Spiritual Warfare - Lesson 13
Jesus and the Demons (Part 2)
From this lesson, you gain profound insight into a biblical narrative that showcases the power of Jesus over evil spirits. The story illustrates the intense torment and suffering that can result from demonic possession, with the possessed man exhibiting extreme behavior, self-harm, and superhuman strength. The lecture also underscores the fear demons have of Jesus and His authority, as they desperately plead not to be tortured.
Jesus and the Demons (Part 2)
A. The Unusual Nature of Biblical Stories
B. The Biblical Worldview and the Spiritual Realm
II. The Gasping Demonic: Mark Chapter 5
A. Setting and Location
B. The Description of the Possessed Man
C. The Significance of the Man's Actions
D. The Strength and Torment of the Possessed Man
III. Analysis of the Demon and Its Name
A. The Command to the Demon to Leave
B. The Unique Question: "What is your name?"
C. The Description of "Legion"
D. The Demon's Request Not to Be Sent Out of the Area
IV. The Interaction with the Pigs
A. The Demon's Request to Enter the Pigs
B. The Drowning of the Pigs
V. Reactions of the People
A. Curiosity and Fear
B. The Transformation of the Possessed Man
C. The Plea for Jesus to Leave the Region
VI. Jesus' Response and Message
A. The Begging of the Possessed Man to Follow Jesus
B. Jesus' Instruction to Share the Story with His People
VII. The Song "Man of the Tombs" by Bob Bennett
A. Lyrics and Interpretation of the Song
B. The Message of Hope and Transformation
Dr. Gerry Breshears discusses some of the main teachings of the Bible on Spiritual Warfare and then participates in a live question and answer.
- Discover Dr. Breshears' journey from science to spiritual warfare, debunking scientific explanations for demons. Unveil a seminary student's anxiety battle, uncover curses, theological misconceptions, and inner demonic voices. Prepare for a course on spiritual warfare and staying loyal to God.
- Gain insights into worldviews within Christianity, including polytheism, American monotheism, and Christian monotheism. Explore the nature of spiritual beings and idols.
- Gain insight into powerful spiritual beings tied to nations in the Bible. Warning against intermarriage and foreign gods emphasized.
- You'll gain insight into spiritual warfare through Genesis 11, where human defiance led to the scattering of nations and involvement of angelic beings.
- You will gain insight into a distinct biblical interpretation that views the universe's creation as an act of shaping Eden within a pre-existing cosmic war, and the role of humans in this ongoing battle by cultivating goodness and order to combat evil and chaos.
- In this lesson, the story of Adam and Eve is analyzed within the context of spiritual warfare, highlighting the serpent's strategy to question God's goodness and encourage independence, while God responds with a call to confession and hints at a future Messiah's role in redemption.
- This lesson offers an insightful interpretation of Genesis 6:1-4, presenting the "Sons of God" as angelic beings who sinned by marrying humans, leading to the Nephilim, linking this perspective to New Testament passages and the symbolism of baptism as a victory declaration against evil forces, deepening your understanding of the nuanced interpretation of these biblical passages and their importance in Christianity.
- The passages reviewed in this lesson reveal a unique portrayal of God's actions, using unconventional methods. Challenge common interpretations, caution against single-verse doctrines. Embrace the mystery of God's ways, avoiding rigid interpretations when context is unclear.
- This lesson reviews a passage in Colossians, offering insights into spiritual warfare and the dichotomy between the kingdoms of light and darkness, emphasizing believers' rescue from darkness into the kingdom of the Son of God, forgiveness of sins, and the essential elements of faith, all of which are vital for confronting demonic accusations and oppression.
- Learn the core of Ephesians: spiritual warfare, dedication to God vs. Satan, moral maturity, and becoming Christ's partner. Emphasizes unity, living in light, using God's Word, and the power of prayer in this battle.
- Learn to resist the temptations of the world and the devil by humbling yourself, casting anxiety on God, being self-controlled, alert, and standing firm in faith as taught in James and 1 Peter, emphasizing the importance of using your strengths for God's kingdom and opposing pressures and distortions from the enemy to avoid being devoured.
- This lesson highlights the significance of facing spiritual forces in Jesus' name, stressing that authority alone isn't enough. Faith, confidence, and prayer-driven competence are vital for effective spiritual warfare. It inspires you to confront spiritual battles like Jesus did, with authority and unwavering faith.
- This lesson delves into a biblical narrative highlighting Jesus' authority over evil spirits. It emphasizes the transformative power of His deliverance and the profound change it can bring to those tormented by demonic influence.
- This lesson provides deep insights into Satan's fall in the Bible, covering Old Testament passages (Isaiah 14, Ezekiel 28) linked to it, addressing their ambiguity. It also discusses withholding Satan's name due to his evil nature and how Jesus broke his authority in the New Testament, though he remains a threat to believers.
- This lesson delves into the intricate dynamics between believers, demons, and the world in the biblical context. You'll uncover Satan's mysterious role in Judas's betrayal of Jesus, posing questions about the motivations and divine alignment in this pivotal event.
- This lesson equips you with the knowledge of how Jesus confronted temptation and spiritual warfare, emphasizing three essential steps: quoting Scripture to the devil, commanding the devil to leave in Jesus' name, and shifting your focus from demonic attack to Jesus' provision.
- This lesson explores 3 Deliverance Ministry models: 1) Classic - resist Satan's temptations, 2) Power Encounter - deal with sin before casting out demons, 3) Truth Encounter - dispel lies, reclaim identity in Christ. Dr. Breshears prefers the Truth Encounter model while allowing for diverse biblical approaches.
- This lesson provides comprehensive insights on dealing with the demonic from a biblical perspective, emphasizing the triumph of Jesus over Satan, the ongoing spiritual battles, the importance of faith in the midst of adversity, and the need to follow biblical patterns while avoiding unnecessary fascination with evil and excessive fearfulness.
- This lesson explores demons and Satan's impact on believers, emphasizing that even righteous individuals can face their influence. It reveals how deception, curses, and accusations can create strongholds in belief systems, perpetuated by Satan. Demons exploit weaknesses, desires, and ignorance, leading to destructive behaviors. The lesson ends with the assurance that believers are never abandoned by the Holy Spirit.
- From this lesson, you will gain insight into the Dr. Breshear's approach to identifying potential demonic influence in people's lives, focusing on areas like accusing voices, oppressive presence, and occult involvement. He emphasizes the importance of assessing these influences when individuals face issues like anxiety, addiction, or persistent problems. By probing into their experiences and thoughts, the goal is to recognize and address these negative influences, ultimately seeking to remove them from the person's life.
- This lesson provides insights into assessing potential demonic influence in individuals' lives, offering strategies to distinguish personal issues from demonic influences and empower individuals to confront and overcome such challenges with the authority of Jesus Christ.
- From this lesson, you will gain insight into the controversial topic of demonic influence and possession within Christianity. The lesson explores the various meanings of "possessed" and the debate surrounding whether a Christian can be dominated or influenced by a demon. It emphasizes that while ownership by a demon is generally denied, the extent of demonic influence remains debated.
- You will learn a comprehensive approach to address demons in a pastoral setting, emphasizing individual empowerment, cooperation, and the transformative potential of confronting these malevolent forces to achieve freedom and healing.
- This lesson delves into spiritual warfare, discussing curses, demonic attacks, and their real-life impact. It highlights curses arising from disobedience, similar to God's curse in the Bible. Instances like a cursed object in Africa demonstrate their harm. The lesson promotes rejecting curses and dedicating spaces to God while emphasizing that curses have power only when received, suggesting turning to Jesus for protection and deliverance.
- This lesson explores demon nature, influence, and approach. It dispels the myth of immunity in the US, highlighting demons' subtle tactics. Demons' origin is unclear, and prayer and fasting aren't mandatory. Living as children of light and invoking Jesus' name is key. Mind-reading by demons is uncertain, but they exploit confessed sin. Whether they can inhabit believers is unanswered, but they influence through deception. Demons may dwell in specific places and require confronting with Jesus' authority. Believers engage in spiritual warfare to deliver the oppressed, empowered by Jesus.
There is an ongoing battle between the kingdom of light and the kingdom of darkness. Followers of Jesus, who are in the kingdom of light, have been given authority by God to command demons. By studying Jesus' life and other passages in scripture, we can gain insights into how to respond to the influence of demons effectively.
Dr. Gerry Breshears
Jesus and the Demons (Part 2)
This is a weird story, but you're probably tired of me saying that. But most of the stories in the Bible are weird, especially with any demon involved in that. And the problem there is not so much for the stories I think as is with our worldview, as I've already tried to take you through a bit. We come at things psychologically. We come at things scientifically. We try to explain things by laws of nature and personality characteristics and such. In the biblical worldview is there's more going on than that. There's a whole spiritual realm and we get these glimpses through these stories. And the stories here are to challenge us to broaden out our understanding to a more biblical understanding of how this world works. And the biblical understanding is there's a spiritual realm of angels and demons and all that sort of thing that we don't see normally, but is very real.
So I want to go to one of the most... It's a, I already said that, didn't I? It's a bizarre story. Mark chapter five, the Gerasene demoniac. And the longest version of this is in Mark. It's in others as well. But I look at this thing and the guys come across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes. Now that's on the east side of the Sea of Galilee. The west side would be Tiberius and Capernaum in the north end. Magdala would be on the west side. And that's the Jewish side. This is the Gentile side. This is the Decapolis it was called in those days. And it's a Gentile region and it's remote. So they come across there and Jesus got out of the boat and look what happens. A man with an impure spirit came from the tombs to meet him. So the very first thing that happens when they arrive there, Jesus gets out of the boat and this guy comes up to him. And what a guy this is. I mean, it is stunning.
And the description here is a guy who is completely demon possessed. He lives in the tombs. No one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain. He'd often been chained head and foot, tore the chains apart, broke irons with his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him. So incredible superhuman strength is the first thing. Verse five. Night and day among the tombs and in the hills, he would cry out and cut himself with stones. So we see the association with death in the tombs. Of course, that's a completely abandoned area, isolated from people, incredible strength and he is crying out, tormented and he's cutting himself with stones. And that's the guy who comes running up.
Now When you put yourself in a story, put it in your imagination, you look around, see what else is going around you look at expression on faces, listen to tone of voice, that sort of thing. So I'm one of the guys in the boat and we pull up to the shore, ground the boat, Jesus gets out, I get up behind him and the next thing happens. This guy comes running up. What do you want to do? I know what I want to do. Let's get out of here, Jesus. Get back in the boat. There's a better place to be. But that's not what Jesus does. So let's look at the story closely. The man here, where does his strength come from? Because the whole point is no human can do what he's doing. That's the whole point of this description, that he cannot be subdued.
This association with death. And I find myself thinking of the Halloween celebration that's become a major, major festival for our culture. And Halloween is all about death. Really nice people living next door to you put the most gruesome, horrible stuff on their front porch and think it's funny. The best restaurant with the coolest people put up dead things hanging from the ceiling. I mean, what in the world? And that association with death, there's a fascination with death, I suppose, but this is beyond this. This is an alliance with death and a way of death. Of course, that's Satan's realm. The crying out, the torment that this man has. But I'm intrigued with the cutting. In my pastoral role, I ended up working with a lot of people who are cutting and because of my work with counseling and psychology and such as well as my pastoral side, that's been an interest of mine. Okay, what's the point of cutting? And there are many different stories around that.
One of the things is that people cut to prove that they're alive. I think really? But see, these are people who are tormented and cutting, and I see the blood comes out, shows that I'm alive for people. More commonly in my experience anyway, is I hurt. I hurt badly. And when I inflict pain on myself, it's a controllable pain that somehow relieves the uncontrollable pain for them the way I put it together. I mean I don't understand this, but I hear it and I resonate with it. Why the cutting? When you get into cutting, it's often a self-punishment type thing. I've been a bad boy, a bad girl, and when I cut, I'm punishing myself so I can escape being punished by some bad person or some bad force is a factor of that. There are a lot of factors.
One of the things I do when I'm talking with people and I suspect cult background, is I ask them what do they do with the blood. And usually that question gives me a weird look. What do you mean what do I do with the blood? Because blood is a byproduct to be gotten rid of. So I blot it up with a Kleenex and throw it away or something. Some people are just fascinated with the blood because somehow blood is a connection with life for them. But sometimes what happens is people cut in order to get blood for ritual sacrifice type things. So that's a question I ask carefully and compassionately, but it's a question I ask when I'm talking with people who cut. What do you do with the blood? It's one of about 15 different questions I try to ask just to explore what's going on.
This man, we don't know why he's cutting, but it seems to be more of a self-torture kind of thing because of his pain being so bad. He saw Jesus from a distance. He ran and fell on his knees in front of him, shouted at the top of his lungs screaming, "What do you want with me, Jesus, son of the most high God? In God's name don't torture me." Now, I ask myself, who is speaking here? It's coming through the mouth of the man. But is this the man speaking or is this the impure spirit speaking? And when I read it, I read this is not the man. This is the spirit speaking through the mouth of the man, the one that's been tormenting him for all these years.
But you say, why is he complaining? Why is he complaining? What do you want with me? Now there's a point of humor here because the spirit has been tormenting this man horribly for a long time. And now the demon is saying, don't torture me, Jesus. I want to be torturer, not the torturee. I think how ironic that this tormenting spirit is afraid of being tortured and he's expecting Jesus to know how to do it. He's afraid of Jesus. Why did he respond like that? Well, if you read the text carefully, it tells you. The very next verse has a reason for, Jesus said to him, "Come out of this man, you impure spirit." So here's the order. Boat up, guy comes, Jesus recognizes what's happening somehow and tells the spirit, come out. He speaks to the spirit, come out. The spirit then responds. What do you want with me, Jesus? In God's name, don't torture me. So Jesus's command is to the demon, come out. The demon objects, and demons do that.
And then what is Jesus' response? What do you have to do with me? And his response is unique. It's the only time it's done in all the demon encounters in scripture. He says, "What is your name?" Now, as we'll see in the methodology section, this question becomes essential for many. It's the only place that Jesus does something like this so this is a unique question. It's not a normal question. And when I think from the dark side, in the dark side, the name of a demon is a way to control it. And demons are very reluctant to give up their name. But I'll talk more about that later. The demon answers him kind of, "My name is Legion for we are many."
Then I ask myself again, doing biblical theology, did the demon give a name? And my answer is no, I don't think so. The demon gives a description. It's a group name. It's not an individual name. It's not a name of a demon. It's a description. It's my name is Legion, as a group, or maybe this is the head of the group. I mean we just don't know. For we are many. So this guy has a bunch of demons. It's not just one. And again, he begs Jesus again and again not to send them out of the area. Now again, I'm exploring this kind of stuff. Are demons local? Do demons have home country? Do the demons feel comfortable here and not there? I mean there's all kinds of questions here, but it seems... When I think of Old Testament, I think of places, they call it the high places. And in the Old Testament you keep building altars to demons in high places or in the Valley of Ben-Hinnom there southeast of Jerusalem. There are certain places that appear to be centers for demons.
And I think, okay, so don't send us out of the area. So apparently they have kind of a home country or something. I mean we're guessing. So then it notes that there's a herd of pigs. Now remember, this is Gentile area. There's no sin in doing pigs. In fact, this is probably a major industry to raise bacon for the Roman soldiers over in Galilee and down in Judah where they couldn't raise pigs because the Jewish doesn't allow that. The demons begged Jesus, "Send us among the pigs and allow us to go into them." And again, why do they want to go to pigs? Well, they're unclean animals. This is an unclean spirit. Yeah, maybe. But it's just, huh. Note, Jesus does not tell them, come out of the man and go into the pigs. It's not that sort of thing at all. In fact like I said Jesus never tells a demon where to go, but the demons beg him, allow us to go into the pigs. And so Jesus gives permission.
Well, why did he give permission? Why does he say, I don't know, he does. And they come out, went into the pigs and the herd of pigs, 2,000 pigs. I mean this is a big herd of pigs rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned. And when I get my kind of sarcastic hat on, this guy had so many demons, so horrible that when they go into pigs, the 2,000 pigs commit pigicide rather than have the demons in them. And that shows us how tormented these guys are. I guess if you're a farmer, you don't understand what the pigs commit soo-ee-cide. Yes. Ask a farmer, they'll tell you what that means. That's bad. Yes, you're right. That's bad. But I mean there it is.
But this shows us how desperate the condition of this man is in graphic form, that these 2,000 pigs immediately run to their death. And you ask yourself, what do the demons do? And we don't know. I don't think demons cease to exist when they're out of body, but they're there. So the guys running, pigs ran off, reported the town, the people went out to see what had happened. Curiosity. When they came to Jesus, saw the man. And here's a key thing. The man who had been possessed by the legion of demons is sitting there dressed and in his right mind. Incredible transformation when the demons are out of this man. And they're afraid. And I think fear is here. What happened here? We're all, something we can't explain leaves a bit of fear with us.
The people that had seen it told the people what had happened to the demon-possessed man. They told about the pigs as well. The people again plead for Jesus to leave the region. You think, why do they want to get him out of there? I was introducing my mother-in-law who appears to be demon-possessed too. I don't know. But they're afraid of this man because of the power that he has. I don't understand you and I want you gone. So Jesus is getting in the boat. The man who'd been demon possessed begged to go with him. Now, demons beg Jesus. He said, yes. This man begs Jesus and he says, no. Contrast is clear. Jesus did not let him. Go to your home, to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you and how much he's had mercy on you.
So what he's saying is, I want you to stay here and give testimony of what happened to you because these people have seen you for years screaming in the tombs. They've seen you for years cutting yourself and being tormented, and now you're here and you're in your right mind and you're acting in a normal kind of way. You can have association with people and not breaking chains anymore. A powerful picture. It's a powerful picture. There's a picture here and I just want to think through this a little bit. When I look at the picture here, this man has been tormented at incredible levels and when he is kicked out, and the 2,000 pigs are dead, this shows what can happen when you deliver somebody with demons that are tormenting them.
And part of what this does is help me realize that at least for some people, I do an incredible amount of help to them if I can get rid of a tormenting spirit. And that's part of the reason I do deliverance ministry as a piece of mine. It's not the primary by a lot, but when I'm looking for demons or tormenting or accusing or deceiving, and I want to help people find freedom for that. And the question is, how can you do that? We'll get there. But that gives a hope that there can be a tremendous transformation really quickly. Another thing I find in looking at this is the way Jesus does that is a very simple command. Get out. Now he does ask for the name, but he doesn't begin there and he gives in to the demon's command to go to the pigs, but the demons respond to his command to leave this man. The whole name thing... We're going to talk about that. I'm not a fan of asking for demon's names.
When Jesus is questioning, I think part of what he's doing is trying to isolate the demon and deal with it because that's his concern is the demon, not the man so much in this initial healing kind of thing. When I look at when Jesus does ask the name, what does he do with the name? And the answer is nothing. He never says Legion, I command you or anything like that. He asks for the name and as soon as he gets the name, he drops it and he never does anything more with it. So there's no particular significance to the name except there's at least 2,000 of these things we find in the pigs. There's a lot of demons here, which is the point.
And why does Jesus accept the request? I don't know. I've never had a demon demand something to me that I give it permission to do. And I honestly can't imagine a situation where I would allow a demon to do what it wanted to do because basically I'm going to tell a demon come out of him or get away from him. I don't know. It's just one of those strange things when I look at how much is this a pattern for what I would do? The fundamental thing here is this idea that the demon, you are an evil being and you're not welcome here. You need to get out now. And that's the base command and the outcome is it is dramatic.
There's a song, an older song that I want to just refer you to. It's called Man of the Tombs. It's one of those songs... Bob Bennett is a guy that did it. I haven't heard him in years, but you can get it on YouTube. And this Man of the Tombs, I mean he sings it in a style that I really like. It's kind of a folk song, but he's got just, there's an authenticity with this, Man of the tombs, he lives in a place where no one goes. He tears at himself... Can't get a signal without getting connected. Can't say it.
He lives in it with a pain that no one knows. He counts himself dead among the living. He knows no mercy and no forgiving. Deep in the night he's driven to cry out loud. Can you hear him cry out loud? Man of the tombs possessed by an unseen enemy. He breaks every chain, mistakes his freedom for being free, shame and shamelessness equally there, like a random toss of a coin in the air. Man of the tombs, he's driven to cry out loud.
Then there's a bridge that's so powerful. Down at the shoreline, two sets of footprints meet. One voice is screaming. One other begins to speak. In only a moment and only a word the evil departs like a thundering herd. Man of the tomb, he hears this cry out loud. Underneath this thing that you become I see a man of flesh and blood. I give you life beyond the grave. I heal your heart. I come to save. No need to fear or be afraid, this man of sorrows knows your pain. I come to take away your sin and bear its mark on my skin when no one can touch you, still I can, for Son of God I am. Dressed now and seated clean in spirit and healthy in mind. Man of the tombs, he begs to follow but must stay behind. He'll return to his family with stories to tell, of mercy and madness, of heaven and hell, Man of the tombs soon he will cry out loud.
Underneath this thing that I once was, now I'm a man of flesh and blood. I have a life beyond the grave. I found my heart, I can now be saved. No need to fear, I am not afraid. This man of sorrows took my pain. He comes to take away our sin and bear its marks on his skin. I'm telling this story because man of the tomb I was. And Bob Bennett is singing his own song because he is man of the tombs. And it's just... The lyrics of it are just powerful. The poetry is exquisite, but the reality is even more. And that final line of the three bridges for man of the tombs I am, then the response, for Son of God I am. And then man of the tombs I was. Powerful song. And what this does for me is it gives a deep hope for people facing the torment of demon possession, demon connection, cultic backgrounds, all the worship of the evil spirits and all that comes with that.
Because you may be man of the tombs I am, but through the Son of God I am, Son of man I am. You can say man of the tombs I was. Incredible, incredible hope that comes out of this story in a most unusual way. That's the hope and it's real hope. That's what we're here for.
I always assume that the story included that there's 2,000 pigs to really illustrate how evil demons are, how powerful they are. And yet with a word, Jesus slays them. So I mean, it's a powerful picture of people who are struggling. Can I even be freed? And well, yeah, this guy got freed, 2,000 pigs paid the price. So anyway, just to comment on that.
I mean, there's a certain irony that for Jews, pigs are unclean animals and unclean spirit go to unclean animals who die. Is this a sacrifice like the Old Testament sacrifices or something like that? I don't think so because that isn't what frees the man. But it does show the power, the death power of these and the pigs and the farmers who lose their living. The impact on the farmers, the pig farmers, that devastates their lives. 2,000 pigs. I grew up on a subsistence farm in Missouri and if you lost your entire herd, you're dead. There's stuff going on there.
So here's something I've never understood in this story.
The demons don't want to go into the abyss. They want to inhabit something so they go into pigs and kill them. It's kind of counterproductive.
I don't think the demons want to kill the pigs. The pig says, I can't deal with this, and they kill themselves.
Oh, that was a pig decision.
I think that's pigicide. Yeah, which I still laugh about that idea. But yeah, I think the pigs are so tormented that they would rather die than continue living in that state. I don't think demons killed the pigs, but the biblical narrative is not clear on just what's happening there except they do die.