Summary: 1. God shows us demonic spirits (vs. 1-10). 2. God shows us our divine Savior (vs. 8-13). 3. God shows us the deceived sinners (vs. 14-17). 4. God shows us the delivered saint (vs. 18-20).
Our Front Row Seat to Divine Deliverance
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - Sept. 18, 2013
*Tonight we are going to look at one of the most drastic and devastating examples of demon possession found in the Bible. Thankfully, it is also one of the greatest examples of deliverance we find in God's Word.
*This story is found in three of the four Gospels: Matthew, Mark and Luke. Each of these adds information to the story. Matthew 8 is the only place where we see that there were actually two men delivered by Jesus that day. Mark and Luke focus on just one of the men. And Mark 5 gives the most detail, so let's turn there to explore what happened.
1. Here God gives us a front-row seat to His divine deliverance, so first notice the demonic spirits.
*And notice the terrible effect these demons had on the possessed man. We see how tormented he was in vs. 1-5:
1. Then they came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gadarenes.
2. And when He had come out of the boat, immediately there met Him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit,
3. who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no one could bind him, not even with chains,
4. because he had often been bound with shackles and chains. And the chains had been pulled apart by him, and the shackles broken in pieces; neither could anyone tame him.
5. And always, night and day, he was in the mountains and in the tombs, crying out and cutting himself with stones.
*The devil is nobody's friend. He causes misery everywhere he goes, and gladly ruins anything he touches. This man's life was in utter ruins.
*David Yarbrough described him this way: "Wild hair, bloody wrists, scratched skin, fury encased in flesh, naked bedlam, arms flailing and voice screaming." (1)
*Tim Smith added: "This no-name person may have been demon-possessed for quite some time and he was not a pretty sight. His arms and legs were most likely ringed with layers of scar tissue from repeatedly fighting against the chains that others used to try and confine him. . . Now free of those chains, he tortured himself by gashing his body with stones, his recent wounds still oozing puss and blood. From both a physical, emotional and spiritual perspective, he is nauseating and repulsive. His being and personality are under the mastery of an evil power."
*How did this happen? Tim Smith explained: "In the lands surrounding Palestine, demonic possession was not uncommon. Demon worship and even dedicating one's child to the Devil was not unheard of." (2)
*Demon possession still occurs today, especially in areas where there is a drought of the gospel, and people worship false gods. Thankfully, we don't see many obvious manifestations of this kind of evil in our community.
*And we don't even like to think about demons. But they are still here in the world with us, doing their hateful and hurtful work. All Christians have a part in this spiritual battle against unseen evil forces. The Apostle Paul expressed it this way in Ephesians 6:12: "We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places."
*Who are these demons? Originally, they were angels created by God along with the other angels. But when Satan rebelled against God, he persuaded 1/3 of the other angels to rebel with him.
*Revelation 12:3-10 gives us a quick look at this past battle, and a future battle in this on-going spiritual war: There the Apostle John wrote:
3. And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great, fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads.
4. His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child as soon as it was born.
5. And she bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her Child was caught up to God and to His throne.
6. Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days.
7. And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought,
8. but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer.
9. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.