And Jesus Gave Them Permission

I have written before about the powerlessness of Satan, but not many church people really believe He is powerless against the man of God. Instead, if you listen to the way they talk they believe he is something great just because he attacks them and they are at a loss about how to defend themselves against his attack. And instead of turning to God, they glorify the power of the one attacking them, but they wouldn’t give him the time of day if they sat down and read their bibles. For in the scriptures we will find they tell us the man of God is far greater in authority than the demon followers of Satan. The title of today’s message came from Mark 5:13, which reads, “And Jesus gave them permission. Then the unclean spirits went out and entered the swine and the herd ran violently down the steep place into the sea, and drowned in the sea.”

If we go back to the beginning of the story we are examining we learn that the unclean spirits Jesus gave permission to enter into the herd of pigs had been living in a man. The unclean spirits numbered about two thousand, and the man was for all intents and purposes as crazy as a person can possibly be. He lived in a cemetery and wondered among the tombs. No one could bind him because he was strong enough to break their bonds and free himself. And he cut himself with sharp rocks and was heard crying out or shouting loudly day and night which had to frighten passerbyers and anyone who lived close by. People in the country round about had to know about this crazy man and the things he did because the lake was only ten or eleven miles wide and a few miles longer in length, and news of a crazy man with his power circulates a hundred times faster than good news and serves as a warning to all who venture into the area to stay away from the cemetery he lived in.

As we pick up the story we learn that Jesus arrived at the cemetery early one morning to be confronted by this demon possessed man, and the man said to him, “What have I to do with you, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I implore you by God that you do not torment me.” Now, please understand, the words this man was speaking to Jesus was not the man speaking, but the demons in him was imploring Jesus not to torment them before their appointed time. We know this to be true because when Jesus asked him his name, he answered, “Legion, for we are many.” The bible tells us a legion is about two thousand in number. So this man had approximately two thousand demons living in him that tormented him day and night. The bible does not go into detail and tell us how the demons came to be living in this man. It only tells us they were there and what their presence in him caused him to do. The point of the story tells us these demons were extremely afraid of Jesus because they knew who He was and the power He possessed. That is why these demons implored Him to not torment them before their appointed time. But what Jesus is illustrating for us is the power men possess who are filled with the Holy Spirit of God. Even though He was the Son of God, He was empowered by the Holy Spirit of God. The very same Holy Spirit that dwells in us and empowers us to do the same things Jesus did while He was on earth. It is our ignorance of spiritual things that allows Satan to get away with the things he does in this world. Hosea 4:6 tells us, “My people (God speaking) are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” So God is telling us it is what we don’t know that opens the door for Satan to attack us in the areas we are ignorant. If we have knowledge of and understand our rights as children of God, we can prevent our being over run during our trying times. But if we don’t have a clue who we are, who we are fighting, or what we can do to stop him, we will be defeated everytime. But this story clearly portrays for us that the man of God is far greater in power than all the demons who followed Satan in his rebellion. People who read this story say, “Well, that was Jesus, and He was the Son of God you know, so it was easy for Him to do all the things He did.” But what they fail to realize is – the things Jesus did on earth; He did as a man to show us the power and authority God would be giving to His followers on the Day of Pentecost. That day passed two thousand years ago, and the power Jesus promised to us came upon man just as He said it would; and the power He and the first Apostles possessed is on earth today begging to be released by and through man so He can glorify the Name of Jesus, and the One who sent Him into the earth.

The demons in the above story knew who Jesus was, and they know who the Christians are today who are not ignorant of their devices. There is a story in the book of Acts in which the seven sons of Sceva tried to cast out a demon from a demon possessed man and the demon overpowered them, beat them up, tore their clothes off, and chased them away bleeding, shouting after them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know, but who are you?” The demon overpowered the seven sons of Sceva in the book of Acts because they had no relationship with the Lord. So why did they obey the one man, and overpower the other? It was the recognition of the power of God in the one, and the lack of it in the others. God freely gives the power to overcome Satan to all who will freely submit to Him and ask for the infilling of the Holy Spirit. What denomination you belong to has nothing to do with who has the power and who doesn’t. God freely gives it to all who earnestly desires to be filled with it; and even went so far in Matthew chapter 28 to tell His disciples to; “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every nation, tribe, and tongue, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” What Jesus is telling us is to preach the gospel to the whole world baptizing the new believer’s in the Holy Spirit who will then empower them to do the work of God. Man has misunderstood this last commandment of Jesus and because they have they think it means to baptize them in water in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Water baptism is good, but there is no power in the water baptism. It is only an outward expression to a lost and dying world that we have made an inward decision to follow the Lord. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is what empowers the believer to fulfill the mandate of God and defeat the devil and his followers. DThrash

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