole city how great things Jesus had done unto him.
These demons no longer had him for their house; their habitation. So he was to “return to thine house” and preach the gospel, delivering others from demonic oppression! Luke 9:1 Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases.
Pastor Gene Breed
November 29, 2018