UNCLEAN DEMON - NOVEMBER 28, 2010
Sermon of The Week November 28, 2010
There is a story in Mark and Luke about Jesus teaching in the synagogue at Capernaum, and as He taught, the multitude was astonished at His doctrine. At one point in the message a certain man in the audience with an unclean demon, cried out with a loud voice: “Leave us alone, we know thee who thou art, Jesus thou Nazarene, art thou come to destroy us?” Jesus rebuked the demon; told him to hold his peace, and come out of him, the demon obeyed and came out. Now there are several observations in this account, I would like to point out in this gospel story of the unclean demon.
THE DEMONS WERE ASTONISHED AT HIS DOCTRINE
The first thing is when Jesus spoke they were astonished at His doctrine, and the man with the unclean spirit cried with a loud voice: “What have we to do with thee Jesus thou Nazarene.” Jesus still astonishes people today with His doctrine.
Some today would be astonished to hear what Jesus told the Sadducees in Matthew twenty-two, concerning the doctrine of death. The Sadducees did not believe in life after death. They believed like many to day. When the body dies that is the end, and you’re not aware of anything. Jesus had referred to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as still being alive, even though their bodies were dead for hundreds of years. And the Sadducees were astonished at His doctrine.
Every atheist will be astonished when he dies to learn that he is still just as much alive after he dies as he was before. This reminds me of the story of the father who said to his small son: “Son, if I should die today where would you be?” The kid said, “Dad, the big question is when you die, where will you be?”
Still others might be astonished at the answers of Jesus in prayer. The apostle Peter was in jail waiting for execution the next day in Acts, twelve. The Church prayed fervently, and when Peter showed up at the door and knocked they were astonished.
Many years ago we challenged the church to pray for something impossible. My personal prayer was for a radio program on a 50,000-watt station that would reach into twenty-six states in the nighttime hours. The price was beyond our reach. Every one advised against it. You will never do it. Today this program can be heard any place in the world on several of these giant outlets, plus short-wave, and satellite. We need not be astonished for Paul reminds us that the Lord is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we can ever ask or think.
THE DEMONS KNEW JESUS
The second observation is that the demons were personally acquainted with Jesus. They knew He was from Nazareth, and that He was the Holy One of God. The devil and his disciples are well acquainted with Jesus today. Go into any bar, or gambling casino, and you will probably hear the name of Jesus used more frequently in profanity than in most church services in prayer, preaching, and singing. The Devil is still very much aware of who Jesus is.
He cried out in the worship service of the synagogue; there is nothing the devil hates more than a worship service. Christians may rejoice as they sing the songs of Zion, hear the message of salvation, but to many who know not the Lord, a worship service is like a visit to hell. I have had hundreds of weddings in my life, and in a great many of them, where a large crowd was assembled; I have smelled booze on the breath of the non-church going attendees. It seems the only way they could get up their nerve to come into a place of worship was to have a few shots before hand to brace them up for the ordeal.
Now a person might wonder if this man was so opposed to God what was he doing in a worship service? The fact that he was there is an indication that he was in the worst possible spiritual condition. There are many people who attend worship week after week, and hear the gospel over and over again, and are never persuaded to obey the Lord. Actually they may be in a worse spiritual condition, and more difficult to reach with the gospel message than some unfortunate person on skid row.
Then again he may have enjoyed the fellowship with others, and may have been present as long as the message was not offensive. Then one day Jesus appeared and the Devil did not like what he heard, and cried out, “Leave us alone.” One preacher interviewed for a big city newspaper referred to what he called hell fire and brimstone preachers as those who make people feel worse when they leave the services, than when they came in. He was right, and that is good. This man with the demon felt good coming in, and when he heard what Jesus said felt bad. Jesus cast out the demon, and then the man who felt good coming, then felt bad, felt good again.
Actually the people who came together on the day of Pentecost were like that. They felt good coming to the services, after they heard the sermon they were pricked in their hearts, and felt bad, then after they obeyed the Lord they felt good again, because they did as Peter told them, “Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
THE UNCLEAN DEMON
Next we note the demon in this man was called an unclean demon. Come to think of it, is there any such thing as a clean demon? Yes, there are such things as clean demons; at least they appear to be clean, because the Devil, really knows how to clean up his act.
The Devil does not call sin by its real name. No one is really a sinner, he is just maladjusted, or his behavior is irrational. No one is a drunkard anymore, he is an alcoholic, he is sick. The devil never advertises through the wino or the skid row bum, it is always a glamorous person in a sophisticated situation with a glass in their hands, usually in the movies or the television. Unclean demons are in seedy looking bars, but clean demons are in nightclubs, breweries, and in suburban homes. Big D. really knows how to clean up his act.
He never shows the prostitute as a pitiable, diseased, drug addicted, unfortunate, person who is somebody’s daughter, or somebody’s sister, but as a glamorous call girl. He never shows a person in the last stages of cancer in the cigarette ads, but a cool cat singer, or rugged looking cowboy. Somehow he makes us feel like we must be nuts not to suck some fire into our lungs too. He really knows how to clean up his act.
If a person is troubled with a guilty conscience, he is under great stress, he has great anxiety, he doesn't need to repent, what he needs is a tranquilizer. People feel no need for forgiveness because their conscience is numb, and they have lost all sense of guilt. No one is ashamed of anything anymore; the Devil knows how to clean up his act.
Just look around you at the bumper stickers and it is evident people today are dominated by the Devil. Read the daily newspapers, or listen to the news on radio, or television, and you hear of all kinds of murders, robberies, rapes, child abuse, and none of these things are referred to by the word sin. Many today are throwing fits on the highway; drive by shootings and what is called road rage replete with appropriate gestures, and none of this is called sin. The Devil knows how to clean up his act.
According to Mark in this same chapter Jesus had been confessed from Heaven by the Father at His baptism as the only begotten Son of God, and now here in the same chapter, He is confessed by a citizen from hell as the Son of God, and Jesus said to the man with the demon, “Hold thy peace and come out of him.” Ladies and Gentlemen, where do you fit in as far as your confession is concerned regarding Jesus as the Son of God? I wonder how many nominal Church members’ confession would be rejected also? Is your witness of Christ of any more value than the Devil’s? Would Jesus say to you: Hold thy peace!
THE DEMON WAS INVISIBLE
The next consideration is the fact that the demon was invisible. The man had the spirit of an unclean demon, and we cannot see spirits. That is why the Devil is so dangerous. Paul tells us in Ephesians six: “We wrestle not with flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers, against a spiritual host of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Demons live in a different frequency. They live in the spiritual frequency, and we live in the physical frequency. Apparently they can see us, but we cannot see them. Our enemy is invisible.
One good example of how well the demons know us is in Acts nineteen. There were seven false prophets who were trying to imitate the Apostle Paul. Paul had been given the gift of special miracles. He could send a handkerchief he used to a person who had a demon and the demon would be cast out. These seven false prophets tried to imitate Paul by telling the unclean spirit in a man to come out of him in the name of Jesus whom Paul preaches. The demon in the man said, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know, but who are you?” The demons then proceeded to beat up two of them and they ran down the street stark naked and wounded.
The demons can still tell the difference today in a preacher with a false message and the real thing. If a lost sinner hears the gospel and wants to be saved from his sins, and have the promise of eternal life, and a preacher tells him to bow his head and say, “Lord come into my heart and save me.” The demons will still say, “Jesus I know, for He said, ‘He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved,’ but who are you?” Or as Paul said, “As many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” Again the demon would say, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know, but who are you?”
THE DEMONS HAVE A LOUD VOICE
Then next Luke says, "When the demon came out of him, he came out crying with a loud voice." The Devil has a loud voice. He was loud. He turned up the volume full blast. He has a big, big mouth. He lets his big mouth be heard for one thing through the courts. When you think of the outlawing of prayer and Bible reading in schools, the Devil has a big mouth. The Devil has a big mouth in our schools today. For years the Devil has been speaking through our school system that man has evolved from a common ancestor with the apes and monkeys. Big D. has a big mouth. And today the reason these people who sing like animals, and who talk like animals, and who look like animals, is because the Bible says they worship the creature more than the creator who is blessed forever, wherefore God gave them up to a reprobate mind to do those things which are not fitting. People act like animals today, because they have been taught they are animals, and God says, if you think you are an animal; go ahead and act like an animal. The Devil has a loud voice.
If he has a big mouth, why can't we have a loud voice for God? That is why we like to preach to you on this radio broadcast. We like to have a loud voice for the Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus told the Apostles when He sent them out on an evangelistic tour: “What I tell you in the darkness, speak ye in the light, and what ye hear in the ear proclaim from the housetops.” Ezekiel said, “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up your voice as a trumpet, and tell my people of their sins, and the house of Jacob of their transgressions.”
When the Philippian jailer drew his sword, and was about to kill himself after the earthquake that opened all the prison doors, drastic action was needed; Paul cried with a loud voice: “Do thy self no harm: for we are all here.” A mealy mouth suggestion that he reconsider the situation would have been disastrous for a sinner going out to meet his maker.
In Revelation fourteen there is an account of an angel flying in mid heaven, with the everlasting gospel to proclaim at the time of the last days. The angel cried with a great voice, “Fear God and give Him glory; for the hour of His judgment is come: and worship Him that made the heavens and the earth and sea and fountains of water.”
When lost souls are in the audience of a gospel message there is no time for mealy mouth platitudes to the congregation about what nice people they are.
Give the winds a mighty voice,
Jesus saves, Jesus saves.
Let the nations now rejoice,
Jesus saves, Jesus saves.
Luke says amazement came upon the people as they saw His words were words of power over the Devil. The people of the synagogue were right. The words of Jesus had more power then we can imagine. Jesus said in His prayer in John 17:2 “Thou hast given Him power over all flesh.” It is hard to imagine anyone with that much power. He has power over every race, and the entire population of the earth. Everybody will some day answer to Jesus. Now that is power!
John 10:17-18: Jesus said, “I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one taketh it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.” Now that is real power! He could lay down His life, and of His own will raise Himself up again. Now that is real power!
In John 8:51: “Verily, verily I say unto you, if a man keep My words he shall never see death.” I believe those words just as they are written. A Christian who dies for whatever reason, his eyes close; then he opens them, and finds himself in glory. He died, and did not even see death. Sudden death for the Christian is sudden glory. Now that is power!
How about Mark 13:31? “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My word will never pass away.” Peter says in his second epistle, “The grass withereth and the flower falleth, but the word of God abideth forever.”
People write us from many places in the world and say they are forbidden to read the Bible. Bibles are taken away from them. The Devil fears the Bible more than any thing else in the world and he will do everything he can to destroy it, even to convincing most Christians they are too busy to read it, and they don’t understand it any way.
I have said it may times and I will say it again: “If I knew the world would explode tomorrow at nine o’clock, I would put the Bible on the floor at eight o’clock, and stand on it, because when heaven and earth pass away the word of God, and the church will be all that is left.” Heaven and earth shall pass away but My word shall not pass away.
Then don’t forget John 6:68: Peter said, “Lord to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life and we believe and know that Thou art the Holy One of God.” The people of the synagogue at Capernaum got it right when they were astonished at the power of the words of Jesus.
Someone unknown to me has said:
That holy book I’d rather own than all the world and gems
That ever in monarchs coffers shone, or all their diadems.
Yea, if the sea were crysolite, the earth one golden ball
And diamonds all the stars at night, That book is worth them all.
No soul has ever found relief in glittering bands of wealth
Gems dazzle not the eye of grief, gold cannot purchase health.
But here a blessed balm appears to heal the deepest woe
For those who read this book in tears their tears will cease to flow.