Time or Eternity? ™

Possessed of Demons in Ancient Times

In Demon Possessd on February 24, 2012 at 8:00 am

In the New Testament we read that at the time of our Saviour demons would sometimes take complete control of men and women. These unfortunate people would be compelled to do the bidding of the evil spirits, and even speak words contrary to their own desire.  To some of them would be imparted superhuman strength, so that men could not hold them, and chains could not bind them. The evil spirits would throw down their victims, cast them into the fire, and force them to cut themselves with sharp stones. Sometimes they would compel them to inhabit tombs and to terrorize the neighborhood so that none dared pass by their abode. In fact, they would become the personification of devils in human flesh. No human being could control them.  But in Christ these evil spirits found their master. Many times He met them on their own ground and compelled them to relinquish .their grasp upon the suffering victims. Often these conflicts would occur when Jesus was teaching in the synagogues and other places.

In every instance the poor sufferer was rescued from satanic control, and raised his voice in thanksgiving and praise for his restored manhood.  So marvelous were these manifestations that the people exclaimed in hushed tones, “What a word is this  for with authority and power He commandeth the unclean spirits, and they come out.” (Luke 4: 36)  At the presence of Jesus the demons would acknowledge Him as their master, for it is written, “And unclean spirits, when they saw Him, fell down before Him, and cried, saying, Thou art the Son of God.” (Mark 3:11)  Now when Christ sent out the apostles He delegated to them the same authority, for we read, “And He called unto Him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits.” (Mark 6:7) In Luke 9:1, we read that He “gave them power and authority over all devils.”

This power was given to more than the twelve apostles, for Luke says that the seventy returned with wonder and rejoicing from their first missionary tour, saying, “Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through Thy name.” (Luke 10:17)  And that Jesus intended that this power should remain in the church is self-evident. He said, just before His ascension, “And these signs shall follow them that believe: In My name shall they cast out devils,” etc. (Mark 16:17)   Only by earnest devotion and sincere service can humanity expect to be entrusted with these miraculous gifts.

Notice that at one time even the disciples failed, and that, too, in a case of dire distress. A father in Israel came to them, presenting the pitiful case of his son. The devil possessing him vexed him sore. Sometimes it cast him into the fire, and sometimes into the water. His life was in constant jeopardy.  Relating the circumstances to Jesus, the father said, “And I brought him to Thy disciples, and they could not cure him.” Matt. 17:14-21. It was the sin of unbelief in the disciples that caused their failure. Earnest consecration, constant prayer, and nearness to God, could alone prevail over the powers of darkness. Jesus told the sorrowful disciples that “this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.” This evidences that unbelief is, in our day, keeping these gifts away from the church.

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