Category Archives: Demons

Do Not Harden Your Hearts Against YHWH

Unbelief is a serious thing and it is often misunderstood. Even the demons believe Yeshua is God, but that does not mean they are saved. No, they are the enemy. They believe Yeshua is God but do not submit to his authority.

James 2:19-20

19You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. 20But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless?

Our belief is not one of recognizing that Yeshua is God, but rather submitting to and living according to his instruction and example. In that way we demonstrate our belief.

Think of it this way. If I believe in gravity, my actions show it. I hold the handrail going up stairs. I don’t walk off a roof or over a cliff. My behaviors and attitudes reflect what I believe. It affects my life.

Hebrews 3:12-19

The Peril of Unbelief

      12Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God. 13But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. 14For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end,

15while it is said,
“TODAY IF YOU HEAR HIS VOICE,
DO NOT HARDEN YOUR HEARTS, AS WHEN THEY PROVOKED ME.”

16For who provoked Him when they had heard? Indeed, did not all those who came out of Egypt led by Moses? 17And with whom was He angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? 18And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who were disobedient? 19So we see that they were not able to enter because of unbelief.

James points out that many who identified with his name were rebellious against him and were held accountable for not submitting to his authority. The warning is clear. Do not harden your hearts because of our desires for sin. Turn from sin and obey the Father. Pursue relationship with the Father through Yeshua.

John 14:6

6Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

A Demon Will Attempt To Return

Jesus cast a demon out of a man and took the opportunity to teach about how Satan works in these types of attacks. Satan preys upon the sin and selfishness in our hearts and makes a place for himself. He is a strong man, guarding what he has taken. Only one who is stronger, God, can cast out Satan.

Jesus gives further warning, however, that simply casting out a demon is not sufficient. We must take the opportunity to “fill up the space” with the Holy Spirit. If we simply clear out the demon, but develop no relationship with our Lord and Savior, then we will be no better off in the end and perhaps worse. The demon will return with others and we will once again be prey to Satan’s forces.

Luke 11:14-26

      14And He was casting out a demon, and it was mute; when the demon had gone out, the mute man spoke; and the crowds were amazed. 15But some of them said, “He casts out demons by Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons.” 16Others, to test Him, were demanding of Him a sign from heaven. 17But He knew their thoughts and said to them, “Any kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and a house divided against itself falls. 18“If Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? For you say that I cast out demons by Beelzebul. 19“And if I by Beelzebul cast out demons, by whom do your sons cast them out? So they will be your judges. 20“But if I cast out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. 21“When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are undisturbed. 22“But when someone stronger than he attacks him and overpowers him, he takes away from him all his armor on which he had relied and distributes his plunder. 23“He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me, scatters.

      24“When the unclean spirit goes out of a man, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and not finding any, it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ 25“And when it comes, it finds it swept and put in order. 26“Then it goes and takes along seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they go in and live there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first.”

Embrace God as the one who can disrupt and cast out Satan and his demons from your heart and life. Admit you are a sinner who cannot save himself/herself. Submit to Christ. Repent and ask forgiveness for your sins. Ask the Holy Spirit to come into your life. Declare Christ as savior. From there, build your relationship with God for the rest of your life focused on prayer, worship, and Bible study, fellowship with other believers.

Once you have the Spirit in your heart, Satan has no foothold in your life.

Learn more about Spiritual Warfare.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Even Demons Know Yeshua Is Son Of The Most High God

There is much to be explored and considered in the historical account of Yeshua curing a man who was demon possessed.

Luke 8:26-39

The Demoniac Cured

    26Then they sailed to the country of the Gerasenes, which is opposite Galilee. 27And when He came out onto the land, He was met by a man from the city who was possessed with demons; and who had not put on any clothing for a long time, and was not living in a house, but in the tombs. 28Seeing Jesus, he cried out and fell before Him, and said in a loud voice, “What business do we have with each other, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg You, do not torment me.” 29For He had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For it had seized him many times; and he was bound with chains and shackles and kept under guard, and yet he would break his bonds and be driven by the demon into the desert. 30And Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Legion”; for many demons had entered him. 31They were imploring Him not to command them to go away into the abyss.

      32Now there was a herd of many swine feeding there on the mountain; and the demons implored Him to permit them to enter the swine. And He gave them permission. 33And the demons came out of the man and entered the swine; and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned.

      34When the herdsmen saw what had happened, they ran away and reported it in the city and out in the country. 35The people went out to see what had happened; and they came to Jesus, and found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting down at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind; and they became frightened. 36Those who had seen it reported to them how the man who was demon-possessed had been made well. 37And all the people of the country of the Gerasenes and the surrounding district asked Him to leave them, for they were gripped with great fear; and He got into a boat and returned. 38But the man from whom the demons had gone out was begging Him that he might accompany Him; but He sent him away, saying, 39“Return to your house and describe what great things God has done for you.” So he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole city what great things Jesus had done for him.

Demons are real. They are not imagined or subjects of stories. Demons are not your friends and they do not have your best interest at heart. For those who open themselves up to demons and become possessed, their own body becomes a cruel and inhumane prison.

The demons recognize and acknowledge that Yeshua is the “Son of the Most High God”. However, they do not follow Him or submit to Him as Lord. They are doomed to eternity in hell. Knowing and admitting that Yeshua is God is not enough to be saved. We must surrender and submit to Him and make Him Lord of our life.

The demons have no power over Yeshua. In fact He has absolute power over them. We can be rescued by and through Yeshua from them. You do not have to wait to be demon possessed to seek Yeshua as Lord… seek Him now. Make Him Lord of your life now.

Watch how the people responded to this miraculous and obvious curing of the man. They knew the man was possessed. However, they were frightened not by him but by the fact that Yeshua set him free! They asked Yeshua to leave because of it. Those who do not have eyes to see will act with hostility toward Christ and those who follow Him. They will reject and push Him away though He perform miracles in front of their eyes.

The man desperately wanted to go with Yeshua. Who could blame him! However, Yeshua wanted him to remain as continuing testimony to the people to think about every time they saw him. He was obedient and submitted to the Lord and followed the Lord’s instruction even though it was opposite what he himself desired. He became a bold witness for Christ where Christ wanted him… not where he wanted to be by his plans or logic.

Prayerfully reflect on how to apply this teaching in your life. Let the Spirit guide you. Submit to where He prompts you to go and what He prompts you to do. Pray He would open your eyes to the miracles of God around us and help us to submit and obey to the Lord’s will, even when it directly contradicts what you desire.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Jesus Will Not Force Himself On Anyone

Though Jesus offers Himself to all of us, He will not force Himself on any of us. This truth still remains today, but is clearly demonstrated in Luke’s account of Jesus’ public ministry. Nazareth, His own hometown, had perhaps the toughest time accepting Him once He taught something they did not want to hear. They switched from commending Him to trying to kill Him. Jesus did not force Himself on them, but simply left to preach and teach and do miracles amongst those who would accept Him. And mighty miracles of healing and casting out of demons is exactly what He did! Those who accepted Him could not get enough, while those who had rejected Him refused even to acknowledge what others could so plainly see.

Luke 4: 14-44

Jesus’ Public Ministry

     14And Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about Him spread through all the surrounding district. 15And He began teaching in their synagogues and was praised by all.

      16And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, and stood up to read. 17And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He opened the book and found the place where it was written,

      18“THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS UPON ME,
BECAUSE HE ANOINTED ME TO PREACH THE GOSPEL TO THE POOR.
HE HAS SENT ME TO PROCLAIM RELEASE TO THE CAPTIVES,
AND RECOVERY OF SIGHT TO THE BLIND,
TO SET FREE THOSE WHO ARE OPPRESSED,

      19TO PROCLAIM THE FAVORABLE YEAR OF THE LORD.”
20And He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him. 21And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” 22And all were speaking well of Him, and wondering at the gracious words which were falling from His lips; and they were saying, “Is this not Joseph’s son?” 23And He said to them, “No doubt you will quote this proverb to Me, ‘Physician, heal yourself! Whatever we heard was done at Capernaum, do here in your hometown as well.’” 24And He said, “Truly I say to you, no prophet is welcome in his hometown. 25“But I say to you in truth, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the sky was shut up for three years and six months, when a great famine came over all the land; 26and yet Elijah was sent to none of them, but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. 27“And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.” 28And all the people in the synagogue were filled with rage as they heard these things; 29and they got up and drove Him out of the city, and led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city had been built, in order to throw Him down the cliff. 30But passing through their midst, He went His way.

      31And He came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and He was teaching them on the Sabbath; 32and they were amazed at His teaching, for His message was with authority. 33In the synagogue there was a man possessed by the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out with a loud voice, 34“Let us alone! What business do we have with each other, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God!” 35But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be quiet and come out of him!” And when the demon had thrown him down in the midst of the people, he came out of him without doing him any harm. 36And amazement came upon them all, and they began talking with one another saying, “What is this message? For with authority and power He commands the unclean spirits and they come out.” 37And the report about Him was spreading into every locality in the surrounding district.

Many Are Healed

     38Then He got up and left the synagogue, and entered Simon’s home. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever, and they asked Him to help her. 39And standing over her, He rebuked the fever, and it left her; and she immediately got up and waited on them.

      40While the sun was setting, all those who had any who were sick with various diseases brought them to Him; and laying His hands on each one of them, He was healing them. 41Demons also were coming out of many, shouting, “You are the Son of God!” But rebuking them, He would not allow them to speak, because they knew Him to be the Christ.

      42When day came, Jesus left and went to a secluded place; and the crowds were searching for Him, and came to Him and tried to keep Him from going away from them. 43But He said to them, “I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, for I was sent for this purpose.”

      44So He kept on preaching in the synagogues of Judea.

Let us make sure we are welcoming our Lord into our lives. Let us invite Him in and acknowledge Him. The teaching and the miracles will follow. He will not force Himself on us. Sometimes we need to be willing to hear and accept truth we don’t want to hear, messages which challenge us to change to be less like the world and more like Him. If we reject Him when He convicts us of sin, He will not force Himself on us.

Let us embrace the miracles He performs for healing and casting out demons. He has this power still today. Come to Him, asking humbly and thankfully for His help. He will hear the faithful who seek Him. He will not turn you away because He wants “alone time” or is “too busy”. He is always available to us, filled with love and compassion.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

His Way, Not Our Own

Much of Leviticus serves to remind us to seek to understand and follow God’s ways rather than each make our own way. God laid out for His people specific guidance for them to follow.

People at the time were struggling with the freedom God had previously allowed them in regards to making their own alters and conducting their own sacrifices as Abraham had done and Jacob. With this freedom came a tendency toward idolatry or sacrifices to demons. God now instructs His people to bring the sacrifices to His tabernacle. This is a firm reminder to them which God is Lord. There is only one, and He is called Jehovah or Yahweh.

Jehovah also had previously instructed the people not to eat the blood of the animals. Whether or not we understand fully, we should obey. The blood was intended to be set apart for atonement, not to be consumed. It represents the life of the animal.

Some may ask, “what does this mean for me today?” A fair question to be sure. Let us be reminded to seek to understand and obey the ways of Jehovah. Let us follow His ways rather than our own. Take care not to stray toward idolatry and worship of things other than our Lord and Creator or to stray in our obedience to Him.

Leviticus 17

Blood for Atonement

     1Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 2“Speak to Aaron and to his sons and to all the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘This is what the LORD has commanded, saying, 3“Any man from the house of Israel who slaughters an ox or a lamb or a goat in the camp, or who slaughters it outside the camp, 4and has not brought it to the doorway of the tent of meeting to present it as an offering to the LORD before the tabernacle of the LORD, bloodguiltiness is to be reckoned to that man. He has shed blood and that man shall be cut off from among his people. 5“The reason is so that the sons of Israel may bring their sacrifices which they were sacrificing in the open field, that they may bring them in to the LORD, at the doorway of the tent of meeting to the priest, and sacrifice them as sacrifices of peace offerings to the LORD. 6“The priest shall sprinkle the blood on the altar of the LORD at the doorway of the tent of meeting, and offer up the fat in smoke as a soothing aroma to the LORD. 7“They shall no longer sacrifice their sacrifices to the goat demons with which they play the harlot. This shall be a permanent statute to them throughout their generations.”’

      8“Then you shall say to them, ‘Any man from the house of Israel, or from the aliens who sojourn among them, who offers a burnt offering or sacrifice, 9and does not bring it to the doorway of the tent of meeting to offer it to the LORD, that man also shall be cut off from his people.

      10‘And any man from the house of Israel, or from the aliens who sojourn among them, who eats any blood, I will set My face against that person who eats blood and will cut him off from among his people. 11‘For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood by reason of the life that makes atonement.’ 12“Therefore I said to the sons of Israel, ‘No person among you may eat blood, nor may any alien who sojourns among you eat blood.’ 13“So when any man from the sons of Israel, or from the aliens who sojourn among them, in hunting catches a beast or a bird which may be eaten, he shall pour out its blood and cover it with earth.

      14“For as for the life of all flesh, its blood is identified with its life. Therefore I said to the sons of Israel, ‘You are not to eat the blood of any flesh, for the life of all flesh is its blood; whoever eats it shall be cut off.’ 15“When any person eats an animal which dies or is torn by beasts, whether he is a native or an alien, he shall wash his clothes and bathe in water, and remain unclean until evening; then he will become clean. 16“But if he does not wash them or bathe his body, then he shall bear his guilt.”

Focus on and obey the ways of our Lord. For those parts we don’t fully understand… pray and study the Bible to learn and gain godly wisdom. Do not just ignore something because it does not make sense to you. Instead seek to understand. Ask Him to reveal it to you and do not be slothful in your study of the Word. Be encouraged as well… in that we don’t have to be perfect. We do not seek reconciliation and salvation by our works, but rather by faith, through grace in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. But if we love Him, we will seek to understand His instruction and obey Him.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Exploring the Depth of Our Faith

Let us take time to reflect on a few considerations regarding our faith as believers. We should take care to evaluate earnestly and without deceiving ourselves in regards to the need to grow our faith even after accepting Jesus as Lord.

  • Just believing that Jesus was historically real, and was God come to dwell among us is not a saving faith. Even having fear of God does not mean you have saving faith. Even Satan and his demons believe these things.

James 2:19

19You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder.

  • We must truly in our hearts believe that Jesus Christ is God and submit to Him as Lord over our life. We turn from our old ways and seek to live according to His ways. This requires more than claiming to submit to Him with our words or doing good works in His name.  Our decisions in life are to be based on His will and His ways rather than our desires. If nothing in your life changes after you claim to submit to Jesus as Lord, it should be a red flag to you that you should pray and search more deeply to test if you really have committed to Him wholeheartedly or are just claiming the name.

Matthew 7:21-23

   21“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22“Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23“And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’

  • Even once we are truly followers of Christ, we have further to go in growing our faith. Do not grow complacent. Even Jesus’ disciples as He walked among them had further to grow in their faith.

Matthew 17:14-23

The Demoniac

      14When they came to the crowd, a man came up to Jesus, falling on his knees before Him and saying, 15“Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is a lunatic and is very ill; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water. 16“I brought him to Your disciples, and they could not cure him.” 17And Jesus answered and said, “You unbelieving and perverted generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring him here to Me.” 18And Jesus rebuked him, and the demon came out of him, and the boy was cured at once.

      19Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not drive it out?” 20And He said to them, “Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you. 21[“But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”]

  • Of course, another phase we can look forward to as a natural progression of our faith and walk with Christ as Lord… the in filling of the Holy Spirit that brings with it much power. A good demonstration of this impact is perhaps to consider Peter before Pentecost and after Pentecost. Peter had faith in both cases, but he was transformed from his condition before the Spirit (e.g. he denied Christ 3 times when Jesus was taken into custody before crucifixion) to a powerful and bold servant of Christ after he was infilled by the Holy Spirit.

Acts 22:37-47

      37Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?” 38Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39“For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.” 40And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation!” 41So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls. 42They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.

      43Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles. 44And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; 45and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need. 46Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, 47praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.

We all need help from the Father. That is why He sends the Holy Spirit as our Helper. Pray for the Father’s help to grow your faith and fill you with the Spirit. Ask Him to show you where you are not being faithful and fully submitted. Connect with someone you trust who can also help hold you accountable as to your actions and attitudes lining up with the instructions of our Lord. Stay connected to the Lord in prayer and submitted to Him in all aspects of your life.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Recognize The Enemy. Know From Whom Your Strength Comes.

All too often, people dismiss the reality of demons and how they affect people. This denial is dangerous. Equally important is to remember that Satan is not all powerful and all knowing… only God is those things. Let us take care not to give Satan too much credit for all things that seem difficult or different than we desire.

However, if we are to engage in spiritual warfare, we must first recognize that there is a war and we have an enemy. We can not win if we do not recognize the enemy. We can not win if we do not recognize from whom our strength comes.

Our enemy is Satan. Our strength comes from the Lord. We should study the Bible closely to continue to learn and understand more about spiritual warfare and how to win.

Mark 9:14-29

All Things Possible

      14When they came back to the disciples, they saw a large crowd around them, and some scribes arguing with them. 15Immediately, when the entire crowd saw Him, they were amazed and began running up to greet Him. 16And He asked them, “What are you discussing with them?” 17And one of the crowd answered Him, “Teacher, I brought You my son, possessed with a spirit which makes him mute; 18and whenever it seizes him, it slams him to the ground and he foams at the mouth, and grinds his teeth and stiffens out. I told Your disciples to cast it out, and they could not do it.19And He answered them and said, “O unbelieving generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring him to Me!” 20They brought the boy to Him. When he saw Him, immediately the spirit threw him into a convulsion, and falling to the ground, he began rolling around and foaming at the mouth. 21And He asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. 22“It has often thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, take pity on us and help us!” 23And Jesus said to him, “ ‘If You can?’ All things are possible to him who believes.” 24Immediately the boy’s father cried out and said, “I do believe; help my unbelief.” 25When Jesus saw that a crowd was rapidly gathering, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You deaf and mute spirit, I command you, come out of him and do not enter him again.” 26After crying out and throwing him into terrible convulsions, it came out; and the boy became so much like a corpse that most of them said, “He is dead!” 27But Jesus took him by the hand and raised him; and he got up. 28When He came into the house, His disciples began questioning Him privately, “Why could we not drive it out?” 29And He said to them, “This kind cannot come out by anything but prayer.”

Faith and prayer are important aspects of connecting to God for His help in overcoming Satan and his demons. Do not ignore spiritual warfare and do not assume everything that happens is spiritual warfare. Sometimes a flat tire just means you drove over a nail. However, Satan is out there prowling like a lion looking for someone to devour. Be prepared and seek to recognize him by studying how he works in the documented scriptures of the Bible.

To learn more about spiritual warfare, read our teaching, Spiritual Warfare.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? If you die today, do you know for sure that you would be with God in heaven? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

How Do You React To Jesus?

There are quite a few scriptures in the Bible that show us how demons interact with Jesus. I always take pause to reflect when I read passages such as Mark 5. Many people become complacent in their search for Jesus by simply stopping at “I know Jesus is real” or “I believe Jesus is Son of God”.  Take heed, because so do the demons. Simply acknowledging the reality that Jesus is God is not enough. We must surrender to Him as Lord of our life and seek after Him. We must put our faith in Him, which will be reflected in our change in behavior and attitude toward all we do in life. We start to live as He lived instead of how we have been living as part of the world. Let us not be complacent to simply acknowledge the historical person of Jesus.

Mark 5:1-20

The Gerasene Demoniac

      1They came to the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gerasenes. 2When He got out of the boat, immediately a man from the tombs with an unclean spirit met Him, 3and he had his dwelling among the tombs. And no one was able to bind him anymore, even with a chain; 4because he had often been bound with shackles and chains, and the chains had been torn apart by him and the shackles broken in pieces, and no one was strong enough to subdue him. 5Constantly, night and day, he was screaming among the tombs and in the mountains, and gashing himself with stones. 6Seeing Jesus from a distance, he ran up and bowed down before Him; 7and shouting with a loud voice, he said, “What business do we have with each other, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I implore You by God, do not torment me!” 8For He had been saying to him, “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!” 9And He was asking him, “What is your name?” And he said to Him, “My name is Legion; for we are many.” 10And he began to implore Him earnestly not to send them out of the country. 11Now there was a large herd of swine feeding nearby on the mountain. 12The demons implored Him, saying, “Send us into the swine so that we may enter them.” 13Jesus gave them permission. And coming out, the unclean spirits entered the swine; and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea, about two thousand of them; and they were drowned in the sea.

      14Their herdsmen ran away and reported it in the city and in the country. And the people came to see what it was that had happened. 15They came to Jesus and observed the man who had been demon-possessed sitting down, clothed and in his right mind, the very man who had had the “legion”; and they became frightened. 16Those who had seen it described to them how it had happened to the demon-possessed man, and all about the swine. 17And they began to implore Him to leave their region. 18As He was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed was imploring Him that he might accompany Him. 19And He did not let him, but He said to him, “Go home to your people and report to them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He had mercy on you.” 20And he went away and began to proclaim in Decapolis what great things Jesus had done for him; and everyone was amazed.

Let us compare the response of the people in the story to the actions of Jesus. The man who had been demon-possessed was forever changed. He knew what it was that Jesus had done for him and wanted to follow Jesus. More importantly, he submitted to Jesus, choosing to obey what Jesus called him to do instead of pursuing his own desires… even though they were good desires to follow Jesus. This man likely had great impact remaining amongst those that knew his history and could see the transformational change in him. Jesus knew where he wanted this man to be and what he wanted him to do in proclaiming the good news of Messiah.

The reaction of the herdsmen and the people who return with them from the city is clearly disappointing. In truth, their reaction is not much different than that of the demons. They see an undeniable miracle take place and all they can do is react in fear and ask Jesus to leave. What a lost opportunity for them. However, take note that Jesus did not hold a grudge… He actually used the man who was possessed by demons to remain in region and proclaim the word to help these people. Jesus loves them even though they fear Him.

Prayerfully reflect, “How do you react to the instructions of God? to the prompting of the Holy Spirit?

Do you, like the demons and the townspeople, just feel uncomfortable with the presence of God and His power and instead want to focus on your own desires and interests?

Or rather, do you listen carefully and obey His instructions even if it conflicts with your desires, as the man who was demon possessed demonstrated? When we obey God instead of our own desires, then truly God can use us for His glory! Others around you should be able to see that you are different, that God has changed you. You are a light and should no longer “blend in” with those around you.

If you find yourself reasoning… “but the man was cured of demon possession… of course he was transformed and excited… how does this apply to my life”… then consider that truly each and every one of us is a sinful being who is due punishment for our sin. The punishment for sin is death. Only through Jesus’ death on the cross for our sins and  our genuine submission to Him, seeking forgiveness, shall any of us be delivered from death to everlasting life with God. All of us are corrupted by sin and headed for eternal suffering in hell if not for the actions of Jesus. In effect, Jesus has rescued all of us in similar fashion to what we read about in Mark 5. Do we respond in like manner to the man who was demon possessed? We should be laser-focused on Jesus and seeking to follow Him and obey Him in all aspects of our lives.

Be prepared that many will reject or resist this transformation in you as they reject God, Himself. Stand up for God anyway and proclaim the good news of Messiah! God may use you as a vehicle to save others by leading them to Him.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? If you die today, do you know for sure that you would be with God in heaven? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

What Does It Mean To Blaspheme Against The Holy Spirit?

It is sometimes referred to as “the unpardonable sin”. Much can be said and debated and studied about this important topic. Who among us does not want to take note of anything that Jesus would say is an “eternal sin”. Do not blaspheme against the Holy Spirit.

Mark 3:28

   28“Truly I say to you, all sins shall be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they utter; 29but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”— 30because they were saying, “He has an unclean spirit.”

Read and reflect on the full context of Mark 3 by clicking the link above. Jesus had publically healed many and cast out demons. The Pharisees and scribes looked upon the manifest miracles of God, listened to how Jesus explained clearly that these works could not come from Satan, lest he be battling himself, and then accused Jesus of being a demon. They blasphemed against the Holy Spirit by attributing the works of God to Satan in an unrepentant fashion.  The hardness of one’s heart that must be required to bring this accusation against Jesus in the direct observation of healing miracles and casting out demons is amazing. It is a flat out, ongoing,  unrepentant denial of Jesus Christ as God.

It really is that simple. Jesus died for all of us, for all of our sin. But if we refuse to acknowledge the deity of Jesus Christ and accept Him as our Lord and Savior… as God… then we are essentially rejecting His offer of grace and forgiveness and reconciliation with God.

If there is one sin which can not be overlooked… that is it. With genuine repentance and submission to God through the person of Jesus Christ we can be forgiven any other sin. Pray that the Holy Spirit would lead you to truly and genuinely accepting Christ as Lord and Savior if you have not yet done so. Reach out to other Christians you trust or even to a local church or our ministry for support. Getting this right is the most important thing in your entire life and has eternal consequences.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? If you die today, do you know for sure that you would be with God in heaven? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

“Have You Lost Your Senses?”

Many of us who follow Jesus will at one time or another be essentially mocked or called out as “out of our senses”.  The world struggles to understand how true disciples of Christ think and act. To follow in the example of Christ is very different from much of their world view.

I can think of several examples simply ranging from declaring Jesus as God to giving generously while seeking nothing in return. Just declaring evolution as the false doctrine it is may be sufficient to evoke these kinds of responses. In fact, I remember one event where someone generously bought dinner for a large group at a restaurant which was unexpected. Rather than simply saying “thank you” and recognizing the person was “giving generously”, some actually mocked him as crazy for spending money that way. The world does not understand followers of Jesus.

But take heart, Jesus experienced similar reactions. It may well be a good indicator that you are living apart from the world’s way. After going up to the mountain to appoint the twelve disciples, Jesus returned home to quite an uproar. The crowd gathered such that they could not even eat a meal. People said Jesus had lost His senses or was  possessed.

Mark 3:20-27

      20And He came home, and the crowd gathered again, to such an extent that they could not even eat a meal. 21When His own people heard of this, they went out to take custody of Him; for they were saying, “He has lost His senses.” 22The scribes who came down from Jerusalem were saying, “He is possessed by Beelzebul,” and “He casts out the demons by the ruler of the demons.” 23And He called them to Himself and began speaking to them in parables, “How can Satan cast out Satan? 24“If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25“If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. 26“If Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but he is finished! 27“But no one can enter the strong man’s house and plunder his property unless he first binds the strong man, and then he will plunder his house.

Jesus certainly has a way of summarizing the issue.  How absurd that someone would say He is possessed by demons because He casts out demons! If Satan is the strong man in this scenario, then one greater than He must be present to “bind him” and cast out the demons.

Do not be discouraged when others do not understand the motivations and actions you exemplify in your life. Test to ensure that you are in line with Jesus Christ by studying and applying scripture. If that is right, keep on marching forward whether or not they think you may be crazy. Pray for God to help you be a light and draw others to Him through Christ.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? If you die today, do you know for sure that you would be with God in heaven? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.