DEMONS

READING: MARK 9:14-29
 
 

    INTRODUCTION

 
    [a] In our Bible reading we have quite a typical Biblical story of  the
    authority of Christ being shown over demons!
    [b] In OUR so-called enlightened age, people think  you're  a  wee  bit
    peculiar if you believe in demons!
    [c] "Surely that went   out   with   the   dark   ages!  People  aren't
    that gullible anymore!"
    [d] They will tell us that Jesus only spoke in the idiom of His day, in
    describing mental illness,  epilepsy,  dumbness  and  other  things  as
    demon-possession.
    [*] Paul reminds us in Ephesians  6,  that  "We fight not against flesh
    and blood, but  against  principalities,  against  powers,  against the
    rulers of darkness in high places!"
    [e] We've become too civilised, to believe  in  an  uncivilised  devil
    working through his demons!
    [f] Sometimes when demons are mentioned it is only by way of  a   joke,
    you  know,  a  bit  like  the  imaginary  gremlins,  or  perhaps  as  a
    description of a mischievous child.
 

    POINT 1

 
    [a] In fact we find our minds being conditioned from inside the Church,
    to think in this way!
    [b] A modern translation of our Bible story as it is found in Matthew's
    Gospel, chapter 17, says, "Sir,  have  mercy  on  my  son!  He  is  an
    epileptic and has such terrible fits, that he often falls in the  fire,
    or into water."
    [c] Another translation speaks of the boy being "mentally deranged."
    [d] The late  Professor  William  Barclay,  highly  respected, and much
    quoted author, (by me as well as many others) has this to say about the
    event in question;
    A man had brought his epileptic boy to the disciples in the absence of
    Jesus...... As was inevitable in that age, the  father  attributed  the
    boy's condition to the malign influence of evil spirits.
    (Gospel of Matthew Vol 2)
 

    POINT 2

 
    [a] The renowned preacher and author, Dr Martin Loyd-Jones,  tells  how
    he ministered to a woman suspected of being demon possessed.
    He says, that as soon as he mentioned the Name of  Jesus  Christ,  the
    woman began to shout in the most unearthly voice he had ever heard!
    She went down on her hands and knees and began to bark like a dog!  But
    through the  Name  of  Christ  she  found  deliverance.  ("Healing  and
    Medicine" [Kingsway])
    [b] Doreen Irvine, former queen of Black Witches for all of Europe, and
    author  of  "From  Witchcraft   to   Christ",   was  delivered from the
    possession of many demons, similar to  the  Gadarene demoniac. (Mark 5)
    [c] The 'casting out' of these demons was done by Rev. Arthur Neil, who
    in recent years was  principle  of  the  Faith  Mission  Bible  College
    in Edinburgh.
    [d] He says, "I have referred to the background and the nature of  the
    diabolical conflict with supernatural forces of evil, in which  it  was
    my terrible responsibility to be implicated. Throughout the years since
    Doreen's gracious  deliverance   from   demonic   possession.......   I
    have  marvelled  at  the  way  she  has  been  brought   through   many
    circumstances which have  been  contested,  ,  at  times  viciously and
    violently,  by  the  strategy and power of Satan."
    (Foreword in 'Set Free to Serve Christ'  by Doreen Irvine)
    [e] There are countless stories in similar  vein  which  show  us  that
    demon-possession is as real today as it ever was in Bible days.
 

    POINT 3

 
    [a] Whilst we were stationed in  the  Edinburgh area, here in Scotland,
    one of the issues of  the  Edinburgh  Evening  News carried a startling
    report! (Friday 13/7/90)
    [b] There was  a   report  about  the  involvement  of  children     in
    Lothian schools in demon centred activities.
    [c] It said that in some of the classes, up to  three-quarters  of  the
    children had  in  some  way  been  involved  in  some  sort  of satanic
    practice!
    [d] Now that included everything, from those contacting spirits through
    Ouija  boards,  to  those  involved  in  awful  sexual   satanic    and
    witchcraft rituals!
    [e] The article stated, "Active (Witchcraft) covens and satanic groups
    have sprung up throughout Lothian....  East  Lothian....   has  a  long
    history associated with witchcraft."
    [f] The Church of Scotland had  such  a concern about the  problem  and
    the connected ritualistic sexual  abuse  of  Children which it  brings,
    that, they set up a special team to do a two year investigation!
    [g] And let me say, for those playing with ouija boards, and feel there
    is no harm in it, IT  IS  NO  GAME!  People have been known  to  become
    demon possessed through playing this so called harmless game!
    [*] Just the other day, I heard someone on the radio, in what was not a
    religious programme, speak  about  their  horrendous  experience with a
    OUIJA BOARD, and  how  they  had  contacted  some  powerful forces that
    terrified them!
    [h] In the newspaper, which I  spoke  of  a  moment ago, an  expert  in
    the  field,  Occult  writer  Charles Cameron,  who had just completed a
    book  on  Scottish  witches,  said, about Ouija boards, "No matter what
    you believe, no  one  should  dabble with them. Using a board is not  a
    parlour  game,   and   people,   particularly  youngsters,  can  become
    hooked on them. The board can end  up ruling their lives, and some will
    not make  a  decision,  without  using  one.  it  is  a  very dangerous
    practice, and can  lead  to  all  sorts  of problems."
    Concerning witchcraft, he stated that covens exist all  over  Scotland,
    and went on to say, "It is as perhaps as rife today as it was  in  the
    Middle Ages. I  understand  that  there  is  at  least  one  group  who
    regularly indulge in satanic worship in and around Edinburgh."
    [f] In my young and innocent days,  I remember with a group of friends,
    deciding to have some "fun" by playing  with a OUIJA BOARD. It all went
    fine, until the OUIJA BOARD spelt out a  name. The name was that of the
    recently deceased mother of one of  the  group.  As you can guess, this
    caused great fright and upset to the person concerned!
    IT CAN SO EASILY BE THE THIN END OF THE DEVIL'S WEDGE!
    [g] The devil has many doors to the occult and the bondage he seeks  to
    impose upon every soul. We must RECOGNISE those doors, we must face  up
    to the DANGER, and we must WARN others.
    WE MUST NOT SIT BACK AND LET IT HAPPEN!
 

    CONCLUSION

 
    [a] One of the most important aspects of examination of evil around us,
    must be the realisation that GOD IS OMNIPOTENT!!
    In our Bible Reading, JESUS TOOK COMMAND  OF THE SITUATION AND CAST THE
    DEMON OUT OF THE CHILD!
    THE DISCIPLES HAD TRIED - IN THEIR OWN STRENGTH - AND FAILED MISERABLY!
    [b] We have a God Who  is  ALL  POWERFUL,  and  one  Who  gives  us  as
    Christians, "POWER ..... OVER ALL THE POWER OF THE ENEMY" (Luke 10:19)
    [c] The words of Jesus in verse 17 of Mark  16  as  translated  in  the
    Living Bible, says, "Those who believe, shall use My authority to  cast
    out demons."
    [d] There is no need for the born again Christian, who is living  close
    to their Lord, to be afraid of demons, because we have the  protection,
    and the authority of the Lord of Glory, and we have  the  all  powerful
    Name of Jesus, at which demons must flee.
    [e] Perhaps there  is  someone  here,  who  perhaps  feels  that  their
    relationship with the Lord is  a  somewhat  distant  one, and  you feel
    somewhat exposed to the  forces  of  Satan,  and  the evil which  seeks
    to destroy you.
    Perhaps you feel bound hand and foot by the forces of evil!
    [f] Jesus came to bring deliverance and Salvation,  and  He  offers  it
    freely to all!
    [*] Jesus says in  Luke  4:18,  "The  Spirit  of  the  Lord is upon Me,
    because He hath anointed Me to preach  the  gospel to the poor; He hath
    sent me  to  heal  the  broken hearted,  to  preach  deliverance  to the
    captives, and recovering of sight to the  blind, to set at liberty them
    that are bruised!"
    [g] He does not expect us to make our own way in this world and somehow
    overcome evil in our own strength. THAT'S IMPOSSIBLE!
    [h] He offers to walk with us through life - IF WE WILL LET HIM!
    [i] If you are not sure you are walking with Him,  why  not  make  sure
    tonight! It's too risky to be a lone traveller on the road of life!
 
    SALVATION ARMY SONG BOOK
 
    SONG           TUNE
     22                  576
    162                 614
    300                 767