Monday, March 17, 2008

Mark, Chapter 5

1 ¶ And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes.
2 And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit,

Note the singular, an unclean spirit. An unclean spirit is a devil. There is a devil who is over many devils and there are unclean spirits that do his work and his bidding.

Isaiah 65:4 Which remain among the graves, and lodge in the monuments, which eat swine’s flesh, and broth of abominable things is in their vessels;

Devils are attracted to bodies and to graveyards and tombs.

3 Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains:

Devils are unusually strong.

4 Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him.
5 And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones.

Devils encourage self abuse and self damage including religious processions in Iran (Shi’ite Muslims) and the Philippines (Catholic Christians) and the self cutting behavior of certain young girls.

6 But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him,

Devils know who Jesus is. This devil(s) runs to worship Christ. So, what good does merely acknowledging and worshipping Christ do? It didn’t do much for this devil(s).

James 2:19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

Now, think, Christian. The one who wants you to relish in your personal suffering and to even seek and be proud of how much you can torture yourself for Christ and make yourself uncomfortable is Satan. You have a devil if you are proud of the hour you spend on your knees praying and hurting. Just because you worship Christ acknowledging Him and His mastery over you means nothing. Judas even calls Him “master” over and over. But, devils never call Him “Lord”.

Mark only focuses on one man but there were two. Mark narrows the story down to one individual.

Matthew 8: 28 ¶ And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way. 29 And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?

Gergesenes is another name for Gadarenes.

7 And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not.

The devils acknowledge who Jesus is and they know what time they have. The devils will go crazy on the world when it’s their time. You would go insane if you could see what is around you in the spiritual world.

8 For he said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit.

Notice the singular again, “thou unclean spirit.”

9 And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many.

There are many devils in this man that are also called an, singular, unclean spirit that calls itself by a singular pronoun, he. Many devils can make up one devil. One possibility can be that the Devil can manifest himself into many devils as the Holy Spirit can exist completely in millions of believers and yet still be one Holy Spirit.

10 And he besought him much that he would not send them away out of the country.
Luke gets specific about this and says the following;

Luke 8:31 And they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep. 32 And there was there an herd of many swine feeding on the mountain: and they besought him that he would suffer them to enter into them. And he suffered them. 33 Then went the devils out of the man, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the lake, and were choked.

We know that “the deep” is not the lake because they chose themselves to go into the lake. What is “the deep”? In this context it is not the water. Perhaps there are some hints in these verses.

Ephesians 2:2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Job 38:30 The waters are hid as with a stone, and the face of the deep is frozen. 31 Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion? 32 Canst thou bring forth Mazzaroth in his season? or canst thou guide Arcturus with his sons? 33 Knowest thou the ordinances of heaven? canst thou set the dominion thereof in the earth?

Reading the first few verses of Genesis carefully might imply to you that “the deep” is outer space.

Genesis 1:1 ¶ In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. 3 ¶ And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. 4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. 5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day. 6 ¶ And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. 7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. 8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.

11 Now there was there nigh unto the mountains a great herd of swine feeding.
12 And all the devils besought him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them.

Devils crave a body and animals will do. Obviously, not only humans, but animals can be possessed by unclean spirits.

13 And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea.

There are possibly a thousand unclean spirits in a man or more.

14 And they that fed the swine fled, and told it in the city, and in the country. And they went out to see what it was that was done.
15 And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid.

Devils like nakedness. Contrast the shame that a Godly person feels about his or her nakedness by the statements in Genesis 2 before the Fall.

Genesis 2:25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

16 And they that saw it told them how it befell to him that was possessed with the devil, and also concerning the swine.

Devils make a person hurt themselves, they want a body to inhabit, and they are drawn to water.

17 And they began to pray him to depart out of their coasts.

Often, when God’s power is manifest in a person’s life his family and friends want nothing more to do with him because they want Jesus to leave.

18 And when he was come into the ship, he that had been possessed with the devil prayed him that he might be with him.
19 Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.

When people are saved they are immediately not called to preach or to start some big work to glorify themselves. They are to go back home and tell people what Christ has done for them. This guy does his job.

20 And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel.

Mark 7:31 ¶ And again, departing from the coasts of Tyre and Sidon, he came unto the sea of Galilee, through the midst of the coasts of Decapolis. 32 And they bring unto him one that was deaf, and had an impediment in his speech; and they beseech him to put his hand upon him. 33 And he took him aside from the multitude, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spit, and touched his tongue; 34 And looking up to heaven, he sighed, and saith unto him, Ephphatha, that is, Be opened. 35 And straightway his ears were opened, and the string of his tongue was loosed, and he spake plain. 36 And he charged them that they should tell no man: but the more he charged them, so much the more a great deal they published it;
37 And were beyond measure astonished, saying, He hath done all things well: he maketh both the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak.

21 ¶ And when Jesus was passed over again by ship unto the other side, much people gathered unto him: and he was nigh unto the sea.
22 And, behold, there cometh one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name; and when he saw him, he fell at his feet,
23 And besought him greatly, saying, My little daughter lieth at the point of death: I pray thee, come and lay thy hands on her, that she may be healed; and she shall live.

This man believes in faith that if Jesus will just touch his sick daughter she will be healed.

24 And Jesus went with him; and much people followed him, and thronged him.
25 And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years,
26 And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse,
27 When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment.

This woman didn’t even seek God’s attention. She just believed that if she drew near to Him and touched Him she would be healed. She had already tried every temporal way to be healed and had spent all of her money. She came to Christ and drew near to Him to be healed of her sickness.

There are two types of Christians in type in this passage. One pleads with God to come to him and he wants to journey with God. The other just, in their misery, draws near to Him. Both will get, by faith, what they desired. I am sure there are many more examples that can come from these events.

28 For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole.
29 And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague.

Jesus, unlike a physician or human religion, heals from the inside out, not just on the surface.

30 And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes?

Jesus is aware that He has been touched and that a sinner is healed.

Luke 6:18 And they that were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed. 19 And the whole multitude sought to touch him: for there went virtue out of him, and healed them all.
There are people today who try to pretend that they are the conduit through which Christ heals.

Proverbs 25:14 Whoso boasteth himself of a false gift is like clouds and wind without rain.

They are fakers and frauds. Come to Christ and draw near to Him to be healed. Ask Him to come to you and with you to be healed. You don’t need an intermediary. Jairus is an example of begging Christ to heal your family or loved ones. Beg Him, plead with Him to come to them. He will come.

31 And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?

The disciples, particularly Peter, are incredulous that He asks them, in this crowd, who touched Him.

Luke 8:45 And Jesus said, Who touched me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throng thee and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?

32 And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing.
33 But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth.

Here is another point of how the word, all, is used. All can be without exception as in all men are sinners and all can be without distinction as in what she said was the truth, or as part of my analogy, all men can be saved or it is God’s desire that all men be saved.

34 And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.

This was a clear, physical healing. Let’s look at the type for us. Like in salvation, God responds to our faith by making us whole and healing us from our sin. Now, she would still have been healed if she didn’t make this public profession she made in verse 33 but it would have been different. We are called to make a public profession and, in my mind, and I could be wrong, but in my mind in the New Testament church, your baptism was the public profession of faith.

35 ¶ While he yet spake, there came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house certain which said, Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the Master any further?
36 As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, he saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe.

Here is a clear expression for us to understand, that while the woman received an immediate answer to her desire to be healed, Jairus was told to not be afraid, only believe, and then he would see the answer later.

This account is also found in Matthew 9.

37 And he suffered no man to follow him, save Peter, and James, and John the brother of James.
38 And he cometh to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and seeth the tumult, and them that wept and wailed greatly.

As I understand it there were traditionally professional mourners.

39 And when he was come in, he saith unto them, Why make ye this ado, and weep? the damsel is not dead, but sleepeth.
40 And they laughed him to scorn. But when he had put them all out, he taketh the father and the mother of the damsel, and them that were with him, and entereth in where the damsel was lying.

I wonder if the laughers ever believed on Him?

In the New Testament, sleeping referring to death, always refers to the body but not the soul. Notice how the soul came back into the dead body in the Old Testament. The soul is never spoken of as being asleep.

Genesis 35:18 And it came to pass, as her soul was in departing, (for she died) that she called his name Benoni: but his father called him Benjamin.

1Kings 17:21 And he stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried unto the LORD, and said, O LORD my God, I pray thee, let this child’s soul come into him again.

The soul leaves the body at death.

2Corinthians 5:8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

The body of your loved one at death does not contain their identity, their soul. What you saw at the funeral was an empty vessel, for which you had great affection because that is what you saw. But, that person has left and gone away, either to a blessed state with the Lord God or to Hell to suffer.

Luke 16:22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; 23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

The rich man’s corpse is in the ground but he is in Hell.

41 And he took the damsel by the hand, and said unto her, Talitha cumi; which is, being interpreted, Damsel, I say unto thee, arise.
42 And straightway the damsel arose, and walked; for she was of the age of twelve years. And they were astonished with a great astonishment.

As a picture of our salvation, here is a young child immediately being able to get up and follow Christ. In a different episode Lazarus has to be unbound. We were all dead in trespasses and sins, but in my case, it took sixteen years, after being saved, to be unbound, to be able to respond to Christ.

43 And he charged them straitly that no man should know it; and commanded that something should be given her to eat.

Although doctrinally, this doesn’t apply to us, or at least the first part because of Jesus’ intentions. But the last part is a type of the fact that as a new Christian the first thing we need to have done is to be fed. That is accomplished with the word of God. Without an immediate immersion in the word of God the new Christian will die on the vine. The numbers game of 1-2-3 repeat after me and then abandoning the new convert is wickedness.

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